Saturday, December 10, 2011

Romney, Gingrich, and the Republicans

Religious Discrimination, Then and Now

In 1982, I had a girlfriend.  I was also contemplating and deciding whether or not to go on a mission.  Under the best of circumstances, that would complicate life enough.  My situation, however, was even more messy.

I lived in Indiana, where Mormon girls were rare.  So, in high school and early college, I dated mostly non-members.  Even though at the time, most of the church leaders were trying to discourage this, I didn’t have many options.  Not only were there few Mormon girls, they didn’t like me much.

So, this girlfriend I had was not a member of the church.  She didn’t understand my growing commitment to my faith, and didn’t get why I had to make any kind of choice to leave.  Still, we were “in love” (whatever that means to a 19-year-old).  One thing she had going for her was her morals.  She was one of the few in the college there in my home town who understood that it was a good idea to wait for marriage.

One thing that worked against her, however, was her mother, and this is really what I wanted to talk about today.  This lady hated Mormons.

Let me restate that:  This lady H A T E D Mormons.

In her eyes, I was just this side of the spawn of Satan himself, and why her beautiful daughter would waste her time with me was just beyond her.  She spent a lot of effort trying to get her girl to break up with me, both while I was deciding whether or not to go on the mission, and, later, when I actually was out in the field.

One of her tactics was to try and get her back with her ex-boyfriend.  My girl and this guy had been together about a year and a little more before she and I had started dating.  This guy was a prize, truly.  A real mother’s dream.  In the two years that followed their time together, spanning the time that the girl and I were dating, this guy was married and divorced, all the while trying to get back together with my girl and having a baby with yet a third girl.  My girl used to tell me about how he’d get drunk and come on to her, but she had always been able to keep him off.

And yet, when you add up all of his points, he still some how totalled up to be a better choice than a Mormon.

To tell the end of the story, by about a year into my mission, I could tell that this wasn’t going to work out, so I ended it.  Her next few letters made it clear to me that it was the right choice for both of us.

Then, fast forwarding to now, I’m looking at Mitt Romney, and I’m feeling connection.  Not a political one, I still disagree with his positions too much to actually vote for him, but a personal connection.  The republicans are kinda like my girlfriend and her mom.  Yeah, maybe Perry and Bachman are a homophobic idiots, and maybe Cain and Gingrich both need to learn to control their libidos, and get things clear with their wives (no matter how many they’ve had up to that point), but at least they’re not, well...  You know...  How do I say this nicely...?   ...not MORMON.

Mitt, I feel yer pain...


Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.


  1. Mark,

    You just wrote exactly how I've felt all along. Though I am more in line with Mitt's political views (except perhaps those we talked about at Smith's that evening) it's so funny to me that the "conservative, family-values" party are embracing someone like Newt who is the antithesis of family values in his own personal life. And the one they should be looking to, who if anything is the epitome of family values, they are trying so hard to replace with anyone because he is Mormon.

    By the way, I had a non-member girlfriend before the mission as well. Her parents also hated our religion. Her mom burned all of my letters when I went off to BYU, which in the long run was better for me (I found Elaine.) but caused such a rift within their family that the girlfriend didn't forgive her mother for close to 15 years. Hating Mormons just isn't worth it... ;)

  2. Wow, I've had very similar thoughts while following the campaign. There is certainly a large degree of anti-Mormon sentiment out there, and I'm not sure that most anti-Mormon people really understand LDS at all...

    Great post.

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