Dirty Tricks–Mormon Missionary Ad

No on 8 Attack Ad Distorts and Exploits Mormon Missionaries’ Image for Political Gain

Please write to MSNBC and CNN to let them know you do not approve that they
are planning on airing an anti-Mormon ad that features two men dressed like
missionaries and claiming to be from The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints ransacking a lesbian couple’s home and ripping up their
marriage license.  These two networks are planning on airing this commercial
by the organization Courage Campaign on Tuesday, Nov.4th, Election Day, in
the morning.

Follow this link to send a quick e-mail to CNN:
CNN: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form1.html?39

Use this e-mail address to send a letter to MSNBC:
letters@msnbc.com (in the subject line put “To the editor)

Thank you for speaking out against intolerance and hatred.


The Los Angeles Times reports that despite the outrage, the ad, produced by an independent group not affiliated with the official No-on-8 campaign, was shown on MSNBC and Comedy Central, according to Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign, a gay  political group.



  1. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Dear CNN

    I have heard that CNN is planning on airing an election day ad using Mormon Missionaries as tools to inflame hatred in the voters. I think this is the lowest tactic the NO on 8 campaign could possibly pull. Regardless of how you feel about the political issue, denigrating and inflaming hatred against a religion is wrong. You wouldn’t do it to the Jews. Don’t do it to the LDS.


  2. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 10:08 am

    To the Editor:

    I sincerely hope it isn’t true, but I have heard that MSNBC is airing a commercial using the image of Mormon Missionaries to inflame hatred against proposition 8. Not only is it completely false, but it is a blatant attempt to denigrate a group of good people for political gain. It is wrong to incite hate and it is wrong to take sides in this issue by running such a terrible ad. Please stand up for decency and turn down the opportunity you have to slam the Mormons. You wouldn’t slam Jews or even Catholics this way. Journalistic ethics wouldn’t allow it. Please take a second look at this tactic and it’s repercussions.


  3. prop8discussion said,

    November 4, 2008 at 10:47 am

    i hope you don’t mind but i copied this on my blog for other people to use.


    thank you for all your work!

  4. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

    This is such a dirty trick to pull. Has anyone seen the ads out on the air yet? I know they’re on youtube, I’m hoping the networks sprouted a conscience overnight. Copy away! I don’t mind a bit, copy, paste, send, go go go! It’s late in the game, but who knows what kind of effect this kind of hate bomb can have.

    We’ve worked so hard and built so many bridges in this campaign. I can’t believe anyone would think it was a good idea to dredge up images like this, inciting hate for pure political gain.

  5. Michael Heidorn said,

    November 4, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    This will allow the viewers to recognize how corrupt the procucers of CNN and MSNBC truly are. The “elite news networks” don’t report the news, they present trash and worse yet, it’s one sided trash. They have shirked their responsibilities of conscientious reporting and the airing of true honest and imagery. These are all signs of the times and its hard to watch.

  6. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    You know, in this election, they’ve been willing to trade a lot of their credibility for higher voter support for their causes. I think it will come back to bite them. You can’t watch the media without getting the impression you’re being sold on something.

    I just hope they do the right thing and keep these hateful ads off the air.

  7. prop8discussion said,

    November 4, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    i know you have a bunch of teachers watching this site, do they know about this article?


    and this is cool too:


  8. ivoteyesonprop8 said,

    November 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    This ad infuriates me. I wrote to CNN to express my opinion. Thanks for posting this video and the link to email CNN. I’m going to link to your post on my blog if that’s alright. Thanks!

  9. November 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    […] are portrayed ransacking the home of two lesbian women and ripping up their marriage license. Click here to watch the video on beetle blog and then use the link below it to write to CNN to express your […]

  10. beetlebabee said,

    November 4, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    You know, this is off subject, but I just got the most amazing robo call. It was phrased like a public service announcement, telling me that the word was in, Obama’s crushing victory was at hand and that it was pretty clear that voting through the western states was likely to follow or not make much difference. Nice huh. So…because I live in CALIFORNIA, I should just not even bother.

    Good grief.

  11. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 12:50 am

    These are the P8 internal polling stats as of yesterday evening:

    “The campaign has given me permission to share with you the results of our statewide poll last night so you know exactly where we stand.

    The vote is tied — 48 to 48.

    Among those who have already mailed in their ballots, we are down by two points, 47-49.

    Among those who have yet to vote or turn in their mail ballot, we are ahead by two points, 49-47.

    Looks like it’s going to be close.”

  12. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Prop 8 Campaign Calls for No on 8 to Denounce Inflammatory Ad

    “This ad reaches new lows of religious bigotry and intolerance,” said Yes on 8 Chairman Ron Prentice. “We hope that the leadership of the No on 8 campaign – including Senator Feinstein, Mayor Newsom and Superintendent O’Connell — as well as all Californians regardless of their position on Proposition 8, will not only condemn the ad but join us in asking television stations to refuse to air it. After all, the No on 8 campaign has been running their own television commercials saying we must all oppose discrimination and intolerance whenever we see it. The bigotry this ad shows to members of the LDS church demands action now.”

    Echoing Prentice’s call, Yes on 8 Campaign Manager Frank Schubert tonight emailed Steve Smith, Campaign Manager for the No on Proposition 8 Campaign the following request:

    “Steve – Below find a link to a deplorable No on 8 television commercial hitting the airwaves tomorrow. This commercial depicts faux Mormon Missionaries invading the home of a lesbian couple, ransacking the house in search of the couple’s marriage license, taking the couple’s wedding rings, etc. This is a blatant display of religious bigotry that has no place in political discourse. We urge Equality for All, Senator Feinstein, Superintendent O’Connell and the No on 8 Campaign to immediately denounce this commercial and join us in urging television stations to refuse to air it. After all, we must always oppose discrimination and intolerance whenever we see it.

    “Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.”

    Separately, an interfaith coalition of religious leaders representing many faiths will be releasing a statement condemning the ad. That statement will be available shortly.

  13. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Interfaith Coalition Members Condemn Outrageous Ad

    Larry Pegram, Values Advocacy Council

    “The Values Advocacy Council strongly condemns the ad being promulgated showing two young LDS missionaries perpetrating a ‘Home Invasion.’ The ad is unscrupulous, misleading, and maligns a group of very dedicated, hard working individuals exercising their constitutional rights to free speech in their support of Prop. 8,” said Larry Pegram with the Values Advocacy Council. “I urge all thinking individuals and organizations to condemn this ad as hateful, bigoted, and intolerant,” Pegram added.

    Pastor Miles McPherson, the Rock Church

    “As the Prop. 8 battle comes to a head, the smear tactics from the ‘No on 8’ campaign have become shameful,” said Pastor Miles McPherson of the Rock Church in San Diego. “While the opposition to Prop. 8 claims to be tolerant, this ad is a prime example of the great lengths to which they will go to deceive the public. This is an alarming offense to the Mormon church,” McPherson added.

    Rev. Rohn J. Ritzema, Association of Christian Schools International

    “I take strong offense to the despicable ad portraying members of the Mormon church as some type of ‘storm trooper’ that invades the privacy of people’s homes. This type of ad is totally unacceptable. People of faith, any faith, have the right to express their views without being vilified,” said the Reverend Rohn J. Ritzema, Regional Director of Association of Christian Schools International. “This ‘Home Invasion’ ad should be removed from the airwaves,” Ritzema added.

    These faith leaders joined the president of Cornerstone Christian School in Roseville, the California Catholic Conference, the pastor of Calvary Chapel Church of Thousand Oaks, and the Yes on 8 campaign in criticizing the ad.

    Although the Yes on 8 campaign called on the No on 8 campaign yesterday to denounce the ad, the No campaign still has not denounced it.


  14. beetlebabee said,

    November 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Catholic Conference Criticizes Outrageous No on 8 TV Commercial
    November 03, 2008

    SACRAMENTO, Nov. 3 — The California Catholic Conference today criticizes as “bigoted and intolerant” a new ‘No on Proposition 8’ television commercial scheduled to run on TV stations tomorrow.

    Bishop Stephen Blaire, the President of the California Catholic Conference decried the new advertisement from opponents of Proposition 8 as “a blatant display of religious bigotry and intolerance.” He expressed dismay that any public media outlet would give it an airing. “The YES on 8 campaign is not about discrimination and intolerance; it is about restoring the traditional definition of marriage for the good of society and children,” said Bishop Blaire. “All individuals and groups, whether religious or not, have both a right and a responsibility to participate in a civil debate about this important issue. From the beginning of this campaign the Catholic Conference has stressed the importance of mutual respect and denounces this type of religious bigotry.”


  15. beetlebabee said,

    November 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    It looks like the commercial was actually shown on Comedy Central and MSNBC.

    Prop. 8 protesters target Mormon temple in Westwood

    November 7, 2008
    More than a thousand gay-rights activists gathered Thursday afternoon outside the Mormon temple in Westwood to protest the role Mormons played in passing Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

    It was the latest in an escalating campaign directed against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its role in marshaling millions of dollars in contributions from its members for the successful campaign to take away same-sex marriage rights.

    Members of the Mormon church, who were strongly urged by church leaders to contribute to the Proposition 8 campaign, had an undeniable role in the measure’s victory. Opponents of Proposition 8 have accused the church of discriminating against homosexuals, but the backlash against the denomination has also sparked accusations of discrimination.

    During the campaign, a website established by Proposition 8 opponents used campaign finance data and other public records to track Mormon political contributions to the Yes-on-8 campaign. Opponents estimated that members of the church had given more than $20 million, but the amount is difficult to confirm since the state does not track the religious affiliation of donors.

    Critics of the website noted that the religious affiliations of other political donors are not generally researched.

    A commercial opposing Proposition 8 also drew criticism. In it, two actors portraying Mormon missionaries forced their way into the well-kept home of a married lesbian couple.

    “Hi, we’re here from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” one says.

    “We’re here to take away your rights,” says his partner.

    The missionaries then rip the wedding rings from the women’s fingers and ransack their house until they find the women’s marriage license, which they destroy.

    “Hey, we have rights,” one of the women says.

    “Not if we can help it,” answers the missionary.

    The ad was produced by an independent group not affiliated with the official No-on-8 campaign and was shown on MSNBC and Comedy Central, according to Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign, a gay political group.

    Jeff Flint, strategist for Yes on 8, called the ad “despicable” and said it “crossed every line of decency.”

    “I am appalled at the level of Mormon-bashing that went on during the Proposition 8 campaign and continues to this day,” he said. “If this activity were directed against any other church, if someone put up a website that targeted Jews or Catholics in a similar fashion for the mere act of participating in a political campaign, it would be widely and rightfully condemned.”

    Members and leaders of the Catholic Church and other Christian churches were also heavily involved in the campaign to pass Proposition 8. The Knights of Columbus, which is tied to the Catholic Church, gave $1 million, and several evangelical groups gave millions more. But they have not come under the same kind of attack.

    Leaders of the No-on-8 campaign said they did not believe they were engaged in Mormon-bashing. “This is not about religion,” said Jacobs. “This is about a church that put itself in the middle of politics.”

    Church officials made few public statements during the campaign. On Thursday, they issued a statement asking for “a spirit of mutual respect and civility.”

    “The Church acknowledges that such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life — family and marriage — stirs fervent and deep feelings,” church spokeswoman Kim Farah wrote in an e-mail. “No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.” She did not elaborate.

    Outside the Los Angeles temple Thursday, dozens of protesters screamed “Bigots” and “Shame on You” at half a dozen men in button-down shirts and ties who looked out at the demonstration from behind the temple’s closed gates.

  16. beetlebabee said,

    November 7, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Ruth Youth Proclaim International Mormon Appreciation Day

    MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 4 /Christian Newswire/ — In response to the truly despicable, bigoted advertisement, Home Invasion, produced to defeat California’s Proposition 8, the members of the Ruth Youth proclaim November 5, 2008 to be International Mormon Appreciation Day.

    Whereas: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are exercising their legal first amendment free speech rights by participating in the political process, rights that are dear to all Americans of all religions.

    Whereas, the advertisement was generated by an “independent” group calling itself Courage Campaign Issues Committee.

    Whereas: the ad has been condemned by representatives of Catholic and Protestant Churches,

    Whereas: the Protect Marriage, Yes on Proposition 8 campaign has called upon the No on 8 campaign to repudiate the ad.

    Whereas: the No on Proposition 8 has been completely silent in the face of this outrageous display of anti-religious bigotry.

    Whereas: the No on 8 Campaign has shown very clearly that they want the exclusive right to define what counts as discrimination and hate.

    Whereas: the campaign to protect natural marriage by passing California’s Proposition 8 has been called the largest grassroots political campaign in history.

    Whereas: attacks on the religious freedom of one group threaten the religious freedom of all religions.

    Whereas: the Ruth Youth is an international, interfaith coalition of youthful souls of all ages who support natural marriage, in law, culture, media and academia.

    Whereas: we are grateful to the members of the LDS Church for their participation in the campaign to protect marriage from being radically redefined by unelected judges.

    Whereas: We are proud to have been part of said campaign, and we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the members of the LDS Church.

    Therefore, be it proclaimed:

    We, the members of the Ruth Youth, hereby declare and proclaim November 5, 2008, to be International Mormon Appreciation Day. We hereby express our gratitude toward and solidarity with our LDS brothers and sisters.

    No matter how the election for Proposition 8 turns out, we are grateful to the courageous, dedicated, and always cheerful members of the LDS Church.

    Ruth Youth can be found on FACEBOOK or at http://www.ruthinstitute.org.

  17. December 3, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    […] are portrayed ransacking the home of two lesbian women and ripping up their marriage license. Click here to watch the video on beetle blog and then use the link below it to write to CNN to express your […]

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