Thanks Rhett for explaining that a “Dry Mormon” is “someone who is basically a Latter-day Saint Mormon in terms of belief and lifestyle but just hasn’t been baptized (which makes one wet, and so if you haven’t been baptized, you are dry!).”
Like most things, once you get the explanation it’s easy and you wonder why you didn’t think of it.
I am most certainly not a Mormon in terms of lifestyle, but I guess I am one in terms of beliefs. In fact, some Mormon beliefs, especially the concept of a material universe that is (in principle) fully understandable by science, and the concept of theosis — God was once like Man, and Man can become more and more like God — uniquely match my own. I have argued that Joseph Smith founded a really new religion, not a variant of Christianity, though the two have many common aspects.
In the MTA I have found a community of friends who share a “cosmology” that is basically identical to my own.
I still have to find out to what degree Joe/Jane Mormon in the streets of Salt Lake City would agree with the MTA formulation of Mormon theology. I often ask this question in MTA discussion groups. When I come next time (I have missed three MTA conferences and I miss you guys), I think I’ll take one day wearing my journalist hat and interview people in the street to find out.
Now, about “geography and zoning norms.” Besides smoking and drinking coffee (hot and black, no sugar please), I am honestly unable to understand why women can’t be priests, and what’s the problem with gays. Shouldn’t everyone be free to do whatever the f# they want with their body as long as they don’t make others unhappy? I really think God has more important things to worry about, and if He notices our sexual habits at all, She does so with an indulgent smile like when I see my doggy masturbating.
I totally understand that at the time of Joseph Smith &co. there could have been solid social reasons to introduce “geography and zoning norms.” But doesn’t Mormonism have a concept of permanent, ongoing revelation? Also, I have the impression that Joseph Smith and the other founding fathers were MUCH more revolutionary than most Mormons today. At a recent MTA conference I said, only half joking, that if Joseph Smith were alive today he would probably be excommunicated by the Mormon church.