Friday, January 30, 2015

So Much Material, So Little Time

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

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

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

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

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--In other words, more self-centered whining from the Brethren about how persecuted they are because of their bigoted, outdated views.

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

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

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

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

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

LDS Church Asking Mormons for Input on Temple Garments

There's a survey. Online.

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

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

And speaking of how to vote…

Mitt Romney Decided Not to Run for President

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 23, 2015

Abbottsville 4th Prepares for Post Dehlin Excommunication Riots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This concludes this Ward Preparedness Update.

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

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

Friday, January 16, 2015

Enthusiasm Builds Around Romney's Third Candidacy

Romney's Base Urges Him to Run in 2016
The Salt Lake News -- published January 16, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY -- Excitement was high at the after-party for an LDS VIP screening of Meet the Mormons this past Tuesday. Mitt Romney had recently announced that he was considering another run for the presidency -- and his loyal followers couldn't be more thrilled.

"There's no doubt that the Brethren's inspired PR efforts have energized Romney's base," church spokesperson, Wilford Delacorte said, referring to the aforementioned feature-length documentary as well as the recent essay touting the prophet Joseph Smith's numerous accomplishments. "Now we're turning the time over to Mitt."

It would appear that Republicans throughout Romney Country share Delacorte's enthusiasm.

"We're on fire down here in Utah Valley," Delores Rudd, a Republican operative from Orem, declared. "He's our one and only true candidate."

But GOP officials outside the boundaries of the former governor's influence remain skeptical about a third Romney bid, claiming the candidate failed to connect with average voters or even fellow Republicans.

"By Romney's own admission, he doesn't care about the votes of 47% of the electorate," Camilla Franklin, a Republican fund raiser from Minnesota, complained. "He boasted that his wife owned a 'couple of Cadillacs' and challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet. Who are this loser's base and what flavor Kool-Aid are they drinking?"

Iowa Republican strategist, Wilbur Lumley, is also baffled by the solidarity of the Romney base. "Mitt seems like a nice guy and all. But he lost miserably. I don't get these people who call him their 'one and only true candidate.' What do they even mean by that?"

Bristling at the criticism, Ms. Rudd countered, "I understand there are elements in the nonmember wing of the party who fear that it will be a repeat of 2012. But that's only because they don't understand the doctrine of continuing revelation. Mitt's totally in tune with what's trending. In 2016, the screen on his Etch-A-Sketch will be completely refreshed."

In a recent interview with The Salt Lake News, Heber G. Sneed, a political science professor from the University of Utah and former Jon Huntsman supporter, summarized Romney's unique position in the potential Republican field.

"In order to secure a base," Sneed explained. "The other Republican hopefuls have to appeal to the Tea Party or to the Christian Right, or to Wall Street, all of whom have substantial ideological agendas. But Romney's base is the Mormons, and the only thing on their agenda is winning. That gives Mitt a distinct advantage."

LDS Spokesperson Delacorte echoed Sneed's optimism. "Mark my words. Come January 20, 2017, Mitt Romney will take the oath of office and then, facing the entire world, proudly announce:
I'm president of the United States . . . and I'm a Mormon."


--In other news, yet another Mormon is set to be excommunicated over his support for same-sex marriage and the ordination of women. John Dehlin, host of Mormon Stories is scheduled to appear before an LDS Church disciplinary council on January 25, 2015. Read more here

Also, if you haven't already, head over to Main Street Plaza to vote for X-Mormon of the Year and nominate your favorite Mormon-themed blogs for a Brodie Award!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Salt Lake Temple Square Police Blotter

Crime Report - Salt Lake Temple Square
Salt Lake News--Published January 9, 2015

01/08/15 @ 13:47
Location: South Visitors Center
Details: Man carrying a ukelele reported acting erratically.

Criminal Mischief
01/08/15 @ 10:52
Location: Legacy Theater
Details: Giggling reported during a screening of Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.

01/07/15 @ 15:19
Location: LDS Church Office Building
Details: Man reported to have taken an excessive amount of paper towels from a receptacle in the first floor lavatory.

Indecent Exposure
01/07/15 @ 12:02
Location: Lion House
Details: Woman entered premises wearing patterned tights under her dress.

01/06/15 @ 11:16
Location: Salt Lake Temple, East Entrance
Details: Man attempted to gain access using his American Express Gold Card.

Sex Offense
01/06/15 @ 9:38
Location: Nauvoo Cafe
Details: Woman reported to be overly aroused while consuming an extra large jelly roll.

01/05/15 @ 17:06
Location: Parking Garage
Details: Woman on foot reported cutting across some empty parking slots marked, "Brethren Only."

01/05/15 @ 13:37
Location: The Roof Restaurant
Details: Man reported to be consuming illegal substance. Turned out to be a Tic Tac.

***Gentle Readers, don't forget to go over to Main Street Plaza to vote for X-Mormon of the Year and nominate your favorite Mormon-themed blogs for the Brodie Awards!