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Ask a Mexican

Understanding Mormons & Mexicans

By Gustavo Arellano
Posted // August 17,2010 - Dear Readers: As you read this, my trusty burro, pigtailed chica and I are crisscrossing Aztlán researching Mexican food. So now is as bueno as any time to do some housecleaning for the columna. Hay que start with a letter from the Mexican’s longtime amigo, William Lobdell. For years one of the most prestigious religion reporters in the United States, he’s also the author of the touching, brilliant memoir Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America—and Found Unexpected Peace, a book the Mexican recommends as much as he does Herradura Tequila. He wrote in recently regarding my piece from a couple of semanas back theorizing why so many Mexis are Mormons:

Dear Mexican: The real reason why Mormons had such good luck at converting Mexicans is that the missionaries and even past prophets have told Latinos that they are the descendants of Lamanites, a lost tribe of Israel that came to America around 600 BC. As a Lamanite, therefore, Mexicans are part of God’s chosen people and very, very special and God has something incredible planned for them. This, naturally, is very appealing to people of poverty and hardship. Of course, recent studies show that native Americans (North, Central and South) come from Asia, not the Middle East. But this hasn’t stopped the majority of Mormons from using the you-are-a-Hebrew sales pitch to natives of North, Central and South America. And when those convert Mormons find out that they don’t have an ounce of Jewish blood in them, they are devastated.

Gracias, Bill!

On the other side of the Mexican Mormon equation is the following gentleman:

Dear Mexican: Your “understanding of Mormonism” is partially incorrect and frankly offensive. Mormon men do not dominate their wife. Mormons do not hate homosexuals, nor anyone else for that matter. I suggest you do better research, and apologize in print for these untruths. Good luck finding the courage to do that.

Actually, señor, Mormons do quite hate homosexuals—otherwise, church doctrine wouldn’t classify the act as a sin, or unnatural. But what do I know? My Catholic faith preaches the same pendejadas—and we protect pedophiles much better than ustedes, to boot. As for the husband domination? That’s what makes your religion so appealing to Mexicans—don’t start denying it now!

STOP THE DEPORTATION OF DREAMERS! Faithful readers know that the Mexican's favorite cause is the DREAM Act, a bill before Congress that would allow young people who are culturally American to qualify for amnesty. The pinche Obama administration is now threatening to deport quite a few of them—my former intern Matías Ramos, Marlen Moren of Tucson, Ariz., and even a gabacho: Ivan Nikolov, a 22-year-old student at Macomb Community College in Michigan, who might be back in Russia (a country he barely remembers) by the time you’re reading this. Fight the deportation of some of our best and brightest by visiting to learn how to raise the proper desmadre.

Ask the Mexican at,,,, find him on Twitter, or write via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433!

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Posted // August 28,2010 at 19:50

While there are certainly dominiating men in any group who don't treat their wives with respect, unless you have some facts to back up your case, I personally do not know any such couples. In my own extended family the men may have the priesthood, but the women have the pants.

And obviously Mormons HATE everyone who drinks coffee as well if us believing something is a sin is the standard you are using. Or maybe you should be more careful and not tell other people what their emotions are.


Posted // August 19,2010 at 16:06

Like it not, this is how most non-mormons view Lots of mormon marriges/relationships. If you have ever been out of Utah, this realization will hit lots harder.

Is it just a generalization? Most of the time, however there are lots of things about mormonism that are 'old fashioned' this mind set goes with the controlling/abusive husband. The stereotype of the young cheating mormon wife supports this notion. (when you consider the young average age of mormon women when entering marrige, this isn't suprising.)


Posted // August 17,2010 at 22:16

I think a distinction to make is that in theory, mormons don't hate homosexual but in practice they obviously do. They'll smile in church on sunday and then crack bigoted jokes around the watercooler or on the playground. But then again how does that make them different from any other red blooded conservative american?


Posted // August 17,2010 at 16:21

I love Gustavo's work. However, I do have to take issue with the generalizing of Mormons, etc. (I take issue with stereotypes in general.) You can't say all Mormon men dominate their wives. Just like you can't say that all Mormon women are good Christian saints. How can I know, you ask? My partner & I are both LDS, and he certainly does not dominate me (unless asked, of course); while I am certainly not a good Christian saint. Love you Gustavo!


Posted // August 17,2010 at 12:59

You, Sir, are a Moron, Gustavo. Your information is completely incorrect on both counts. Do your homework, or is that why you have this job? Becuase you never did do it. Obviously that is the case. All you seem to know about Mormons, Mexicans and WRONG. Ridicules.