Sunday in Outer Blogness: Royalty Edition!!

Sunday in Outer Blogness

Mormon royalty, that is. With Pioneer Day coming up, it’s time to remember whether you are a direct descendant of Brigham Young or not. ‘Cause, being royalty makes things a little different. And while I’m interested in exploring my own pioneer heritage, I get how alienating this ancestor worship is for people descended of more recent converts.

This week’s big philosophical question is What does it mean to believe in God?. Andrew H. discussed the various possibilities and how the invisible God one has to remind oneself of differs from the one that’s simply not there, while Daniel Midgley explained the reasons who an unexplainable event wouldn’t necessarily be grounds to believe in “God” (whatever that means), and that (for perhaps unrelated reasons) believers are rejecting the word “religion.” They say it’s black-and-white thinking to get hung up on what is truth. Meanwhile, Bushman — as cool as he seems — found some pretty new words to tell us we rejected Mormonism because we’re closed-minded and wanted to sin… It’s not as though it’s the easy path.

There were two new books announced this week!! Alex wrote The Weather Man and Daymon Smith wrote A cultural history of the book of mormon, vol.1. Dayna reviewed a beautiful new poetry collection “Salt”. (Speaking of poetry, check out this version of “Sam I am”.) Then there was a really interesting piece by Kent Larsen about the tension between “writing in a manner that is true to life, instead of what might be more successful commercially.” I read his article and, weirdly, he seems to be arguing that sticking with Mormon standards is the “successful commercially” route and that writing something a bit more raunchy is the “true to life” path. I say “weirdly” not because I disagree with this assessment, but simply because I would normally expect faithful Mormons to argue the opposite. (Someone else go read it and tell me if I misinterpreted…) Plus some thoughts on misquoting misquoting.

In bad news, boundaries are still a controversial issue for Mormons, as is evolution, not to mention “For the Strength of Youth” getting elevated to holy writ, plus the direction the new missionary program could have gone, but didn’t.

On the bright side, the 2013 Sunstone Symposium is coming up!! (Especially take a gander at page 28!!!) To get you in the mood, please enjoy some good-natured ribbing from friends about the highlights of the symposium:

Panel, “Why We Left–Psych!”

A compelling panel of ex/post Mormons discuss why and how they left Mormonism in order to devote their entire lives to Mormonism. Includes a special musical number featuring panelists beatboxing “God Be With You til We Meet Again.”

Touché, but seriously, after twenty years of being an atheist — including ten years of writing about Mormonism on the Internet — I’ll say in my defense that I never claimed to have “left” Mormonism, nor renounced my Mormon identity. I simply don’t believe that the corporation of the president of the CoJCoL-dS represents a net good in the world, nor that its truth claims are true. YMMV…

Have a great week!!

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