Controversial Article About Mormon Taken Off Focus' Web Site

An article featuring popular radio and TV personality Glenn Beck, a Mormon, was removed last week from a Web site affiliated with Focus on the Family due to reader misinterpretation, reported The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"We did not aim to signal theological compromise, which some of our base were concerned about," said spokesperson Gary Schneeberger of Focus, which is based in Colorado Springs.

"In no case do we intend to alter our clear distinction as unwaveringly grounded in evangelical theology," he told the newspaper on Monday.

The controversy stemmed from a Dec. 19 article written by freelance writer Karla Dial about Beck and his new book The Christmas Sweater. Readers of citizenlink.org, the Web site of politically inclined Focus on the Family Action, worried the article was proselytizing ideas of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Gazette also reported that Steve McConkey, who heads the evangelical group Underground Apologetics, released a statement two days later denouncing the online publishing of the Mormon-friendly article, which is no longer available for public viewing. "Christians should be promoting the central issues of the faith properly without opening the door to false religions," he wrote, according to The Gazette.

Beck reportedly was unhappy that the story was removed from Focus' site. Schneeberger told the paper he wished no ill will. "We intended no insult," he said. "We merely miscalculated on how best to feature Glenn, whom we greatly appreciate."

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