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The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Reid was invited by a fellow Mormon to give a fireside talk at an LDS stake center in Las Vegas last weekend ... his talk was not intended to be political, but only about his spiritual awakening and connection to the LDS Church.

The talk never happened:

As soon as word got out ... the e-mails and phone calls began pouring in ... Messages, threats, that if he were permitted to speak, members of my church would heckle him from the audience.

One man said, "If I see Harry Reid in the temple, I'm going to hit him."

Mormon blogger John Fowles responds:

News of this should be extremely distressing to all Latter-day Saints ... looking at such horrible behavior and mean-spirited antics from afar, I can confirm that from my perspective this is damaging to the Church as a whole and opens us to unnecessary and harmful ridicule.

... The membership of a stake in Nevada has shouted down a Latter-day Saint and prevented him from bearing his testimony ... They have put a fellow Latter-day Saint in fear of his safety such that the fireside was cancelled and he was silenced ...

What is wrong with us as a people that this could be possible? How does Reid’s involvement in drafting health care policy possibly make him "evil"? (Answer: It does not and cannot reasonably be conceived to do so.) Why can’t the Latter-day Saints doing this just view Reid as wrong from a policy perspective rather than claiming that his testimony is invalid or calling him evil? Do we have such little understanding of the world and the Gospel? My best sense from the scriptures is that God does not really care about the particulars of political policy in different governments, even on health care. He has left it to us to set up governments and to use our best resources, reason and intellects in crafting policies that we deem beneficial for ourselves. I would think that an honest reading of the scriptures teaches us that God is indeed interested in seeing us make efforts communally as a society to alleviate each other’s suffering and to care for the poor and needy, etc. Whether a society chooses to do this through a policy such as the current health care reform in the USA or through a single payer system like the NHS in the UK (or nothing at all, although I think God would expect accountability on how we as a society had the means to help those suffering without adequate access to medical care and chose not to do so in that scenario) is, I would think, entirely irrelevant to God.

Here's to seeing John's post in every Mormon ward bulletin and on every LDS member's Facebook page and blog until these guerillas in their midst finally get the message.

As Josh Marshall might say, if you find yourself in a state of chronic agitation and moral panic, that's a bigger problem than the one you just read about in the latest scary email forward.

x-posted at Street Prophets and TPM Café

Originally posted to Chino Blanco on Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 03:40 AM PDT.

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