Being the conservative-radio-talk-show-Fox-News junkie that I am, I've been following all the health care town hall news through all my favorite programs. I was listening to Glenn Beck today and he gave some advice to people who go to these town halls to speak their minds.
Now, I think it's wonderful that intelligent, informed people are getting out and getting their voices heard. It makes me feel all warm and squishy inside when conservative-type people can get their message out (even though the Drive-By media is laughing at them and calling them crazy mobsters - all I can say is read between the lines, people).
Now, as I said, I was listening to Glenn Beck, whom I've started following since I got home from my mission. It's neat to have a member of the Church (that isn't Harry Reid) be in the public eye like this - you know, being a semi-normal, plays-nice-with-others (except when they don't deserve it), so-not-a-brainwashed-cultist-that-most-people seem-to-think-Mormons-are. (If you understood that sentence, you get a cookie). This is part of why I like Stephenie Meyer as well.
So, I was looking through Glenn Beck's website and looking up some archives, just because I was bored and I noticed this article: Glenn Beck Story Pulled Because of his Mormon Faith.
At first, I got really, really, REALLY pissed off (these sorts of things tend to do that - see also Mike Huckabee's remarks in the 2008 Republican Primary about Mitt Romney - ultimately, if you think about it, that event is pretty much the reason Obama is president). What really gets me is that the conservative base is happy to have the support of LDS people on moral issues and such, but when you get into the nitty-gritty of religion and what-have-you - the evangelicals get on this "Oh-Noes! You-re-Mormon-You're-Not-Christian-You're-EVIL!!! rawr!!!" high horse and don't want anything to do with us. Frankly, it's stupid and unwarranted, but don't try telling them that.
I could speculate why this truly is (trust me, I have looked into why so many "Christian" pastors and preachers demonize and vilify the LDS Church - and it has nothing to do with doctrine), but that's another post for another day.
But as I listened to Glenn's radio show today, he was talking about people who go to these town halls on health care and he gave some advice that applies to how I was feeling after reading that quite outdated article. Basically, he told these town hall goers to go to whatever lengths to NOT act the way that the media has characterized them. Don't act crazy, keep your cool, be passionate, have your facts straight, and for heaven's sake, BE INTELLIGENT.
And that's great advice for anyone that has been wrongly characterized by another group. Now, you can't control what others in your group do (as much as we wish we could), but you yourself can be civil, be smart, be classy and still stick to your deeply-held values in spite of what lies and crap others spread about you.
And here I go referring to an experience on my mission: I taught and baptized a family in my last area whom I dearly adore. When we first met them, the mom, K, was not interested in learning. She'd met missionaries before, but it wasn't a good experience, besides, she'd heard Mormons were "X, Y and Z" and not at all what she believed. However, her oldest daughter, J, felt the Spirit when we taught her and she was baptized. J told K to read the Book of Mormon and just give it a chance. K reluctantly did because it was her daughter that asked her to.
And when K read the Book of Mormon (applause for her - most... people can't even get that far), she realized that the negative things she had heard about the Church were wrong - and actually, the Book of Mormon tallied with her already-deeply-held beliefs. She learned more, came to church, gained a testimony for herself and got baptized.
The moral of the story: As angry as you get and as much as you want to get even, take a breath, be reasonable, keep your head, BE CLASSY - and let your example speak for itself. And when people see your actions and realize that they don't tally with whatever BS the rest of the world puts out there - they'll get it.
To quote "Newsies": The world will know.