Sunday, December 15, 2013
Aspirations of empire
Maybe it wasn't until after I had taken a couple of anthropology courses that the Mormon Church's goal of filling "the whole earth" (i.e. taking over the planet) and spreading to "every kindred, tongue, and people" started to bother me.
What good would come of the Church invading countries and teaching them to abandon their traditions only to replace it with the wholesome business aesthetic of white shirts and ties? Why should Asians stop drinking tea and start drinking root beer and Hawaiian Punch? Why should indigenous American peoples consider their ancestors the cursed offspring of Lehi and Sariah? Why would Pacific Islanders really need to be wearing and covering temple garments in their hot climate? Why should Kung men start carrying around little vials of olive oil purchased from Utah? Do we really want to see marriage traditions disappear into the goofy mirrored sealing rooms of the House of the Lord, where everyone (not just Pacific Islanders) must give up local color for white cotton-poly blends? How are we all not cringing at the thought of the Aboriginal Australian singing "Come, Come, Ye Saints" or "If You Could Hie to Kolob" while their children sing "Chose the Right Way"?
The Church has no true appreciation for diversity. The Church doesn't give two shits about different world views. What the Church cares about is what Dallin Oaks calls "Gospel Culture" and snuffing out every other culture that doesn't conform to it. This is the Church taking the offense and being as offensive as possible without physically harming people. If you don't like it, just know that one day every knee shall bend and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ!
The more I thought about it the more I didn't have to doubt any more - I knew with a surety - that I did not believe in the is kind of approach to interacting with people outside of my faith tradition.