Thursday, February 23, 2012

Famous for Being Mormon? Or a Famous Mormon?

I'm starting to get a little tired of how the media and non-Mormons out there assume and pronounce that Mitt and Ann Romney are important to Mormons.

This is the line that got me going, "Ann Romney is now the most famous Mormon on Pinterest—but far from the first." It came from "Why Do Mormons, Including Mitt Romney's Wife, Love Pinterest?"**
Um, first, let's start with the obvious. A lot more people than just Mormons like Pinterest. Second, is it our fault if we were there first? Trust me, knowing social media like I do, if I wanted to launch a social networking site, I'd try and get the incredibly social and networked Mormons into it too!

Last week a Nobel-laureate Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel got in an uproar over baptisms for the dead. I'm not going to discuss the actual issue over what happened. I'm just going to jump to the stupid thing that he said. He demanded that Mitt Romney do something about it. He said that since Mitt Romney is an influential Mormon, he should make the church stop. The parts where that is so not how a religion operates, and how God is at the head of the Church, and we take orders from him, and not angry rabbis or Mitt Romney aside, this irritated me to no end. Mitt Romney is a famous politician who happens to be Mormon. And yes, right now, he is famous to Mormons. And he is also a famous Mormon. But guess what he's not? Important as a Mormon. (I wonder how Elie Wiesel would feel if I demanded that Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler tell Jerusalem that Jews should start eating bacon now because there are pig farmers not making enough money? Because quite frankly, it IS an equal comparison.)

Also, he's not a famous Mormon to Mormons. This is getting harder and harder to explain. Yes, many, not all, but many Mormons really like him right now. But we don't look to him AT ALL as a religious leader. In fact, if he were to go on a nutter and suddenly make announcements to or on behalf of Mormons, I can promise you here and now, Mormons would turn their backs on him in a heartbeat.

I've heard the media more than once point out that Romney was once a member of the church "hierarchy," because he was a stake president and bishop. How insignificant is that to us? There are 28,660 bishops worldwide right now, and roughly 4,095 stake presidents. So no, we the real Mormons, don't think of him as hierarchy, not at all.

Is Ann Romney important to us? I bet most Mormons couldn't identify a picture of her standing alone. No, she is not that important to us. Is she important to Romney for President fans? Absolutely. But she's no one to Mormons.

Who is important to Mormons? I can tell you that if Frances Monson started a Pinterest account, every Mormon housewife with a computer would follow her. And if Sherri Dew kept a blog, a lot of us would read it. But I seriously doubt know who either of those women are.

It may be one of the best things about Mormons really- we don't celebrity worship. Sure, we have a soft spot for Jimmer and Donny Osmond. But we don't take our spiritual cues from them. We put God at the head of our church, and only God. And we don't apologize for that. Ever.

**One thing that REALLY bugs me about that article is actually in the header image for it. In theory, they are all pictures of things interesting or related to Mormons. The SLC Temple, Ann Romney, Christ, Shawn Bradley (what? Jimmer was too cool?), a french braid drawing (what? they couldn't get on pinterest for 2 seconds and at least pull a picture of the 50 ways to braid your hair using socks and chopsticks?), and in the top corner a picture of girls in Wholesome Swimwear. Yes, wholesome swimwear, something I never, not once, seen a Mormon wear. Wholesome Swimwear was made notorious a few years back when the Duggar Family was seen wearing it. And I think both the Duggars and most Mormons would like to make it clear, the Duggars are not Mormon. 
But back to the picture- seriously? A boring french braid and wholesome swimwear? Way to try and make us look like the FLDS. And way to go, writer, for not knowing the difference.


  1. Cool article. I think Mitt Romney is a famous Mormon to people who aren't Mormon.

    We're a part of a rare religion that also contains our own counter culture.

    Baptists don't go to Baptist book stores and buy Baptist authors.

    We make our own famous Mormons - those non Mormons just get a glimpse of what's inside the bubble.

  2. Well stated, and directly to the issue. Non-Mormons simply do not "get" the church--the way it operates, the latitude it gives members for political beliefs (no one has told Harry Reid to inform SLC that they must stop all temple work except that for the living), or the value we place on such ordinances. Nicely put.

  3. Anonymous7:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Anonymous- I read your comment and looked over the link. Normally, I allow and keep up comments that disagree with me. But because your link in no way addressed anything I said, and was only meant to hurt my faith and all that I hold dear, I have deleted it.


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