Let us all get behind Mr. Packer
Occasionally, I’ll scan the headlines during the day. And every once in a while, something will jump off the page and send me gibbering like a macaque with a fresh belt of nitrous oxide. Like this one today, in the New York Times: Facebook Campaign Supports Mormon Leader’s Speech. Of course, it wasn’t the headline itself; it was what I happened to read after I clicked the link.
Ahem. Apparently, the second-oldest white guy in the hierarchy that runs the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the Mormons, an 87-year-old named, I kid you not, Boyd K. Packer, felt led by the spiritual powers that be to make a pronouncement on Teh Gayz. You know the drill: Gay people should not be allowed to marry, gay people should just get over this homosexual thing and, y’know, change their minds and get married like everybody else and be fruitful and multiply and make little meat tabernacles for spirit children.
Naturally, when word got out to the public at large, that large segment of people who aren’t inside the LDS bubble, a few of them took umbrage with Mr. Packer’s remarks. They made public denouncements. Some of them in a certain western state, already smarting at a tax-exempt religious institution that poured a ton of money into California to finance the successful campaign to pass Proposition 8 a couple of years ago, got quite rankled.
Now, getting upset at an elderly Mormon leader for not understanding that the world has changed is kinda like getting butthurt at the seasons for changing. Breaking news: Wait for it — water is wet. It would be a monumental astonishment if one of these guys would come correct and just say, “You know, after much deliberation and prayer, the church general authorities have decided that we have this gay thing all wrong.”
Here’s where it gets dicey. Apparently some younger, “hipper” Mormons, who were savvy enough to grasp the importance of social media, launched a Facebook campaign: “I support Boyd K. Packer.” Because the LDS Church is a hierarchy, this kind of stuff has to pass through multiple levels of scrutiny before it goes public, and one wonders if anyone had the cojones to step up and say, “Um, guys, maybe if we’re going to roll out another anti-gay message, we should find someone in the church who’s name doesn’t get this one filed under ‘some jokes write themselves’? Because we’re gonna get reamed on this by all those snickering homosexuals in the media.”
Perhaps someone did wisely 86 the idea of calling the campaign “I can get behind Boyd K. Packer. Who knows?
Read the following in an Eric Cartman voice: “Stan, Kyle, it says here that some old guy in the Mormon church named Boy Gay Fudgepacker got his magic underwear all wrinkled in a bunch and he told teh gayz to get over teh gay lifestyle because God does not intentionally make people go homo.” Adding after a beat: “I am so glad someone in au-thoritay agrees with me.”
Somewhere, a guy named Larry Craig is tapping the floor, pensively. —Jackson Griffith