STLOG, MARCH 25, 2008
blogs.riverfronttimes.com unloads over Rick Majerus' take on Mormons — especially their underwear.
Rick Majerus: Have You No Decency?
I lived in Utah while Rick Majerus was coach at the University of Utah. Anyone who ever saw the guy, spoke to the guy or heard of the guy, knew immediately he has a singular, spectacular grasp on being an absolute moronic imbecile. He is a walking piece of garbage. But, he is proof that mentally handicapped individuals can coach basketball at the D-1 level.
During my four years at BYU, I had a front-row seat to Majerus' genius as he and his Utes stomped us year after year after year. However, I agree with Andrew Perkins. His "magic beanie" comparison is spot-on. Mocking the garment is going too far. The garment is a sacred thing to Mormons. As a Mormon, it offends me to hear Rick Majerus make light of something that represents something very personal and special to me.
People will say what they will say. General authorities have been saying for years that members need to stop being offended and get over their egos (in not so many words). Mormons and Jews — and anyone else whose sacred cows can be damaged by a snarky comment — will always be offended by something. You can't control other people's snark, only your reaction. If it's personal and special to you, just smile and carry on. No one is under an obligation to respect someone else's beliefs.
Just what a Jesuit school needs: a crazy, loudmouth coach reinforcing the stereotype that Jesuits specialize in stomping on other religions. You don't hear BYU coaches using their media access to catalog the countless peculiarities of the belief system at SLU.
Grow Up Majerus
What is particularly hurtful about the comment is that Majerus coached dozens of Mormons while at the U of U. For example, Britton Johnsen served an LDS mission shortly after helping Utah to the 1998 championship game. Because he coached Mormons, he knows very well that garments are not worn during athletic contests. And he knows we do not consider them "magic," but a reminder of our commitment to God, much like other Christians who choose to wear a crucifix. By stooping to religious bigotry, Majerus not only attacked his former archrival (BYU), he insulted many of his own players who gave their all to him on the court.
It's really just a matter of perspective. With the myopic LDS world view, garments are a sacred and protective piece of religious indoctrination given during our initiatory prior to our endowment. But to the world at large, they look silly. When you consider the nipple symbols cribbed from masonry, the faith-promoting rumors of their protection, and their utter backward appearance, they appear funny to the outside world. The reality is, undergarments have been attributed magical properties through the years. Unless you're willing to equally condemn those making fun of Tom Cruise and Scientology, you're probably a bit prejudiced yourself.
In last week's Night & Day article "If You're so In-Klined," we bungled the name of Lara Teeter, the master of ceremonies for this year's Kevin Kline Awards.