In response to decades of marginalizing the voice of Willem Dafoe within the Mormon church hierarchy, a new grassroots movement, calling itself Ordain Willem, has gathered momentum prior to the Church’s semi-annual general conference.
“For too long, the concerns of Willem have not had an institutional voice,” group president and Willem Dafoe superfan Lance Buckley maintained. “We demand that Willem receive the rights that are afforded to all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who were born with male anatomy.”
Although Willem Dafoe is not a Mormon and has no interest in joining the Mormon Church, members of Ordain Willem are still troubled by the institutionalized discrimination that has resulted in the Church ignoring the interests of Willem since at least 1955, when Dafoe was born. As evidence, OW members point to the lack of experimental theater workshops at Mormon-sponsored youth camps, as well as the fact that very few Mormons talk about how much Dafoe, when sporting a healthy head of well-coiffed hair, looks like Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
Given Dafoe’s association with such films as Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist and the erotic thriller Body of Evidence, some have speculated that the Mormon leadership would be hesitant to ordain Willem to the priesthood. However, Dafoe’s indisputable male biology, showcased in the previously mentioned films, has seemed to win over the conservative Mormon hierarchy. In response to Ordain Willem’s demands, the Church recently released a statement praising the movement and claiming that Dafoe would be accepted with open arms.
“Because he is male, we would love to give Willem Dafoe all of our Priesthoods. Aaronic, Melchizedek, you name it. If it’s a Priesthood we have, then we want to give it to Willem Dafoe,” the statement says.
The statement further notes that “Members of the Church, by a very large majority, share your advocacy for the ordination of Willem and don’t consider that position to be extreme.”
Despite the warm response Ordain Willem is receiving from Church leaders, OW members are still going through with a plan to gain Dafoe entrance into the Church’s Saturday night Priesthood Session in an effort to bring more visibility to their movement. There is even an online donation campaign in which supporters of the cause are soliciting monetary contributions that will be put toward flying the already wealthy Dafoe to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. Church spokesman Scott Trotter, however, claims the Church has no objection to this Ordain Willem PR stunt.
“Because Willem is a celebrity, and more importantly a man, he should have no trouble getting into the meeting,” Trotter said. “In fact, Willem, just call my secretary and she’ll hook you up with some pretty nice seats. Just walk past the dissenting, apostate Mormon women who want the priesthood and come into the Conference Center. Also, while you’re here, how about we baptize you and give you the priesthood?”
When asked to comment, Dafoe claimed to have never heard of the Ordain Willem movement, though is aware of Buckley, who recently received a restraining order requiring him to remain at least 500 feet away from Dafoe at all times.