Sunday in Outer Blogness: (too much) heart and brains edition!

The juiciest news this week was TLC’s new reality show “Sister Wives” portraying the lives of ordinary polygamists in Utah! As usual, the members of the CoJCoL-dS are concerned about how this affects their image. Some are also concerned about the sex aspect, but fortunately the polygamist ladies reassure us that they each sleep with the husband separately and “dont go weird” with each other. (Note: the scientific community weighs in that it’s not so weird.) But then — in a surprise twist — the family is being investigated for bigamy! This has other poly folks worried about their own legal situation. Ah, mawwiage! Will the question of legalizing polygamy be re-opened? Stay tuned!

The second funny story was when a Pew Forum survey found that Mormons know almost as much about religion as atheists (but nobody knew much). Apparently nobody was surprised that the atheists, agnostics, and Jews got the top scores, so, fortunately, the Mormons in there helped make the story interesting. Other hilarious highlights include religious leaders dismissing their key doctrines as trivial pursuit upon discovering that atheists know them better than the faithful, and the LDS newsroom touting Mormons’ great score (while failing to mention who beat them…).

Less funny, more heart-warming, is the campaign against teen suicide, telling young LGBT folks that it gets better. (Just read this story from one of our own.) Some conservatives dismiss anti-bullying education as a veiled tactic of the gay agenda, but some atheist friends remind us that kids can get brutally bullied for a lot of things (including being too nerdily religious), and anti-bullying education is about helping all of our vulnerable teens.

In media notes: Outer Blogness’ own JulieAnn Carter-Winward had not just one, but two books published this week!! Falling Back to Earth and TDTM — have a look! And Sunstone Magazine has just published their big Mormon Comics Issue!! I’m excited to read this one, and not just because I hear that one of my own comics was included. I hope somebody sends me a copy! Also noted: Eliza R. Snitch was featured in the ME podcast about the CHI and the Community of Christ has launched their official blog.

And now for the community stories from all over Outer Blogness! The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes and that Guy with the Hair are officially ex-Mormon! Nomoxian, by contrast, has gone back to church, and Lisa discovered that her Mormon neighbor is a true friend. Ben & Louise and Ben & Lori have been having amusing adventures with organic produce. Kuri celebrates International Blasphemy Rights Day with Robojesus, Marcus contemplates spirituality, and Jana analyzes discomfort and the use of naughty words. And, sadly, the economy is catching up with some of us.

Now, I’m sorry to bring up this past week’s unpleasantness again, but after Chino’s post, I finally got around to reading all of the threads about Elder Jensen and Mormon Matters (I’d caught the beginning of it, but then I got distracted by some real-life projects). Pretty quickly something jumped out at me: One of the gay couples that the Oakland Stake President met with was “Trey and Guy.” I thought wait a minute — those aren’t such common names — could they possibly mean the Trey and Guy that we all know and love from Daddy, Papa and Me?. Well, of course it was them! And Trey posted his own impressions of the events here.

Reading the threads, I was actually kind of surprised by how happy some people were to see John Dehlin get taken down a notch! Regarding whether it was a good idea to publicize Elder Jensen’s apology, one can debate that either way. Regarding the separate question of what happened with the Mormon Matters permabloggers, well, as an outsider (just reading what others have written) I’d say John’s actions showed very poor judgement — regardless of whether he was within his rights to do it. When your enemies are circling like vultures, that’s not the most brilliant moment to start alienating your friends. That said, I can easily see how the stress of the angry reaction he got (on his posts about Elder Jensen) — coupled with some real-life stress — might have lead him to act imprudently. I’m very impressed with how Hawkgrrrl and the rest of the gang have kept this parting friendly, and I can’t wait to see their new blog!!! As for John Dehlin, I hope he’s doing OK and getting his real-life obligations taken care of, and that we’ll be seeing him again on the Internet soon with further updates on his plans for MM.

Have a great Sunday!!! And if you must watch General Conference this weekend (instead of other options), I hope, for the love of God, you’re at least playing the drinking game, singing the song, or constructively spending your time making predictions and speculating about what the old white guys on the stand are whispering to one another. Or chatting about it with your friends. Catch you next week!

p.s. If you’re a part of the Outer Blogness community, please consider adding our link-button to your blog, thanks!

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12 Comments

  1. 1
    Ren says:

    When you drill down on the Pew survey to demographics by question, only 93% of Mormons got the question about what religion Joseph Smith founded. Good lawd, can you call yourself Mormon, jack or otherwise, if you don’t know at least that much about the church?

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  2. 2
    Chino Blanco says:

    Here’s my General Conference prediction: A clip from Boyd K. Packer’s talk will go viral and turn BKP into a YouTube sensation.

       0 likes

  3. 3
    Jonathan says:

    Chino, maybe we should make that happen. :)

       0 likes

  4. 4
    Chino Blanco says:

    I’ll look forward to dropping a link here once it’s uploaded. In the meantime, I could really use some help coming up with a pithy title. Mine tend to run long and unwieldy:

    “The LDS policy of ‘political neutrality’ guarantees that members of the Mormon church are always free to choose between: A) voting the right way, or B) being mocked from the pulpit at General Conference by the President of the Quorum of the Twelve.”

       0 likes

  5. 5
    Chino Blanco says:

    Is Boyd K. Packer a senile old hater? Let’s vote on that.

    Years ago I visited a school in Albuquerque. The teacher told me about a youngster that brought a kitten to class. She had him hold up the kitten in front of the children. It went well until one of the children asked, Is it a boy kitty or a girl kitty? Not wanting to get into that lesson, the teacher said, It doesnt matter, its just a kitty. But the persisted. Finally one boy raised his hand and said, I know how you can tell. Resigned to face it, the teacher said, How can you tell? You can vote on it.

    “You may laugh at the story. But, if we’re not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change lives that would legalize immorality. As if a vote could somehow alter the designs of God’s laws of nature. A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would the law against, the vote against the law of gravity do?

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  6. 6
    Chino Blanco says:

    Rather than go on an extended BKP rant, I’m just gonna copy-and-paste something from Jeremy over at Good As You:

    I once read a tell-all book about “Saturday Night Live,” in which one of the female writers from the early days of the show, Anne Beatts, described the gender disparity in 1970s, pre-Tina Fey comedy writing rooms by saying that “[the men] had to spell ‘cat,’ and [the women] had to say when the Edict of Nantes was revoked.” It’s a comment that ably sums up how I feel about the gay vs. anti-gay debate, where the former set has to do a triple flip over a high bar just to advance a half-step, while the latter side has largely sailed by in heterosexist America, just kicking over even the lowest bars that get in their way. Whereas the pro-civil rights side prides itself on cogent arguments and thoroughly researched bullet points, our opposition (and far too much of the public) feels like it’s perfectly suitable to counter those carefully studied, thoroughly lawful, intensely measured, highly principled points by using rhetoric that ranges from red herring to abject lie, with 99% of the anti-LGBT data supported only by personal faith and not actual documentation. Plus, whereas the pro-fairness side is far more concerned about correcting misstatements and self-checking our movement for flaws, the anti-fairness crew has placed their organizational premium on blind eyes and negligent mouths.

    Yours is a very negligent mouth, Boyd K. Packer.

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  7. 7

    Wheat & Tares is now up at http://wheatandtares.org/ if anyone wants to see where we went and what we are doing ;)

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  8. 8
    Lisa says:

    ugh, to think people will eat that up because a “apostle” said so.

    well, this apostle says a lot of things. and he’s an idiot. needs to go work on his little factory for a spell and, i think, do us all a favor.

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  9. 9
    Lisa says:

    ergh, *an apostle.

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  10. 10
    chanson says:

    @7 Looks great!! I’ve added you guys to our blogroll and I’ve subscribed.

       0 likes

  11. 11
    Carla says:

    Sorry for going totally off-topic, but I’m really excited about this: my husband finally finished and posted his exit story on a new blog – http://www.the-iron-rod.blogspot.com

       0 likes

  12. 12

    [...] previous two editions were pretty lively (if not scandalous) so it’s nice to finally be able to relax and [...]

       0 likes

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