My first theory I've blogged about before:
Girls are weird.
Does anybody understand girls? Straight guys certainly don't understand them. Gay guys haven't a chance of ever understanding them. Sometimes I wonder if other girls even understand them.
My second theory is one I've alluded to in recent comments on other blogs:
Straight guys are boring.
I'm still refining this theory; but, think about it - the only thing most straight guys ever want to talk about is sports, cars, and girls. It all starts when they are teenagers - I've worked with the youth in the church for most of my adult life and have witnessed it on numerous occasions. As they near that magical age of 16, most young men go through some sort of metamorphosis where they get memorized by the mere scent of perfume and gasoline. Now, the scent of sweaty guys, I can kind of understand that one a little. But, come on, it's a girl, it's a car - get over it, let's go do something fun.
Mormons are goofy.
I'm referring specifically to the Mormon culture, not the religion (although, admittedly, there are some who consider the religion kind of goofy, but I'll leave that as a corollary to be worked out by someone else). For example,
- Where did this whole don't drink caffeinated beverages come from? I once had a missionary companion who believed we should avoid caffeine in any form and in any amount - including chocolate. When we taught investigators about the word of wisdom, he would actually tell them that they would have to give up chocolate - a point of serious contention between us. He was totally unfazed when I pointed out that they sell chocolate desserts in the cafeteria at the Temple. But, in a sense, I could understand where he was coming from. If caffeine in beverages is bad then why is it OK in food products? As a young neophyte Mormon, I even asked that question. The response I invariably got was that the level of caffeine in chocolate is much lower than in coffee. But, if caffeine is bad, at what level does it become OK? As I matured in my Mormonhood, I started to ask where it was written that we were to avoid caffeinated beverages? Nobody has ever been able to point me to any official statement stating such. All I've ever gotten is explanations like "my aunt has a friend whose cousin attended a regional conference where the general authority in attendance said ...". My only conclusion is that Mormon's who believe we shouldn't drink caffeinated beverages are full of hooey. And, so I partake (I prefer Coke over Pepsi). On my mission, we had a secret combination of Elders who drank coke. We called ourselves the "Church of cheese and rice of rattle day snakes".
- On a similar vein, who thought up that ridiculous notion that face cards are evil and of the devil? I've always been amazed at Mormon's who see nothing wrong with playing poker with Rook cards; but, let them catch you playing gin rummy with face cards and they start dusting off the bottom of their feet. This one I've actually done a fair amount of research on. The only thing I ever came up with was a talk from the early part of last century that equated card playing with wasting time - that poor GA is probably rolling over in his grave as he sees video games and other clever ways we've come up with to waste time even more effectively.
- Have you ever heard a general authority come right out and say we aren't supposed to watch R-rated movies? No, I doubt you have. They tell us: "Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable." (For the Strength of Youth, p.17) Some simpleton has translated that to say that R-rated movies are inherently vulgar, immoral, and/or pornographic - the implication being that PG-13, PG, and G rated moves are uplifting, moral, and clean. I've got news for you - there are some PG and PG-13 movies out there which are pretty vulgar, immoral, and even pornographic. And, there are some R-rated movies which are none of those. Something else to consider. As I understand it, Canada has a rating system similar to that of the US; however, there are some movies which are R-rated in the US, but PG rated in Canada. Does that mean it's OK for Canadian saints to watch them but not US saints? Now, I'm not saying this to justify me watching R-rated movies. Quite the contrary - I don't watch popular R-rated movies - period. The simple reason is that I work extensively with the youth in the church - and they will sometimes ask, point blank, if I've seen a certain popular movie. It's much easier to just be able to respond "No" then to either lie or say "Yes, but ..." and go off into a tirade about how some R-rated movies can be OK (much like I did above). Now, I didn't say I don't watch any R-rated movies. I specifically qualified my statement by saying popular R-rated movies. A guilty pleasure of mine is to watch gay-themed R-rated movies. But, I have little fear of a church youth ever asking me "have you seen Latter Days?" If one ever does then I guess I'm pretty much screwed.
- "... when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. " (Mosiah 2:17). I believe very much in giving service to others. This is a principal I've tried to instill in my children. But, in the LDS church, I've seen service gone awry. For example, I once saw a brother putting up chairs after church. I went up to him and pointed out that the ward that follows us will need the chairs setup. Undaunted, he continued putting the chairs away saying "I don't want to deny them the blessings they will get from setting up chairs." Uh huh!
- Some Mormons take great pride in their pioneer heritage, and that's OK. But, I've seen some take this even further - as if having Mormon pioneer ancestors who came across the plains somehow makes them better, smarter, or more qualified. My grandfather was a drunken bastard who died before I was even born - so what! That has no bearing on who I am. And your Mormon pioneer ancestors have no bearing on who you are. You and you alone are responsible for who you turn out to be.
Don't get me wrong - I love Mormon's - I love being a Mormon. Some church leaders have told us "we are a peculiar people" - and I guess some have taken that statement literally and have gone to great lengths to be peculiar - even to the point of being goofy.