Politically Unprepared Mormon Virgins

The LDS Church has made another statement about illegal immigration, emphasizing their disapproval of “mass expulsion,” among other things.  I saw a news story yesterday about it and how, apparently, Church headquarters is being inundated by calls from conservative church members who are outraged by what they see as a betrayal of their principles. 

I won’t rehash what I’ve said about this before, but here’s a scripture-based illustration of my point:

In my neck of the woods, our Sunday School lesson next week will be about Jesus’s parable of the ten virgins.  In this story, ten women were going to meet their bridegroom.  Five had prepared, and five hadn’t.  When the surprise announcement was made that the hour for the wedding was at hand, the prepared five got to go in, but the other five were left with no groom but regret. 

The interpretation of this parable for Latter-day Saints has always been pretty standard: it’s meant to teach us about preparing for the Second Coming.  Since all ten women had clearly accepted the invitation to go to the wedding, they all represent members of the Lord’s church.  The sobering warning in the parable is that only about half of us–even half of those who are at least nominally on board with the Church–might be ready for the rewards we want when the final day comes. 

There are plenty of reasons why those five virgins (and many more Latter-day Saints) might be slack in their preparation for the Lord’s return, but in light of the blowback over the Church’s recent political stances, I wonder if some of those virgins might represent good people who let their faith be compromised by being offended by the Church’s positions on gay marriage and illegal immigration.

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3 comments on “Politically Unprepared Mormon Virgins

  1. Yes, a large part of the immigration polemic is racism wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. It has been a shock for many that more than half of the children born in the U.S. were not “caucasian” to use a lame euphemism for “white (northern) European.”

    I read Connor Boyack’s analysis of the history of U.S. immigration law, and it is notable how much of it has racist motives. Legislation has been used to limit legal access to immigration for especially southern Europeans, such as Italians, Spaniards and Greeks (not to mention the Turks). Also, the Irish, and naturally Asians and Africans (the latter were accepted as slaves). It breaks my heart, when I think about how much of the same xenophobia still exists.

    Even today, racist demagoguery is quite pervasive. It usually calls itself “Patriotism,” but the cover is very transparent. Scratch the surface a little (such as the LDS Church actually coming out in favor of what the fervent “conservatives” call “amnesty”), and you’ll see the racist inside.

    At times you can still hear a “Christian” preacher use the same “theological” foundation for racism that the Catholic church came up with a millennium ago. It is used to paint all dark-skinned people as less than human.

    Couple of points: I am fairly certain that the figure 12 million used to describe the undocumented immigrants is inflated for political purposes (I’m not certain, but the nature of the debate would predict that). Also, “illegals” are quite often portrayed as major perpetrators of violent crime. The opposite is actually true, because almost all illegals don’t want to risk their future by committing crimes, plus they’re too busy working to earn a living. The drug runners are such a small minority among the “undocumented” that it is egregious to paint the whole group with the same brush.

    Plus, your fruits and vegetables would be more expensive, if undocumented workers weren’t picking them for minimum wage, or even less.

    Okay, I could really get carried away…

  2. Thanks for all the great comments, Velska, but ideas like this–that opposition to illegal immigration is racist–are unfounded and uncharitable. You phrase it well, but where in the world is the evidence that many, much less most, of those who oppose illegal immigration do so because they hate minorities? Such presumptive accusations are convenient for those who want to avoid discussion, but they sure don’t give much credit at all to those who are inclined to disagree. Don’t you think there are plenty of people who are honestly opposed to (at least as they see it) problems with economics, crime, and cultural cohesion? They might be wrong, but can’t we at least credit their motives?

  3. Or, another interpretation could be,
    “How unchristian of the bridegroom to mass expel those virgins from the bridal chamber. Isn’t the gospel all about unity and family. Just because they hadn’t fulfilled the requirements for being there, why should they be cast out”

    Unless, according to the rule and law the foolish virgins didn’t “have the right” to enter the bridechamber, and in this instance, mercy cannot rob justice.

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