“The Mormon Church Condemned White Supremacists, and This Mormon White Supremacist Mom is Very Mad about It”

“The Mormon Church Condemned White Supremacists, and This Mormon White Supremacist Mom is Very Mad about It” August 25, 2017

 

The Old Globe, in Balboa Park
The White Theatre is directly to the right of the Old Globe.   (Wikimedia Commons public domain)

 

We’ve just walked back from a performance of Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood! in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, a small theater-in-the-round facility directly adjacent to the Old Globe Theatre and part of Balboa Park’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center complex.  This Robin Hood is a very light and sometimes quite funny piece of fluff.  Like the rest of the audience, we enjoyed it.

 

Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland
A poster for the 1938 film (Wikimedia Commons fair use)

 

Maybe especially so because our second date was to attend a BYU showing of the immortal 1938 version of The Adventures of Robin Hood that starred Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and Claude Rains.  (And no, it wasn’t new when we saw it.)  I’d already seen it before, and I recognized that it would be a sure winner.  I still like it very much.  In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite old movies.

 

The friend with whom we enjoyed lunch earlier today works behind the scenes at the Center, and, at her invitation, she took us on a backstage tour of the facility before the play.  Very interesting.  My wife the theater major got a kick out of it; she used to work in BYU’s costume shop.  Of course, backstage is remarkably pedestrian and unglamorous — which, I suppose, makes the magic out on the stage even more remarkable.

 

***

 

Slate:  “The Mormon Church Condemned White Supremacists, and This Mormon White Supremacist Mom is Very Mad about It”

 

Why Ayla Stewart imagines that the Church is demanding that its white members “renounce their culture” completely eludes me.  I see nothing in the Church’s statement that comes even close to such a demand.  Of course, the bad in each culture needs to be renounced, and each culture contains bad elements.  That’s the nature of a fallen world.  But every human culture with which I’m familiar has good to contribute, too, and I’m grateful for that diversity.  It should all be brought into Zion.

 

Here’s what one David Fisher, of West Valley City, has to say about Ayla Stewart:

 

“Racism in the LDS Church ‘alive and well’”

 

There’s much about his letter with which I disagree — among other things, I object to his extrapolation from Ayla Stewart to the entire Church — but I’m especially unhappy with Mr. Fisher’s insinuated demand that she be excommunicated.  She worries me, and, as I’ve said here on this blog, if I were her priesthood leader, I would probably want to have a serious talk with her, at a minimum.  But it’s up to her leaders — to the local Mormon “clergy,” in Mr. Fisher’s uninformed parlance — to decide whether or not disciplinary action is needed in her case, and that’s between them and her.  It depends on many local and private factors of which Mr. Fisher knows nothing.  The Church as a whole shouldn’t be condemned on the basis of whether or not she’s disciplined.

 

Incidentally, this article may shed some light on Ayla Stewart’s intellectual biography, in which she’s evidently moved from being a “Leftist Progressive” and an ardent “pagan” to an active Mormon to an inactive Mormon attending Episcopalian services to an active Mormon on the “alt-right”:

 

“The Libertarianism-to-Fascism Pipeline”

 

I’ve seen Michael Brendan Dougherty’s hypothesis illustrated in more than few cases (e.g., eccentric and intellectually sloppy apologists becoming vocal, eccentric, and intellectually sloppy apostates; militant revolutionary leftists becoming anarcho-capitalists, and so forth).

 

Posted from San Diego, California

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