Cleansing Fire

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“… and I’m a Mormon.”

August 23rd, 2010, Promulgated by Mike

If you watch any TV at all, by now you have probably seen one of the new commercials currently being aired by the Mormons.

It seems that Rochester is “one of nine test markets for the advertising campaign that cheerfully counters stereotypes of Mormons as straight-laced, white, humorless and sexist.”

According to a story on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website (one of the other test markets),

The ads arrived on the heels of an anti-Mormon backlash by some gay rights activists on the West Coast. But the campaign’s designers said it responds only to numerous survey findings that half of Americans don’t know a Mormon.

“It’s time to reintroduce ourselves,” said Scott Swofford, the director of mormon.org.

“We hope the spots portray Mormons as diverse people who are united in their belief in Jesus Christ. … We hope [Americans] see that Mormons are friendly, charitable, giving to others. We aren’t perfect, but our behavior ought to reflect our beliefs.”

Areas chosen for the test  have TV markets “small enough to be affordable but large enough for follow-up studies of the ads’ impact.”

Already the ads have been driving a lot of new traffic to the Mormon’s web site, which undoubtedly will be one measure of the ads’ impact. Another is sure to be the number of new converts brought into the Mormon fold as a result of the ads.

Given that most Rochester area Catholics have been the victims of dozens of years of abysmal catechesis, and that over 25% of our weekend Mass attendees have gone AWOL in just the last 10 years, it wouldn’t be too surprising if a large proportion of the Mormon’s local converts just happen to bear the label “former Catholic.”

Full story here.

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11 Responses to ““… and I’m a Mormon.””

  1. avatar Gretchen says:

    Why can’t we Catholics do something like this? (But better!) I haven’t seen the TV ads, but I’ve heard the ads on the radio and they are very compelling.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    When you think of it, why would anyone come to Catholocism in Ra Cha Cha? Poor catechesis, abuses, heresy. It’s probably better they remain away until things here change for the better.

  3. avatar Bernie says:

    Ex-Catholics, I suppose, make-up a surprisingly large percentage of non-denominational sects as well as Mormons, JW’s and others. Many of my younger relatives and neighbors, poorly instructed, have gone to them –usually for “fellowship” reasons. They know nothing of doctrine (truth) and Church history (liturgy, the fathers, etc.).

    There are some really well done commercials for the Catholic Church at http://www.catholicscomehome.org/about-our-tv-commercials.php Terribly expensive I suppose. The theme is “coming home” and targets those who have drifted away from the Church but they work well with non-Catholics, too. I’m not sure, in this diocese, what they would be “coming home” to.

  4. avatar Christopher says:

    Thanks for your comment Anonymous at 6:54am. It was very constructive and moving though I disagree with the “remain away” part. “Remaining away” from the Catholic church or apathy/distance is precisely what the devil would love for us to do. Your comment also implies things will change for the better. We have no guarantee of that.

  5. avatar Christopher says:

    Good article Mike, the only thing you left out was where to find good info on how to talk to Mormons.

    Here is a Catholic Answers Podcast with Patrick Madrid on how to talk to Mormons:
    http://www.catholic.com/audio/2010/mp3/ca100623a.mp3

    Distinctive Beliefs of Mormons:
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Distinctive_Beliefs_of_Mormon.asp

    Gods of the Mormon Church:
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Gods_of_the_Mormon_Church.asp

    Problems with the book of Mormon:
    http://www.catholic.com/library/Problems_with_the_Book_of_Mormon.asp

    Dialog with Mormon Apologist Dr. Barry R. Bickmore:
    http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2005/03/dialogue-with-mormon-apologist-on.html

    Anyone know how much it would cost (roughly) to get that Catholic commercial on channel 8/10/13 for a spot around the 5pm news or prime time?

  6. avatar Mike says:

    Christopher,

    Thanks for the resources.

    I heard somewhere quite a while ago that the cathedral in Salt Lake City has Galatians 1:8 running around the interior walls in very large letters:

    If we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.

    So much for the Angel Moroni, at least in St. Paul’s thinking.

    With regards to the Catholics Come Home ads, I believe they are only run in conjunction with a diocesan-wide effort to reach out to fallen away Catholics. IOW, the local bishop not only has to be on board, but has to be leading the effort. Considerable preparatory work is also done at the parish level before the ads actually air.

    Sadly, I don’t see any of that happening before 2012.

  7. avatar RochChaCha says:

    Mike,

    I read the same thing on the Catholics Come Home network’s website. Basically have to ‘qualify’ as a partner diocese. I doubt Rochester would qualify. So my challenge to all the readers of this blog is to 1) develop our own commercial and 2) raise funds to air it on local TV. Where there is a will there is a way. Thoughts?

  8. avatar Nerina says:

    The “Catholics Come Home” commercials are very moving. I get “choked up” each time I hear them (usually on Catholic radio or EWTN). It would be great to tap into those resources during Christmas and Easter.

    I have had many Mormon friends and they are as you would expect – friendly, super-hospitable and persistent. I didn’t sense any sexism and they believe strongly in the family. I respect their devotion and faithfulness even though I find their theology inconsistent and bizarre.

  9. avatar Mike says:

    Nerina,

    I only know one Mormon family, and it’s not really accurate to call them Mormons. The dad is of that faith, but the mother is a devout Catholic and all 8 children have been or are being raised as Catholics, with the mom having home-schooled most of them. I got to know the family years ago when I was still involved with Boy Scouts and the dad brought his oldest son to our troop because the troop for which his Cub pack was a feeder met on Monday nights. (Monday night is family night for Mormons and nothing should be allowed to interfere with family night.)

    BTW, the second youngest, a 15 year-old, sings with our Contemporary Music Choir (yes, there are guitars, but they only serve as accompaniment to the piano) and has a fantastic voice. You can judge for yourself here.

    (Fair warning: The song is Halle Halle Hallelujah. I never said Holy Cross was perfect.)

  10. avatar LarryD says:

    The first time I read the post title, I thought it read “…and I’m a Moron.” And I thought, wow, talk about humility!! But then I read it again and saw I was wrong. Gosh, what a moron!

  11. avatar DonCope says:

    I have never met a Mormon that I disliked. I meet Mormons quite often but the only ones I meet are in their family history centers. Since I am doing our family genealogy I use their resources for my research quite often which are free to use and open to the public. These people who staff the centers are always very friendly and go out of their way to help me in my work when I have questions. They never try to convert me and they know from my research that I am Catholic. They seem to be very family and church centered people. If converted, I believe they would make great Catholics.


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