Friday, March 13, 2009

I feel violated

My inbox has been flooded recently with some very disturbing emails recently. I don't have a TV, and if I did, I doubt if I would be watching the Big Love, anyway. It's the story of a modern day polygamous family, supposedly an offshoot of a group such as the FLDS.
BTW, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has nothing to do with any of the splinter groups. When they discontinued the practice of polygamy in 1890, some diehards decided to continue the practice and started their own branches of the church. In our world today, if someone who is a member of the Church decides to practice polygamy, they are excommunicated. I come from polygamous folk, and have studied the subject extensively. There is a clearly drawn line within the church between us and them.
Stay with me here.
Over 40 years ago, I got married. It was a gorgeous summer day, much like the one in the following photo. I was married in the Salt Lake Temple (see above). It was June 14, 1968, Flag Day, and it was so bright and sunny.
Before the actual marriage ceremony, I went through another ritual called the endowment. In this ceremony, I made certain covenants with God. I promised to live my life according to some fairly strict rules. Nothing terribly weird or anything, but having to do with my own live and the way I would live from now on. It was a personal and sacred experience.
In the 40 years since, I have repeated the ceremony many times, each time acting as a proxy for someone else who has died. Sometimes the name of the person was someone who was a member of my own family. We believe that in the next life, people have the opportunity to accept or reject these ordinances. The language used is highly symbolic and takes a long time to really understand. I am still learning about it, myself and my relationship to God. The first time I went through it, I was overwhelmed. Some days I still am.
Now I work in the Portland Temple, shown below, and help other people who are performing the same ordinances. I support and encourage them and it is very rewarding work for me. I consider this to be a time to renew my contact with God. The temple is also a place of prayer and meditation for me.
So why the fuss about Big Love? Well it seems the show has decided to do a flashback with one of the characters and is recreating the whole ceremony. They got an ex-member to act as a consultant. It's supposed to go into everything in great detail. When members got wind of this, and protested, the producers said they did not want to offend anyone, and they thought it was in good taste, and did not see what the fuss was about. And they are going to air it on Sunday night.
The only thing I can compare it to is filming me making love with someone. It's that personal to me. And here they want to put it out there, for people who have no idea what it is all about and make a mockery of it.
There are parts of our lives that are private and sacred and should not be displayed, period.
They don't get it. The fact that they are trying to be "accurate" and "tasteful" does not negate the fact that they have decided to go ahead and show it at all.
That's my rant, but I am distressed by this. How dare they take that part of my life, and stomp all over it with their dirty hands and feet!


Connie said...

Anne, I am sorry this is happening to you. I don't watch the show and I hope others don't watch it either.

Kat said...

So, here's what I think. They are shooting themselves in the foot. Any attempt Hollywood has made to diminish the church or it's beliefs has backfired in their own faces and only caused more interest and curiosity about the church. It's so interesting to watch the reality shows out there. You have Survivor and Real Life that try to put a Mormon on just about every episode and put them in the worst lite possible and then you have the opposite end of the spectrum with So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, and American Idol, which shows the Mormon's I more identify with. All in all, so, just stirring up more curiosity about our faith and religion. I've had more opportunities at work to share my beliefs with non-members precisely because of these shows and the media. Whatever Hollywood tries to do will completely backfire. And as we've always been told. Nothing will stop the rolling forward of the Church. I have seen weather completely change, mocking crowds disappear, etc. with the opening of the Draper Temple and I have no doubt that this last onslaught will just help the Church in some way.

N. Maria said...

I only watch and read what will lift me, too. I avoid the ugly and untruth. Sometimes, I am involved with groups until I see the real "them".
I'm with Kat saying it just peeks the interest of the Church and that is a good thing.