As I’ve researched anti-Mormon materials online I’ve been amazed by the sheer amount of it and it makes me wonder if Mormons are targeted more than other religions, even those religions that are substantially larger than Mormonism. For example, there are about 13 million Mormons in the entire world. But there are around 1 billion Hindus, and similar numbers of Muslims, Catholics, and Buddhists. And yet if I do a search on Google for “mormonism false” I get 1.8 million results, whereas if I do a search for “islam false” I only get half a million results. Searches for “buddhism false” and “hinduism false” result in numbers only slightly higher than that of the mormonism false search, while searches for “scientology false” and “jehovah witness false” return results that are substantially lower. A search for “catholocism false” nets a much larger 14.8 million results. Of course this isn’t the most scientific way to find out if Mormons face more opposition than other religions, but the results are interesting, nonetheless, and indicate that perhaps it’s not just my perception based on me being a Mormon. Does anyone have any official studies or stats on this matter?
Regardless, it is interesting to see how much time, effort, and money is dedicated to fighting the LDS Church. Gerald and Sandra Tanner appear to be leaders of what could almost be described as the Anti-Mormon Church–a religion devoted not to worship of the divine, but to tearing down another religion.
In my mind, everybody has a religion, even atheists. To me, your religion is whatever beliefs you have about the world that influence how you live and what you spend your time on. For some, their church is their religion. For others, their religion isn’t identified as the church they attend, but rather by how they spend their time. That means for some their religion is TV, for others it is service, for some it is race issues, for others it is hedonism, and apparently for some it is fighting against Mormonism.
It reminds me of when I was a missionary in Brazil and we were teaching a man. After a few lessons he told us he wanted to be baptized. He told us that he had attended every church in town, and every time he did his family and friends would say “That’s great that you’re researching religions and trying to find the right one for you.” Everyone was very supportive of his search. But as soon as he started talking to the Mormon missionaries his family became very critical of him, his mother’s pastor stopped by to convince him to stop listening to the Mormons (he had never done this with regards to any other religion–even the one that had its members take hallucinogenic drugs during their meetings), and when he was finally baptized his wife left him. He told us he figured the LDS Church must be true because he never experienced any challenges while investigating the others, and he attributed all the opposition to Satan fighting to keep him from being baptized into the true church.