01 May 2007

Checking Myself, Before I Wreck Myself (LDS Edition)

Ken Jennings has a post up regarding what he sees as a resurgence in anti-Mormon bigotry. I think he's right, I think it's on the increase, and I think it's shameful (Andrew Sullivan to name names was especially shameful in this regard).

I don't share his faith, but I share his concern over the manner in which his faith is being maligned.

Before I get too self righteous on this matter, I checked to see whether I poked fun at the LDS before, and turns out I did take a few swipes.

In a post where I pointed out Ken Jennings sarcastic suggestions for Jeopardy!, I titled the post, "Are Later Day Saints Allowed to be THAT Bitchy and Catty?". First, my apologies for getting the name of the faith wrong, it's Latter not Later, I know this, just didn't see it as I was typing, and nobody ever pointed it out these many months later (or is that latter?), second, I think Bitchy and Catty was overkill, 'sarcastic' would have worked much better, thirdly, as far as I know sarcasm is an allowable form of comedy for Latter Day Saints, but I was using comedic overstatement for effect, so forgive me.

The only times I have referenced Mormons was regarding Ken. Beginning where I first linked to Ken Jennings and was pointing out that he has a new (at least then it was new) blog. I was approving of his hippie hatred, as is clear to anyone who reads this blog, that is one group for which I believe no type of discrimination or bigotry is uncalled for.

That was a tweak at Ken, not a swipe at his faith, I hope that is how it would be received.

The second time was on the day Snakes on a Plane was released, and that was post like a mother%#$@er day (as an explanationg for the faux-expletives). He was jokingly referring to placing some bets, and I jokingly referred to the prohibition against gambling amongst Latter Day Saints.

It's always seemed a bit strange that the old time locals in Vegas and a big part of the important folks about town have been Mormons (less so today as the city expands, but then there still is Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid from nearby Searchlight).

But I'm sure my experience isn't unique in that whenever I've met a Latter Day Saint they've been good, decent, and warm folks, so if their faith is rather shiny and new and if their origins seem a bit strange, so be it. Regardless of where it began, this faith is one of the better ones as far as how it treats those outside of their faith, and for my money that's the best way to measure a faith.

No faith has a monopoly on belief, or believers, so how they react when they meet the unfaithful is important, and on that count the Latter Day Saints are golden and their faith's ability to adjust their views has been exemplary (the shift in attitudes towards blacks for instance)

Faiths I may not be so generous towards include, Scientology, Islamic Extremists, Extreme Secularists, Gaiaists, Jainism (really, space clad priests?) and any New Age-y repackaging of any sort of Eastern Mysticism. All that stuff is just plain crazy.

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