Friday, July 13, 2012

Holy Crap! (pun intended) This Church Owns a Mall! (and why the Bloomberg cover gets it exactly right)

If the cover is sacrilegious, then they very apologetic that you and the Mormon Newsroom uses to defend the Church's mall and corporate enterprise is sacrilegious as well.

Note the second sentence of the Newsroom's reply: "From the very beginning, members of the Church displayed a remarkable ability to set aside material things for spiritual goals." This is crucial to understanding the Bloomberg article and why the magazines cover is absolutely spot on. When someone asks why it is that a church owns a multi-billion dollar mall and has a zillion dollar stock portfolio, the Church's response is "this has been our religious/spiritual narrative from the beginning." It is the Church (and you in this Patheos article) that implicitly brings this back to Joseph Smith. It is the Church and you ("everything is spiritual") that wants to say that the priesthood restoration--the moment that marks the beginning of the Church in the Church's historical narrative--and its owning a mall are one and the same.

You can't argue that the Church's building of a multi-billion dollar mall and its spiritual/religious roles are one and the same, and then complain when Bloomberg creates a cover depicting that very argument.

If the cover is sacrilegious, then your and the Church's pointing to its spiritual/religious history ("from the very beginning") is sacrilegious. If the image of John the Baptist commanding the building of a mall at the LDS Church's foundational moment (the beginning of its divine authority) seems utterly absurd, then it is because pointing to that religious history as justification of a multi-billion dollar mall is that absurd.

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