Sunday in Outer Blogness: The “Cultural Mormon” Conundrum Edition!

I just love it when a discussion topic goes viral, and spreads from one blog to another! (The Internet’s great, isn’t it?) For example, J. Max Wilson called the New Order Mormons “Pharisees”, and that set off an interesting discussion about “Cultural Mormonism”. Daniel followed-up with an excellent response and analysis, and Therese came up with a home-cooked recipe for getting faith and intellectual integrity to cohere. Naturally, Andrew S. got into the act and rounded up and summarized all of the main discussions about this topic over the past year or so. Then we got a point-counterpoint: Kiley finds herself wanting to be a cultural Mormon whereas J G-W argues we should reject “Cultural Mormonism” (as a concept).

Kiley aside, nobody seems to like Mormon culture for some reason. Even though it inspires funny songs and musicals and fascinating plays, it leaves a bit of a funny lingering after-taste.

OTOH, maybe the problem isn’t the culture. Dane Laverty made a valiant attempt to explain some scriptures by translating them into a programming language (looks like some variant of C++ or Java), and succeeded in demonstrating that the scriptures could use a little refactoring. But it was a living leader that lit the discussion that spread across the Internet like wildfire this past week: How do civil liberties and religious freedom fit together? Are they compatible at all? Questions that are made all the more interesting by the CoJCoL-dS’s unfortunate baggage and sense of humor. (Hint: it’s about gay marriage, as usual.)

Then, making perhaps a bigger Internet splash than Oaks himself, Joanna Brooks posted her thoughtful response. (Kuri’s short version: “…it will be easier for LDS conservatives to protect their religious freedom as a minority if they acknowledge that Mormons live as a minority not in a depravedly morally relativistic society …but in a democracy defined by legitimate moral and religious pluralism.”) I could swear I’ve been saying something like that for years, but maybe they’ll actually listen to Joanna.

In other news about the news, since joining up with AOL HuffPo has been embarrassing itself worse than usual. Not at Faux News levels, but still. Maybe this new left site will be interesting…

Congrats again to this past year’s William Law X-Mormon of the Year, and have a great week!


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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5 Responses

  1. Goldarn says:

    I still remember my amazement and shock, as a not-yet-out-of-the-church mormon who attended the Prop 8 satellite broadcast. Dallin Oaks wants to talk about moral relativism? What about changing “thou shalt not bear false witness” by adding “unless it’s against your political opponents?”

    If the General Authorities of the LDS church weren’t engaging in moral relativism over and over again in that broadcast, then what were they doing?

  2. Chino Blanco says:

    They were spying on their own members. Have you seen this? It’s un-f*cking-believable:

    I did not discuss the video with my local leaders before making it public, but they were directed to it by church headquarters. At the end of some very heart felt discussions, my speaking out with this video threatened my temple recommend and my calling, and I ultimately chose to take it down to protect my standing in the church.

    Watch the video. It’s like a g*ddam relief society lesson, and for this, she gets threatened? This is not a church, it’s some kind of wacko Ministry of Security.

    And Oaks has the gall to travel around preachin’ words of freedom?

    Allow your own people their due freedom first, and then maybe you can use that word. Until then, you don’t have the slightest clue what it means.

    I don’t know how Mormons put up with this garbage. It baffles me. And why is it always the nice people who get threatened? When is it my turn?

  3. chanson says:

    That’s a great video! Very positive towards gay people, marriage, and the church. That’s terrible that she was bullied into taking it down.

  4. SLK in SF says:

    nobody seems to like Mormon culture for some reason.

    Well, I do. But then I’ve also been a fan of John Waters since the late ’70s. 🙂

  1. February 14, 2011

    […] UPDATE: Chanson has included the post in the “Cultural Mormon Conundrum” edition of Sunday in Outer Blogness. […]

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