Talk:Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement

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Consensus by the scientific community[edit]

I do not mean to be rude, but do any of the editors of this article honestly believe that all the information contained here is based on undisputed facts supported by the majority of the scientific community? You state opinions with quotations "I.E. This person claims..." I'm trying to be polite, but claims and quotations are not facts. Here is a fact "The consensus of the majority of the scientific community has not found any archaeological evidence supporting the Book of Mormon." That is true. This, however, is opinion " It is a fact so well known that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry on this spiritual wife business … and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths to keep from the public. First, insulting innocent females, and when they resented the insult, these monsters in human shape would assail their characters by lying, and perjuries, with a multitude of desperate men to help them effect the ruin of those whom they insulted, and all this to enable them to keep these corrupt practices from the world." Do you consider that to be a neutral statement? What about "monsters in human shape?" For you to say that is not biased is almost, forgive my wording, pathetic. That quotation is opinion. But of course your response would be "We have proof that this person said that." Do you honestly believe that because someone said something, and you can quote it, that that is a basis for stating a criticism as fact, or even suggesting that it could possibly be a fact? Here is something that you obviously don't understand about quotations or even published documents from that time period. They are opinion. There are often statements, documents, records, and other material which conflict with each other and cannot be scientifically proven as correct or incorrect. Unless it is the consensus of the majority of the scientific community, which by the way, many of your sources aren't, don't state it. What you have done is simply chosen opinions that supports yours. But I'm not going to try to convince you with my "opinion". Here are some guidelines from wikipedia.

Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking, or with no editorial oversight. Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional in nature, or which rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves. (See below.) Questionable sources are generally unsuitable as a basis for citing contentious claims about third parties.

Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves. By "fact" we mean "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute." For example, that a survey produced a certain published result would be a fact. That there is a planet called Mars is a fact. That Plato was a philosopher is a fact. No one seriously disputes any of these things, so we assert as many of them as possible.

By value or opinion,[2] on the other hand, we mean "a matter which is subject to dispute." There are many propositions that very clearly express values or opinions. That stealing is wrong is a value or opinion. That The Beatles were the greatest band in history is an opinion. That the United States is the only country in the world that has used a nuclear weapon during wartime is a fact. That the United States was right or wrong to drop the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a value or opinion. However, there are bound to be borderline cases where it is not clear if a particular dispute should be taken seriously and included.

Do not leave unsourced or poorly sourced material in an article if it might damage the reputation of living persons or organizations, and do not move it to the talk page.

This is my first participation with wikipedia, so forgive me if any of my conduct was against wikipedia policy. I know some of what I said would be considered a "personal attack" and apologize for that, but this article is much worse than any of my statements, and I personally doubt that Harvard, West Point, or any other reputable body of intellectuals would consider this article as well written, formal, educated, or reliable. This article needs to be entirely re-written according to the consensus of the majority of the scientific community, or be removed completely. Wikipedia is an excellent site. Most of the time, everything is well referenced and quite accurate. I have not edited anything nor plan on it unless the majority here agrees that the view I have stated is correct. If you respond to my comment with opposition, do it with intellect, as I have no intention of answering something that I have already addressed. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 19:24, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Your perception is accurate and you have not broken any policies or guidelines by stating them. However, always put new edits at the bottom of an article; I have moved yours already. Editing demands interest, time, and the ability to stay on top of an article. Most editors interested in LDS topics have turned our backs on these critical articles because it was a lost cause in attempting to demand neutrality, observance of Wikipedia policy of verifiability, neutrality, and reliable sources. In effect, they have turned into the play ground of anti-Mormonism. It is not all bad, because any logical, intelligent person that reads this tripe quickly comes to the conclusion that this is a screed more than an honest criticism of a religious movement. It demeans the entire article. However, on the other hand those who are too stupid to think for themselves take it as gospel truth.
You are encouraged to have at it. Prior to doing so, review the policies and understand them. Then proceed to edit the article. Be assured that you will be met with a host of editors who will reject almost everything that you have to say. This is a sacred cow for them and goring it will be viewed as anathema. However, if you can stick to it, you will find a great deal of support and you will eventually have a mediator step in to assist. IF you stand on policy, you will carry the day, but you will also pay a price. It will demand an inordinate amount of time and other areas of your life will suffer. I hope you are willing to pay the price. --StormRider 19:52, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


The talk page needs to be archived. Most of the discussions have been dead in the water for some time. The article itself is stagnant. No one is responding to my suggestions, aside from Stormrider and Shereth. The page is not getting edited. The title remains despite my comments, which have not been responded to. The quotes are not neutral, although wikipedia states that non-neutral quotes should be removed, which Shereth kindly pointed out to me in another discussion. The page lacks cohesion. It should say Critics, not critics including (three names which are repeated in every single sentence over and over again.) The sub-articles need to be merged with this article. The criticism articles merged have far more information than the parent article (see anything wrong with that?) There needs to be sections for specific types of criticism instead of making a new section for every single thing. Isn't there anyone with decent writing proficiency who can at least make the article appear aesthetically pleasing from an encyclopedic perspective? I find it interesting that comments on the talk page go unnoticed, but I'm sure if I were to actually edit the article, there would immediately be participation in it. It seems to be a dead, dragged out discussion, but as Stormrider said, IF you stand on policy. There is policy and guidelines to support a title change, which I discussed previously. There is policy to get the "monster in human shape" quotes removed. There is policy which is blatantly getting overlooked in this article, and I'm anxious to discuss it. Please participate in the discussion, instead of waiting for me to edit the article and then reverting my edits which you did not discuss. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 18:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

When you post on a discussion page and nobody reponds after a week or so, be bold and move ahead with your objectives. If an editor then raises an issue, work it out on this page, and move forward. I suspect that many are reading your edits. --StormRider 16:27, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Archiving done. --StormRider 16:33, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


Thanks, Stormrider for responding and also for archiving the page. Your advice is appreciated also. I propose to change the title of this article. Why? "NPOV: Sometimes the article title itself may be a source of contention and polarization. This is especially true for descriptive titles that suggest a viewpoint either "for" or "against" any given issue. A neutral article title is very important because it ensures that the article topic is placed in the proper context. Therefore, encyclopedic article titles are expected to exhibit the highest degree of neutrality. The article might cover the same material but with less emotive words, or might cover broader material which helps ensure a neutral view (for example, renaming "Criticisms of drugs" to "Societal views on drugs"). Neutral titles encourage multiple viewpoints and responsible article writing." So, Wikipedia policy implies that even the word criticism is not neutral, especially considering that is the one word chosen for the example. Here is some more info from a current essay (not policy or guideline) titled criticism, which is linked to the official POV Fork section. If you want to find it, its at the bottom of the page under the "see also" section. Titling evaluations "Thus "Criticism of..." should be avoided. Preferred titles include "Critique", the synonym "review" which may also imply a more comprehensive study, and "Reception". "Reception" sections should contain rebuttals immediately if available. As is the convention with summary-style articles, reception should generally start as sections of the main article and be spun off by agreement among the editors. Before being spun off, "Reception of ..." articles should contain rebuttals if available, once spun off the original article should contain a summary of the "Reception of ... " article." So I have significant backing that the article name needs to be changed. Shereth mentioned and I have also read many times that because other religions or denominations have "criticism of" sections, there would be debates that it is how this page should be formatted. "NOT: Wikipedia is not an experiment in democracy or any other political system. Its primary but not exclusive method of determining consensus is through editing and discussion, not voting. Although editors occasionally use straw polls in an attempt to test for consensus, polls or surveys sometimes impede rather than assist discussion. They should be used with caution, and are no more binding than any other consensus decision. Elections and votes are only endorsed for things that take place outside Wikipedia proper, such as when electing the Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee." In other words, although I respect the editors of those articles and their decision for the name they chose, I have significant backing, including WP Policy, to re-enforce my proposal. As Stormrider said, I will give it a week and then proceed. Any suggestions for neutral, short and precise names for this article would be appreciated. I would like to get a consensus on the name. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 18:42, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Most religions have "Criticsm of .. " or "Controversy about .." articles. See
I suppose you could make a proposal to change them all ... but "criticism" seems like a simple, accurate, sensible word. By definition, all these articles contain mostly negative opinions (of the notable critics - not the editors) so it is not surprising that the titles contain a word that some may find negative.
The examples you give of "Reception .." "Critique .." etc are aimed at books and movies.
The example of "Criticsm of drugs" changing to "Societal view of drugs" implies that the article contains both positive and negative. To the contrary, the religion criticism articles were originally subsections within the main religion article. The subsections either got too large, or were too distracting to be in the main article, so they were split off. They were splot NOT as POV forks, but rather simply as subsections that got too large.
If you have some time, perhaps you could re-name the three "Controversy about ..." articles above to be "Criticsm of ..." to improve consistency with this encyclopedia.
In any case, I object to a re-naming of the article, unless you can either (1) distinguish this article from all the other "Criticsim of .. " articles; or (2) make a proposal to change all the names (and get consensus from the editors of the other articles). --Noleander (talk) 20:42, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I specifically said previously that most religions and denominations have a "criticism of" section, and I already addressed that issue earlier. That is why I dedicated the entire section above for it. Secondly, I have absolutely no problem with using "controversy regarding." Actually, I would prefer it. If you would consider re-naming the article in a like manner, I would not hesitate to support you. "Controversy regarding the Latter Day Saint Movement" suggests and promotes a neutral article, and at least gives the appearance that it is a debate, instead of a one sided view, as criticism would suggest. That is what I think the article should be called (along with WP Policy.) After we have a few more opinions, we'll change it. Also, I have no interest in changing them all. I gave completely supported and logical reasons as to why the title should be changed. If others can disprove that logic, I will refrain from the edit, but the idea of doing it simply because everyone else is? No. Not good enough. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I have to disagree. The primary purpose of the article is to capture criticisms. Can you explain how this article is different from the other "criticism of .." articles? We need to promote consistency in the encyclopedia ... so I understand that "you have no interest in changing" the other articles, but we need to look at the big picture. There is no consensus yet, so please dont change the title (that it has had for a few years). --Noleander (talk) 21:19, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
By the way, are you a new editor here? If so, may I recommend that you read thru the Talk archives of this article and its sister article Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? They may be informative. --Noleander (talk) 21:22, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Noleander, the examples you say I gave above - that was not me, that was a cut and paste directly from Wikipedia Policy pages. I can edit this page in any way to make it better conform to policy. I have to abide by Wikipedia policy and guidelines, not what specific editors ask of me. Also, I had no intention of changing the title without consensus. Every change I have suggested is directly supported by the WP Policy I pasted above. I have to prove that this article is different from the others? No, actually you have to prove why this article conforms to Wikipedia standards. And I guarantee you, Norleander, that if you take this argument further to the point of a review, I will get further support to change it. Maybe not everything I want to change, but it will be edited thoroughly and fairly. I'm not trying to put anyone on the spot, but Stormrider and Shereth, who are both well known editors, have both stated that this article is not neutral. By the way, you say that we need to promote consistency; I agree entirely. Consistency with policy. I have based my entire argument on clear, understandable policy, yet you keep replying with opinions. Why? Do you not realize that my original post consisted of direct WP Policy? From everything that you say, especially considering you said they were "my" examples, I would gather that you took it as my opinion. No. The only way you could possibly have this page set up the way you want, is to tell me why the policies I posted don't apply to this article. If you can prove me wrong, thats fine. Feel free. I will dismiss my argument immediately. There is one thing I want to make clear though; I want to know why the policies I listed don't apply to this article. Thats it. Don't tell me anything else, because until you dismiss my argument, you should not start your own. This is not a "I want this and you want that" debate. This article openly defies policy. It openly defies Wikipedia standards. Any argument you make is superseded by Wikipedia policies. This is WP Policy "Sometimes the article title itself may be a source of contention and polarization. This is especially true for descriptive titles that suggest a viewpoint either "for" or "against" any given issue. A neutral article title is very important because it ensures that the article topic is placed in the proper context. Therefore, encyclopedic article titles are expected to exhibit the highest degree of neutrality. The article might cover the same material but with less emotive words, or might cover broader material which helps ensure a neutral view (for example, renaming "Criticisms of drugs" to "Societal views on drugs"). Neutral titles encourage multiple viewpoints and responsible article writing." That is WP Policy. Not me. Why does this not apply to this article? I pasted it before but you didn't seem to consider it valid. What about this "Titling evaluations Thus "Criticism of..." should be avoided. Preferred titles include "Critique", the synonym "review" which may also imply a more comprehensive study, and "Reception". "Reception" sections should contain rebuttals immediately if available. As is the convention with summary-style articles, reception should generally start as sections of the main article and be spun off by agreement among the editors. Before being spun off, "Reception of ..." articles should contain rebuttals if available, once spun off the original article should contain a summary of the "Reception of ... " article." Don't you understand that is not my opinion? It is a direct cut and paste from Wikipedia. The first is policy, which is mandatory, the second is only an essay, which is a suggestion. I have read through many of the articles involving NPOV, Verifiability and no original research. I do not know whether others will support a title change, but I do know that policy supports a title change, and thats what matters. Please do not post a reply unless it is telling me how I am mis-understanding policy or how the policy does not apply. I will not let this discussion turn into a filibuster. If you do not directly address my debate and concern in the next reply, I will find someone else who can. So why do the policies not apply? That is all I want to know. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 23:40, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't quite follow all you are saying, but let me try to make my point by example. We are considering if the article title should be "Controversies ... " or "Criticism of ..".
A controversy is a debate, usually public, that may be postive or negative.
A criticism is a negative statement by a notable individual or group.
All the topics discussed in all the above religion articles are criticisms, yet there are many controversies that are neutral or positive in nature that are not in those articles. For example:
Examples of criticisms that are not controversies:
  • LDS church made 6,000 changes to Book of Mormon
  • Joseph Smith was convicted of crimes before founding the Mormon church
  • Religions like LDS can be explained as a simple psychological construct, rather than divine
  • It is unreasonable for the LDS church to close marriage ceremonies to non-LDS people
Examples of controversies that are not criticisms:
  • Should LDS tithing be 10% of gross or 10% of net?
  • Should the LDS church discourage birth control?
  • (I apologize for these pathetic examples, but you get my drift :-)

Would you agree that these two sister articles (the "Criticsm of LDS" used to be merged with this article) contain many criticisms that are not controversies? Would you agree that there are many LDS-related controversies that do not involve criticisms? And would agree that some LDS-related controversies are not (and should not be) in these articles? --Noleander (talk) 23:50, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
By the way, if you are still concerned about this issue, you may want to consider a Wikipedia "request for comment", or before that: soliciting input from Wiki greybeards like Descartes1979 or COGDEN or TrustTruth. --Noleander (talk) 23:57, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

You ignored my question again. I will give you a chance to answer the question again. Its at the bottom of my last comment. And by the way, I never said it had to be the word controversy. Its about getting the title changed to something neutral, not a specific word. And, yes, I am going to get other opinions on this. Perhaps I am wrong, but the policies I'm reviewing seem quite clear. You know, for everything you have posted, none of it has addressed the WP Policies I have pasted. Why? I am not going to respond to you or continue this discussion until others are involved. Until then. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 00:23, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Sharp, you are standing on policy and I think you have correctly interpreted that which applies. Previously I had not considered "criticism" to be too offensive, but after reading the policies I have concluded that other editors have rightly directed a more neutral wording for article titles.
On another note, none of the other criticism articles resemble this article and never have. This article is unique on Wikipedia. However, it exists because of the long contentious debate that has resulted in the current article. It is not stable, but rather it is simply ignored by LDS writers in general.
COgden would be an excellent addition to the conversation. I think he is the only active editor who has participated longer than me. More importantly, his knowledge of LDS history is second to none on Wikipedia.
You might want to consider a more formal approach to changing the title by following the process on proposed moves. Controversial moves are always better in the long run by gaining the input of neutral third parties, which participate in this process. It has the benefit of bypassing the polarizing emotions found on religious topics. Your arguments based on policy also need a wider audience. Policies are not absolutes on Wikipedia and consensus can be found which is in direct conflict with current policy. Policy does not guarantee an outcome, consensus does. --StormRider 02:46, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks again Stormrider. I have invited COGDEN to join the discussion, as you suggested, along with Shereth. I am also going to request participation from the work groups involved with this article. Your suggestion to use proposed moves is also an excellent idea, but what should the proposed name for the article be? I will continue to search for other opinions on the matter. Thanks for your time. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 13:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Requests have been sent to:WikiProject Latter Day Saint movement, WikiProject Latter Day Saint movement/The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints work group, COGDEN, and Shereth. I'm still thinking on what the proposed name should be. I'm considering "Controversy regarding the Latter Day Saint movement". But to be honest, I'm not entirely satisfied with the name. Perhaps "Controversy regarding the LDS movement" would be more appropriate? Its much shorter, accurate and to the point. I will submit the request after a possible title has been decided on. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 14:13, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

When you consider new titles, dont forget the sister article Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which used to be merged with this article and has a similar subject & focus.
PS: When you reply in the Talk page, it is customary to preface the paragraphs with a colon : or two :: to get an indentation. --Noleander (talk) 15:27, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
When you consider new titles, one thing you may want to consider is the body of published criticism of the church. Some of the notable works include:
In addition, there are a dozen or two anti-mormon organizations and web sites, including:
When you read those books and sites, you'll find about 20 or 30 recurrent criticisms of the church and its leaders. One way of looking at this article and its sister article is a distillation of the content of those books. --Noleander (talk) 15:37, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Good point. Though I do believe that there are quite a few articles which have significant criticism without having a criticism section. Examples? "MySpace (redirect from Criticism of Myspace),Democracy (redirect from Criticism of democracy),C (programming language) (redirect from Criticism of C),McDonald's (redirect from Criticism of McDonald's),C++ (redirect from Criticism of C++),Recycling (redirect from Criticism of recycling),Mozilla Firefox (redirect from Criticisms of Firefox),Veganism (redirect from Criticisms of veganism),Ubuntu (operating system) (redirect from Criticism of ubuntu),Talmud (redirect from Criticism of the Talmud),Parapsychology (redirect from Criticism of parapsychology),Upanishads (redirect from Criticism of Upanishads),Ryanair (redirect from Criticism of Ryanair),Opera (web browser) (redirect from Criticisms of Opera),Bullfighting (redirect from Criticisms of bullfighting),Music journalism (redirect from Criticism of music),RealPlayer (redirect from Criticism of RealPlayer),Anti-Zionism (redirect from Criticism of Zionism),Federal Reserve System (redirect from Criticism of the Fed)Transhumanism (redirect from Criticism of transhumanism)." Well, there is a few examples of pages that don't use criticism of sections. And some of them are extremely controversial. If this was a non-religious, regular and mainstream article this debate would be over already. The reason its not, is because religion is such a emotional topic for many. I do not think that "Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement" has more books, quotes, history, controversy, or anything else (especially criticisms) you could possibly list than say, Criticism of Democracy? Actually, I know it doesn't. There is no comparison, yet the democracy page seems to do fine without a "Criticism of" sub - article. And I'm not even proposing to remove this article, I'm just proposing to rename it. Look at the policies. Look at the facts. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 19:59, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, having a single LDS article would be ideal. I tried to do that a couple of years ago: I put a small "criticism" section in the main LDS article, at the end, with just 1 or 2 sentences. My goal was to see if we could start a rapproachment and eventually integrate the two articles. That sub-section was removed within a month by LDS-apologetic editors.
On the plus side: many articles like Plural Marriage, Origin of the Book of Mormon, archaelogy and BOM, etc are integrated. --Noleander (talk) 21:05, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Let me put in my two cents on some of these issues:

  1. As to the title "controversies regarding...", I don't think that will fly here, because practically every topic relating to Mormonism is controversial. Such an article would be too big, and would mainly just re-state every other Mormonism-related article--of which there are hundreds. The topical Mormon articles should each cover the relevant controversies within the scope of their subject matter.
  2. I have no problem with a "Criticism of..." article, but it should actually be about criticism, and not about controversies. An article about criticism discusses the major sources of criticism. It doesn't focus much on the detailed content of that criticism, just the fact of the criticism, what caused it, what results the criticism had, etc. For example, did criticism result in a change in LDS policy? Did criticism lead to the assassination of Joseph Smith? Did it receive media attention? Only notable criticism ought to be included, and it's not important what the critic said, only why it was notable. The intricate details, for example of someone's criticism of First Vision ought to be included in the First Vision article. Grant Palmer's specific views on the First Vision are only relevant in this article to the extent that those views are particularly notable above and beyond any of his other criticism. In fact, I think everything cited to Grant Palmer ought to be rounded up, and the discussion ought to be not about what Grant Palmer's views are, but who Palmer was and what notable effect Palmer had on the debate and what media recognition Palmer might have achieved for his criticism. For this article, we don't care what Palmer thinks, just what effect his writings had or what other aspect of his writings makes them notable. In fact, I don't think Palmer's criticism even belongs in this article, because his criticism is really directed toward the LDS Church.
  3. I don't think this article should include any criticism that occurred after 1844. Criticism after 1844 is almost exclusively directed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is more appropriate there. True, there does exist some criticism of the Community of Christ out there, but that criticism is very rare, and of a different character. It's also not very notable, and I don't think that criticism even has its own article. I think this article ought to discuss the early newspaper criticism of the Book of Mormon, the book Mormonism Unveiled, notable criticism from the Ohio and Nauvoo eras, and then the article should stop, with a reference to denomination-specific criticism articles, such as Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Church-specific article will cover all the notable criticism from the Pioneer era, early 20th century criticism, Brodie and other academic critics, the Tanners, Ed Decker, etc. It should not just a topical list of controversies or disembodied topical "criticisms" without a discussion of who is making the criticism, why, and why it was notable (i.e., did it get media coverage?, did it invoke an official response?, did it result in a change in LDS policy? did it get someone killed? did it result in legislation?, Did Mark Twain's criticisms of Mormonism in Roughing It sell millions of copies?, etc.).

COGDEN 09:42, 28 September 2009 (UTC)


Do some of the quotations in this article fall into this category? WP:QUOTE "When not to use quotations: the quotation is being used to substitute rhetorical language in place of more neutral, dispassionate tone preferred for encyclopedias. This can be a backdoor method of inserting a non-neutral treatment of a controversial subject into Wikipedia's narrative on the subject, and should be avoided." Lets list the quotes from the article. "It is not my fault; Hyrum Smith [Joseph's brother] came to our house, with the affidavits all written out, and forced us to sign them. Joseph and the Church must be saved, said he. We saw that resistance was useless, they would have ruined us; so we signed the papers." Next quote: "Alas, none but the seduced join the seducer [Dr. Bennett]; those only who have been arraigned before a just tribunal for the same unhallowed conduct can be found to give countenance to any of his black hearted lies, and they, too, detest him for his seduction, these are the ladies to whom he refers his hearers to substantiate his assertions. Mrs. White, Mrs. Pratt, Niemans, Miller, Brotherton, and others." Next (and this one is my favorite): "It is a fact so well known that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry on this spiritual wife business … and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths to keep from the public. First, insulting innocent females, and when they resented the insult, these monsters in human shape would assail their characters by lying, and perjuries, with a multitude of desperate men to help them effect the ruin of those whom they insulted, and all this to enable them to keep these corrupt practices from the world." Next:"J.C. Bennett has published lies concerning myself & family & the people with which I am connected....His book I have read with the greatest disgust. No candid honest man can or will believe it. He has disgraced himself in eyes of all civilized society who will despise his very name," and last:"[I] know that the principle statements in John C. Bennett's book on Mormonism are true." Lets see. What are some of the words used in those quotes? Black hearted lies, monsters in human shape, corrupt practices, spiritual wife business, desperate men, greatest disgust, insulting innocent females, resistance was useless, they would have ruined us, detest him for his seduction. I'm sure there are a few more in there. Does anyone want to debate the neutrality of these statements? Would you like to tell me how they do not fall into the "when not to use quotations" category? A backdoor method of inserting a non-neutral statement could not describe these quotes any better. I will remove them and re-word the sections after I have given some time for a response. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 20:23, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Certainly quotes should not be "cherry picked" by an editor to generate Original Research. On the other hand, in controversial articles like this one: It is wiser to use the notable source's own words, rather than the editor's paraphrase. If the editor paraphrases, the editor may be accused of slanting the notable source's words. So quotes are always best in controversial articles. That said, if you find that an editor selected some quotes and (accidentally or deliberately) omitted some balancing quotes, please add balancing quotes into the article.
Try to avoid _removing_ quotes (without a good reason) since, in many cases, they are the result of many hours of painstaking research, and (tho they are stored in Wiki history) the removal may go unnoticed. The rule I follow is: it is not a paper encyclopedia, so it is better to err on the side of too much text, rather than too little (articles can always be split up).
Finally, I would say that the primary purpose of "Criticsm of.." articles is precisely to present criticsms made by notable people. Unlike a normal article describing, say, bald eagles, the main purpose of Criticism articles is to record the opinons of notable individuals: what better way than by providing their quotes? --Noleander (talk) 20:48, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
As I have mentioned elsewhere, some of the quotations used in this article do appear to be good candidates for paraphrasing. The Rigdon quote in particular seems to be a little over the top, and quoting it verbatim adds little to the article except to emphasize how passionate Rigdon was about his stance. It really isn't germane to the article; it is sufficient to cite the quote with a bit of paraphrasing to support the idea that criticism regarding polygamy happened, but there is no need for the run-on quote to drive the point home. To be honest, the liberal use of direct quotes makes this feel more like an editorial piece and less like an encyclopedia article. Shereth 14:24, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was no consensus to move at this time  Skomorokh, barbarian  10:22, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movementControversies regarding the Latter Day Saint movement — I'm proposing to rename this article to promote neutrality and other Wikipedia policies and guidelines. The current talk page reflects editor opinion under the section labeled "Title". Sharpsr1990 (talk) 21:02, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I favor the title change, and my argument is supported by policy. WP:NPOV "Sometimes the article title itself may be a source of contention and polarization. This is especially true for descriptive titles that suggest a viewpoint either "for" or "against" any given issue. A neutral article title is very important because it ensures that the article topic is placed in the proper context. Therefore, encyclopedic article titles are expected to exhibit the highest degree of neutrality. The article might cover the same material but with less emotive words, or might cover broader material which helps ensure a neutral view (for example, renaming "Criticisms of drugs" to "Societal views on drugs"). Neutral titles encourage multiple viewpoints and responsible article writing." Here is my other reference WP:CRIT "Thus "Criticism of..." should be avoided. Preferred titles include "Critique", the synonym "review" which may also imply a more comprehensive study., and "Reception". "Reception" sections should contain rebuttals immediately if available. As is the convention with summary-style articles, reception should generally start as sections of the main article and be spun off by agreement among the editors. Before being spun off, "Reception of ..." articles should contain rebuttals if available, once spun off the original article should contain a summary of the "Reception of ... " article." The first copy and paste is Wikipedia policy. The second is an essay you can find on the bottom of the content forking page. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 21:24, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Strong Oppose - For two reasons:
Reason 1) The word "Criticsm" is much more accurate in defining the content of the article. A controversy is a debate, usually public, that may be postive or negative. A criticism is a negative statement by a notable individual or group.
Examples of criticisms that are not controversies:
  • LDS church made 6,000 changes to Book of Mormon
  • Joseph Smith was convicted of crimes before founding the Mormon church
  • Religions like LDS can be explained as a simple psychological construct, rather than divine
  • It is unreasonable for the LDS church to close marriage ceremonies to non-LDS people
  • The LDS church refuses to make available many important historical documents [added after initial edit]
Examples of controversies that are not criticisms:
  • Should LDS tithing be 10% of gross or 10% of net?
  • Should the LDS church discourage birth control?
  • (I apologize for these pathetic examples, but you get my drift :-)
100% of the content of this article are criticisms. But only about 50% are controversies.
Reason 2) The word "Criticism" is more consistent with other "criticism of religion" articles.
See Categories and templates:
See related topics: [added after 1st edit]
See articles:
--Noleander (talk) 21:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Controversy actually is defined as exhibiting contention, strife, or argument. I have never heard of a positive controversy nor have I ever heard of two groups that contended with each other that did not care about their own positions. Religion, by its very nature and history, is one of argument. The vast majority of Christianity claims truth and yet there are over 36,000 Christian denominations. Wikipedia's bedrock principle is neutrality in all things. I see value in using controversy. Just becasue other [[WP:OSE|stuff exists is not a legitimate reason for it to exist everywhere else.
This is more legitimate controversy because criticism does not exist in a vacum. For example, Noleader has stated above that there are criticisms that are not controversies such as "LDS church made 6,000 changes to Book of Mormon". This is controversial becuase it is not the changes that matter, but the significance of each change. The vast, as in almost all, is grammar and spellings. Wikipedia is not a collection of sensational statements, but the objective is a legitimate attempt to factual describe topics that at times may be controversial. Limiting an article strictly to criticism will always be a POV fork. Every criticism made against a religion will be met with a response. Using "Controversy" in the title of the article encourages a more balanced approach. We already see that other articles are using the same type of titling: Controversies regarding Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology controversies, Controversies related to Islam and Muslims, and Controversies in autism to name a few.
  • Oppose. I think this should be a criticism article, not a controversies article. We really have no choice. For the reasons discussed in the Title section above, a well-done controversies article in this case is impossible because it would be too big. Unlike many religions, the majority of subjects within Mormonism are raging controversies, and the subject matter of these controversies is contained in the hundreds of Mormonism-related articles ranging from Endowment (Latter Day Saints) to Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We cannot repeat all the content of all these article here in one article--or even adequately summarize all these controversies topically. However, a criticism article--which would require a rewrite of this article--would be valuable. It would discuss the notable pre-1844 criticisms of Mormonism. It would discuss who made or orchestrated the criticisms (i.e., Eber Dudley Howe, John C. Bennett, William Law, etc.), why, what their affect was, what official responses there were, if any, and other aspects about why the criticism was notable. COGDEN 09:57, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - The article you are talking about certainly does not exist and as you have stated would require a rewrite of this article. It approaches what I have always encouraged...a more academic approach rather than a catch all of quotes and sensationalism from anti-Mormon texts. The text of this article is unique on Wikipedia; compare this to the Catholic article and see. But text is not the topic of the proposal. I think your concept of controversy is broader than mine. For example, is homosexuality a controversy in the LDS movement? No, it resembles the position of the majority of Christian churches. To me, the controversy must be unique to the LDS movement: polygamy, restoration (through prophets, etc.), nature of God, temples, gathering/promised land, etc. Controversy is a significantly more neutral term and allows for a give and take between the movement and those outside of it. Criticism empowers the critic and confuses editors; there is a wide divide between criticism and anti-Mormonism and this article demonstrates how confusing it is, but makes the divide non-existent.--StormRider 16:24, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - You make some good points. The reason I think the word "Criticism" is better than "Controversies" (beyond what I wrote above in "Oppose") is: (1) There is a body of research that is critical of the LDS church, and it is so large and significant, that it warrants an article of its own, and this article is it. (2) "Controversies" has - as you point out - a very different meaning than "Criticism", and _this_ article (and its sister article) is mostly criticisms. (3) Your example of Criticism of the Catholic Church is not very compelling: its content is nearly identical to this article (that is, a list of criticisms), and many of its sections _do_ contain "apologists claim ..." paragraphs at the end, tho those exact words tend not to be used. Articles Criticism of Christianity and Criticism of Islam are very much like this article. Just about every section in Criticism of Christianity is a criticism, followed by a rebuttal, just like this article.
Perhaps a second article could be created that focuses on internal church controversies that do not involve dispute from outside critics? --Noleander (talk) 16:44, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment -- The article as it now exists is about criticisms, but is not about criticism. The topic of criticism is very different from the topic of what is being criticized (which I roughly equate to controversies). For example, an article called "Criticism of the First Vision" would discuss major authors who criticized the First Vision, including who they were and what their motivations were, why their criticisms were notable, and what happened as a result of that criticism. By contrast, an article called "Criticisms of the First Vision" would just be (if you allow for pro-Mormon rebuttals) an differently-ordered version of the First Vision article itself.
I don't think any of the above articles such as Criticism of the Catholic Church and Criticism of Christianity are worthy of emulation. As far as I know, there are no "Criticism of..." articles that have ever achieved featured status. That's because most of these articles try to be "Criticisms of..." articles rather than "Criticism of..." articles. I think it's not impossible to do a good "Criticisms of..." article for certain topics. For example, Criticisms of Marxism isn't too bad. However, the only way I can see how this would work is if there are a limited set of criticisms, and those criticisms cannot adequately be covered in the main topical articles.
As to true "Criticism of..." articles, I think one of the better ones is Criticism of Muhammad. That article focuses on--well, criticism of Muhammad--not on the "top ten reasons why people think Muhammad was an idiot". Criticism of marriage is not good, but sort of on the right track. Criticism of Moses is also on the right track. COGDEN 00:17, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
  • I am somewhat ambivalent toward both the title of this article and the suggested move. Certainly I agree with User:COGDEN that there ought to be more agreement between the title and the content of the article, so a rewrite - whether or no paired with a rename - may well be in order. Shereth 14:27, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
  • In my honest opinion, I feel that the name, along with the format of this article and its sub-articles encourages criticism and discourages rebuttals. You are correct on many points as to why this article suits being called "Criticisms of", but from what I have read in the talk pages, this article is simply the result of who was willing to argue their point for the longest amount of time, not who had the most valid argument. I think the idea that unbalanced and unchecked criticism will be neutral is theoretical and unrealistic. The first question to ask is, do you consider this article neutral or biased. The next question to ask is, why is it neutral or biased? The answer is simple; there is either a encouragement for multiple viewpoints, or a discouragement of multiple viewpoints. In my opinion, this article is the result of neutral editors simply becoming tired of biased editors pursuing their passionate views and deciding to move on to other articles where progress is more evident. I disagree with the idea that the article has any substantial reasoning for the existence of criticism only. The reason being is that there are other subjects, like for instance the article I mentioned earlier, Democracy, which have significantly more criticism than this article, yet has no "Criticism of" sub-article. Democracy has more significant criticism than the Latter Day Saint movement from any perspective, and many of those criticisms have more support than the ones labeled in this article. Technically, criticism is positive or negative. Realistically, criticism carries primarily a negative connotation for most. Even dictionary definitions support this view [1]. Two of the definitions carry a negative connotation. "The act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding." and "The act of criticizing, especially adversely." Many articles on Wikipedia have been renaming or removing their "Criticism of" sub-articles because of the obvious difficulty involved in keeping those sections neutral. Examples include "Democracy (redirect from Criticism of democracy)", "Idealism (section Criticism of Idealism)", "Music journalism (redirect from Criticism of music)", "Mozilla Firefox (redirect from Criticisms of Firefox)", "Recycling (redirect from Criticism of recycling)", and "McDonald's (redirect from Criticism of McDonald's)". Controversy, on the other hand, suggests that there is in fact a second opinion. Criticism carries the connotation of fault finding while controversy carries the connotation of debate. This section is not a list of proven criticisms; its a list of claimed criticisms which have valid rebuttals. One example would be [2]. I would highly recommend that you follow that link and read it thoroughly. This concept that there are no rebuttals and the criticism stands by itself is entirely false. Here is a small portion of the article "Brodie begins her study with the observation that though there is no lack of documents for the history of Joseph Smith, these documents are "fiercely contradictory."4 In that case, it is necessary for a writer to pick and choose his evidence. Now, by the simple process of picking and choosing one's evidence, one may prove absolutely anything. For which reason it is important to ask what principle Mrs. Brodie follows in making her choice." How interesting. Mrs Brodie, who is referenced over and over again in this article, just eliminated entirely the idea that any of her information is independently accurate. Yet, do you see that stated in a significant manner in this article? Of course not, because that would have an extremely detrimental impact to the negative effect this article casts. Yes, there are rebuttals, but those rebuttals are mildly implied at best. Although I will agree with whatever consensus is decided upon, I do not believe that maintaining the format or title of this page will encourage neutrality. Most likely, the page will be edited for a time, and then slowly return back to its previous state. Thank you very much by the way for replying COGDEN and Shereth. The comments from all involved in the discussion are always appreciated. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 22:26, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment: I generally agree, and think the present article is fundamentally and structurally non-neutral because in its present form it seeks to too much: it seeks to be a topical article about every thing that has been criticized about Mormonism. Those controversies very definitely have their place, but not in a single article. A single article cannot hold a topical discussion regarding every Mormon criticism, let alone any rebuttals or responses to that criticism. The controversies ought to be discussed in conjunction with the subject matter of the main article where the controversy is most relevant. Controversies about "Allegations of Smith's slander of women who refused plural marriage", for example, ought to be found in the Mormonism and polygamy article or its sub-articles. Controversies about "different accounts of the First Vision" ought to be found in the First Vision article. If either of these things are put here, then we also need to include the pro-Mormon response, which makes this article just a copy of the main topical articles such as Mormonism and polygamy and First Vision. COGDEN 00:17, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
That is accurate COGDEN, and many articles on Wikipedia are formatted according to the method you have suggested. Usually what happens is pro-opinion editors focus on the original article while those with a negative view of the subject focus on the criticism sub-articles. Articles with opposing views end up with a specific set of editors who avoid any direct compromise. I agree that criticism should be in the parent article. Most if not all of this article could be cut and pasted into the associated parent articles, and it would give editors with either view a chance to balance and check each other. In my opinion, that is the only realistic long term solution to creating a neutral article. Clearly the methods for neutrality in the past have been ineffective. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 15:18, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

OPPOSE: Noleander said it absolutely right. Controversy vs. Criticism is not "tomatoe tomahh-toe." What this would do is open a debate in areas that wouldn't benefit from debate. I will go on a limb to say that further erroneous debate would lead to the removal of critical information. If Mormons did what they did to us in California, they would simply "out-oppose" anyone who disagrees with their criticism. Criticism is what it is, it's solid, and to make this change would be to "call the crap sugar." GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 16:49, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
As a Californian, who is "us"? Stick to commenting on how to improve the article, not your perception of editors. Alanraywiki (talk) 16:54, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Orange County, I was talking about the contributions of this church to strip California of its equality [1]. There's nothing about my personal perception of the editors in this equation, I just want to ensure that focus is not shifted to be called something that's less accurate terminology. I was asserting that "controversy" is less accurate than "criticism." GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 17:11, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Please, GnarlyLikeWhoa, I hope you would assume good faith. By and large, the Mormons on Wikipedia who seek to strip articles of all controversial content are in the minority, and then never ultimately prevail. This discussion is about making the article about criticism. The criticisms themselves are well-represented throughout Wikipedia. My concern for this article is to ensure that it is a good, comprehensive article about criticism of early Mormonism--including the good, the bad, and the ugly. COGDEN 17:42, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I understand where you're coming from. But I think you should realize that that's easier said than done. Changes like these for the purpose of censorship of critical infromation wouldn't be the first time on Wikipedia. Many on Wikipedia have been here long enough to see these changes to not excercise some cynicism. Here's a compromise. You can make changes, just remember they will be closely watched, as you've seen today. The changes to the article should include, like you said, "the good, the bad, and the ugly;" changes should not shift focus, attention, or completely alter the purpose of the topic. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 17:47, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Please do not change other editor's text on Talk page[edit]

StormRider: Did you edit my "Oppose" text above? I see a change at

If you have any concerns about my text, please write me on my Talk page, or simply post a comment here, indented underneath the text you have a concern with. Thanks. --Noleander (talk) 17:04, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

No, not a concern, but I should have signed my clarification to your list that the link you were using was actually a link to this same page. Had it been text, I would not have added a clarification. You are positing there is a need for consistency and using a link to an article that is not separate. Readers by assume that you are providing a list of individual articles, which would be incorrect. I would recommend that you remove it, because it does not add to your argument or position; conversely, it can easily be viewed as puffery.--StormRider 01:40, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I have no objection to the change: it was a good change. My objection was that it was over my signature. --Noleander (talk) 02:32, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Ouch. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 16:42, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to split-off JS section into new article[edit]

I propose to split-off the "Criticism of JS" section into its own article, for a few reasons:

1) He, as a person, is a different topic than the LDS movement itself.

2) Such a new article would parallel existing "founder of religion" articles:

Criticism of Jesus
Criticism of Muhammad

Any suggestions or comments on this proposal? --Noleander (talk) 14:07, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose for now. I think there might be room for such an article in the future, but we ought to get this article and Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in reasonable shape first, so that we can have a better understanding the differences between the articles and what belongs where. As a first step, though, maybe we could think about what criticism of early Mormon was not criticism of Joseph Smith. COGDEN 16:28, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment You ask a good question: distinguishing Cr of JS vs Cr of Mormonism. Let's assume for the moment that the two Crit of Mormonism articles were not split, then the distinction would be:
Cr. of Mormonism: Doctrine, racial issues, sexism, policies, just about anything from after JSs death
Cr. of JS: Treasure-hunting, the arrest, polygamy as an excuse for sex, failed prophecies, 1st vision accounts, Book of Abraham fraud, beating people up, etc.
Since the two Criticism of Mormonism articles were split, I can see how there appears to be a lot of overlap between "Cr of JS" and "Cr of the early years of the movement" ... but reason suggests that there is a significant difference.
Another rationale that seems compelling is the Jesus/Mohammed issue: JS was a prophet that started a major religion, and with that comes all the baggage that any prophet's reputation must endure. Lots of criticism will be levelled at anyone that claims to speak for God, and so it seems to warrant its own article. Heck, there is even an article on Criticism of Moses.
--Noleander (talk) 17:11, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Here is an outline of the proposed new section/article "Criticism of JS". The goal is to make the existing section more complete and make its subsections more balanced/proportional (they are not balanced now). This would be a WP:Summary Style section/artcle, that offers "one stop shopping" for all this info. Most of the details already exist in other articles, so most sub-sections would have "main" templates linking to those. Although, several of the proposed sections do not yet have main articles. Let me know if you have any suggestions. --Noleander (talk) 17:42, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Notable critics and publicatiosn that are critical of JS
- Contemporary Critics
- Howe
- Bennett
- Jackson
- Harris
- Cowdery
- Modern critics
- Brodie
- Persuitte
- Tanners
- Abanes
  • Criticisms regarding Immoral character
- Arrest / Court appearance, etc
- Treasure-hunting / Money-digging
- Violence & fights
- Lying & hiding information
- Lack of transparency / Deception: failing to disclose Polygamy revelation
- Smoked and Drank, contrary to instructions in Words of Wisdom
- examples & stories removed from History of Church docs in later years
  • Criticisms regarding: Not a genuine prophet
- Failed Prophecies
- Multiple versions of 1st vision
  • Criticisms regarding Fabricated documents purportedly of divine origin
- Seer stone / face-in-hat
- Book of Mormon
- Book of Abraham
- Kinderhook plates
  • Criticisms regarding: Greedy
- Wealth accumulation from tithing of church members
- Zealously encouraging tithing
  • Criticisms regarding: Sex and marriage
- Young girls
- Fanny Alger affair
- Multiple marriages
- Abortions
- Threats to women who did not marry him
  • Criticisms regarding: Narcissistic
- General of Navoo army, President, Prophet, titles, etc

[Unindent]I've prepared a draft text for the above - more detailed - text that summarizes the criticisms of JS, using WP:Summary Style format. For now, I'll stick it in its own article Criticism of Joseph Smith Jr.. If we have consensus that it should go into _this_ article, we can move it into here (although, as I look at it, it doesnt look like it would fit into this article). Feel free to review the text at Criticism of Joseph Smith Jr. and reply here (or there) with suggestions and comments. --Noleander (talk) 06:13, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

I dont see any feedback on this new section/article yet. So for now we can just leave it as its own article (see comments above on similarity with Criticism of Jesus, Criticism of Moses, and Criticism of Muhammad) and I'll remove most of the "crit of JS" text from _this_ article and have a "main" link to the new article. --Noleander (talk) 19:33, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Sub-proposal : reduce to navigational aid[edit]

With the existence of the new article Criticism of Joseph Smith Jr., there is now nothing in this article that is not repeated in either that article or Criticism of Mormon sacred texts, Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Mormonism and Christianity. Given that this is now a mish-mash of information available (and usually in better detail) elsewhere, I propose that it be drastically reduced into a dab-style navigational page linking to those articles. Thoughts? Shereth 19:51, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

support with caveat: I concur with turning this into a WP:Summary Style article (is that what you meant by dab = dis-ambiguation?) provided that
1) no significant text/cites/points are lost in the process (i.e. any text/cites NOT in those other articles would have to be moved to them, or left here)
2) This article retains some overview prose in the manner of a WP:Summary Style and not devolve into a pure list of links. Recall that this article, when contrasted with Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is supposed to capture all info more-or-less pre 1847, and a set of links wont give that context.
--Noleander (talk) 20:06, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
As examples of text/cites in this article that may get lost if we implement this proposal: (a) unreasonable rules on temple/marriage attendance; and (b) temple rituals were copied from Masonic rituals. Both those are very significant criticisms by notable critics, and they just cannot disappear. What article would the be in? Should they be left in this article? --Noleander (talk) 20:09, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
To answer your last question, the text and cites relating to temples and temple rituals is found verbatim at Criticism_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints#Criticism_of_temple_ceremonies. This is my point, which I have brought up previously - there is nothing unique to be found in this article. I'm not sure why such a complicated web of "criticism" articles pertaining to the LDS movement has evolved on Wikipedia, and I am not sure that there is any need for the reduplicating of information. To give you an extreme example, Criticism_of_Mormonism#Book_of_Mormon is a watered down version of Criticism_of_Mormon_sacred_texts#Book_of_Mormon which itself is a watered down version of Criticism of the Book of Mormon. What purpose does all this summarization and reduplication of data serve? A simple and succinct navigation aid to direct people to the article they are really looking for - and not half a dozen restatements of the same fact across disparate articles - is what is needed. Shereth 20:18, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, assuming that all the key points are in (or will be in) other linked-to articles, that addresses my concern #1. As for concern #2, the issue there is: the two criticism articles used to be 1 arcticle, then they were split into two: this article was pre-1847 "all branches of LDS movement" stuff; and the other article was post-1847 "just COJCOLDS church" stuff. I didnt really agree with that split, but there were some good arguments for it, and so it is. My concern #2 is: How do those two articles relate to each other now? How do they refer to each other. Where is the encyclopedic narrative that _summarizes_ in prose the pre-1847 criticims (all the stuff that happend in Missouri, Illinois, etc). Another way of looking at what Im getting at is: look at the outline that user COGDEN proposed a couple of weeks ago for this article: he had a chronological "story" of the criticisms, organized by place. Would we lose that opportunity? That is why I'm inclinded to go with a compromise solution: this article becomes a WP:Summary Style so it still could have a few paragraphs giving context, narrative, and also contrast with the other article. --Noleander (talk) 21:05, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the whole mess is a result of a malformed attempt at a split, but rather than properly splitting information off, it seems to have just been copied and pasted into various and sundry locations without a lot of overall guidance. This leads me to believe there are one of two appropriate solutions : reverse the split and merge everything back together, or properly perform the split and get rid of the redundancy. I favor a re-merge but am okay with a proper split, and at this juncture it seems to be the most likely and simplest outcome. As to the pre/post 1847 split, I think the issue is compounded by the fact that right now it is split in a topical fashion, rather than a chronological fashion. Pretty much all of the criticism pre-1847 can be found in the JS and BoM articles; everything else is almost exclusive to COJCOLDS. It is proving to be a little difficult to reconcile the topical split with a chronological aim in mind here at this article. Shereth 21:24, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

What is the proposed new outline?[edit]

COGDEN: I see you have a new outline in mind. It looks promising: Focusing on the various places that the Mormons resided before Utah. Would there still be a dedicated "Crit of JS" section? Could you outline the proposal here, first, before implementing? Or maybe put it in a sandbox page so we could look at it? --Noleander (talk) 17:36, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

The outline would be as follows:
  • New England criticism
This includes New England-era criticism, such as the ridiculing of the Book of Mormon by "Obadiah Dogberry", the book Mormonism Unvailed by Howe, various writings relating to the Solomon Spaulding theory, etc. Basically all the criticism that originated from Smith's neighbors in New England relating to Smith's supposed laziness and occult connections, etc.
  • Ohio criticism
This covers Ohio-era criticism, most notably the criticism of Smith's handling of financial and economic matters such as the Kirtland Safety Society and the United Order. Much of this is criticism by Smith's former close associates.
  • Missouri criticism
This covers all the criticism from the Missouri era. This includes writings about Mormon power, allegations of abolitionism, allegations regarding retaliation or vigilantism by the Danites, allegations of Mormon insurrections that were circulating in the papers at the time, anti-Mormon pamphlets such as Mormonism Exposed by Sunderland, Mormonism Exposed by Bacheler, Antidote to Mormonism by M'Chesney, and Exposure of Mormonism by Livesey, etc.
  • Nauvoo criticism
This covers Nauvoo-era criticism, such as what was written in the Nauvoo Expositor, the Warsaw Signal, and the numerous exposés that came out during this period relating to polygamy, temple ceremonies, Smith's theocratic intentions, Smith's alleged attempted murder Lilburn Boggs, criticism of Smith's presidential candidacy, etc.
  • Internal criticism in the aftermath of the death of Joseph Smith
This includes all the writings back and forth, and speeches, relating to the succession crisis of 1844.
COGDEN 18:23, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I mean this in the kindest way, but this seems to portray Mormonism as enduring some kind of Jihad in its struggle for power and acceptance. All the same it's still criticism.... I guess. Because of that, I do think that some of your proposed additions here would be redundantly displayed on the Mormons' main page under History. Here we need cold hard criticism. We need Prop 8, polygamy, etc... The kinds of topics of criticism that interest people. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 18:40, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Gnarly: I concur that we need the "hard criticisms" as you call them. This article here was split from another article: Criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That latter article contains criticisms of more "modern" issues like racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. This article here is the "early days" of LDS, before JS died. Hence the confusion (above) about whether we need a separate "Criticism of JS" article. Anyway, feel free to look at Criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and make any improvements you see fit (e.g. if it is missing some "hard" criticism) tho if they are significant, please discuss on its Talk page first. --Noleander (talk) 18:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
COGDEN: Does that mean the proposed new outline does _not_ have a specific section on "Criticism of J. Smith"? --Noleander (talk) 18:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I personally tend to think that during this era, all criticism of Joseph Smith was an implicit criticism of his church, and all criticism of his church was an implicit criticism of Smith, except for a few rare instances of criticism of people like Sidney Rigdon in his official capacity, or more ethnically-based criticism of Mormons as a people. I don't see an easy way to separate it out. For example, criticism that Joseph Smith was a lazy, fraudulent treasure hunter is an implicit attack on his religion, because it implies that the golden plates were not authentic. Maybe this article is really more a Criticism of Joseph Smith, Jr. article, anyway. If we wanted to just rename this article Contemporary criticism of Joseph Smith, Jr., I probably would be okay with that. I'm sort of indifferent. But the article would omit the "succession crisis" criticism, and would not include all the criticism of Smith, much of which took place later. For example, the 19th and 20th century biographies of Smith, including most notably Brodie, contain retrospective criticism of Smith. There is also a lot of modern criticism of Smith, typically by the Evangelical movement, which is actually criticism of the LDS Church (i.e., alleging that beliefs held by Smith are evidence that modern Mormons are not saved by Jesus and/or are cultists). One other possibility would be to just make this article a broad Criticism of Joseph Smith, Jr. article and live with a bit of overlap between that and the LDS Church criticism article. COGDEN 19:40, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Good points. There is certainly a lot of overlap between JS and the early church history: For that time period, JS _was_ the LDS church. The reason I keep coming back to an article (or section) on "Criticsm of JS" is the atheism/skeptic angle: Most atheists believe that formal religions are hokum, and the prophets like Mohammed or JS or L. Ron Hubbard are just charlatans (or insane). The literature questioning the character and motives of these prophets/founders is huge and growing. Recent best-sellers like "god is not Great" and "The God Delusion" focus on this, and even include ridicule specifically directed at JS. That is why this encyclopedia has articles like Criticism of Jesus and Criticism of Muhammed and Criticism of Moses. Criticsm of Joseph Smith is a glaring omission, in that regard.
If we shift this article to a chronological format, that is excellent from some regards, but where would a criticism like "JS lied a lot" or "JS was a violent man" go? Examples of these criticisms may span his whole life. (I know those are inflammatory examples, but that is what atheists write about when they consider prophets: their shortcomings, their lack of divinity).
Here is another point: This article used to have some criticism of the LDS sacred books. That was split off into its own article Criticism of LDS sacred texts (spelling?). That kind of makes sense, since that topic is not "in Missouri" or "In Illinois".
I'll keep thinking about it. --Noleander (talk) 00:08, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

C'mon don't give me that for saying "hard criticism" as if you guys don't know exactly what I mean. Hey here's a thought, why isn't this article renamed to specify the period of criticism? For example, "Criticism of the ... prior to 1857." The other article can just as easily be renamed, too. Just a thought. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 19:00, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Probably a good idea. I would not be opposed to renaming the article Early criticism of Mormonism or something similar like Early Mormon criticism, Early criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement, or Contemporary criticism of Joseph Smith, Jr. COGDEN 19:40, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I was just coming here to post what Gnarley and COGDEN already have- in other words, the article deserves renaming. Perhaps we need a few articles: (abbreviating here, shouldn't be abbrev'd in article titles)
  • Overview of criticism of LDS churches (this is key!)
  • Criticism of the modern LDS church
  • Criticism of early Mormonism (this should include Joseph Smith, discussed below)
  • Criticism of (other LDS offshoots?)
The Joseph Smith thing: in my mind, Joseph Smith and early church history are inseparable. If the "criticism of LDS" article was unified, I could see splitting it out, but I don't think it makes sense given the above split. Thoughts? tedder (talk) 19:50, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Given that criticism of the early LDS movement and that of Smith were largely correlated and conflated, it would not be a bad idea to rename this article to reflect upon that fact. Still, the more I look at this article the more I realize that it is a disaster. There must be a way to treat this subject in a more scholarly manner than a hodgepodge of quotes and bullet points; at the moment, it seems more a collection of random "So-and-so said such-and-such about the Mormons" factoids. There needs to be more structure and a more coherent "flow" to the article than currently exists. I'm not sure that Cogden's outline is the best solution, but at least it is an attempt to organize things better and I think, a step in the right direction. Shereth 19:54, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Stream of consciousness thoughts ahead, bear with me if I seem a bit rambly. Looking over the current article as it exists in a more critical manner, I come up with some of the following thoughts. The entire section "Criticism of sacred texts" is a selective cut-and-paste out of Criticism of Mormon sacred texts. What is the point? Virtually the entire text can be deleted as it has already been merged to the child article. A much condensed summary statement could be left in its place pointing people to the main article for more information. Further down, the section "Criticism of temple ceremonies" seems to be almost exlusively relevant to, and again, an essential copy-paste of the information in Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Once again I ask, what is the point of duplicating the info? This entire section can be removed as it is already available elsewhere. For that matter, what is the deal with "Criticisms related to Christianity"? These bullet-points aren't really criticisms but rather points of divergence between Mormonism and mainstream Christianity. It is also almost exlusive to the modern church. It is also covered in far better detail at Mormonism and Christianity. It seems to me almost this entire article can be gutted as it exists elswhere (and usually in better context), leaving behind nothing except for the section "Criticisms of Joseph Smith". I believe this all quite happily supports the idea of renaming and refocusing this article. Shereth 20:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I think using a specific year would be best. Also, what really is the evil of a mega-article? It would be great if it could be coherent enough to be a one-stop-shop where anyone could find their Mormon-critical needs. I, for one, naturally came to this article a while ago looking for Prop 8 information. Why in the world is there none? You know, I know, my Grandma's dog knows that Prop 8 is a huge part of their criticism, and it's not here?

Again, I think putting a specific year on what you consider to be early would be best. If a renaming isn't approved then a merge should be in order. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 20:14, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

A large part of the problem is in the fact that this article is, putatively, Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement. "Latter Day Saint movement" is an extraordinarily vague and broad subject; Prop 8 criticisms are (rightfully) aimed at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, specifically, rather than at the movement in general. And therein lies the problem : the few criticisms that apply to the movement in general are pretty much restricted to the church as it existed under Joseph Smith's control and in his era. Shereth 20:23, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I can amen to that. I wonder whether there is any difference between the two. The LDS movement is really the history of the LDS church. Any of the above outline information should be able to be viewed on the LDS page.
Or the "LDS movement" part of the title should be replaced altogether. I think that once that happens, all criticism and controversy should be on the same page or neatly divided by two time periods. I do know that if I was a Mormom, I really wouldn't be too proud that Wikipedia needs two articles to describe all the criticism of my religion. Not that I care, but like I said, one-stop-shop should work. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 20:58, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Bear in mind there are other faiths within the "Latter Day Saint movement" that have nothing to do with what each other does, these days. It'd not be fair to accuse the Community of Christ of having anything to do with Prop 8, even though both fall under the banner of "LDS Movement". There is, if you haven't noticed it, an article Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which, for all intents and purposes, what 99% of the poeple looking for something like "Criticism of Mormons" are actually looking for - it covers the modern, Salt Lake City based church commonly called "Mormons". A name change here, as well as clearer language in the article's lead section, should help to clear up this kind of confusion. Shereth 21:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Ahh, I was, in a way, waiting for someone to correct me. Thanks for being nice about it. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 21:28, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

GnarlyLikeWhoa, look at a few of your quotes. 1 "I do know that if I was a Mormom, I really wouldn't be too proud that Wikipedia needs two articles to describe all the criticism of my religion. Not that I care, but like I said, one-stop-shop should work." 2 "Changes like these for the purpose of censorship of critical infromation wouldn't be the first time on Wikipedia." 3 "I mean this in the kindest way, but this seems to portray Mormonism as enduring some kind of Jihad in its struggle for power and acceptance. All the same it's still criticism.... I guess. Because of that, I do think that some of your proposed additions here would be redundantly displayed on the Mormons' main page under History. Here we need cold hard criticism." 4 "If Mormons did what they did to us in California, they would simply "out-oppose" anyone who disagrees with their criticism. Criticism is what it is, it's solid, and to make this change would be to "call the crap sugar." I am tiring of your disrespect quickly. From an academic perspective, you are biased and so is your argument. Did I ever propose to add anything to the effect that Mormons are wonderful? No, because that would be biased. Your attitude that if you shout loud enough your proposals will be accepted wont work here in Wikipedia. The more disrespect you show, the more difficulty you will experience in getting anything changed. You have already gone too far, and are close to the point of being corrected. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 23:15, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Sharpsr1990, well it is easy on the outside looking in, isn't it? Read ALL of it. Note the discussion parts, note the compromise parts. It's not about bias, it's having the knowledge of these issues and writing articles about it... Just as you do. For example, you're a Mormon, so you obviously spend your time on these pages debunking criticism of your church, because why? You have a knowledge of the church.
Had you or your community been personally affected by the LDS's actions you would feel much different. Know that. Until you have, please, like I said, take a look at the thread as a whole before you judge. Thanks. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 17:25, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually Sir (or Ma'am), there are many criticisms of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which are entirely valid. I am not here to debunk them. Yes, I am a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (which does not make my opinion automatically "biased" as you might say), and I have seen many negative aspects of that church. I have quite a long list of personal criticisms you will not find anywhere on this page. Do you want an additional negative aspect to throw in this article? I have seen, multiple times, members leave the church because they were treated like trash. Why? Social standing, education, physical attractiveness, money, a genetic defect, humility and in many situations, simply not kissing up to the right people. Is that conduct you would expect to see in any church? No, at least not in theory. I did "Read ALL of it" as you said. Do i debate whether or not Mormons practiced polygamy? No. Do I debate whether or not Mormons slaughtered innocent people in the Mountain Meadows Massacre? No. Do I debate whether or not there have been lives affected in negative ways because of Mormons in modern times? Absolutely not. Your assumption that I am simply "for the church" is not accurate. But you must realize that the criticisms that you have which are valid can be displayed, but not favored. Having a article set up according to the request of one view or another is not neutral. I am not asking to remove the criticism, I'm just requesting to remove the emotion attached to it I.E. "monsters in human shape" and to add any valid responses to it. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a forum. You should not be posting criticisms which have no evidence of being correct whatsoever. That is called "Rumors and opinions"WP:NPOV, and Wikipedia isn't the place for it. You will notice that there is no "Criticism of Barack Obama" article. There is no "Criticism of George Bush" article. Yet having a large number of criticism articles for anything related to the Latter Day Saint movement seems to be entirely fine. It is ridiculous, to say the least. I would also suggest that you read my posts entirely. I made valid arguments, and you never acknowledged them. You should format this page and treat it with the same respect given to the Democracy article, or the pages devoted to United States presidents. Even if you are convinced that Mormons are possessed by Satan's own living soul, it is not your place to determine who is respected and who isn't. Wikipedia policy, along with neutrality and the integrity to be unbiased should prevail. It appears though as if neutrality and logic is losing this debate to demands. Sharpsr1990 (talk) 19:33, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Sharpsr1990, I'll just nod my head if it will make you stop. So, yes, I agree , I concur, you're right, I'm wrong, Mormons had nothing to do with Prop 8 :) GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 20:28, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

ANYWAY. So guys, how's this? Now, this is a ROUGH draft. If it's too biased, tell me. If it's weasley, tell me. Open to discussion on this.

''The Involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints in the Passing of California's Proposition 8
Since mid-2008, the 13-million member Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints and the Latter Day Saints movement, itself, has been harshly criticized for their involvement in the passing of Proposition 8. [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]


After the filing of the ballot initiative known as Proposition 8, which if passed, would "eliminate the right of same-sex couples" to marry (a right enjoyed in California from May 15, 2008 to November 4, 2008) on June 20, 2008 the Salt Lake City, Utah-based First Presidency released a memorandum to church officials to be read aloud to its members on June 29, 2008 to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. This was the first of a couple memorandums issued by the administration to its members [12]. This also marked the enjoining of the Church in a coalition of churches and grassroots conservation organizations with the goal of passing the Proposition.
Because of this call for financial support to the "Yes on 8" campaign, it was reported that members of the church donated at least $5 million in personal funds, including a donation of $1,000,000 from Alan Ashton, grandson of a former Mormon president (this figure counts only donations over $1,000)[13].
Monetary donations were not the only form of support to repeal the marriage equality law; it is estimated that 25,000 members of the church were recruited to go "door-to-door" advocating for gender-discriminate marriage.
By the end of the election, Protect Marriage, the political action organization charged with the passing of Proposition 8, estimated that of all donations $40,000,000 was contributed by Mormons. [14]
On November 4, 2008 Proposition 8 on the California statewide ballot passed with 52.2% of the vote. Enraged by the Church's involvement, LGBT leaders in communities across the United States and the world resolved to fight the Proposition, and expose the Church in the process. [15][16][17][18][19]
In the aftermath several questions were raised. One major issue that arose was whether the Church violated Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code, as a tax-exempt organization [20] by its contributions.

' GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 20:28, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Generally not bad but you should really be removing references to the "movement" and taking this over to Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don't want to come across as dismissive but this issue is specific to the church itself and not the overall movement; you'll notice that there is already some information in that article touching on the Proposition 8 controversy, which could probably be merged with some of what you have above. Shereth 20:46, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Well thanks for your constructive criticism. Now, would you say that is unless I can dig up information on whether the other sects of the movement systematically supported the Proposition? GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 20:52, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
You have confused contributions by Momrmons with contributions by the LDS Church or at least you seem to treat it as the same thing. As I understand it was found that the LDS Church did actually contribute to the cause, but it was under $25,000. That language either needs to be cleaned up or we use the amount of money the LDS Church may have contributed.
This looks like you are trying to portray that Mormons were politically active as something bad. Is it that Mormons were active or just their beliefs that is the focus?StormRider 21:57, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
A few comments, in no particular order:
  • "Enraged" is a rather subjective word, perhaps try to re-word to be more objective?
  • Recommend putting this text either in (1) Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or (2) Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints#Views on homosexuality ... this article here is mostly for pre-death-of-Joseph-Smith things.
  • It is more-or-less a requirement that _every_ sentence have a footnote/citation. I delete stuff that does not have citations in these Criticism of... articles. I know that is a pain, but it solves all sorts of problems.
  • If there are any points in your text that is missing some opposing data (I dont see any at first glance) be sure to go the extra mile to include the opposing data.
  • Over-all, your prose is very objective and encyclopedic.
Thanks for putting this on the Talk page first ... much preferable than doing the edit in the article first! --Noleander (talk) 21:59, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
No problem, Noleander! StormRider, the church, itself, donated about $170,000. The point I tried to make in the draft was that the members were called to do so. Perhaps they may not have donated as much if not asked. Thanks for the pointers, though. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 22:06, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if it was published, but I suspect it was. If we used the letter sent out by the LDS Church that encouraged their members to support the political fight in California, we should be able to link to it. If the figure is $170,000, let's link to that figure. If you are trying to highlight that Mormons contributed to the cause, I think that is a weaker point. Do we as a society get bothered that Gay individuals contribute to causes they find important to them? Of course not; we just assume that it is normal for them to do so. What Mormons contribute to should not be a big surprise. You may be trying to highlight that members of the LDS Church were asked to contribute and they did so in a significant manner. The letter is important because it will guide in how we write about the members response: were they commanded to, told to, or asked. StormRider 22:22, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
GnarlyLikeWhoa, the Proposition 8 issue was indeed squarely an LDS Church issue. Other denominations do not generally agree with the LDS Church on this one. For example, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and other polygamist organizations are opposed to any government-imposed restrictions on marriage. As for the Community of Christ, that church is an entirely different animal. They very rarely take political positions, and when they do, they are related to things like pacifism. On the issue of providing religious recognition to same-sex marriages, the Community of Christ does not currently recognize them, but there is open internal discussion. COGDEN 22:48, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

That is the last time I am going to take your insult. I would suggest, GnarlyLikeWhoa, that you go through all of my contributions and find where I stated that Mormons had nothing to do with proposition 8. You're quote "Sharpsr1990, I'll just nod my head if it will make you stop. So, yes, I agree , I concur, you're right, I'm wrong, Mormons had nothing to do with Prop 8 :)" You will not find a single contribution I made which stated Mormons had nothing to do with that proposition. By the way, trying to act like your mature by saying "I'm right" and then throwing in an insult in the end is immature. Perhaps it would work on a 5 year old. Maybe your used to using it on your children, if you have any? Sharpsr1990 (talk) 01:31, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

You came to this discussion with no useful insight. It's like you came here on behalf of Fox News. No facts, impolite, just a talking head. You read nothing about what was being discussed, you only barged.
Now, I really wanted to make you stop commenting because you're irritating. Instead of taking my comment for what it is... you want to elaborate. So we can bicker. You can go ahead and report me to Admins or whatever it is you feel you need to do to silence gay people, and then they'll find the gay one wrong... won't be the first time, won't be the last time Wikipedia does this to us. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 01:43, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Hey, you two. These are crossing the line into personal attacks. You know the guideline- focus on content, not the contributor. I'd strongly encourage both of you to remove or refactor your most recent comments. tedder (talk) 01:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Tedder: "Refactor"? What is this? object-oriented editing?  :-) --Noleander (talk) 01:50, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I will never apologize for expressing my disapproval for what he wants to see on Wikipedia. I will, however, refrain from getting personal with him. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 01:57, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

No Sir. I would rather study than spend time debating with someone who is driven by emotion. The idea that I did not present facts is... lets just say, your opinion. I would rather spend time improving myself through study, than debating about why an article should receive the same respect as other mainstream articles. Here is a fact to consider, since you seem to think I did not state any. Democracy does not have a single "Criticism of" sub-article, although there is much more criticism of it than the Latter Day Saint movement. You never did come up with a rebuttal to that. Why? There is none. Also, I apologize for the obvious and apparent mis-treatment you have received for being gay. No one should be treated with such disrespect whether do to race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs or any other factors. And that is my exact point. Have you seen me post criticism of any race, religion or group? No. I have too much respect for others to do that to anyone. You would think that with your experiences of persecution(as far as homosexuality), you would understand better than most why criticism is destructive, yet you are absolutely adamant about pushing forward with it. If I have the respect to not tear down others based on beliefs, why could you not show the same? Do you see me criticizing Protestants? What about Roman Catholics? Or Gay supporters? Or Democrats? Or Republicans? No. I have no lack of facts to criticize any of these groups, so why dont I? It is Wikipedia right? People need the valuable information I have right? I have too much respect for others to do that, and I want to create understanding with others, not contention. I am however, finished participating in this discussion. You may delete my comments and cancel the requested move when you feel that it is relevant. I apologize for the negative comments I made. Good luck to you. (Note: as far as policy tedder, you are correct, but you should have brought it up when the discussion turned non-neutral do to attacks of a religion and myself on the talk page. I retaliated, which is not justified, but it would have been decent of you to defend me when I was attacked first instead of waiting for the discussion to turn negative.) Sharpsr1990 (talk) 02:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Sharpsr1990, sorry for the timing on the warning, but the last two attacks were the ones that really appeared to turn ugly. (and noleander: you caught me) tedder (talk) 02:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Exposing the attacks on a certain group of people by a religion is not an attack on the religion. I can name a few criticisms of democracy, but I have no interest in writing about it. Maybe you would. Further, criticism of a people, religion or race doesn't necessarily mean someone doesn't respect them. This is an encyclopedia.... a place for information, a place for facts. If all people, religions, races, or ideas were perfect or did not participate in a campaign to overturn the In Re Marriage cases, there would be no criticism.

People edit in certain areas of Wikipedia because they have a passion on the subject, they have an understanding of it, or they were personally affected by it. Lawyers may edit in the law categories. Jews may edit in the Jewish-related topics. Anime-buffs may want to ensure that every detail from a specific Naruto episode is included. One of the same-sex married 18,000 couples may choose to edit about Prop 8.

So, to imply that posting here is personal is the most accurate thing I've heard all day. Someone with a degree in underwater basket-weaving has no business posting in the Brain Surgery article. GnarlyLikeWhoa (talk) 16:22, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Article quality going downhill[edit]

I notice that the quality of this article has diminished recently. The intro of the article (by Cogden?) is very nice, but the body of the article does not flow, and does not reflect that intro. Some editors (Shereth?) seem bent on making this article as small as possible. I would encourage editors to put themselves in the shoes of readers of the encylopedia, and try to make this article more informative and more readable. Reading the discussions on the archives of teh Talk pages may help. --Noleander (talk) 16:15, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, the whole article is a good overview of the LDS movement. The deletions by Shereth today didn't help, especially because they removed the {{main}} pointers and overview paragraphs. tedder (talk) 16:46, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
The paragraphs I deleted were devoted exclusively to the modern LDS church. The impression I have been getting from the discussion that has been progressing is that this "article" is supposed to be about the early church, pre-succession crisis stuff. We can't have it both ways - so which way is it going to go? Shereth 16:49, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I have no issue with the division between the two articles. Moving text from this article to the other is okay, if it deals only with the COJCOLDS. My concern is that this article is not encyclopedic and does not read well. What I suggest is: as we spend time moving text from one article to another, we spend some time ensuring that the articles read well. As an example of a task perhaps you could undertake: look at the chronological outline that user COGDEN suggested, and see if you could work that into some text. --Noleander (talk) 17:01, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the chronological-order criticism idea, as I had mentioned before (and no one bothered responding to) there is something of a schism between the concept of a chronologically-ordered list of critical topics (as introduced in the header) and the topcially-ordered sections that have, and continue to, exist in the body of the article. Either is fine, but it can't go both ways. I believe there is a fundamental lack of consensus on exactly what this article is supposed to be. A chronological listing of criticisms aimed at the pre-crisis church? A topical breakdown of criticisms of the same? A summary-style article touching on various criticsms of Mormonism in general? I honestly do not have a problem with going either way on it, it's just that we need to pick one and stick to it. Perhaps the problem is bigger than this article - a look at the various "Criticism of X" topics relating to Mormonism shows a telling lack of cooperation and coodindination between them. I'm not trying to make the article smaller, I am simply trying to keep it "on topic" as well as making it work well with the myriad of related articles. I am open to suggestion of course. Shereth 17:09, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the article could be organized chronologically or topically. But that dilemma is faced by nearly every aricle in the encyclopedia that deals with history (should the WW I article be organized by time, or by topics?). I don't see a problem with trying to incorportate the best of both worlds. For example: This article certainly needs sections on "Criticism of JS" and "Criticism of BOM". But there is nothing wrong with also adding in a chronological overview, as COGDEN started to do. If you look at the WW I article, you will see that it has a "Chronology" section, as well as topical sections such as WW I#Technology and WW I#War Crimes. Perhaps we could use that as a model for this article? --Noleander (talk) 17:37, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Hrm. That might be doable; I will have to give it some more thought. Off the top of my head, though, I'm not sure that the chronological breakdown method is very workable; the criticisms in the 5 "eras" that COGDEN suggested still have a lot of overlap and are still primarily covered topically by what is there already. I suppose what I am getting at is that having a timeline would do little more than regurgitate what is in the topical sections (or vice versa) since there's not really much going on. In any event, WWI is certainly a more substantial topic than this one so the comparisons won't quite be apples to apples .. Shereth 17:49, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I cannot agree more with the OP: it's interesting how criticism about scientology or islam are plenty extensive. In all fairness, these are older religions, but criticism about the LDS is contained under a thousand words? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (Phobal 06:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC))

Criticism of Judaism[edit]

There is a deletion discussion going on at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Criticism_of_Judaism_(2nd_nomination), and any input would be appreciated. AzureFury (talk | contribs) 02:08, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

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