Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mormons: They Can Take a Joke, Why Can't You?

If Trey Parker and Matt Stone have taught us nothing else, they've at least made us aware of how good-humored our Mormon friends can be.

Has there been any significant backlash from the LDS in response to South Park or the Broadway hit, The Book of Mormon? Trey and Matt have already lost longtime voice actor Isaac Hayes to the cult of Scientology (and, ultimately, death...but that was bound to happen regardless). They've had to retroactively censor and remove South Park episodes featuring the prophet Muhammad, because Viacom is...Viacom. Occasionally, Fox News has had bones to pick with them regarding their depictions of religion in general. Never mind how Fox News usually dismisses South Park/The Daily Show/The Colbert Report as silly toilet humor. When religion is targeted, IT'S SERIOUS, DAG NABBIT!

But have you heard a peep from the Mormons? Last I checked, they're totally cool with being the butt of the joke.

The reason I'd like to establish this as the nearest thing to fact as possible, is because I have a Mormon joke in the Comedy Walk. Of course, I've not yet had any Mormons on the tour (and I don't necessarily expect to see them any time soon). But as soon as I whip out The Book of Mormon (the scripture, not the soundtrack from the musical) there is gasping, laughter, gasping laughter (gaspher?), and anxiety.

My boss, after checking in on the tour for the first time in months, asked me if it was possible for us to be sued for religious discrimination. It's not, but it's a good question for him to ask, being the boss and all. I can forgive him, as he is from Northern Europe. I consider this region of the world to be superior to the United States in almost every way imaginable, save for the food and the lack of concrete protection of freedom of speech.

But he's not the only one who has expressed some concern, and has suggested that maybe I shouldn't lampoon Mormonism. The bottom line for me is this: everyone knows that there are Mormons who go door-to-door (this is the only part of Mormonism that is being mocked in the bit, by the way). Nearly everyone has either hid behind the couch, scratched their heads in confusion, or slammed the door on these nice, clean-cut lads who just want you to be as happy as they are. Okay, maybe not everyone has hid behind the couch, but I was frightened by them as a child.

Don't give me this line of bullshit about not wanting to offend, when you yourselves have such a nasty and vitriolic reaction to their arrival at your doorstep. And isn't this so very often the case? The most religious among us, by my own anecdotal experience, react the most negatively to door-to-door proselytizers. What the fuck is that? How insecure are you in your beliefs that you think two dudes in short-sleeve button-down shirts are going to ruin heaven for you? 

And no one ever even bothers to ask how I obtained The Book of Mormon. Duh, I got it from MORMONS! Yes, they were in my house, because I had a housemate who couldn't say "no." They're like vampires in that regard; they cannot come in unless you invite them. I would not have let them in myself, but I would have at least been very cordial and polite. I can confidently say I'd react this way, because I've had proselytizers from other faiths at my doorstep, and I've been nothing but nice to them.

Seriously, Christians, why can't the rest of you be as cool as the Mormons*?

*Minus the funding of anti-gay marriage propaganda, of course.

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