Sunday in Outer Blogness: Atheists in SLC edition!
I know what you’re thinking: since it’s Easter, this edition should be something Easter-related, right? But let’s face it — Mormons care so much about Easter that sometimes they aren’t even aware that it’s happening. Fortunately, this year LDS Inc. is astroturfing a slick Easter video so that at least outsiders will get the impression that Mormons are as interested in Jesus as mainstream Christians are. (Astroturfing is fun!)
So let’s get straight to the real news: The American Atheists convention in Salt Lake City!! The atheists and Mormons seem to be getting along without incident — maybe we’re not so different.
In this week’s Godless Doctrine lesson, Daniel Midgley filled us in on all the weird stuff in Leviticus — which kind of explains why the official Mormon Gospel Doctrine curriculum skipped this book. In addition to clarifying the weird rules and the monetary value of different types of people, he also made this point:
Aren’t you glad we live in a time when religious authority has been largely defanged by secularism? I’m very critical of Islamic countries, where this kind of thing is still going on, but it’s worth remembering that Christians have pulled this stuff whenever they could get away with it.
which I highlight because it echoes points from the AA convention. This week’s Book of Mormon selections offer up some teachings that aren’t much more helpful.
What’s up with Ordain Women lately? Looks like they haven’t been cowed into submission. Sometimes a woman succeeds when the priesthood fails, and have better stuff, anyway, not to mention surprising powers. Em wrote one of the most moving and insightful pieces I’ve ever read on religion and privilege:
He asked me if I could compartmentalize these problems, if I could â€œput them on the shelfâ€ for another day. I tearfully told him that sometimes I could. I could do that with polygamy. Then I told him that I couldnâ€™t compartmentalize being a woman. I donâ€™t have that luxury. I wake up as a woman every day. Every interaction that I have with the church is by definition about women and the church. I canâ€™t willfully stop seeing and experiencing the world as a woman simply because it is painful or because it produces cognitive dissonance.
As I thought about our conversation later I remembered that entry I had written long ago and I hunted it down. I realized then that the shelf is a manifestation of privilege. I could ignore the pain and difficulty that gay people experience in their interactions with the church because, as I put it, â€œIâ€™m straigt!!!!â€ I could ignore how oppressive and abusive polygamy can be because I donâ€™t belong to a fundamentalist sect and as far as I know there arenâ€™t any polygamists in my area. It was all in the past, and very ignorable.
I canâ€™t ignore what it is like to be a woman in the church. I know that the gender inequality troubles our bishop, and he has expressed to me privately his own desire for greater inclusion. The difference between us, and indeed for all the male leadership of the church is that when these problems seem too distressing he can decide not to think about it anymore.
In other church discussion, the CoJCoL-dS is a wealthy corporation, and a master of reverse-psychology and bubble-modesty. Some practices include creative non-swearing, apologetics, and parental narcissism. Brandon Pearce outlined his beliefs, and Huffenhardt offered some philosophy as well.
In personal stories life and death go on. (More death than usual.) Emma found a never-mo boyfriend. Monica recounted her latest birth. Poly Mom has resurrected her blog, non-anonymously. Uomo Nuovo is married — congratulations!!!
In random stuff, well Bloggernacle Back Burner classified this in not funny, and Knotty remembers some of the same stuff I do.
Now get out there and enjoy spring!!!
Thanks as always for the links, Chanson!
@1 No problem! Your story quite compelling — I hope you don’t get kicked out of BYU!