Sunday in Outer Blogness: Free Speech Edition!

You guys have surely seen the horrible story this week from France. Don’t forget that that a defence of Charlie Hebdo must also turn into defence of other blasphemers and apostates, like this blogger in Saudi Arabia who was publicly whipped. One way to “act locally” is to be seen being good. Runtu also has some good insights on the threat of comedy:

I think I know why humor is so threatening: when you can laugh at something, it means you aren’t afraid of it, and you don’t take it seriously. By extension, you don’t take its ideas, beliefs, and practices seriously. It’s like a bad horror movie; when it wants to be scary, it’s funny. People love watching “so bad it’s good” movies, but such films are always failed dramas or action or horror films, invariably films that take themselves too seriously. On the other hand, a comedy that isn’t funny is just bad, and it fades into obscurity.

In scripture study, the search for gay Bible stories continues, as does “Every Jot & Tittle” (though maybe they ran out of commandments…?). People complained that the polygamy essays published by the CojCoL-dS threw God under the bus to excuse Joseph Smith’s statutory rape, but don’t forget — God is guilty of the same thing.

In history, check out these LDS ordinances you may not have heard of! Plus a review of a piece from Sherlock Holmes that you should read if you haven’t yet. In life journeys, we have a tale of suicidal thoughts at BYU. In theology, what’s up with lying for the Lord? In church watch: how much do you know about the Strengthening Church Members Committee?

Related: Alan Rock Waterman posted an update on his possible disciplinary hearings.

The debate over “My Husband’s Not Gay” continues to rage!! Join the discussion here!! I especially liked M*’s take on it:

The modern theory of marriage is that two people who are in love should join as a union. Nothing else matters and is subjected to this quality.

First sentence: wrong. Second sentence? Also wrong. Probability of finding anything accurate/reasonable in this essay? Not high enough to bother reading past this point. But if you choose to read it, please post your favorite highlights in the comments!!

Speaking of Mormon “alternative lifestyles”, Homeschoolers Anonymous is running a memoir of an LDS homeschooler.

Folks, don’t forget it’s awards season!! We have already gotten tons of fantastic nominations for the Brodie Awards, and there’s still plenty of time to post yours!!! The voting for X-Mormon of the Year is underway! Also, for those bloggers with one foot still in the CoJCoL-dS, the Tarefic/Wheaties Nominations are currently underway. And Ziff has posted his yearly round-up of hilarious Bloggernacle comments!!

On that note, Kate Kelly has coincidentally showed up a lot online this past week, with a nice year-end round-up from fMh. I flatter myself to imagine she’s campaigning for our illustrious award, but… OK, back to reality-universe. 😉 (Also Denver Snuffer is up to something…)

But Kelly’s post on “allyship”, wow, really stirred up some controversy in the comments from certain “allies” who sure don’t want to believe that they’re not really helping!! lol. It was an amusingly self-referential exercise in which the comments section demonstrated in practice how to be an ally and how not to be an ally. The prize goes to Andrew S., who absolutely nailed it:

Whenever I’m in a discussion as an oppressed person (e.g., as black, as gay, etc.,), I know and feel that the nice, patient posture is too draining, too debilitating. Am I really, really debating [insert basic aspect of my humanity] — and forcing myself to smile while doing it? But when I’m in a discussion as a privileged ally (e.g., as male, as someone of socioeconomic comfort), I have a buffer because it’s not as personal. So my privilege gives me a choice — the same privilege can be used for dismiss (e.g,. when people say, “Whoa, why can’t you look at this rationally/be less emotional?” because to them, it’s just intellectual and not personal) can be used to sustain (because for me, I have a buffer, I can “translate” without just wanting to bang my head into the wall.)

I think another issue is space. Maybe I’m not seeing it the same as others, but I see places like fmh as supposed to be safe spaces. That’s why I have little sympathy for folks getting eviscerated there. It’s hard enough dealing with trolls and griefers and whatnot everywhere on the internet, everywhere in life, etc., so how DARE someone who calls himself an “ally” or an ally-on-the-cusp come into a safe space and say, “Well, if you just said things nicer…” or “if you just were more willing to teach me…” I already read comments like those from Ally or from Frank Pellett that express this sense that it sounds uncomfortable or even downright tyrannical. But here’s the point — these are spaces painstakingly carved out as safe. The crucial difference to me is that oppressed people have to carve out tiny spaces as safe. Privileged people get *the entire rest of the world*, so while we are guests in the safe spaces, the least we can do is be on our absolute best behavior.


The crucial thing is that the space is not for the ally, but for the marginalized. The allies support the marginalized.

Have a great week, and happy reading!!


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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