This is already a topic, about which several blogs in the bloggernacle have already had in depth discussions. See FAIR’s point by point rebuttal; Artemis’ post at fMh; Tanya’s post at Millennial Star; Jeff Lindsay’s post at Mormanity; and, PDOE’s post at Mormon Mentality; I simply add one more voice in opposition to this type of bigoted anti-Mormon behavior by some of these our “Christian” brothers and sisters (so-called).
The Church’s formal announcement is listed on its website here. I republish the Church’s entire response:
29 March 2007 Several news reports have appeared over the past few days in Utah and Arizona about a Christian activist group that has been distributing anti-Mormon DVDs throughout Utah and in some other states.
The Jewish Anti-Defamation League in Phoenix promptly condemned the distribution, saying that “hate directed at any of us is hate directed at all of us.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has weathered such attacks throughout its history. At a time when the Church is growing strongly throughout the world, it’s not surprising that some groups try to curb that growth in such ways.
Throughout the history of the United States, the rights of free speech and freedom of religion have been pre-eminent. Groups opposed to the Church have a perfect right to distribute their materials in ways that are legal.
The issue is not one of rights. Rather, it is that one religious group chooses to target another with a DVD full of distortions of its doctrine and history, and misrepresentations so stark that they call into question the integrity of the producers.
When Latter-day Saint missionaries visit homes or engage others in conversation, they studiously avoid criticism of other faiths. They do not attack and they do not condemn. Instead, they declare their own message honestly and openly and allow people the freedom to choose. Above all, they encourage each person to find out for themselves through personal research as well as prayer.
That will continue to be the Church’s approach, not just because honest and open dialogue is what most people want, but because in our view it best represents the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I would simply add these folks continue the literal fulfillment of Moroni’s prophecy about Joseph Smith, made on a late Fall evening in 1823, while Joseph was an unimportant, uneducated, and uninfluential, backwoods farm boy in upstate New York:
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.
A great follow up in Today’s Salt Lake Tribune, from their Editorial Page:
Sectarian strife: As if the Christians versus the Muslims weren’t enough. Under the cover of darkness, a group of evangelical Christians placed more than 300,000 DVDs that attempt to discredit the LDS faith on doorknobs in Utah last weekend. It may be legal, but, given the sectarian bad feeling it generates, it’s not right. And it’s no way to win converts. At least Mormon missionaries have the decency to knock on the door and ask if they can leave a message. And they don’t sneak around doorsteps at 3 a.m. for the purpose of informing the people asleep inside that they are cultists, not Christians.
Good for the Tribune.
And the work rolls on. . .