One More Reason Why We Can’t Compete

The front-page HEADLINE in our local newspaper on April 6 was “Bishop Offers Blessings to Area Farmers, Animals,” with a large color photo of Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay in a parking lot chatting with a young boy and his goat, Yang, “during the blessing of animals and farming implements” at a Rural Life Days festival in Brillion, a town close to Appleton. The online version of the newspaper has the headline “Bishop Offers Barnyard Blessings.” The Bishop’s kindly hand is on the back of the goat’s head in the photo.

Many people, myself included, have a lot of respect for Bishop Zubik, a man said to have great integrity and who is showing real leadership in helping the Catholic Church recover from some devastating problems with a few priests in the past – but what he’s doing is downright unfair. How can a small religion like ours compete in the face of such tactics? He’s pretty well got the agricultural vote, the rural vote, and the animal lovers vote all locked up after a single photo-op, knowing full well that competing religions like ours are just too self-conscious to follow suit. Plus, if a Mormon bishop or Protestant leader went around blessing animals and farm implements in the area, not only would it not result in favorable front-page coverage with a beautiful color photo, it might well become a PR nightmare. “Hey, you, stay away from my goat!” People just wouldn’t understand (in fact, I think the Handbook of Instructions tells bishops to pretty much stay away from goats for that very reason, if I’m not mistaken). But no one questions Bishop Zubik (no one should!) – and he makes front page news. I’m happy for him, but as a former bishop myself, I’m terribly jealous.

This is just one more example of how hard it is for Mormons to compete out here in the Midwest. I’ve already noted the unfair advantage the Catholics have with their occasional Polka Mass and superstar coffee events. They also have some of the best bingo in the Midwest, and, well, no one seems to mind the beer at their Sunday picnics. Put it all together, and it’s a miracle anybody comes to our church at all.

In all seriousness, one of the many great things about our local Roman Catholics, in my opinion, is the nuns. I’m hoping to visit a couple of them tomorrow, as a matter of fact (bringing an invitation to an open house our Stake is having for our new Stake Center). Some of the finest and friendliest people in the world! Who needs to compete with that? Let’s just be grateful for what we’ve got, especially our friends of many faiths.

(And I will be suggesting some new robes for our new local bishop, something in a color that goes well with farm implements.)


Author: Jeff Lindsay

12 thoughts on “One More Reason Why We Can’t Compete

  1. I read the title of your post on MA and fully expected it to be about how the US is facing stong economic competition from countries like China, etc.

    I had no idea it would be about blessing goats.

    Thank you, for this reaffirming slice of real life.

  2. My husband used to home teach a father and son. The son was paranoid schizophrenic. He called constantly and my husband was very patient with him.

    One time Michael called and asked Bill to come bless his dead lamb. So Bill did and the lamb came back to life. Which I wonder if it was really dead in the first place, but still. Michael pretty much thought Bill ruled the world after that.

  3. Yes, it’s a wonderful miracle isn’t it… (that people join this church…. even in the midwest). Nothing can stop this work, even bingo.

  4. Isn’t there a great pioneer story about Mary Fielding Smith laying her hands on a steer or an ox and praying over it to restore it to life or health? (You can tell how well I know this story.)

    Anyway, my point is, I’m not sure the blessing of animals is so absent in our church as the original post suggests. (Annegb’s story also illustrates this.)

  5. Glad you’re having problems. Looks like you’re getting a taste of your own medicine. While I was living among the mormons in Utah, I was never able to get a job above garbage man or truck driver there. The good jobs all went to the mormons. Now you know how it feels.

  6. I’ll have to write to all hte non-Mormon professors, doctors, attorneys, and government officials I knew back in Utah and let them know they have lousy jobs. 😉

  7. If you’re trying to convince anyone that Micron is adjusting pay on the basis of religion, then you’d better present some evidence. And you’d better report the practice to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That would be greatly preferable to the useless rumor-mongering you’re engaging in now.

  8. Hilarious! I just happened onto this page and thought it was just more of the usual anti-mormon babble! I DO hope those anonymous respondants can find someone of their acquaintance to subject our beliefs to intelligent scrutiny–who isn’t already a Mormon! 😉 Sorry! it just BEGGED to be said! I’m from a long line of Baptists myself, and I continue to be impressed with the uprightness of our general populace. You go, other Christians!

  9. Alma 34:17-27. Alma mentions praying over your flocks. It’s insinuating quite a bit to say Alma implies we lay our hands on animals…but I have heard stories including the aforementioned pioneer story about the Ox. I think if you are moved on by the spirit, there is nothing wrong with blessing an animal. However, it’s also a sacred thing to use the authority of the priesthood, and therefore we should not cast pearls before swine…

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