An article by Molly Worthen entitled, "The Missionary Position" initially published in Foreign Policy (also in the San Francisco Sentinel) commits a rather common mistake, it mixes facts with speculation. Consider the following:
Rumor has it that the CIA and FBI treat the Mormon faith as a de facto background check and recruit more heavily on the campus of Brigham Young University than almost anywhere else.I'll be the last to contest that the CIA and FBI recruit heavily at BYU. It is true. However, Worthen's guess seems far off the mark when the answer is easily available, and rather obvious. From BYU's web site:
Many factors contribute to the diversity and depth of language expertise at BYU. More than two-thirds of BYU students speak a language other than their native tongue. . . Additionally, approximately 50 percent of the students at BYU have served church missions, with many gaining fluency in a second language.
More than 50 languages are taught regularly, with an additional 30 languages available with sufficient student interest-among the most offered anywhere in the country. The number of enrollments in language courses at BYU equals 32 percent of the student body, compared to the national average of 9 percent.Gee, maybe the CIA and FBI are simply after language prowess. It's more plausible than assuming our religion is a "de facto background check." I can't see government agencies skipping background checks. Can you?
Throughout the article, Worthen states basic facts about our religion then presents the explanation for why we do such things from non-Mormons who generally present a secular reason, or their own speculation. Why don't people like Worthen ask Mormons why they do what they do? Wouldn't that make more sense?
Maybe making sense isn't her objective. One can only guess.