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 . . .

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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!