经济学人:接纳摩门教徒,有容乃大
日期:2012-02-28 13:11

(单词翻译:单击)

录音原文

MORMONS are outing themselves. In 2010 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to counter misconceptions about the religion, and last October it was vastly expanded. Billboards have now gone up in a dozen American cities, featuring real members. I’m a Mormon, say lawyers, scientists and surfers, smilingly directing viewers to the church website. There the curious can chat with a missionary, or browse some 80,000 profiles to find Mormons who are like them.Over the past year, according to the church, people have initiated about 1m chats via the site, often asking about the Mormon record on gay rights, or other controversial things. And since the launch of the October campaign there have been 30,000 more Mormon profiles to look at.
摩门教徒如今开始积极地向外宣扬自己的教派了。2010年,耶稣基督末日圣徒教会投资数百万美元举办了一场活动,试图来改变人们对摩门教的一些误解与偏见,这场活动自去年10月份开始可谓开展得如火如荼。如今在美国十几个城市里你都可以看到路边的广告牌上印着形形色色的摩门教徒微笑地表示:我是个摩门教徒。他们都真实地生活在我们身边,有的人是律师,有的是科学家或冲浪者,观者们还可以从广告牌上了解到教会的网址。好奇的群众不仅可以与传教士交谈以解心中疑惑,甚至可以翻阅8万名摩门教徒的个人简介,来了解这些和他们看上去一样的普通人的生活。据摩门教会透露,去年通过这个活动,人们大约发起了1百万次聊天,聊天内容通常都是关于摩门教对同性恋者权利的观点,以及其它备受争议的敏感问题。此活动自去年10月份以来,人们阅览了超过3万摩门教徒的个人资料。

Some might think this unnecessary. In 2010 the church added some 400,000 converts and babies, pushing worldwide membership above 14m. If Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, there may be a Mormon president soon enough. In a January poll of Mormons from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 63% reckoned that acceptance of their religion is rising.
有些人认为这样的做法是不必要的。2010年时,有40万名皈依者与新生儿加入了摩门教会,此后全球的摩门教成员超过了1千4百万。如果米特•罗姆尼获得了共和党提名候选人提名,也许很快美国就要出现一位摩门教总统了。一月份皮尤宗教与生活论坛显示,63%投票的摩门教徒认为他们信仰的宗教正获得越来越多人的认可。Still, Mormonism has some way to go. The complaints against the religion are familiar. It is a young religion, and it strikes many people as weird. Its greatest breaks with mainstream society, such as polygamy, are in the past, but the church still stumbles into the occasional controversy, most recently over its opposition to gay marriage. Mainstream Christians are particularly sceptical: millions dispute that Mormons are Christians at all.
然而,摩门教要获得真正广泛的认可仍旧是任重而道远。人们反对摩门教的理由可谓是老生常谈:大家感觉这个新生的教派很古怪,甚至有些异端。而且它与主流社会的价值不符,比如早期教会经典支持多妻制度(后被禁止实行),虽然都已是过去的事了,但是时至今日教会依然常常陷入其它的争端。最近争议最大的莫过于它对同性婚姻的反对了。上百万的主流基督徒十分挑剔,他们质疑摩门教根本就不属于基督教。

The church’s professions of normalcy, like Mr Romney’s, apparently irritate some people, but the suspicions must soften at some point. Matthew Bowman, the author of a new history of the religion (and a Mormon himself), reflects that this is actually the fifth or sixth Mormon Moment since 1902, when the Senate spent several years arguing over whether to unseat Reed Smoot, an apostle from Utah. Each time, he says, the same barbs reappear. There may be a cautionary tale there. Today Smoot is remembered for his support for tariffs rather than his religion.
摩门教自认为是一个正常的宗教,正如罗姆尼所称的那样,然而如此言论显然使一些人十分不快,但是质疑的声音达到一定程度后注定要减弱。新的摩门教历史一书的作者马修•鲍曼(一名摩门教徒)表示这场争议实际上算得上是自1902年以来的第五个或第六个摩门时刻。1902第一个摩门时刻期间,美国参议院花了数年时间,一直争论是否该除去来自犹他州的摩门使徒里德•斯穆特的议员资格。鲍曼指出,每一次类似的诽语都一再地重现。这也许是个一个警示性的故事,但如今被人们所熟知的是斯穆特发起的斯姆特-霍利关税法,而不是他个人信仰的教派。

In any case, the church’s campaign could help. It confirms the impression that Mormons are nice, and makes thoughtful use of the web by asking members to post their own responses to frequently asked questions. Over time, however, Mormons will probably gain acceptance through growth as much as the other way around; a bigger church must have a bigger tent.
不论如何,教会此次举办的活动对提升教会形象还是有用的。它通过充分利用网站资源,让教众在网上关于人们最常问的话题给出自己的答复,同时证实了摩门教徒是友善而正派的。久而久之摩门教也许会通过壮大发展而会获得更多的认可,但反过来也有可能通过自发地包容外界而得以扩大发展,所以摩门教发展最重要的一点即是能够包容更多的异议。

That adds a twist to Mr Romney’s saga. Throughout his career, people have wondered if his religion will hurt his chances; polls show that about a quarter of Americans are wary of voting for a Mormon. But some people dislike Mr Romney for other reasons, and may judge his religion accordingly. If a church is trying to make friends, having any politician as its most prominent member may be a mixed blessing.
摩门教徒的身份给罗姆尼的生平平添了几分挫折。在他的事业上,人们常会疑惑他的宗教信仰会否会成为他前进的绊脚石;民意投票显示出近1/4的民众很难轻易把票投给他。但是一些人是由于其他原因而不喜欢罗姆尼,于是会连带对他的宗教抱有批判的看法。如果一个教会想扩大影响,吸纳更多信徒,那么以任何一名政客作为它最众所周知的教徒都是好坏参半,焉知非福。

背景知识

1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:耶稣基督后期圣徒教会(早期翻译为耶稣基督末世圣徒教会)是为泛基督信仰各宗派运动的一个分支,但其在信仰内容上与基督教有别,而坊间一般更常用摩尔门教这个非正式的名称。其英文简称常用LDS,即后期圣徒的英文 Latter Day Saints 的缩写。该教会是后期圣徒运动里面最大且最为人知的一个宗派,并且认为自己教会是原始基督信仰的复兴。


2. 1902年摩门时刻:二十世纪出现的绝大多数末日使徒教派是一夫多妻组织。1902年,即耶稣基督末日使徒会宣布对享有或企图享有一夫多妻制婚姻的教徒施以开除教籍处罚之后不久,位于亚利桑那州西北部,犹他边境南部地区的肖特克里克(现在的科罗拉多市)便出现了第一个一夫多妻教会组织。随后,在墨西哥和盐湖城也形成了类似的组织。教会和联邦当局始终企图消灭这类多配偶组织,尽管其会员从未超过三万人。

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重点单词
  • reappearvi. 再出现
  • controversialadj. 引起争论的,有争议的
  • disputev. 争论,争议,辩驳,质疑 n. 争论,争吵,争端
  • dislikev. 不喜欢,厌恶 n. 不喜爱,厌恶,反感
  • tentn. 帐篷 v. 住帐篷,宿营
  • countern. 计算器,计算者,柜台 [计算机] 计数器 adj.
  • curiousadj. 好奇的,奇特的
  • prominentadj. 杰出的,显著的,突出的
  • irritatev. 激怒,使 ... 发怒,使疼痛或发炎
  • thoughtfuladj. 深思的,体贴的