Sunday in Outer Blogness: Community and Connection Edition!

Who says leaving the church means losing your community? The Mormon Stories Conference has been getting fantastic reviews (it’s better than church!):

The cool thing is that it’s a mixed group of believing mormons, questioning mormons, and exmormons, but the focus is on accepting everyone where they are at, not judging each other for beliefs, ending the exclusion and hostility and rejection, appreciating everyone who has the courage to say what is true even when it gets you rejected or cast out, etc.

On a less positive note, we have ex-Mormons who give ex-Mormons a bad name including folks who don’t get that one person’s experiences don’t have to negate another’s (see empathy). Tangentially related: there was a bit of discussion about orientation and choice. Personally, I think my life would have been simpler if I could choose whom to fall in love with and whom not to fall in love with and make it happen by simple force of will. Simpler, definitely, and a whole lot less interesting. But that’s just me — your mileage may vary.

For those who couldn’t make it to that conference (cause you’re stuck in Europe or something), we can all get together across the Internet. For example, participate in the Brodies — my goal is to have the polls ready by Wednesday, so hurry with those last few nominations! Maybe someday we can all get together IRL at the atheist temple.

Outer Blogness was full of fascinating discussions this week!! Let’s challenge some gender-role expectations: Should a man feel guilty about being a stay-at-home-dad? (Part of me says “of course not!” yet OTOH, if we want men to get the full experience, we shouldn’t deny them magic of feeling guilty. 😉 ) SashimiX wrote some good advice (with a little help from Mrrgan) for virgin straight males entering the world of sex. (BTW: everything culture teaches us about the hymen is wrong.)

This (seemingly unrelated) batch actually fits together as an interesting discussion: Oxymormon girl discusses how the church fails to cultivate an environment for independent thought, and Amy has a relevant object lesson. Tarbet contemplates freedom, and Steve Wells discusses nit-picky (bathroom) rules that help keep you from thinking about anything else.

In life journeys: Simon Southerton has an amazing tale of what happened when he did some DNA research. Foxy Pink Cheetah is developing some pregnancy quirks. J-Dog is reflecting on what he’s learned since losing the faith, and Eric is reflecting on how he’s changed as well. Kuri just boxed up a part of his life, and Doing it Wrong and Becky are seeing their children off onto new life paths.

In books: So Says Me loved “Dancing with Crazy”, and ProgExMo gives Grant Palmer’s book 5 stars! OTOH, President Paternoster warns us away from “Raptor Jesus”. Similarly, Ardis Parshall rates this post “unworthy of FPR” — which means there’s got to be something interesting in there! (Is it really in the same league with other FPR posts like If the Book of Mormon is dull, the New Testament is duller? — undoubtedly true, but perhaps too obvious for a blog post…?)

And now for our weekly visit to the circus. Good thing the politicians are focusing on important issues. BCC provides an interesting discussion of what’s up.

Happy reading, 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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9 Responses

  1. Brandon says:

    Great round-up! Wish I could have gone to Mormon Stories. Stuck here in Malaysia. 🙂

    On a similar topic, I just posted a list summarizing all the responses I got from my recent announcement that I left the church. It’s fascinating to see how we’re all in such different places in our journeys.

  2. chanson says:

    Thanks for the link! (I was sure I’d subscribed to your new blog, but I guess not…) It’s fascinating the range of responses!

  3. Taryn Fox says:

    Because all of us are either atheist, or would feel comfortable in a space devoted to pseudoskepticism and the invalidation of everyone, everywhere, who reports having a spiritual experience and doesn’t accept an atheist’s answer for why it happened and what it means.

    Either that, or the ones who wouldn’t aren’t real exmormons and don’t matter.

  4. chanson says:

    Taryn @3 — OK, you lost me. I’m happy to have a discussion of your objections, but can you at least tell me which part of the above you’re responding to?

  5. dpc says:

    Call me a cynic, but I’m starting to get the feeling that his DNA and the Book of Mormon experience in 1998 has become the defining moment of Simon Southerton’s life. It’s all he’s talked about for the past 14 freaking years. We got it, dude, move on!

  6. Hellmut says:

    I want to hear more from Simon Southerton about the Book of Mormon research.

  7. dpc says:


    That’s fine, but it would be nice to hear something *new* and not rehash of an event that happened 14 years ago.

  8. chanson says:

    Since he’s starting a new blog, there’s a certain logic in starting with these memorable events. I expect he’ll get around to more recent events as the story unfolds.

    I’m with Hellmut — I haven’t heard Southerton’s stories before, and I’m glad he’s posting them.

  9. chanson says:

    Taryn @3 — OK, now that I have a little more time to look it over, I think I see what you’re referencing.

    (When I first read your comment, I was in the middle of hosting an exmo event at my home, so I didn’t have time to figure it out. And note that — since this seems relevant to your remark — of the new people who attended our post-mo skating-and-fondue party, I don’t even know which or how many of them are atheists, because the subject didn’t come up.)

    Anyway, my guess is that you object to my suggestion that we could all get together IRL at the public library (see the photo). You have to follow the link to see why I called it “the atheist temple”. I was quoting a post by Daniel where he was talking about how absurd it is that some atheist guy is planning to build an actual temple of atheism. Daniel made some excellent points about why we don’t need one.

    On some level, I want to tell you that you’re searching for “invalidation” that just isn’t there. Yet, then I would ironically! be invalidating your feeling of feeling invalidated. D’oh!

    What I will say is that your perspective is more than welcome here — and the fact that many of us are atheists doesn’t invalidate you. Perhaps I can quote myself from the above post:

    we have ex-Mormons who give ex-Mormons a bad name including folks who dont get that one persons experiences dont have to negate anothers

    I would rather see this community represent (and provide a platform for) a variety of viewpoints. If we all start agreeing all the time, that’s when I start to get worried (and perhaps even bored). 😉

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