Deep End | Hard Coded: News of Mormonism’s genetic origins explains a lot | Deep End | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Deep End | Hard Coded: News of Mormonism’s genetic origins explains a lot



Before geneticists at BYU came forth with their remarkable discovery that Mormons are not merely another race, as has been long surmised, but another and separate species altogether (Homo Mormonis), the Mormon persecution complex was seen by objective observers as a rather pathetic attempt to shut down open discussion and reasonable criticism of Mormonism’s unusual doctrines.

Now, however, we know that Mormons can’t help themselves from crying foul when even the most innocuous questions are raised about the faith. They can’t help calling every critic a “Mormon-basher,” they can’t help calling ordinary observations about Mormon practices and doctrines “bigotry,” and they can’t help waxing indignant when non-Mormons don’t accept them at their own exceedingly lofty self-estimation.

(By the way, it is interesting to note what the lexicographers over at the American Heritage Dictionary say about the word bigot, and then ask who the real bigots are: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”)

A favorite (and tiresomely predictable) tactic of Mormon apologists has been to equate criticism of Mormons with attacks on women and blacks. A moment’s thought should show the absurdity of such an equation. The color of your skin or the contours of your genitourinary plumbing is not quite so freely chosen as your religious orientation. It is, furthermore, rather rich that Mormons, given their treatment of blacks and women, should in any way seek to put themselves in the same category and sniff that they are, like blacks and women, victims of discrimination and second-class citizenship.

The latest occasion for Mormons to feel like everybody is always picking on them is, of course, the candidacy of Republican Willard “Mitt” Romney for president of the United States. Every time some factual account or intriguing detail of Mormonism makes news, the faithful predictably start screaming about the mean-spirited media. Now that Mitt is fading from the political scene, the fervent faithful will assert that anti-Mormonism kept him from ascending to his throne in the Oval Office.

The Mitt-Mormons and Mitt himself are so mad they just want to spit. Look at him! So good! Such great hair! So righteous! When Joseph Smith said that “as man is, God once was,” he was surely talking about Mitt. One local columnist, normally a sensible and stylish writer, succumbing to Mormon-Mitt mania, quoted a “Harvard professor,” who opined that Mitt was “the perfect candidate for this moment in time.” A professor is impressive, but a Harvard professor? Well, you can’t get more impressive than that. As Mark Twain once said, I couldn’t be more satisfied and at rest if the entire Harvard faculty testified for Mitt.

What the Mitt-Mormons will not admit is that people don’t like Mitt—not because he is a Mormon, but because he is a phony and a flip-flopper. He adopts positions out of expediency, not conviction. It has been argued that Romney has no character flaws, i.e., no divorces, no affairs and no scandals. It is revealing that the aforementioned count for Mormons as character flaws. Surely Mitt’s dishonesty—his trimming and his numerous “exaggerations”—are more revelatory of character than the fact that he and his sweetheart have fathered a brood of Leonard Nimoy look-alikes.

Mormons’ “strong partiality” to themselves is demonstrated in the embarrassing pastime of Who’s a Mormon, an exercise in searching out famous, semifamous, not-so-famous, and not-at-all-famous Mormons in all walks of life. Steve Young? He’s a Mormon! Ken Jennings? He’s a Mormon! Larry King’s wife? She’s a Mormon! Philo T. Farnsworth? He was a Mormon! Katherine Heigl? She’s a (former) Mormon! Christine Aguilera? She’s a (naked and pregnant) Mormon! The Inventor of Fry Sauce? He’s a Mormon! Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson? He was a Mormon! Glenn Beck? He’s a Mormon! George Bush’s barber? He’s a Mormon! Dick Cheney? He’s a Mormon! (Oops—no, he’s not. He just looks like one.) Immanuel Kant? He’s a Mormon! John Philip Sousa? He’s a Mormon! Jennifer Lopez’s proctologist? He’s a Mormon! And so on.

We should have known that the compulsive auto-congratulatory syndrome of Mormons, as well as their circle-the-wagons mentality, was situated in their DNA. Now that the good scientists at BYU have isolated a distinctive combination of Mormon alleles riding the notoriously homologous chromosomes, it is conclusive that Mormons are products of biological determinism, not the plan of salvation. We should, therefore, extend the Christian charity to them that they are reluctant to extend to those not in the fold. Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.