Sunday in Outer Blogness: Monday edition!
Folks, sorry to be a day late on this! I have had an insanely stressful week which kind of bled over into the weekend, and I was barely able to get the Skeptical Parent Crossing carnival done on time. But there have been some interesting items in Outer Blogness this past week, and I don’t want to neglect them!
First of all, Runtu has written a fascinating article about conversion narratives, deconversion narratives, and the role they play in shaping the teller’s experiences. Andrew S. wrote a related article discussing the conclusions in Seth Payne’s study on ex-Mormon narratives. And if you’d like a real-life example to go with all of this theory, Sabayon posted her deconversion story of epiphany through heartbreak. And in the post-deconversion department, Galendara is deciding what to do about church attendance now that she’s in a mixed-belief marriage.
Now, a bit of a grab bag of interesting topics: Mind on Fire talks about how the size of Texas as a textbook market influences what gets published. (I remember learning about this problem back when I was in high school, and we’re hoping to hear more from Sabayon about her experiences actually having survived the Texas educational system.) King Aardvark tells the tale of when he finally got to speak to the really wise elder from Alpha Course, and assesses how that guy’s Christian apologetics compared to the other Alpha Course instructors. Aerin talks about how our modern opportunities compare to those of our great grandparents. Chino Blanco presents more research on the LDS institutional political involvement in the gay marriage question. And finally, in the department of things that make you suspect that Mormons may actually be from another planet, Good Reason discovers an LDS ad with the following text:
What’s the Point of Having a Family If It All Ends at Death?
I wanted to have a family but wondered what would be the point of having one, if it all ended at death.
Anyway, sorry again for the late and sloppy job on this one. I hope that by next time my real-life responsibilities will stop interfering with my Internet fun! 😀
What I continue to misunderstand is this: do people REALLY think that family/life is only important/valued if you believe that you can have them for eternity? I mean, that quote has a distinctly LDS spin to it (it’s about family), but lots of people ask a generic, “What’s the point of doing anything if when we die, that’s it?”
I know. I can’t fathom why anyone would think that way…
Ok, now that I’ve had a chance to look over Seth Payne’s paper, I have a huge problem with the methodology:
He draws practically all of his data from RfM! And the rest, he takes from the only source known to be more hostile to Mormonism: Evangelical Christians who are actively trying to deconvert Mormons!
You have to take into account that every Internet message board is a social community with its own flavor which reinforces itself in a number of ways (people are attracted by its reputation, they stick around because they fit in, they modify their own style to fit in, etc.). Five years ago it may have appeared that RfM was the only game in town for former Mormons. But the number of alternate venues that have sprung up since then — each serving a different niche — demonstrates that RfM’s “recovery” style doesn’t represent the whole community, not even the whole secular exmo community. They serve a real, valid segment within they exmo community, but it’s wrong to suggest that RfM = the former-Mormon community.
As far as I’m concerned, the sample is so biased that it renders the study worthless.
I agree with chanson – each message board is a different place.
Also – thanks chanson for the nod. I enjoy reading all the different stories and posts from the week before. Thanks for organizing this.
Aerin — You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoy it — it’s fun for me to gather the posts up as well.
weâ€™re hoping to hear more from Sabayon about her experiences actually having survived the Texas educational system.
Oh right, I’ll have to do that soon, although re:Textbooks specifically I think it says everything you need to know about that at my High School — which had easily one of the top five Science program in the state (within a public school, obviously the Catholic high schools all had better bio departments since they teach evolution), if not the very best — we did not actually use the textbooks assigned for each class and our lessons were always from handouts, usually photocopies of texts from other states. I mean sure we might take out the book to use those reference pages where they had the philogenetic tree, or the periodic table or a metric conversion, but the entire content of the books was ignored.