Sunday in Outer Blogness: Conferences Edition!

This past week there were a lot of great discussion of the sessions of two recent LDS-interest discussion conferences: Sunstone and FAIR. In particular, I think Andrew S really nailed the key problem with Ty Mansfield’s deconstruction of gay identity:

deconstruction goes all the way down. I’d be more OK if Ty’s discussion weren’t so focused on the social situatedness of homosexuality without saying anything at all about heterosexuality.

Because here’s the deal — heterosexuality is also a construct.

And even more importantly, the reason sexualities are constructs is because they are built on a substrate of gender and sex — which are also constructs.

The FAIR conference sounds like it was a barrel of laughs. I particularly liked this bit:

The Book of Abraham has been a blessing for some, a curse for others, and a puzzlement for all. The layers of issues are as thick as a large onion, and just as painful to peel.

*Cough* if you want to believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that is…

At Sunstone, J-G W gave the The Pillars of My Faith session, and also wrote a piece on people’s expectations about God:

Everyone (including folks who don’t actually believe in God at all) has some idea about what God is about, what God has done, does, and will do, what God is capable of and what God is incapable of. I have been/am/will be guilty of this as much as anybody else.

As far as the atheists are concerned, I think J-G W’s point is missing some key nuance. Let me quote a representative atheist article from this week (which I heartily agree with):

We are typically successful in finding that unity, and then the human mind tries to call it God, bringing in all the cultural baggage that that word carries. It’s not helpful. It obscures more than it enlightens. We should reject the whole notion of “god” because it fails to clarify.

That said, the atheists earned some criticism recently as Richard Dawkins yet again made an ass of himself on Twitter, throwing the online atheist community into a mess of chaotic bickering. (It must be awesome to be so popular that people continue to take your tweets seriously after how many of these incidents…?)

In church watch, the CoJCoL-dS is building more apartment buildings. A religion professor at BYUI was unwelcomed to the point of resignation (apparently for being over-qualified). Plus there’s more discussion of the prophet’s dementia. In history, here’s an interesting new tidbit about the varying first vision accounts, one on Mormon improvement in Hebrew, and one on Mormons and conspiracy theories. And the family church is still at odds with actual families.

This week’s Old Testament lesson was an interesting personal perspective on the temple. Plus, there was a conversation about a discussion.

In fun, Heavenly Father is such a tease and correcting Moroni’s grammar.

In random life stuff, Uomo Nuovo made a connection on Castro Street, Roger Hansen is making swing-sets in Peru and Ecuador, Froggey photographed glass art, Knotty is adjusting to life in Germany, and come see what Heather is up to.

Were any of you at either of these conferences? Anything interesting to report?

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chanson

C. L. Hanson is the friendly American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! See "letters from a broad" and the novel ExMormon for further adventures!!

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