Gary Lawrence: Familiarity breeds contempt (for Mormons)

Gary Lawrence, director of Proposition 8's Mormon grassroots effort.
The Brethren [the top echelon of Mormon leadership] have felt that the best way to organize and pass the Proposition is to have an Ecclesiastical arm and a Grassroots arm to the organization ... The senior folks who run the grassroots are LDS at the coalition and are headed by Glen Greener and Gary Lawrence.
Here's Gary, back in August, firing up his Mormon brigades ...

Why Mormons Are In This Fight:
If same-sex marriage advocates [win], the whole structure collapses — the family, the nation, and in time civilization itself. The time has come for those of us who believe that God, not man, created marriage ... to take a stand and defend it.
Here's Gary again from the summer, this time calling on Mormons from across the land to join the battle ...

How Mormons Are Going To Win:
While we ... are mobilizing thousands to walk precincts, you can help us from the comfort of your homes ... if you live in the Eastern or Central time zones, you can use free late-evening minutes on weekdays to call when Californians have just finished dinner.
Mission accomplished.

And how is Gary celebrating his victory?

By promoting his latest book, of course:

How Americans View Mormonism (Seven Steps To Improve Our Image)

Here's the author taking his turn on KSL5 TV:

My favorite piece of advice from Dr. Lawrence to his fellow Mormons:

"Just be yourself."

Perhaps the good doctor might consider that "being yourself" is a poor prescription for winning friends when "who you are" is someone willing to lead a campaign to strip your own child of his civil rights.

Meet Matthew Lawrence:
"Matthew is gay and is the son of Gary Lawrence, 67, who is the "State LDS Grassroots Director" for the state of California."
This kind of heartless crap really upsets me, and I think maybe I need to speak directly to Gary at this point.

What this says about you as a father, Gary, is why it's not surprising that you appear completely oblivious to the absolute incongruity of you, of all people, now touting your advice on the subject of improving Mormonism's image.

How about taking a moment to reflect on your own comments in that KSL interview?
"Thirty-seven percent of all Americans do not know a Mormon, and 55 percent of all Americans do not know an active Mormon. In fact, those who know one Mormon have a worse opinion of us than those who don't know any Mormons."
Gary, if you were the only Mormon I knew, and if I thought for a second that all Mormons were just like you, you can bet I'd have a pretty low opinion of Mormonism.

Considering how your own research indicates that the more people get to know you, the less they like you, how can your writing another book about Mormons (not to mention your going on the teevee to promote it) be viewed as anything other than a counterintuitive and boneheaded move? Your own findings would seem to suggest that perhaps the first step to improving the Mormon image would be for Mormon PR flacks like yourself to simply go away.

Here's my advice, Gary: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Why not climb out of that hole, use some of the $212,463 that the Prop 8 campaign has so far paid you and Lawrence Research, and take the entire family on a nice vacation somewhere?

Your loved ones might appreciate that, and it would free up the airwaves for all those decent Mormons out there who we need to be hearing from ... and who are the only hope Mormonism's got for repairing the damage you've done.

This is all your doing, Gary.

Jan Shipps: A "Perfect Storm" of Bad PR for Mormon Church

Aravosis v. Utah

Own it.


Rick said...

Tsk tsk tsk.

This anti-Mormon bigotry of yours is really starting to get ugly, Chino.

Honestly, if you guys keep this up we won't even have to raise money to beat you in 2012, by the time you get enough signatures you'll be so far down in the polls that you'll just send the money back.

You know why Pharoah lost, Chino?

Same reason Nero lost.

They couldn't help hating, it just felt so good, even if it consumed and destroyed them.

Drug addicts suffer from the same affliction, but are morally far superior, since they don't hate, they just need.

We might have defeated you, but we do not hate you, and the average Aerican folowing this without an axe to grind knows this to be true.

Which is your numero uno problem, politically.

Chino Blanco said...


Gary's own research tells the tale.

And Gary, incredibly enough, is the one spreading the news.

Game over, my friend.

Or, more accurately, enjoy your victory while it lasts.

I refuse to lose to someone who can't even spell "Pharaoh" correctly.

J. Max Powers said...

Chino - You're right, you will win, eventually, but I don't think that will satisfy many on the No side. I fear they won't stop until all opposition is silenced, i.e., loss of religious liberties. History has taught us too much to dismiss this concern.

Chino Blanco said...


I think your fears are overblown.

By the way, which history are you referring to?

My sense is that religious liberties are safer than ever before. I mean, can you imagine the 19th century reaction to Mormon polygamy happening today? Unlikely.

But, I suppose, if you consider being able to tell other people how to behave a part of your religious liberties, then, yeah, that's becoming less and less of an option for the authoritarian types among us. And they resent it for sure.

Chino Blanco said...

Matthew Lawrence left this comment over at my Daily Kos diary, and I'm re-posting here:

That's my father.

It's hilarious how he's writing a book about improving the Mormon's image, yet simultaneously pushing a divisive Proposition.

I used to defend the church I grew up in. No more. They pissed in their bed, now they need to sleep in it. Mormons, by and large, are a kind and generous people, although extremely conservative. But this Proposition has really snatched the sheep's clothing off the wolf and displayed the ugly center of the church. They wouldn't let Blacks hold the priesthood until about 30 years ago. Now they're marginalizing gays like me, and hopefully that too will change with time.

Until then, there's no room for me in the church.

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    News and views on NOM, marriage equality and the Mormon church from a former LDS missionary. This site is not affiliated with The National Organization for Marriage or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. © Copyright 2009 by Chino Blanco. All Rights Reserved.

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