Reader Question Box #9: Is Sufjan Stevens Mormon?

Sufjan wings

Sufjan Stevens

Reader Question Box is a series where we answer questions that show up in our website traffic monitoring statistics as Google search terms that led people to us. Copious oddities are to be found in the search term logs, and some worthwhile questions. (In case you missed our previous editions: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8)

Questions: “sufjan stevens lds?” “is sufjan stevens mormon”
Answer: Oh, I wish it were so! However, it is easy enough to prove that he isn’t:

As you can see in the photo, Sufjan has wings. We all know that Mormon angels don’t have wings. Therefore, we can say decisively that Sufjan is not Mormon. QED.

We can still enjoy his music though:

Question: “john c bennett son of perdition”
Answer: John C. Bennett, yes. Jury’s still out on BCC’s John C.

Questions: “sexy mormons” “attractive feminists”
Answer: Google couldn’t be more right in sending people to BCC for these queries.

Question: “personal failure example”
Answer: Alas, we’re probably a pretty good destination for this search as well.

And now for our Best/Worst categories:

  • Worst Architecture Master’s thesis topic: “1970s style parking lot light fixtures”
  • Best Kosher protein drink brand name: yawhey. Inspired by this (correct) unusual spelling: “when did they stop saying yahwey”
  • Worst Mormon-market business idea: “garment shredder”

In closing, your moment of Zen:
“i was modest. immodest. and i’ll always be modest. because modesty is very important. without it you are nothing.(mj)”


  1. Once again I congratulate you for not picking up any of the bizarre searches I deliberately plant in hopes of sneaking one of them into this series!

  2. Haha these are great. Oh Sufjan, how I love thee

  3. AEP (#1) FTW!

  4. Why does Sufjan sing with a phone book on stage? Hopefully he’s looking for some more inspiration in the yellow pages.

  5. “Alas, we’re probably a pretty good destination for this search as well.”

    They all were funny, but this one . . . I think I’ll be laughing all day.

  6. We are seeing Sufjan Stevens’s progress, though, from the early, banjo days to “The Age of Adz.” I think he will progress eternally. I love “I Walked” which I think should replace the pioneer song “Pioner children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked.”
    My husband and I saw Sufjan in concert last year. Yes, we are old people. But good music is good music.

  7. I disagree with the garment shredder as worst business idea. I don’t know if this is suitable subject matter for BCC, but my wife snips out, erm, certain parts of the garments and either throws the rest away or uses them for cleaning. TBH, I’m not sure what she does with the snipped out parts. It seems some sort of shredder would be useful, but maybe only at distribution centers? Like, you’re supposed to bring left over prescription meds to the police station (yeah, right!) – maybe you bring worn out garments to the DC to be shredded.

    Actual worst Mormon-market business idea: Strip Teas, a bar that serves coffee, tea and alcohol, with a strip show. (Oh, and of course it would have to be a private club to allow smoking indoors, right?) Bonus points for being located near the BYU campus.

  8. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 1
    Oh that is such a good idea, Ardis. C’mon BCC lurkers, hit that search box at the top left!

  9. Actually, I’m not sure if it records the search box searches. I think it only records google, bing, yahoo, and other commercial searches. The statistics are reported in the context of saying, “these are the search terms driving new traffic to your site.”

  10. Also, good luck coming up with searches that are stranger than our actual searches!
    “filibuster reform thomas parkin”
    [not family friendly] sex? nope, chuck testa”
    “daniel craig 3rd nipple”

    I look forward to your attempts though.

  11. Google analytics can tell you what people are typing into your search box. They have to set it up in Google Analytics properly to filter it correctly, but they can know exactly what people are searching for on the site. If they need help reack out to me, it is what I do for a living and I would love to volunteer to this great community.

  12. Wow, Tim, one mention of “[not family friendly] sex” and you jump to volunteer for the project of going through our archives faster than seagull gobbling up crickets. [disapproving head shake]

  13. Brilliant.

  14. Cynthia never said I would go through, but I would set it up so you could go through them, plus your second post wasn’t written till had already written the first. But, those are some hysterical searches.

  15. Kristine says:

    I think Cynthia’s just funnin’ ya, Tim.

  16. :)

    Tim, have you worked with sites? has restrictions that don’t allow us direct access to the raw google analytics data (they sort of repackage the reports for us), and they also block access to put our own full-scale analytics tracking code into our HTML. They’re stingy like that. I’m only sort-of expert, but I haven’t figured out a hack around’s blocking system. Would be interested if you’ve heard about one.

  17. “Sufjan has wings. We all know that Mormon angels don’t have wings. Therefore, we can say decisively that Sufjan is not Mormon. QED.”

    Oh, he’s Mormon alright. I asked to shake his hand once, and I felt said hand. Ipso facto, he’s an angel of light.

    Incidentally, his drummer also offered me his hand, and I tried to shake it, but I felt nothing. As such, I have determined that he’s either an angel of darkness, or, alternatively, somewhat anemic.

  18. I have nothing witty to say other than I LOVE the Reader Question Box.

    And can someone point me to the list of allowable HTML tags that can used to format comments? Block Quote, bold, italicize, href, etc?

  19. None of my submissions have made Cynthia’s cut since question box #6. This is disappointing given all the potential responses to the “who practices third wave patriarchy” question I pushed through Google.

  20. @Brian – Hah!

    @Alain, thanks! As far as I know, that is the complete list of allowed tags.

  21. Cynthia, unfortunately, I don’t have much experience with wordpress’ default reporting, I have always just installed Google Analytics on any wordpress site I have worked with. But, I have never used, I have only used the self hosted version. Maybe it is time for an upgrade, since won’t allow this? Sorry, I couldn’t be of more use.

  22. These are always good for a laugh! As an attractive-feministic-sexy-mormon, I am sad to say our 2012 calendars are all sold out. Check back next year!

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