I was listening to Hugh Hewitt on the radio the other day, and he was talking about the big story of the recent terror attacks in Paris.
Have you heard that news? On January 7th, 2015, three radical Muslims went into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, and started shooting people. Twelve people ended up dead. Why did they pick Hebdo as a target? Because Hebdo had run items in its publications that were offensive to Muslims. They made fun of the founder of Islam, Muhammed.
Hugh Hewitt had Mark Steyn on as a guest, and they had some interesting things to say about how two different cultures, radical Muslims and Mormons, react to criticism. I've put some of that transcript here, and I put my favorite part in bold:
Mark Steyn: It’s one thing to say oh, we should be sensitive about this, and we should be sensitive about that. But when lunatics are actually killing people over a drawing, you’ve got to be on the side of the people who do the drawings...
You should stay LDS because, collectively and individually, Mormons respond well to criticism.
And Mormons get criticized a lot. Anybody who has served a mission knows what frequent rejection is like. Over and over, when the missionaries knock on their door, people say, “No thanks,” or, “I’m not interested,” or "Get the beep off of my beepin' porch before I get my beepin' dogs to beepin' bite you, you good for nothing beepity-beeps!" My personal favorite rejection was, “If ya’ll are out soul-winning, you can keep moving along. I’ve already been won.”
And how do missionaries respond to this rejection? They just smile and wave and say, “OK, see you later.” And then they move on to the next house.
The Mormon Church as a whole does the same thing. When the Church gets mocked on Broadway in the Book of Mormon musical, the Church responded with this classy one-sentence press release:
"The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but The Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."
When I hear about the way in which the Mormon church behaves in the public square, I'm proud. We are a mature, healthy, Christ-centered religion, and we get along well with everyone around us. We're a good group to be a part of, and it's my pleasure to remain a part of this group. I hope you'll stick around, too.