During the election, I saw many label John McCain's mother an "Anti-Mormon" for her comments about Mormons causing the Salt Lake City Olympic scandal. Were her comments unfair? Yeah, I think so. Were they Anti-Mormon? Perhaps.
There was also Mike Huckabee, who was suspected of being an Anti-Mormon after asking whether Mormons believed that Jesus and Satan were brothers. Slimy campaign tactic? Absolutely. A valid question if asked sincerely? I think so.
Recently I watched the movie September Dawn. Not until after I watched it and read about it online did I realize that it, too, had received the label "Anti-Mormon." In many ways I agree with that assessment, as it contained some gross interpretations, misrepresentations, and wild speculation about Mormons and the actual history surrounding the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The end result was a scathing portrayal of Mormons that was presented as historical fact to uninformed viewers who would assume that we really know all the facts behind what actually happened. It did, however, contain a lot of selected truths. Was it Anti-Mormon? I would say so. But I think it would be inaccurate to say that it was 2 hours of pure lies.
I've also seen a few bloggers -- friends of mine -- be accused of being Anti-Mormons -- either consciously or unconsciously -- for their unorthodox views or questions. Am I an Anti-Mormon, too?
I've come to believe that Mormons use the term "Anti-Mormon" way too liberally. It seems to me that it's sometimes so overused that it's lost it's real meaning. In some cases, I think it's used to dismiss sincere and legitimate concerns that members and non-members have about Mormonism. Recently, when I communicated some concerns of mine regarding Church history with someone I know (and admire), I, too, was told in a tactful manner that I had been "affected by Anti-Mormon views." I was a bit taken aback by this, as most of the concerns I expressed were directly tied to Rough Stone Rolling, which I'm told is sold at Deseret book stores. Has Deseret started to stock Anti-Mormon literature?
So what is your criteria for assessing what is or what isn't "Anti-Mormon?"
The following are "Anti-Mormon," YES or NO and WHY:
- John McCain's mother
- Mike Huckabee
- Gay marriage proponents
- Any book that "exposes" the warts of Mormonism's past and present
- Blogs and other media that ask provocative questions or debate Mormonism's history, doctrine, or policy
- Mormon Stories podcasts (for those of you who have listened to them)
- Those who question authority in the Church
- Those who have objections to certain policies or practices in Mormonism
- Disenchanted ex-Mormons