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Scoop Feedback: Mormons & Mentally Ill Kids

In this edition:
Scoop article on Mormon's and Bush
Response To Article By Evelyn Pringle

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Scoop article on Mormon's and Bush

I am writing you with regard to the posting: Suzan Mazur: Bush And The Mormons - Tuesday, 26 October 2004.

My thoughts on this article are thus:

Dear Ms. Mazur,

There are quite a few discrepancies and misleading statements in the above noted posting and I would like to address a few of those here.

You claim there are 11 million mormons. There are indeed, but now the majority of mormons live outside of the USA. There are only a little over 5 million mormons inside the USA and the majority of them are not actively involved with the Church.

You said the mormons run the biggest and best gun shows nationwide. I wish you would point out that the Church doesn’t run any gun shows. If there are members who also run gun shows, they are not officially representing the Church when they run these shows, if indeed they are involved in these shows as you claim.

You quoted Tom Murphy of Edmonds College as saying, “as long as the religion includes Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon, Murphy says it cannot be considered Christian.” Who appointed Mr. Murphy to be the guy who decides which religions are Christian and which are not? As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I can tell you with complete conviction that we are a Christian church, completely centered in all that we do on the saving graces of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon itself is a second witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ. What criteria does Mr. Murphy apply in stating that we are not Christians?

You said, “It describes a migration of ancient Israelites (Lamanites) to Central America, who supposedly interbred with the indigenous population, and it regards Native Americans as descendants of those ancient Israelites.”

Actually, the ancient Israelites who migrated to the Americas are more properly referred to as the Lehites. Laman was just one of the sons of Lehi and his descendants were just a part of the peoples of the Book of Mormon. In no part of the Book of Mormon does it state that the “Lamanites” interbred with the indigenous population. In fact, no indigenous population is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. We do not claim that all Native Americans are descendants of the people’s of the Book of Mormon.

The intense scrutiny of the Book of Mormon in recent years has not disproved the Book of Mormon, to the contrary, the scholarship of those defending the Book of Mormon has really outdone the competition. I refer you to the F.A.I.R. LDS website at

http://www.fairlds.org/

Or the FARMS website at

http://www.farmsresearch.com/

For a sampling of the good research behind the Book of Mormon. As far as DNA evidence disproving the Book of Mormon, noone has actually undertaken a study to prove this to the best of my knowledge. Some have used other’s studies to make such claims but such arguments are easily refuted as per the attachment I am sending you.

Your claims that the Church is not choosy about the source of it’s tithes is true. Noone in the Church is ever asked to put the source of their income from which they are tithing on their tithing payment slip. This is not seen as a necessary measure in the Church.

As far as the opposition to polygamy as the official position of our Church, anyone who chooses to participate in such a union is usually excommunicated as we have seen historically. When you claim that lawyers who defend polygamists should be excommunicated and their tithes rejected, would you also think we should excommunicate and reject the tithes of lawyers who defend accused murderers? Everyone has the right to a lawyer in this country and lawyers who defend criminals should not be confused with the criminal.

You said, “Did Marriott have an ear to the ground through Mormon missionary/intelligence connections about a brewing Gulf War which could kill his business?” This is a ridiculous insinuation here that the Mormon missionaries are somehow involved with intelligence gathering for the US govt. or for others. If you have proof of such behavior please be forthcoming. However, I am confident that no such proof exists.

Perhaps the disproportionate number of mormons in government and intelligence you claim to exist is due to a disproportionate sentiment of civic duty and our trustworthiness as is taught to us as behavior becoming Christians by Jesus Christ himself.

You said, “Within reach is the possibility that the buyout of Marriott In-Flite Services by Carlyle was in part a quid pro quo for Mormon support of George W. Bush's political future.” This is not within reach. There is no direction from our leaders to support republicans or particular candidates. Mormon support for Bush (regrettable as in my own case, I have voted for Nader the last three elections) is definitely there, but is more likely attached to the pro-life platform of Bush (and probably plain old ignorance as was the case for some 60 million American’s this last election). Again, if you have evidence of your theory, please be forthcoming. You state no evidence of your claims so far. Most of what you are presenting is circumstantial evidence strung together over wide chasms by an apparently wild imagination in order to achieve your goal of throwing the Mormon Church into a mysterious light as something that needs to be feared, having undue power to influence American politics to the detriment of the rest of the country. This is reminiscent of Joseph Smith’s time, and fears about Joseph Smith, similar to the ones you are fomenting, are part of what got him assassinated.

You said of the Tom Green effort to appeal his conviction, “It would also clear the conscience of the Mormon community whose roots are in polgamy.” Our conscience is in no way clouded by our past involvement with polygamy. We acted as our religion dictated, as Abraham acted, as David and Solomon and many others in the annals of religious history have ever done.

You said, “Moreover, Mormons opposed the Equal Rights Amendent and would like to see the abortion ruling on Roe v.Wade reversed. George W. Bush's promise to further empower faith-based institutions is something for American women especially to consider when voting November 2.” If you had been doing your homework, you would know there is nothing to fear from the Church as pertains to any so-called, “Faith Based Initiative.” We have politely declined any form of federal funding. We are, however, definitely pro-life. It is strange to see you, as I assume by your tone, as a pro-choice type in spite of your passionate pursuance of the, “Babyland graveyard.” There is a much larger babyland graveyard with the blood of the children buried there, filthing the hands of the pro-choice community. I am one who opposes abortion and war and capital punishment. I see no conflict in this stance.

Truly,

Curtis R. Strong, MD
Department of Pathology
University of California San Diego Medical Center

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Response To Article By Evelyn Pringle

RE: March 14th article by Evelyn Pringle: Labeling Kids Mentally Ill for Profit:

"this is nothing but another Bush profiteering scheme"

Sadly, this statement greatly UNDERSTATES the problem. She is certainly right in that it is also a profitering scheme. And no doubt that is what it primarily is in the minds of Drug Company officers and their hordes of sales reps.

But, to understand it's full drive, you have to compare it with something like the effort to get the 10 commandments in the courtroom, and in schoolrooms, irrespective of the religious or secular feelings of non-Christians. And also the drive to embed creationism in the educational curricula with the goal of discrediting Darwin, evolution, and anything else in science with contradicts a particular religious faith.

In other words, this New Freedom Initiative is also the drive of a 'Church Militant', esp in the minds of psychiatry's chief non-profiteering ally, which is NAMI. This is a church which is feeling beleagured and triumphant at the same time, and is therefore remarkably aggressive. Without understanding this, opponents of the NFI, esp if they confine themselves to a merely economic argument, will not appreciate what they are up against.

And then there is another offshoot of the 'Church Militant', teachers and school officials, who have yet a third motive, extremely discreditable to their professional ethics and their intelligence, for supporting this dreadful initiative.

So you have not only 1) rank profiteering, but 2) a militant religiosity or piety (masguerading even from itself as scientific medicine), and then 3) the sheer mindless opportunism of the teaching profession. And I haven't even discussed 4)Biopsychiatry's motivation, which is something else again, combining all three of these motives, in utter betrayal of the tenets of the Hippocratic Oath.

Ron Thompson

**** ENDS ****

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