OK, today’s title is not related to this week’s posts (except maybe these). I was just sipping my tea and gazing out my window at the beautiful snow-covered roofs and trees, and thought: time for a relaxing afternoon of reading blogs!
Andrew Sullivan wrote an interesting thought experiment: What if Obama were a member of a church that has as much history of racism (against whites) as Mormonism does against blacks — would the press have been as polite about it as they were about Romney’s Mormonism? I say probably not, but I think this is largely because those media outlets who were playing Jeremiah Wright’s “God damn America” quote in a loop have just given up any semblance of treating their audience like reasonable, intelligent people.
In his thought experiment, Sullivan mistakenly confused the Lamanites’ curse (explained in the Book of Mormon) with the curse of Cain (through the lineage of Ham, as explained in Pearl of Great Price). OMG, how ignorant can you get, mistaking one Mormon racial-darkening curse with an entirely different one?! True to form, Joanna Brooks wrote an indignant can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees about how the curse of Cain and Ham — and corresponding restriction on the priesthood — isn’t in the Book of Mormon. Curiously, she neglected to mention the (extremely relevant) fact that that doctrine is in the Pearl of Great Price. From her “correction” you’d think Sullivan was wrong to claim that the Mormon doctrines about the curse of Cain are in the canon of Mormon scriptures. And you’d be wrong.
This is my my #1 biggest pet peeve about modern Mormonism. The faithful constantly insist that they are the only ones qualified to pronounce on Mormonism — yet they somehow can’t bring themselves to give clear, complete, and accurate information. I would like to believe that you can be a practising Mormon without checking your integrity at the door. It would be interesting to see if such a person ever gets a hold of the microphone. (For example, it looks like this correction is right, whereas I think this complaint is another example of missing the forest for the trees — do you agree?)
The biggest discussion category this week was gender, starting with that eternal conundrum — can gender really be eternal? And an even more interesting one: The CoJCoL-dS measures the health of a ward or branch according to the activity level of the adult men. Many commenters wondered why the women’s activity rate was not considered important, but — duh! — a congregation needs leaders, and women aren’t allowed in those roles. In CoJC-L-dS branch of Mormonism, that is — it’s a bit of a different story in another LDS tradition and for former Mormons. In other gender stories, one Mormon lady is taking her own identity back (long after a divorce) and others are praying to Heavenly Mother. Meanwhile, the Mormons are still teaching gay people that they can (and should!) overcome their homosexuality. Sounds like we could really use this improved Family Proclamation!!
There were several interesting posts about the Middle East this past week, including some historical information about David O. McKay’s early experiences in Israel, plus a Mormon living in the Middle East posted some amusing items from Mormon culture, plus some news on people convicted of blasphemy.