Naomi Schaefer Riley’s column today has the ring of truth; well done. More importantly, as a member of a mixed marriage (Catholic-Baptist; one faith separated by 400 years of squabbling), I can attest that it is an absolute truth that one must tolerate those we love.
As for the “religious thermometer” with respect to Mormons, I’d suggest that a large part of Christians’ antipathy towards the Saints is that more than a few evangelicals consider them to be a cult. Yes, yes; one person’s cult is another’s One True Faith. But the Mormons don’t just believe differently. They have beliefs that violate our basic theology of a Triune God and yet they claim to be Christians.
Mormons are welcome to their beliefs (as if they needed my approval…) They are not, however, welcome to claim they are just another variety of Protestant Christians. They are a separate and distinct church; a radical departure from normative Christianity. Some of their beliefs, as I understand them, are, well, interesting to say the least. Then so are my beliefs as a Catholic-turned Baptist to those who don’t share them. But again, it isn’t what the Mormons believe, it is how they portray themselves that puts the frost on our communion wine (or grape juice for Baptists).
We all have beliefs. Some stronger than others. But we should all have the confidence to not deny our beliefs in a squishy “I’m OK, you’re OK” discussion. Likewise, we should tolerate, if not respect, beliefs we think wrong,
Will Mormons go to heaven or hell? My theology says hell, but then, by that standard, that’s probably where I’m heading my own self. My heart on the other hand agrees with what Ms Riley has written: if a Mormon belongs in heaven, she’ll get there. God knows who makes the final cut; I surely don’t.