Sunday, December 30, 2007

That's me in the spotlight

He's not my candidate or from my party, but I have to condemn this. As the husband wondered, how much did it cost, in postage alone, to send a fake Christmas card loaded with innuendo about the Mormon church and purporting to be from Romney's family? I wonder, how much bad feeling, even, though this is not a word we like to bandy about, hate lies at the base of such an action? How is this legitimately political? And how is it not roundly condemned, just as we know it would be if such a card were sent from "ordained Baptist minister" Huckabee (the husband has pointed out that that is always how he is referred to now) or (most likely lapsed) Catholic Guiliani? Once again, religious bigotry against minority religions is the last (and as yet still unconquered) frontier of political correctness.

When I was in grad school, one of my favorite pastimes was to wait for the random references to Mormons that invariably cropped up in each and every course each and every semester. You would think there wouldn't be that many, given that we only read 10-15 books per class and took 2-3 classes per semester. You would be wrong. In the most incongruous places, from the most incongruous authors, usually uncomplimentary references to Mormons would be appear, almost always as an aside, almost always in a joking context. And I was taking a smorgasbord of classes, covering all kinds of time periods and nationalities and authorial projects. But still, it didn't matter. I was never disappointed in my search. Or should I say, I was always disappointed that my search was successful.

And did we discuss these odd literary moments? Not in class. With my band of merry women peers, of course (we discussed and still discuss everything), but not in class. And the same is true now. These odd political moments (and there are more and more each day) get mentioned, noted but not discussed in any substantive way, which is disheartening. Because the implication is then that everything is okay, that we can say or do these things to people (in this case, Mormons) and it's fine, because....why? They are strange, anyway? Their shoulders are broad? They bring it upon themselves by being so weird? There are so few of them on such a fringe that they don't really matter? It's not a very popular religion to begin with? What if we said these same things about other groups, like Jews or blacks or people in wheelchairs or even women? Yeah, the absurdity of it all is not lost on me, either

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