A Nevermo’s Take on Mormonism II

Perhaps the three main things that will come to mind when a nevermormon comes across Mormons are Missionaries, polygamy, and temple garments.  Missionaries because that’s how the majority of people will run across Mormons, at least explicitly.  They might bump into Mormons everyday, but those white shirts and ties and the name badges are literally walking around saying, “MORMON!”.  Polygamy because it’s a unique issue in America [which was founded by Christian churchs who abstained from polygamy, and the fact that we never had [large] entrenched aristocracies who practiced such behavior as overt concubineage] where the norm has been bourgeois, that is monogamous relationship practices.  And then their is the issue of temple garments.

Of course nevermos don’t call them temple garments, they call them magic underwear or secret underwear or whatever because they are percieved as underwear, not some sacred garment, but instead something in league with the undergarments of nevermormons.  Only weirder.  When Mormons are brought up in culture their underwear is brought up to smear them as weird people who wear weird stuff and believe weird things.  Comedians [such as Bill Maher] make quite a bit of hay out of the issue of Mormon temple garments.  It’s an easy thing to go to when you want to dismiss an entire population as weird.  [Of course there is plenty in LDS Culture, but this is an easy talking point].

Previously I said that Mormons were a peculiar people, and this is yet another reason this is thought so by nevermormons.  Once again the same issue comes up between nevermormon religious culture and LDS religious culture.  In nevermormon Christian religious culture only the most pious and spiritual wear clothing marking them out as members of a religion [such as Catholic nuns and priests, or Protestant preachers who wear the white collar].  Once again in LDS culture the religious clothing isn’t a unique thing, it is mainstream.  It is not only peculiar or weird, it is expected.  It is the status quo.  To not wear these garments is weird.  This once again marked Mormons as a peculiar people.

As to the garments themselves, I think this is one of the main reasons that the LDS Church is called a cult by some.  It’s not that they believe weird stuff, Christianity is full of weird stuff [see talking snakes, people turning into pillars of salt, etc etc etc etc etc etc…] but its the fact that LDS rules and regulations penetrate into facets of life that most people hold deeply private.  In a sense nevermos think, “alright belief what you want, but why are you all wearing the same underwear?” and the ideas of comformity lead to thinking that this is a cult, because of the focus on comformity, even when you can’t see that comformity.  Underwear is supposed to be something that is well, under, and to make it a public issue strikes of intrusion and just general peculiar/weird behavior.  Heck the fact that people look for “garment lines” or that you can see them easily [if you know what to look for] makes the garment issue a public issue, once again leading to the issue of making private things public, which reinforces the weirdness of it all.  As long as these garments are worn by Mormons, the LDS people will be a peculiar people.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

5 Responses to A Nevermo’s Take on Mormonism II

  1. Seven

    Yeah, those are the most common questions I am asked about from non members. Polygamy and garments.

    One time I was mortified when a girl very loudly asked “Do you wear those funny Mormon underwear?” at a work gathering. The entire group fell silent waiting for my answer. It wasn’t exactly a missionary moment.

    When I began expressing concerns about church history to some family, they began looking at and commenting on my clothing to see if I was wearing garments still. I found out later that it was a topic of discussion among a group of them.

    As a New Order Mormon/doubter/closet apostate it’s best to keep wearing them when interacting with other TBMs because they are used to judge righteousness. If I lived in a Muslim culture I would continue wearing the burka or head scarf even if I didn’t believe.

    It’s interesting how sensitive and rude TBMs can be when they are asked questions about the garments from non members. I had always been very nice to people who were curious, even when I was embarrassed. Many Mormons I have seen in my life have this attitude of “how dare you ask that!” and get so easily offended.

    Did you see that episode of Big Love where the TBMs were looking for the garment lines on Jeanne Tripplehorn?
    That’s what most Mormons are doing to each other. As a believer when I wore a dress that went just slightly above my knee, my DH would have to explain to his family that my garments fit me differently than some girls.

    We saw the same thing when Brooke White was performing on Americal Idol. I heard other Mormons discussing whether or not she was Mormon based on how short her dresses were. (I doubt she ever wore her garments while performing)

  2. zackc

    That’s got to be embarrassing.

    The reason I contend that the Mormons are a peculiar people is that it’s expected to wear something sooo weird…and they even are looking for evidence that you’re wearing them.

    Yeah I’m a big Big Love fan. Can’t wait for the new season.

  3. Cinepro

    Can’t we all just be glad that they aren’t one-piece ankle/wrist length anymore? And that they got rid of the little collar?

    A few weeks ago, a popular SoCal morning radio host was talking about something totally unrelated to Mormonism, and the subject of underwear came up, and the host commented out of the blue “Well I can tell you what he won’t be wearing: the Egyptian Mormon underwear.” Before Romney’s run, this host never would have said something like this. In the end, Romney’s run could end up taking the Church one step forward and two steps back.

  4. Seven

    I recently returned to work (1 day a week) after a year absence. Thankfully I wasn’t around all my never Mo co workers during the Romney camp. and FLDS coverage. I can only imagine what they think of Mormons now.

    When they came out with the no seam garment top for women (it’s more like a stretchy t-shirt) a non Mo husband I know told his TBM wife he was so relieved. I guess the seamed one was really a turn off for him.
    Nothing can help improve the bottoms.

  5. You know they keep shrinking…they might get smaller and smaller to the point they’re like regular undies…although we’d still be talking about the old ones as “weird!”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *