Did you think my kiss was a promise of what you’ll have? No, my pompous one. It was to let you know what you will not have.
The Mormons’ relationship with the Religious Right keeps reminding me of this crazy Ten Commandments quote. In kind of an opposite sort of way.
After all of the crap the Mormons took from the Religious Right during the Romney campaign, many foolish people (including me) thought this would be the year when the Mormons would finally stand up to the Christian theocrats and stop taking it. Instead, they offer up this reconciliation present: pulling out all the stops and investing a hundred and ten percent in California’s Proposition 8, of all things. It’s an effective way to get the entire organizational and financial might of the LDS church involved in a get-out-the-vote effort — directed at the Religious Right in a big, important state — without openly endorsing a candidate. It’s like the Mormons are saying to the Religious Right: “Hey, don’t write us off — look what we have to offer!” Still, they might have considered sending a message like “Here’s what we could do for you if only you’d stop calling us a Satanic cult.” As it is, the Religious Right has gotten the message loud and clear: they don’t need to waste a single second wooing the Mormons in order to have have them.
And this campaign for California’s Proposition 8 is costing the Mormons a pretty penny. With the current economy, it’s a heck of a time to be asking people to donate another 1% of their yearly income to a political campaign instead of advising members to get their finances in order. Plus, the LDS church is generating tons of negative publicity since this cause can’t help but remind people of the Mormons’ history of racism.
Then, of course, this campaign is terribly polarizing within the ranks of the church itself. The two sides are losing the ability to understand or have any empathy for one another. The people on the faithful Mormon blogs are claiming that — just because they’re standing up for what they believe in — hateful anti-Mormon remarks are being directed at them by some of the very people who claim to love tolerance. It looks like hypocrisy. The other side counters “Wait a minute — so are you for discrimination or against it? Pick one or the other. It would be a lot easier to stand in solidarity beside you against hate if you weren’t so busy lobbing hate onto another minority, not to mention handing the keys of theocracy to a majority religious group that doesn’t really include or accept you…”
By insisting that everyone take a stand, the LDS church is pushing people to the two poles, and families and friendships divided by this issue groan under the strain. I suspect that those Mormons who make big sacrifices to promote Proposition 8 will end up just that much more committed to the church, while many others will start questioning the faith, and eventually leave. There will probably be that much less room for the “middle way.”
Is that what the brethren want?
Maybe it is.