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Lies, Damned lies, and Anti-Mormon Rhetoric

Mark Twain once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  He used this as a way to deride those that use weak arguments and loosely based correlations to uphold strongly held views.  I think if Mark Twain were alive today he would add one more item to that list, Anti-Mormons.

Recently it was revealed that the Mormon church has 32 billion dollars invested in the stock market.  Some of that money is invested in pharmaceutical companies, around 1 billion.  This revelation set off a sort of frenzy for the anti-Mormon crowd. They finally had their proof that the church was in bed with big pharma and that is the reason that why they have opposed the medical marijuana initiative in Utah.   

Of course, there is no proof of this anywhere and it is complete conjecture but that doesn’t stop the likes of John Dehlin and others from promoting the story as if the church has done something terribly wrong.  They don’t care if the church has actually done anything wrong.  The perception is all they care about.  For anti-Mormons, perception is reality.  There is no proof needed in order to smear the name of the church. All that is needed is a couple of loosely based conjectures

This is part of a larger tactic. The recent goals of some anti-Mormons have been to try and destroy the church by trying to take away the policies that control the church. The strategy is simple.  Lehi explained it in 2nd Nephi chapter two.

 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. – Emphasis added

This is the end goal. The current anti-Mormon rhetoric is clearly trying to remove the doctrine of the church, mostly in the name of equality.  They believe that current social norms should be reflected in the church and if they are not, then the church is causing damages.  An example of this is Kate Kelly’s Ordain Women movement.  Her goal was to remove the tradition of male priesthood ordinations.   She tried to force the ordination of women by marching and rallies. 

The rhetoric and tactics have changed from trying to disprove doctrine in favor of another religion to destroy the church in favor of nothing.  Do whatever you feel like because it is your life.  There are no consequences except what is socially acceptable at the moment.  There are no objective truths, only subjective truth created at the moment.

We should be increasingly cautious of this type of reasoning.  It is faulty, it is dishonest, and it is dangerous.  When the end goal is simply to destroy the church, the means are always justified.  When the conclusion has been determined, confirmation bias takeeffectct and any piece of supposed evidence, no matter how weak, converts into an undeniable mountain of evidence that cannot be denied.