Several years ago, when we were newlyweds, my lover and I attended a conference session at the newly built Conference Center. I took these pictures while we stood in line, waiting to get in.
Anti-mormon evangelical protesters outside the Conference Center. Waving bibles, shouting through bull horns, holding sign-boards that displayed, at best, aggressively condemnatory biblical verses, at worse, tacky hand-painted images of early church leaders burning in hell. And waving garments. They had fistfuls of old garments and they were waving them in the faces of the people lined up to attend conference.
Honestly, I am not sure why I took these pictures. I happened to have my camera on me and felt compelled to record the events of that day. We were their captive audience, maybe I was just making the most of it by making them my captive subjects. Frequently I have pulled out these pictures, looking at the faces, trying to re-read the signs and trying to remember the things that happened in between the instant of the photo; exactly what this person or that was saying, if any members were engaging with the protesters, the various different ways both members and protesters had of dealing with the charged close proximity.
I find myself almost as fascinated with these protesters as I am repelled by them. Even as one who no longer believes much in the claims of the church I find the accusations of anti-mormon Christians ludicrous and hypocritical. Do they really think that their clapboards and their shouting are going to bring someone to Jesus? I mean seriously, has any market research been done to determine the efficacy of these types of protests in de-converting someone from Mormonism to "Christianity"?
Mentally, I try to find where these anti-mormon protesters fit in amongst other various groups who protest other various government and corporate actions. Is there any similarity between a person protesting the American presence in Iraq and a person waving special underwear at a group of religious people?
anyways... just some of my thoughts coming out of this weekend's general conference. Wonder if it was any of the same people and signs cropped up this year.