Sunday, October 09, 2011

Mormon underwear

I keep reading how Romney is supposed to "explain" his religion to evangelical Repugs. Explain what? He's a Mormon. Go read the Wikipedia entry. What, if he keeps explaining it at some point he'll turn into a  Southern Baptist? The Constitution prohibits a religious test for holding office, so the Christian right does the screening.

Someone  told me her Southern Baptist grandparents poured a little bit of milk in their root beer because they thought the carbonation was too stimulating. In lifestyle, there's isn't much difference between stricter Southern Baptists & Mormons. But Mormons wouldn't put milk their non-caffeine  carbonated beverages. They don't strike me like that. Some Southern Baptists wanted to boycott Disney World when Disney  allowed informal "gay days" & recognized the domestic partnerships of its employees. Mormons spend millions  opposing marriage equality, but Its hard to imagine them boycotting amusement parks.

Years ago I worked for a Mormon-owned print shop chain in NYC, Somewhere in my book boxes are several hundred pages of instructions for Mormon missionaries that read like they were written by behaviorists from  the Brigham Young University psychology dept., & probably were.    A slick Mormon missionary is always two steps ahead of the mark. Since the most susceptible mark is a confused,  under-educated person with  personal issues, those conversion techniques are hard to resist. The young male duos in the white shirts & ties show up with their complete media indoctrination package on the second  home visit & don't leave without pushing hard for a baptism date.

But what major Mormon politician has ever  been accused of using an elected office to proselytize? The Church of Latter Day Saints consider Mormon politicians themselves to be advertisements for the faith. Same as evangelical Christians regard favored evangelical politicians.  Many evangelicals believe Mormonism a dangerous Christian heresy, therefore Mitt Romney is a heretic. Mitt was born a Mormon.  Mormonism competes directly with evangelical missionaries around the world.  Religion writer Karen Armstrong says Mormonism isn't Christianity, but the 4th major Abrahamic religion. I'm inclined to agree. Mormons themselves prefer we believe they're protestants. Nonsense. But it's grown beyond a "cult."

Mormonism is a strange thing. Totally American. I don't buy anything about it  except that I have some regard for the structure of the church community. If  Mormonism had been birthed 2000 years ago, the Christian story would be no less incredible than Joseph Smith's tale of digging up golden plates, translating the contents with a "seer stone" as The Book of Mormon,  then conveniently handing them back to an angel.

I used to smoke pot & visit  the Mormon headquarters in New York to see the diorama of dummies with talking lips projected on to their faces. One of the scenes was a perfect Mormon family!

Romney is every bit as dull as he seems. By his own account, he lived in France for two years as a young Mormon missionary & sampled virtually nothing of the culture. Had no interest in it.  Never even went to the Louvre.  The only similar story I've read  is that of Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, skipping weekend passes while stationed in Germany with the Army, spending his free time experimenting with burgers in the mess hall. Yes, he really did.

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