As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a push in California to make gay marriage illegal and that push is being bankrolled by the Mormons. (In a cruel twist of fate, the angel sent to Joseph Smith was named Moroni, which meant that the Latter-Day Saints had a 50/50 chance of being Mormons or Morons. Luckily, luck was on their side.)
At first glance, this seems odd–why would a group famous for making what the rest of the country considered to be odd marriage arrangements and who suffered persecution based on those arrangments not have some sympathy for people who want to make what they consider odd marriage arrangements?
But there’s a lot of speculation that the Mormons view this–standing up for Proposition 8–to be their ticket into acceptance among other conservative Christians, proving that they’re just like, say, the Southern Baptists, but with kookier names for their children.
And, on the surface, it seems that the Mormons would be ripe for moving into the more mainstream Christian Conservative movement. They’re very family oriented, against fun stuff like drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and caffiene. Conservative Protestants are often also against this stuff, at least in theory, if not in practice.
And the Mormons have been around long enough that it seems like they might be accepted as another Protestant sect just by sheer determination.
Plus, add to that the whole Restoration movement–the belief that there is some primative, pure form of Christianity that can be gotten back to even though Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy have corrupted Christianity as it is currently practiced–which is also a popular belief among some Protestant churches.
At a glance, you’d think that this would happen, that Mormons are on their way to being just another Protestant denomination.
But believe me, it’s never ever going to happen, at least not in my lifetime.
I am reminded of my favorite joke, and I feel I should call someone up in Salt Lake City and tell it to them, about the dude trapped alone on the desert island who still managed to have two churches.
Protestants are still deeply suspicious that Catholics aren’t “real” Christians. Many Protestants have no idea what the Orthodox movement is and they sure as hell have no idea about the Coptic church, and have never heard of the Thomasian tradition in India.
Shoot, we all know towns with three Methodist churches only a third full every Sunday because folks are convinced that the other folks are doing it wrong.
And the theological differences between Baptists of various stripes, or Protestants and Catholics, are small potatoes compared to the theological differences between Christians and Mormons.
It just seems to me to be a fundimental misunderstanding of how Christianity works to believe that you could somehow work your way into being Protestant just by being willing to bankroll cruelty towards gay people, no matter how popular a position cruelty towards gay people might be.