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My Response to Delilah’s Disparaging Remarks Toward Mormonism

December 26th, 2009 by Matthew Leach

I realize this is a weather blog. But from time to time, I feel it necessary to defend myself on personal issues in my life that are being publicly attacked.

Such is the case with radio host Delilah Rene Luke’s misinformed and disparaging remarks toward the Mormon church, which I read here from the Kitsap Sun homepage. (Not the best timing on the Kitsap Sun’s part. Published on Christmas Day? Really?)

I am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I will be serving a full-time mission for my church this spring, something I have been looking forward to for quite some time. I don’t believe everyone will be receptive to what I have to say, but when someone calls the church I love and respect “the church of Satan”, which is what Delilah ignorantly and publicly stated in the aforementioned Kitsap Sun article, I can’t keep quiet.

Last time I checked, the definition of Christianity is: “The religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ”. And how “The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints” even remotely resonates as a Satanic, cult-like church is beyond me. Spending just one hour in an LDS church service is all anyone would need to know this is not “The Church of Satan”. The only churches I believe founded by Satan are those that promote hatred. Simple as that.

Another note: Ms. Luke’s hypocritical actions of taking her children out of a school teaching fundamental LEADERSHIP values, NOT Mormon values, simply because the author is Mormon is shocking. What difference is there between that and taking your child out of a school because the professor is black? Or because the teacher is teaching a book by a black author? Or maybe the Kitsap Sun should fire me because I’m a Mormon reporting the weather? Religious intolerance and racism are very similar, and in this situation religious prejudice rings especially true.

My intent is not to convert my readers to Mormonism. Heavens no. I feel my personal duty is to stand up for the church I love and support when it is being attacked, especially by a prominent member of my community. That is my job. These are my thoughts. And I’m stickin’ to ‘em.

Best regards,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

P.S. I promise I’ll get back to weather on Monday ;)

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28 Responses to “My Response to Delilah’s Disparaging Remarks Toward Mormonism”

  1. Valerie Says:

    I was pretty upset over the article also. I am not mormon, pagan here :), but I have many LDS friends and it upsets me when people think that LDS isn’t christianity. I think you have every right to stand up for your religion and am glad to see you do so. My husband has also read the book that this lady had problems with. He is pretty much atheist and really sensitive to having religions pushed on him. He had no problem with the book in question.

    By the way, since this is the first time I have commented here, I LOVE your weather blog. LOVE. I want to thank you for giving accurate and interesting forecasts.

  2. Kristen Says:

    Hello,
    I have been reading your blog for a while and I very much enjoy it. Today when I read your post I was shocked to read about what the radio host had said. I am a Christian and although I disagree with some of the teachings of the Mormon church I think that calling it the church of Satan goes a bit far. However, after reading the article that you linked in your post I think that some of what you repeated may have been taken a bit out of context. She does not call the Mormon chruch the church of Satan any more than she is implying that the Mormon church teaches yoga. I think if you go back and read it again you may see a different perspective.
    In regards to your comment about Mrs. Luke pulling her children out of the school I would like you to consider this quote from the article “…I can’t imagine someone paying money to send their kids to Brigham Young University so they can get a good basis in Mormon faith and then having their kid come home and saying his new teacher was a Catholic priest…”

    I believe that you have complete rights to express your opinion and defend your personal life in your blog but I wanted to offer andother way of looking at the situation.

    Again, I enjoy your bog and I think you do a great job.

  3. Matthew Leach Says:

    Valerie: Thanks! My English class in 11th grade read excerpts from that book. My teacher actually had an intense feeling of negativity about Mormons, yet introducing this book of leadership and life principles didn’t bother her a bit. Thanks for the comment!

    Kristen: Implied or not, we all know what she meant. That odd yoga reference was directed toward the Mormon church (as you will see in the previous paragraph). So in the next paragraph when she says “I don’t have any problem with people who want to sign up for yoga classes or attend the church of Satan if they want to” it is directed at the Mormon church. There’s no other context it could have been taken in.

    And BYU is widely respected and looked at as a prominent University and I plan on going there to pursue my broadcasting career. Both parents went there. Just because many LDS members go there should not (and does not) diminish the importance and respect of the university.

    I appreciate your comment. Thanks for bringing these points out. I was sure to read the article VERY carefully before I published this post because I didn’t want to cause a ruckus over nothing. Thank you for reading the blog!

    ~Matt

  4. Jennifer Says:

    I have never posted or commented on any of the articles I have read. However, this time I felt drawn to make a comment. I did read the article containing the quotes by Mrs. Luke. I was deeply saddened by her remarks. She claims to be a Christian?? One has to really wonder what goes on in her mind. It seems to me that she thrives on drama. I don’t listen to her show and now I never will. She should apologize for her remarks. It’s a shame that the paper is giving her so much attention. Although, it could make people see her for who she really is.
    Matt I really enjoy your blog! Keep up the good work and all the fun you have! Thank you for being you. :)

  5. cynic Says:

    I dissagree with much of the doctrine of LDS. It’s history and it’s attempts to cover up portions of it’s history are in my opinion deplorable. My opinion is my business, your belief is your business. I applaud you for standing up for your beliefs.

  6. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Matt, I am actually very proud of you for taking a stand on this issue. Here is my perspective….

    About Private Christian Education. I had the privilege in my own education to attend public schools and three years at a private Catholic school in the South Sound region. I can see this issue from both sides. While I was baptized and raised in the Catholic Church, I have not agreed with or supported many of the teachings or positions that it takes. After my marriage, I actually found my husbands more protestant style church much more to my liking and have chosen to raise my own child in a non Catholic yet still very Christian environment while still attending public school. We must all find our own way in our faith. It is individual and personal.

    Extremism. Extremism in any form or venue is a very ugly thing. Individuals like Delilah are most defiantly entitled to their own beliefs and opinions but when it crosses the line into extremist, intolerant rhetoric it becomes ugly and hateful. To use her opinions to be deliberately inflammatory, disrespectful and out right hurtful is wrong and pretty much goes against the fundamental teachings of the deep faith she is so adamant about defending.

    She has every right to pull her children from the school. I spend a lot of time and energy involved in the education process for my own child. Serving on committees, attending meetings, donating time and money. I know that if I had personally exhausted every possible avenue to be a part of both the process and the solution and was still not satisfied, I could pull my own child from any school and select another option. My husband and I did consider, at one time, sending our own child to what was then Kings West and even went as far as attending one of the open house orientations.

    What I find really wrong with this article as a whole, is the fact that much of it is based on the more inflammatory religious aspects and less on the real facts of the matter. A better timeline of the decision making events in regards to the curriculum change would have been helpful. What was the process the school used to select the curriculum? Was their a parents review board? Also more information on how involved in the review and selection process Ms. Luke and other parents were could have made this article sound less like a personal vendetta of religious intolerance and more like a true concern over the changes in educational, moral and ethical curriculum that could impact the school or the kids in a negative way.

    I would be very interested in hearing more from other parents whose children attend the school and from the administrators themselves on this matter. I certainly hope Marietta will continue to follow up on this and bring to the readers of the Kitsap Sun the other, more complete, side of the story.

    Good job standing up on this one, my friend.

  7. thana edwards Says:

    “Methinks my lady doth protest too much.” …Shakespeare. Methinks also that one or more of her 3 ex-husbands was a LDS who could not tolerate her bi-polar behavior anymore! P.S. Matt, so happy to hear you will be serving on one of our missions…TIA.

  8. Matthew Leach Says:

    Jennifer: Aw shucks, thanks ;) I appreciate your comment. We both seem to agree that a true Christian would not have responded to the school’s change in curriculum the way she did.

    Cynic: Thank you! I appreciate that :)

    Colleen: You nailed this one! That is what I think the issue is here: extremism (and intolerance) on her part, but we also didn’t get the whole story. Regardless, her quotes CLEARLY state her problem with the school system is the fact part of the curriculum will be based off a highly regarded book by a highly respected author that is Mormon. She makes that very clear, and while she has a right to say whatever she wishes, she decided to make her opinion public, and in doing so made her look really, really intolerant.

    I will request a follow up on this story. I have also e-mailed Delilah, sent her a link to this blog post, and hope she will respond. I’d like to set the record straight here! :) Thank you so much for your support, Colleen!

    Thana: I love Shakespeare! ;) I am very excited to go on my mission…I’ll be sure to post where I am called!

    Thanks for your comments and takes on the issue, guys!

    ~Matt

  9. HWSlach Says:

    Sadly, I feel compelled to add to the diatribe.

    People, let this story die! Without the attention I suspect the object of so many barbs will turn to other subject matter, things that also do not need to be reported on. A belief – right or wrong – is one’s personal reality. Just because it isn’t based on fact doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to your belief.

  10. Matthew Leach Says:

    Thanks for the comment, HWSlach. I didn’t even think this was a worthy top news story to begin with. Poor choice on the Kitsap Sun’s part, I agree.

    I hope you can understand, though, I just could not sit back and do nothing. Delilah needed to be called out on her inappropriate remarks. I have no problem with someone not believing in my church. That is A-OK with me.

    But she outright attacked the church. And this blog post is in self defense. Surely you understand my intentions?

    Best regards,

    ~Matt

  11. Cheryl Jordan Says:

    Delilah was quoted in the original article as saying “But I can’t imagine someone paying money to send their kids to Brigham Young University so they can get a good basis in Mormon faith and then having their kid come home and saying his new teacher was a Catholic priest teaching the Apocrypha.” I don’t know if she teaches the Apocrypha, but I find this information quite interesting: http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=1744. Professor Boerio-Goates is a Catholic professor at BYU. (I cannot take credit for this discovery – KathrynSimpson noted it in her comments on the original story.)
    Matt, you’ve presented your views very well and stood solidly on your ground – nice job! While I am not LDS, nor do I agree with all of the tenets of Mormonism, I can speak to the fact that the Mormons from my very small hometown are very generous, caring and genuine. To equate their beliefs, or church, with Satan is preposterous (and yes, Matt, I drew the same conclusion as you from the article).
    Good luck to you on your mission. Your forecasting is outstanding!

  12. Matthew Leach Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Cheryl! I wish more people knew that BYU is not full of strictly LDS students/professors! It is a VERY diverse university, and I am so excited to go there after my mission! Thanks for the link.

    I am also glad you are able to see where I’m coming from. I’m perfectly fine with people not agreeing with all the tenets of Mormonism, but outright attacking it, while certainly a right Delilah has, is just uncalled for regardless.

    Thanks again for your input, Cheryl!

    ~Matt

  13. JD Says:

    Matthew, you are completely off the mark here. Delilah in no way called the LDS church “the church of Satan.” Read it again. And then read it a third time. Maybe a fourth, because you clearly have missed it. Don’t put words into her mouth or tell other people what you ASSUME she meant. She was quoted, and I know full well what she was trying to say. She pays very good money to have her kids attend a school that teaches fundamental, biblical Christianity without Mormon influence or other religious texts, traditions, philosophies or tenents. I completely side with Delilah. I may not feel as strongly as she does, but she has a right to be concerned, for sure. It’s her money, and she had a certain understanding of what she expected to be taught at the former King’s school, run by Crista Ministries.

    Personally, I think Mormonism is a cult. That’s my own belief and clearly I don’t share it with everyone. But if I was paying several thousand dollars to send my kids to a fundamentalist Christian school and I thought there was even the hint of outside religious influence, I’d pull out my children as well.

  14. Matthew Leach Says:

    JD, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

    Unfortunately, I feel you have missed the point here. First of all, there is no other way her statement of “the church of Satan” could have been taken. Please read it 4, 5 or 6 more times. It is as plain as day. She made an outright attack against the church. I’d like you to tell me what you thought she meant, however.

    And it is pretty clear what you had to say in the latter half of your comments would have been very different had you read my blog post before commenting. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen R. Covey does not even hint at Mormonism, as I read it in my American Lit class while in 11th grade. It could be any book…but if it’s written by a Mormon, Delilah is “horrified” to have her children read it.

    That, my friend, is an instance of religious prejudice. We are all entitled to our opinions, but when we attack one another based on belief, I will not stand for it, especially when it attacks me and my beliefs.

    Best regards,

    ~Matt

  15. Rich Jacobson Says:

    Matt: I’m proud of you for voicing your thoughts here. I just posted my own $.02 worth on the Sun article. While Delilah has every right to withdraw her kids from Crosspoint, her premise and ensuing comments for doing so reveal a shocking degree of ignorance and prejudice. You would think that someone of her stature and popularity would possess a bit more sensitivity and tact. But obviously not!

  16. Bremertongreg Says:

    Matt…I read it the same as you did! You have every right to defend your church and beliefs! Truth is what its all about, and Delilah is very lacking in that department! God bless you, my brother in Christ!

  17. Matthew Leach Says:

    Rich: Thanks! Great to hear from you. I totally agree. She had every right to take her kids out of school, but her comments were unnecessarily harsh. Hope you had a great Christmas! Say hi to the family :)

    Bremertongreg: Thank you! Your comment made my day. Brothers in Christ are we! :) Best regards and God bless,

    ~Matt

  18. tracynalani Says:

    I am glad to see someone who is willing to stand up and be counted for their religious convictions. Delilah is a powerful media voice and her actions affect not only Mormons, but also Crosspoint (formerly King’s West) School. This is a good school that she is actively trying to tear apart and it saddens me that any one who professes to be a Christian would do such a thing.

    She certainly has the right to say why she is pulling her children from the school, but it is sad that she is doing so in such an un-informed and intolerant manner. Her diatribe against ‘re-packaged Mormonism’ is based in ignorance of what ‘Mormonism’ is.

    Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have committed myself to do my best to live the teachings of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I also believe that all people have the right to worship God in their own manner – and that people have the right NOT to worship. But I do not believe that I have the right to disparage anyone else’s beliefs. Yes, I can share my beliefs and find joy with those who accept them, but I can also find joy with those who do not. Delilah needs to remember that Christianity is all about love – simply, succinctly, and eternally.

  19. joe Says:

    Matt, I could care less about your religious convictions or Delilah the flake. Your blog is for weather not your own personal platform to change content as you see fit. Stick to weather.

  20. Tom Rosendale Says:

    Matt you are doing a great job with the weather blog by holding your head high. One must constantly question their presumptions whether it be weather or religion. In both cases, if you have diligently looked at other options, do as David Crockett recommended: “Make sure you are right, then go ahead.” Seems like you are doing a good job at both.

    After all, what is right for you, may not be right for others. Obviously Ms Luke didn’t learn that basic lesson in God’s wonderfully complicated and diverse life. Apparently she doesn’t understand that beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder. Oh, the things she is missing and apparently is willing to have her kids miss them also. I’ve often said that ignorance is only bliss to one that is ignorant.

  21. John Says:

    I have read the comments of most of the readers and I agree with with the some aspects and totally disagree with others. I am African – American and was not allowed to play basketball in a LDS church in 1972. During that same time blacks were not able to be elders or knock on peoples doors promoting that religion. I have recently been told that there are two heavens. One for blacks and one for whites. I am not making this up, I was told this by two young men , who were wearing white shirts and black slacks. If I they are wromg please let me know. If they are not then I might be leaning towards Satanism. I had a best friend in high school who grew up in Salt Lake andwas a devout Mormon , who did not go back to that faith, because they would not allow his black friend entrance. Please tell me that there is one heaven, my Mormon friends.

  22. Mark Says:

    You make some good points, Matt – Delilah is clearly bigoted in a religious sense. However, your repeated assertions that she called your church “the church of Satan” are ridiculous. She shouldn’t have mentioned “church of Satan” in this context, because intent becomes unclear, but it seems clear that she was using an extreme example in illustrating her position that people are entitled to their own beliefs. The very next sentence in the article clarifies it though, and you have been ignoring it. Her example of Catholic clergy teaching at BYU, is a very apt comparison. It’s also worth noting that she refers to a “good basis in Mormon faith” in the same sentence – hardly the way she would refer at a “church of Satan”. You need to scale back the righteous indignation a bit here, BTW, I am not an evangelical – I don’t have a dog in this fight.

  23. kramdenfan Says:

    The LDS Church is certainly not Satanic but then again neither is it Christ centered. Mormons are Joseph Smith centered, join the religion and you will find that out…

  24. cjcampbell Says:

    Matt, you are right on the mark. While we were serving our mission in the Philippines, we had to sometimes deal with this type of prejudice. Sometimes our missionaries and the people they were teaching were physically attacked. One family was killed after a minister preached to his congregation that the Mormons were a Satanic cult.

    The unimaginable arrogance of some self-styled ‘Christians’ who have taken it upon themselves to decide who is a Christian and who is not seems very un-Christian to me. People like Delilah define “Christian” so narrowly that even Jesus Christ would not qualify. Such people really need to get a life.

  25. Momof8 Says:

    Congrats on the whole “mission” thing, I applaud you.

    This story just really bothered me because Delilah assumes that Mormons are not Christians and she used her celebrity to get this article written to defend her bigotted point of view. This just feeds the anti-Mormon people. Furthermore she is afraid of a book because the author is Mormon, seriously?

    I am a convert to the faith and have attended those other churches that not only preach and teach against us LDS, but against many of the other denominations as well. I continue to be upset at how they wear the crosses around their necks and bumper stickers on the cars all about Jesus and LOVE….and then their claws come out and venom is spewed and it disgusts me. They take every opportunity to slam our faith, but yet there are so many variations within their denominations that they claim are Christian…some talk tongues, some do not, etc….yet they have no problem with each other just US. I mean they are not even really worried about Muslim extremism and attacks on our lives as much as they are about buying something from or reading a book written by a Mormon.

    Jesus was not popular in His day, he was not mainstream and many mocked and persecuted him terribly. I will stay with my faith as a LDS proudly. I do not and will follow those that preach hate and persecution and call others cults….cmon….

  26. Registered Voter Says:

    Delilah has the right to take her children out of Crosspoint if she chooses. She even has a right to misinterpret Mormonism, or any presumed link between Covey’s leadership materials and the school’s attempt to ‘indoctrinate’. Discerning people will draw their own conclusions notwithstanding another’s ignorance, and despite our best intentions, every human being has prejudices which can be rationalised.

    As for the “church of Satan” comment, she was using an extreme to express how religiously tolerant she thought herself to be. She might as well have said “I don’t didn’t care if people are New Agers or even devil worshippers”. Though the example was within the same conversation as her objection to Crosspoint and Mormonism, the context wasn’t that the Church of Latter Day Saints was the church of Satan.

    That she aspires to be “true to her faith” doesn’t exclude the possibility that she can also be intolerant – as she clearly was in this instance. Frankly, I prefer when a person make these sorts of thoughts known. Then you know what you’re dealing with..

  27. Amy Bryant Says:

    Thank you, Matt, I am feeling much the same. My only other response will be to change the radio station. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  28. thana edwards Says:

    The Messiah by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: I am following along on my own score singing the alto part (oh my! the goose-bumps!)… now what was Handel’s religious persuasion?…Who Cares!?!?!

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