Sunday in Outer Blogness: funnies and stories edition!

Shall we stop picking on the CoJCoL-dS’s new publicity campaign? I would but it’s too funny!! The latest is that the Mormon Times is calling working women the “warts” of Mormonism (hat tip). Go read the article for yourself (in case I’m misreading it; Andrew S. gives them the benefit of the doubt), but in a nutshell, John Dehlin says that the ads showcase working women while the leaders teach the members that that’s not OK; Mormon Times responds that they’re not trying to show ideal Mormons, rather they’re showing ordinary Mormons warts and all. My advice to the CoJCoL-dS PR department? When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Of course the ad campaign isn’t nearly as hilarious as this stuff — don’t miss Kuri’s captions!!

But the real theme in Outer Blogness this week was exit stories and other personal anecdotes. A new Eric frames his deconversion around a famous quote from the Wizard of Oz. Lisa and Simply Sarah are sending in their resignation letters (or thinking about it). Lisa also notes the cross-religion parallels in conversion stories (kind of like some of the parallels Chino found). Michael Thelen seems to be wishing to exit too. That guy with the hair recounts his visit with the bishop. Ms. Jack tells PBS about her interfaith family. And Therese Doucet has an essay published in a literary journal.

In non-religion-related personal stories, Freckle-Face Girl is trying to decide whether to attend her HS reunion. Britta is going back to school too, and j-dog is thinking of transferring. Eliza explains how she survived BYU. PixelFish and her S.O. apparently enjoy cleaning (I’m throwing this one in as one of those “alternative viewpoints” that I don’t really get myself 😉 .) On the other end of the housekeeping spectrum, Louise has a chipmunk behind her stove (and her daughter swallowed a penny). And Ren tells a late-summer story in beautiful images.

In vicarious anecdotes, there’s one about George Orwell and one about some guy who hurt his back doing baptisms for the dead. Daniel wrote two interesting reports on psychology and linguistics.

All-in-all a fun week — thanks to the whole community!


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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14 Responses

  1. Ok, I wrote a huge comment but then I decided that I’d better just write a blog post about it. Let’s just say that now that I’ve read the “warts” thing in context, I’m even more horrified. Isn’t Advertising 101 all about hiding warts? (Whatevs, I have no idea, but the only warts I’ve ever seen in advertising are for wart treatments.)

  2. Lisa says:

    I don’t know why I never said anything about the warts bit in my blog. It struck me as a horrible thing to say, really.

    I think my brain is on vacation lately. sleepy. something. gah.

  3. Goldarn says:

    Reading that column reminded me of when my boss referred to the product I worked on as the red-headed stepchild. I have red hair. She said it to my face. I decided to laugh at her cluelessness to her face.

    “Warts,” indeed. My dictionary has this definition for the phrase “warts and all”: “including features or qualities that are not appealing or attractive.”

    Why would anyone use that term about something they think is a good thing?
    “My wife is really smart, but I love her, warts and all.”
    “My bishop is always quoting Bruce R. McConkie, but I overlook the warts.”
    “Brigham Young married a lot of women, warts and all.”
    Seriously, do the guys who do P.R. for the Mormon church have *ANY* ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes?

  4. chanson says:

    Here’s the actual quote:

    We have not made an effort to only show famous or perfect people. You are going to see warts in this campaign, and people aren’t used to that in Latter-day Saint communication and hope they will be patient and understand we are all fellow strugglers trying to align ourselves with the truth.

    Read that and then go review John Dehlin’s statements that he’s responding to (the middle clip here).

    The only group Dehlin mentions as not being aligned with prophetic counsel is career women. I can only assume that the MT columnist Joel Campbell’s “wart” remark is referring to Dehlin’s one example (and possibly also some unspecified others). I assume that Campbell didn’t really mean that the women themselves are warts. Rather, they’re warty. Their successes outside the home (and the value they place on their careers) are their warts. Perhaps if they were “perfect” (instead of “struggling”), they’d quit their jobs and go home and bake their kids a batch of cookies.

    The closest thing to a second example (in Dehlin’s interview) was to juxtapose images of black members with Dehlin’s claim that there’s explicit racism in the LDS scriptures (which there is — just read the PoGP). I’m going to give Cambell the benefit of the doubt that the “you’re going to see some warts” remark wasn’t about the black members.

    But Dehlin is essentially saying that the ads showcase diversity and women’s contributions outside the home — and it would be great if the LDS leaders really did value those things. And the MT columnist responds that, no, they don’t value those things. They were just showing “warts” and imperfections.

  5. Chino Blanco says:

    Check out this BYU Chemical Engineering page (specifically, the first graf at the top of the page).

    And then check out this righteous rant from a faithful Mormon blogger.

    First of all, I think someone needs to tell [BYU] that Comic Sans is not an appropriate font for a university web page.

  6. chanson says:

    I don’t see the Comic Sans. Did they already fix that part?

  7. Chino Blanco says:

    Hmmm, I’m still seeing it at both links. Firefox on Mac. Maybe it doesn’t display for others?

  8. Chino Blanco says:

    By the way, this profile just posted at

    I believe that women do not hold the priesthood in the Mormon church because we live in a patriarchal society in which men exercise power over women and the Mormon church is no exception to that rule.

    Mormon theology as explained in Doctrine & Covenants 132 does imply that polygamy is an eternal principle, so many Mormons believe that polygamy will be practiced in heaven. I do not.

    h/t John Dehlin.

  9. Ms. Jack says:

    By the way, this profile just posted at

    Now that is intensely amusing. “Well, the world sucks at this and we do, too.”

    Thanks for pointing that out, Chino Blanco.

  10. Chino Blanco says:

    My pleasure. Would you like one more? Emphasis mine:

    What is the Churchs attitude on homosexuality? Why is homosexuality and same-sex marriage important to the Mormon Church?

    The Church’s official position on homosexuality is actually pretty open when compared to many “bible-belt” Christian denominations. The Church believes that being LGBT, Gay, or “Same-Gender Attracted” is completely, 100%, okay. However, because we have the ability to choose our actions, having sex with a member of the same gender is a sin.

    This stance puts Gay Mormons like myself in a precarious position to either: 1, attempt a marriage with a member of the opposite gender 2, live a celibate life or 3, face Church disciplinary action. Sadly their are not many definitive answers to questions about Homosexuality in the Church, instead many are met with the answer of “We don’t know”.

    Which I suppose I’d summarize as, “Well, we suck less than some Christians at this, but I’m at a loss to explain why we still suck as much as we do.”

  11. Ms. Jack says:

    The Churchs official position on homosexuality is actually pretty open when compared to many bible-belt Christian denominations. The Church believes that being LGBT, Gay, or Same-Gender Attracted is completely, 100%, okay. However, because we have the ability to choose our actions, having sex with a member of the same gender is a sin.

    Except that this is the exact position of virtually all conservative Christian denominations. They don’t care if you’re technically gay, either, so long as you don’t act on it.

    I would say, theologically, the status for homosexuals is actually worse in the LDS church than most other Christian traditions for the simple fact that single adults are second class citizens in the LDS church. Heterosexual marriage is held up as supreme and there is no love for the notion of an indefinitely celibate lifestyle.

    But I’m not pretending that any of us have an answer that’s going to please the gay community.

  12. Chino Blanco says:

    By the way, speaking of the CoJCoL-dSs new publicity campaign, I was impressed that a non-Mormon caught this:

    A scholar who studies religious marketing said the campaign is similar to a 2009 Church of Scientology ad series designed to appeal to skeptical outsiders.

    So, I got in touch with Mara Einstein (the scholar), and she says she’ll consider guest posting here in a couple months after she finishes her latest book.

    In the meantime, I’m gonna pick up her previous book (Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in a Commercial Age). Looks like an interesting read.

  13. Chino Blanco says:

    Totally O/T, but did we miss this back in April? Or did we already talk about this Trib article?

    The Book of Mormon bound for Broadway

    Just curious, because John Dehlin’s quote is a hoot:

    How can they call us a cult once were headlining 52nd Street? The Jews got Fiddler. The Catholics got The Sound of Music and Doubt. Its our time to shine, Dehlin writes. Start spreading the news … Mormons meet Manhattan.

  14. chanson says:

    I think we talked about the musical a bit, but I didn’t see the article with the Dehlin quotes — very cool!

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