Newsweek Celebrates “The Mormon Moment,” Clearly Still Hates Gay People

If you know anything about the Mormon position on LGBT and Women’s Rights, you may have been a bit shocked, as I was, to see this week’s Newsweek cover story: “The Mormon Moment: How the Outsider Faith Creates Winners.”

Featuring Mitt Romney’s head photoshopped onto the body of a leaping Mormon missionary from the Trey Parker/Matt Stone musical, The Book of Mormon, this feature story was not, as you may have guessed, written by Ramin Setoodeh, a legend in the gay community for the internalized homophobia he’s projected into a number of Newsweek stories, including one about how gay actors can’t play straight roles and another about how a mudrered 15-year old gay boy could’ve maybe saved his own life by not wearing so much glitter to school.

But nope. And while this isn’t a Setoodeh piece, it’s still another unfortunate example of Newsweek totally alienating gay people!  Mormons Rock!, which is described like so…

They’ve conquered Broadway, talk radio, the U.S. Senate — and they may win the White House. Why Mitt Romney and 6 million Mormons have the secret to success.

… is by Walter Kirn, a journalist who’s work I’ve actually enjoyed for many years now, including most notably Lost in the Meritocracy: How I traded an education for a ticket to the ruling class and The Autumn of the Multi-Taskers, which inspired me to give up multi-tasking for three days.

Mormons Rock!, however, oddly almost inspired me to cry and throw things. The article’s thesis, it seems, is that Mormons are misunderstood as crazy zealots with personal planets, but due to the people/things represented in a neat-o collage [see photo, right], Mormons are on the verge of “having a moment.”

Kirn writes that “despite the sudden proliferation of Mormons in the mainstream, Mormonism itself isn’t any closer to gaining mainstream acceptance.” Huh, I wonder why.

This is especially evident in politics, Kirn says, where “15 Mormons currently serving in the U.S Congress” feel they must downplay their Mormonism because Americans won’t vote for Mormons. That must be so hard for them, to have to hide who they are in order to succeed!

Kirn suggests we abandon our Magical Underwear feelings in favor of a new, pro-Mormon argument:

The pro-Mormon argument doesn’t have anything to do with the quirkier aspects of the sect’s history and practices (special underpants, magic spectacles); the accouterments of any religion can seem wacky when scrutinized in the public square. Instead, it centers on the distinctive values and characteristics that have come to define Mormons outside the church walls—in their communities, in their careers, and in the culture at large. Those inclined to think of Mormons as a band of zealots bent on amending the Constitution to outlaw cappuccino may never be convinced. But the rest of us might benefit from hearing the country’s most prominent and influential Mormons tell the truth about their faith: that the distinctiveness of the Mormons is actually the secret of their success.

A few examples of many Mormon success stories discussed therein:


Politics – Mitt Romney

Newsweek says:

By de-emphasizing his Mormonism, Mitt Romney is missing an “unprecedented opportunity to dispel misconceptions, blunt biases, and make real progress.” This is unfortunate because “nowhere is the gap between increased exposure and actual progress more pronounced than in politics.” In both of those sentences, “progress” is defined as “Americans realizing that Mormons are all good citizens, good people, and misunderstood.”


Mitt Romney is on record supporting moves to de-fund Planned Parenthood and favors a repeal of Roe vs. Wade. He believes same-sex marriage “would destroy not only the culture of America but also irreparably damage the education system and thereby children.”

What a good citizen!


Economics: Tithings

Newsweek says:

“The desire to avoid asking for assistance from non-Mormons has also influenced the church’s structure, which requires nearly every member to contribute to the common cause… in an age of spiritual consumerism, when many people regard religion as a therapeutic lifestyle aid, faith is often expected to serve the individual. For Mormons, it’s the other way around.”


The Mormon Church has made $30 billion as of 1997 and pulls in a $5.6 billion annual gross that would place it above Nike and Gap Inc on The Fortune 500. When same-sex marriage was passed in California, members of the Mormon Church took it upon themselves to pass Prop 8, providing 75% of the funds required to win Prop 8 via Protect Marriage. M.Russell Ballard and two other “living prophets” told their followers that giving money to stop same-sex marriage was imperative re: the quality of their afterlife/relationship with God, Jesus et al. A majority of these Yes on 8 funds came from individual Mormon donors.

(ALSO because the church decries all sexual activity outside of traditional marriage, as long as same-sex marriage is prohibited, gay Mormons will never get laid ever in their entire lives!)


Pop Culture – Twilight

Newsweek says:

“Stephanie Meyer’s extraordinarily popular Twilight novels and films give vampires a Mormon makeover, with a lead character, Edward Cullen, serving as a sexy model of moral purity and chastity.”


Regardless of the book/movie’s entertainment value, the Bella/Edward situation is a feminist’s nightmare. Edward Cullen meets/smells Bella, falls obsessively ‘in love’ with her and spends the next few years ‘protecting’ her by controlling her in a psychologically abusive relationship which keeps her helpless, useless, sans ambition and perpetually near death without him. Characterized by Bitch! Magazine as “abstinence porn,” I don’t think anyone needs Edward to be a “model of moral purity and chastity.”

In general the article seems to confuse “individualism” with “egoism” as well as highlighting Mormon achievements as distinctive and singular as if JetBlue’s success is clear evidence of Supreme Mormon Outsider Values Conquering All. If you strip away the extreme tenants of ANY religion, you’ll find good strong values underneath and concordant patterns of traditional measures of success. 87% of Jews go to college! 65% of Hindus make over $75,000 a year! 97% of Buddhists graduate high school!


Perhaps most upsetting, however, is Kirn’s characterization of the Mormon faith as “underdogs” desperately in need of this aforementioned “moment.” Kirn details the history of the Mormon Church, claiming that its astonishing growth in the present day (which is problematically provided as evidence of its validity) is “fueled by a ferocious underdog energy derived from an experience of brutal persecution… the sect’s unusual beliefs, like the wives of its leaders, multiplied rapidly, provoking opposition everywhere the Mormons turned.”

His repeated insistence that our disillusionment with Mormons stems from unnecessary focus on the “wacky” tenets of the Magic Underwear Religion is misguided. He’s right that “the accouterments of any religion can seem wacky when scrutinized in the public square.” But who cares? THAT’S NOT OUR PROBLEM.

The problem is that for a group allegedly suffering from non-stop misunderstanding and persecution, they sure are quick to misunderstand and persecute others, using their unique economic power to defeat civil rights for gay people. Gay people, by the way, were also persecuted and eventually made San Francisco into their Utah after the rest of the country was deemed unsafe to live. Prop 8 is mentioned  but quickly brushed aside and it’s certainly not apologized for.

Though it’s not referenced in the piece, Kirn’s family joined the Church of Latter-Day Saints when Kirn was 12, but he ended his formal association with the church at 17 and now identifies as a “Cultural Mormon.” He’s a white, cisgender male who legally married his wife in 1995 and later divorced. It’d be dismissive and unfair to write off his perspective on Mormonism as reflective of privilege, but I would’ve appreciated some attempt to address its controversial positions on reproductive rights and gay rights.

Am I the crazy one? Am I overreacting? Yes we’ve got about 678 bones to pick with the Mormon faith, from little things to big things, but I’ve been to a Mormon Church service and it wasn’t totally unbearable, I’ve known some very lovely Mormons and OBVIOUSLY not all Mormons are anti-gay.

And that’s the thing! If there IS progress to be noted in the Mormon Church, it’s groups like Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons and Mormons for Marriage or movements like this new wave of Mormon feminism.

When Kirn says “Today the legacy of that marginalization continues to mark the Mormon outlook of the world,” he could be aptly describing feminist and gay Mormons, but he’s not, he’s focusing on people like MITT F*CKING ROMNEY. But the day that statement becomes true will be a day worthy of the exuberance currently reflected on the cover of a magazine that used to be considered one of the more liberal publications.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. can’t say i’ve ever liked Newsweek. in fact, it’s always left me with just a tinge of animosity.

  2. I didn’t even know about this Newsweek article. Thank your for writing such an articulate response, because mine was “WTF?!?!?”. You’re right, it would have been nice if Newsweek focused at all on the growing progressive movements in the church, instead of painting them as ‘underdogs’ and patting them on the back.

  3. Not only that, but now they’ve got an amusingly bad Nebula-winning novelette about SPACE WHALES and bitchy-sexy atheist ladies being proven wrong. It’s all looking up for the Mormons!

    • Orson Scott Card has a new book out?

      (No, seriously, did he write it? I liked Ender’s Game but I know he’s been prone to writing lots of AuthorTracts these days.)

      • Nope! Eric James Stone, “The Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made.”

        I think the reason it won is because the category was split between a few other REALLY GOOD stories, so the sense-making votes got broken up.

      • it’s a conundrum for me because Ender’s Game is seriously one of my favorite books of all time. i’ve read three personal copies to pieces.

        i have to accept, at the same time, that the author is an homophobic (and just plain mean). :( #feelings

        • Yeah, I compensate by making sure I never buy his books firsthand. I always get them secondhand or borrow them from a friend or library, that way I can make sure he’s not getting any of my money :)

          • Precisely that! Though I’ve basically disavowed anything except Game and Shadow… and that one Russiany Sleeping Beauty one, though I read it when I was twelve. I just have an obsession with Slavic myth.

        • THIS. You know how some people talk about how they grew up on Narnia and then felt betrayed when they figured out Lewis was a big Christian and Narnia’s a big-ass allegory? For me, that was Orson Scott Card. I loved Ender’s Game, and for a while I’d eat up anything he wrote . . . including his editorial stuff, which I read through his website.

          It took me a lot longer than it should have to realize what a screaming homophobe he is, because he was kind of my writing hero when I was a teenager.

          Now my writing (and everything) hero is Neil Gaiman, though, so everything is good. #improvements

  4. To the writer of this article and all LBGTs that share this scathing opinion of Mormons:

    I thought your goals were about achieving equality, eliminating discrimination, respecting the beliefs of others. It’s clear in this article and countless others like it, that many of you are just as intolerant, spiteful, and hateful as the people you’ve been demonizing for so long. You mock the Mormon faith and their practices; and make false generalizations that Mormons hate gay people.
    This makes you worse than the “homophobes” that have “discriminated” against you because tolerance and acceptance is your fundamental mantra.

    • Read the entire fucking article before getting all pissy. The author makes it explicitly clear at the end with the links to groups like Mormons for Marriage that not all Mormons are anti-gay.

      Regardless, the very institution of the LDS Church has dedicated many of its resources to striking down marriage equality. And unlike the equally-homophobic Roman Catholic Church, they require their followers to support them monetarily through tithes. If you so much as watch the trailer that Riese linked for 8: The Mormon Proposition, you’ll see they actually sent threats to many California Mormons if they didn’t contribute enough money to the Yes on 8 campaign.

    • Hi, did you read the last three paragraphs of this article?

      You should probably do that, because um I think you missed this: “I’ve been to a Mormon Church service and it wasn’t totally unbearable, I’ve known some very lovely Mormons and OBVIOUSLY not all Mormons are anti-gay.”

    • And also, no, LGBT people writing angry articles and making angry documentaries about Mormons is NOT the same – and CERTAINLY not “worse” – as them spending tons of money to engineer campaigns to take away our human rights. The equivalent would be if LGBT people organized to take away Mormons’ rights to practice their religion.

      “Tolerance” means being open-minded, not being a doormat.

    • For real for real? Read this part slowly 5 times.

      “The problem is that for a group allegedly suffering from non-stop misunderstanding and persecution, they sure are quick to misunderstand and persecute others, using their unique economic power to defeat civil rights for gay people. Gay people, by the way, were also persecuted and eventually made San Francisco into their Utah after the rest of the country was deemed unsafe to live. Prop 8 is mentioned but quickly brushed aside and it’s certainly not apologized for.”

      Did a group of homogays organize themselves (and not invite me)to take away anything from Mormons? This is a response to the article, not a rally to take anything from Mormons.

    • How cute. He’s got homophobe and discriminated in quotations. He obviously doesn’t believe these things exist which tells me all I need to know. And ‘demonizing”, really? Standing up for yourself against some of the hateful these people say about us(like that we are diseased pedophiles who are out to corrupt children and destroy the sanctity of marriage) is “Demonizing” Mormons? Ok, then.

      • Sometimes I like to use quotations to “emphasize” and other times I like to use quotations to “dismiss.”

        Oh, woe. I am so “terribly” misunderstood.

    • I think there’s an important distinction to be made here: individual Mormons are not the problem here. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a whole and the Church’s behavior? That’s the problem.

      • THIS!

        I’ve known some pretty damn cool people who also happened to be Mormon. But part of what made them cool was that they went “What?! Um, no.” to a lot of the discriminatory, just-plain-mean Church policies.

      • That was exactly what I was going to say. Individually, Mormons are just people. But the big organization of the LDS might as well be another corporation with a political agenda as far as I’m concerned.

  5. When the Mormons wanted to “redefine the institution of marriage” in the late 19th century, the government said no. I think they’re still butthurt over that.

    Jokes aside, I also had problems with the article. I don’t doubt that there are people who dislike Mormons for the stupid, shallow reasons the article mentions, or for their theological differences from mainstream Christianity. I know this because I have met people like that. But the LDS Church is doing a lot to alienate people who would otherwise be completely respectful of the religion. Despite their status as a minority group, they feel pretty entitled to push their beliefs on others via gay marriage and abortion bans. For a group that benefits a lot from the fact that we have a separation of church and state and that Protestant Christianity is not the law of the land, they sure don’t have much respect for the First Amendment.

    And that’s the thing – religious tolerance is a two-way street. You can’t demand it from others without being willing to show them the same courtesy. And while I won’t look down on them for the magic underpants or the no-caffeine stuff, I fail to see why being a religious pluralist means I’m supposed to let religious groups walk all over MY rights.

    • “religious tolerance is a two-way street. You can’t demand it from others without being willing to show them the same courtesy”


  6. I dislike it when groups with a lot of privilege paint themselves as underdogs and then turn around and try and take rights away from other minority groups. If you really were disadvantaged, you’d think you could spare a little compassion for other people.

    It pisses me off.

    That’s all I have to say about this.

    Oh, except that I find the Mormon musical amusing because a lot of people seem to not understand that it’s satire and think it’s serious. That makes me laugh.

    • I don’t think we can say that Mormons are a “privileged group” necessarily. Religion is rather complicated in that respect. While Mormons are often able to fly under the radar due to their Whiteness (most American Mormons, anyway – not everybody) and their shared political beliefs with many conservative mainstream-Christians, the mainstream churches also have a lot of hatred toward Mormon theology and practices (such as the magic underpants or the polygamy – which a lot of people still don’t understand is no longer practiced by the main LDS church). I know that even Glenn Beck was encouraged to play down his Mormonism on his show because they knew much of the audience were fundamentalist Christians with weird feelings about Mormons.

      Just looking at this list of examples Christian Privilege: it is clear that many, but not all of these, apply to Mormons. For example: “If I wish to give my children a parochial religious education, I probably have a variety of options nearby.” This may be true in areas of the country where Mormons are plentiful, like much of the Mountain West, but not in others. “I can talk about my religion, even proselytize, and be characterized as “sharing the word,” instead of imposing my ideas on others.” I don’t think this is true, either; many people look down on Mormon door-to-door missionaries the same way they look down on Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      • Oh trust me it angers me as well. But it would be great if all of us groups that are discriminated against could just unite and agree to disagree. And see that we are all scrutinized for our lifestyles so we need to stick together instead of hating one another. But I also know this is reality and that is complete fantasy.

        • For lack of a better, less-childish way of saying this, I have to say: They started it.

  7. mormon missionary on the street: “do you wonder what happens after death?”
    me: “no.”
    mmots: “what will happen to your soul in the afterlife?”
    me: “i am supremely unconcerned.”
    mmots: “WTFBBQ!!!1!”
    me: “dude, stop following me.”

  8. Not surprised. After all, these are the same people who up until ’78, thought we black folks had no souls cos we were cursed by ham…or something.

    Which explains why my mom never had pork in the house growing up.

  9. has anyone ever watched the show “sister wives”? probably just me. anyway they are mormons, and there is this interesting/crazy thread in the way they talk about themselves (in the parts of the show when they are sitting on a couch talking to the camera), where they definitly feel and describe themselves as having an alternative/persecuted/outsider lifestyle. And the words they use are soooo similar to mainstream-ish gay narratives!! They actually say “lifestyle” and talk about just wanting to be treated as a normal family and not be judged, and how they wish others would be more “openminded.” They also refer to themselves as “coming out” as polygamists when they go public by being on tv. If I ignore the crazy-fundamentalist-christian-patriarchal bit the family is really likeable and seem very easygoing and openminded themselves. although there are no queer people on the show for them to meet obvs. TLC is really rotting my brain i think.

    • I actually like that show too. I like watching anything that shows the true workings of misunderstood lifestyles. Even if I don’t agree with them.

    • It should be mentioned that polygamy is outside of the official LDS church. These folks are more of a minority within a minority – people who follow the teachings of Joseph Smith AND practice polygamy.

    • The whole concept of “sister-wives” is hella gay in itself. They all live together! There’s four of them and only one dude! Their kids have multiple moms! They’re all kind of included in the marriage ceremonies! Too. Gay. To. Function.

      • The ‘Sisterwives’ women have said that they don’t ‘go weird’ (i.e. have sexual contact between the women or have the husband sleep with more than one woman at a time). Mind you, I don’t think they said it that way to Ellen…

        Many Christian polygamists condemn any and all non-heterosexual sex. Having said that, there are some who accept sexual contact between sisterwives. In some cases it is limited, in that it is only expected to occur when the women are having sex with the husband at the same time, but in other cases complete bisexuality is accepted, and even encouraged. Secular polygamists may have views either way, much like polyamorists.

        With regard to the Brown (TLC Sisterwives) family feeling persecuted: polygamous Mormons are not accepted as properly Mormon by the LDS church, and are on the whole disliked and disapproved of by the LDS church. Their children can face prejudice similar to that experienced by the children of same-sex partners. Additionally, the Brown family was originally living in a state which could prosecute them for polygamy, and they had been advised that they would definitely be prosecuted because they had publicly confirmed their relationship on national TV. The fact that there might be only one actual marriage certificate does not preclude prosecution in states which have anti-cohabitation laws which are aimed at disallowing polygamous relationships.

  10. How is gay marriage an issue of discrimination, civil rights or equality? Any attempt to frame it as such is naïve or deceptive. Couples don’t have rights. Individuals do. And all individuals in California under Prop 8 and elsewhere under similar laws are being treated equally, all subject equally to the same limitations on marriage. These laws don’t say gays can’t marry. They don’t say anything about gays. Gays can marry. A gay man can marry a woman. No man, straight or gay, can marry another man. What man or woman then is suffering discrimination? A man may want to marry another man, or a woman may want to marry another woman, but that is another issue totally unrelated to equality or discrimination. A man may also want to marry several women, or a family member. We are not obligated as a society to give everyone anything they want, especially not if innocent children may be adversely affected.

    If gays want to enter into civil unions that grant them all the rights of marriage and call their relationships “marriage” among themselves, that works for me. I’ll support that. What more do they need? They can dress up, have cake and a wonderful party – even be monogamous. I don’t mind. I don’t hate them. In fact, some of my closest associates are gay, and we love and respect one another. So, why do some of them have this urgent need to force the rest of us to call it marriage, too? Because they are hoping it will cure their debilitating self-esteem issues. They want to marginalize everyone who finds their behavior morally offensive, even take away our rights to disagree and silence us by the weight of the law. They are hoping that if no-one else finds their conduct offensive, they can then consider themselves normal. That’s really what all this is about. But they will discover that even if they succeed in corrupting everyone else’s innate sense of right and wrong, it won’t help them feel any better about what they are doing to themselves. For that, they will need to be honest with themselves and do what’s right.

    So, what’s right? Humanity has evolved with both a predisposition to sexual compulsion as well an inner regulator to protect us individually and collectively from compulsions that defeat the purpose of procreation. We see this in children, who, unless they are heavily indoctrinated to accept homosexuality as normal at a very early age (thereby damaging their inner regulators), have a natural aversion to the behavior as evidenced by their playground manners, which includes mocking, taunting and even shunning those who venture beyond acceptable sexual limits. This is not only normal and healthy, but also protective of the species. Doing what is right involves a person first admitting that change is possible – that he can control his behavior (our brains are not made of stone), then seeking to restore his inner regulator while using his will-power to abandon his evolutionary counterproductive behavior. I’m not suggesting aversion therapy or anything similar – just a calm personal inner determination to abandon selfish self-destructive practices and adopt self-control with positive affirmations. The result can then be the freedom from unhealthy sexual compulsions and the happiness of natural marriage, parenthood and a loving family.

    • I feel sorry for these gay friends you supposedly have that you believe are so morally offensive and have “debillitating self-esteem issues”.

      But mostly I just find your entire post hilarious.

      • My eyes glazed over as soon as I saw “But guys, I have gay friends!”

        I could have sworn some kind of moratorium re claiming that having X kind of friends is an even remotely legitimate argument.

        • Some kind of moratorium was issued, that is.

          This is what I get for trying to push my homomarriage agenda onto innocent children and type at the same time.

    • It’s like these assholes don’t even realize they’re posting on a queer website…
      Dude, I think you’ve got your “they”s and “we”s backwards.

    • Couples certainly do have special rights – married couples have legal rights relating to property, taxes, health care, etc. based specifically on their marital status. That is precisely one of the main reasons that gay marriage IS an issue of discrimination.

      Saying that a gay person has just as much right to marry (someone of the opposite sex) is a patently ridiculous straw man. The human rights issue here is that gay people do not yet legally have the freedom to marry someone they are IN LOVE WITH and ATTRACTED TO.

    • All your long-winded maneuvering and using complicated words does absolutely nothing to obscure the completely nonsensical nature of your opinions.

      I hope you sleep well at night knowing you can justify such hateful bile by using polite sounding words.

    • Oh Peter, did you have to calm your inner regulator to stop that darn counter-evolutionary 3 o’clock sock routine? Crap well spoken is still crap. Homogayness has been around from the beginning of time and yet the species prevails.

    • /A man may also want to marry several women, or a family member. We are not obligated as a society to give everyone anything they want, especially not if innocent children may be adversely affected./

      Honey please, I’ve lived in Northern Arizona. Let’s not pretend that Mormons aren’t actually doing this because I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.

    • Wow, we can “even be monogamous” after being allowed to dress up all fancy and have a little tea party. With cake and everything!
      And is he seriously using playground bullying to determine what is acceptable in society? I guess I should have listened to the other kids when they were calling me “Messica” and not letting me play Power Rangers with them at recess. Then I could buckle down escape this life my poor self esteem has led me to. Cause, you know, my version of parenting and a loving family are fueled by a desire to steal away rights from others.

      • Most kids have a “natural aversion” to vegetables too. Obviously those are immoral and we should outlaw their consumption!

    • You know what’s sad and awesome at the same time? I used to buy into the kind of crap that Peter is saying in his post. I’ve come a long way.

      Now, I live in San Francisco and am in post-production on a really gay movie. I’m so gay and so happy about being gay that I’m crapping rainbows. And, I’ve made my peace with God and JC. Apparently, God and JC don’t mind me crapping rainbows so much. :)

    • Did you read the sign on the door?

      “News, entertainment, opinion on GIRL-ON-GIRL culture.”

      You might want to next time you waste all that time on a 3-paragraph essay that isn’t going to convince a soul.

    • My first response was to take on your “points” and go on at length about how wrongheaded your post is. But others have already done that better than I could have.

      My second response was to just post “tl;dr”.

      My final response was to go meta and tell you about the whole process.

  11. Never posted here before but my God is Tina Brown grasping at straws here to try to make this moribund magazine “relevant” and “a conversation starter”. That little “Hotel Sex Poll” in the bottom right takes the cake but this piece of junk barfs it right back out atcha.

    • oh god can we talk about the hotel sex poll? i read that whole article ( i actually had the print magazine so i sort of like, read everything in order) and the whole time was like WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT? at the end of the article i still had no idea what was going on. was it an expose of how hotel maids are sexually harassed? or a salacious glimmer into the secret lives of traveling businessmen? or just a waste of time?

  12. As someone who was raised LDS, I just want to run around screaming “DON’T VOTE FOR HIM. DON’T. DO. IT.”

    Too many feelings.


  13. Those three groups mentioned at the end of the article are not officially endorsed by the church at all. Affirmation and the others were formed by individual members of the church without approval of their religious leaders. I too grew up LDS and boy is there a lot of self loathing involved in that community

  14. Underdog? Eh? America is the land of the almighty dollar, any which way you spin it, taking in approx 5.6 billion a year is no easy feat.

  15. Maybe these Mormon wierdos would shut up if we let them have 4 or 8 wives each.

    Since they also believe being gay is a choice, here’s the deal

    Just let the male excesses folks have sex with each other. All those strange people in strange undies doing it in the rear.

    So very soon that the Mormons would decide that gays were good people, and let them marry. (smiles)

    BTW, a ‘recovering mormon” told me that the church also teaches them how to put asside any empathy / sympathy for people with whom they disagree.

    Wasnt that exactly what hitler did in brainwashing his troops that Jews and gays and others deserved to be sent into the ovens?

    Religion is really very creepy………………….

    BTW, hitler was baptised catholic and has yet to be EXcommed by his church that supports life,

    Evne though his words killed 55 million. Hypocrites.

  16. It also bears repeating that a major tenant of the Mormon faith, until quite recently, was a belief that the color of your skin represents your goodness as a human being before your birth. And Mormonism being a uniquely Western faith, darkness represents evil while whiteness represents goodness:

    “We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or DISPLEASURE OF GOD UPON A PEOPLE, starting with the belief that A BLACK SKIN IS A MARK OF THE CURSE OF HEAVEN PLACED UPON SOME PORTIONS OF MANKIND. … We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God’s favored servants being of a black race….every angel who ever brought a message of God’s mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance BRIGHT as the noonday sun.”
    (Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 3, page 157)

    This gem of theological thinking was brushed under the rug in 1978 — 1978!!! — when people started to realized, Hey, that’s really terrible of you, Latter-Day Saints. But there’s no denying it was an important part of Mormon theology until quite recently, and that there are still Mormons in the upper echelon of the faith who were raised with these very ideas. For Mormons to trot out the old “underdog” trope and cry about discrimination, while at the same time enshrining that very evil in their own dogma and furthering the cause of discrimination in the United States and abroad seems … tacky. Tacky and reprehensible.

    • “It also bears repeating that a major tenant of the Mormon faith, until quite recently, was a belief that the color of your skin represents your goodness as a human being before your birth.”

      Some Mormons still teach that this is true. I’m not sure if this is routine Church policy that they just hide in the US because it’s bad PR, or if it’s just (several) individuals taking their own evil initiative. As an undergrad, I met one exchange student and my ex met two others who’d all been told by Mormon missionaries in their home countries that they wouldn’t get to go to the highest levels of heaven because of their skin color (but they should join the Church anyway, just because!). The one I met was from Vietnam and I’m not sure where the ones my ex met were from.

      The a few years later, a friend of mine left the Church after he was preparing to go on his Mission and he was advised by an elder in his local church to teach all this kind of discriminatory stuff. He’d been thinking about leaving for a while anyway, for a number of reasons, but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      Also, one of my aunts and uncle are Mormon and back when they had a lot of foster kids (for the money, because they’re assholes) they only took the white ones to services with them.

      I’ve known some lovely people who happened to be Mormon, but I have a bone to pick with the Church itself on a number of issues.

  17. “Those inclined to think of Mormons as a band of zealots bent on amending the Constitution to outlaw cappuccino may never be convinced.”

    So did this dude actually compare prop. 8 to banning cappuccino? Maybe I’m reading too much into this sentence, but could this guy be more condescending?

    And then to say that Mormons are persecuted while featuring millionaire Mitt Romney, seriously? that guy probably never had a day of suffering in his life . So much of this article is just fucking obnoxious. Oh and fuck newsweek this shit was probably paid for by Romney’s presidential campaign.

    • Having money doesn’t mean that you can’t be persecuted in other ways. After all, there are well-off gay people and Black people.

  18. I like to think I have “magic underwear” too. Probably not for the same reasons though…

  19. Religion. Religion is difficult, complicated. There’s that thin line between respecting differences and tolerating injustice that I can’t always seem to find and therefore just try to avoid. I do, however, believe that certain values should be universal. I believe in equality. I believe sins are acts that hurt people, nothing more, nothing less. The point of religion is making sense of the world, creating a feeling of belonging, a sense of something greater than yourself, the point is to make this a better place, for everyone. Unfortunately, there is money.

  20. I simply cannot respect a religion with a primary holy book that makes outrageous and archaeologically unfounded claims about the history of the Americas, yet is considered by the official church and most adherents to be a factual historical record. Everything that comes out of the LDS Church is laughable to me.

    That is all.

  21. Walter Kirn is a sexist douchebag, so I’m not surprised he wrote this. I know this because I attended a writer’s workshop where he was teaching and during which he attempted to seduce a much younger, married female student in his workshop and pressured her repeatedly even after she said “no.” It was gross. That’s all.

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