Some time ago, I posted an entry complaining of Governor “Finn’s” crack about Mormon doctrine. Anti-Mormons respond to our taking offense by claiming that we don’t like it when Christians “speak the truth in in love” about us. Up to now, my reply is that anti-Mormons state our beliefs in such a way as to make the Church seem bizarre, even sinister. While that is still true, I think I’ve found another reason.
Recently, Republican activist Bob Cunningham put Democrats up in arms by stating Senator Obama’s [D-IL] full name: Barack Hussein Obama. Senator John McCain [R-AZ] quickly apologised, and denounced Cunningham. Several right-wing personalities, such as Sean Hannity, defended Cunnungham, with words to the effect of, “Why get mad at the truth?”
Here’s why: As the New York Times indicates, Senator Obama’s middle name is Muslim in origin. Anybody remember the late Iraqi dictator from Gulf Wars I and II? Such pranks lead people to think that Senator Obama is a Muslim when he is a Christian (While Obama’s Church may be quite wacky–or worse, it is Christian nonetheless.). In short, using Senator Obama’s middle name is tantamount to using a true statement to give an untrue impression.
Anti-Mormons do the same thing when they point out that Satan and Jesus are brothers in LDS doctrine. Actually, they do more than that. While in LDS doctrine, ALL beings of spirit have God as a Father [Hebrews 12:9], and yes, that does include Jesus and Satan, anti-Mormons go on to at least imply that this true doctrine means that, in LDS doctrine, Satan is somehow Jesus’ equal–and Jesus’ ally. Indeed, more than one of my Evangelical acquaintences are at least honest enough in their hatred of all things LDS (Do you see why I cannot call them “friends”?) to tell me outright that our doctrine means exactly that.
Where I come from, using true statements to convey falsehoods is false witness. Elder Marvin Ashton tells us that “A lie is any communication given to another with the intent to deceive.” Both Cunningham’s and “Finn’s” statements were designed to deceive people into thinking falsehoods, and hence, both statements are lies. Christians–including Latter-day Saints–are–or should be–better than that.