With the Proposition 8 race all over the national news, it's a bit of a difficult time to be any kind of Mormon, even an atheist cultural Mormon. This huge and dramatic effort to stop gay people -- as the one moral question of our time worth standing up for -- puts the spotlight on the institutional LDS church's shameful history with race (which continues to some degree to this day). Many Mormon moderates want to claim that bigotry isn't what Mormonism is all about (as Hellmut and I have been trying to do over on Main Street Plaza), but then why are so many Mormons so quick to drop everything for this fight as soon as their leaders tell them to? Either intolerance is a central tenet of the religion or unquestioning, (I normally refuse to use this word, but) cult-like obedience is. Either way, it looks like there's something very wrong with this people.
I'm currently reading The Bookseller of Kabul, and was touched by a powerful chapter about a teenage boy (on his first trip away from his family) who sees the problems around him and prays that one day he will be proud of being an Afghan. What can I say? I would like to be proud of my heritage as well. I hope that people who feel that there's more to Mormonism that this ugliness are in a good position to make it so.
I've talked about being a cultural Mormon from the beginning of this blog, about my fondness for literary portraits of Mormon culture (even faithful ones), and my adventures with the mishies. I've written my own stories of Mormonism, and have even tried my hand at being an ambassador from my tribe to another.
And, regardless of what Mormons and others think, for better or for worse, I doubt I'll stop any time soon... ;^)