January 18, 2007

Getting Past the Osmonds

We Mormons are obsessed with our weak celebrity connections. There is always some rumor circulating at scripture study on Sunday nights about a Hollywood star seen talking to the missionaries, records of a baptism or whispers of a rock star's commitment to the Word of Wisdom. Not surprisingly, most of these rumors prove false. I remember hearing all kinds of gossip growing up. Big names like Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks and Steve Martin being secret members. My little heart clung to them. Anything to get us over the "Osmond" phenomena and rocket us to gritty stardom.

And why not the Mormons? We are the fourth largest religion in the United States just behind the Catholics, Methodists and the Baptists. Although Mormons outnumber the Jewish population of America almost two to one, your average Joe could easily name 30 famous Jews and probably not a single one of us. It takes a Mark Hacking to get us any media attention at all. So we cling to our laughable tales of Alice Cooper's father maybe being a Mormon and an alleged sighting of Steve Martin wearing the tell-tale CTR ring ("No," Steve finally had to clarify to the enamored masses, "I am not a Mormon.") Where do we come up with this stuff and more importantly, why?

I'll tell you why. As much as we are trying to ignore it, we can't get over the creepy feeling that there are non-Mormons in our lives. Many of them. In fact, most Mormons (unless you live in Utah, Idaho or Arizona) are isolated in their schools and communities. We look around everyday and see society chugging along in a totally different direction than us and can't help feeling abandoned. We need validation that the social sacrifices we've are not totally nuts and a legitimate way to show this is to have our beliefs parroted in the media, Hollywood and the White House. Accept us for pete's sake! We're spending our nights locked away crocheting afghans, making pinewood derby cars and playing Trivial Pursuit. What a waste of a fine Mormon, don't you agree?

Orrin Hatch had his chance at being the LDS poster boy for the new millennium but blew it when he revealed his inevitable Mormon musical side. I was just as disappointed as everyone else when he went all J-Lo on us and tried to become a multi-industry diva. It works if you're a sexy Latina bombshell, but not so much for geriatric senators trying to capture the Presidency. Sorry Orrin, this isn't baseball. One strike and you're out.

But now we have our darling Mitt Romney, our second chance. He's the biggest celebrity to hit the Mormons since the Angel Moroni. To be fair, we've had our Jon Heders, Gladys Knights and Donny Osmonds - but Mitt is different. Give us the White House and give us our dignity. It's about time this nation had a President who didn't smoke pot in his youth. With any luck it might actually help with the whole running a country thing and then who's the media going to love? That's right. Those quaint old Mormons.

Whether or not Mitt gets the job done, rest assured that Mormons will have their day. When the fashions inevitably shift and it becomes hip to wear white denim jeans, sweater vests and teddy bear earrings they'll come pounding on our doors. And how will we receive them? Will we laugh in their faces like the jilted lover or accept their humble apologies with open arms? Our day is coming. What will you do?

For a fun site listing many the "famous" Mormons in the media and many more near-misses click here


Bex said...

Oooh, I heard that Izzy on Grey's Anatomy (I can't remember her real life name) used to be Mormon. And can it be true that Christina Aguilera and Jewel have Mormon parents? This is crazy stuff, I tell you.

stupidramblings said...

What do you mean "When the fashions inevitably shift and it becomes hip to wear white denim jeans, sweater vests and teddy bear earrings"? These things are not already acceptable?

rachelle black said...

Yup, we are weird. But I would rather be weird in a Mormon kind of way than in a transgendered, purple wig wearing, walk around naked in a parade sort of way.

And for the record, I LOVE Donny Osmond!! - swoons -

On the other hand is me trying to explain just who Gladys Knight is to my teenagers. Boy, am I just old or what??

Sarah said...

Yeah, the Grey's Anatomy girl's name is Katherine Heigl and we actually grew up together out in New Canaan, CT. We went to school and church together but she stopped being religious when she left for L.A. to pursue acting in her late teens. But I have these funny pictures of us at Mormon girls camp together before she got too cool for school. Yet another Hollywood Flakes celebrity encounter!

Suzie Petunia said...

I don't think the country is ready for a mormon president. There are still too many misconceptions. Do you think he really has a chance? And I don't think mormons are ready for that kind of attention. What if someone were to actually ask us what we believe in???!! Gasp. I can just imagine what kind of idiot mormons the media will choose to shoot their questions at on national tv to "clarify" the LDS faith. And then they'll have to interview fundamentalist "mormons" in southern utah (the ones who haven't been arrested yet) because for some reason the media has a hard time accepting the fact that WE ARE NOT THE SAME FAITH. I see a mess ahead.

But don't listen to me. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I'm just grumpy.

Shiloah Baker said...

hehehe! Great post! Speaking of pinewood derby cars...hubby was just called into scouts and he is dying to get his hands on one to start now! ;) And netflix is bringing us "Down and Derby" tomorrow! LOL

patrick said...

I happen to think non-mormons are cool. I don't mind having them around. Which makes me wonder if my catholic buddies consider me their non-catholic friend?

It's nice to know a famous person with your same beliefs, but depending on your conviction to those beliefs it shouldn't be that important. I can think of lots of Mormons I don't agree with.

Oh, and Donny is my Mom's cousin. FIRST cousin. Take that.

JoeBlogs said...

When I think Mormons I think the Osmonds and the film Witness. Until now. Thanks.

Rachel said...

Here is Utahland I rarely see the "white denim jeans, sweater vests and teddy bear earrings" type. And when I do see them, I don't think, "Oh thank goodness! There ARE other Mormons in the world!" Really I just wonder what fashion time warp they are living in. But hey. The gospel IS for everyone, right? Those other three top churches may turn their noses up to teddy bears. But not us!

wasjoejoking said...

the film witness was about freaking amish, dude. mormons believe in electricity and... computers and running for president and stuff.