Rocky Anderson, Integrity and Honor, and "The Weightier Matters"

People may agree with Rocky Anderson, or people may disagree with him, but to question his honor and integrity because he is a "secularist" is as insensitive as it is insensible. And it is extremely insensible.

A recent letter to the editor of the Deseret News was written thusly:

I had to chuckle at Tom Barberi's characterization (Forum, June 20) of Rocky Anderson as a "man of integrity and honor." Divisive and slippery seems like a more accurate description. But then I've probably been drinking the Kool-Aid for way too long. Incidentally, do secularists even recognize a need for integrity and honor? (Emphasis added).

I will make an assumption: the writer of that ill-thought paragraph is a Christian. I'll make another assumption: the writer is a Mormon (because a lot of Mormons act this way when it comes to politics). If he's not a Mormon, I apologize. If he is, I am embarrassed. Such statements are what give other Utahns a bad impression of Mormons. This silly, sophomoric, and provincial attitude contributes to the fact that Americans and people the world over have negative views of the LDS Church.

Very few people who chastize Mayor Anderson have any idea what the man is like. They fly off to tangents on the wings of the grandest assumptions. It's easy to do, but it's juvenile and stupid.

I've paid attention to Mayor Anderson and his statements and activities over the years he has been mayor. I disagree with a lot of them, but the one thing that can't be said of him is that he is lacking in integrity and honor. What is completely uncalled for is for someone to elevate themselves on their self-made pedestal by claiming that someone who is not religious cannot possibly have honor and integrity.

During the years of watching Rocky Anderson, I have also paid some attention to radio talk show host Sean Hannity. I recently compared and contrasted them during the debate that was held at the University of Utah. It is my opinion that Anderson has more integrity than Hannity.

It all distills down to these two concepts: (1) Anderson most often shows respect to those who disagree with him, while Hannity nearly always belittles them and won't let them speak, and (2) Anderson sincerely believes in what he speaks about, while Hannity uses his soapbox primarily for the making of money, regardless of whether the truth be told. It has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with motivation.

Christ chastized the Pharisees for neglecting "the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith" (New Testament-Matthew 23:23). Judgment, mercy, and faith are kind to those who do not share one's world view. They don't throw the venomous darts of vitriol. It is hypocritical and unbecoming of members of any religion to belittle others by holding themselves up as a prototype to emulate for those who do not share their religion. Actually, it's dishonorable and completely lacking in integrity.


  1. Wow ... do you do family events?

    I need a speaker at a family reunion in August to get my family off my back about the Mayor.

    They, seriously, tell me I'm going to hell for being a Democrat.

  2. I've mentioned this story several times before, and maybe even on this site, but...

    I did an internship at the LDS Church office building about 20 years ago. I was in a van pool that drove back and forth between SLC and Provo. On at least two occasions the conversation focused on the claim of my co-passengers that one could not be a good member of the church and a Democrat at the same time. It boggles my mind how people can have that narrow-minded of an attitude. Although I am a Republican, my parents are Democrats, and they are some of the most honorable people I know. It's offensive when people in their smug self-righteousness take swipes at people (such as my parents) they don't even know.

    If I can have a hot dog and some chips, I'd love to come to your family reunion!

    PS--No offense intended to your family, but I'd suspect that your family members who tell you you're going to hell for being a Democrat are much closer to hell themselves for their bloviating assumptions.


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