Sunday in Outer Blogness: Now what? edition!

By now you probably know that around 500 women stood in the standby line to get tickets to the Priesthood session of conference and were turned away. One of the talks in the session contained a hidden message for the women who would like to be ordained, and got mixed reviews. I think Lynette is on to something:

I was not surprised to find the belief that Elder Oaks had adequately addressed the issue. In reading the reactions of OW supporters, by contrast, I found an overwhelming sense that the Oaks talk did not in fact satisfactorily address their concerns. Whether or not the talk can be seen as a success, then, depends on whom you believe to be its intended audience.

Then (after barring reporters from covering the event) the church PR department put out a shockingly dishonest and polarizing description of the event, which hurt profoundly:

I left the action renewed and even hopeful. The calm, peaceful expression of our desire for greater gender equality in the church seemed to have been met graciously and hospitably, with a tone and an approach that was mature and loving. Though it was clear that this didn’t represent any sort of willingness on the part of church leaders to change or even consider a change to existing priesthood policies, there was a sense of camaraderie and friendship in the exchange. I felt as though the message Sister Farah conveyed was, “No, we don’t agree with you, but you are still our brothers and sisters in Christ.”


Then last night, over pasta with some friends, we saw the church’s official response pop up in our Facebook feeds.

It was a knife in the back.

Cue the polarization. (One of those may be satire.)

Interestingly enough, a bunch of atheist Mormons actually did stage some sort of protest at General Conference, but it’s not clear whether the CoCJoL-dS noticed.

And, even if women were ordained, would that be a cure for the sexism? Would the prophetesses continue to be edited out? (Counterpoint: Mithryn found the new YW manual not so bad.)

Speaking of women’s roles in the CoJCoL-dS, this metaphor absolutely nails it! (I will definitely be adding a “Best Metaphor/Analogy” category in the 2014 Brodies…)

Andrew S was surprised that his suggestions for how the church could change to accommodate women was “dismissed simply as exmormons exmorm-ing.” LOL, welcome to the club! It doesn’t matter if you write whole posts about what you like about being Mormon — if you don’t believe and you’re still talking about it, you’re an “anti”!

It reminds me of this off-hand remark by the Profet:

Of the women I personally know that do think it is a good thing, most of them have left the church.

It’s funny because it’s the sort of thing both sides can point to and say, “See?!”

Oh, and don’t let the sideshow distract you from the new ideas presented at General Conference.

Of course, conference wasn’t the only item on this past week’s Mormon discussion menu:

The CoJCoL-dS is developing creative new ways make you someone’s project! If this happens to you, remember it could be worse. This week’s Godless Doctrine lesson covers some inspiring Biblical morality. And how are all of those new missionaries doing?

This was a fun week for interfaith interaction! Bruce Nielsen wrote a a really long (yet interesting) post about how debating the beliefs and actions of specific individuals (eg. John Dehlin, Andrew S, and Kate Kelly) is equivalent to debating the claims and actions of the CoJCoL-dS because the members of the CoJCoL-dS take such debates personally. IMHO, the fact that individual members interpret criticism of the church as a personal attack on themselves is a huge problem which causes unnecessary hurt in mixed-belief families.

Bruce’s post also contained a challenge to John Dehlin to do a no-holds-barred interview. To be honest, I think such a podcast would be kind of awesome, but I doubt JD will do it.

In a similar comic mis-communication across belief lines, Aaron Shafovaloff has again decided to post his Creed of “Practical Mormonism Atheism” — and then proceeded to debate against it, despite the fact that exactly no one has affirmed this as their creed. As a return favor to Aaron, I’d like to outline for you all the creed of the Christians who debate Mormons:

  1. Make up a bunch of random stuff and claim that it’s what Mormon atheists believe.
  2. Do not consult any real-live atheists when compiling your list of their beliefs.
  3. If any actual Mormon atheists come by threatening to give you reality-based information about them, be sure to delete their comments.

If you’re in Salt Lake City this week, be sure to check out the American Atheists convention, featuring (among others) Joanne Hanks. Also, April 19 is Record Store Day!

Now for the question I know you’ve all been asking: Who will replace Stephen Colbert since he’s moving on from the Nation?? The BunYon has the scoop! (They also discovered which mission is the best.)

And, life goes on after Mormonism. Uomo Nuovo has been enjoying a wedding trip in Hawaii! Marriage matters to Seth as well. Lynette took a train trip from Emeryville, CA to Indianapolis, IN — very cool!! — by train is my favorite way to travel. And Knotty is concerned about new laws being put in place to protect fetuses from their mothers’ bad decisions.

And let’s not forget recipes! I posted one (ans a half) myself, but this High Chair Travelers recipe looks even better!

Now I’m off to go on a Sunday hike with my kids. Have a great Sunday and 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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18 Responses

  1. chanson says:

    I just got back from a great outing!

    My kids and I took the train to a nearby lake (the Greifensee) and took a boat-ride all around the lake. We got off at a stop by a hiking path along a river, and walked the 8 kilometers back to Zürich, stopping off for a round on mini-golf on the way.

    I hope you’re all having a nice Sunday as well!

  2. Holly says:

    This is a great roundup of the coverage of Ordain Women’s April action. Thanks.

  3. Just Jill says:

    Chanson, you, and your family, most certainly get more out of the Sabbath than a family that runs off to church and then spends the day in some sort of church approved activity. Good for you.

  4. Parker says:

    Doing such things on the Sabbath clearly disqualifies you from having anything of value to say about Mormondom, if I am reading B. Nielsen correctly.

  5. chanson says:

    @5 B. Nielsen? I think I missed that talk. I didn’t actually listen to any of General Conference — I spent last Sunday hiking with my family as well. 😉

  6. Parker says:

    Actually I was referring to his one-sided *two sides* piece at MS referenced in this OP.

  7. chanson says:

    @7 Oh Bruce Nielson! LOL, the use of initials threw me off, and I thought you meant Elder B. Nielson, the General Authority. There’s one of those, isn’t there? 😉

  8. chanson says:

    Despite what I said in the OP, I actually kind of sympathize with Bruce here. It would be great if believers wouldn’t merge their identities with the CoJCoL-dS, but it’s understandable that discussing the CoJCoL-dS would be a sensitive subject.

    As I’ve said lots of times, I find Mormonism to be an interesting topic — and one that connects me with lots of interesting people — but it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life. Asking “What will the CoJCoL-dS and it’s members do next?” is a fun escapist topic for me in part because it doesn’t matter.

  9. Parker says:

    My reading of what he was saying that his opinion of what others have to say about the church is tied to whether they express the same *testimony* as his. Based upon his perception of Kate Kelly’s lack of a true testimony of the priesthood, he completely dismisses her as a troublemaker and fraud. Andrew S. (as did Hawkgirl) pointed out that sometimes you simply need to look at the issue on its own merits, and not judge it by a person’s Mormon status, but he was having none o that.

    Maybe I misread him, but he came across as characterizing the fundamentalist position that what you believe is what matters–you are saved by what you believe.

  10. Holly says:

    Asking “What will the CoJCoL-dS and it’s members do next?” is a fun escapist topic for me in part because it doesn’t matter.

    Yeah. That’s how it was for me too.

    Then I moved to Utah….

    but he came across as characterizing the fundamentalist position that what you believe is what matters–you are saved by what you believe.

    That’s interesting….

    Maybe his approach is more, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not what Bruce Nelson considers a testimony, I am nothing.”

    In other words, loyal dissent without a testimony is the work of the devil; but since a testimony makes dissent, loyal or otherwise, impossible, dissent is still the work of the devil.

  11. chanson says:

    @10 & @11 Yes, I think that’s where he’s coming from.

    He really can’t stand it when someone he thinks doesn’t have a testimony speaks as a member of the CoJCoL-dS. I think he’s written about this a number of times, calling various individuals “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

    He seems to get less worked up about people like us — presumably because we’re wolves in wolves’ clothing. In his OP and in the comments, you’ll see the phrase “just another DAMU blog” a number of times. I gather that he thinks blogs like Main Street Plaza are easy to dismiss and ignore, and he thinks people like John Dehlin and Kate Kelly should be carrying similar “I’m not speaking from a faithful perspective” warning labels as well.

  12. Holly says:

    How much better life would be for people like him if the church had copyrighted or trademarked the term Mormon. Then they could not merely excommunicate but successfully sue anyone who wasn’t sufficiently orthodox.

  13. Parker says:

    I think that catches it Holly–if you have a *testimony* you can’t dissent, and to do that proves you don’t believe the right things. In addition he feels he has every right to conduct a worthiness/temple recommend interview to just prove the dissenter isn’t a qualified testimony bearing Mormon. And if they won’t play his game, and answer his questions that is further evidence of their fraudulent attempts to undermine the church.

  14. Holly says:

    @14: Right. There can be no valid reason for failing to follow the script. The script cannot be faulty, so there can be no fault in insisting that people follow it. You have the right to demand that people respond to you, and that their responses please you. If not, you get to tell them to shut up and/or go away.

    I’ve been talking to people about the instructions missionaries get to refrain from writing anything that isn’t faith-promoting in their letters home or even in their journals. The rationale for the uplifting letters home is partly that missionaries shouldn’t worry their parents that they and the work aren’t doing well–even when there is cause to worry, as when the missionary has an illness or injury that won’t heal. The rationale for the uplifting journals is that they might someday regret telling the truth about their experience–and not be able to edit or correct when that time comes.

    It’s a pretty good way to make people fundamentally incapable of accurately discussing their own feelings and afraid of censure if they tell the truth about what happens to them.

    No wonder people come home from their missions so screwed up.

  15. chanson says:

    In addition he feels he has every right to conduct a worthiness/temple recommend interview to just prove the dissenter isn’t a qualified testimony bearing Mormon.

    Are you talking about his post where he tries to get Kate Kelly to answer his questions about her beliefs?

    He actually has a whole topic category about Liberal Transparency.

  16. Holly says:

    wow. The dude takes his role as self-appointed gate-keeper for the entire church very seriously.

  17. chanson says:

    @17 No doubt!

    I could swear he also did some posts about Todd Compton’s non-transparency, but I can’t find them.

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