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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 08:52 PM
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Making Fun of Mormonism
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Everyones doing itplanets! tablets! underwear!but is it really so clever?

December 5, 2011
By Max Mueller

Sacred underwear, baptizing holocaust victims, gods of their own planets.

When some of Americas most celebrated pundits and public intellectuals talk about Mormons, these are the images that are summoned. Ironically in this Mormon Momentsignaled by a hit Broadway musical, polygamous housewives on TLC, and of course two Mormon presidential candidatesMormons, long considered quintessential outsiders to mainstream American culture, today find themselves at the center of the American zeitgeist. Yet it is the Mormons supposed theological weirdness that is the centripetal attraction.

As Joanna Brooks has noted in these pages, the New York Times recently featured Harold Blooms musings on how a President Romney would govern a country, and a planet, from which he would in the afterlife depart, becoming the god of his celestial body. More planet talk happened just last week on the Chronicle of Higher Educations Brainstorm Blog. Michael Ruse, philosopher of biology, asserted that it is legitimate not to vote for a presidential candidate whose theology is totally barmy. We can become gods with our own planets! No coffee and tea is bad enough. But the underwear! In October, in a column called Anne Frank, a Mormon? Maureen Dowd offered (via Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens) the full rundown of Mormon weirdness, from Joseph Smiths uneasy reputation to the Jewish dust-up: the posthumous baptism of Jews.

Casual assertions of knowledge about Mormon theology have dismayed longtime scholars of Mormonism. UNCs Laurie Maffly-Kipp recently told me that while seeming to archly critique the evangelical and atheist attacks on Mormonism, Dowds column in particular represented one pithy stroke of ignorance masquerading as informed opinion.
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  -Making Fun of Mormonism rug  Dec-05-11 08:52 PM   #0 
  - mormon superstitions and myths are no better or worse than christian ones. And mormons are not  msongs   Dec-05-11 08:54 PM   #1 
  - I take it you read the article in two minutes.  rug   Dec-05-11 08:56 PM   #2 
     - I wouldn't call it large.  darkstar3   Dec-05-11 09:00 PM   #3 
     - I'll take your word for it.  rug   Dec-05-11 09:11 PM   #10 
     - Could you apply that larger point to atheism, then?  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:11 PM   #9 
        - Easily.  rug   Dec-05-11 09:16 PM   #13 
           - The difference is the gold plates and underwear are real beliefs of Mormonism. Yours are not.  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:20 PM   #16 
           - So then, speaking for atheists, hold that there is immaterial existence?  rug   Dec-05-11 09:29 PM   #18 
           - There is no consistent view on anything like that among atheists  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:33 PM   #23 
              - Hence the reduction.  rug   Dec-05-11 09:38 PM   #25 
              - You made strands up. Gold plates and underwear are real Mormon concepts  dmallind   Dec-06-11 03:11 PM   #36 
              - "like asking if all non-golfers also hate cricket" love that... or  MarkCharles   Dec-06-11 09:54 AM   #30 
           - No, atheism is an active disbelief. The default position is "no data is available"  saras   Dec-05-11 11:11 PM   #27 
              - Only if you drastically change the definition.  darkstar3   Dec-05-11 11:13 PM   #28 
              - Bullshit. What does asymmetrical mean? The idea symmetry is impossible? Aseptic?  dmallind   Dec-06-11 03:14 PM   #37 
           - Do you subscribe to objective morality?  laconicsax   Dec-05-11 09:32 PM   #20 
           - Nobody does  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:37 PM   #24 
              - Not just that...  laconicsax   Dec-06-11 01:07 AM   #29 
           - Yet at the same time, you DID mention the Tree of Knowledge.  cleanhippie   Dec-06-11 10:00 AM   #31 
              - I really did not mean to mention the Tree of Knowledge.  rug   Dec-06-11 10:38 AM   #32 
                 - Yet at the same time, you DID mean to mention it.  cleanhippie   Dec-06-11 10:46 AM   #33 
                    - No, I did not mean to mention the Tree of Knowledge.  rug   Dec-06-11 10:54 AM   #34 
  - Mormon apologetics  NMMNG   Dec-05-11 09:03 PM   #4 
  - Who are Trey Parker and Matt Stone?  ellisonz   Dec-05-11 09:03 PM   #5 
  - South Park eviscerated the Mormons.  rug   Dec-05-11 09:10 PM   #7 
     - Their musical is actually quite redemptive in the end, as is the SP episode  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:14 PM   #12 
  - The jokes write themselves, and nothing should be immune from humor.  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:05 PM   #6 
  - What fun!  rug   Dec-05-11 09:10 PM   #8 
     - That's kind of the point of humor yes. Fun. That's it.  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:11 PM   #11 
        - Wheeee! There's a Mormon!  rug   Dec-05-11 09:18 PM   #14 
           - Now there's an example of non-humor.  dmallind   Dec-05-11 09:21 PM   #17 
  - Mormons spent millions on Prop H8 and that's not a joke.  Bluenorthwest   Dec-05-11 09:19 PM   #15 
  - And those millions were spent on lies  mitchtv   Dec-05-11 09:32 PM   #21 
  - They also spent shitloads of moolah back in the day opposing the ERA.  bengalherder   Dec-05-11 09:32 PM   #22 
  - Bingo  NMMNG   Dec-05-11 10:11 PM   #26 
  - Biblical Literalism is just as weird as Mormanism. So we should not single out Mormans as "weird."  yellowcanine   Dec-05-11 09:30 PM   #19 
  - This is symptomatic of the same underlying issue as the distrust of atheists.  Jim__   Dec-06-11 11:07 AM   #35 

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