MORMON TABERNACLE ENQUIRER
This is a Q & A with Shawn Tucker, one of the masterminds behind the blog, Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer (click here to visit his blog).
Q: Why the blog?
A: I believe that if you are not teased you are not loved. That is how I was raised. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I love the weird, contradictory, bizarre, endearing, and [insert another cool adjective here] culture that surrounds it. And I love to tease that culture. Laughter is a delightful way to bleed off some of the deadly seriousness that might accrue. Laughter can also re-frame cultural elements, giving us a new way to look at them. I once wrote an article about a faithful LDS youth who was afraid that he might be a vegetarian. It actually helped me see the seriousness behind the pain of being a homosexual Mormon. For me it created a (delightful) tension between seriousness and hope.
A: Stephen Carter. He started it to promote a book he wanted to put together. I found out about it and asked if I could contribute. Stephen and those working with him said yes. I started sending more and more. Stephen put me in as an author. The book project fell through, so Stephen pretty much turned it over to me. [side note: when I started I used the pen name Barley B. Bratt. I deeply love my mother, but she was disturbed by the blog. She didn’t know I was writing for it. [Although she has a wonderful sense of humor, she saw a lot of painful examples of people leaving the church and causing a lot of interpersonal damage. She saw the blog as mocking and critical, which were hallmarks of that pain.] Then one day, she went back and read the blog again. She called me up laughing hysterically about it. She must have just seen it differently. She read two articles that she particularly liked. And oh what joy did fill my bosom when I got to tell her I wrote them, oh what joy did fill my bosom when I got to tell my mom! It was like the purist white meth in the Celestial Kingdom. (It will be okay then, right?)
A: Mormons who love the Gospel and the culture and love to laugh at the culture.
A: Stephen had the banner. I don’t think much about it.
A: Stephen came up with the name; they had used it previously. It is an obvious play on the National Enquirer and Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
A: No podcast. It is really just me now. A podcast would require more skills and time than I have.
A: Wait, does someone think I’ve made it? No really. I have no idea about “making it;” I try to write what I would want to read, and then I inflict it upon others.