Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Kind of Heterosexual are You?

To: Abbottsville Stake Priesthood Holders
From: Mitchell Knightly, Abbottsville Stake President
Subject: New Sexuality Survey

As the Relief Society sisters continue to embrace their divine orientation through crafts, the priesthood will participate in a cutting edge study of their own sexuality. Based on the ground breaking and refreshingly progressive questionnaire that was recently distributed at Brigham Young University (see here), all stake priesthood holders are requested to complete the following confidential survey:

Please describe your sexual orientation. Check all that apply:
  • I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction.
  • I am heterosexual but do struggle with same-sex attraction.
  • I am heterosexual but like to dress up like Madonna.
  • I am heterosexual but only get hard when I'm with another man.
  • I am heterosexual but wish my bishop was a Chippendale dancer so I could stuff my tithing into his g-string.
  • Other--please do not specify.  
Please complete and submit your surveys by this Friday. The stake presidency will prayerfully review the results over the weekend and then organize all respondents into smaller, like-minded focus groups for more specific research.

If you would like to stop receiving these emails, we'll assume you're the wrong kind of heterosexual.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Abbottsville Priesthood Holders To View Progressive Civil Rights Seminar

To: Abbottsville Stake Priesthood
From: Mitchell Knightly, Abbottsville Stake President
Subject: I Have a Gay Friend

Now that the sisters are embracing their divine role through crafting, the Brethren have launched a new and exciting program for the priesthood: Sensitivity Training.

As reported by George Orwellian in that reliable and hard-thinking online news source, Sheep Press, last weekend's groundbreaking seminar entitled, "I Have a Gay Friend," was a magnificent success. Held in the Mormon conference center in Salt Lake City, the well attended gathering offered its white male and strategically placed female, black and Latino audience members helpful tips on how to deal with our pesky critics.

One (coincidentally white upper-middle-class male) attendee put it to me this way: "I've always wanted to look like an open-minded guy. But up until now, I didn't have the talking points," he explained, specifically referring to the session, Atheists: How to deal with Satan's willing tools of Apocalyptic destruction without making The One True Church look bad.

Read about all of the class offerings here.

We will be airing a televised recording of the seminar this Saturday at the Abbottsville Stake Center and request that all worthy Priesthood holders attend.

After the televised viewing, I will moderate a discussion entitled, Obama's an American, slavery was bad for the blacks, gays can't be cured, and other silly things we have to say nowadays.

Then at 6:00 p.m. we'll crack open the root beers, fire up the grill and cook up some genuine federal land fed beef.***

***I have allowed the Relief Society a fifteen minute break from their crafts so they may report to the church kitchen and stuff our meat into their buns.  

If you would like to stop receiving these emails we'll send you an online subscription to Sheep Press.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sisters Get Crafts in Lieu of Priesthood

LDS Church Invests in Huge Stock of Relief Society Crafting Supplies
The Salt Lake News - published April 18, 2014

In response to recent protests by Mormon feminists, the LDS Church has allocated unlimited funds to the Relief Society for the purchase of crafting supplies.

"Recently some of our women have expressed a misguided desire to receive the priesthood," official church spokesman, T. Delbert Bean remarked in a recent interview. "The Brethren are hoping that an investment in arts and crafts materials will help our beloved sisters return to and find joy in their divine role."

Overall, the effort has been well-received.

"I've been stamping like crazy!" said Sister Wilma Forbes of Burley, Idaho. "And I'm really into glitter. It's just so glamorous. Glitter makes me feel . . . free to be me."

Having just constructed a life-sized papier-mache statue of Joseph Smith for her home's entryway, Phyllis McGee of Farmington, Utah exclaimed, "Next I'm making a bust of Jesus out of dough art. I can't wait to get started."

But not everyone is so enthusiastic.

"This new craft thing is a crock of (expletive deleted),"  Mildred Peabody, a Salt Lake City tax attorney, told The News. "Makes me want to hot glue the First Presidency to a giant flannel board."

Nevertheless, the Brethren insist their efforts are for the good of all the sisters.

"There will always be nay-sayers," Bean admitted. "But, we honestly believe their hearts would soften if they were to devote even one afternoon to making finger puppets."

While the Relief Society crafting program operates under the mantle of the priesthood, the exclusively male leadership has so far offered little oversight.

"We want the sisters to embrace their empowerment," said Jeff Needleman a stake president in Ogden, Utah. "We set up tables in the Cultural Hall, set out the paint, crepe paper, stencils and pipe cleaners, and then let the girls go wild."

And wild they have gone. Sister Christine Gomez of Mesa, Arizona recently completed a floor to ceiling dadaist sculpture out of dryer lint, toilet paper tubes, and recycled sacrament meeting programs.

"Happiness is a warm glue gun," she declared.

--Check out another 5 star review for The Girls from Fourth Ward here!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I Have A Really Good Excuse!

It's a short blog this week, but I have a really good excuse. I've been visiting my adorable granddaughters!

She just can't sit still for the camera.

Neither can Grammy.
Thank god the General Authorities in Salt Lake stepped up to the plate this week and wrote the satire for me.

Stung by the persecution they suffered in the press last October when they denied women admission to the semi-annual General Priesthood Session, the Brethren made the brilliant decision to not only ban women, but also reporters--providing this blogger as well as at least one member of the press with the kind of high satire we could never have invented ourselves.

Honestly, what would bloggers like me do without them?

Then famous funny man, Dallin Oaks, used his time at the Priesthood Session pulpit to assure his exclusively male audience that women have authority!

Not to be outdone by his elders, 62-year-old Neil L. Andersen, the youngest Mormon GA, reminded the faithful that the church is still adamantly opposed to gay marriage--prompting Jeffrey R. Holland to make the following hysterical observation:

"Unfortunately, messengers of divinely mandated commandments are often no more popular today than they were anciently . . . and because their words at times seem harsh, LDS leaders are accused of being "provincial, patriarchal, bigoted, unkind, narrow, outmoded and elderly."

--Well, that almost covers it. Throw in homophobic and he nails it. 

Do you see what I mean Gentle Readers? Not even Colbert could come up with this stuff.

And how does Elder Holland view the likes of us?

"...if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds."

--Oh . . . I'm giggling all right.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beware the Third Hour of the Fifth Sunday

I dreaded every Sunday when I was a Mormon, but most of all the fifth Sunday. More specifically, the third hour of the fifth Sunday. Because that's when the bishopric has long held a joint meeting of the Priesthood and Relief Society.

Since the purpose of these meetings is to unify the ward on issues, they almost always take the form of a pompous, demeaning and sometimes borderline terrifying lecture. Because let's face it, when you're a Mormon, you're always doing something wrong. In my day, it was drinking Coke, seeing R-rated films, neglecting your genealogy, or not recognizing the "gay problem." More recently--if you're a woman--it's wearing pants to church.

Case in point. This past Sabbath Day happened to fall on the fifth Sunday in March. Instead of sitting in church, Mark and I were at Sinbad's with our friends Jerry and Cheryl where, over a martini, I read the following email invitation to a horrific fifth Sunday lecture that we could have been experiencing instead. Here is an excerpt:

…this Sunday all wards in our stake will be discussing, as a unified 5th Sunday message, the importance of specific roles that men and women have in the Church and family. As predicted by past prophets, in these last days much agitation and attack against the correct order of things will come from within and without the Church. One example, of which most of us are probably aware of, is the recent protest that the Church has had to fight against our own members who want women to receive the Priesthood. This is against (the) revealed nature of familial relationships.

Isaiah predicted. "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, 'We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.'" (Isaiah 4:1)

This prophecy is being fulfilled and it is important that as a stake we weed out such contention and danger. Some of these protesters have demonstrated by showing the independence of women ("We will eat our own bread"), wearing pants to church ("wear our own apparel"), and now ask for the priesthood ("let us be called by thy name"). Each ward this weekend will discuss how to combat such heretical thinking and apostasy that we might strengthen our individual families and better be of one heart and one mind and continue to build Zion among us…

We're looking forward to the many wonderful things happening this weekend in our stake.

Read the entire email here.

See what I mean about the third hour of the fifth Sunday? Just this past week in this and perhaps many stakes throughout Zion, the faithful were forced to endure a terrifying harangue about weeding out "contention and danger"--all because their fearless leaders are terrified of some women in pants.

From where I sit (martini in hand), what's really terrifying is actually having to sit through these third hour horror flicks. The only thing they could do to make them scarier would be to lock all the doors at the beginning and then cut the house lights at the end. Like Hitchcock did with Psycho.
But then the terror is only beginning.  This weekend is General Conference.
In happier news, Jono reviewed  False Prophet this week. Also, he reviewed  The Girls from Fourth Ward! I'd seen his review of The Girls on Amazon, but not on his excellent blog, Otto's Son, a site that mixes wisdom and humor with gorgeous photographs of both his home and his travels.

And speaking of excellent blogs, if you like Ward Gossip you'll love Sheep Dip. With the tagline, "telling you what to think so you don't have to," Sheep Dip is a marvelous new home for Mormon-themed satire. Check it out here.

We must support each other in the arts. (And stay away from terrifying church meetings.)