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Linda & Richard Eyre: Are jokes about Mormons a sign of acceptance?

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  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    I don't think anybody even thinks about Mormons. Although there are approximately the same number of Jews and Mormons in the world, Jews are a people while Mormons are a religion. Jews stand out for their superior intelligence and accomplishments (winning Nobel prizes, etc.) and are responsible for much progress in the world. Mormons not so much. Mormons don't need to worry about acceptance... we are quiet underachievers running for the most part under the world's radar screen.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    1aggie,

    I agree completely.

    And the underachievement is facilitated by overblown membership statistics coupled with an unhealthy self-obsession verging on paranoia.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    it seems to me that the Savior of the world made it clear that acceptance from "the natural man" isn't something that ranks too high. Do what is right - let the consequence follow....words to live by.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    I think that the comparison to Jewish jokes requires a caveat: they are overwhelmingly told by Jews in self-deprecation, and invite the "gentiles" in the audience to join in the laughter. Jewish comedians have made careers out of this. No one but Mel Brooks could get away with "Springtime for Hitler". Seinfeld has commentary on this in an episode where he suspects his dentist has converted to Judaism just so he can tell Jewish jokes.

    Context matters tremendously. A Nazi or Klansman tells the same Jewish jokes, and it's hate speech.

    Mormons joking about themselves are one thing, and so is good-natured ribbing from outsiders (and frankly we could lighten up a great deal when that happens). But many of the jokes I've heard about Mormons involve polygamy and 'magic underwear' - they aren't meant to be good-natured, but demean instead.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    Whoever came up with this question did not think it through.
    Just ponder all the jokes you have heard and all of the people, even those who have ruined the lives of others, caused pain, injury, death, destruction, etc., who are the theme of jokes.
    Anyone ever watched late night prime time TV hosts who begin their shows with jokes?
    Again, who did not think this through before throwing it out in the DN?

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    So, given Richard and Lynda's hypothesis, Mormons have just been warmly embraced by A Scientist.

  • penny 4 thoughts SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Just because Jewish people have many high profile members of their race/religion doesn't mean that Mormons are 'low achievers.' Scientist, I would like you to actually do some scientific research and show me HOW Mormons are underachievers,how the membership statistics are overblown (members -- whether active or not -- are counted -- just like any other church), and an example or two of the 'unhealthy self-obsession verging on paranoia" that you speak of. Opinions are fine, but I find it ironic that you post under the screen name "A Scientist.' I agree with Patriot.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Aug. 16, 2013 5:33 p.m.

    Yet another item on a special protected class list.
    If an act is wrong, it is wrong and should be prosecuted --- period. If I ever get attacked, I do hope the DA doesn't ask about my race, religion, culture, dress, or personal likes/dislikes.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 17, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    Hmm, I was'nt aware of Eric Holder adding the LDS on a watch list to protect. Now I do like to have fun with people, and it dos'nt bother me to have people poke fun, or make offensive comments. But the next time I hear something offensive I will quote Eric Holder. I just hope I can keep a straight face.
    On a serious note, we do not want the world to except us! Investigators, and new members with a testimony, yes! When were excepted by the world, that's when were in trouble as a church. Think about it!

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    Mormons make those with the addicting habits of drinking alcohol and coffee, smoking tobacco, smoking weed, having pre-marital, extra-marital or same gender sex, and who do not give their time and money to charitable causes that help the less fortunate around the world...well it makes them feel intimidated, uncomfortable and dare I say guilty and therefore Mormons become the butt of jokes at their beer/coctail parties and barbecues..

    Also, Mormons may also be the new symbol of the iconic "miss goody two shoes"?

  • Jeremy Parker Petersburg, Alaska
    Aug. 17, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    It is foolish to over-react, but likewise to under-appreciate mocking or to join in that mocking directed at ourselves and our sacred gospel. We need to be valiant in fighting and contending for the cause, not against it. There are sides.

    We need to be wise when we're being attacked and respond in a Christlike fashion whether that means with a switch and a sharp tongue speaking the cutting truth, or with love and compassion alone. A time to every purpose under heaven.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    I always was under the impression Mormons hate sin, but love sinners.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Aug. 17, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    I find it incredible (i.e. hard to believe) the the Eyres have never experienced harmful prejudice (as opposed to hurtful, i.e. it hurts one's feelings) as a result of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. The vast majority of people in the world do try to be fair and tolerant, but there are enough that don't that I think the Eyres are either choosing to overlooking some incidents or have been very, very, fortunate.

    Despite that, I think that the overall message of the column is dead on. In many instances, we can wisely choose not to be offended (sometimes even when offense was intended).

    My final words are to point out that there is a large middle-ground between "over-achieving" and "under-achieving." Just saying.

  • The Economist Newport, PA
    Aug. 17, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    aggie,

    I don't believe Mormons are under-achieving. Mormons are more likely to be educated and have college degrees, on average, than most other religions. True, it seems like there are many Jewish doctors and all, but the Mormon Church is still young. It will come with time. I don't believe in such things as under-achieving or over-achieving. Succuss is winning the war with sin in one's life, not in the accumulation of riches or status.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    This yearning for acceptance seems disingenuous, as if it's just seeking the political power of the mainstream, not it's acceptance.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    I think most Americans view mormons the way the South Park episode treated it: mild respect but they laugh at the odd claims.

  • B ob Richmond, CA
    Aug. 17, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    Compared to the other groups mentioned in the article, we're newbies and we've put up with a lot in only 183 years. I think our past experience with violent mob action, unrelenting government harassment, lack of protection under the law, murder of our young and old missionaries, burning of our sacred text, and the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the attempted murder of many others. These are hate crimes. A few jokes and vulgar comments do not hurt us. And what we do best - we Mormons - we move on and on and on.

  • B ob Richmond, CA
    Aug. 17, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    I forgot to mention the Extermination Order, Mormons having to leave the United States (Utah wasn't part of the US yet) to have religious freedom - though many of those early Mormons had fought in the Revolutionary War or were children of those who did.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    @The Economist

    "Mormons are more likely to be educated and have college degrees, on average, than most other religions."

    Sorry Economist, I've got to call your bluff on that statement. According to a 2009 study by the Pew Forum om Religion and Public Life 18% of Mormons have graduated college and 10% have attended postgraduate, which mirrors the population as a whole. Any religion who exceeds the average is going to exceed the Mormon rate. Please cite your source for that statement you made.

    It is not so much that we Mormons are underachievers, it is that we are at best average (in everything) and I am tired of the steady drumbeat of misinformation implying otherwise.

    And despite having a monopoly on truth, we ARE massive underachievers compared to the Jewish population. For example Jewish Nobel Laureates = 182 Mormon Nobel Laureates = 0. You'd think with all the truth we have we'd be able to win one measly Nobel prize...

  • TWfromAL Harvest, AL
    Aug. 17, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    I agree that Mormons are gaining some acceptance and respect...with a big exception from the Evangelical community though. They would rather cut out their tongues than say Mormons are Christian. The Evangelical poster boy Kirk Cameron did 3 episodes on Mormonism in his WAY of the Master series on TBN.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 2:01 a.m.

    I completely disagree.

    This article attempts to make the world out to be this place where LDS members are given a hard time. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The fact is that people could routinely care less about the LDS Church and its members. Increasing its missionary force to evangelize, knocking doors aggressively, bothering people on the street, and going into Internet social media sites in such a calculated and subtle manner and forcing its message down the throats of good non-LDS is doing more harm than good.

    In my view, the problems with being made fun of are not brought on by others. The LDS Church brings those things upon itself.

  • roberto Moses Lake, WA
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Romney would have been president had it not been for his religion. I think they are more accepted but there is still some bias.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Perhaps the news of Mormon's being added to the hate crimes protected list could lead to the state finally establishing a hate crimes law.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    Growth and popularity are double-edged swords. On the one hand it will lead to more converts. On the other hand it will lead to more scrutiny. Sometimes this scrutiny will be good-humored, but more and more frequently it will take the form of serious intellectual attack on the unique irrational beliefs propagated by Mormonism. This scrutiny occurs now, and has since the religion's founding. However, many non-believers ignored or dismissed the scrutiny because it was relatively meaningless to their lives. The more the Church grows in popularity and influence, the more it's doctrines and practices will be scrutinized. This will have a negative impact on recruitment and retention. I hope and pray that those who take up this serious business will target only beliefs and doctrine, and not the good people who practice it. History suggests that a measure of pessimism is in order, and that is why giving Mormons protection against hate crimes is prudent.

  • The Economist Newport, PA
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    aggie,

    I said a mistatement. The Pew study you and I were referencing concluded "Mormons are significantly more likely than the population overall to have some college education. Six-in-ten Mormons (61%) have at least some college education, compared with half of the overall population. However, the proportion of Mormons who graduate from college (18%) or receive postgraduate education (10%) is similar to the population as a whole (16% and 11%, respectively)." I'm sorry, I had read that Mormons were more likely to have attended college a while back and assumed that meant that they graduated more. When I looked up the study, I realized you were correct. I still don't agree with you that achievement is equated with the number of Nobel prizes one amasses. I believe achievement is also how well one raises a family and how well one serves others.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 18, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    If one makes their life or religion a joke then they are going to be laughed at.

  • dell San Antonio, TX
    Aug. 18, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    @laggie

    I think Jews have benefitted scientifically and economically from their preferred geography---large cities, often with world-leading universities. . A kid Who grows up in Boston or New York will have a very different vision of what "success" is than a kid from Springville or Pocatello. Not saying Mormons should migrate to major metropolitan centers and judge their success as parents by whether or not their kids got into Ivy League schools. But geography and accompanying attitudes and social networks are big factors.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    @The Economist

    "I believe achievement is also how well one raises a family and how well one serves OTHERS (emphasis added on the word "others")"

    Me too. And if you google"Jewish Philanthropists" and then "Mormon Philanthropists" you will see another stark contrast. We Mormons delude ourselves that we are helping others, but for the most part we only help our own.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 18, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    @dell,
    Much of Jewish distinction is due to their esoteric genes, there is no special genetics of Mormons.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Aug. 19, 2013 1:55 a.m.

    As a Mormon who was raised in Utah but has spent most of my adult life living outside the Mormon bubble, being able to view myself through others eyes has been a must. My friends know i'm a Mormon and they respect that. They don't offer me coffee or alcohol when we go out to eat are often my biggest defenders when people do offer.

    To me there's big difference between wearing your religion on your sleeve and just living the standards of the church. The best conversations I've had about the church have been with people who didn't know what religion I was, but were curious about why I didn't go drinking with them after work or use foul language. One of the best laughs i've ever had was on a business trip when some friends invited me to a strip club, and I declined by telling them the last thing I need to do is go looking for another wife.

    I find a lot of people think that Mormons are very defensive about our religion which begs the question why?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Aug. 19, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    A sign of growing acceptance? Not hardly, it is religious bigotry no matter how you sugar coat it. But it is a sign of increasing awareness of the growing power and influence, political and otherwise of the LDS Church, as well as more complete knowledge of its complex and often difficult history and religious dogma.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 19, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Poking fun at Mormons is a backhanded way of saying "you're OK, dude." It shows far more respect than feeling that Mormons have to handled with kid gloves.

  • penny 4 thoughts SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    1aggie -- You need to do more research on the many ways the L.D.S. Church offers help to people who are not Mormon. Look up L.D.S. Humanitarian Services, from which I quote: . . . the welfare efforts of the LDS Church have expanded to help people around the world regardless of religion, race, or nationality. LDS Humanitarian Services was created to coordinate these efforts in partnership with government and other nonprofit agencies around the world. The top humanitarian initiatives include clean water, vision treatment, wheelchair provision, neonatal resuscitation, and disaster relief. Other initiatives include immunizations, family enrichment programs, and family food production. In 2008, LDS Humanitarian Services provided aid to 3.3 million people in 122 countries, and since 1985 help has been given to 23 million people in 163 nations. All of these initiatives, as well as support and advice on personal and community preparation for disasters can be found on the LDS Church’s Provident Living website.

    All of the funding for LDS Humanitarian Services comes from the philanthropic support of the LDS Church’s members and other donors. Donations to the Humanitarian Fund are collected through local bishops and through LDS Philanthropies."

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    @TWfromAL
    It has been my observation that the only group that is consistently guilty of true hate speech regarding Mormons, is, ironically, our evangelical "Christian" brethren. I have heard and read some extraordinarily hateful and ignorant things coming from certain segments of this group.

  • The Economist Newport, PA
    Aug. 19, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    @Aggie,

    I acknowledge our church's support of LDS Humanitarian Services and know members of our church have been the first one on the scene to help out the public after disasters, even responding to as many as two disasters a day on average as reported in a recent General Conference. That being said, I have noticed in our Ward that our Elders' Quorum, for example, doesn't talk about helping out in the community. Instead, we talk about doing our Home Teaching and helping our families, essentially "taking care of our own." Our church's Welfare Program is built to serve peope who receive a Bishop's Order, not the general public. We believe we're serving others by doing temple ordinances for them, but outside the church, there is nothing tangible to show for our efforts. So I do believe much of the church is focused on taking care of our own. Of course, there are exceptions. In a previous Ward, the Relief Society, for example, volunteered for the Meals on Wheels program and I have volunteered my time and money to help in the community.

  • majCoug Cairo, AE
    Aug. 19, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    The Eyres obviously haven't lived in the south. Jokes are just a precursor to spit, gnashing of teeth, and a call for exorcism.

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Aug. 19, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    Humor at another's expense says a lot about the person who spoke it, and not much of favorable. And it says a lot about the people who seek to hear it.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    re: Res Novae

    Exactly. How many LDS Comedians are there?

    Case in point, Jerry Seinfeld, Groucho Marx, Lewis Black, Mel Brooks, the 3 Stooges to name a scant few.

  • defender TWIN FALLS, ID
    Aug. 19, 2013 5:33 p.m.

    @1aggie
    You've got your head in the sand - you quote one statistic about education and leap to the conclusion that Mormons are under achievers. A quick google search on mormon statistics will gain you a whole host of reasons for mormon exceptionalism. To speak directly to your point on education, Mormons easily out-pace Catholics and Protestants. Frankly I'm quite tired of people like you pretending you have the corner on knowledge, grudgingly (with a sigh) accepting your role as one who has to set the rest of us straight.

  • penny 4 thoughts SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Sometimes it is those who claim that there is no bias against Mormons and/or that the Mormons bring it on themselves who are guilty of putting Mormons down and exhibiting negative attitudes towards the L.D.S. Church. It can be so easy to deny the problem while also denying one's own participation in promulgating it. This way, the prejudice just 'doesn't exist' --as if anyone who harbors negative feelings about the L.D.S. Church would be aware of the extent of it, anyway.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    RE: iron&clay, Mormons may also be the new symbol of the iconic "miss goody two shoes"?
    True,
    We can pray the best, preach the best, and sing the best. We are the best looking and finest set of people on the face of the earth…They may make sharp their two-edged swords, and I will turn out the Elders of Israel with greased feathers, and whip them to death. We are not to be beat. We expect to be stumbling block to the world, and a rock of offence to them.” – Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, November 9, 1856 by Brigham Young

  • scwoz gambier, oh
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    The hate that is being spoken in these comments just astounds me. Why does everything come down to hate. Simple dialogue is what was needed here and maybe some discussion instead Satan poked his little head ( or for those not believing in Satan then jealousy or envy or greed you can change the name as you wish) in and Pride took over and now it is all hate speech. Christ taught to show love to your enemies, love those that revile you, love those that cause you harm, it is the only way to stop this cycle of Hate. Try it, it actually works, lower your voices and open your ears. Thank