Friday, November 18, 2016

Religious Persecution and Stuff

It's kind of depressing to me that my last post was probably viewed the least. It was about yearning to understand, and about showing love to all people, no matter who they are (or who they voted for). I'm mostly disappointed because I find it so hypocritical that the most vocal proponents of peace and understanding are absolutely refusing to understand Trump voters or Trump hope-he-doesn't-kill-us-all-ers, and that post was completely ignored, while the one where I rant about not wanting Trump to be president was gratefully received.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though. I've found that the ones who are against my right to religious expression are the first in line to defend someone who mocks my religious expressions.

But before you get all, "oh, geeze, not Mormon persecution, again," I want to point out that some Trump supporters (campaigners) called for a Mormon genocide if UT voted for McMullin instead of Trump. And nobody cared. The media didn't even blink.

Look, Mormons are used to persecution. Driven from New York, Ohio, and Missouri (with a full-on gubernatorial extermination order, because the Mormons would vote against slavery --irony, much?) --finally driven from Illinois, they went west. Even after they settled Salt Lake City, the government continued to harass them until statehood. Since then, we've simply been mocked for our beliefs. We've never encountered the kind of hatred the Jews have faced. We haven't faced the kind of hatred Muslims have faced. We haven't faced the kind of hatred even other Christians have faced in the Middle East. Being an American-based church most certainly has it's advantages (and I don't believe that was all chance or by accident). But we are probably one of the last Christian religion in our country where open mockery and desecration of our most sacred rites and rituals are publicly embraced. It's fun to mock the Mormons. Mostly, because as a church, we don't get all huffy or angry about it. We deal. (It's true --we really do!)

Still, we don't get the support from the liberal community. They're usually first in line (well, right after the alt-right extreme Christians). Maybe we would if we complained more. I mean, look --they made an entire Broadway play about how stupid they think we are, and it won Tonys. Awesome. We've had our most sacred and precious temple ceremonies re-enacted on youtube and HBO. We've had our "secret underwear" paraded around like a joke. We're made fun of on television (mostly harmless, although mostly completely mistaken in reference --I mean, the one on Gilmore Girls where Paris mentions trying to attend Mormon bingo night had me laughing because the writers obviously missed the point that Mormons don't gamble), and it's open season on our beliefs. When Mitt Romney ran, it was pretty bad, and the Evangelical Christians were right there, twisting every point of our doctrine (that they don't even understand). I know the liberal community hates us because of abortion and marriage equality, but what about the alt-right who disagrees with the far left, too? It's like we just can't win, no matter what. (Not that we are trying to win --I mean, seriously, we don't care as much as I'm making it sound.)

I had a Jewish OBGYN in Philadelphia, and we often talked about our religions. He told me once, "Mormons and Jews, we always get along." I agreed that was true (at least in my experience) and then said, "It's probably because of that whole House of Abraham thing" and he said, "Or the whole persecution thing."

Wow! To have a Jew tell me, as a Mormon, that I could even understand a fraction of what his People of faced over the last several thousand years really touched me. I guess I never really thought of it that way, because I have never had to face a Holocaust. But maybe anti-Semitism and anti-Mormonism is a little similar (and if you understand the doctrines of our church, it won't surprise you in the least).

Anyway, all that Mormon stuff aside, I find it interesting that in this day of tolerance and love, there's still so much hate everywhere. And maybe not even hate, but willful misunderstanding. But isn't that hate? Aren't we the most hostile to the things we understand the least? That's why I wrote what I did about yearning to understand. If we can't understand each other, how in the world can we ever love each other?

P.S. I wrote this post in ten minutes. Please forgive any typos or random thoughts or rants.

No comments: