Last week, I was surprisingly banned from the Mormon Apologetics and Discussion board (MAD). Surprising not that it happened, but that it happened over what I considered to be a pretty innocuous post.
Ironically, my lovely TBM wife thought the offending posts were hilarious. For those who don’t want to make the trip, here is what did it:
(In a discussion about the church’s current PR troubles started by Scottie and titled “Mormon Message Control”:)
Perhaps the best evidence that President Hinckley was a prophet is that he checked out right before Romney, the FLDS and Prop 8 hit the fan.
…and I almost forgot Shawn King’s blunder. We won’t be seeing President Monson on Larry King’s show until well after pigs have evolved wings of some sort.
You are done on this board. Mod
That’s it. Honestly, I didn’t mean it to be offensive in any way. It was based on a simple observation that President Hinckley’s tenure as Prophet was really a “golden age” for the Church’s public image, what with the Olympics and several Larry King interviews giving the Church unprecedented exposure. Even the Church’s support of Prop 22 in California went largely unnoticed.
Then, within months of his death, we have the negative exposure brought on by Romney’s run, followed in short order by the bungling raids on the FLDS (and the attendant public confusion and PR mess for the LDS), and then the riots of Prop 8 outside our Temples. And any hope of getting President Monson on Larry King to discuss these issues is dashed by Shawn King’s untimely dalliance and sabatoge of the marriage.
Obviously, I don’t really think President Hinckley saw the way 2008 would play out for the Church and speeded up his demise. (But even in that case, the recent bio of President Kimball mentioned President Kimball’s expressed desire to slip to the next life as his body succumbed to advanced illness, so having a Prophet desire release from this earthly existence wouldn’t be without precedent). Heck, President Hinckley was even talking about how anxious he was to be with his wife again, and he had such a prominent sense of humor I would bet a month’s tithing that the spirit of President Hinckley laughed when he saw my post.
But ultimately, the idea was just a funny way to book-end the observation. And like I said, it was worth it to see my wife smile :).
After some thinking, and reading the responses at MAD, I was worried that I may have misjudged the offensive nature of my comments over on MAD, so I decided to perform an experiment and do a field test.
We had a family Thanksgiving gathering of about 14 adults. All the adults are active LDS, with 4 I would classify as solidly “TBM”. I spent a good 20 minutes trying to maneuver the conversation to the point where I could logically comment about President Hinckley “checking out” in advance of Romney’s run, the FLDS fiasco, and the Prop 8 fallout (as well as knowing that his days on Larry King were also coming to an end.)
The joke got a huge response, and no one was offended that I could tell. My wife knew exactly what I was doing, so I think she laughed the hardest. But no one raised so much as an eyebrow at the joke.
It must have been the delivery.
Update: On 12/25, Mercy robbed Justice and my account was reactivated faster than an inactive-LDS-in-a-GC-talk. The hunger strike is hereby canceled. If I ever before doubted the goodness and mercy of Mod, I will never do so again.