I have to confess, I'm having a difficult time getting all worked up in righteous indignation over HBO Big Love's plan to depict the LDS temple ceremony. First of all, it's already out there for anybody who's really interested. Just google and a few clicks and you'll find pictures, and even the text of the entire endowment ceremony. And the reality is, it's been available to anyone who was interested for decades. When I first joined the church - way back in college - I went to the public library looking for books on mormonism. Lo and behold, there was an anti-Mormon book in the library that included the entire temple ceremony.
Now, I do concur that there is a difference between having it available in some obscure media that few are even aware of verses blasting it out to the masses on a cable TV network. And, I think it shows a tremendous lack of respect on the part of HBO to make light of things we consider very sacred.
But, the temple ceremony is more than just funny underwear, odd clothing, words and a few hand gestures. It's being in a beautiful room with others all dressed in white. It's the quiet whispers. It's waiting in the chapel for the session to start in quiet contemplation. It's sitting in reflection in a beautiful celestial room at the conclusion. It's the whole experience. There is no way they'll be able to duplicate that experience on a TV show. What will be depicted on Big Love will be a pale imitation - distorted and out of context. True, a few of our pearls have been cast before the swine - but we still have the pearl necklace held tightly against our bosom.
What is interesting about all of this is the lack of outcry from non-Mormon's. Try depicting sacred parts of Islam and there would likely be a tremendous amount of righteous indignation with much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth - and not just from muslims. The same would be true for the Eastern religions.
But Mormon's - in fact, Christians in general - are fair game. It's like white guys being the only ethnic group you can poke fun at without being accused of being bigoted. Christianity in general and Mormonism specifically are the only religions you can poke fun at without being accused of being disrespectful. We're the fall guys. We're the plunky side kicks who are constantly running into walls and having pies thrown in our faces. If you're a white Mormon guy - well then there is absolutely no hope - we might as well walk around with a jester hat and a sign on our back that says "kick me".
I also think we need to get used to it - because this is how it's going to be from now on. With proposition 8, we can talk all we want about how we were simply standing up for morality and families until we're blue in the face. But, the reality is - we threw down the gauntlet and told the world that we will only respect the beliefs of others so long as they don't conflict with our own beliefs. And, so the world has responded - "if you aren't going to respect us then we won't respect you." Perhaps this is just more reaping of what we have sown. We can cry foul and say it's unfair all we want - but, from the media reports I've read it seems that, for the most part, our indignation is falling on deaf ears - and Mormon's are coming across looking petty and small-minded.
So, when we are kicked. we can allow ourselves to get all worked up about it - but in the end, it won't change anything. Or, we can just shrug our shoulders, say "whatever" and move on with our lives. I opt for the latter.