Magic Underwear

This AlterNet article (reproduced later in Salon) is just one of many out there on the Mormon "magic underwear". It is just the sort of rabble-rousing that will be going on this year to discredit the Mormons now that a presidential candidate is Mormon. Just more of the 'not dealing with the opposition's ideas but rather destroy their humanity' routine.

From the NY Times' Charles Blow's comment and then retraction/apology:
Let me just tell you this Mitt “Muddle Mouth”: I’m a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear. #CNNdebate
To Cher's (1, 2) bigoted tweets:
If ROMNEY gets elected I don't know if i can breathe same air as Him his Right Wing Racist Homophobic Women Hating Tea Bagger Masters
I Feel if he doesn't get all his DUCKS IN A ROW we'll b forced 2 listen 2Uncaring Richy Rich! The whitest man in MAGIC UNDERWEAR in the WH
To Bill Maher's rants:
“Don’t get me started on Mitt Romney,” Maher sneered to Letterman. ”Because Mitt Romney will teach America what’s really in Mormonism.”
“Mitt likes to gloss over... ‘well, we’re just different types of Christians.’ No. No, I was raised Catholic,” Maher leaned in and raised an eyebrow, setting up for his big punchline: ”And there was no magic underwear.”
To Roger Ebert's unanswered supplication:
So what's the deal with magic Mormon underwear? bit.ly/PwEOiI
One of the odd things about the article - and Cher's tolerant and compassionate tweet - is where it drifts into dismissing or implying that those who believe in sexual modesty are sexually confused. Even the article careens into this peculiar behavior where it states:
As recent research on homosexuality suggests, people who are struggling to contain or suppress their own sexuality may be particularly interested in controlling the sexuality of others.
It is clearly implying that those who may resist homosexuality are sexually confused themselves. Apparently it is not possible that they just disagree but rather they must be morally or psychologically deficient.

As an aside, and knowing that - just as many heterosexuals do - gays often struggle with their sexuality, are the authors also implying that homosexuals are interested in controlling the sexuality of others? If a religious gay person desires to restrict pornography and public displays of affection, does that make him/her repressive or interested in 'controlling the sexuality of others'? (And if you think that it is not possible that a gay person would/could support regulation of pornography or imposition of modesty you are a bigot of the tallest order. If you think it not possible, do you imagine that there is a singular appropriate way for a gay to think?)

This sort of reflexive mockery of certain groups in our society that says a group may be displaying some sort of sexual deviancy is no different than what has happened to the gay community in the past. Shouldn't the gay community be disturbed about this? If anyone can understand the problems with this sort of hate mongering, it is the gay community. Or is it just an 'anything goes' attitude that accepts any means to an end?

Worst of all is the implication that all of these repressive deviants on the right might be gays themselves. The article - and those who share this ignominious attack scheme - hold gays up as a prized possession for political reasons and then throws them under the bus by using them as the dysfunctional group into which they lump the right when the right is demonstrating their supposed dysfunction. You will never hear them say that those uptight, sexually oppressed, woman hating, deviants on the right are repressing their white heterosexual leftist tendencies. Instead you hear that if those on the right are repressive deviants they therefore must be homosexual themselves. If I were in the gay community, I'd be pissed that the left treated me with such contempt. That the article, and others who sing a similar tune, treats the gay community like a lap dog is shameful. That the gay community takes it lying down is disheartening.

Now back to the underwear thing. I suppose the mockery of anyone who chooses to wear an article of clothing that reminds him/her of his faith is just too nuanced for those who do the mocking. Do they similarly heap scorn on those who wear other articles of clothing or adornments that remind the wearer of certain commitments? Are the wedding band, payot, the yarmulke, a habit, the rosary, the rakusu, mala, the burqa, the ban on gold or silk for men, a Dastar, a Kanga, the Langa Voni, the Kalava, or the green, gold and red rastacap equally deserving the snide, ignorant, mean-spirited bullying that the LDS clothing engenders?

So often it is the crowd who professes tolerance who is the least tolerant. They could use a little training on promoting religious tolerance.

It is not that the other side owns tolerance, but that those who merely profess their own tolerance while being anything but, is disturbing for its lack of self-awareness. The professed tolerance is often nothing more than a myth. They have tolerance for everything but what they don't tolerate.

As Joanna Brooks noted in her observations on Maher:
The same way an orthodox Jew would wear a kippah (for men) or modest clothing (for women), or a Muslim woman would wear a headscarf, highly observant Mormons wear garments.

I do, however, find it strange, juvenile, threatening, and repulsive when grown men bully other people about their underwear on national television.

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