My conspiracy theory #2
You can add this to my earlier Mormon Conspiracy Theory and decide whether I should get out of the conspiracy theory business… 😉
People keep pointing out that it was so obvious that Proposition 8 would be a P.R. fiasco that the Mormons should have predicted it. Well, I contend that the brethren did predict it, and it was exactly what they were hoping for.
The thing is this: Mormons thrive on “persecution”: the siege mentality that says “We must be doing something important if so many evil people are hell-bent on stopping us!” And they finally got some of it during the Romney campaign. Sort of.
But there’s a bit of a problem if all of your persecution comes from your fellow Religious Right theocrats. Some Mormons will be willing to blow it off as a generic “Satan fighting the Lord” situation, but others might make the obvious observation that the theocracy is the problem — and be tempted to join their fellow minorities in the “rainbows of diversity” crowd. Not the majority of faithful Mormons, mind you — but just enough “11th Article of Faith” sticklers will imagine that it’s okay to join hands with non-member/non-believer Democrats to make the rich/religious privilege Utah government folks uncomfortable.
The solution? Alienate the rainbow crowd, big time. This will attract exactly the right type of hate and persecution.
Whew, crisis averted!
What you’ve described does seem to be the position that various LDS spokesfolks have recently taken re the backlash, e.g. Bro. Lawrence:
“Which is worse — antagonism or apathy? I believe apathy is our bigger enemy.”
And recent comments in the ‘nacle would seem to confirm that “apathy” has been teed up as the new bugaboo.
That said, I’m not sure if Lawrence, Otterson, et al are still reading from the original script, or have they begun to improvise?
If this was the plan all along, it seems like a strange place to want to end up … where you’ve got Mormon PR folks pushing a meme that being Mormon is all about opting for antagonism over apathy.
As if anyone needed reminding of that.
Smells like self-marginalization to me, but I’m admittedly more confused than anything else at this point. If the conspiracy remains intact, what secret objective is it now working to achieve? Having conspired to pass Prop 8, if victory winds up amounting to little more than a bonding exercise for the like-minded that expands and hardens opposition to the conspirators’ aims, isn’t that a massive fail?
Chino — Yeah, that’s the other theory: that they’re playing by ear (or “inspiration”).
But here’s what this plan accomplishes: it keeps the faithful ensconced in the old-fashioned GOP.
People sometimes claim that the GOP’s coalition of moneyed interests with religious interests is somehow an unnatural alliance, but it makes perfect sense for the Mormons and especially for their leaders.
O/T … doesn’t this sound like a great idea?
Meet Our Families Day
And trying to get back on topic, isn’t this the real problem facing the coalition of the moneyed and the devout? The box inside which their thinking necessarily takes place just keeps getting smaller. Next time around, it’s not gonna be so easy for them to deploy their families in a campaign to deny the existence of our families.
My impression is that the brethren and the COB always expected some criticism but that the intensity has taken them by surprise. They did not expect that Mormons for 8 would be able to identify thousands of Mormon donors that have given forty percent of the money for 8 and that project that as much as 80% of the total donations might be from Mormons who are following their leaders.
The brethren would have been fine with being attacked alongside the Catholic establishment. That way, Mormons could have mainstreamed. I think that they are very much disappointed to appear as a fundamentalist, intolerant, bigoted, and pre-modern sect.
That’s not the image that the brethren intended to project. They wanted to be a little old-fashioned in the company of other respectable traditionalists.
Instead, they have been unmasked as fundamentalist extremists. Game over.
Chino — exactly. And your off-topic suggestion also looks cool.
Hellmut — You’re right, I think that’s exactly it!
Now that you mention it, they came out and said it directly in their press release: they were surprised at being “singled out” for their actions. They wanted it to be the Mormons standing stalwartly beside Catholics and other Christians, all getting persecuted together by depraved liberals. That would have helped their eternal “the enemy of my enemy is my ally” strategy.
But they just can’t seem to get it calibrated right…
Their allies are pathetic. If the brethren had relied on the Catholics and the Evangelical fundies, Prop. 8 would have gone down.
There are hardly any Catholics left who actually obey their bishops. And the fundies have to pay their own bills first. They have a hard enough time making pay roll, much less fund multi-million dollar political campaigns.
I also doubt that the brethren expected to get caught, which was only due to the excellent work of Mormons for 8.
Yeah, but a lot of people naturally see the Catholics’ inferior obedience (and willingness to think for themselves) as a strength rather than a weakness. Andrew argues that this sort of thing is why Kennedy was able to convince people that he wouldn’t be beholden to Rome, but Romney couldn’t make the corresponding claim.
Like Mormon leaders, Catholic bishops tend to be old. They never needed to worry about providing for their children. They never had to change diapers, check home work, or attend PTA.
To be sure, celibacy can be an asset. May be, celibacy strengthened the Polish resistance during Soviet subjugation.
But it is pretty easy to see why pious people would still choose their own path.
Yeah, what I was trying to get at is…Mormon allies being “pathetic” is why they are viewed so positively and the Church will probably receive the most flak. Even though the Church will say it was a minority of the *votes* for 8 and it was part of a coalition…people will see in the end that Mormons seem best able to mobilize on command of the Brethren.
The Church wants to be see as member of this coalition because that means it’s not being a sole bully, so to speak. It is just moving with popular opinion, as many prop 8 supporters will argue. But perceptually, things won’t work out like that. And as a result, Mormon (insert-position-of-influence-here, but especially) politicians will be distrusted.