Sunday in Outer Blogness: Done with scouts edition!

This past week the CoJCoL-dS has started decoupling its young men’s program from the Boy Scouts of America (and Canada)! They’re keeping the Cub Scouts and the beginning part of the Boy Scouting program (for now…), but for older teen boys (14+ in the US and Canada) the Boy Scouts will no longer be the official youth program. (Too bad — boys will no longer be earning these awesome merit badges!)

There’s been some speculation that it might be related to the BSA becoming more friendly to gay people. The official statement from President Newsroom is that it’s about the program not meeting the needs of the older boys. That may well be true, but I think it’s also likely that some bean-counter in the Church Office Building decided that they could save money by giving the boys a cheapo program like the one they offer the girls.

Dumping some scouting programs would be a good idea if they were replacing them with something interesting and exciting (and inclusive!), but it looks like the replacement will be more reading out of correlated manuals and bearing your testimony:

Instead, Young Men activities will focus on spiritual, social, physical and intellectual goals outlined by the Church.

It’s so funny — I was talking about just this sort of thing last week: the CoJCoL-dS scrapping anything and everything that provides a bit of variety and substance and replacing it with more correlated pablum. I know a lot of guys hated being required to participate in scouts, but there are probably plenty of other kids whose favorite memories of growing up Mormon were built through the scouting program. But, hey, why invest resources in things that will build good memories for young Mormons that will help them want to stay in Mormonism as adults — when instead you can save a few bucks…? It’s not like the CoJCoL-dS has a huge attrition problem or something….

At least LDS teens still get the privilege of having closed-door interviews in which they’re grilled about their masturbation habits (among other problematic messages about sexuality). Plus you can still build happy memories by making a game of strategies to survive the crushing boredom of LDS meetings!

In related news, it was Mother’s Day! With all the angst it brings. Including that charming LDS custom of telling all women that they’re mothers, whether they’re literally mothers or not:

What I do have complicated feelings about is people telling me that I am a mother. First of all, the insistence that, above all, I’m a mother, or even a potential mother, dismisses my actual life, skills, and service.

My kids didn’t get me anything, but, OTOH, I didn’t call my mom either, so I guess it all comes out even. Heavenly Mother got the usual shout-out. And Hawkgrrrl wrote some cheerful commentary on our current situation:

Given the timing of the new series and the AHCA, it’s an interesting time to be a woman. And by interesting, I mean welcome to dystopia.

Health care (or the gutting of what’s left of it in the US) has been a big topic of discussion — especially the disconnect between Trumpcare and the teachings of that Jesus guy the Republicans give so much lip service to. Meg Stout wrote some interesting commentary about the fact that US women are significantly more likely to die in childbirth than women in other developed nations. Interesting because she basically blamed the whole thing on abortion, and even if she had provided some evidence to back that up, that claim doesn’t even begin to address the question at hand about why the whole thing is more than twice as deadly in the US than it is elsewhere. Personally, I think it’s just that the US no longer really qualifies as a “developed country”…

In LDS church and culture, a BYU study found that belief in porn addiction (not the porn use itself) causes relationship problems, Lynette wrote a piece on how women are not encouraged to express desire (she does like some things about Mormonism though), Alex discussed the parallels between racism and sexism, and there was a charming personal story about mishies in the New York Times.

In fun, Adult Onset Atheist is cycling in the trail of the Mormon pioneers and Knotty posted some awesome Mormon films from the 80’s!

Happy reading!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: May Day edition!

Yay, Baring Witness got an honorable mention in the Association for Mormon Letters Awards! Rachel Whipple wrote about her anxieties as a contributor to the collection. As a contributor myself, I’m pretty happy about the award.

In Mormon news, Utah liquor laws have added a new twist, and Mormon History scholars filed a brief against Trump’s Muslim travel ban.

The Salt Lake Tribune just won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on how BYU’s Honor Code contributes to the problem of sexual assault. Hal Boyd wrote an opinion in the Deseret News claiming that the Honor Code may help prevent sexual assault, and Adam Lee offered a counterpoint.

In Mormon discussion, John C discussed why it’s easy for men not to see the worst of the church’s sexism, and Sam Brunson analysed how Trump’s proposed tax reforms will likely affect Mormons. (I think it seems rather optimistic of him to assume that Trump will still be president and we’ll all still be alive when tax time rolls around again…), and MyrtleJoy discussed the role of emotions in decision-making:

Feelings matter. I pay attention to my feelings, and I examine them closely for nuggets of truth. I trust my feelings, because they have often led me to good things. Like my beloved spouse, and my delightful child.

But, they do not verify truth.

In scripture study, Alex is up to the Tower of Babel part. In meta-scripture study, Mary Ann hasn’t given up on Book of Mormon archaeology, and Alan Rock Waterman has a clever new excuse for why the Bible quotes in the Book of Mormon come straight from the King James Bible.

I hope you’re enjoying my new series (analysing the CoCJoL-dS) as much as I am! Mette Ivie Harrison wrote a post on ways the CoJCoL-dS has changed within Gen-X’s lifetime, and I will definitely be discussing some of these points! Lynette also posted some doctrines that are getting de-emphasized.

In life journeys, Joseph Broom said goodbye to a friend, Steph’s marriage ended, Sam Young wrote some mishie erotica, Jen opened up about anxiety attacks, and Lynette expressed some frustration with members of the CoJCoL-dS:

Defenders Of The Faith: I beg of you, please stop saying “but men and women are different,” or “God is in charge of the church and doing things his way,” or “you just have to realize that the temple is all symbolic” in a tone that suggests you think these radical ideas have not occurred even once to the person raising the feminist critique. Because, surprise! I’ve actually heard assertions like these before. I’ve heard them a whole lot, in fact. I’ve heard them over the pulpit as well as in informal conversations for almost my whole life. Believe it or not, I’ve actually already read most of the talks that get quoted at me that are supposed to solve everything. Sometimes I feel that I’m being talked to as if I’d just come across an anti-Mormon pamphlet claiming that Mormon women are oppressed and had naively swallowed it whole, and I just need an enlightened Latter-day Saint who truly understands the gospel to clear up my misconceptions. But the reality is that I didn’t need to read even a single anti-Mormon pamphlet to notice the glaring reality that women don’t have equal opportunities in the church; I was actually asking questions about the disparity long before I knew what an anti-Mormon pamphlet even was (or, to challenge another assumption I sometimes encounter, before I went to college and was exposed to evil liberal professors who tried to brainwash me into becoming a feminist).

And let’s close with a poem/prayer by J.A. Carter-Winward.

Maybe one of these days I’ll succeed in getting back to posting on Sundays! Yesterday I actually spent most of the day wrestling some unruly, proprietarily-formatted data into a relational database (with a little time off to catch Pokémons). Thanks for your patience!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Easter Edition!

Did anyone listen to General Conference? I hear there wasn’t anything particularly scandalous this time, but it again highlighted the absence of women in positions of influence and authority. The doctrine of eternal gender roles is actually a little dodgy:

I have often said that the gender roles described in the Proclamation are unnecessary because either they are descriptive (meaning people naturally behave this way, so who cares) or prescriptive (meaning, people should behave this way, but if it’s not natural to them, they won’t anyway and you can’t make them).

There were a lot of fascinating discussions in blogland during the past fortnight, such as the problems with hiding information, Mormons using disinheritance as a threat to keep their descendants faithful, and how purity culture affects women:

We may, as a Western culture, look down on some Middle Eastern societies that drape their women in varied levels of physical covering- but many religious cultures in America entertain similar notions. The values that led Mike Pence to his conclusions about how to relate to the opposite sex, objectify and relegate women to a lower tier status as surely as any burka.

Plus the problem of “worthiness”:

A bit tangentially, I think the use of “worthiness” language about the temple is incredibly unfortunate in the way it gets applied in particular to non-members who are excluded from the weddings of their loved ones. Whatever you think about the theological issues at play, informing people that they won’t be allowed to attend, and then explaining that it’s because they’re not “worthy” to be there is—at least in my experience—pretty much a recipe for terribly hurt feelings and deeply negative impressions of the church.

Dave read a book on the dynamics of self-deception:

To fight these self-deceptive tendencies, we need to do just the opposite of what our biased information processing system pushes us to do: we need to seek information from sources with opposing views, check our memory against objective accounts of past events, be aware of our own biases, double-check our own motives, and critique our own constructed narratives. We are not the neutral, fair, and well-informed heroes that we think we are.

In news, The blog By Common Consent is starting up its own indie press! Also, apparently the CoJCoL-dS has opened a temple in Paris — and I’ll actually be in town during the time that it will be open for public tours (but I don’t think I’ll go see it).

In life journeys, FoxyJ contemplated some alternate lives she might have led, plus Froggie prepared a gorgeous pie, and the Sunday Pews posted a piece that is funny because it’s so true

I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely holiday weekend — I know I am! Let’s remember the reason for the season! Wait, which one? Maybe that story about Jesus…? He’s an interesting character. Like Paul Bunyan, it’s not entirely clear whether his legend was based on a real person or made up entirely, but the question (while interesting) is a little bit beside the point because all of the parts of the story that make it interesting and important — those parts are made up.

In closing I’d like to thank everyone for the comments and feedback on my short article from last weekend — more are coming up!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Reboot edition!

So, the first installment of my new rebooted version of SiOB is only a day late, so we’re off to a great start! you’d think that since the Pokémon Go servers have been rarely reachable this past weekend, I’d be more on the ball, but the thing is that I’ve really been on a roll with my comic book drawing. That and I found another one of those popular-book-deconstructions (this time it’s 50 Shades), and those things are like crack to me. Anyway, let’s get to the news!

Despite some progress, being gay is still a big problem for Mormons, given discrimination and rising suicide rates. Some, like Laura Root and Ben, are trying to make it work — despite the fact that the CoJCoL-dS has doubled-down on its gay marriage as “counterfeit” rhetoric. Dad’s Primal Scream has just launched a new resource website for gay dads (and he could use your help). He has a few of his own ideas on what makes an marriage counterfeit:

Counterfeit marriage…

Lie to a woman. Continue lying to yourself. Hide your feelings. Shield your thoughts. Do everything in your power to ignore the uncontrollable reactions that your body produces when particular men sit close, or casually touch your shoulder, or even make eye contact from across the room. Swallow the pain that you feel in isolation and fear. In fact…remain apart. Don’t associate too closely. Feelings might develop. Don’t touch another man. At least not in any way that could be meaningful. Dedicate all touch to your wife.

Pretend that it doesn’t hurt. Act as if you are excited and glad to be physical with her. The thoughts passing through your mind would hurt her immensely, so hide them completely. Don’t ever admit that you couldn’t function as a husband if you didn’t turn your thoughts to “dark and twisted fantasies.” If you encounter struggles in your physical relationship, and your sweet and trusting wife asks what is wrong, think through the panic and come up with something to say that might be believable as an explanation for your inability, on that particular night, to do those things that men are supposed to do spontaneously with the woman they love. Lie. Lie. Lie.

Then there was some entertainment in Mormon-online-discussion-land as John Dehlin posted a podcast which included some audio from a General Authority and a historian working for the CoJCoL-dS — but there was one little problem: they didn’t know they were being recorded nor did they consent to having their remarks published. Apparently this is legal, but JD ultimately decided it was not ethical, so he pulled the podcast from his website, which naturally made about ten times as many people want to hear it (like me! while drawing!) — and consequently the Infants on Thrones site crashed from all the people trying to download the still-available version there. Then Glen of the Infants cut the thing into three pieces which you can listen to here.

I found the above series a little more interesting than the Infants’ other recent leaked-info podcast, the one with the Mormon Leaks Guideline Responses to Common Questions. The most interesting thing about that leak (IMHO) is that it demonstrates that the maddeningly evasive/misleading responses you often hear from church leaders are in fact centrally-coordinated talking points — not just individuals choosing to “answer the question you should have asked” on their own. But actually listening to these official unofficial non-answers is kind of irritating. Just read Alex’s take on it (though the questions did apparently inspire Andrew S to write an interesting analysis of Mormonism’s relationship with the doctrine of trinity).

In other news, Denver Snuffer is now the prophet of a new schism in Mormonism!

In personal stories, Jana is celebrating her brand-new marriage, and Myrtlejoy is celebrating her mixed-faith marriage:

Really? I responded. None? You don’t regret marrying someone who started out Mormon, and ended up a happy agnostic atheist?

No, he said. I love the woman you have become as much as I loved the woman I married. More, even.

In life journeys, some Mormons brainstormed some ideas of what they’d take up as a replacement if they were to leave Mormonism and Froggie took some lovely photos of Fantasy Canyon, Utah!

Gina Colvin has some hesitations about teaching people that the Book of Mormon is historical:

Yet, holding on to the claim that the BOM is indeed an ancient record of Native American and Pasifika ancestry does violence to Indigenous knowledge. Contemporary scholarship is pointing to the impossibility of the culture described in The Book of Mormon and choosing to see yourself in Book of Mormon ancient identities is often done at the expense of the tribal and cultural identities offered up in the present.

In books, Nancy Ross wrote a new review of the Garden of Enid — in a nutshell she seems to think that Hales has some good ideas but that they’re maybe a bit too complex for the format of a series of one-page gags:

Hales talks about his purpose in the interview. He was interested in telling the story of the family who needs a lot of love and support from the ward as a way of showing the goodness of Mormonism. As someone who occupied that difficult space as a Young Woman, it looks a lot different from the way in which Hales portrayed it: full of guilt for being that-needy-family (there is a brief reference to this), full of remorse for not being able to fix unfixable problems with greater faith and obedience, full of experiencing other people’s well-intentioned ignorance about the limits of your situation, capped off with a healthy dose of Mormon rejection when you are unable to be loved out of your problems.

I hope you’ve found these discussion interesting! Next week — on to something new!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Women’s Edition!

I hope everyone enjoyed International Women’s Day, a.k.a. “Why isn’t there an International Men’s Day? — oops there is!” Day. There was an international strike (A Day Without a Woman), and we just got around to celebrating here in Zürich this past weekend with another Women’s March.

The Women’s March in January was a profound experience for its LDS participants — just listen to this podcast about it. Also a great learning opportunity for the kids.

While we’re celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Relief Society, let’s not forget that it is a women’s organization that not only has no control over its own budget, but also doesn’t allow women to choose the leaders at any level or even hold a meeting without male supervision, as we’re reminded by the lady infants. And as cool as it is that there’s finally a book of 185 years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women, Geez, what kind of a baby step is that…? Maybe some are finally starting to get bored of white men and of the messages LDS women have been taught.

The biggest Mormon news shocker for me was that apparently LDS General Authority Dallin Oaks made some veiled criticisms of Trump in a recent devotional. (It’s about time, considering) The Zion Moat is still hanging around the news cycle a bit though, for laughs.

Remember that leaked document with that graphic about things leading people to leave the church? Well if you saw it and were wondering (like me!) “Who is Robert Norman?” your answer is here! Also Sam Young found an additional group of enemies of the church that the graphic somehow missed. Also Jack Naneek posted a new funny version.

In scripture study, Alex has just gotten to some really racist parts of the Book of Mormon.

In life journeys Joseph Broom has recounted more scenes from his gay adolescence and from his mission — and he’s not the only one sharing mission memories. Craig is saying goodbye to a friend, and the policy that Mormon funerals need to be about the atonement has traumatized some mourners, as recounted by the Infants.

In books, Dani Addante reviewed The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy, Lalove Foster reviewed Hearts of the Fathers, Greg Kofford Books has been publishing publishing a series of nineteenth-century novels with Mormon villains, and Alex posted a short story!

In not-Mormon-related, Dad’s Primal Scream posted about some favorite shows and I posted the last two of my puppet shows from when I was in college.

And now for some fun! Time for some memes! Plus those wacky Utah baby names! And Mormon deepities! And it turns out that the chicken dance has a sinister back-story

Folks, sorry I skipped last week and got this one out a day late! (Did anyone notice?) I’ve been thinking of writing a series on my analysis of the CoJCoL-dS and its strategies — but since I have limited free time, I might do that every other week while doing SiOB on the alternate weeks. We’ll see!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Finally something Mormon edition!

Last year it seemed like there was a new LDS-related scandal or news item almost every week, but it looks like “the Mormon Moment” is starting to fizzle. It seems the CoJCoL-dS can’t compete with the level of irrational/wacky/terrifying that’s coming out of the White House these days! But this past week, the CoJCoL-dS managed to swim up to the surface of the swamp with a handful of news items!

Thanks to MormonLeaks we got a view of the church leaders’ thoughts in the form of a powerpoint including an infographic on why people leave the CoJCoL-dS! Since it mentioned John Dehlin by name, he did a podcast explaining the whole thing in gory detail, in case you’re curious:

The most amusing part for me was when Dave resurrected his Mormon Inquiry blog to make the following remark:

That’s actually a pretty good list. While the graphic has prompted the usual griping from online LDS commentators, it is actually reassuring to know that LDS leaders are at least aware of the broad spectrum of challenges presently facing the Church and its membership. I wish there were a second graphic displaying a realistic action plan for each subcategory.

A realistic action plan for each subcategory?! Lolz. The plan for every subcategory is the same as it has always been: just tell the complainers/leavers that they’re unfaithful since (as far as the CoJCoL-dS is concerned) it’s a priori impossible that the members might have legitimate criticisms that the organization should listen to.

And there was this other kerfluffle in which a former Young Women’s general president gave a fireside with some questionable remarks about the women’s march:

“We were in a cab, and as I watched those women marching and yelling, and should I say, behaving anything but ladylike and using language that was very unbefitting of daughters of God,” Sister Dalton said. “As I watched all of that take place, my heart just sunk and I thought to myself, ‘What would happen if all those women were marching and calling to the world for a return to virtue?’”

Which drew some reactions:

Michelle Obama stood up for virtue. Beck stood up for sexual assault. So did Robert C. Oaks, a former member of the quorum of the Seventy who was a speaker at the rally. But as far as we know, Dalton didn’t have a problem with Julie Beck. Perhaps because she was ladylike as she supported violence against women?

And:

That she was offended by the language they were using, as if that were more important than their vocal refusal to countenance a president who has clearly engaged in other behaviors that I’m sure Sister Dalton would censure, like boasting that he could “grab” any woman he wanted “by the pussy.”

Somehow, it’s unfeminine and wrong for women to protest that, in fact, their pussies are not Trump’s for the grabbing. And to match his profanity in getting their message across.

Then there was anther mini-story Utah decided to further protect minors from seeing alcohol by adding the new “Zion moat” to its existing “Zion curtain” laws.

In personal stories, a gay dude unfortunately felt pressured to find a wife:

As soon as the door shut I started running to my car. As I ran I said to myself out loud, “What have I done? What have I done? What have I done?” I sat in my car and felt like garbage. I felt like I had just lied to her. That I had expressed something that I didn’t really feel. When I got home I told my roommates I had kissed her and they were all excited and I feigned excitement as well. The next day I was back at Emma’s house talking to her roommates before she got home. They told me that they had heard all about the kiss and how magical it was from Emma. They were so giddy about it, but the thought that kept running through my brain was, “She and I did not experience the same thing.”

In fun, I found a new Mormon satire site you might want to check out — here’s a sample: Newly Engaged Couple Feels Need to Teach Remaining YSAs About Marriage. Also Knotty posted some fun stuff about mishies and trolls.

And let’s close with some lovely pictures of the historic Cottonwood Paper Mill. Here’s to surviving another week!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Personal stories edition!

Here’s a charming little story of making a connection across cultural boundaries:

A moment later it spoke back in Chinese. His eyes widened. I showed him the button to press on my phone. He spoke into it, and a moment later it said “Yes, I am sad.”

“Why are you sad?” I asked. My phone translated.

“I lost my gloves during lunch,” my phone said aloud after he spoke to it.

Angela C revisited her mission, which brought back memories:

So in deciding to go on a mission, I felt like my identity was unsuitable anyway. I needed to be silent and milquetoast if I couldn’t be that pastel-wearing smile machine that seemed to be the desired stereotype. Since I was mostly pretend-dour in the MTC, my district didn’t really like me. They thought I was a killjoy (me! a killjoy!), and they would hum the Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch theme whenever I came in the room. My companion was cool and didn’t see me that way, but I silently let the elders think that, considering the loss of identity my necessary cross to bear.

Sam Young continues to vote his conscience:

I vote opposed in the expectation that this law will once again become the common law of church governance. I have made a temple covenant to obey the law of God. Consequently, I vote opposed in order to keep my sacred promise of obedience.

Sadly, in order to participate, you have to attend church which is boring and no fun — though you can liven it up with coloring books and comic books!

If you’re wondering whether you’re an exmo in Utah County, La has a helpful list for you. Jaxon Evans has created his own Christianity / Zen Buddhism fusion.

Does anybody understand how the forever families doctrine works? The Rational Faith bloggers have some thoughts on here-and-now marriage as well as on combining Mormonism with other identities like queer or Latino.

In scripture study, RT posted an analysis of Michael Austin’s application of Biblical canonical criticism techniques to the Book of Mormon.

Sorry I’m not feeling like posting about politics this week. I’m sure I’ll be back at it next week though — see you then!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Latter days edition!

As if our biosphere weren’t in enough trouble last year, having an incompetent clown waving nuclear threats around for all to use as they see fit isn’t a step in the right direction. Oh, and there’s a chunk of ice the size of Delaware about to slide into the ocean to melt. Can we Save Our Species? I hope so. Is it just me, or have others out there gone through all five stages of grief lately?

Well, that’s not a fun opening, I guess. Let’s get back to everyone’s favorite diversion! Has the CoJCoL-dS done anything interesting lately? Or sexy. Not really, but the Book of Mormon is always there for a few laughs.

The BYU rape discussion continues, as well as discussion of the church’s political neutrality, belief boundaries, commandments vs. social norms, and the wayback machine offers some surprises as well!

Here’s hoping things are better next week!!!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: It can get worse edition!

Well, this has been one of the most horrifying weeks I have ever seen. Fortunately we have some lighter topics, like the Brodie Awards! You have until Thursday, February 2 to get your last votes in!

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s performance at the Trump inauguration got mixed reviews. Fortunately not all faithful Mormons are Trump voters — some were at the march and in the pews. Others advocate non-violence and support religious freedom for all. As Trump’s spokesperson treats us to a new euphemism for lying, Mormons are constructing their own moral leadership.

(Of course maybe the problem goes even higher.)

I imagine many of you have been having some interesting discussions on social media lately:

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who skip the gym to make cupcakes for church activities. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are sleek and silky and frizz-free. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are passive aggressive.

Here’s another response to the Mormon women’s critique of the Women’s March:

You are calling your own sisters in this church rude, greedy, and vain. Do you HEAR yourselves? Many of you protested when your politically liberal sisters called you racist, sexist, and xenophobic for your Trump vote just a few months ago.

“We voted for his policies!” you cried, “it doesn’t mean we agree with EVERYTHING he said!”

“How can you call me these horrible things?!” you said. Well, now you know.

In Mormon news, the SCOTUS declined to hear the Kody Brown polygamy case. In Mormon culture two podcasts responded to a devotional about “worldly sex”, plus Zelph provided new evidence of Mormons’ love of queer culture! In life journeys, Monica is making peace with death. And in scripture study, we have an overview of the issues with the Book of Abraham, and some commentary on everyone’s favorite Bible fan-fic:

In the Bible, Jesus makes a vague reference to his ability to grant someone life until his Second Coming. In the Book of Mormon, he explicitly gives three people this supernatural longevity. That’s much awesomer than the Bible.

When the Three Nephites were cast into the earth (verse 20), “they did smite the earth with the word of God” and were “delivered out of the depths of the earth.” That makes them way awesomer than Joseph of Egypt.

The Three Nephites were thrice “cast into a furnace and received no harm” (verse 21). That makes them three times awesomer than Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

But wait, there’s more! The Three Nephites were also, on two separate occasions, “cast into a den of wild beasts…and received no harm” (verse 22). This makes them each twice as awesome as Daniel.

That’s all for now — I wish you all a safe and pleasant week!

Sunday in Outer Blogness: We shall overcomb edition!

The voting for the Brodie Awards has begun!! Please go here to cast your votes. I know that there are quite a lot of nominations, but you have two weeks to vote — so I really hope you’ll take the opportunity to review these awesome nominations a few at a time, and vote for the ones you like best!! And check out this Mormon news year in review!

Mormon news was overshadowed this week by the reality of Trump getting sworn in as the new POTUS — and the overwhelming response from all over the world!! There are so many reasons to march:

I feel sad and afraid as I think about the future. What will happen to me and to people like me? I didn’t have anything life threatening, but what if I had? What if I do in the future? What if Todd does? What happens to the people who are “uninsurable” now?

And the work doesn’t stop there!

Of course there was a bit of a Mormon angle. After compromising their reputation by sending the MoTab choir to sing for Trump’s inaugural, the CoJCoL-dS was rewarded with the news that Trump’s pre-inaugural church service was given by a pastor who has called the CoJCoL-dS a cult. God I wish the church leadership would grow some self-respect and stop begging for a seat at the mean girls’ lunch table. It’s not going to happen. Let’s instead stand with our fellow minorities. Catch a clue!

Donald Trump, to me, is not someone that decent, God fearing, family loving, fiscally conservative people ought to be backing. To me, it doesn’t make any sense. Here’s a man dripping with riches, living in a fucking gold tower in New York City. Yes, he’s filthy rich, and Republicans like that. But did he get that way by being fiscally conservative? No.

Fortunately my feed is full of Mormons who have caught the clue:

And so, no thanks. Trump is not worthy of our respect in any way. I don’t support him and won’t support him. A transition of power to someone like him is cause for mourning, because it appears that the electors of this nation have chosen evil over good. I support those exercising their rights to demonstrate against Trump. I view all those performing for Trump as having tainted themselves and their reputations. In the case of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Piano Guys, the pain is particularly acute. Mormonism is small. Our reputations are linked in the eyes of the public. Now, Mormons have vocally and disproportionately identified their brand with Donald Trump. But I won’t normalize him or respect him until he demonstrates himself as worthy of respect. I don’t respect offices. And neither should you.

In other Mormon News, BYU is still working on the rape problem, and it’s a bit of a bumpy ride — just have a look at this open letter. Also, what’s up with those mountain letters…?

In life journeys, check out this new podcast! Also, Gina’s faith has irreversibly changed, GenX Gillian is healing, and Julie de Azevedo Hanks listed things to say and things not to say to a loved one who is leaving the church.

And let’s close with a poem, an allegory, and a tale of magic and the Eagle Forum. Good luck in the coming week, not to mention the coming few years…