Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ho Ho Ho! Now Pay Your Tithing (Again)

Note to my dear Readers: this post was originally published on December 28, 2009 when the only people reading my blog were either family members or people who owed me money. I trotted it out for a second run in the hope that more might enjoy it. Also so Mark and I can spend the day celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary. Enjoy and happy holidays!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Ward Mission Leader, H. LaVar Turley
Subject: The blessings of tithing

Less Actives can be so selfish. Always carping about tithing. Claiming it's too expensive and they can't afford it, even inventing delusional complaints about church finances. Some pay only five percent, some none at all. At times we're tempted to leave them to their sinful choice. After all it's theirs to make. But here's the thing. No investment is more important than Heavenly Father's tithe. Consider how the Less Active squanders the Lord's due: designer clothes, sports cars, and boozy marathons in front of the porn channel. Face it, he's selfish, and in need of spiritual repair. So when I learned that a number of Less Actives have yet to sign up for tithing settlement, I thought, it's a cry for help.

The following exchange occurred in the living room of one such Less Active:

Me: Good evening Brother Selfish. I've brought my wife's famous nut loaf.

I set the gift on his coffee table.

Brother Selfish: You didn't come here to give me nut loaf. You want me to pony up the dough, and if I refuse, the bishop won't let me in the temple for my only daughter's wedding. It's blackmail, that's what it is.

Me: Oh you! I would never suggest such a thing. I merely want to testify of the many ways paying a full tithe can bless your life.

Brother Selfish: Like losing my house? That's what'll happen if I don't make the mortgage this month.

Me: Brother Selfish, you need to have more faith. The Lord will provide. In the mean time, the ward can put you up at the Pine Cone Motel.

Brother Selfish: I don't want to stay in that dump.

Me: But Brother, the church picked it up for a song. We're renovating it to house members in need. A boy from the third ward has taken it on as his Eagle Scout project.

Brother Selfish: Great. And what am I supposed to eat?

I nudge the nut loaf in his direction. He rolls his eyes.

Brother Selfish: I'm also behind on my taxes. If I don't pay them now, I could go to prison.

Me: This is serious indeed. But look on the bright side. It would solve your housing problem. And in the final analysis, which would you prefer -- federal prison or Spirit Prison? Anyway, aren't you bothered by the way the government wastes your money?

Brother Selfish: At least I know how it wastes it. I've no idea what the LDS Church does with my tithing, it doesn't report its finances.

Me: You expect the Lord to report His finances? Would you expect Him to report when He plans the next earthquake, flood, or heat wave?

Brother Selfish: No. I just want to know what He does with my money.

Me: Why you're implying that you don't trust the Lord. That you don't trust His church. That you think Joseph Smith made the whole thing up. That the LDS Church is a big fraud that promises eternal life in exchange for bilking people out of their savings. Like one of those miracle skin creams.

Brother Selfish: You mean the kind those young, perky people sell door to door?

Me: Exactly!

I set the tithing envelope on the table next to the nut loaf.

Brother Selfish: I know one thing the church is doing with my money. They're tearing down historic structures to build that ostentatious commercial mecca next to temple square in Salt Lake.

Me: Isn't it marvelous! The City Creek development will include shopping, theaters, restaurants and condominiums. Everything to make our church headquarters the shining beacon it has become.

Brother Selfish: Uh-huh. So if I pay my tithing, do I get a discount at the mall?

I burst out laughing. He falls silent.

Me: Only the mall in heaven.

I laugh a little more, sober then meet his eyes. My heart brims with compassion.

Me: I understand your only daughter is set to marry in the Oakland temple this spring.

Brother Selfish: Why you miserable @#$%ing little piece of $*^%.

He pulls his checkbook from his pocket. I supply him with a pen.

Me: Don't forget to include ten percent of Sister Selfish's income.

Brother Selfish: She died last May.

Me: Which was within the Lord's fiscal year. Wouldn't want her waiting outside the pearly gates, postage due.

Brother Selfish: Don't push it, ^%$-face.

He signs the check then sends it kiting across the room. I grab for it once, twice, then finally nab it before it floats behind the couch.

Me: Have a happy New Year.

Brother Selfish: Get the ^%$ out of my house.

I sing a cheery too-da-loo and march triumphantly through the door. It slams behind me.

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, take it up with Brother Turley when he visits.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End Of The World Confessional To The Abbottsville Fourth

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Wilbur T. Nussel, 2nd Counselor in the Elders' Quorum Presidency
Subject: I confess just in time for the apocalypse

At first I was a little skeptical about the whole Mayan calendar doomsday prediction for 12/21/12. But then I saw women wearing pants to church last Sunday and I realized that it truly is the end of the world. So before I meet my maker, I'd better get a few things off of my chest.

First, to Bishop Zimmerman, I still have that hammer you lent me last year, and I admit I had no intention of returning it . . . until now. I'll try to get it back to you before tomorrow.

To Sister Renfro, I'm sorry to say that I'm the one who dented your fender in the church lot last April.

To all of you, remember how I used to get up in Fast and Testimony Meeting and apologize for offending people? Well, the truth is, I wasn't sorry. I mean, let's face it, Brother Harold does have doggy breath, Sister Riley probably has the biggest caboose on the planet, and the whole ward knows that Brother Gibson is gay. So I wasn't sorry and I apologize for lying to you.

I must also apologize to the 6 or 7 people I accidentally poisoned at the last ward potluck. That's right. It was my casserole. But honestly, who knew Spam had an expiration date?

To the Spencers, when I housesat for you in June I snuck into your file cabinet and reviewed your past tax returns. Also I used some of your "cooking" wine for medicinal purposes, and I'm afraid I'm responsible for that mysterious stain on Sister Renfro's thong panties. (My bad.)

To Brother Jeffries, I admit I've entertained many impure thoughts about your wife. Heck I'm not the only one. The woman has a body that won't quit. But I swear I wasn't the one who leaked those naked pictures of her onto the Internet. Also, I totally believe that it's just her head photoshopped onto another woman's body.

To Jenny, I really shouldn't have gone that far with you in the backseat after the stake Mix and Mingle. Your dad's right. I should marry you and make you an honest woman. Only now it's too late.

I hope this clears me with my maker and that tomorrow I'll see each and every one of you in the Celestial Kingdom, because you guys are the best ward ever!

Now I'm going to go out and return all of your Christmas presents.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, just wait until tomorrow.

Also watch this review of The Girls From Fourth Ward and 2 other great Mormon-themed books by Bishop Flat Lander! Hint--Just in time for "Smithmas."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just Wearing Pants Isn't Enough!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Mark Crawford. ward inactive token gay who still gets the emails
Subject: Wear Pants to Church Day

My dear friends in the Abbottsville Fourth Ward,

As many of you know, this Sunday is Wear Pants to Church Day, an event created by Mormon feminists that invites LDS sisters everywhere to wear slacks to church in order to promote gender equality.

When I heard about this, my heart was touched and I became filled with the spirit. So much so that for the first time in years, my husband, Byron, and I have decided to attend church on a Sunday when my mother isn't even in town.

But as much as I approve of this protest, I am afraid that it will fall way short of the desired goal. It's based on a faulty assumption. The event's organizers claim the following:

We believe that much of the cultural, structural, and even doctrinal inequality that persists in the LDS church today stems from the church's reliance on – and enforcement of – rigid gender roles that bear no relationship to reality.

Sounds reasonable all right. But here's the problem: since when have the straight white guys running the LDS Church had any relationship to reality?

Consider the rational responses left in the comment field on the event's Facebook page. The people we are dealing with are not at all ashamed to publicly state the following:

LMAO! Geez! haha...what the hell is WRONG with women in our society these days? If you're going to wear pants, they might as well get penis implants too, to make them even MORE masculine.**


The beauty of an event like this is that it EXPOSES the most angry, prideful women in the church. The types that are SO selfish and arrogant that they'll destroy marriages and families and harm innocent children by demanding divorce.** 


I'm exhausted with feeling the obligation to be "half gay" in order to feel attracted to the "new and improved" arrogant "manly" women in American society.**

Get it Abbottsville Fourth? When dealing with what has to be the most clueless demographic in American society, reasonable people cannot rely on subtlety to get their point across. The racist, homophobic, misogynistic pricks in charge need to finally get it through their thick skulls that we aren't buying into their bullshit. We need to speak their language.

In that spirit and out of the goodness of our hearts, Byron and I mixed up some dry martinis and prayed for guidance.

Halfway through the second pitcher we received the following revelation about the LDS hierarchy: The white male pricks in charge never miss an opportunity to verbally fart the usual bullshit theories they've invented for the sole purpose of ensuring that they remain the white male pricks in charge. By the end of any given Sacrament Meeting, there's so much gas in the room that the tiniest spark could blow the entire building to smithereens. 

No wonder they don't allow candles.

This Sunday let's beat them at their own game. In addition to wearing pants, we encourage every like-minded progressive ward member to bring his or her favorite flatulence device to church. Then be poised to activate it at the first whiff of verbal methane from the Brethren. When they let one rip, we'll let one rip.

Byron and I will arrive at the ward meetinghouse early on Sunday armed with extra whoopee cushions and electronic farting devices. If we run out, participants can always fall back on the simple razzberry. Hopefully this will get our message across. If not, we may have to undo our trousers, bend over and moon the moronic misogynist asshole who is still too thick to get the message. 

For more information visit our new Facebook event page: Drop Your Pants in Church Day. (You may want to mix up a pitcher of dry martinis first.)

**The above quotes are actual quotes on an actual Facebook page, not satire written by the blog owner. She's not that good.

--Update! It appears the Wear Pants to Church Facebook page was just shut down, so you'll now have to take the blog owner's word on what was in the comment field. But come on! Has she ever lied to you? :-)

--Second Update! The page is back up again -- as of 12/14/12 10:40 AM, anyway.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mormons And Gays

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Mitchell Knightly, President of the Abbottsville Stake
Subject: The Church reaches out to gays and lesbians

Recently the Brethren made the following statement regarding our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters:

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex issue for the LDS Church. That is because we have long held the position that homosexuality is a vile and unnatural orientation. Only we can't really say so anymore because when we do people call us prejudiced and sometimes even quit attending church.
In that spirit, we reach out to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We understand that many of you may not have chosen to become gay. But even if Heavenly Father accidentally gave you this so-called tendency, He certainly didn't intend for you to act upon it. We know this is difficult for you, our dear "unique" brothers and sisters. But here's the good news: if you remain either celibate or in a completely unsatisfying heterosexual marriage, after you die there's a good chance that you will be resurrected as a normal person. 
Be strong, be stedfast, and remember you are not alone. The same is true for our brothers and sisters who are kleptomaniacs or serial killers or would-be sex traffickers. They must also abstain.
But the bottom line is, we love all of you, and from here on we intend to be nice to you. As long as you are doing your best to pretend that you're not gay, you don't have to feel too guilty about it, probably shouldn't commit suicide, ought to come out to church, and definitely need to keep paying your tithing.
In conclusion, this is not a change in the LDS Church's policy on gays and lesbians. We have always believed this, just as we have always believed that Blacks are equal and that marriage is between one man and one woman. This policy will continue to be our long standing position until it is replaced by a new policy that again represents what we have always believed.
For more information go to 
If you would like to stop receiving these emails we encourage you not to act upon it.

ALSO--Check out this new 5 star review for The Girls From Fourth Ward by Bishop Flatlander!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

He Wouldn't Have Made A Great Mormon

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Larry Hagman, 1931-2012

As an English major at BYU, I sat through countless classroom discussions in which devout believers claimed that whomever we were studying would make "a great Mormon." I heard this theory applied to Emerson, Thoreau, Dostoyevsky, Emily Dickinson, Orwell, Hemingway, Eugene O'Neill and Mark Twain.

In the broader BYU community the range of potential converts expanded to include various headliners of the day, such as President Jimmy Carter, President Ronald Reagan, Alexander Haig, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, the cast of Three's Company and Barry Manilow.

But there was one celebrity of the late '70's and early '80's that, in my recollection, never earned this accolade: Larry Hagman.

I was a junior at BYU when the TV series Dallas premiered and propelled the wheeling and dealing J.R. Ewing into the American consciousness. The show was immediately denigrated by the campus devout as a filthy, disgusting, demoralizing program that no virtuous LDS coed would ever be seen watching.

My roommates and I never missed an episode.

It was--and perhaps still is--the best of bad TV. Classic soap opera schlock in an outrageous fashion era, with frame after frame of big hair, big diamonds, shoulder pads, ruffled tuxedo shirts, and silk breast pocket handkerchiefs. It helped that it was set in the locale of conspicuous consumption at the moment America was poised to embark on its own era of conspicuous consumption.

Did Americans love greedy, scheming, corrupt capitalists bent on depleting the planet's oil reserves? We must have. How else does one explain the past 30 years of U.S. fiscal policy?

But it was also the cast and characters. Larry Hagman played the villainous J.R. with just the right hint of irony. He was evil, to be sure, but there was also a smile and wink implied at the end of every line. Linda Grey was superb as Sue Ellen Ewing, J.R.'s long suffering alcoholic wife who dressed in couture and somehow managed to make the DT's look elegant. Also worth noting were J.R.'s various paramours. A lengthy list that included a former Stepford Wife (and cast member of Gilligan's Island), a Bond girl, a Miss USA, and a Ford Model. It seemed at the time that all the talent wanted to get into bed with good ol' J.R.

Then there were the over the top plots. A shooting that had the entire country on edge during the rerun season. Annual Ewing Barbecues and Oil Barons' Balls that culminated in either a corporate takeover or a brawl, or at the very least a few drinks tossed in some faces. Big gaudy weddings where the attendees collectively held their breath when the preacher asked if "anyone has just cause to believe these two should not be married." Calamitous pregnancies that were rushed to emergency rooms where hunky doctors asked distraught husbands, "If it comes down to me having to make a choice." Kidnappings, nervous breakdowns, bouts of amnesia, and hotheads barging into offices with the secretaries running behind saying, "I'm sorry, sir I tried to stop him." Awesome.

Even when it was at its worst it was good. Who can forget that disastrous "it was all a dream" device employed in Season 10 to resurrect Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing? Universally panned, the bad plot only served to draw bigger publicity via continual spoofing. The best example being the finale of Newhart when Dick (played by Bob Newhart) is knocked unconscious outside of his Vermont inn then, in the next scene, wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette on the set of The Bob Newhart Show.

Linda Grey as Sue Ellen
My roommates and I claimed we never took Dallas seriously. It's true we laughed our asses off most weeks. But I admit I got sucked in now and then. How could I not be sucked in when Sue Ellen, disgusted with her husband's philandering, secretly bought a lingerie company. Knowing of J.R.'s aversion to "trashy" women, she then deviously employed his current mistress as the company pinup girl. -- I should mention that Sue Ellen also had her own string of male paramours that included an Armani model and Chippendale dancer. -- This was a world away from a BYU singles' dance.

In real life, Larry Hagman was a family man, married to his wife Maj for 59 years. He was a member of the Peace and Freedom Party and an advocate for solar power, the legalization of marijuana and other left-leaning causes.

With Henry Fonda in Fail Safe
He also played rolls outside of the series, Dallas. He starred in I Dream of Jeannie opposite Barbara Eden, of course, but he also gave a fantastic performance as the president's Russian interpreter in the film, Fail Safe. After Dallas, he did more impressive work in films such as JFK and Primary Colors. He was in the midst of filming a sequel to Dallas when he died in Dallas, Texas on Friday, November 23, 2012. At his bedside were his wife and his family, also Linda Grey and Patrick Duffy.

Larry Hagman said that the real success of Dallas was that more people now associate Dallas, Texas with the television series than with the Kennedy assassination. Likewise, there are pundits who claim that Dallas was so popular in Eastern Europe that it led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I'm not sure that Dallas deserves much credit for ending the Cold War, any more than Dallas, Texas deserves much blame for the Kennedy assassination.

But Dallas sure contributed to the future liberation of this former BYU coed. And I agree with my devout friends. Larry Hagman would have made a lousy Mormon.

Although I'd have paid big money to see him play Satan in the temple movie.

May he rest in peace.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Opportunity For Wealthy Republican Donors

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: T. Loren Dunn, Ward Financial Clerk
Subject: Convert your wealthy Republican friends!

Disappointing as they were, the results of the recent national election have uncovered a new demographic of potential converts. And just in time for tithing settlement!

In light of this exciting discovery, the Brethren in Salt Lake City have sent the following mailing out to all wealthy Republican donors:

Not interested in paying your fair share of taxes but eager to give billions to a super-pac with a contrived world view and virtually no relationship with math and science? Eager to invest in an organization that doesn't explain how it spends your money and does seemingly nothing for you in return? Do you believe that the definition of legitimate rape is the pressing moral issue of our time? In other words, have you enjoyed being a Republican these past 4 years? Then you'll LOVE being a Mormon! Contact your local LDS ward meetinghouse for details.

Be ready, Abbottsville Fourth, for what is sure to be a mythic influx of membership in the coming weeks!

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, call the ward meetinghouse and have your credit card handy. Also, check out this nifty post on ExMormon Mavens!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Keep Campaigning Abbottsville Fourth!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Dennis Newsome, Stake Public Affairs Council
Subject: Keep up Appearances!

Dear Abbottsville Fourth,

I feel your pain. The election is over and the Lord's candidate lost. The white male patriarchy that was divinely called to lead our once righteous nation has been overthrown by a bunch of multicolored men and women who want to expand the definition of legitimate rape and let any 2 consenting adults get married "just because they love each other."

Of course you're angry. The Brethren are too. And the fight for righteousness will go on.

But for now I remind all of us to love our neighbors. Not because we do, necessarily, and certainly not because Heavenly Father wants us to. But because if we don't at least act like we do, the nonmember community might think that we're a bunch of misogynistic, homophobic, small minded sore losers.

Remember, the election may be over, but the LDS PR campaign continues!

In that spirit, I encourage all ward members to bake a batch of cookies and take them over to the feminist, gay, intellectual or otherwise immoral nonmembers next door and tell them that they're special.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails we want you to know how special we think you are.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

LDS Rush In To Help Storm "Victims" (Even Though It's Their Fault)

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Brother J. "Bull" Barton, Ward Preparedness Specialist
Subject: Ward Preparedness Update -- The "victims" of Hurricane Sandy

Due to the disastrous East Coast super storm that was brought on by the region's feminists, gays, and intellectuals, I have decided to maintain the Ward Threat Level at RED.

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.

After all, we reside in that infamous hotbed of evil sinners, otherwise known as the Left Coast, and must take extreme measures to protect our way of life. The feminists, gays, and intellectuals have us surrounded, and they are up to their usual mischief: looting, murdering, masturbating, causing high tides, torrential rain and flooding, and then blaming the whole thing on global warming.

Nevertheless, it seems there are an alarming number of bleeding hearts in our ward who actually want to send help to the "victims" on the East Coast who caused the whole thing in the first place. Even more alarming, I hear that many of you are prepared to give to what is surely the most scurrilous and sleazy scam ever concocted: The American Red Cross.

Don't Do It Abbottsville Fourth!

Think about it. The American Red Cross is asking people to donate money and give blood. HA! Who do they think they're fooling? Not Brother J. "Bull" Barton, that's for sure.

Instead of the Red Cross, I urge members of the Abbottsville Fourth Ward to donate to a far more honest and responsible relief organization: The Romney Campaign.

Even as we speak, the former governor is tirelessly collecting canned goods to send to the "victims" -- in open defiance of the selfish requests of the Red Cross. 

Send a check to the Red Cross and you've no idea where the money will go. Send a check to Romney and you can supply a displaced family in Queens with an entire case of creamed corn.

In that spirit, I advise all members to search their food storage for leftovers to send to the "victims." (This could be a great way to weed out items that are past their expiration date.) In addition to food, I will also be collecting hazmat suits, duct tape, gallon jugs of consecrated oil, spare handguns, back issues of The Ensign, and Yahtzee!

Finally, thanks to us, real relief will be on its way to the "victims." Even though they caused the whole thing themselves.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll assume it's because you're exhausted after causing the hurricane.

**Also thanks to Ahab for posting the above link that in turn helped to inspire this post.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Attend The ExMormon Conference

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Too busy for your emails

Dear Abbottsville Fourth,

Sorry, but I've been far too busy to read your emails 'cause I just attended the amazing ExMormon Foundation Convention. I blogged about it here on Main Street Plaza.  Or read below:

I first attended the ExMormon Conference in 2001. Back then it was held in Las Vegas. The event included two powerful open mic sessions, a couple of afternoon presentations that I admit I've forgotten, and a fantastic talk by Richard Packham. After Richard's remarks came an insanely irreverent "talent" show that featured a belly dancer, an actor who gave a convincing performance of  Brigham Young and various skits of dubious quality. (I landed the minor role of a drunken Primary chorister.) Oh yes, that reminds me. There was drinking -- plenty of drinking, thanks to an overflowing cash bar staffed by a tireless bartender. After the show, Brigham and the belly dancer left to party together in the casino, while the rest of us retired upstairs to the Hospitality Room for ... you guessed it ... more drinking.

When I think of the 2001 ExMormon Conference in Las Vegas, two things stand out in my memory. First, the embarrassing spectacle of middle-aged people getting drunk for the first time in their lives; and second, the painful and emotional confessionals that dominated the two open mic sessions. People who had recently left the LDS Church came to the podium with stories of rejection, severe depression, suicide attempts, extreme ecclesiastical abuse, and most of all, fear. While there were a few who claimed to have moved beyond, the vast majority of those who "testified" before the convention were still very much victims. They feared discipline from church authorities and shunning from their family and friends, so much so, that many refused to be filmed or to use their real names. It may have been the ExMormon Conference, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still seemed to quietly preside. But then, every movement has its early days. I suppose these were ours.

So how did 2001 measure up with 2012? Well, for starters the conference had been moved to Salt Lake City, just minutes away from Temple Square. Also the mood was decidedly different.

Half an hour into the Friday night's opening program, David Twede of Mormon Think strolled up to the podium of the open mic session and announced that he was resigning from the LDS Church. He then read his highly amusing exit letter that offered no apologies or explanations. -- Only a request for the latest "temple hottie," Eve's, phone number and the hope that the Brethren will discipline the next Mormon Think editor so that the website's popularity might be propelled "into orbit around Kolob." Then he held his laptop up for the audience to see and pressed "send."

On Saturday there were some presentations I will never forget.

Tom Donofrio delved into the origins of the language in the Book of Mormon, citing sources ranging from Solomon Spaulding to Shakespeare to Jonathan Swift. (Guess what Gulliver's first name was. - snort - Lemuel.)

Sue Emmett spoke about the encroaching influence of religious extremism on our government, a topic she's been researching since the author and investigative reporter, Jeff Sharlet, spoke at the conference a couple of years ago. (See, we're branching out beyond Mormonism now.)

Grant Palmer's fantastic talk, "My Ah-ha Moments While Researching Mormon History," drew heavily on his excellent book, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. However he also spoke about the lack of vitality in today's LDS Church and its borderline desperate attempts to regain ground by changing its approach to history and scripture (as shown by the firing of Daniel C. Peterson); also its efforts to reinvigorate the flagging missionary program (as shown by the Brethren's recent change in the minimum age requirement for full time missionaries.) In what was perhaps the most powerful analogy of this year's conference, Palmer compared today's LDS Church to "a helium balloon that's been hanging in the corner of the room for the past three days."

I unfortunately had to miss Lori Fazzino's presentation. (That's the trouble with having family in Utah.) She spoke about "Becoming Unsaved: The Road to Deconversion and Beyond." I heard it was fantastic.

Finally "Wade Wilson" - otherwise known as Raptor Jesus - gave a hilarious and poignant account of his mission experience and the post-traumatic stress disorder that followed. Unlike 2001, "Wade" was the only person that I met at this year's conference who used an alias. It wasn't because he was afraid of being shunned by his family, however. He just didn't want to hurt their feelings.

People who were there at the beginning of San Francisco's Gay Rights Movement say the population of the city's famous Castro district began as a party heavy crowd of closeted gay revelers who clung to their anonymity for fear of being shunned by their loved ones. Today the Castro is a family friendly community of openly gay and lesbian citizens and activists.

Perhaps that's the direction the ExMormon Movement will take. At any rate, at the ExMormon Foundation Conference 2012 the LDS Church hung in the corner of the room like a three day old helium balloon. Meanwhile, the ExMormons stepped forward to preside with confidence, good humor and much hope for the future. But there were no skits or belly dancers. And, Bo, who tended Friday and Saturday night's cash bar, found himself with long stretches of time on his hands.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Musings From The Mission Field: I Was Way Ready At 18

To: abbottsville fourth ward
From: elder young, france paris mission
Subject: the new mission ages are true!

dear abbottsville fourth,

It was one of those times when you'll always remember where you were when you heard. Like the moon landing or when we captured bin laden or when the monica lewinsky story broke.

last saturday President Monson changed the age of full time missionaries from 19 to 18 for men, and from 21 to 19 for girls and cut their preparation time in the missionary training center.

and where were comp and i? 
sitting in the church on rue st. merri. 

and what did we do when the news broke? 
me, comp and all the other elders lept in the air, gave each other high 5's, ran out onto the rue st. merri and did a little happy dance all the way to the george pompidoo center and back. WOO HOO!
:-)))))))))))))))) hahahahahaha

only after that we were kind of bummed because that horse faced sister missionary and some other old maids were acting all bossy and prideful and saying that 18 was too young for us guys to go on missions and that we needed more not less training. :-(((((((

shows you how much THEY know. we're talking about lds priesthood holders here!!!! they're more than ready to serve at 18. heaven knows I was. and anywho, if an occasional elder is a little on the greenish side, he'll have seasoned elders like good old comp and me to raise him up to our level of spiritual maturity. :-))))))))

also missionaries need less not more training. take comp and me. we spent way too much time learning french. every time we try to talk to parisians in french all they do is shout back a bunch of words we weren't allowed to translate at the MTC. what good is that.???

all a missionary really needs to learn at the MTC is some unique door approaches, clever comebacks to all of satan's arguments, a commitment to "never take no for an answer," a little jujitsu, some basic escape and evasion tactics, and the ability to run like heck at a moment's notice. voila! hahahaha :-))))))))))))))

so take that sister horse face and all you other miss bossy pantses. face it, what's really bothering you is that the new 19 year old sister missionaries are going to be way hotter than any of you and when you get back home youll all be in your mid-twenties and too over the hill and fat and prideful to get dates. SO THERE! :-PPPPP

thanks again for all the care packages, especially sister renfro's coconut filled mud balls. please send more. it takes alot to sustain our testimonies! :-))))))))

love, elder young

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we suggest you learn some basic escape and evasion tactics.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Fasting Worked!

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Dennis Newsome, Stake Public Affairs Council
Subject: Yay! We won!

Woo-hoo! The Public Affairs Council of the Abbottsville Stake couldn't be more pleased with the results of last night's debate. But we must extend our apology to the faithful members of the Abbottsville Stake. Boy were we were wrong.

Fasting was enough!

Sure Daniel C. Peterson deserves credit for providing Romney with an apologetic version of his proposed tax cuts. And it turned out that Elder Henry B. Eyring served as a pretty good stand-in for Obama during the practice debates. (Who knew?)

But in the final analysis, the real credit goes to you, the faithful rank and file members of the one and only true church, who ensured Romney's victory through prayer, fasting, righteous living and obedience to the gospel. 

How else could a candidate so lacking in logical arguments, ideas, basic communication skills, humility, sincerity and actual answers to the questions have managed to prevail in a national debate?

Don't be modest Abbottsville Stake, we all know it's you who delivered the goods for Mitt. Give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back.

Then get back to work! The election is only weeks away and there are two more debates to go. The salvation of the Free World now depends solely on your fasting, prayers, obedience to the gospel and your personal righteousness. Drop the ball now and the Constitution may soon be hanging by a thread. 

And it will be entirely your fault.

Have a nice day!

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll send you a copy of Daniel C. Peterson's apologetic version of the Romneys' recent tax returns.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fasting For Mitt Isn't Enough!

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Dennis Newsome, Stake Public Affairs Council
Subject: Fasting for Mitt

The Public Affairs Council of the Abbottsville Stake encourages all members to participate in the upcoming fast for Mitt Romney to win the presidential debate. I can assure you the candidate appreciates your fasting and prayers.

But he needs more. Unfortunately, Mitt's tireless service in the one and only true church has not prepared him for success in a national campaign. Worldly voters expect a knowledge and understanding of their concerns, racial sensitivity, ideas, logical arguments, a respect for women, sincerity, basic communication skills, humility, and actual answers to the questions. Since when does the average member of an LDS High Council waste his time with any of that? Am I making my point, Abbottsville Stake? Romney needs more that the average debate prep.

Because he now has so much time on his hands, Daniel C. Peterson has generously offered to advise Mitt on the crafting of a new apologetic version of his tax returns, health care plan, foreign policy, proposed tax cuts, and his views on climate change. Thus prepared, Romney will finally be able to demonstrate his firm handle on the issues.

Where the campaign is falling short, however, is in finding an Obama stand-in for the mock debates. Romney's first sparring partner was Elder Henry B. Eyring, who couldn't quite capture the "sexy wow!" factor. After that Elder Boyd K Packer gave it a go, but failed miserably for reasons that would offend 90% of the electorate, Clint Eastwood, and even a few people in the Abbottsville Stake. Then they finally thought they had a shoe-in with Jon Huntsman, only he couldn't stop laughing long enough to get through the first round of questions.

The situation becoming desperate, the Romney Campaign ran a tastefully worded ad in the Deseret News, which has so far attracted no qualified candidates. With the debates beginning in days, the campaign has no choice but to extend its ad circulation to the entire Mission Field! If you are or know of a qualified person to stand-in for Obama in Romney's practice debates, PLEASE contact the campaign immediately:
The Romney campaign is looking for a white LDS priesthood holder to stand-in for President Obama in the practice debates with Governor Romney. Qualified candidates must demonstrate a familiarity with the constitution, an interest in the current geopolitical climate, an understanding of the U.S. tax code, a respect for women and people of color, a tolerance toward those of different sexual orientations, a logical mind, good communication skills, and a thorough understanding of all of Satan's arguments. Current temple recommend holders only, please. Applicants will not be required to submit their birth certificates.
Get busy, Abbottsville Stake! The future of the free world depends on us!

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll assume you're one of those worldly voters who expects his leaders to have "actual answers to the questions."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review of The Girls by Chanson on Main Street Plaza!

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: If I do say so myself...

My novel, The Girls From Fourth Ward, got another great review, this time from the talented C.L. Hanson, author of ExMormon. Here's an excerpt:
What if your bishop is a petty tyrant who loves nothing so much as the power he has over other people’s lives. You can’t simply switch to another ward. So, well… Somebody has to off him. But who?
That’s the premise of Donna Banta’s delightfully entertaining and totally Mormon murder mystery The Girls from Fourth Ward.
As I’ve often said, I think the best art achieves universality by rendering with great fidelity a specific milieu. In this case, the story of people lashing out secretly against an authority whom they can’t confront openly could be set in almost any human society, yet the story is enriched by a number of Mormon-specific components . . .
Read the entire review by C.L. Hanson (aka Chanson) here on her popular blog, Main Street Plaza.

(Eat your hearts out Abbottsville Fourth!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Secret Video of Ward Potluck Leaked

To: Abbottsville Stake
From: Dennis Newsome, Stake Public Affairs Council
Subject: Secret Video Leaked

Recently a secret video of Mitt Romney addressing guests at a ward potluck in Fruit Heights, Utah was leaked to the media. Here is a transcript of the former governor's remarks:

Governor Romney:

Here's how I break down the American electorate:

First there's the 47% who are whiny, inept, lazy moochers who've never done a day's work, speak with funny accents, think they're so big, don't go to church, and waste their time pontificating about hoity-toity things like science. There's no way these losers are going to vote for me. Er...well, actually they did vote for me back when I was running for governor of Massachusetts, but that's only because I was pretending to be one of them, and now I'm not, so they won't vote for me which is fine because they're a bunch of irresponsible loafers that I could care less about.

Next there's the 47% who are NASCAR loving, gun toting, snake handling, square dancing hillbillies who belong to The Great and Abominable Church or one of its clones, have really bad haircuts, and hate my opponent so much that they would probably vote for an inflatable woman just to get him out of office. And thank goodness for that, because as far as I'm concerned, spending time with that lot is right up there with watching an endless loop of Hee Haw reruns.

Then there's the 5% comprised of complete morons who actually claim they don't know who to vote for. Thanks to them, I am forced to continue this tiresome campaign.

And let's not forget the elite and privileged bazillionaires who are the top 1%. I don't really care for them either. But I have to be nice to them because they're funding my campaign.

Finally there's you, my fellow Latter-day Saints, the only people whose company I keep. That's because you are among the scant percentage of Americans who are members of The One and Only True Church, the organization that I have pledged all of my time, talent and resources to in the Lord's temple and have given more money to than I would ever pony up for IRS.


--In a recent statement, the governor said that while he admits his comments at the potluck were a bit inarticulate, he stands by his message.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails you might as well vote for an inflatable woman.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Musings From The Mission Field - I'm Just Like Mitt!

To: abbottsville 4th ward
From: elder young, france paris mission
Subject: i'm just like elder romney!!!!! :-))))

hey abbottsville 4th!!!!!

first of all, thanks to sister renfro for the super yummy cream filled coconut balls! :-)))) comp and I polished off all 4 dozen of them in like idk a minute. haahahahaha

But even more thanks to brother newsome for sending us that giant box of romney stickers!!!!!! :-)))))

when we first saw them we hollered out YES!!!! gave each other double high-five and did a little happy dance all around the post office. then we looked around to see that everyone was all quiet and starring at us. that made us bummed all over again--not because people were all quiet and starring at us. that happens all the time. :-)))) we were bummed that the only people around us were french and they can't vote for elder romney. :-((((((((((((

then it hit us. ELDER ROMNEY-GeT IT? he also served a mission in france!!!! he tracted out Noter Dame and the Loover just like us, same way with the Musay Rodant. he probably even placed book of mormons at Hermies on the rue st. hornery, JUSt LIKE US!!! not only that, he probably had some super cool foot races with the gendarmes and the french police and who knows who else!!!! :-))))))

now it was clear that Heavenly Father had sent us here to bare witness not only to all the great things elder romney had done for america--but also for france!!!!! hahahahaha :-)))))) comp and i planned right then and there to spend our next preparation day going back to all those places and pass out romney stickers.

only when P day rolled around we found out that a bunch of us were supposed to go on this dumb field trip. It was arranged by that horse-faced sister missionary whose always going on about culture and trying to get us to look at art and stuff. this time she made us go to this place called givenchy, the home of this weird painter guy named Monay who obviously had really screwed up eyesight. anyway who cared about him? elder romney was way more interesting.

most people seemed to be outside, so comp and i went out into this really big backyard and wound around past all these people who were oohing and aahing over the flowers. It was an okay garden and all, but nothing like my Aunt Wilma's. it didn't even have nomes.

finally we got to this lake with a super tall footbridge. right off i knew it would be the perfect place to speak to the crowd about elder romney. then i turned to see horseface running toward us.

"where are you two going? we haven't finished our tour of the house yet."

"comp and i came outside to speak to people about elder romney."

"you will do no such thing"

-- her face got all red and she started to shake. also her voice sounded even more sarcastic than usual. i was a little scared but i didn't let on --

"i am determined to have one experience in france that isn't ruined by you two IMBECILES! will you please come back to the house!"

see what i mean about horseface? luckily comp and i don't let it get to us. we know that we're way more spiritually mature than she is. also she's just a girl.

"no way MISS BOSSY PANTS," i told her. hahahahaha

she unhooked that 10 ton sack of cement she calls a handbag from her shoulder and swung it at my head. i ducked and she went flying over me into the pond. she and the cement sack made this enormous splash and disappeared in the water. for a sec i was worried b/c she was under kind of a long time. then she came to the surface with her skirt over her head and started to drag the cement back to shore. boy does that girl have fat knees. at least i think it was her knee.

anywho, comp and i seized the opportunity and raced to the top of the bridge. comp took the stickers out of his backpack and tossed them toward the people along the banks. only the wind caught them and they all fell in the water, which was great because it turned monay's pond into a giant floating romney ad. then i called out:
Attention french citizens! we come as elder romney's ambassadors, and are happy to report that soon the leader of the free world will be a man who has done as much for France as comp and i have!

then things went all quiet, and everyone was starring at us. It was way spiritchul. :-))))

please keep those care packages coming, abbottsville 4th. comp and i need lots to sustain our testimonies. also send more stickers. we'll need 10 times as many when we visit Versatille!!!! hahaha lolololololololololololol :-)))))))))

love, elder young

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, you can just forget it MISS BOSSY PANTS!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The FAQ's on Coke and Pepsi

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Mitchell Knightly, President of the Abbottsville stake
Subject: Getting it right on Coke and Pepsi

Recently there has been some public debate over whether or not the LDS Church permits its members to drink caffeinated soft drinks. I recently read this thoughtful explanation in the FAQ section on a church approved website:

Word of Wisdom FAQ's

What is the Word of Wisdom?
--The Word of Wisdom is an inspired "ahead of its time" revelation from the Lord that has protected the members' health for generations. 

Do Mormons take the entire revelation literally?
--Of course.

Do the Mormons avoid eating "too much meat" as instructed in the Word of Wisdom?
--Well, maybe not that literally.

How about the part about "moderation in all things?"

May they use alcohol or tobacco for "medicinal purposes" as the revelation states?
--Not unless they want to be damned.

What part of the Word of Wisdom do Mormons obey?
--Members abstain from tobacco, alcohol and hot drinks.

How do the Mormons interpret "hot drinks?
--"Hot drinks" are taken to mean tea and coffee.

So caffeinated drinks?
--No, the Word of Wisdom says nothing about caffeine. It only prohibits "hot drinks."

Are Mormons allowed to drink caffeinated soft drinks?
--Yes. Soft drinks are cold.

Then iced coffee and iced tea are allowed?
--Only if they're laced with high fructose corn syrup.

If the issue is temperature and not caffeine, why is it that I see so many Mormons drinking hot chocolate?
--Probably because it's so fattening.

Why don't the Brethren issue a statement saying unequivocally that caffeinated soft drinks are permitted?
--The Brethren don't want to say that caffeinated soft drinks are okay because that would sound as though they approve. On the other hand, if they say they're off limits, it might imply that the Brethren don't let the members make a single decision for themselves.

So caffeinated soft drinks are in league with PG movies, colored dress shirts, bermuda shorts and registering to vote as an Independent?
--Yes. In fact caffeinated soft drinks are available for sale in the restaurants at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and at The Lion House.

But not at BYU?
No. There's no demand at BYU.

Why is that?
Because if a BYU student were ever to be seen drinking a caffeinated Coke, he would be judged by his classmates, shunned by his ward, and never be able to get a another date.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll assume you're one of those Mormons who parades around in bermuda shorts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Spooky Republican Hell Dream

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: A nightmare come true

Yesterday afternoon I was at home minding my own business when my cell phone erupted with incoming texts and Facebook notifications. Seems some fiendish character hacked into my account and started sending bogus messages to my friends about a chance to win a free iPad. As I logged into my Facebook and stared lamely at the long list of spam sent by "me," my friend Donavan called:

Donavan: "Donna, you've been hacked."
Me: "I know! How can I go back and delete the messages?!!"
Donavan: (patiently)"You can't go back and delete them. Just change your password and post that you were hacked."

For a moment I was paralyzed by mortification. Sort of like in that scene where Uncle Billy screws up the bank deposit for the building and loan and George Bailey grabs him by the lapels and screams, "Where's that money you silly stupid old fool?"

But rather than drive off half-cocked and ram my Prius into a tree, I did as Donavan suggested. Then I braced myself for what I was sure would be a slew of angry messages.

But here's the thing. They never came. What came instead were sympathetic replies from people who knew the spam wasn't from me ("You would never start a message with OMFG"), good-natured jokes from people wanting to know where their free iPad was (one friend claimed his just arrived in the mail), and endearing notes from people who didn't know what to make of "my" message but were glad to hear from me anyway. At the end of the day, I climbed into bed wrapped in the warm karma of friendship.

Then I had a really really scary dream.

I dreamt I was at the Republican Convention. -- Told you it was scary. -- And the Republicans were going to nominate a self-righteous, full-of-himself Mormon prick who loves firing people, boasts about finding ways to avoid paying tax, has no real principles, and will say anything to get elected.

OMFG, the Republican Party has been hacked! 

For years my dear friends in the Abbottsville Fourth Ward have longed for the day when one of their own would earn the Republican nomination. Finally their faith would be accepted as part of the religious mainstream. That might have been the case if the Republicans had chosen Huntsman. But I don't think Romney's going to deliver for them.

In the beginning reporters and commentators were careful to avoid the subject of Romney's religion. But after enduring an onslaught of the candidate's gaffes, misstatements, lame jokes, prolonged bouts of verbal diarrhea, offhand accidental insults, and bizarre moments of bursting into song, members of the media are finding the subject unavoidable. There has to be some explanation for this man's over-the-top oafish behavior. Even Republican journalists are incredulously weighing in. For example, David Brooks' editorial, "The Real Romney," in today's New York Times. The entire piece is a must-read, but for here I'll paraphrase:

"...After hearing Lou Reed's 'Walk on the Wild Side,' Romney decided to leave Mormonism and become Amish. He left the Amish faith because of its ban on hair product . . . Romney also went on a mission to France. He spent two years knocking on doors, failing to win a single convert. This was a feat he would replicate during his 2008 presidential bid . . .  Mitt helped Ann raise five perfect sons -- Bip, Chip, Rip, Skip and Dip -- who married identically tanned wives . . . He barely won the 2012 Republican primaries after a grueling nine month campaign, running unopposed . . ." 

Nevertheless, the Mormons continue to bravely keep their chins up. Over a Utah delegation breakfast entitled, "Omelettes with Orrin," Senator Mike Lee told the New York Times about an upcoming convention after-party featuring hamburger sliders and root beer floats. "When the Utah delegation is feeling really crazy, that's when they break out not only club soda but the Diet Coke," Mr. Lee said. "And for extra craziness, they'll add lime."

Call them crazy, all right. But aside from the Utah delegation, there has been little celebration among the Republicans.

You know, for a guy who plans on having his own planet someday, Romney sure isn't very good at controlling the weather. -- Not just the storms that blow through the Gulf, but also the angry gusts that stir within his own party.

Most nominees use the week leading up to their convention as a time for the party to rally around the candidate and his ideas. Romney took a different approach. Instead he and his party used these crucial days to debate what they seem to feel is a nuanced and complex issue that begs to be pushed to the forefront of our national conversation: Rape.

Then, worried that the whole "legitimate rape" discussion might cast him as something of a misogynist, Romney appeared before a rally of supporters and cracked yet another lame joke about the president's birth certificate. -- Thus, in one deft move, reminding Americans that the Mormon candidate's insensitivities extend not just to women, but also to people of color.

Next the Ron Paul delegates used the weather delay to stir up their own storm over their candidate not being offered a speaking slot at the convention.

~In response, a robotic voice from the heavens proclaimed, "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Ron."

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Mitt whined and stamped his feet. "This convention isn't about delegates! It's about ME and Ann and Bip, Chip, Rip, Skip and Dip!!!"~

At this point in the dream, it would be great if the angel Frank Capra appeared before Mitt Romney and told him to drop out of the race. Unfortunately it would never work. Romney's about to be a god. He doesn't take direction from angels.

OMFG Republicans, you've been hacked. And you can't go back and delete the messages.

Voters, do not click on this link!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mormons Rush In To Help Mitt's Campaign

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: H. LaVar Turley, Ward Mission Leader
Subject: Our turn to define rape!

As most of you know by now, the Romney Campaign has shifted its strategy, and is now not only willing, but eager to discuss the church! Isn't that thrilling Abbottsville Fourth?!

And it couldn't come at a more crucial time - now that the Republicans are reeling over the errant comments from Representative Todd Akin.

Eager to diffuse the situation, I wrote the following op-ed for the Abbottsville Gazette:

Mormons on Rape
H. LaVar Turley

Like all practicing Mormons, I believe that rape is a vile and heinous act. But not all rapes are "legitimate." Indeed there are several categories, and in each the blame must be assigned accordingly.

First there is the all-to-common "invited rape," when a scantily clad woman teases a man out of his mind until he has no other option than to throw her on the ground and have his way with her. In these cases the woman is obviously at fault. 

Second there is the "accidental rape," when a righteous woman is sincerely trying to be modest and something accidentally happens. - Like a gust of wind comes along and blows her skirt up a little and the guy sees and just can't help himself. (This is sometimes referred to as "no-fault" rape.)

Thirdly, there is the "necessary rape." You know, that's when guys like me have to do the little woman in order to fulfill our calling to "multiply and replenish the earth." In these cases both parties are usually grateful. At least that's how it is in my house. . . . I think.

Finally, there is the "legitimate rape," when a man forces himself on a righteous woman who has done nothing to deserve it. In these rare cases, the man is at fault and probably ought to receive some sort of punishment. Or at least a fine.

Because we are a progressive people, we believe that in cases of "legitimate rape" the victim may be entitled to an abortion if she chooses. But only after she is reminded that if she had been truly righteous, her temple garments should have prevented her pregnancy.

Vote for Romney!

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll assume it's because of a malfunction in your temple garments.   

Also check out my review of a couple of great reads over on Main Street Plaza!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mormons: A Blank Page

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Dennis Newsome, Stake Public Affairs Council and Local Romney Campaign Chair
Subject: Check out this cool interview!

Recently Wendy Roberts, the perky and hip author of Mormons: A Blank Pagewas interviewed by the popular comedian, Ron Baxter. Here's a transcript:

Ron Baxter: Wendy, welcome to the show.

Wendy Roberts: (smiles brightly) Thanks for having me, Ron.

RB: The title of your book is Mormons: A Blank Page. What does that mean? That there's nothing there?

WR: Exactly, Ron. We have nothing to hide. People have the wrong idea about us. They think we're this weird, secretive little cult of fanatics who baptize dead people and believe we will become gods of our own planets.

RB: And that's not true?

WR: Well, it's a little true. (giggles) But we also make great cinnamon rolls.

RB: Your church recently built a magnificent shopping mall in downtown Salt Lake City.

WR: (giggles) We love to shop, just like everyone else, Ron.

RB: I did see lots of people shopping in that mall when I was there last. I also saw folks going into the famous Mormon temple across the street. But when I asked, they told me I couldn't enter because I'm not a Mormon. Why is the Mormon temple so secret, Wendy?

WR: It's not secret, Ron, it's sacred, that's all. There's nothing secret going on.

RB: So you could tell me the details of a Mormon temple ceremony?

WR: Sure! Only afterward I would have to slit your throat.

RB: (coughs) You say you're a root beer in a country of Cokes. What do you mean by that?

WR: That we fit in. I mean everybody likes root beer, right?

RB: I guess. It's not my choice typically . . .

WR: The point is Ron, we're part of the menu. People needn't fear us any more than we fear them. Did you know that earlier this year hundreds of Mormons marched in Gay Pride parades?


RB: So the Mormons now endorse gay marriage?

WR: Oh no.

RB: Civil unions?

WR: 'Fraid not.

RB: What kind of same-sex relationships does the church endorse?

WR: None. But some of us march in parades!

RB: Marvelous, Wendy. In your opinion, should Americans be afraid to vote for Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon?

WR: Not only should Americans not be afraid, they should want him to be president.

RB: And why is that, Wendy?

WR: (smiles brightly) Might as well get used to him. In the next life he's going to be the God of their planet.

RB: HO-KAY! The book is Mormons: A Blank Page. We're going to commercial now. See you on the other side . . .

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we may have to slit your throat.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sorry Abbottsville Fourth -- It's The Ex-Mormon Moment

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Having too much fun to keep up with your damned e-mails, Abbottsville Fourth

Been busy the past couple of weeks. After the amazing Ex-Mormon party at San Francisco's Hotel Utah Saloon, we headed to Salt Lake City for the Sunstone Symposium. I had the honor to be part of 2 panels. The first was Cheryl Bruno's "The Vagina Monologues." My contribution was a satirical (of course) argument in favor of women being the stronger sex.

Here's an excerpt:
After lunch I headed to the library hoping to do some research. Unfortunately, I found it impossible to concentrate, thanks to a shockingly immodest young man in a pair of Levi’s 501 Shrink to Fit jeans.
Now, you may ask, “Don’t lots of boys at BYU wear 501 Shrink to Fits?” Perhaps. But this particular young man had an especially curvy backside that strained the confines of his tightly shrunk pants. Then, when he turned toward me, I was confronted with his well-defined, bulging and enormous maleness. Hot, sweaty, and breathless, I quit the building.
This is difficult to explain to somebody who only has a penis. You see, God designed the penis for a single purpose -- the impregnating of the holy female womb -- an act that is efficient, perfunctory, and complete inside of a minute.
The vagina, on the other hand, has that sacred spot that God created specifically for pleasure and nothing else. It alone is comprised of 8,000 nerve fibers – compared to the measly penis that, in its entirety, is equipped with only 4,000 nerve fibers. So by nature, men have no concept of the dangerous power of the female orgasm.
Once aroused, a woman’s passion gathers, builds, swells with quivering anticipation, and finally peaks in hot, wet waves of erotic pleasure that drives her to a prolonged climax of non-stop frenzied desire. Even then she may not be sated, and can achieve orgasm again and again for hour upon hour with no end in sight.
That young man in the 501’s had no idea how lucky he was. If I hadn’t had the courage to leave when I did, I might have lost control, thrown him on the ground, and had my way with him. And it would have been entirely his fault.
I rushed home to find my helpmeet, Mark, alone at his craft table hot gluing felt for an upcoming Elders’ Quorum lesson.
I seized him. “I have to have you now!”
“Can I at least finish my felt . . .”
“Screw the felt."

The second was Chanson's panel of Ex-Mormon bloggers. The topic I chose was real vs. fake happiness. Excerpt:
When I was a Mormon I looked really sad. But inside I knew I was really happy. I had to be. I was a member of the one and only true church.
It's the people who left who were sad. Also drunk, bankrupt, dying of AIDS and victims of every other calamity promised in a scary chain letter. 
Sure they looked happy -- but it wasn't real happiness. It was the fake happiness that came when a person committed a grievous sin, like going shopping on Sunday. Real happiness was attending tithing settlement.

Me, Carol and some great reads
I also worked the Mormon Alumni Association book table where I sold some great books and chatted up some very cool people. 

Then Saturday night after the close of the symposium, Mark and I headed over to Squatters to join a group of amazing Ex-Mormon bloggers and writers that included Chino Blanco, Andrew S, Holly, John HamerBarbara Hanks, and, of course, Chanson.

When we arrived at the brew pub, I told the hostess we were looking for the group of Ex-Mormons. She smiled and said, "Well, feel free to wander around until you find the Ex-Mormons you're looking for." Oops! OMG, I forgot I was in Salt Lake City, where everyone in the bar on Saturday night might be an Ex-Mormon. And needless to say the place was packed! Awesome.

It's the Ex-Mormon Moment!
We got home Saturday evening, unpacked, crashed, then headed out on Sunday for another Ex-Mormon event, this time at the San Francisco Ferry Building. We arrived to find our usual handful of folks in the corner. After all, this was San Francisco, not Salt Lake City. Then the most amazing thing happened. Some more Ex-Mormons arrived, then a few more, then more again, and pretty soon we found ourselves dragging over another of the massive tables outside of Peet's Coffee to accommodate our numbers!

Who knows? Maybe this time next year when I wander into Peet's and ask the barista where the group of Ex-Mormons is she'll invite me to wander around until I find the group I'm looking for.

Eat your hearts out, Abbottsville Fourth.

Also, please read this awesome review of my bookThe Girls From Fourth Ward, by postmormon girl!