Sunday in Outer Blogness: Technical Difficulties Edition!!!

Sunday in Outer Blogness

Folks, this one will be a little short because I’ve been having some problems with my browser freezing up — partially because of procrastinating the day of installing updates and partially due to something on that Salon page linked below.

This week’s funny is “Five Wives Vodka” — which is apparently offensive to Mormons who hang out in liquor stores.

June is Gay Pride Month — J. Seth provides some fascinating history. If you march as a Mormon, be sure to make it sure you’re marching for marriage equality — or better yet, march with a banner supporting gay rights in the Pioneer Day parade!

This missionary correspondence (h/t) reminds me a little of Donna Banta’s blog — do you think it’s real? Speaking of Donna, her book is finally available — you’ll be hearing more about it from me soon. 😀

Who wrote the testimony of the three witnesses? It looks suspiciously like the same person who wrote the BoM… (Not the musical — I wish I could go see it.) And check out these new Mormon scriptures!!

What are Mormon girls learning these days? At EFY, for example:

I took those two girls back to the dorms where they sat and sobbed for a good 30 minutes. They were humiliated, devastated and heartbroken. All the good from the week was basically wiped out in that 30 seconds.

I suspect the boys are getting something very different. It reminds me a bit of my own experience at Girls’ camp in Nauvoo. The previous year’s Nauvoo Boy’s camp was a life-changing experience for my brother, and is part of why he joined the CoC after years of non-religion, so I went in fully expecting it to amazing, but one of my biggest take-home memories of the experience was being publicly embarrassed by an arbitrary and unpredictable application of the modesty code. On a related note, the media seems not to pick up on a key element of the Mormon success formula.

In personal stories, when going to talk with customer service, do you usually pack heat? How did a non-member get to be a Mormon Democrat? Here are some cool traditions to grow up with!!

Also, I know that lots of people here have great stories (and corresponding advice) about telling your family you don’t believe. For example, check out this exit story in Salon! If you’re one of those people, please share your story here. Alternatively, see this story about rediscovering spirituality after leaving Mormonism.

Have a great week!!

8 thoughts on “Sunday in Outer Blogness: Technical Difficulties Edition!!!

  1. I went to EFY 5 years. I enjoyed it a lot. I went to classes, played in the arcade, enjoyed meeting some new people, and was in the talent show more than once. When I read these stories about EFY, I’m really happy that I’m in my 40s and not a teenager now.

    The problem is that the church-nazis are so desperate to not have the kids turn out like me that they drive them away with shame and ridicule. I would’ve been embarrassed to see the girls in story be “dress checked” in the middle of the dance, and the only ways teenage-me could’ve reacted would have been leaving the area so I didn’t have to see, or becoming a church-nazi myself and making the girls the evil-doers in my own mind. Either way, the actions would’ve just continued in another generation.

    The lds church is sick, and getting sicker all the time, and I can’t help but feel sorry for those people I know who should leave but won’t or can’t.

  2. When I was at Youth Conference and other youth events, people would occasionally get taken aside and talked-to privately about their clothing — and even that is typically embarrassing for a teenager. Making girls kneel to check their hem length in the middle of the dance is so obviously counter-productive that it’s hard to imagine what was going through that chaperone’s head.

    It’s not only traumatic to the girls themselves, but — as you point out — it affects the other kids who are there. Some of them are probably thinking “Wow, how awful for those girls!” (and getting an underlying message of Church is arbitrary and cruel). The ones who are OK with (or in favor of) what happened may well grow up to stick with the church and pass this sort of thing along to the next generation (making the pond stinkier and more toxic as it dries up).

    Another point to notice is how the Mormon cultural value of non-confrontation played a role. The woman who told the story was not in favor of what the chaperone did, and (I think) regretted not stepping in. What if she had intervened, and had told the chaperone to leave the girls alone? Some of the kids would have been reassured that church isn’t so crazy after all, but the would also have gotten the lesson that sometimes you have to speak up and question authority in order to keep things reasonable.

  3. There’s also the chance that, had the woman who told the story stepped in to remonstrate the chaperone, the chaperone would have argued or pushed back, thus making things worse.

    I was been “corrected” a couple times in my young adulthood for stupid things by people who wanted to insist on being right (one of them yelled at me during a priesthood meeting, believe it or not, about whether Abraham would have helped change diapers). I’ve never met a leader yet (seriously) who would step in to something like that. There is a very strong tendency towards not causing “contention” in the church, which allows the crazy nutcases to have a lot of power even when they don’t have authority.

    Publicly questioning authority is something that only nutcases do in the church. No one else can get away with it on a regular basis, and it’s mostly drummed out of us before we’re teens.

  4. There is a very strong tendency towards not causing contention in the church, which allows the crazy nutcases to have a lot of power even when they dont have authority.

    A lot of times discouraging open and forthright discussion can have these sorts of counterproductive effects.

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