Everything I Needed to Know About Mormons.I Learned on South Park
I listen to the Hugh Hewitt show on my 45-50 minute drive home every afternoon. My options are Mark Levin, Hugh, or Michael Savage, unless I want to listen to music. Occasionally I do listen to music, but I find talk radio more interesting. Generally. (Mark Levin’s voice is fingernails on a chalkboard to me, and I’d rather bathe vigorously with sulfuric acid and stainless steel wool than listen to Savage.)
Hugh is fully in the tank for Mitt Romney for President, so he spends a lot of time talking about his guy. Apparently Romney is going to give a speech later this week which is going to be on the topic of his religion as it relates to his candidacy. I guess it’s a point of dispute with some since Romney’s a Mormon. Anyway, Hugh, outraged, played a sound-bite of CNN’s Jack Cafferty sounding off about the upcoming speech. There’s a clip of it up at RadioBlogger. Let’s see if I can transcribe it:
The Mormon Church is shrouded in a certain amount of mystery, and, and secrecy – if you’re not a Mormon you can’t go into the temples – If he doesn’t address the Mormon aspect in this speech then he might as well not give it. We’ve, we’ve got a poll that shows about one-fifth of prospective voters that say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is a Mormon than they would for a candidate who isn’t. It’s the Mormon in Mitt Romney that matters to America’s voters, and if he’s not going to lift some of the veil and explain away some of the mystery that surrounds his religion, which as Gloria points out is a very small percentage of the population of this country – it’s not like he’s a Catholic or a Protestant or a Lutheran or a Methodist or a Baptist – there aren’t that many Mormons and there’s a lot of questions surrounding that church. He needs to address that or this speech is a waste of time.
Wow. There’s a lot of… idiocy there. For one thing, Jack, Lutherans, Methodists, and Baptists are all Protestants. Second, there aren’t that many Jews in this country either. Did Joe Lieberman need to make a speech explaining Judaism to America? You know, about baking the blood of Gentile babies into bread and such? Insofar as I am aware, if you are not a Muslim, you’re not supposed to enter a Mosque (though I could be wrong on that one.)
But in point of fact, the Mormon religion is not shrouded in mystery, nor is it all that secret. You see, everything you need to know about Mormonism has been (rather accurately, from what I’ve been able to determine) explained in a single half-hour television show – South Park. In fact, you can still download the 2003 episode and watch it on your computer if you’d like!
The episode spends about 90% of its airtime reciting and ridiculing the history and beliefs of the Church of Latter Day Saints, with quite good effect I must add.
But it is the ending of that episode that I was reminded of when I heard Jack Cafferty’s idiocy. During the episode, Mormon beliefs and history are explained to the character Stan, who is visiting the family of the new kid at school, Gary. After listening and ridiculing “The Story of Joseph Smith” as related by Gary’s father, Gary explains patiently to Stan:
Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life. and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you’re so high and mighty you couldn’t look past my religion and just be my friend back. You’ve got a lot of growing up to do, buddy.
Now I am an atheist, as I’ve made plain on more than a couple of occasions. To some extent this whole thing is, to me, an argument over who has the better imaginary friend. But I do recognize that I am a member of a very small group as well. I won’t be voting for Mitt, but not because he’s a Mormon. I won’t be voting for Huckabee, but not because he’s a Baptist minister. (Actually, I can’t vote for either of them since I’m registered as a Democrat in Arizona.) The fact that these men believe in an invisible friend – however devoutly – is not really germane to me, though.
But Jack Cafferty? He’s got a lot of growing up to do, too.