Sunday , July 31, 2016 - 6:00 AM1 comment
You should know I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to garbage.
Rooting through someone else’s trash would never be my idea of a good time. Why, when I was a kid, if my retainer were left on a lunch tray and inadvertently thrown out? Somebody was just going to have to learn to live with crooked teeth. And today, if my wedding band accidentally slipped off my finger and fell into one of the trash cans at work? He’s available, ladies!
Sorry, but I don’t imagine there are very many earthly possessions that would be worth immersing any or all of my body into garbage to retrieve. And yet, this past week, I was actually tempted to do a little dumpster diving out behind the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah offices.
The coveted prize? Scoring one — or more — of those CTR condoms Planned Parenthood had planned on giving out.
Oh no, they didn’t ...
Oh yes, they did.
In what can only be described as a complete lapse of common sense, Planned Parenthood had planned to give out special condoms at the 2016 Sunstone Salt Lake Summer Symposium. (Say THAT three times fast.) These Sunstone meetings are annual gatherings of the liberal Mormon intelligentsia — or what I like to call “EFY for Apostates in Embryo.”
The condoms in question came in wrappers featuring a pink shield emblazoned with the letters “CTR” on it, meant to parody the rings and other jewelry popular among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. CTR stands for “Choose the Right,” although I suppose in this case, one could argue it was “Choose the Rubber.”
It all seemed like a harmless little joke. And then the latex hit the fan.
After Planned Parenthood posted an image of the prophylactics on its Facebook page, the resulting outcry caused them to pull the image off the social media site. And suddenly, faster than you can say “If you could hie to Kolob,” P.P. officials realized they’d made a giant, colossal mistake and abandoned plans to distribute the condoms.
Here’s the real problem: Most CTR jewelry is worn by the youth of the church. And one of the primary purposes of the CTR brand is reminding these youth that any sex — safe or otherwise — outside of marriage is a sin. So a group producing CTR condoms is in remarkably poor taste.
Plenty of faithful Mormons were offended by this little stunt. And although I don’t happen to be among them, I would also advise all of you enlightened liberals out there against simply telling the Mormons, “Lighten up, it’s just a joke.” Because the same could be said of your sacred cows — such as the next time some idiot tells a misogynistic or homophobic joke.
Hey, it’s just a joke, right? Lighten up.
Having said that, this incident is an ideal opportunity for offended Mormons to exhibit that seventy-times-seven forgiveness clause in Jesus’ teachings. Planned Parenthood has issued a sincere apology, and that should be good enough. Oh, you can still go ahead and think Planned Parenthood is evil for promoting access to birth control and abortion, but what say we stop beating them up for trying to have a little fun with the CTR brand.
Personally? My level of offense over this incident hinges entirely upon whether or not Planned Parenthood CEO Karrie Galloway sends me a few of these condoms for my Mormon kitsch collection. I’m always on the lookout for local campy cultural stuff — shot glasses with the iconic Salt Lake Temple on them, ashtrays featuring the Brigham Young University logo, stuff like that.
But a CTR condom? That’s like the Holy Grail of Mormon kitsch.
So, if a few of these now-banned condoms were to somehow find their way to the Standard-Examiner — 332 Standard Way, Ogden, UT 84404, Attn: Mark Saal — I’d be surprisingly OK with that.
At the very least, it saves me from having to go diving in any dumpsters.
Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SEMarkSaal.
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