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

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 18 2013 12:19 a.m. MDT

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1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

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

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

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

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

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

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

penny 4 thoughts
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

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

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

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

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

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

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

GeoMan
SALEM, OR

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

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

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

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

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

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

@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

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.

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