The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as they insist on being called, has earned another reason to be regarded with a sneer of contempt: they sent a letter to all of their churches in California urging their adherents to vote for Proposition 8. It’s bizarre that a religion known for being out of step with the rest of the country on the issue of marriage, a place populated with polygamists and young girls treated as chattel and coaxed into child marriages, now wants to “preserve the sacred institution of marriage”. They sunk tens of millions of dollars into the campaign.
Californians are rightly demonstrating against the Mormon church—I’d be more than a little pissed off myself. After Enron enriched itself by bilking Californians, now you’ve got Salt Lake City trying to turn you into a little Utah. You’ve got cause to be annoyed at the way you’re being targeted.
People are trying to do something, and one thought is to try and revoke the Mormon church’s tax exempt status. Ah, sweet dream. I’d dearly love to see Obama repair the damage to our economy by revoking religious tax exemptions across the board, and refill our treasury with loot from the theological con artists. Alas, I’m at an Americans United meeting, and the place is crawling with lawyers and experts on separation of church and state issues, and I asked Barry Lynn directly what kind of legal recourse we had, and he regretfully pointed out that what the Mormon church did was entirely legal. It was ethically repugnant, of course, but complaining to the IRS is likely to net you doodly-squat in this case.
We may have to settle for escalating our mockery of mormonism. It’s not hard, after all: it is one of the most palpably ridiculous, unethical, dumb-ass religions flourishing in our unfortunate nation of theological dumb-asses. Did you know that being excommunicated from the Mormon church can get you expelled from BYU? Don’t go to BYU (not that there’s much chance many of my readers would do so), and feel free to sneer a little bit at the poor BYU graduates. Forget that ski vacation in Park City; Colorado has great snow, too. Be even ruder to the next pair of white-shirted Mormon missionaries who come to your door. Hey, does anyone know what a Mormon would find heretical? Send me something they find sacred.
Otherwise, we’re just stuck with this ugly outcome. All we can do is be more aware of the flock of smug, sanctimonious, hypocritical holy meddlers in our midst.
Remember, though, that all they were doing is trying to keep the definition of marriage as it has been since the beginning of time. Dumb-asses.