…no there isn’t really a punchline to that opening. Except to say that once again the religious nutters put on a display that illustrates that they really are a bunch of self-entitled, arrogant asswipes.
Now, before I continue this post, I think I have to state a couple of points:
- On my list of “batshit insane religions,” the Church of LDS, or Mormons, ranks third, just behind Scientology and the Jehovah Witnesses. And it’s really only behind the JWs, because Mormons at least believe in letting a dying child have a blood transfusion. But when you get down to believing that one man saw magic golden plates that only he could translate, and the Native Americans are dark-skinned because they killed the original lost tribe of Israel… it’s really just a hop, skip and a jump to believing you’re infested with the ghosts of aliens, dropped in a volcano and blown up with h-bombs.
- That said, I happen to really enjoy the music of Lindsey Stirling, who also happens to be a Mormon. I also think that compared to the antics of the Britney’s and Beyonce’s and Kardashians’, etc, etc out there, she is a pretty good, level-headed person and a pretty good role model for youngsters. Yes, occasionally she posts about her religion, of which she is a devout follower, but that should in no way have an impact on my liking her music.
- However, that comes with a caveat. I like to think that Lindsey sees herself as a really good person, with a positive outlook on life, who just happens to be a Mormon. It would be really sad if she thinks she’s a good person, with a positive outlook on life, because she’s a Mormon. That said, should she ever publicly voice agreement with her Church’s beliefs on things like opposing gay marriage, then I would lay into her, just as I would any of the other bigots that feature on this page. Until then, I don’t know what she does and does not personally believe, so I can’t comment.
Anyway, Lindsay was nominated for (and indeed won) an award at the most recent Billboard awards, and naturally she wanted to look her best, so went out and picked a dress, which, as she said, “I tried on racks of dresses before I found one that actually covered me and I want to thank the designer for making a dress that could make me feel beautiful and still keep me completely covered from head to toe.” (Because, as we all know, it’s only those pesky Muslims that insist their women cover up.) So, she turned up, looking to my evil, godless, liberal, baby-eating eyes, absolutely stunning, in a classic, Audrey Hepburn kinda way.
Now, maybe it’s hard to tell, but besides the arms, that isn’t acres of bare flesh Lindsey is flashing there, a la Jennifer Lopez. The dress is fully lined with tan fabric. In keeping with the draconian dress code of the Mormons. Remember, this is the religion that won’t allow students at Brigham Young University (Lindsey’s alma mater) to grow facial hair.
This, by the way, is Brigham Young. Hypocrisy, much?
Needless to say, the faithful saw the dress, and much hand-wringing commenced. Remember the bit I said above about how I hoped she saw herself as a good person, who happened to be – not because she’s – a Mormon? Then again, the poor kid never had a chance – she doesn’t know how not to be a Mormon any more than a girl born in Riyadh knows not to be a Muslim. Especially when you grow up in a house where your dad writes a book for young adults, all about “defeating the forces of evil.” But, once again, this post isn’t about her, or her beliefs. At least I’m trying to keep it that way.
It’s about people who are so small and narrow minded, that they can’t separate the person from their own religious outlook on the world. No sooner had Lindsey strutted her stuff on the red carpet, than her fellow Mormons forgot that bit about “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Maybe Joseph Smith left that bit out of The Bible, Part 3.
- “You were a role model until you publicly shamed your religion. Sad to see you go.”
- “It was a disappointment to see you in a dress like this. It is clear that your being a Latter-day Saint is being questioned because of it. Seeing you dressed like this made me feel so sad.”
- “My 6-year-old daughter looks up to you and just loves that you’re Mormon… I don’t feel comfortable showing her your Instagram post. This post made her say, oh no Mom she isn’t being very modest.”
- “Lindsey is not setting a good example to her admirers here.”
“Publicly shamed your religion?” Seriously? She wore a dress, for fuck’s sake. It wasn’t like she did a Linda Blair with a statuette of Joseph Smith. On the steps of the SLC Temple. At lunchtime. On payday. And if you really do have a 6-year-old who’s already hyper concerned about modesty, then you are one fucked up parent.
Remember, these are members of her own church, who are basically another glimpse of ankle away from stoning the heretical slut. Then again, it’s just another example of the American religious mentality that a) loves to feel OUTRAGED! and b) loves to impose their religious morals on everybody else. You know, just like those Jews picketing the bacon counter at the deli… oh, wait. Then again, I’ve spent time with Mormons, I’ve had poor, young Utahn missionaries in my lounge – feeling very uncomfortable, because I’ve lifted the hood on their religion and have a very good look at the engine. It is a strange belief system, made even stranger by this weird belief that can’t seem to separate the person from the religion.
Thankfully there was at least one voice of reason amongst this whole debacle. Fellow Mormon, Samantha Shelley wrote (and while I don’t agree with the religious aspects of her post, at least she isn’t screaming “Burn the heretic!”)
“I’ve written before about what modesty actually means, over at LDS Living. It’s an unnecessary fixation on appearances, including what we (and others) wear. And yes, that includes not drawing undue attention to your body by dressing scantily in inappropriate situations. But if you don’t like Lindsey’s dress and you don’t think you’d be ok with wearing it because it’s not in line with your modesty standards, then COOL. Her designer isn’t clambering over people begging you to wear one of his edgy designs. There’s no need to publicly call her out for something that, even if she was “guilty” of (immodesty), isn’t the barometer with which to measure her relationship with God.”
“…if you don’t like Lindsey’s dress and you don’t think you’d be ok with wearing it because it’s not in line with your modesty standards, then COOL.” A-fucking-men, sister.
However, what was really sad was Lindsey’s response to this:
“I’ve received a lot of hate over the last 2 days and I’m sorry for anyone that I’ve disappointed. The dress I wore to the awards was fully lined with tan fabric. But after looking at the pictures, I see that you actually can’t tell that it’s lined. In hindsight it wasn’t the best choice because modesty is important to me.
However, more importantly it makes me so sad that people are so quick to judge. Especially all the “Christians.” I make mistakes, and I am definitely not perfect, but I really am trying my best. I tried on racks of dresses before I found one that actually covered me and I want to thank the designer for making a dress that could make me feel beautiful and still keep me completely covered from head to toe.
For those who say I’ve changed, I still believe in Christ and although I’m not perfect, I strive to share his love and positivity with those I meet.”
The saddest part of that isn’t that she felt the need to apologise, or somehow explain her actions to a bunch of medieval-minded idiots. It’s because it really did drive home the impression that she thinks she’s a good person because she’s a Mormon; not a good person who just so happens to be a Mormon.
The good news (ok, and the punchline) is that Lindsey has unveiled the designs for the new Mormon Morals Approved costumes for her and her dancers, for the rest of her tour: