First off, apparently "Big Love" is going to be showing a temple ceremony in an upcoming episode complete with temple clothes and rituals and everything. I would post the link or photos that are out there, but I'd rather not fan the flame. Needless to say, this is extremely hurtful. I'm completely against censorship and all for artistic expression, but I feel this is one of those times where it's really meant to provoke and make us look stupid. Figure this, a group of people gathered in a boardroom somewhere and decided to do this and knew that it would be salacious. They probably thought they would "blow the lid off" something. It isn't journalism and it certainly isn't respect. It's sensationalism. Whatever your feelings about the church, you would have to agree that showing our most sacred rituals is a bit like playing film of your parents having sex on the nightly news. It's inappropriate and it isn't fair. Why do people take such pride in knocking us down?
To their credit, the church has taken a higher high road than I would have ever imagined. In an official statement you can read here, they basically say these things happen all the time and, while we don't like it (not to mention it goes against the agreement HBO made with the church when the show first started), it doesn't seem to do long-lasting damage to the church. We get this stuff thrown at us all the time, and we're still standing. That's an amazing stance because I feel more like starting something on fire or picking a fight.
If you want to write in and complain (or encourage, it's a free country), you can go to this site to make yourself heard. I've always watched "Big Love" and kind of enjoyed it. Sure, the line between the real church and the polygamists is often fuzzy, but I still found most of it fascinating and the actors are excellent. We don't currently have HBO and I'm thinking now I'm going to have to forget about keeping up with the show in the future. Not just because I don't support it, I also don't want to see it.
Good ol' Chuck brought to my attention (via Perez Hilton, of all places) a recent study by Harvard in the Salt Lake Tribune that Utah leads the nation in people who purchase online porn sites per capita. In fact, the study showed that the states with the highest numbers were also among the most conservative and outspoken on issues like same-sex marriage.
You know, I'd like to fight against the stereotype that religious people are really just hypocrites because it never seems fair, but it's information like this that makes it hard to defend us. And, you can't sit back and say it's all the nonmembers that are looking at porn. Clearly, that won't float. To quote Bill Cosby, "Come on people!"
Here's why Utah is in this situation.
1) Obviously, the Law of Chastity constricts all kinds of sexual activity, and that's a good thing. The natural downside of strict rules like that is going to be curiosity and rebellion. It may be natural, but it doesn't make it right. People are finding ways around the Law and, I'm sure, rationalizing it to themselves by saying "I'm not technically cheating, so I'm still ok." Maybe not, but that doesn't mean you aren't a scumbag.
2) No strip clubs in Utah. There may be one or two somewhere, but, for the most part, there isn't a way to blow off that steam. Again, I see this as a good thing. But, again, if you oppress people they'll find alternatives for their desires, especially ones as strong and crippling as sexual ones.
3) We ARE hypocrites! It's so easy to do your pious thing at church on Sunday and then be as demented as you want in total privacy. The privacy factor is a big one. Members love to put up a front, especially in Utah. It's survival of the fittest over there and your standing in church is connected to your standing in the community, the money you make, the clothes you wear, the car you drive, and your Stepford Wife's new boob job. Utah Mormons like to think they're the example of a Zionistic society that can be reached with righteousness and discipline, but what they're really doing is not being honest with themselves about life and the world and their own challenges getting through it. Utah wants to be California so bad they hurt! The article would also have you believe the numbers are skewed because of a large youth population, but are they not responsible for their actions as well?
So, cut it out! If you're one of these people, quit being so selfish! We love to stop gays from getting married, but no one can stop us from some good old porn? If this is you and you're reading this, you're an ass. There's no excuse, especially if you're married with kids.
(Note: When I googled "Big Love" to get a photo, for some reason one of the sites was Thomas Dolby's blog. Yeah, as in "She Blinded Me With Science" Thomas Dolby. Check it out because, apparently, his wife was an actress in the film playing at Temple Square. Crazy.)