Should I or Shouldn't I…
This is one of those cases where a link may exacerbate an issue, through a large increase in traffic, rather than place the information there in its proper perspective. But I have seen this thing linked a few places so we probably ought to comment on it. Someone called Trisha Erickson, who makes the following claims of herself:
Tricia Erickson is a veteran media pro. Tricia is and was the first Damage Control/Crisis Communications/Media Manager and Crisis Management Expert in the country as stated by Barbara Walters on the show, "20/20".
Tricia is also a frequent on-air expert, called to speak on various current media issues. She has appeared on every major network and most cable networks numerous times over the years. Some of the issues Tricia has been called to comment on are the strategy and imaging of Presidential Candidates, Islam, Mormonism, Wal-Mart, Michael Jackson, politics, Hollywood, Ethics in the Media and more…..
(I'm betting not any more after this rant) also claims to be a former Mormon:
In case you are wondering about my reliability to write about the Mormon Church, let me just say that I was born and raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormon Church. I am a former Bishop's daughter. I left the church when I was in my 20's and it has taken me many years to deprogram myself from the false teachings of the church.
Ooh, no axe to grind there. Writes a long and complex piece that in many ways is so typical, the White Horse prophecy, yada, yada, yada. Even claims, with pictures, of the "secret handshake." (I'm sorry, but I don't believe in Momonism and I have no idea if they really do have a secret Temple handshake or not, but please, do you know any Masons, or better anybody that belonged to a fraternity in college? – give me a break here.) But with all her presentation of stuff that any student of Mormonism would pretty much know, her argument comes down to this:
Let me ask you this: Would you have confidence in a president, in a time of war or otherwise, if he had lived a life of believing deception?
Ms. Erickson, do you realize that the same claims are made about every faith? Many are the people in the country, and especially in the world, that believe my Presbyterian faith is "a deception." Please imagine if you will, Ms. Erickson, me as a chemistry major in college. I spent many years, even with the highest GPA in chemistry in my graduating class, being called a fool because the great science which I studied left no room for the "deceptions of religion."
You simply cannot make charges like this about any one religion and not expect them to be made against all religion, including your own. That is a recipe for destroying religion in this nation, not preserving it for any predominant faith.
Mormonism is a young religion, but it is an amazingly successful one. I do not agree with Mormon belief, not at all. But this much I do know – "Deceptive" religions do not achieve this kind of success. Wrong they may be, but deceptive is something else altogether. Such is nothing short of a charge of the greatest conspiracy in human history. Conspiracies on that level simply do not work – they are too easily exposed for that – that charge is the stuff of comic books.
Ms. Erickson obviously has a deep personal stake in her comments. Public discourse on the issues of the day calls for certain levels of dispassion to allow for clear-headed reason – something that Ms. Erickson seems to have taken leave of. I have sympathy for Ms. Erickson for whatever personal demons may drive her rant, but she needs to take it to a therapist, not the Internet.
Lowell: I truly wrestled with whether or not even to comment on Ms. Erickson's writing because it falls into the category of material that should not be dignified with a response. Besides, John said about all that needs to be said. I will add only this: There is a certain profile that fair-minded students of Mormonism (whether they are members of the church or not) recognize: The diasaffected or former Mormon who wants to make a news media splash– get on TV, get quoted in the print media, and so forth, usually in order to sell something — a book or a screenplay or life story rights, for example.
I don't know if Ms. Erickson falls into any of those categories, but given the biography she presents she does fit the profile. The revelations in the piece certainly seem designed to show she can deliver "Mormon secrets" to the news media. Whatever one's beliefs, such behavior is simply disrespectful of the faith of others.
What Am I Supposed To Make Of This?
The Christian Post writes about that nearly universally panned movie, which denies any connection to Romney, and uses it as an excuse to bang on Mormonism and Romney by implication.
Such inter-sectarian discussion is fine, but is not the stuff of politics, so why use Romney as a lever to try and boost readership of the piece? Liberals already routinely bring up the Crusades to batter Evangelicals (even though there was no such thing as an Evangelical when the Crusades happened); do we really want to make the same tired parallel arguments about someone else that we so strenuously denounce when aimed at ourselves?