We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. – Articles of Faith 13
I’ve seen some posts on Facebook about the Mormon grandmother1 who says that Frozen is filled with some gay agenda and wants to normalize homosexuality. Most people seem to be surprised that someone would get that from a Disney, but it doesn’t shock me. What does shock me is just how much it seems to be shocking others. Don’t you guys remember who the big backer on the Yes on 8 stuff was? Yep. The LDS Church. And which church had a proclamation declaring marriage to only be valid when it is between one man and one woman in 1995? Same church. And these are things that the general public has been privy to, but if you’ve gone to a meeting, you might have heard other things that make this kind of blog post less shocking.
Right around the time that I joined, a very lovely Relief Society member was talking about her granddaughter’s love for The Little Mermaid during her Relief Society talk. Her granddaughter picked out some fabric for a dress. The fabric had Ariel (as a mermaid) all over it. Well, that wasn’t something that the grandmother thought the little girl could have on her dress and still be respecting the church’s stance on modesty, so she made little dresses and put them over each Ariel on the fabric so that her granddaughter wouldn’t be immodest. If her young granddaughter had had been showing off the belly of a fictional mermaid, her granddaughter might not be temple-worthy one day.
Also around the time that I joined, I was sitting in the new member lessons. I found out that because I’m a convert and was born of a marriage of non-members that in the view of the Church, I am a bastard. And I would be a bastard until my parents had been sealed and I had been sealed to them. I was basically told that it doesn’t matter that the State of Alabama recognizes my parents’ marriage, because the Church doesn’t; and that meant that my parents engaged in an extramarital relationship to conceive me. And straight sex outside of marriage is considered by the modesty-loving crowd to be about as bad as gay sex outside of marriage.
When Abby Huntsman met her non-member husband, she was basically told that she needed to dump him or she wouldn’t get to the Celestial Kingdom–the top tier of Heaven, the whipped cream, hot fudge, and cherry part. In an interview with Brian Williams, she said:
He basically said, you will not have the blessings, your children will not have the blessings, if you marry this man… I know that I’m one of many many women that go through experiences like that. And I walked out that door and I couldn’t go back.
What does all of this have to do with that post? It’s actually quite simple. The Church has strict, conservative standards of what is considered appropriate and what is not, and some members like to promote the most conservative approach to these standards. And some of these people like to push their interpretation of the rules on others; some even go above and beyond that and push absolutely ludicrous ideas like that Frozen has a gay agenda. And, depending on the family that the person belongs to, the nutter’s interpretation can be considered even more important than a contrasting opinion from someone of a “lesser” family. And sometimes the contrasting opinion will be shut down before it’s even expressed. There isn’t a lot of dissenting from my experience. This is the kind of environment that ends up breeding opinions like those of the Mormon grandmother.
Of course she’s being ridiculous. Of course what she’s saying is bigoted and wrong and completely screwed up. And of course she thinks that what she’s doing will somehow make the world a better place. People who’ve been taught that their way is the only way don’t understand that they can actually be wrong or that their views can be morally repugnant. And, according to where she worships, her views aren’t wrong or repugnant. In a religion that teaches that you will be unworthy of the best possible version of Heaven unless you do everything a certain way, you do your damnedest to do them that way or in an even better way.
Even though members are told that Hell doesn’t exist2, a member can do enough wrong in their life that they end up not making it to that top level of Heaven. And if they can’t repent and change, then they will spend the rest of eternity without the rest of their family. They spend their mortal lives trying to live up to an expectation held by the church so that they won’t be lonely in the hereafter. And if you’re lonely, then you’re suffering, and you don’t want to suffer. You don’t want to make Heavenly Father angry, so you do everything you can to prove that you’re worthy. And this causes some really hefty anxiety. It can also cause some pretty serious ignorance and bigotry because they are afraid to stray too far from doctrine. It’s kind of a group-endorsed neurosis and group-endorsed hate.
And anyone who feels the way that she does about this movie is going to be adamant about their beliefs. They’re going to see anyone who doesn’t agree with them as being influenced by the Adversary. And that will further justify their beliefs. So don’t be surprised if pointing out how far off she is results in some level of dismissal or condescension on her part. She’s doing her duty to bring the religious and social message that she believes is right to the world, and there is absolutely nothing you can say to convince her otherwise. It’s actually a little funny how the post talks so much about indoctrination, but doesn’t seem to realize that she is the person who has been indoctrinated.
What’s also weird is that for all of her talk of how it goes against her beliefs, from what I’ve seen and heard of it, doesn’t it promote the relationship between the sisters? Doesn’t it promote the idea that love and family are key to life? Doesn’t that mean that it promotes family values? Maybe my liberal brain can’t completely decipher the commercials and interviews that I’ve seen about the movie, but I’m pretty sure that love was the message, not anything worthy of the vast gay-loving, left-wing agenda that conservatives love to claim exists. And even if it did promote a gay relationship, would that be a bad thing? I don’t remember Jesus ever saying that being gay is bad, but I do remember that he did promote love and he did condemn people for making judgments about other people. Maybe she should back off on this anti-gay marriage crusade, because whether she realizes it or not, she is getting Jesus’s teachings wrong. If the church’s teachings are true, I would hate for her to end up not going to the Celestial Kingdom because she couldn’t stand the idea of her grandchildren learning to treat every human being with the same level of dignity and respect regardless of who they’re attracted to, whether they’re gay, straight, or fictional characters.
She should reread her standard works, specifically these verses:
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:18-19 ((The KJV, which is in the Standard Works, is: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.))
Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. – Proverbs 10:12 ((The KJV is: Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.))
O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. – Proverbs 8:5
Do to others as you would have them do to you. – Luke 6:31 ((The KJV is: And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.))
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. – Romans 12:9 ((The KJV is: Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.))
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. – Mark 12:31 ((The KJV is: And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.))
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. – Matthew 7:1-2
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. – Articles of Faith 133
If she did read those verses and so many, she might understand that the idea of Disney teaching kids to be tolerant and to be accepting is actually something that goes hand-in-hand with her religious beliefs.
Shortly before I quit regularly going to church, I gave a talk at a YSA Family Home Evening on this particular Article of Faith, tolerance, and how we shouldn’t be so judgmental. It was my way of giving the finger to some of the members who kept promoting intolerant ideas. ↩