Or is this picture as disturbing and offensive as I think it is? (Click on the image to see a larger version.)
Today, my partner and I took a not-Mormon-but-married-to-an-ex-Mo friend to the Mormon bookstore in our area preparatory to her departure to Salt Lake and grad school at the U. Even though said friend is married to an ex-mo, there’s still a lot about Mo culture she hasn’t grasped and we’re trying to help her acclimate as much as possible before she leaves, hence we all felt a trip to the local bookstore was in order. So off we ventured.
Is it just me or is Mormonism getting kitschier and kitschier? The amount of crap (and I mean crap) that can be purchased to show your allegiance to Relief Society, Young Women’s, and missionary service, not to mention theological concepts like eternity, faith, and holding to the rod (only a man could have come up with that phrase, by the way) is just astonishing and makes TBMs look like blatant hypocrites in light of their criticism of their ‘friends of other faiths’ (i.e.: Catholics.)
Anyway–I found this ‘painting’ in the section where the stuff for Young Women’s is at and it was everything I could do not to heave. I showed it to my partner and she said, “Know what? That I find offensive. As a woman, I’m personally offended by that.” I found it flat out creepy. And all I could think was, “I’m sure they didn’t intend to portray Jesus as a polygamist, but that’s sure what this looks like.”
In a word (and so unacademic and sociological of me): ick.
This ranks right up there with Julie Ann’s comments on The Mormons, I think, particularly part two in the PBS special documentary. If I’m missing something here, though, someone please impart some FLAK. Otherwise, I’m stickin’ with my first reaction and assessment: ick.