Making Your Opponent’s Case

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If you have to ban somebody over religious differences, it is probably a good idea to wait until the debate about what constitutes a bad religion is over.

When you argue that religion provides a special path to the truth, you are not helping yourself by prohibiting your rhetorical opponent’s speech. You see, people who have a measure of truth can defend their position on the merit of the argument.

So when you shut them up with prohibitions, you demonstrate your ignorance more conclusively than any advocate ever could.

I appreciate your frustration. When Ronan dangled the carrot of “reasonable” religious “truth” in front of you, you got all excited at the prospect of an intellectual justification of religious truth claims. It is unfortunate this expectation had to be disappointed because Ronan misinterpreted the work of Peter Vardy, which rests on Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. I was the proverbial bearer of bad news who assumed that his Christian friends were tougher.

I regret that you banned me because I like those of you that I know and it pains me that you would embarrass yourselves and our community in that way.

It is doubly unfortunate since I found out about your ban when I posted the following comment that now languishes in your moderation cue:

The Book of Mormon is actually a lot stronger than the Vardy of this post.

One can reasonably argue that something like the light of Christ empowers our imagination to capture the noumenon but that is something quite different from experience.

The light of Christ would be a rational asset that makes properly sense of our observations.

Mormonism has considerable resources to be a force for good. We don’t need to misread Peter Vardis to find them.

For my part, I will continue to consider you friends, although I must admit that that would be easier if your actions would not contradict your words quite so obviously.

245 thoughts on “Making Your Opponent’s Case

  1. I could just as well argue that the people at BCC are already living a higher standard because they dont have banners making fun of ex-Mormons.

    You could, but you’d be missing the basic fact that thinking that God approves of the way you believe and act more than he approves of others is inherently more contemptuous than simply thinking other people are silly.

    this is one reason that proselytizing christianity will ultimately fail in its stated goal of creating compassion and love: because believing that you need to convert others to your way of thinking and acting in order for them to be saved is inimical to empathy, compassion and love. The problem of the LDS church’s involvement in fighting LGBT rights is a pretty clear example of that.

  2. Well, I think banning people is worse.

    However, Ms. Jack makes a good point about the futility of deciding whose action is “worse” as a way of choosing your own behavior.

    Personally, it drives me nuts when Mormons say “It’s OK for us to do XYZ because our enemies are doing so much worse!” It’s not just that it’s false. It’s just that it should be irrelevant that the bad guys are worse. If it’s wrong to do XYZ, then don’t do it, period.

    If some of our banners really are laughing at Mormons (not with them) and then expecting them to be good sports about it, then, for me, that’s a problem.

    That said, I’m not sure you can directly compare “famous Protestant artwork” with Arnold Friberg. Seriously, even faithful Mormons find them funny. 😉

  3. p.s. I want to spell this out: I’m not saying that all forms of christianity will fail in the goal of creating compassion–just the ones who feel they must proselytize so that others won’t be damned.

  4. Holly, I guess the question is whether MSP wants to have any discussion with “active” or whatever we call them Mormons or if it is just a medium for mocking us. Some things create a similar echo chamber effect to the banning of other blogs. MSP can do what it wants, but the images and the claimed message does not match.

  5. chanson and jack,
    thanks for being classy. the issue of scope, audience, tone, and perceived conversation partners is a part of defining any form of media. i personally value those who seek to speak to broader audiences, who dialogue rather than just debate, and who establish conditions for mutual learning and critique. we all fall short of this, but to the extent that you two (and some others on this blog and beyond) share these values, I appreciate it.

  6. Some things create a similar echo chamber effect to the banning of other blogs.

    Bullshit. Saying “You absolutely cannot speak here” and enforcing it is not the same as saying, “We think this idea is silly, but you’re welcome to speak here any time you want.”

    For the record, I don’t see anything wrong with the FSM banner. I’m with Kuri: mocking sacred cows (and sacred old white guys) is good for the soul.

  7. Im not saying that all forms of christianity will fail in the goal of creating compassionjust the ones who feel they must proselytize so that others wont be damned.

    Proselytizing is at the heart of Christianity as set up in the New Testament. And in terms of Christianity, Mormons are on the liberal side of the “damnation” issue.

  8. Proselytizing is at the heart of Christianity as set up in the New Testament.

    Yep. And yet, some forms have managed to evolve beyond it–Quakers and the UU, for instance. they’re too busy attending to the even more basic christian ethos that you have to treat people well to worry about what others believe.

  9. The question is whether that is compatilble with Christ’s ministry and the doctrines of Christianity elucidated by the Apostles as recorded in the New Testament.

    In comparison to much of Protestant Christianity, Mormons are unique in valuing James, which refers to pure religion undefiled before God as caring for the poor, the widows, etc. (As compared to Luther who dismissed James as an “epistle of straw” and toyed with the idea of not including it in the cannon because it did not seem to support his preferred interpretation of other key New Testament writings.)

    The work of the Quakers and the UU is wonderful in terms of the peace and fulfillment that those movements often give their adherents, and to the extent that both of those movements are involved with charity outreach in their communities.

    That is a separate question from whether their approach can be directly derived from or linked to New Testament Christianity as contained in the presently accepted cannon.

  10. The question is whether that is compatilble with Christs ministry and the doctrines of Christianity elucidated by the Apostles as recorded in the New Testament.

    That’s the question for YOU. That’s not the question for most of the world. That right there is why your creed fails to engender empathy and compassion: because it’s more concerned with compatibility to perceived orthodoxy than with learning to love people as they are.

    That is a separate question from whether their approach can be directly derived from or linked to New Testament Christianity as contained in the presently accepted cannon.

    I know it’s a pretty easy error, but still, I always think it’s significant when christians write “cannon” for “canon”: because what they really have in mind is a weapon.

  11. p.s. It just occurred to me, John F, that maybe you were simply demonstrating the sort of pharisaical approach to religion that Jesus most despised. If so, good job.

  12. The two goals of helping people and alleviating human suffering, on the one hand, and preaching about salvation through accepting certain exclusive religious doctrines or tenets, on the other hand are neither contradictory nor mutually exclusive.

    Christianity as established in the New Testament is a radically proselytizing movement and interestingly, the message that is to be proselytized is simultaneously (1) that there is a right way to think about and worship God and that way alone provides salvation, (2) that each individual must obey God’s commandments in leading a life of righteousness according to the behaviors defined therein, (3) that part of this life of righteousness is performing the works that Jesus and the Apostles described, including significantly feeding the hunger, caring for the poor and needy, assisting the sick and afflicted, disgorging riches to lead a disciple’s life, visiting and showing compassion for the incarcerated and downtrodden, etc. and (4) that this message (containing all points) must be aggressively proselytized.

    To the extent that adherents of Christian churches, groups, denominations, etc. fall short of these, and they all do, then they are not following the religion prescribed in the canon to its full extent. But hundreds of millions of people in the world are working on it on a daily basis. This includes millions of Mormons.

  13. I’m willing to talk to just about anyone civilly as long as they aren’t acting like angry head-cases.

    That said, not every faithful Mormon out there operates that way. And as long as MSP seems to be coming from a standpoint of “bemused contempt” for the rest of the Mormon world, I doubt you’re going to get a lot of friendly attention from them. I doubt the fact that you are friendly or witty about it is going to count for much with them. That’s just the way it is.

    Not telling you how to run things. I’ll participate regardless. But it is what it is.

    And there are times when I don’t bother with a post here just because it seems like nothing more than an excuse to engage in group ridicule. Like that recent headline over the YouTube vid of the Mormon mom abusing her kid – like this was supposed to say something symptomatic of my faith or something. I had zero desire to even read that one beyond the post title, and I did think it was pretty low class.

    But, you can’t have everything…

  14. You could, but youd be missing the basic fact that thinking that God approves of the way you believe and act more than he approves of others is inherently more contemptuous than simply thinking other people are silly.

    So, in other words, Holly is tolerant of everyone except those she deems intolerant.

    Makes perfect sense.

    (Is anyone else having flashes to the main plot of Caprica here?)

    chanson ~ I just wanted to say that I realize that my last comment may have come off as sullen and ungrateful, which wasn’t my intention. I’m sorry about that. Moderation is a thankless job and I think you’re doing a good job of listening to all sides and trying to be fair.

    For my own part, I agree that banning is worse. I was just pointing out how quickly self-justification turns to cyclical silliness.

    If you guys want to have the banners in question, do it because you like the banners and believe they speak for the essence of what this site is about—which is kind of what a banner is supposed to do. Don’t do it because Mormons piss you off and those bigots are just getting what they deserve.

    Unless, of course, that is what this site is about, in which case I don’t think you should even bother worrying about whether or not believing Mormons will ever feel welcome.

  15. Seth brings up an interesting distinction.

    There has been an implicit (in some cases explicit) comparison in many of the comments on this thread of BCC against MSP, with BCC apparently found to be wanting.

    At BCC, the authors are engaging in introspective analysis, questioning, theorizing, debating and discussing about various aspects of Mormonism. Most of the authors are faithful Mormons, meaning that they are members of the Church who regularly attend their home wards, hold callings, confess to believing some or all of the religion’s truth claims etc. The discussion about aspects of the Church comes from this perspective and commenting that aims simply at tearing down faith or that sidetracks away from an intended focus of discussion are moderated by a few of the administrators to keep things running smoothly. From an objective point of view there really is nothing sinister about the approach that is taken.

    At MSP, however, it has always seemed to me, that a main focus is actually ridiculing the Church, its leaders and the devoutly held religious beliefs/faith of its members. As such, it seems curious that the invitation is made for faithful Mormons to come here and participate in discussions. What purpose would that serve for believing Mormons? Even those interested in academic debate about aspects of the Church would not naturally be expected to welcome such ridicule and derision.

    None of that implies that MSP shouldn’t be doing what it does. It’s a free country, thankfully, so MSP is welcome to do this. But it doesn’t seem like it should be surprising if most Mormons aren’t particularly interested in discussing these things in the manner that is done here, and that does not necessarily reflect a weakness or closed mindedness on Mormons’ part (although it might indeed for some or many Mormons but the fact of it in itself does not show anything about Mormons generally); rather, it just shows that Mormons, like all other people, do not intentionally choose to hang out with people who are ridiculing them (sometimes aggressively so).

  16. “thinking that God approves of the way you believe and act more than he approves of others is inherently more contemptuous than simply thinking other people are silly.”

    Completely disagree with that Holly.

    I’d much rather be hated than held in contempt.

    At least the person who hates me is taking me seriously.

    Contempt is far more damaging.

  17. At MSP, however, it has always seemed to me, that a main focus is actually ridiculing the Church, its leaders and the devoutly held religious beliefs/faith of its members.

    John F., that is pretty rich, considering how sincerely you can see that we’re taking this question. I’m very, very tempted to make some unfavorable comparisons with various bloggernacle blogs, but I won’t. I’ll just ask you all to re-read my comment # 152.

    Now I’ve just gotten done reading my sons a chapter of Harry Potter, and I’m going to bed. And I trust I won’t find anything unpleasant on my plate here when I wake up tomorrow. 😉

  18. So, in other words, Holly is tolerant of everyone except those she deems intolerant.

    I’m perfectly willing to tolerate your thinking that god doesn’t approve of me. I claim my right, however, to think that yours in the morally inferior position. I’m just not so arrogant as to claim that any supernatural being agrees with my opinion of you. I’m not even so arrogant as to think that your eternal happiness or salvation rests on coming to see the world as I do.

    Id much rather be hated than held in contempt.

    And what I’m saying is that Mormonism is one of the most contemptuous religions I’ve ever seen, so I don’t know why you’d want to practice a religion that conveys contempt to so many people.

    Posting a notice in your home for all who enter to see announcing that armageddon will be caused by people engaging in sexual practices you disapprove of, for instance, is something most find pretty damn contemptuous.

  19. p.s. I want to make it clear that one reason I am perfectly willing and able to tolerate devout believers thinking god disapproves of me is because I don’t give a damn. It doesn’t make any difference in my life, since I’m not out to proselytize them. I am just surprised from time to time that they can’t see how contemptuous their basic position is, that they’re actually able to convince themselves that the attitude expresses love, and that they have to resort to telling themselves that people reject their message because said rejecters are hard-hearted and/or evil.

  20. “I don’t give a damn” is pretty casual speech in the world I live in. Doesn’t convey much pissiness to the audience I’m used to and feel I’m addressing here.

  21. Wow, what a mess. Turn away from the blogs for a few weeks and this is what happens.

    The suggestion that BCC won’t tolerate people who are not believing LDS is wrong, and laugh-out-loud stupid besides, given that several current and former permas are non- and/or post-LDS. When MSP has some believing Mormons as perma-bloggers I might be inclined to listen to a self-righteous lecture about openness but until then, I think it is time for some piehole-shutting. The only thing more insufferable than a smug TBM is a smug DAMU-ite.

    Here is a clue for the slow learners around here: You don’t get banned from BCC for being pro or anti LDS, or even for being right or wrong about some arcane point. You get banned at BCC for being an ass.

  22. That is often true kuri. Ultimately we all have better things to do than engage in 300 comments with arrogant pricks with whom we share no common ground. But going back to the thread in question, there were several other commenters who disagreed vigorously but remain unbanned, so I think you are oversimplifying.

    In this case, when Hellmut made an apology from Ronan a matter of personal honor (in blog comments!!! Srsly!!!) I think he crossed over into public assification. Lord knows I’ve done it, and been banned for it, too.

  23. I’m not very interested in the thread in question, actually. That conflict has been resolved and I see no point in bringing it up again.

    That BCC has some contributing never-mos and ex-mos is to its credit. I’m pretty sure, though, that MSP would welcome TBM contributors. The question, as several people have mentioned, is why they would (or should) want to contribute anything.

    But I think your comment also illustrates what we’ve been saying about a big difference between BCC and MSP: how long would an outsider last at BCC if he came in and told you all to shut your pie-holes?

  24. how long would an outsider last at BCC if he came in and told you all to shut your pie-holes?

    No kidding.

    Mark Brown clearly knows far more than anyone here about being an ass. I’m going to play chanson for a moment, since she went to bed, and tell MB to read MSP’s comment policy.

  25. Holly ~ I claim my right, however, to think that yours in the morally inferior position. I’m just not so arrogant as to claim that any supernatural being agrees with my opinion of you.

    So, you’re arrogant enough to claim that your position is morally superior to mine, but this is somehow a superior form of arrogant superiority because it isn’t attached to belief in deity?

    Again, makes perfect sense.

    I want to make it clear that one reason I am perfectly willing and able to tolerate devout believers thinking god disapproves of me is because I dont give a damn.

    Likewise, I would like to make it clear that I am perfectly willing and able to tolerate Holly because I find the pretzel-like logic she uses to prop up her own worldview as morally superior psychologically fascinating.

    Mark Brown ~ You get banned at BCC for being an ass.

    Oh, come on, Mark. If that were true, Jettboy would have been off the party list years ago.

  26. “Mark Brown clearly knows far more than anyone here about being an ass. Im going to play chanson for a moment, since she went to bed, and tell MB to read MSPs comment policy.”

    The irony of this advice coming from Holly, not to mention the particular way it was delivered, is so thick that it is hard to tell if it was said seriously.

  27. So, youre arrogant enough to claim that your position is morally superior to mine, but this is somehow a superior form of arrogant superiority because it isnt attached to belief in deity?

    People tend to adopt positions they believe are superior–in fact, they adopt them because those opinions seem superior. So there’s nothing at all remarkable about that.

    I’m not arrogant enough to claim that my position is morally superior to yours; I’m honest enough to admit that I hold my position because I think it’s morally superior–but also honest enough to see that my own assessment of my opinion is not, in and of itself, likely to persuade you to accept it, because you’re entitled to hold an opinion you also feel is morally superior–even if it contradicts mine.

    Whereas the whole point of testimony bearing, for instance, is that people think that their assessment of their opinion–“I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that everything I believe is true“–will somehow convince someone else to accept that opinion as well. That’s what you do, you know: you bear testimony. Or witness. It’s supposed to work, because you’re sharing with others what you KNOW to God’s opinion of things too, and people need to see this. They need to change. It matters to them, to you, to god.

    The second you add in a god who you claim will reward you for your opinions, and will also judge and punish people for failing to believe as you do, you’ve entered a realm of arrogance that’s all its own. You’ve created a god in your own image.

    It’s pretty simple logic, Ms. Jack. No pretzels necessary. Or at least, far fewer pretzels than are necessary to believe all that stuff about how the torture and execution of one guy in Israel 2000 years ago somehow makes up for the sins the rest of us commit, or that a god who requires such horrid barbarity is in any way loving or just.

  28. Whereas Holly, you merely skipped a step and left out the “image,” and just made yourself god of your own world – period.

    Rather efficient of you.

    I agree with Chris. You sound pretty pissy to me too.

    And it’s not just because you used the word “damn.”

  29. Holly ~ People tend to adopt positions they believe are superior–in fact, they adopt them because those opinions seem superior. So there’s nothing at all remarkable about that.

    I completely agree. What is remarkable is your emotional need to isolate factors in my way of thinking—in this case, belief in deity—that will render my claims of being right morally inferior to yours. Considering that something like 90% of the human population believes in deity and most of those hold that their deity tells them they are right in some way or another, that’s a might large chunk of humanity you’re setting yourself up as superior to. Nope, no arrogance there.

    Furthermore, in case you didn’t notice, you are the one who began challenging my beliefs and insisting that I must drop certain aspects of them in order to win your respect and tolerance. I did not approach you to talk about faith in Jesus Christ. What you’re doing is just another form of proselyting. At least when I evangelize, I have the integrity to admit that’s what I’m doing and don’t claim methodological superiority to others who proselyte their cause.

    Or at least, far fewer pretzels than are necessary to believe all that stuff about how the torture and execution of one guy in Israel 2000 years ago somehow makes up for the sins the rest of us commit, or that a god who requires such horrid barbarity is in any way loving or just.

    Oh, now stop that. I said you were psychologically fascinating, but plain ol’ bigotry against Christianity got old at least nineteen centuries ago. You can do better than that.

  30. you are the one who began challenging my beliefs and insisting that I must drop certain aspects of them in order to win your respect and tolerance.

    No, Ms.Jack–I didn’t ask you to give up a single thing. And the issue of my respect and tolerance wasn’t the issue. the issue was MSP banners. I wrote:

    [the banners] dont say anything about the ontological or metaphysical ramifications of holding those beliefs. Not a one of them is as offensive as the insistence that you must hold certain beliefs to be acceptable to god.

    the basic Mormon position that Unless you think and act as we do, you will exist in spiritual darkness, and God will therefore deny you blessings in this life and the next, denigrates the beliefs, choices and actions of everyone who isnt Mormon. It is questionable in a way that the banners here never can be. So until TBM sites renounce that position entirely, I dont think MSP should get rid of something that makes so many of its longtime participants smile.

    How is noting certain elements of TBM belief an insistence or even a request that YOU, Ms. Jack, drop certain aspects of your beliefs for any reason at all?

    You yourself offered justification for keeping the banners that I endorse:

    If you guys want to have the banners in question, do it because you like the banners and believe they speak for the essence of what this site is aboutwhich is kind of what a banner is supposed to do.

    I like the banners. I think they say something important about this site, which is that the people who typically post and comment here are interested in finding humor in the beliefs they used to hold, not because it pisses others off, but because it helps us come to terms with those beliefs and why we abandoned them.

    Nonetheless, you’re willing to be offended by them, even though they don’t say anything about YOU.

    but plain ol bigotry against Christianity got old at least nineteen centuries ago.

    OK, now you’re just funnin’. Pointing out that aspects of christianity are illogical is no more bigotry than is your claim that my logic is unsound is bigotry.

    Or are you admitting to being a bigot?

    Seth R: Holly, you merely skipped a step and left out the image, and just made yourself god of your own world period.

    Ah, yes. THAT explains my new-found ability to travel through time and bend events to my will.

  31. If our banners are driving away thoughtful commenters, I’d rather see that fixed than allowed to fester. For example, here’s a possible replacement for the googly first vision banner:

    Outer Archipelago

    I hope we can all agree it’s a great look.

  32. Holly ~ You acknowledged that the banners mock LDS beliefs. See here:

    OK, [the banners] mock others beliefs

    Then you said in defense of the banners:

    the basic Mormon position that Unless you think and act as we do, you will exist in spiritual darkness, and God will therefore deny you blessings in this life and the next, denigrates the beliefs, choices and actions of everyone who isnt Mormon.

    Which is a Mormon distinctive and, to a lesser extent, the distinctive of any exclusivistic religion. Finally you said:

    So until TBM sites renounce that position entirely, I dont think MSP should get rid of [the banners that mock Mormon beliefs]

    You are insisting that Mormons must give up something that is a part of their religion or else they are worthy of being mocked, i. e. not deserving of respect and tolerance.

    So respect and tolerance—and the fact that those banners you defend are neither respectful nor tolerant—is, in fact, the issue.

    You then went on to add that your opinion applies to anyone who appeals to God as their basis for morals and attempts to proselyte their beliefs on others, addressing me and my religion directly:

    this is one reason that proselytizing christianity will ultimately fail in its stated goal of creating compassion and love: because believing that you need to convert others to your way of thinking and acting in order for them to be saved is inimical to empathy, compassion and love.

    And:

    Im perfectly willing to tolerate your thinking that god doesnt approve of me. I claim my right, however, to think that yours in the morally inferior position. Im just not so arrogant as to claim that any supernatural being agrees with my opinion of you. Im not even so arrogant as to think that your eternal happiness or salvation rests on coming to see the world as I do.

    So yes, you did drag me and my personal beliefs into it.

    However, given that your arguments up to this point have been abortions of logic, I don’t blame you for trying to backpedal now.

    You yourself offered justification for keeping the banners that I endorse:

    Yes, but that justification only came with the recommendation that the crew at MSP stop insisting that they want this to be an inclusive place where TBMs feel welcome. And if you agree that the people at MSP shouldn’t care if TBMs feel welcome here, then Ronan is right. MSP and BCC should just go their own way.

    Nonetheless, youre willing to be offended by them, even though they dont say anything about YOU.

    Incorrect. I am not personally offended by the banners. I simply think they are classless and in poor taste.

    Pointing out that aspects of christianity are illogical . . .

    It was your crude and uncharitable portrayal of what my religion teaches that was bigoted. I don’t think I’ve seen a lick of “logic” from you yet.

    Or are you admitting to being a bigot?

    Oh, I don’t know . . . why don’t you send an e-mail to my complaints manager and ask her about my bigotry problem?

    Chino Blanco ~ here’s a possible replacement banner:

    Now that is a banner I could endorse. 🙂

  33. Thanks, Ms. Jack. As a further peace offering, I also worked up a banner for BCC, but they didn’t like it so much:

    First Excision

    Actually, that graphic was originally designed for KSL and had the intended effect (they finally turned off comments over there after failing at moderating their site … this place is a picnic compared to the 24/7 hate-fest KSL used to sponsor).

  34. they are worthy of being mocked, i. e. not deserving of respect and tolerance.

    I do not think there is anything in the world–not god, not suffering, not politics, not motherhood, not apple pie–that is off-limits for mocking. I think that mocking and respect can co-exist. I think Jon Stewart displays that pretty well.

    it’s true that I discussed a few of your beliefs, and acknowledged a reason why I find them morally inferior. That’s not to say that I asked you to change them, which is what you asserted earlier. Being clear on what I said is not backpedaling.

    Just to make sure you know I’m not backpedaling: I think one of the most uncharitable, unkind, illogical, arrogant, classless, tasteless and awful beliefs a human being can hold is to believe that an all-powerful god will punish and/or condemn others for eternity failing to believe as you do, and reward those who believe as you do.

    If you feel attacked by that statement, well, I guess it’s useful to know what your basic opinion of the rest of humanity is.

  35. Ms. Jack–clicked on your “complaint manager” and noticed your email address. I had forgotten that you actually claim the moniker “bible thumping bigot.” It was so shocking to discover, as I did this summer, that you actually use the email address biblethumpingbigot@etc, not just for personal but professional correspondence.

    I guess at least I don’t have to wonder any more if you admit that you’re a bigot. Nor do I have to wonder any more why you think it’s OK for you to be a bigot but not for others: your bigotry is endorsed by god.

    That’s pretty much what I mean about how thinking god is on your side is morally inferior to not assuming any such thing.

    Call that an abortion of logic all you want, but spare me the abortions of logic that make it OK for you to have an email address so classless and in poor taste, and condemn the banners here for the same fault.

    After all, at least the banners don’t show up in people’s inboxes.

  36. I’ve attached this disclaimer elsewhere, but since Seth R. has mentioned that YouTube clip again …

    Like that recent headline over the YouTube vid of the Mormon mom abusing her kid like this was supposed to say something symptomatic of my faith or something. I had zero desire to even read that one beyond the post title, and I did think it was pretty low class.

    This same concern trolling logic could also be directed at the official “…and I’m a Mormon” ad campaign. The whole point of that campaign has been to showcase a bunch of positive personal characteristics that have zero to do with being Mormon. But then slap a big ol’ MORMON in the title of the clip and call it advertising. Does that bother you, too? Or only when I do it?

    In other words, my intent was not to mock the LDS faith per se, but rather the “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign.

  37. Sorry, Wry, I know that you would never call me a troll. I just wanted to make sure that readers wouldn’t think that this might apply to me.

  38. I haven’t yet finished catching up with the comments but this is a great discussion because so many different view points are so competently represented by the debaters. It is impressive how forthrightly and directly people are able to present their points of view without talking past each other.

    I am conflicted about the banners. I have always agreed with Ms. Jack that some of the banners were disrespectful and would probably drive faithful Mormons off. But after Proposition 8, which denied the humanity of our children and neighbors and where well meaning people spend their life’s savings to discriminate against my friends, these people needed to be shamed.

    You can believe what you want and that deserves tolerance and respect. But when a religious group wants to legislate its beliefs in spite of all the evidence, then that religion needs to be knocked off its pedestal.

    That is doubly true if the imposition of religion hurts people. No liberty authorizes an infringement on other people’s liberty.

    Eventually, Mormons will be ashamed for our role in anti-gay discrimination just like most of us are ashamed of our racist past.

    The sooner we come to terms with that, the better for everyone involved.

  39. “But after Proposition 8, which denied the humanity of our children and neighbors and where well meaning people spend their life’s savings to discriminate against my friends, these people needed to be shamed.”

    What…the…fuck? Mocking Joseph Smith and my scripture are justified by Prop. 8 … WHICH I OPPOSED.

    Dude, BCC was on to something.

  40. Obviously, Chris, I am not speaking about you and anyone else who opposed Prop. 8. I am talking about the people who felt that it was their divine duty to support Prop. 8 because they had to follow the prophet.

    But you have a point, even though the share of believing Mormons who opposed Prop. 8 was small, it still consisted of thousands of people who deserve respect.

    So I am conceding that my position does not work or if it does work, it imposes a price on people who are doing harder work than me.

    I will have to think about that some more.

  41. Whatthefuck? Mocking Joseph Smith and my scripture are justified by Prop. 8 WHICH I OPPOSED.

    The church can’t be mocked for its Prop 8 actions because you disagreed with them? I have to WTF right back atcha. I mean, good on you for being one of the good guys, but so what? The church still did what it did.

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