Friday, February 27, 2015

We Salute Him

You don't have to be a trekkie to know that the original Star Trek series that debuted in 1966 and ran for only three seasons is now a cult classic. And I mean cult in a good way.

Moreover, you needn't have watched every episode or seen all the movies or attended the conventions to know that Leonard Nimoy, who died today, was a cultural icon.

Star Trek is one of those unique diversions that both entertains and binds us together. Sort of like sports.

For example, say you're at a family reunion where half the relatives are believing Mormons. You can't talk about religion, of course. You can't talk about politics. You can't bring up the weather. (For fear of igniting a global warming vs. God's wrath debate.) You can't agree on appropriate attire or what is an acceptable beverage. In many cases, you can't even talk about yourself because you might be (gasp) gay, or otherwise living in - what the Mormon relatives consider - "sin."

But bring up Star Trek and the mood lightens and the conversation takes off. Everybody has a favorite episode, everyone has a favorite theory, and everyone agrees that Mr. Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, is a classic.

Today we salute him, for inspiring generations of people to forget their differences, dress up in crazy costumes, and just have fun. May he "live long and prosper" in our minds and - despite his possible disapproval - our hearts.

Two obituaries in a row! This better not be a trend. Hoping to go back to humor in March.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sorry Brethren, You Don't Own Us

At the April 2007 semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Gordon B. Hinckley, advised:
"Husbands, love and treasure your wives, they are your most precious possessions."
This was in the seventh year of the twenty-first century, over one hundred years after the Mormons stopped practicing polygamy and almost ninety years after American women got the vote.

Also it was over forty years after Lesley Gore first sang "You Don't Own Me."

Whenever I hear the song I envision Aqua Net-coiffed teenaged girls in sweater sets and knee-length pencil skirts gathered around a radio - maybe after church - and belting out the lyrics in defiance. Just like the straight-haired, bell-bottom clad girls of my day did to Helen Reddy's feminist anthem, "I Am Woman."

Of course, the Brethren, who think they do own us, consider such female role models to be tools of Satan. If that's so, I invite the Prince of Darkness to send up more of his "tools." They have an uncanny knack for being on the right side of things.

Lesley Gore died this week, too young, at the age of 68. But she left behind a legacy. She was among the most successful female solo artists of the 1960's. She was an actress as well, appearing on Broadway and, memorably, as "Pink Pussycat," Robin's love interest in the old Batman TV series.

Who could forget this scene?
Robin: How 'bout a little smooch, you're my kind of dame.
Pink Pussycat: …I'm not the kind of girl to kiss a boy on the first crime. 

She led a life that mattered. At the height of her popularity Gore insisted on completing her education and earned a degree in English and American Literature from Sarah Lawrence College. She was a feminist, and after coming out as gay in 2005, an advocate for LGBT rights, hosting episodes of the PBS series, In the Life. She is survived by Lois Sasson, her partner of thirty-three years. Also by a couple of generations of empowered female fans.

Sorry, Brethren. It's now the fifteenth year of the twenty-first century and fifty years after Lesley sang it and you still don't own us.

You can cry if you want to.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mormon Erotica Film Set for Release on Valentine's Day

Fifty Courts of Love to Debut on Valentine's Day
Salt Lake News - published February 13, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY-- Tomorrow night the LDS Church will release it's newest feature film, Fifty Courts of Love. A flight of fan fiction loosely based on the LDS Handbooks of Instruction, Fifty Courts draws on the growing popularity of "Mormon Erotica," a genre aimed at the small, but enthusiastic  segment of LDS priesthood leaders who experience libidinous pleasure when witnessing the denigration, humiliation and expulsion of the most articulate and talented members of their church.

In order to enhance what producer, Hobart Graham, calls the film's "shock and awe" value, no trailer has been released and the plot remains a guarded secret. But Graham has dropped a few hints about what viewers can expect.

"Excommunication trials have always had a kinky appeal to our audience," Graham told The News. "It's basic. You've got a woman lawyer who thinks she's so big, or a PhD who thinks he's so smart. Or a gay guy. Then real men like us get to force him or her into a cramped, uncomfortable space, ask official questions, and exercise the full power of our priesthood. Submission is sweet, right? But think about how much sweeter it will be when, thanks to poetic license, we change the venue to the basement of a Utah Valley hardware store, up the physical restraints, and expand the realm of official questions."

While the movie's release is eagerly anticipated by some, other LDS Church members plan to boycott the film.

"Sounds like smut to me," said Wilma Baxter, a 64-year-old resident of Bountiful insisted.

C. Delbert Baxter, age 66, echoed his wife's disinterest. "Mormon Erotica? I'd derive more pleasure from a documentary about cheese."

But the filmmakers, as well as church officials, believe Fifty Courts will attract a larger audience as viewer excitement grows. "Mormon Erotica is quite different from the worldly variety," said Graham. "Worldly Erotica is all about kissing and fondling and groping. Our audience isn't aroused by any of that--least of all on Valentine's Day. For us it's all about . . . discipline."

While there have been no leaks from anonymous sources directly involved in the film's production, several Utah Valley Dollar Stores are reported to be completely sold out of conservative neckties.

***And congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Brodie Awards!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Annual Brodie Awards/Super Bowl Post

This may be the best Brodie Awards season yet! 2014 boasted a record number of great LDS-themed blogs, books, posts, discussion forums and podcasts. The competition is stiff--starting with eleven sites competing for best new blog! (Including my personal favorite, Sheep Dip.)

I'm thrilled to be nominated in 5 categories this year. But, while I've managed to sneak away with a prize or 2 in years past, I don't expect to win this time around. Just check out some of my competition: Infants on Thrones, Brother Jake, runtu, Peggy Fletcher Stack (!!!), Holly Welker, and even chanson herself. With my name alongside the likes of those and the other talented writers, I am indeed thrilled just to be nominated.
That being said, vote for ME!!
One thing's for certain, this year's awards are proof that Main Street Plaza's Outer Blogness is not only not going away, it's gathering steam. What was it? Those church essays? The cheesy LDS feature length film? Joseph Smith's crazy libido? Kate Kelly's excommunication? Or was it that underwear video? For whatever reason, LDS Church leaders certainly drew attention to themselves this past year, and not always in a good way.

Vote for your favorites here in the Brodie Awards on Main Street Plaza.

Another child is corrupted
Also this past Sunday, Mark and I hosted another ExMormon Super Bowl party, giving me the opportunity to post a series of candid pictures that prove once and for all that we left because we were offended and wanted to sin.

For those of us here on the Left Coast, the Seahawk's loss in the final seconds was a crushing blow. But we jollied ourselves up with much loud laughter, lightmindedness, and evil speaking of the self-appointed--carrying on the grand tradition of partying on Sunday. :)
Everything! Even the ExMormon Funeral Potatoes.
Blue hair looks great without a temple veil

No BYU Beard Card required
 In the name of cheese and rice, amen.

Friday, January 30, 2015

So Much Material, So Little Time

Since I started this blog some years ago, there has been the occasional week when I've had to stretch to come up with some Mormon-themed topic to write about.

Then there are weeks like this one, when there's so much material I just can't decide. I almost wish I had one of those big roulette-style wheels I could spin and then go with the topic it lands on. Lacking that technology, I think I'll just list all the events, along with my brief commentary and let my readers decide which one carries the most interest.

The LDS "Pro-Gay Rights" Press Conference
On Tuesday Apostles Dallin Oaks and Jeffrey Holland, along with General Young Women's president, Sister Neill F. Marriott announced in a press conference that the LDS Church supports a state bill that protects LGBT rights, specifically in areas of employment, housing and public transportation.

Why is this interesting? On the surface because it's unusual to see the LDS Church officially back any legislation that specifically benefits the LGBT community.

But that's a tad misleading. The majority of the event was consumed by a defense of religious freedom, the implication that churches should have a greater voice than secular institutions, and the assertion that individuals who embrace bigoted views because of their religion should not be "discriminated against." According to Dallin Oaks:
"Churches should stand on at least as strong a footing as any other entity when they enter the public sphere to participate in public policy debates." (Italics added.)
--In other words, more self-centered whining from the Brethren about how persecuted they are because of their bigoted, outdated views.

Dallin Oaks' Refusal to Apologize to Gays 
In a Tuesday interview with the Tribune, Dallin Oaks said (in regard to the possibility of an official church apology to gays):
"I know that the history of the church is not to seek apologies or to give them. We sometimes look back on issues and say, 'Maybe that was counterproductive for what we wish to achieve,' but we look forward and not backward."
Then on Thursday, during a video chat, he exacerbated things further by telling Tribune reporter, Jennifer Napier-Pearce, that the word "apology" did not appear in LDS scripture.

Why is this interesting? The utter, bleeding hubris, obviously. For years, the LDS Church has marginalized gays, branded them as sinners, even conducted electroshock therapy treatment at their church-run university. The church continues to oppose gay marriage. Moreover, official doctrine still requires actively gay Mormons to confess their "sins" to their church authorities, feel sorrow over their actions, and then repent. Church leaders, on the other hand, are exempt from apologies.

What might Oaks personally apologize for? How about his answer to the question, "What if my gay son wants to bring his partner home?"
"I can imagine that in most circumstances the parents would say, ‘Please don’t do that. Don’t put us into that position.’ Surely if there are children in the home who would be influenced by this example, the answer would likely be that. . . . I can also imagine some circumstances in which it might be possible to say, ‘Yes, come, but don’t expect to stay overnight. Don’t expect to be a lengthy house guest. Don’t expect us to take you out and introduce you to our friends, or to deal with you in a public situation that would imply our approval of your 'partnership.'"
--Read the entire interview here on the official Mormon Newsroom site.

D. Todd Christofferson Promised to Expand the Mormons and Gays Website

Why is this interesting? For writers of satire blogs like me it's great news. Christofferson's brainchild, Mormons and Gays, is a veritable treasure trove of material. Beginning with this quote on its homepage:
"The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people."a
--But also because, Christofferson, who has a gay brother, seems to consider himself progressive because he advocates being "civil" in our discourse about homosexuality--thus driving home how unbelievably clueless the Brethren continue to be on this issue.

LDS Church Asking Mormons for Input on Temple Garments

There's a survey. Online.

Why is this interesting? Well, the Mormon temple garment has always been a source of fascination. Also, it must be a hopeful sign to the rank and file that there may be some less itchy, wedgie-free days in their future.

--But in this particular week, it emphasizes the point that Mormons are not only told what to think, how to vote, and who to marry, but also what to wear--right down to their underwear.

And speaking of how to vote…

Mitt Romney Decided Not to Run for President

Why is this interesting? I know there are some diehard LDS Republicans who may be shedding tears over this. But, man-oh-man, is it a relief to the greater Mormon community who were dreading another torturous year--potentially four years--of listening to our former stake president's droning voice, lame jokes, and nonsensical unprepared remarks on a daily basis. He may not have been the biggest nut in the jar, but, paraphrasing Jane Austen, we ExMormons are happy to let the other candidates have time to exhibit.

--Thanks to Ahab--who understands our predicament--and was first to surprise me with the happy news about Romney this morning.

So, Gentle Readers, which of the above carries your interest? All? Any? Or are you among the sensible majority whose thoughts are only on football this weekend?

Also, the time has arrived to vote for your favorite Mormon-themed blogs and sites in the 2014 Brodie Awards! Vote here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Abbottsville 4th Prepares for Post Dehlin Excommunication Riots

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Brother J. "Bull" Barton, Ward Preparedness Specialist
Subject: Ward Preparedness Update

In preparation for John Dehlin's disciplinary council this Sunday, I am increasing the Ward Threat Level to RED.

I have never met Dehlin personally, visited his website, or viewed any of his Mormon Stories podcasts.

However, according to my research, Mormon Stories is a forum where disgruntled anti-Mormons promote their evil agenda of gay marriage, Ordain Women, evolution, so-called "life after Mormonism," mito-something-or-other DNA, and other whiny, subversive nonsense that only serves to undermine the straight, white patriarchal way of life the Brethren insist we know and love.

In the event of this Tool of Satan's excommunication, and the inevitable rioting that will follow, all ward members are advised to lock your doors, board up your windows and brace yourselves for the onslaught of blood-thirsty feminists, gays, and intellectuals intent on their usual mischief: looting, murdering, masturbating, and boasting about "life after Mormonism."

As always, every ward member should have on hand a 1 year supply of food, a hazmat suit, at least 2 handguns, 4 rolls of duct tape, and a gallon of consecrated oil. Also scriptures, the Ensign, dominoes, Yahtzee!, Twister, and other diversions to help kill time in the bunker.

In the event that John Dehlin is not excommunicated or disfellowshipped this Sunday, all ward members are instructed to abort the above mission and the Relief Society is ordered to bake Brother Dehlin some cookies.

This concludes this Ward Preparedness Update.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails we'll assume you're silly enough to believe there is such a thing as "life after Mormonism."

--Also congratulations to X-Mormon of the Year 2014, Kate Kelly! And there's still time to nominate your favorite Mormon-themed blogs for a Brodie Award.