OK, I'm a Mormon. I know that everyone has been waiting with bated breath to know, so I'll come out with it. 9th generation or something. I went on a mission. My ancestors hung out with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, crossed the plains, you get the idea.
I didn't so much choose the church in the beginning as the church chose me. And I'm glad it did. My life has been incredibly enriched because of the LDS Church
I'm also proud to call myself a liberal, a progressive. My credentials may not be stellar, but I've made phone calls, knocked doors, given money, written letters and LTEs, complained a lot, had fire in my eyes, marched against war, and so on.
I was raised in pro-NRA republican household (had a great uncle from Idaho who was the most Republican of senators). But we've seen the light - as the republicans went more nuts in the 80's, my parents drifted left and could now give most Kossacks a run for the money.
I'm pro-tax, pro-big government, rabid about the environment, pro-evolution, anti-war, pro-single payer health care, pro-AFDC, anti-death penalty, anti-abortion AND pro-choice... I've hung out with Harry Reid's kid. Anyway, 'nuff about me. I'm there.
So, it bums me out severely to have to continually confront bigotry against Mormons here at DKos. Yep, bigotry. If you substituted the words Jew or black for some of the shit (sorry, I'm working on the swearing thing) that passes against Mormons (and Catholics) here, most of us would be quite justifiably up in arms. Troll rating would abound.
So just for fun, let's try an experiment. Below are quotes posted recently on DKos about Mormons, but I've substituted different groups in for the Mormons [in brackets]. Some of these comments, which I find incredibly offensive, have been highly rated. (I've left off the posters' identities, because I'm not out to get anyone and I really do believe that most people mean no harm.)
I've left a lot of examples out, because they don't translate well. I don't mind some fun at the expense of Mormons. I can take my lumps. But there are lots of jokes about things that are pretty sacred to Mormons. Just FYI, I find ridicule of Mormon's dress to be on par with the "n" word* (yeah, I know I'm pretty sensitive). It is is incredibly offensive to me. I know, I know, I choose to be offended, lighten up, and so on. But that's how I feel. And it makes me not want to hang out here, which would be a shame, because most stuff here is great.
And let me point out that the liberal cause desperately needs people like me. We can influence people that outsiders could never reach. An example: I'm an evolutionary biologist. When I arrived in my new town as a professor, my local bishop asked me to address the youth of our ward about my work. I told him that he might want to reconsider, and he said no, he knew what he was doing. So I spoke for an hour to these kids about how evolution and religion are compatible. And so there are a bunch of kids that we won't need to worry about on that front.
There are lots of liberal Mormons out there. The church is overwhelmingly conservative, but that pendulum tends to swing. You need us. We need you. So quit mocking us.
Just out of curiosity, how many Mormons are DKos regulars? See the survey below. Maybe that will bring home the point that we have something to contribute to the liberal cause, and should not be made to feel unwelcome.
I don't want this diary to just be about Mormons. Why is it OK to mock some groups and not others? I really don't have a good feel for the answer. I like the anti-Republican stuff here as much as the next person. Maybe that's ok? But anti-Catholicism, for example, is rampant in our culture. (The Da Vinci Code was simply outrageous - imagine the outcry if it were about a giant, murderous, albino Jew.) So where's the line? Can we trash the Jehovah's Witnesses? The NAACP? Can we trash AIM? I guess I'm not comfortable with any of it.
It's also important to make a distinction between justifiable criticism and bigotry. I know the LDS church's warts as well as anyone, and better than most. If you want to comment on church policies, let 'er rip. Even generalizations about Mormons are probably OK. We do tend to be clanish, conservative, and followers. But we also tend to be grounded, hard-working, pragmatic, incredibly kind and thoughtful people, especially at the personal level. I apologize to those of you who have had other experiences. I also know that a lot of Mormon doctrine seems like sheer lunacy to many. Sorry about that too. It works for us... Mocking it won't make the world a better place.
One last thing. Most Kossacks have been great in conversations about Mormons and have offered powerful defenses. I really appreciate that. Unfortunately, this is sometimes of the form: "Yes they're sick, but they're people too", but I'll take what I can get. I'd just like to see trusted users act quickly to remove some of the incredibly offensive language and photos that are still on this site. Thanks for those who already do. Perhaps the standard for a comment should be whether it would be acceptable if it was about Jews.
Recent quotes abour Mormons [with other groups substituted in] from DKos:
Was he [the black guy] (4.00 / 6)
Wearing his clean magic underwear?
(Sorry, sorry... Could not resist...)
* [new] I feel very sad over this (4.00 / 2)
While I agree it was the height of fanaticism and stupidity for the young man to do this, I am also very sad over it. We must remember that these [Jews] have been brainwashed all their lives into this cultlike religion. A few summers back, I was walking in my hometown when I was approached by a group of clean-cut, polite young men. I had the feeling I should have gone the other way when I saw them but they were in front of the Burger King that I was going to. I was hungry. Besides, being a gay man, I am never one to avoid good-looking all-American type college-aged young me.
One of them said "hello sir, how are you today". He radiated warmth and kindness. Although I immediately knew they were [Jews] from their age, haircuts, and formal style of dress, they identified themselves as members of "[Jewish Faith]" They asked if they could visit my home to talk about their [synagogue]. Being impressed by their demaneanor and genuine sincerity and kindness, me, a lasped Catholic, agreed.
About 2 months followed of weekly visits by 2 wonderful attractive young men from [Brooklyn]. I was surprised to learn that 1 of their father's was a Democrat. Although they were not successful in converting me to their [synagogue], and probably wasted much time with me as I peppered them with questions on their cult-like religion which I'm sure they never encountered before, I am glad that these 2 bright and caring young men came into my life when they did.
I am so sad that one of their own took his own life. What a tragedy and waste of youthful idealism.
Oh, these guys are idiots (4.00 / 2)
[Yeshiva University] is a crazy religious school that has only one claim to fame, and that is the football program. [Jews] are insane about proving the foundation of their faith despite all the facts. They believe that the Western Hemispere was settled by the lost tribes of Israel. They got this idea from old Joe's "golden plates". They sort of gloss over the fact that he was a convicted con man who used to make money by looking into his hat and telling people where gold was buried in the woods of Upstate New York. If anyone is interested in the real story I suggest they see South Parks wonderful, (and factual) recounting of the Smith story. Dumb do dumb dumb. If you are without a sense of humor, check out Jerald and Sandra Tanners books. My favorite is [Judaism], Shadow or Reality.
Say no to Domino's!
In [Alabama] you get shunned if you aren't a [black]. (none / 0)
I have a friend who took a job in [Montgomery] but had to quit within a year and leave the state because he was being shunned for not being a [black]. I hear that some cities are better there, but all in all it's a really sick state.
Yep. And there's somethin' wrong with folks (none / 0)
who wear longjohns in the summer.
Stay away from the [Native Americans](none / 0)
[Gays] Wants to Overthrow US Government... (2.50 / 2)
...according to Dr. Charles L. Wood, author of The [Gay] Conspiracy. [deletions]
I wasn't aware of (none / 0)
a connection between Amway and [Jews], though their cultish pseudo-social doctrine is quite similar. Amway was founded in Michigan.
Pictures of [Islamic] Underwear (4.00 / 2)
lots of them here.
Here's a peek. Look here for an interesting diagram of the changes in the garments. And here's an interesting history.
The under story is that more and more people are seeing the leadership of [Lutheranism] as ridiculously out of touch with reality (which it is). While they can't express it in the church itself, they can express it by challenging (or at least not supporting) the churches political appointees.
[*Updated to remove comparison that upon reflection was inappropriate.]