Alternatively, it can be used for someone that is of Mormon descent but unbaptized or non-religious.
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Preston Nibley, a mid-20th century LDS author who had a large impact on Mormon culture and folklore, mentioned the term in its modern context during the late 1940s and used it extensively in the 1950s.
Today "Jack Mormon" is less commonly used, but using the term is not offensive when said in a self-joking or humorous sense.
Sometime in the early- to mid-twentieth century, however, the term began to refer to an individual deemed by adherents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to be an inactive or lapsed member of the LDS Church who, despite his personal religious viewpoint, maintained good relations with and positive feelings toward the LDS Church.
Sharp also coined the term "Jack-Mason" to refer to those who were sympathetic toward Freemasons in the Anti-Masonic political movement.
The term "Jack Mormon" was used by author Edward Abbey in his novel The Monkey Wrench Gang to describe a character, Seldom Seen Smith, who was a Mormon and had many wives, but was not active in the LDS Church nor its belief system: "Born by chance into membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), Smith was on lifetime sabbatical from his religion. A jack Mormon is to a decent Mormon what a jackrabbit is to a cottontail."In the play Angels In America by Tony Kushner, the character Harper Pitt identifies herself as a Jack Mormon, and postulates an alternate explanation for the origin of the term: "Like jack rabbit...
I ran."In Episode 6 of Season 5 of the AMC television series Hell On Wheels, the character known as Eva identifies herself as a Jack Mormon to the Brigham Young character.Their belief is that the term originated in Missouri, during the Kirtland period of Latter Day Saint history, circa 1834.When Church members were expelled from Jackson County by a mob, many fled to Clay County, where local citizens, mostly Democrats, were sympathetic and friendly toward the Mormons.The term is used in its modern meaning by Wallace Stegner in his 1979 novel Recapitulation, set in Salt Lake City.Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons is a rock band from Portland, Oregon in the United States.Around 1880 an LDS Church missionary converted his parents and they moved to the Mormon village of Manassa, Colorado.