Solution to One of the World’s Problems, #1 and #2

So I’ve been thinking. I saw the wonderful results of this past election and that damn Prop. 8 getting approved in Cali is completely ruining my Obama-change we can believe in – this time its going to be different-buzz. I mean come on — did they really have to ruin it for the rest of us?

. . . and whom do you mean by “they” the little voices in my head ask? The damn Mormons of course!

Now before anyone calls me a religious bigot (oh sweet delicious irony!) or worse, let me be clear. First — I really mean the LDS Church itself and not individual Mormons. Second — I’ve got some history with these folks.

(quickest possible synopsis: my great-great-great grandfather became a Mormon, left England and a wife and two children, and came to Utah where he immediately married two very nice young women from outside Torino, Italy, who had also become Mormons and headed for Utah. Which made three concurrent wives . . .Blah, blah, blah . . . about 28 kids. . . excommunicated and reinstated . . .  generations pass, and then thank god, my grandfather left the church and helped ensure future generations like myself would never be held in its embrace. Add into that my maternal grandmother who went through seventy versions of hell living and trying to raise a family in Salt Lake City as a non-Mormon, a mom and sister born in Salt Lake, AND just because my life is so rich in irony, my wife’s family was at one time Mormon. <- I said it was “quickest possible,” not “quick!”)(Oh and one more thing — my wife’s brother and his wife are both Mormon, and without reservation, they are two of the nicest, most truly spiritual, and “good” people I could ever hope to meet — so as I said, this is more about some of the leaders of the LDS Church, rather than something against any individuals — especially those Mormons outside Utah — they’re completely different!)

So back to my original diatribe — for those that don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, the LDS Church sent out the call for donations to defeat Prop. 8 in California, after being approached by the San Francisco Catholic Archbishop. And how much of a difference could a religion make that was mostly centered in a completely different state that was completely demographically different than California?

“Mormon church members undertook a perhaps unprecedented mobilization, contributing an estimated 40 percent of the individual donations made to the Yes on 8’s $30 million-plus campaign.” From the San Francisco Chronicle

It’s difficult to know what was worse: the outlandish ads filled with lies looking to stir up fears of GLBTs “converting” children, overthrowing civilization, etc., or the fact that such an unprecedented effort on behalf of a church (two churches really, with the Catholics thrown in) was aimed at direct involvement in government and elections, which flies directly in the face of the intent of this country’s founders and at least the spirit of the federal statutes that cover this.

The Sean Hannitys of the world point out that this wasn’t the LDS church itself, as it donated no money itself (as it could not in the face of existing laws on the books), and that this was just an upwelling of support from individuals of the Mormon faith – to the tune of $20 million. This is a bogus explanation as that’s not how Mormons work — and again, I’m talking about the LDS Church and “Utah Mormons” as those  of us who have come to know them call them, including many Mormons I know from Virginia, Washington, and California).

This is a religion and a state that has the beehive as one of its most important icons — individual action is not encouraged. No, this was no spontaneous response from people of conscience — this was an orchestrated and under-the-radar campaign to get the money to California. Some may ask why the LDS Church, still smarting from reaction to their now-abandoned official practices and doctrines of bigotry against people of color, would choose to pick on another group. The answer is “2012.”

Mitt Romney would have had a real shot at the GOP nomination this year except for one thing — he’s Mormon. He wasn’t a conservative purist, but neither was McCain, so it wasn’t that. No, the Christian Right does not count Latter-day Saints as Christians, and believe me, the LDS Church really, really wants a Mormon President — so what to do? “Hey, I know — help bash the gays in California and the Christian Right may actually stop treating us like lepers and our guy can get the nod in 2012!” — or at least that’s what I imagine the dialog was like.

So now that I’ve described the events that took place, I think one thing has become clear –this is One of the World’s Problems and the first one I will solve. I’ll try and get to others later, as time, inspiration, and smart-assedeness allows.

First – define the problem: Surprisingly, I don’t think the problem is the Mormon Church. Honestly, people can believe what they want — no skin off my nose. In the same vein, I doubt anyone is going to change their attitudes on those in the GLBT community, and if they want to live bigoted, closed-minded lives, that’s their right. No, the real problem is this: The location of the Mormon Church and most Mormons in the U.S.

Solution?

This is the beautiful part, my solution is not only a Solution to One of the World’s Problems, it’s a Solution to TWO of the World’s Problems!

[drum roll . . . . ] Swap Tibet and Utah! Your jaw has dropped, you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind . . . but follow my logic.

  1. Mormons love to send missionaries to other countries, so what could be better than sending ALL  OF THEM IN UTAH to another country?!
  2. Their populations are almost exactly the same! Utah has 2,550,063 people (as of 2006) and the Tibetan Autonomous Region population from 2000 was 2,616,329. It’s like we were meant to do this!
  3. Tibet does not look like it is going to get its deserved independence from China anytime soon, and it doesn’t look like we’ll get our deserved independence from the LDS any time soon either — so why not trade?
  4. The LDS Church can get a huge foothold in a country of more than a billion people that values conformity and that has a government that not only won’t allow gays to marry, they execute them — it’s a perfect match!
  5. All the Buddhists still in Tibet or that have been part of the Tibetan diaspora to India and such can finally have a safe home in Utah where they can live and practice their faith freely.
  6. Lhasa, Tibet is both cooler and wetter than Salt Lake City Utah, so the Mormons won’t be able to complain, and Utah has a lot fewer illegal Chinese governments, so the Tibetans will be happy.
  7. Mormons and Tibetans both have a cultural history in which the characteristic form of marriage is polygamy. For Tibetans, it was polyandry (a form of polygamy with one wife, multiple husbands), while for the Mormons it was polygyny (one husband, multiple wives). It’s not an officially sanctioned practice in either place anymore, but does go on behind the scenes. This would allow us to still use many of our existing Utah jokes with just very minor changes.
  8. Now, while its true that some Buddhists believe homosexuality is “wrong,” many more don’t care, as how you live your life is your responsibility. I’ll take that over the stance of the LDS Church any day.

Now, you are probably asking “But how could such a thing happen?” or ” How would that work?” — my answer, of course, is that as I’ve already come up with the solution — I’ll leave it to someone else to work out the details. Oh, but I would suggest some gold tablets and a cloning experiment involving Joseph Smith as a sort of a strawman.

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