This leads to this week’s first new word: instrayability — the Mormon equivalent of infallibility — and it seems to extend to the Newsroom, in many members’ estimation. (Even those on the outside find it odd that members would reject instrayability by agitating for change.) And some members didn’t hesitate to call out apostates by name, which not everybody thinks is a good idea.
Then there was this lovely item that made mincemeat of the strawman:
But there is one problem that pervades the feminism culture and that is actually working against the ultimate and worthy goal of total equality. It is the notion that equality means sameness. In actuality, striving for sameness will never produce equality, because there will always be small variants and no two people will ever be the same.
Considering that men and women are not the same, maybe that would be a reason to stop systematically excluding women (with their different experiences) from leadership.
And on the other side of the question? An impressive list of constructive suggestions, as well as personal stories. Plus some analysis of doctrines of dissent and of the priesthood and of the letter sent by the church.
Here’s the problem:
So we are assuming that the Young Women don’t need to be treated the same (that is, ordained to the Aaronic priesthood and given a chance to prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament) to be equal. But they do need something. What recognition are they receiving in sacrament meeting? (The pathology of publicly praising our sons as a community every single week in the context of worship while never doing that for our daughters as a group is a very deep one. Imagine a family where the son was praised weekly and the daughter never mentioned: no one would think that this is acceptable parenting.)
Even those with major doubts in the CoJCoL-dS still continue to believe — and come up with some rather remarkable strategies to do so. Some believe the church should embrace reality over myths while others would rather find new evidence for the myths.
Our scripture lesson included another great new word:
In science, you learn things by observation, experimentation, and careful control for bias. What’s the church’s method? Knowledge from feels! A burning in your bosom means something’s true. This is epistemic hedonism “if it feels good, believe it” and a disastrous counterfeit that sees people making bad life decisions based on no evidence.
Epistemic hedonism — what a great term! Is it newly-coined for this post? (The third new word is Interpath — an alternative to interfaith — to include non-believers.)
In church culture, Jen read an article on ways of lying in the New ERA — and noticed that the CoJCoL-dS ironically uses all of them. The church has some interesting quirks, such as a preponderance of MLMs and weirdly picky rules like taking the sacrament with your right hand. Runtu praised some Mormons. Oh, and that court case against the CoJCoL-dS was maybe not a total wash.
In life journeys, Monica described her decision to divorce, while Mormon X is thinking seriously of marriage. There was an interview with Mormon parents of a gay son, plus some exit/escape stories. This story absolutely captured the reason not just to disbelieve, but to leave the CoJCoL-dS:
It was an extraordinarily difficult year and we had the misfortune of seeing and experiencing all of the horrible things that come from war. Close friends and fellow soldiers were wounded and killed. I saw what real evil and wickedness were in the immediate aftermath of a suicide attack in a public location where civilians were the sole target. Fortunately, I also had the opportunity to see people at their absolute best as well. Humanitarians, medical personnel, soldiers, volunteers and afghan villagers and leaders who were willing to risk their lives for their fellow man, their families, and their communities. I prayed a lot during this time, and did so with more sincerity and intensity than any other period of my life. I also read my scriptures as often as possible.
[…] If this had been any other Sunday back in the states, I probably wouldn’t have remembered it after a few days. The first speaker was some Air Force NCO and I don’t remember the topic exactly but at one point he began to speak in depth about the sorry, sinful state of the world today. He talked about things like pre-marital sex, homosexuality, and even mentioned R-rated movies.
Over the next few minutes, it was if my brain made a complete shift in how it thought. In my mind, the church went from being the most important thing in the world and the highest moral authority; to seeming petty with an obscenely narrow view of morality.
In random stuff, Daniel swam nakedâ€¦ and survived! Knotty is reading about the Boone family and about the lady who kept a Mormon missionary as a sex slave. Froggy researched the pomegranate in world culture. Dooce reminds you to get your kids vaccinated. Both Around the World in 80 Diapers and My In-laws Are Mormon are celebrating the growth in their following (which is well-deserved — check them out!)