Sunday in Outer Blogness: Ninja polygamist modesty edition!

This week’s Mormon news-of-the-weird was the ninja polygamist sister wives. (Actual satire can’t compare.) Then there was the assault of the out-of-control dress codes in Utah high schools and LDS universities.

Pat Bagley nailed it.

The modesty obsession highlights an unhelpful focus on appearances and does psychological harm to victims of sexual assault:

I want them to be taught to dress and act like ladies. To be respectful of their bodies and treat them like the temples and Godly gifts they are. But I want discussions of how our innocent actions are turning men on left out of it. We can’t be responsible for perverse men’s/YM’s thoughts and actions. We can’t inadvertently teach our YW that they are responsible for that.

Did I ever bend over to pick something up and did my creepy neighbor see me? I have no idea. But I cannot easily hear someone say something like that because whether it’s intended or not, it tells me that I could be partially responsible for things that have happened to me. To someone who’s never been molested, assaulted, injured etc., those words and implications would have very different meaning. They probably wouldn’t hear the message that I hear. To me though….

Remember those controversial topics essays that the CoJCoL-dS anonymously posted to its website? They will be slightly less hidden from the members. In other church watch, some callings are a lot like jobs, minus the pay and benefits. The distance between the official membership numbers of the CoJCoL-dS and the number of people who actually consider themselves members has become so egregious that it’s getting hard to hide it — even from the people who most want to believe that the church is growing. (The new social media push may do more harm than good.)

It looks like expectations about General Conference have been lowered, and even the faithful are warning each other of the dangers of following authority without thinking.

Danny Saunders just sent in a resignation letter outlining his moral criticisms of the CoJCoL-dS. Ren resigned as well.

In scripture study, the Book of Mormon has helpful messages for us this week:

Oh. So it’s okay that they were forcibly uprooted from the lives they knew, because they have a new home. And it’s also okay because they’re about to defend their new home from the onslaught of armies led by a vengeful ruler. A lot of these people are probably going to die and it’s all because Alma and his cronies were such great instruments in the hands of God. Isn’t the gospel wonderful?

As does the prophet Isaiah (as long as you are willing to swallow some very stretched interpretations). A highlight of the Old Testament lesson was an extended quote I’d never heard regarding the “Professor Anton” story:

The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the “golden book,” the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles. On hearing this odd story, I changed my opinion about the paper, and, instead of viewing it any longer as a hoax upon the learned, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and he then took his leave carrying the paper with him.

In other church history, there was an interesting analysis of the claim that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon didn’t sign for themselves.

A lot of people liked Emma Watson’s speech (as did I). It turns out that men can get along just fine without the gender-compensating priesthood propping them up.

In philosophy, is death a predator or companion? Is belief really a choice? Also discussion of the God of the gaps.

In life stuff, crow’s feet are sexy, being a single mom, the challenges of learning German (not me this time)! Also, does it bug you when people say “Bless You” whenever you sneeze? (I’ve never been a fan of this custom myself.)

Well, it’s been a fun week — happy reading!

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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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