Thursday, April 16, 2009

More on a Mormon Upbringing

In case you didn't follow that link to the Steve Benson 2002 article, Diversity Not Perversity: My Prison Break from the Homophobia of Mormonism, here's another chance.

In it Steve -- who himself is a member of the "Mormon Royalty" -- basically rips a new one, not only for his addled and senile grandfather but also the so-called "general authorities" of The One True Church.


My grandfather [Ezra Taft Benson, 'prophet, seer and revelator'] was raised on a farm in southern Idaho, where he milked cows. Being a dairy farmer, he insisted we drink only heterosexual milk. None of that homo-genized stuff.
Seriously, to understand the influences of my childhood, it is necessary to put my early attitudes and beliefs within the context of Benson family home life. Essentially, my home provided basic training for war against the forces of evil. As a youth, I was commanded by my grandfather to follow the "marching orders" of the "living prophet." Those commands meant a frontal assault (but no frontal nudity) against such insidious influences as:
--Martin Luther King, who, I was taught by my grandfather, was a notorious liar, civil rights agitator and communist-inspired sympathizer;
--African-Americans in general who, I was told by my parents, were cursed and "different;"
--liberals (especially Democrats) who, I was indoctrinated to believe, were misguided political drifters serving as the devil’s designated thorns in the sides of God’s Republican servants;
--scientists and intellectuals who, I was warned, were the stiff-necked followers of the anti-Christ;
--the Beatles, who according to John Birch material scattered around our house within easy reach of the children, were trained by Soviet musicians as part of a plot to corrupt America’s youth.
--John F. Kennedy who, I was told on the day of his assassination by my well-meaning but deluded John Bircher mother, got what he deserved;
--and last but not least, working mothers and homosexuals who, I was instructed, were perversions of the natural order.
No one can fault Steve for his exposé -- okay, I take it back: The Moron Mormon Church faults him, and faults him Big Time. I'm sure he's on The List.

As an aside, it was none other than Ezra Taft Benson, when he was secretary of agriculture in the Eisenhower Administration, by instituting some draconian measures against the small farmers in the milk industry (primarily eliminating federal price supports because they were "socialistic"), that drove not only my family but all of our small diary farmer neighbors into poverty and forced us off of our Oklahoma dairy farms and into a new Grapes of Wrath-type of desperate migration to the West Coast.

It was especially galling since Benson was, or had been, a diary farmer himself and theoretically should have known better. But no, he had to fight those goddamn commies wherever he found them, and if you could find one underground in an Oklahoma diary farm sleeper cell, then they are obviously everywhere!