The first week of October is memorable for two grand faux pas and that's not counting anything that Joe Biden or Hank Williams, Jr. might have said. No, these two were on the subjects of money and religion.
Grand faux pas No. 1: In Salt Lake City a Wall Street sympathy protester was interviewed by Ninevah Dinha of Channel 13 FOX in Pioneer Park. The protester was elaborating on who the "really rich" are and saying that they ought to be taxed even heavier. His definition of really rich was anyone who took home $8 million or more per year (which, in my view, would include many superstar athletes, lawyers and movie stars), and he thought they ought to pay their "fair share."
The reporter asked him to name some people who would be in that category of super-rich. The interviewee thought for a moment, said he couldn't off the top of his head name any, and added that he didn't watch the TV news or read newspapers. He might well have said, "I'm actually clueless about the subject, I'm just here to protest, march, and have a good time; it's kinda like Woodstock man. Somebody else will clean up my mess."
Grand faux pas No. 2: This one came from the pastor in Texas who chose to grind the old ax of cultism and Mormonism, for him they seemed to be the same. His remarks were aimed at candidate Mitt Romney.
Why he chose to make these remarks in a very public way can only be speculated upon. That they were ill conceived is no secret.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, from a mega-church in Dallas, is not the first to make this accusation, and probably not the last as long as people choose to believe that their definition of Christianity is the only definition.
People who persist in this mindset should really consider reading the Bible, The New Testament and specifically Matthew 22, where Jesus (the original Christian) was asked what the greatest commandment is; he replied, "to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself." And he added, "the whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." This would seem to sum up the essence of Christianity, though Jesus gave us much more guidance in the beatitudes, parables and other teachings.
You would be hard-pressed to find another Christian religion that does a better job of applying the core commandments; love of God and love of neighbor, than the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormons.
This is my opinion and not given lightly. I have some history with the Mormon faith and its members. I have not been a Mormon for some 55 years now, although I was born into the faith and many of my family are members. I have lived among the faithful in Utah for the past 26 years. My religious experience has also been among Catholics and Protestants.
All faiths set high standards for their members and not all followers fulfill these standards perfectly. There are backsliders in every religion that I have known.
If a group of people are to be judged by their deeds, not what they profess, then Mormons should get high ratings, and if the test of being a Christian is adhering to the greatest commandments given by the First Christian, then the label "cult" is a phony one.
What these grand faux pas have in common are actions and/or words spoken that are ill-informed. On second thought, Hank Williams Jr. committed a grand faux pas for his remarks about Hitler. But then, he is an entertainer, sort of the Rosie O'Donnell of country music. They also add to the divisions within our national psyche at a time when we need unity.
Progressive/liberal Democrats seem to have great hope that the Wall Street protests will bring about desired change and be an answer to the Tea Party movement.
But, to quote Herman Cain, "that dog won't hunt."
Reynolds lives in Pleasant View. He is a retired businessman and member of the Kiwanis Club of North Ogden.