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Mormons. They are everywhere.

In the words of the great Jet Set it’s kind of like watching the Pandas.

Great story. Compelling and rich. Mormons.

Sorry about the ghetto clip. It’s the best I could find on YouTube but Mr. Fontana says it best.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m referencing the Emily Matchar’s Salon.com article entitled “Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs”.

At first blush, the article is complimentary, positive, patronizing. Actually kinder than most things written or said about Mormons online (or most places for that matter). But Erin (who is not Mormon) raised the excellent point that if you changed out the word Mormon for African American, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics . . . really take your pick . . . there would be a whole hell of a lot more fire. And yes America, I said hell. And I make frequent use of plenty of other words that only have four letters and yes . . . I’m a Mormon. Sure, that kind of language might cost me a retweet from church headquarters.

At a glance, here are some of the entertaining encounters I’ve had with “the world outside my polygamist compound”. (and yeah, that’s a joke in case you were wondering).

On a plane:
“You’re from Salt Lake? Mormon? Do you have horns?”

Image devilishly borrowed from ebaumsworld.com

On another plane:
“You’re not a real Christian. And you are going to hell.”

In a hotel business center:

A woman from a large Internet/Media company (who shall not be named):
“Look at Mitt Romney. I hate him. Could you imaging if we had a Mormon for a president? Those people are so crazy.”

Me:
“Yeah, they’re everywhere you know.”

Woman:
“It’s some kind of conspiracy!”

Me:
“You want to know the scariest thing? I am one.”
(I was super proud of myself on that one)

It goes on . . .

  • Are you a polygamist?
  • Can you dance?
  • Are you allowed to have sex for other than procreative purposes?
  • Tell me about your magic underwear!!!
  • Can you go to college?
  • and you get to know me and my Mormon peeps more:

  • Wow! You guys are really fun at a party and you don’t even drink!
  • You seem so normal?
  • I’m sorry for what I said about Mormon underwear, I would have never said that about an Orthadox Jew.
  • A favorite story from a friend on a plane (all the good ones seem to happen on planes):

    Passenger:
    “Does your wife where a bonnet?”

    My Friend:
    “Yes, but she wears a red one when it’s time to get crazy”.

    And there are far worse things that I’ve heard to my face, from behind, and especially in the media. Just go click on the comments of the Salon.com article for a peek. And that’s even pretty mild. Did you know you could legally kill a Mormon in Missouri until 1976? God Bless America!

    The truth about Mormons? They’ve got a unique set of beliefs that do not line up with what you see on Big Love and they are all shades of normal and crazy. Just like you. Whether you think we are right or wrong you best stop being so ignorant. We’re neither perfect nor living in a massive polygamous compound. And for whatever reason we seem to be all over social media. Because we are social people. So if it makes you uncomfortable that some of the big blogs are Mormon (and ex) and “that them Mormons” are hosting social media conferences and events, and that they are all over Twitter and sigh . . . in government and business too – you best shut your computer off now and board up the windows.

    We’re Mormons people . . . and we’re everywhere. (this is the part where you gasp and look over your shoulder)

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    Comments (27)

    1. Pingback: Mormons have style? What a Revelation. | RachaelH.com

    2. Pauline 03/28/2011 at 2:47 pm

      You mean it’s not just all meanspirited misconceptions about Catholics
      that are allowed these days? 😉

      Be blessed,
      Pauline

    3. Michelle Powell 03/27/2011 at 5:58 pm

      🙂

    4. Clisty 03/02/2011 at 3:12 pm

      I LOVE this!! I am from Northern Utah, now living in SE Idaho, so I don’t see/hear many comments like this. It’s funny to hear what people think of us. Thanks again for posting!!! LOVE IT!!

    5. megan 03/02/2011 at 8:21 am

      So well said, I *love* it.

    6. Nina 01/31/2011 at 11:09 am

      Reading the comments here is so much nicer than reading them on opensalon.com. People there are vicious and think Mormons are all about taking control of the world/government with our super underpants and numerous wives. Oh, and that we COULD be Christians if we didn’t sacrifice chickens in our temples. Why build such a gorgeous building just to spill chicken blood inside? I could do that just as easy in my backyard…
      Anyway, I love this. And next time someone asks me about a bonnet, I’m telling them I have a lacy red one for when we take care of our monthly “procreating” session. Bwahaha.
      Amen. {:

    7. Angela 01/28/2011 at 2:05 pm

      I don’t know about everywhere, but “there’s one born every minute”.
      This would be so much funnier if the Mormon church weren’t using it’s tax-free status as a church to fund an organized campaign to take as much control of our government as it can, and force other Americans to behave
      as it believes they should according to it’s “moral precepts”. You see, I believe in the fundamental separation of church and state as a primary protection of the rights of individual citizens. I don’t believe Churches should fund political campaigns. Nor do I believe that doing so was the intention behind giving them tax-free status. As far as I’m concerned, the Mormon Church is a right wing political organization that is hiding behind behind the facade of a church. People don’t want to be held responsible for the actions of the organization. But people make up the organization, and they give it their tithes and their power in numbers. The LDS organization could not do what it does without the support, and/or complacency of individual Mormons. I would say the same to right wing Catholics, or Evangelicals. If you were actually Christians, you would “leave Caesar’s things to Caesar”, as Jesus Christ, whom you claim to follow, advised you. Like the rest of your over-organized ilk, you are “Christianists”. No different than the “Islamists” except, for the moment, in your choice of weapons. The work of Christians, that Christ called them to do, is to feed and clothe “my lambs”, the poor and needy. Not judge them for their “unChristian actions”. That’s mostly what I see “religious” people doing. If you get your judgmental attitude dished back in the form of taunts about your unusual and anachronistic beliefs by people who have been beleaguered with constant moral criticism from your organizations, and a “holier than thou” attitude from your families, are you really that surprised? I guess asking you to be realistic would be silly. You took that con-man Joseph Smith at his word about finding some ancient tablets in his back yard with holy writing on them that he kept in a hat. Come on. (and the underwear and stuff were secret until their cover got blown lol)

      • Tess Adams 01/29/2011 at 9:58 am

        Ok so as you know of course based on my beliefs I completely believe in a seperation of church and state. The huge one for me is the fact that religions (mainly catholic) stand in the way of scientific medical progress atm. There was a fantastic team of scientists who were working on a project that may cure children like my daughter in the future but involved the use of stem cell research so it was shut down. (Though they didn’t stay that way, they just moved it out of country).

        But all I have to say about this post is WOW. Someone has been watching way to many conspiracy movies and believing too much they read on the internet.

        Go to your local Mormon church and just get to know a few of them. I may not believe in what they do, yet they are accepting of my beliefs, so why wouldn’t I be of theirs. They have reached out to help build a ramp for my handicapped daughter to be able to get her chair in and out of our house, they even built a large public playground here in town so all the kids around here had somewhere fun for us to take them. Don’t just chalk them up to a bunch of political mumbo jumbo, judge them on who they are as people, not as an “organization” as you put it.

    8. erin collard 01/27/2011 at 7:17 pm

      You mean, all this time I’ve been friends with and admired a–GASP!–Mormon? As an outsider in LDS culture, I’m constantly amazed at the galactic insensitivity and even outright bigotry torwards the LDS faith. And you’re correct. If Mitt Romney has been Jewish and they’d run that poll asking if you’d vote for a JEW for President (or black, or Catholic, blah blah blah) there would have been a firestorm of protest. You people apparently just don’t get pissy enough to frighten naysayers off.

    9. Tess Adams 01/26/2011 at 3:43 pm

      I am proud of you for standing up to them. I am one of those evil “ex” mormons. I was raised in the church and I took a lot of great things away with me. Everyone in school was harch about my religion, the fact that I was saving myself was a huge joke (and a strange challenge? to some weird men). I appreciate all of the great values I gained from my time in the church and the amazing friends I still have today.

      To let you know I still completely understand the “Stereotypes” people give you as my husband and I are known as, don’t shoot me for typing this as I know how it offends some, Atheists.

      I mean it as no disrespect to people, I have a sincere appreciation for most religions but on the journey my life has taken me on this is the belief, or should I say non belief, that works for me.

      All I am trying to say is good for you, be proud of who you are and what you believe, no one can tell you what you should believe, that is a very personal thing.

    10. laci 01/25/2011 at 3:39 pm

      LOL! AMEN I couldn’t have said it better myself. Seriously we get it from all angles nowadays, I walked into my senior art class in high school one day (this was probably about 9 years ago now) and my art teacher floored me with the “So what is this I hear about magic underwear??” line as I came through the door. Luckily I was somehow prepared with a “its not SECRET, its sacred”, and it really embarrassed the heck out of her and she didn’t say anything about it ever again. I really wish people would stop reading everything under the sun from “experts” of the LDS church who haven’t even come 100 ft from one of your chapels. its just ridiculous!

    11. Rich 01/25/2011 at 2:42 pm

      I am Mormon. This article is a great reminder of the PR work we need to do. I live in Seattle going to med school. It doesn’t take long for people to find out I am Mormon, I went to BYU.

      I openly answer questions objectively as possible and do everything I can not to become offended when people tell me ridiculous things:

      -we bankroll the mafia in las Vegas (it was on CNBC)
      -we greet each other with secret hand signals
      -our paychecks go right to the church (like communism)

      By not being offended and openly talking about why that certain misunderstanding might be their (ie early Mormon settlers in Vegas, tithing, etc) I have been able to correct a lot of misinformation.

    12. Jeff 01/25/2011 at 11:42 am

      @Lindsay: Mormons ARE Christians

      @Erica: Saying any group of over 13 million people is “as a rule” anything in terms of their common characteristics is ignorant. They may have a common thread of religious belief but that is really where the similarities end. It is like saying that Jews are frugal or Blacks like fried chicken (sounds bigoted, no?). Most of the Mormons I know are not organized at all, but that is just about 100 out of 13 million, not really a statistically valid sample size. Also, I’m Mormon and I’m busy on Sunday too, not just Mon-Sat. I’m pretty sure a lot of others are too…

    13. Deirdre 01/25/2011 at 11:24 am

      Saw this linked @Brene Brown, and so appreciate it. I’m Irish Catholic from Chicago…when I moved to Oregon, I was shocked at the ignorance about my family’s faith and the questions (do you really worship a virgin? drink blood at church?).

      When I told my high school students that our family was moving to Utah, five of them came up after class telling me they were LDS and willing to answer any question I might have. They were so generous and light-hearted, despite my complete ignorance about their faith, which set the tone for our experience here.

      I don’t idealize my Mormon neighbors—they are just as varied, flawed and wonderful as people of any or no faith. But I do love my Mormon-Mom-Blogs, some of which are “real life” friends and others, like Stephanie Nielson, whom the Slate author mentions but obviously has never actually read, are writers I admire for sharing the challenges and joys of finding their own unique paths toward living life fully.

    14. mrs case 01/25/2011 at 11:19 am

      i’m not mormon but several people who i adore, are. i have been to church with “you guys” a handful of times. all this to say, i LOVE mormons. when we recently moved, they had just built a brand new mormon church literally IN our neighborhood. we were thrilled at this prospect because we knew it meant the neighborhood would have nice neighbors and probably raise our property values. i have had missionaries help me on numerous occasions when i was alone and in need of assistance with something. our mormon friends are always first to volunteer to help others. frankly, the world would probably be a lot less hostile of a place if we all modeled ourselves after what mormons strive to achieve. and once, before a night out with friends, some missionaries came by and offered a prayer for my brother; later that night he was involved in a serious car accident in which he walked away unscathed. i am convinced it was their blessing that protected him that night. can’t say enough good things about mormons. LOVE THEM!

    15. Lindsay 01/25/2011 at 10:58 am

      What Erica said: “That kind of behavior is not what Jesus is about.” It’s not our place to judge others for what they choose to believe.

      I have noticed the large number of Mormon moms in the blogging world AND I’ve noticed the large number of Christian moms in the blogging world. Some of the best blogs out there are by Mormon moms, but likely not because they’re Mormon – It’s because they’re great storytellers and have an interesting story to tell. I usually don’t even get that they’re Mormon from their posts until I see the “What I Believe” link on the sidebar.

      I hate when it seems like everyone needs a label. It’s so tiring.

    16. Rachael 01/25/2011 at 10:41 am

      OK – I have to paste this comment in from a friend on Facebook:

      My favorite ever was… “are your underwear made out of cardboard?” me… Do I look that stiff to you? It’s an undershirts and boxers. Not that big of a deal. Her ” I knew she was lying and she said you would deny it.”. I didn’t strip to show her but she got the idea. Haha”

    17. Annette 01/25/2011 at 10:35 am

      One of my best experiences (in a good rather than funny way, although I’ve had plenty of those) was making several great non-Mormon friends who then heard the stuff like horns and couldn’t figure out why anyone would make up stuff like that or believe it. All because, back in 6th grade, they knew a real Mormon who was (wait for it . . .) a normal person.

      Loved the video clip. Love The Jet Set.

    18. Erica Fehrman 01/25/2011 at 10:33 am

      Excellent response. I’m heavily involved in social media and am not Mormon, and it never even occurred to me [until the Salon article] that there’s a high Mormon presence. When I’m around my co-workers and friends, I’m just happy to be with them no matter who they are or what they believe. BUT, I’ve also taken the time to get to know people of different faiths rather than whisper questions behind their backs or throw hell and brimstone in their faces. That kind of behavior is not what Jesus is about.

      Now here’s a giant blanket statement about why I think there are so many Mormon bloggers. They DO STUFF! Mormons, as a rule, are task-oriented, organized, efficient and savvy people. They are good entrepreneurs. And those pretty houses? Some have them and some don’t, and thank goodness the pretty ones are willing to share ideas. There’s a reason Utah is called the Bee Hive State, y’all. Mormons are very busy buggers. Monday through Saturday.

    19. Carina Wytiaz 01/25/2011 at 10:29 am

      My favorite is arguing with people who want to know how many wives my dad has. “One.” “No, he doesn’t.” “Wouldn’t I know?”

    20. Veda 01/25/2011 at 9:50 am

      It’s always interesting what pops up regarding Mormons. Growing up in Texas, I had my share of encounters with people who had misunderstandings. The worst were the parents of friends who would listen to what their pastors said, instead of listening to their own children and getting to know me. I am still amazed how the “educated” can behave more poorly than the “unskilled”.

      In response to all the comments on the “Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs”, a new blog has emerged. Here is the address:

      http://themaskedmormonmommy.blogspot.com/

      It was set up to address the life of a 25 year old, Mormon mom of three, without disclosing her identity. The author states:

      “With it being anonymous, true life speaks, VERY INTERESTING APPROACH to life of these peculiar people. Take a look at the women of the LDS church that choose motherhood against tremendous social pressures.

      Share this link with all you know,because the author does not share her blog with anyone in fear of blowing anonymity.”

      I thought this was an interesting approach.

      • Themasked Mormonmommy 01/27/2011 at 3:09 pm

        Thank you for posting this link. Are you a follower yet?

    21. Carlly 01/25/2011 at 9:49 am

      I love reading all the articles that are in response to the Salon Post. So interesting to hear everyone’s opinions. Love this one, and we totally are everywhere! 🙂

    22. kelly 01/25/2011 at 9:32 am

      well, I’m a Baptist and that gets all kinds of reactions too… 🙂 Isn’t it crazy how we just assume so many things based on what we “think” we know. I know it’s hard to respond in love sometimes, isn’t it?

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    24. Lindsey Johnson 01/25/2011 at 8:59 am

      I usually only get the stuff about polygamy. But now I’m back in Utah so it’s not so bad. They seem to know all about that here. 🙂

    25. Nicole 01/25/2011 at 8:46 am

      When people ask me if Mormons have horns, I tell them “Only the men when preparing for procreative purposes.”

      That will usually shut them up.