November 03, 2007

Being Mac. Being Mormon. It's Quite Similar.

If you found me in a crowd, your tendency would be to guess that as a white male, I've never dealt with being in a position as a minority, and could construe that, having lived a full life as part of the majority, I've always had a voice and never seen bias due to who I was. Yet that's not true.

Both as a Mormon (common name for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and as a Mac user, I've always identified myself with a small minority of the population, a visible minority, commonly misunderstood, and all too often, dismissed or even despised.In both cases, the experience from one aids the other, as our community can both try to help others understand why we are the way we are, that we're not as "strange" as believed from the outside, and we're both aided by a vocal, evangelizing base.Below's one take on how my two "religions" match up, by no means complete:

U.S. Marketshare:6.1% (IDC) 2-3% ( Census)
Large Installed Base:22 million (est.)13 million members
Growing Membership37% growth y/yCited as 2nd-fastest growing religion in the U.S.
Worldwide Translation18 Mac OS X LanguagesChurch materials in 178 languages
Focus on ConversionGet A Mac Campaign50,000 active missionaries
Monotheistic CultureSteve JobsJesus Christ
Corporate FaceSteve JobsGordon B. Hinckley
Extended LeadershipBoard of DirectorsThe 12 Apostles
Retail LocationsMore than 200 Apple storesMore than 120 LDS temples
Annual Meetings2 (MWSF & WWDC)2 (Semi-Annual General Conference)
Second ComingSteve Jobs (1997)Jesus Christ (still waiting)
Some Think It's a CultWired: Cult of
Vocal DetractorsMicrosoft, LinuxSouthern Baptists, Evangelicals, Fundamentalist Christians
Standard UniformBlack Turtleneck, Blue JeansWhite Shirt and Tie
The Color WhiteMac Books, iPods, etc.White Shirts, Temples, etc.
Music SourcesiTunesMormon Tabernacle Choir
Youthful ActorsJustin LongJon Heder
Presidential CandidatesSteve Jobs (unofficial)Mitt Romney (not church-endorsed)
Large Cash Reserves$15.4 billion$30+ billion (estimated)
Controversial HistoryThe Newton, Apple III, LicensingPolygamy, Priesthood, Martyrdom
Stance on CloningAgainstNo position on stem-cell research
Stance on TithingOne new OS X Release a Year ($129)Members pledge 10% of income
Ongoing RevelationNext Macworld!General Conference, Doctrine & Covenants
Common MisconceptionsNo Microsoft Office, Lacks Software, Not Good for BusinessPlural Marriage, Not Christian, Book of Mormon Used Instead of the Bible
Actual Reality15 Reasons You'll Love a MacThe Articles of Faith

Mac users are misunderstood. People assume what choosing Mac over Windows means for us as people, just as people even more often have a belief in their mind about what it means to be Mormon. I am just as passionate about being Mormon as I am about being Mac (although you don't hear it as often). And there are people out there who are extremely opposed to the church and my OS. I've accepted that. I've seen misinformation campaigns for both. I've had to take a deep breath and explain the truths of both, and I know it will always be this way. But I will always answer questions and try to help. That's part of being Mormon and it's part of being a Mac fan. Who knew they were so similar!