Sunday in Outer Blogness: Publicity and Gay Rights Edition!

I was going to call this one “surprises edition” since I’ve been on vacation in Italy — hence almost everything that happened on the Internet in the past fortnight was a surprise to me yesterday (when I finally sat down and read the 1000+ blog entries in my reader). But it soon became clear that there were two main topics that almost everyone in Outer Blogness was talking about. Or is it really two? Maybe it’s just one. Impotent rage explains the connection:

everyone knows Mormons as “the homophobes who pushed Prop 8 through with some pretty underhanded methods”. For many people, that’s all they even know about who Mormons are.

Oops, time for the CoJCoL-dS’s PR department to swing into action!!! Look out for their new Ad campaign (suspiciously targeted at swing states…?). John Dehlin is thrilled to see this much diversity in the church’s new officially-approved spokesmodels. As a counterpoint, Madame Curie feels stung since this campaign represents the “false bag of goods” that got her involved in the church to begin with. Trouble is, anyone can make these sorts of “we’re normal” ads. Even gay people, it turns out, are just like everybody else. On the plus side for the COB, television commercials are so much easier to correlate than the chaos of websites. Consider the case of Reuben Collins — one of those hip, diverse, bicycle-loving Mormons who would look great in a commercial. Unfortunately, when filling out the polygamy question on his profile, Reuben put down his own opinion instead of the official opinion, which got his profile rejected. (And I thought this PR campaign was supposed to make it look like Mormons are not a bunch of robots, remote-controlled from headquarters…?)

Is this campaign a lost cause? Patheos hosts a discussion of the future of Mormonism, and a couple exmos throw in their two cents. Daniel argues that the Internet (not an increase in critical thinking) is to blame for religion’s decline — is that why Mormonism’s membership and activity stats compare so badly with those of World of Warcraft?

Or is it the whole anti-marriage-equality fiasco? For some background, Britta gives an overview of the implications for Mormons (or you can just review Betty Bowers‘ explanation). Or read Reina’s account of the personal side of this rift. Andrew criticized Chino’s headline “Young Mormons are leaving their church in droves because of prop 8,” but even if Chino’s example didn’t mention Prop 8, here’s another soon-to-resign young person who did.

Regarding the legal analysis of the new ruling on Prop 8:

Private religious views and “Ick!” are not sound bases for legislation. Majority-will-trumps-minority-rights is not in the Constitution, but this ruling has some by-the-book constitutionalists conveniently forgetting about the Constitution, not even bothering to read the ruling before reporting on it. Yes, marriage has evolved dramatically over the centuries, in lots of ways. For example, in the past, basing marriage on love was considered dangerous — now love is considered such a critical component of marriage that new laws may even ban loveless marriages! (Yes, I know the video is a joke, but it’s a good one. ;) .) The tide of opinion has turnedeven Glen Beck doesn’t oppose gay marriage! — but when you’re used to a position of privilege, levelling the playing field is mistaken for “persecution.”

In other news, there were a lot of real-life events lately. Check out all the fun everyone had at Sunstone!!! Then there was also a FAIR conference, a Mormon Expression live recording, and a Utah women’s music festival. For people (like me) couldn’t make it to any of those this year, at least take comfort in the fact that you’re not stuck in BYU summer religion classes

And now for an update on where various folks are on their faith/unfaith journeys: Eliza describes the beginning of her disaffection. The guy with the hair is wondering how his parents will react to his resignation. The liberal Mormon that could is now the liberal agnostic that could. And she’s not the only one moving in an agnostic direction. Leia is celebrating a year of atheism. {Lost Faith} New Hope has started a new forum about such faith transitions (including, but not limited to, former Mormons). And Insana D. is saying goodbye to a manipulative friend.

Whew, OK, I think it’s time for me to step away from the Internet and get some of my housework done. Happy Sunday everyone!

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6 Comments

  1. 1

    Chanson, you may have missed Sunstone, but you should know that my part of it is all online.

       0 likes

  2. 2
    chanson says:

    Stephen — cool, sorry I missed it. Do you have the link handy?

       0 likes

  3. 3
    Lisa says:

    I’m flattered to be recognized. Thx chanson :D

       0 likes

  4. 4
    chanson says:

    Lisa — you’re part of the community, and people are interested in what you’re up to! :D

    p.s. Here’s one more view from Sunstone and an excellent essay on the traditional evolution of marriage.

       0 likes

  5. 5
    Holly says:

    Chanson:

    I hope this comes through–I’ve left a bunch of white space at the top of the comment. I just want a virtual moment of silence for contemplating how much time it must have taken to compile this incredible list of links to all that’s going on–especially since you dealt with 1000 entries in your reader. I rely on “Sunday in Outer Blogness” to let me know what I might have missed on my own, and this edition is beyond terrific. At the risk of sounding all relief-society, you’re an example to me and I totally appreciate you!

       0 likes

  6. 6
    chanson says:

    Thanks Holly!! Luckily people wrote a lot of fascinating stuff! :D

       0 likes

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