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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mormons ARE Christians, DO believe in Christ and DO celebrate Christmas!

Popular Mormon author Jason F. Wright wrote Christmas Jars a New York times bestseller. In one of his speaking engagements, a woman asked him a question based on an assumption that Mormons don't celebrate Christmas. From the article entitled, "Mormons don’t celebrate Christmas and other myths" in Mormon Times:
A smiling woman, sitting on a couch near me, asked boldly, "You've written a book about Christmas, but I know from your website that you're a Mormon. How did you reconcile your religious beliefs, the fact that you don't celebrate Christmas, with writing a book called 'Christmas Jars'?"
Wright was incredulous. He'd never encountered this question or belief before. The woman told him she had once dated a Mormon man and he'd told her Mormons don't celebrate Christmas. Wright obviously refuted this erroneous assumption.

I've encountered this before and there is a certain, albeit twisted, logic beneath it. Some assert that Mormons are not Christian. It follows then if they are not Christian then they don't believe in Jesus Christ. Therefore, if they don't believe in Jesus Christ then they don't celebrate Christmas.

I'll give you a real life example, but I'll try and obscure some of the facts so that no actual people can be identified. A Mormon father was accused of incest. In the early hours of the investigation, law enforcement and social services authorities decided to remove the other children from the home in order to ascertain whether the incest extended beyond one child. They hesitated because it was only a few days before Christmas and they didn't want to traumatize the children more than necessary. An individual inside the government structure assured them that since the family were Mormons they didn't believe in Christ and so they didn't celebrate Christmas and to go ahead and remove the children. The children were temporarily removed, and badly traumatized by this pre-Christmas action.

I have to wonder if they would have accepted this rationale if the family were atheist. Christmas is important to everyone in American culture regardless of religious beliefs. It seems to me to be cavalier reasoning without passing judgment on the action itself. The action itself could be justified on other terms like children's safety regardless of the holiday season.

Faulty assumptions, misconceptions, misunderstandings as well as outright lies can do a lot of damage. The story above is one case in point.

I hope we will all be very careful about what assumptions we pass on about other religions. This is a Mormon story but it could very well be a Muslin one, Jewish, Hindu, etc.

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