Opinion: We do it daily, protect the First

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  • I appreciate the Current and their open and inclusive format. I can certainly see how many would find the supplement disturbing. That said encouraging the open sharing of ideas and opinions is not a bad thing.

    Often how people react to different ideas is disturbing as well.

    Thanks for standing up for your principles in a time when so many stay seated.

    • Doug Nelson

      I would go so far as to say that it’s important and vital to have the open sharing of ideas and opinions. People shouldn’t try repressing information about the church. Especially with how it was laid out in the ad. It wasn’t being contentious, it was just sharing info about the history of the church from what I saw.

  • Angela Miller

    Even though I am not a Mormon, or at all associated with the new Temple, I too was very disgusted by this paid advertisement, and do not think it’s how Carmel should welcome a new group to our community. The building of the Temple has brought tax revenue and new businesses to this area of town, and I suspect that this will bring visitors who will spend money at these businesses for many years to come. Tri Grace ministries clearly has an agenda to convert Mormons to Christianity, and while they certainly have a right to free speech, Current didn’t have to accept this paid advertisement. Religious freedom is what founded this country, and while I don’t agree with Mormon beliefs, I do believe that Mormons have a right to peacefully practice their faith without a lot of blow back from anti-Mormon groups.

    Will Current be covering the upcoming demonstrations by this group that are scheduled right across from the Temple in the coming days? I guess that’s a possibility if the money is right. Current should have never helped give this group a platform. I have to wonder if Current would have accepted a paid advertisement from any other anti-religious denomination group, for example, an anti-Muslim group, because of freedom of speech? Somehow I doubt it. Just be honest, it’s not really about Current’s defense of Tri Grace’s freedom of speech, it’s really about money they were willing to pay for this insert.

  • Not The 1st

    It is not the medias duty to protect the first, that is the government’s job. You have an editorial staff for a reason to make decisions about what does and does not get printed in your paper. You made the decision to run that insert, defend that decision on it’s own merit. If you decided not to print that, you wouldn’t harming the first amendment, you would be making the same editorial decisions you make everyday about what you want your paper to be about and who you want it to serve.

    You chose to serve the dollar as that was probably the largest single issue ad buy this paper has ever received. You decided to serve your pocket book and gave voice to a group that isn’t even a member of your community. Again, that was your decision, but it has nothing to do with the first amendment so don’t hide behind the 1st.

  • The First Amendment guarantees Tri-Grace the right to say what they want. It in no way obliges Current to publish and distribute those views. That was a business decision, and extremely poor judgement for a paper the bills itself as part of the “community” to run advertising placed by an out-of-state group that disparages the faith of thousands of Hamilton County citizens. You got your money, and now you issue a pathetic defense of your choice. Would Current accept an advertisement from the Westboro Baptist Church under this same policy? My business decision will be to avoid patronizing businesses that continue to buy ads in your paper.

    • Threatening a local business and their local business customers/advertisers seems to me counter-productive. You advocate hurting local business because one in some way offended you?

      If you believe in your faith and it can be shaken by a poorly worded ad insert? I think you’re not giving yourself or your religion the proper credit.

      • My faith is not shaken, nor is my statement intended to be a threat. I’m not organizing a boycott here. They make business decisions, so do their advertisers, and so do I. I will quietly take my business elsewhere and it’s likely no one will notice. But I don’t agree with their business practices and that’s my choice.

    • Marilyn Robarts

      Thank you for these words, Sid.

      I agree with you. I’m a business person just as the leaders of the Current. I carefully think over business decisions and weigh the responsibility that I have to our stakeholders before moving forward.

      The Carmel community is probably the largest stakeholder for the Current other than those that draw their salaries from the paper. Clearly the people of the Carmel ( and Westfield) communities were not considered. Poor business decision.

  • Andrew

    Fixed: “to be sure, the advertising supplement, which Current accepted along with a fist full of cash”

  • Paul Lit

    Sidney, and others who are angry below, are using their anger to attempt to trump freedom of speech. I don’t know what was so offensive from the advertising supplement. I don’t have a dog in this fight, other than the one called freedom. We have too much media that only publishes things they want us to see. I applaud the Current for having the guts to accept ad money equally, and not censor opinion. I will continue to support advertisers in the Current, have no idea who Tri-Grace is, but am happy they helped support another local business.

    • Andrew

      This is insane, along with their explanation. This isn’t a freedom of speech issue. No one said we want to make it so your publication can’t put stuff we disagree with in it. It doesn’t make us communists to dislike something we are force fed once a week in our daily mail. And when I see a 12 page ‘ad insert’ funded by the Nation of Islam condemning Judaism, or a Sikh funded attack on Hinduism I will believe their cry of equality. As it stands, this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this in the current.

      To respond to their viewership’s distaste for a wholly distasteful insert by crying “muh rights!” is cowardly and hollow. So like Sidney said, I’ll do my best to avoid any business that advertise within the current until they put on their big boy pants speak truthfully.

      Current could have either said, “yeah you know what guys? We probably shouldn’t have published this. It was in poor taste and probably did more harm than good.” or “yeah you know what guys? These aholes gave us a boat load of money, and to be honest, the printed news industry isn’t what it used to be. So, sorry but we like money…”

    • DG

      I think the point is that, if the supplement had been published by a Muslim organization and contained all manner of stereotypes about Christians and questioned their basic intelligence for even believing in all that imaginary friend bull, that Current wouldn’t have published it. But because it was Christians complaining, it was OK. Who would Jesus censor?

      • DG,

        I follow you but I wouldn’t make the assumption they wouldn’t publish it. If it was a poorly written, non-threatening piece my money is that they would. We can’t assume any possibility is a given outcome though there will certainly be an outcome.

        Most seem to take pride in our culturally diverse population in Carmel. We can’t be as open and diverse as many aspire to be without allowing and evaluating different ideas. I feel this applies even more so to Journalists and Newspapers. If you are not threatened by a local news source making the choice of accepting and/or denying service you are missing the point. At it’s highest and best use I hope our paper will make us think. If all you want is entertainment then you’ll like most of the Current. It is rightfully high on Carmel.

        I feel some folks think diversity is o.k. except for all those ‘different’ people and their ‘backward’ habits and thoughts. If you see this as an attack on your faith I understand but I believe it’s best to refute the ideas that are incorrect with facts not censorship.

        Religion is a private place for all of us whether you believe or not it’s your decision. I hate to think that there is so little faith that an ignorant little rant should be censored because we cant stand the message. It did not advocate violence, they have no known ties to terrorism and they paid a company that does advertising to publish it.

        On what basis do you deny service? Let them have their platform. I think if there is little danger or threat of violence from the group other than bruising some sensitivities.

      • Paul Lit

        I don’t have any stereotypes about Mormons personally. Couldn’t tell you the faith of most of the people I know. I may know some Mormons, but they don’t wear big “M”s on their clothes, so I don’t know. Having never been to a Mormon service, I haven’t run into anyone I know that way either. The small portion of the ad I read was clearly documented, with references and sources clearly stated. That is not “all manner of stereotypes”, but rather specific examples of why the ad buying group feels the Mormons are shrouded in secrecy, and why. Baptism of the dead sounds certainly bizarre, would love to hear more about that one. I thought Mormons were supposed to be Christians. So it seems a denominational spat anyway. Oh the inhumanity!

        • ferv888

          1st Corinthians 15:29

      • Yeshuafriend


    • I am not trying to trump free speech. I am participating in such. Guts to accept ad money? This was an easy check to cash because they know the Mormons will respond by civilly registering their disapproval. Guts would be publishing a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad. Anyone believe Current would take that money, and the death threats, on the basis of free speech?

      • Paul Lit

        I believe if you want to buy ad space, and run such a cartoon, as an ad, the Current would accept your paid cartoon. Knowing the conservative nature of the editorial staff, I’m sure an anti Jihadist cartoon would be your cross to bear, as it would be your ad. And the Current would cash your check too. Good for them!

        • I have much better things on which to spend my money than disparaging anyone’s faith. And I find it quite humorous that you hold up the Current as some kind of vanguard publication in the defense of free speech. They should win a Pulitzer.

          • Paul Lit

            Only locally owned paper serving Carmel and Westfield. We used to have Pace owned Topics, and the Carmel News Journal. I like seeing little league teams and stories on local kids, feel it is good for our community. Sorry if you don’t feel that way. No big, so sorry they ticked off so many people. Hopefully advertisers won’t feel that impact isn’t worth the investment.

    • ferv888

      No one is trying to trump free speech, the issue is that it is was not free, the Tri folks paid for the ad, the Current accepted the money for the ad, thus who is getting “FREE SPEECH?” This was a business decision pure and simple and now the hiding is behind the free speech lie, Tell that free speech garbage to the bakers in Portland see how that played.

      • Paul Lit

        You absolutely are trying to decide what should be seen or read, by disagreeing with the Current’s right to accept the ad. The fact the space was bought clearly states it is an ad, and no one that is upset seems to repute anything reported in the ad, just that it should be silenced. At the beginning of the piece, it clearly states the freedom of religion and of the Mormons to practice whatever and however they see fit. I don’t give a damn about the group placing the ad, or the Mormons and others that are upset. I am glad a small local publisher, in a time of great difficulty for all paper publications, was able to profit from such a large ad. Buy your own ad and repute what was claimed. But to say the right of someone or some group to buy ad space and express their opinion is not free speech is BS, in caps. Internet trolls are used to free rants, but for all to see, money is nearly always required. I’m sure the Mormons are promoting their new temple, and will have their big smiles on all the tours. As a church, temple, whatever, it doesn’t pay taxes, so those arguments are a crock also.

        • Andrew

          I just don’t think you understand. expressing outrage over a 12 page ad that is bullying our friends and neighbors does not equate to repression of a periodicals constitutional rights.

          • Yeshuafriend

            So exposing Satan’s Temple eye candy seduction, is to be considered bullying? True followers of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach would have used the many millions it cost to build these temples to feed and cloth the poor, and help the widows and orphans. The only thing these people are using it for is to enrich themselves, and expand their cult. Shalom!

          • Andrew

            I wouldn’t think they should accept an ad from someone bashing Jews or Christians either. I think it was foolish, that is different from wanting to dictate what the can and can’t do. I would assume, that if you are a supporter of their decision, that you also agree with what was written in the ad and support it. That makes you intolerant and a bully. Congratulations.

          • Paul Lit

            I understand. Completely. You don’t think the Current should have accepted the ad due to it’s content, the speech it contained, which you feel was offensive, IN YOUR OPINION. You would deny the Current the ad revenue that came with that insert, and are not willing to replace that revenue. Yet I’m sure it was OK for the full page ad from the Mormon Temple this past week. That free speech was OK, because it wasn’t offensive, to you. It offended me, but that’s ok. When as readers we can be so easily offended, how can an enterprise like the Current make the most money? By accepting all legal ads. Scream away censor. I fully understand you were offended. Too bad.

    • Marilyn Robarts

      No one is interested in trumping free speech. I also hope that is true of Freedom of Religion.

      The Current did; however demonstrate incredibly poor Judgment. Choosing to send a hateful, divisive “ad” aimed at disparaging the religion of approximately 10% of Hamilton county ( the ” customers” ) is an unacceptably poor business practice and should have an appropriate business consequence.

      • Yeshuafriend

        When someone’s eternal well being is the price of Satan’s deceptions, every true follower of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach has an obligation of love to expose Yah truth. Shalom!

  • mikekos

    I’m a life-long, practicing Catholic and do not necessarily agree that religion is polarizing, as you claim above. But religious persecution certainly is. And that is what you have supported by publishing the Tri-Grace Ministry’s defamatory addendum attacking the Mormon faith, drawing implications of devil worship, rampant racism and polygamy. Are you so obtuse as to not realize that this diatribe would unleash a tsunami of response? Have you no understanding of or regard for the standards of this community?

    And then, when called to task, you have the audacity to wrap yourselves in the First Amendment! (A laughable
    misapplication of the standard, by the way). What next? An anti-Semitic insert complete with swastikas? KKK ads with Confederate flags and nooses? Where will you draw the line?

    Instead of Trump-like arrogance and defiance, it’s time for you to do the right thing: 1) Apologize in print to our fellow citizens of the Mormon faith for your role in this debacle and 2) apologize to the entire readership for your failure to uphold the standards of our great city. Failing this, we’ll know that the Current is just a money-grubbing ad rag. And we’ll avoid patronizing your advertisers.

  • ferv888

    tell me you would have accepted an ad disparaging the LBGT community, the Muslim religion, the Jewish community or any other, PLEASE. I think you made a giant error and now you can live with people refusing to read and to participate with your sponsors.,

  • DG

    Ever wonder how the most un-Christian people you encounter are Christians? Thus my favorite T-shirt: So Many Right Wing Christians, So Few Lions.

  • Welcome to the marketplace of ideas, where religions can make claims and counter-claims.

  • ferv888

    This will soon blow over, but when I am sick, I want a Dr, when I have a plumbing problem, I want a plumber, when you want to know something about the Mormon Church ask a member, not some Tri whatever.

    • Yeshuafriend

      And your Mormon member would give you the truth as only they have been taught, right out of Joseph F. Smith’s Satan inspired word. Shalom!

      • ferv888

        Well hope you are satisfied with yourself, but to tell you, but you proved the point

    • Tom

      If you want to know whether a $100 bill is fake, you find a real one. You don’t find a bunch of other fakes. Going to a non-mormon to find out about mormonism does not mean you have turned your brain off. You always assess what people claim, no matter who they are.

  • Joel B Groat

    So, has anyone noted anything that is NOT accurate in the Tri-Grace insert? If what they are doing is pulling back the curtain on a religious organization using a huge public event to misrepresent itself why would we be against that unless we don’t want the truth out in the open? Kudos to Current for publishing information that most people would never hear from their Mormon neighbors. Most of the negative comments sound like LDS people who either don’t know the truth or don’t want the truth about their own religious organization brought out into the open.

    • Erik Dafforn

      And some of the positive comments sound like people who earn a living at organizations whose goals — coincidentally similar to those of the “advertising supplement” — include the careful, diplomatic disparagement of other religions such as LDS. And instead of openly and proudly disclosing their affiliation, they comment with a veneer of non-bias and faux curiosity.

      Is literal accuracy the metric by which you want to measure this? It would be extraordinarily easy to “accurately” disparage mainstream Protestantism with numerous passages from either Testament — “information that most people would never hear” from their Christian neighbors. Yet those passages, however accurate, wouldn’t represent the vast majority of Christians and their views.

      The critiques of this “supplement” are because it was divisive, tacky, and tasteless, and because many intelligent people in this area are uncomfortable with the potential direction it takes us as a community. Any attempt to paint it as either “curtain-pulling” or courageous defense of the Bill of Rights are distractions.

      • Yeshuafriend

        If you are around long enough, you will get to see the LDS potential direction it takes you as a community, when they start getting control of your political offices. Do some research on the State of Utah’s Government, their Cult’s center of control stronghold. You will find that your whole State does not have the money they do to stop them, half as much your little community. Shalom!

    • Yeshuafriend


  • FredWAnson

    The First Amendment: Ticking people off for 224-years.

    Kudos to Current for having the courage and integrity to stand in that proud tradition and boldly affirm the right and privilege that everyone in this comments section is now enjoying.

  • John

    Since its foundation, the Mormon Church has criticized other religions, but especially Christianity.

    This is labelled against any religion that believes in reincarnation, like Hinduism:

    “This idea of theosophy, that is gaining ground even among so-called Christians, in these
    latter days, is a fallacy of the deepest kind. It is absolutely repugnant to the very soul of
    man to think that a civilized, intelligent being might become a dog, a cow, a cat; that he
    might be transformed into another shape, another kind of being. It is absolutely repulsive,
    and so opposed to the great truth of God, that has been revealed from the beginning, that
    he is from the beginning always the same, that he cannot change, and that his children
    cannot change.” (Gospel Doctrine, pages 33-34).

    They teach that those outside the LDS Church perform invalid baptisms:

    “That change comes today to every son and daughter of God who repents of his or her
    sins, who humble themselves before the Lord, and who seek forgiveness and remission
    of sin by baptism by immersion, by one having authority to administer this sacred
    ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Gospel Doctrine, page 117).

    According to the LDS Church, only they have the authority to baptism. So in effect, all Christians
    outside the LDS faith did not receive a remission of their sins.

    “Baptism means immersion in water, and is to be administered by one having
    authority, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
    Baptism without divine authority is not valid. It is a symbol of the burial and
    resurrection of Jesus Christ, and must be done in the likeness thereof, by one
    commissioned of God, in the manner prescribed, otherwise it is illegal and will
    not be accepted by him, nor will it effect a remission of sins, the object for which
    it is designed, but whosoever hath faith, truly repents and is buried with Christ
    in baptism by one having divine authority, shall receive a remission of sins, and
    is entitled to the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Only those who
    are commissioned of Jesus Christ have authority or power to bestow this gift”
    (Gospel Doctrine, pages 123-124).

    According to the LDS Church, only they have divine authority:

    “The LDS Church is the only church which legitimately bears the name of Jesus
    Christ and his divine authority” (Gospel Doctrine, page 170).

    All other churches are labelled as illegitimate.

    “The priesthood that we hold is of the greatest importance, because it is the
    authority and power of God. It is authority from heaven that has been
    restored to men upon the earth in the latter days, through the ministration
    of angels from God, who came with authority to bestow this power and this
    priesthood upon men” (Gospel Doctrine, page 176).

    It should be noted that females were prophets in both the Old and New Testaments. And
    some were even visited by angels. But there is no female prophet in the LDS Church.

    According to the LDS Church, God communicates to the church only through their Prophet:

    “Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens
    are closed and that people must face the world’s perils alone. How fortunate are the
    Latter-day Saints! We know that God communicates to the Church through His
    prophet.” (Gospel Principles, 2009, chapter 9, page 39).

    Those outside of the LDS Church are said to live in darkness. Ironically, it is the Latter-day
    Saints who believe the heavens were closed between the first century and 1820.

    The LDS Church says that Satan is the head of non-Mormon churches:

    “Of historical and theological significance is the fact that in Paul’s prophecy
    the church structure survives. But God is not at its head, making that
    church—following the appearance in it of Satan—no longer the church of God. To
    say that Satan sits in the place of God in Christianity after the time of the
    Apostles is not to say that all that is in it is satanic. Indeed, Latter-day
    Saints should rejoice—as the heavens undoubtedly do—at the great works of
    righteousness and faith, and the leavening influence on the world, of those
    whose lives are touched in any degree by Him whose gospel the Saints enjoy in
    its fulness. Still, ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16) is absent from
    all but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which the Lord himself
    has proclaimed to be ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole
    earth’ (D&C 1:30). Satan’s goal of hindering many of God’s children from
    returning to their Father’s glory is thus realized. How appropriate, therefore,
    is Paul’s description of him sitting in the place of God in the church of the
    apostasía” (Kent P. Jackson, “Early Signs of the Apostasy,” Ensign, Dec. 1984).

    The Christians in the days of Joseph Smith were reportedly worshipping a god who did not see,
    hear, eat, nor smell:

    “I would like to mention one other thing that I think is a creed that is ‘an
    abomination in the sight of God,’ and I shall mention it but briefly…. There is
    not time to go into a lot of detail, but their catechism says that their god has
    ‘no body; he has no parts; he has no passions.’ That means that he has no eyes;
    he cannot see. He has no ears; he cannot hear your prayers. He has no voice; he
    cannot speak a word to the prophets. Some of them even say ‘he sits on the top
    of a topless throne.’ How absurd! To me it seems that their description of the
    god that they believe in is about the best description of nothing that can be
    written…. Moses knew that this condition would prevail, because when he went to
    lead the children of Israel into the promised land, he told them that they would
    not remain there long but that they would be scattered among the nations and
    ‘there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which
    neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.’ (Deut. 4:28.) That is exactly the
    kind of a god the whole Christian world was worshiping when Joseph Smith had
    that glorious vision which revealed the true and living God” (LeGrand Richards,
    “Strange Creeds of Christendom,” Ensign, Jan. 1973).

    Christians outside the Mormon Church are said to worship a false Christ:

    “There is only one way provided by the Lord for man to gain salvation and
    eternal life in the kingdom of God and that is by and through the living,
    personal Jesus Christ, and by knowing and living his commandments. We cannot
    obtain salvation and eternal life by worshipping fake Christs or by living the
    doctrines and commandments of men…. The belief that God has no body, parts, and
    passions is not a doctrine of Jesus Christ or a doctrine of the holy scriptures
    but is a doctrine of men, and to worship such a God is in vain” (Bernard P.
    Brockbank, “The Living Christ,” Ensign, May 1977).

    Historical Christianity is said to be the church of the devil:

    “The historical abominable church of the devil is that apostate church that
    replaced true Christianity in the first and second centuries, teaching the
    philosophies of men mingled with scriptures. It dethroned God in the church and
    replaced him with man by denying the principle of revelation and turning instead
    to human intellect. As the product of human agency, its creeds were an
    abomination to the Lord, for they were idolatry: men worshipping the creations,
    not of their own hands, but of their own minds” (Stephen E. Robinson, “Warring
    against the Saints of God,” Ensign, Jan. 1988).

    It is said that salvation by grace alone is a heresy:

    “There is nothing more important to us—having first discovered who God our
    Father is—than to know about Christ and the salvation that is in him. The heresy
    and perversion of this truth is the common sectarian concept that people are
    saved by grace alone, without works” (Bruce R. McConkie, “This Generation Shall
    Have My Word through You,” Ensign, June 1980).

    Non-Mormon churches (and all other religions) have nothing:

    “We have the keys, the ordinances. We have everything. They have nothing.
    They cannot baptize nor ordain. They cannot wash nor anoint nor endow nor
    seal. We came away with everything, and they have nothing” (Mine Errand
    from the Lord, Boyd K. Packer, 2008, p. 498; The Holy Temple, Deseret
    Book, 1980, pp. 174-175).

    These are just some of the ways the LDS Church criticizes other churches.

  • Yeshuafriend

    Gal 1:6 “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called
    you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8
    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

    Eph 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these
    things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once in darkness, but now you
    are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all
    goodness, righteousness, and truth, 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made
    manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Shalom!

  • Rick Smith

    Love the dialogue but hate the hate. Isn’t there enough turmoil in the world without being offended by an insert that you didn’t even have to read?

    Frankly it is ironic a strong community like Carmel could be so threatened and exorcised over an ad supplement.

  • MSWallack

    My problem has less to do with the content of the advertising supplement (though the content does bother me…) and more to do with the decision by The Current in Carmel to print the supplement and the explanation editorial which demonstrates that the editors of The Current in Carmel don’t understand the First Amendment. http://blog.wallack.us/2015/07/local-newspaper-publishes-offensive.html. And, like others who have posted comments, I wonder what the boundaries are for the sort of advertising that The Current in Carmel will accept.

  • Ivan Komotious


    What we need is more commandments and more wealth

  • Larry Verrill

    I’ve stayed out of this can of worms because I new it would make a lot of people angry, but what the heck, it didn’t stop all the people before me. The majority of the 47 comments before me seemed to be against the Current and/or CLDS Religion……..
    Well what’s it going to be like when the Muslims build their ISIS recruiting station??? It will be interesting. Hope I live long enough to see and read about it.