SALT LAKE CITY — The New York Times' obituary for LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson was an example of how the modern shame culture stigmatizes Mormons for their traditional teachings and stances on social issues, Hal Boyd wrote in a Nationalreview.com op-ed Wednesday.
"If, as it sadly appears, the New York Times was, in the name of greater inclusion, attempting to stigmatize or shame a deceased LDS prophet and the Mormon faith, its efforts amount to the kind of hypocrisy more commonly associated with Hawthornean clergymen than with news organizations," Boyd wrote before quoting the Times' own David Brooks. "'The modern shame culture allegedly values inclusion and tolerance, but it can be strangely unmerciful to those who disagree and to those who don’t fit in.' Jesus Christ promised mercy to the merciful. For the rest of us, we ought to be cautious how we mete and measure."
In his article, Boyd, a former Deseret News opinion editor and co-author of the book, "Are Christians Mormon?" summarized how readers reacted to President Monson's obituary through online comments and social media, prompting a response from the Times' obituary editor William McDonald.
"McDonald's admission is admirable. We all have lapses in judgment," Boyd wrote. "But after the news of recent weeks, during which we have learned how damaging it can be to focus on a public persona while glossing over private behavior, it seems odd that the Times would not be more eager to give at least equal billing to the private life of such a person of prominence."
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