Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Love - No Big Thang

I typically avoid religion-themed pieces like the plague, but...

Most of the free world by now knows that the HBO series “Big Love”, a show about a fundamentalist polygamous “Mormon” family, aired scenes depicting highly sacred and allegedly secretive ceremonies that are performed within the walls of the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS.) The LDS community is wigging. I’m here to tell you not to. There’s no sense in it. As a fiercely proud and loyal active member of the LDS church, I find it comical that our ranks are calling for boycotts and shouting at the evil HBO network with skinny fists raised like antennas to heaven.

1) This is nothing new. The church has been persecuted since its inception. Have we forgotten that it was freaking legal to shoot and KILL Mormons in Missouri until only a few years ago? The spirits of our beloved late brethren and sisters that have been expelled from homes, tarred and feathered, publicly humiliated, spat upon, raped, and even murdered, are shaking their heads in disbelief that we are making such a fuss over a television show. How would Joseph Smith react to this unbearable debacle? He’d smile, wink, smack your shoulder, and tell you not to fret.

2) It is OUR responsibility to keep our beliefs sacred. We cannot control what other people do, say, think, or show on television. Just because it is known, does not make it less sacred and special. Maybe less secret; but certainly not less sacred.

3) Big Love relied upon information given from FORMER members of the LDS faith for their show. No temple-worthy, current member of the church would ever give specifics of temple ceremonies. The entire show is suspect and cannot be viewed as accurate. I used to be a boy scout. You don’t see me teaching knot-tying clinics. I pity the fool that would rely on one of my knots.

4) By many accounts from what I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot, the scenes from the temple ceremony added absolutely nothing to the plot of the show, essentially negating the producers’ claim that it was integral to the episode. Let’s use our brains here. A spade is a spade. This blatant disregard for and disrespect of sacred LDS temple rites is nothing more than a hate-filled act of vengeance for “the church’s” involvement in the passing of Proposition 8 in California. Both producers/creators of the show, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, are openly gay and likely have a bone to pick with those that supported Prop 8. That is fine. I have no problem with a response to those involved with the passing of the proposition. Unfortunately, they have decided to exact revenge by disquieting LDS folk globally, many of which (like me) don’t exactly share the general LDS opinion on gay marriage.

Mr. Olsen and Mr. Scheffer, I feel sorry for you. I feel pity and I feel compassion. Your lives must be full of sorrow and pain. I sincerely hope that you find some form of happiness in your lives. But please know that your desperate attempts to make us hurt as you hurt are fruitless. They are empty. They are feeble uppercuts to the mighty stone jaw of the happy, informed, secure membership of the LDS faith. Your kung fu is not strong. Your voodoo is powerless. Your bark has no bite and your smoke has no fire. Try as you may, you will not bring us down. You point the finger and wag the tongue, accusing the world of “hate” when it benefits you, but you are blind to your own hateful actions of intolerance.

I love the temple. I respect and revere it. Please know that there is nothing you can do to tarnish its spirit. You can tag its walls, infiltrate its halls, sacrifice farm animals, urinate on the couches, swing like monkeys from the chandeliers, finger paint lewd images on the carpet, flood the toilets, and tear it apart stone-by-stone and brick-by-brick. I’ll be bummed about it, but not hurt. So bring it on. Bring the pain. Because you’ve got nothing. You’ve brought a plastic butter knife to a bazooka battle. And I pity you both.

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