Friday, February 10, 2012

Dropping the Satire Just for Today

For the first time since I began this blog in 2009 I am going to drop my fictional point of view out of Abbottsville and speak in my own voice from my real city of San Francisco.

This week the 9th Circuit Court decided to overturn California's Proposition 8, a decision that has drawn everything from shock to heavy criticism to near hysteria in the conservative Mormon community.

On Facebook and other forums I have heard from Latter-day Saints who defend their church's bigoted, homophobic position in various irrational ways. For example:

If gay marriage becomes legal, then gay people will be able to legally force the Mormon Church into letting them marry in their temples.
--As if the Mormons haven't successfully kept people out of their temples for years without suffering any legal repercussions.

Gays can't get married because they can't procreate.
--As if couples who adopt kids or are childless should only be allowed to form domestic partnerships.

If gays are allowed to get married, then the next thing you know, a man will be allowed to marry more than one women, or a man could marry a little girl, or maybe even a moose!
--As if a majority of Americans (who make up the courts) equate homosexuality to bestiality, pedophilia, or to that principle that the LDS Church began practicing in the 1800's and continues to embrace today. (There are perhaps thousands of Mormon men who are currently married "for time and all eternity" to more than one woman.)

I could go on, but I can already mentally see my intelligent readers' eyes glazing over. So I will jump ahead to the one argument that Mormons make that actually has some merit:

I don't question why gays shouldn't get married because the prophet speaks directly to God and the church is true. 
--This makes perfect sense if you drink the Kool-Aid. It's also one of the main reasons why some people call Mormonism a cult. And it's this premise that has enabled the LDS Church to maintain its membership, in spite of the fact that it has been on the wrong side of just about every social issue it has weighed in on.

Mormons claim that they differentiate between when the prophet is speaking "as a man" and when he is speaking "as a prophet." I maintain that the prophet differentiates between when he is speaking "to the church" and when he is speaking "to the world." Why else would the LDS Church issue this bullshit statement:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today’s decision. California voters have twice determined in a general election that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We have always had that view. Courts should not alter that definition, especially when the people of California have spoken so clearly on the subject.
“Millions of voters in California sent a message that traditional marriage is crucial to society. They expressed their desire, through the democratic process, to keep traditional marriage as the bedrock of society, as it has been for generations.
“We recognize that this decision represents a continuation of what has been a vigorous public debate over the rights of the people to define and protect the fundamental institution of marriage. There is no doubt that today’s ruling will intensify the debate in this country. We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion.”

Forget the fact that people outside of the LDS Church might find this laughable. Most educated Americans know that the Mormons have not always held the view that marriage is only between a man and a woman. The Brethren are aware of this. -- Or, at the very least, Church PR is. But what's important now, in the wake of this defeat, is to unite the base behind the erroneous notion that they have always been the champions of straight monogamous marriage. How do the believing know this? Church Headquarters just said. This is how the faithful are kept from realizing that they have dedicated all of their time, talent, and resources to fight on the wrong side of yet another social issue.

Now that the he's issued his statement, the prophet may go back to speaking "to the world," in the form of slick advertising and maybe even a high profile interview in which he characterizes himself as "an example."

It took 14 years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act before the LDS Church finally switched sides and extended its priesthood to black men. Since their 1978 policy shift, the Mormons have promoted themselves as a people who have always stood for racial equality. Who knows? Maybe in fifty-some years, when gay marriage is an established norm, and our president is a lesbian, the Mormons will be saying that they've always stood for same-sex marriage. Stranger things have happened.

But for now the Mormons are on the wrong side of the issue. Like the growing majority who support gay marriage, I hope that this case goes before the Supreme Court and that the decision of the lower court is upheld. But whatever the future holds, the events of this historic week have made me feel proud to be an American and a resident of the 9th Circuit. They also remind me of how grateful I am that I no longer drink the Kool-Aid.

If you wanted to stop receiving emails from the Abbottsville Fourth Ward, forget it. After suffering years of Mormon-induced depression, this blog owner takes humor very seriously and her silly side will return.
And don't forget to vote for your favorite Mormon-themed blogs in the Brodie Awards!


  1. Very good post, Donna. You're a great writer, whether expressing factual material or from a satirical point of view (your "silly side").

    Aside from what you've pointed out so well, I just love the ending sentence of the TSCC press release: "We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion." That is just laughable. Since when does TSCC show mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion. In actuality, they condemn people with differing opinions (as in if you don't become a Mormon, blah, blah, blah). And yet they are now spouting this line? Amazing.

  2. You're right Diane it is laughable. Especially after they bankrolled a campaign to deny an entire group of people their civii rights. I took that as the veiled "persecution card." You know that message that people (like us) who criticize them are just mean.

    I just saw you jumped on my blogroll. Oh goody! Does that mean we have another new hymn? I'm gonna check it out!

  3. The Cult of LDS Inc. will always stand for what is politically expedient. Brilliant post. I love both your serious and your silly side!

  4. Right CD. Ever since they traded polygamy for UT statehood. Thanks as always for the kind words.

  5. Epic+awesome=you buddy. I didn't know you live in the City. I might move over there by spring...ish, err, sometime in the future. Lates


  6. I like your serious posts as much as your silly ones, Donna.

    Many of those justifications for marriage inequality are familiar Religious Right tropes, so the LDS is in good company. I agree -- in fifty years they'll pretend that the LDS church was NEVER homophobic.

  7. Morrigan, thanks! (sorry I don't know how to do accents.)

    kriss, how exciting! You should come to some of our exmormon gatherings. Even though you aren't one, I think you would enjoy yourself.

    Ahab, spot on, they were never racists either...or polygamists.

  8. GREAT post!
    A scathing indictment of the repulsive hypocrisy yet fully in possession of hope for a better world.
    Thank you!

  9. Thanks Andy! Let's hope we're heading toward one.

  10. Super post Donna.

    I love how brilliant people like you can pick apart what Mormons say and then use your logic to make them look foolish.

  11. Heather, you ar a sweetheart. Thanks!

  12. Donna, you are one awesome woman. If I didn't already have a wife... Hey, just a minute. How do I convert to Mormonosity?

  13. LOL, well Jono, as you just read, the LDS Church has ALWAYS stood for marriage between one man and one woman -- ;) Thanks for the kind words!

  14. Thanks for a great post. I posted on what I consider to be the inevitability of the LDS church eventually sanctioning same-sex marriage. If anyone is interested, here is the link. I think it is relevant to the conversation at hand.

  15. Michael, thanks for the link. You make some excellent points.