Sunday in Outer Blogness: Spotlight on John and Kate edition!

Before we begin, I just want to remind everyone that there are only a few days left to vote for the Brodie Awards — and some of those races are really close, so get out there and vote!! (Also note: the Wheaties/Tarefic winners were announced, and sadly we didn’t win…)

Now for the big news — John Dehlin will be facing church discipline today!! This has presented a great opportunity for his foes to explain how horrible he is, for his fans to rally around him, for fence-sitters to offer general analysis, and for John himself to talk some more about his projects.

Some interesting twists: Peggy Fletcher Stack pointed out that JD earns his livelihood from podcasting. The irony being that he has been perfectly open about his foundation’s finances (unlike the church that’s accusing him of apostasy today). Also, Kate Kelly wrote a piece for the Guardian and almost stole JD’s spotlight by writing this choice quote:

Sadly, the Mormon faith has become a place that incentivizes the survival of the least fit. Since strict obedience is demanded and harshly enforced, only the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.

Kate, Kate, Kate! Didn’t anyone ever teach you that some things that are true aren’t useful? But seriously, while it’s clear that the CoJCoL-dS rewards certain personality types (while pushing out others), Ms. Kelly could probably have discussed it a tad more diplomatically. Naturally the faithful had a field day.

Then there were some more after shocks about how messed-up last week’s Holland-Oaks statements were.

In Outer Blogness, there was a bit of a sub-theme on family. Specifically, the problems with the trigamy of Mormon marriage:

In practice, women are praised yet subjegated as 2nd class citizens. Men are empowered leaders but always told they better get in line and follow. The constant power in the Trigamy is Jesus. He’s in charge at church, at home, and in the personal lives of both men and women–as an ever present partner spying and tallying up offenses on each.

And keep in mind that it’s not just Mormon Jesus. The Jesus of the New Testament taught that you should choose religion over family:

I don’t know what it takes to make a person choose a religion over their spouse or their own child, but whatever it takes, Christianity has done it. Every time I see it happen, I think: That is some powerful juju right there. And it’s all approved by Jesus himself. It went to work early on in Christianity. Separation from family is a feature, not a bug.

In other scripture study Alma is still talking to his sons. Then there was the surprise answer to the question “Is it wrong to burn people to death?”

In church stuff, Andrew H discussed the god of the gaps, and Joanne Hanks explained the strategy of labeling (and dismissing) “Anti-Mormons.”

In life journeys, So Says Me has returned to the CALM to help provide support for others, Kiley has been out for five years, postmormongirl is dealing with new revelations about her father, and Scott Halle is recovering from therapy.

In other random stuff, Single Dad Laughing is now offering apps, some exmos enjoyed the Superbowl, Nearing Kolob is rounding up LDS-interest Radio West episodes, Rational Faiths explained their goals, Rebel Grrrl explored gender representation in comics at the SLC FanX conference, and Froggey shared some collage art from an exmo friend.

Have a great week, and don’t forget to vote!


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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8 Responses

  1. visitor says:

    I assume you know by now that [removed by request of individual] has taken down his vitriolic entry about John Dehlin but I bet next week’s SiOB will have some interesting entries about his name change, sex offender conviction, doxing campaigns agains enemies real and imagined and general discredit as a human being.

    I hope someone, however, will be able to find out if it’s true that he’s a pain LDS PR agent. And whether he’s responsible for Wikipedia taking down the entry about the CES letter.

  2. visitor says:

    Do you know why Joanna Brooks has removed her page from Religion Dispatches?

    I just read a quote from an e-mail she wrote but there is no longer any presence I can find online. Is this voluntary or has she been silenced?

  3. Alan says:

    @3: I still see her RD posts here:

    Brooks, to my knowledge, has not received any disciplining. I guess her brand of advocacy keeps her off the patriarchs’ blacklist somehow.

  4. chanson says:

    @1 I saw some stuff about that on the Reddit. It’s unclear whether he’s really an LDS PR agent (but apparently really is a sex offender) — but then when he deleted all his vitriolic posts and went away, the Redditors decided to leave him alone.

    @2 I need to take the time to listen to it. I’ve read a lot of interesting commentary about it.

    @3 & @4 It looks like it’s still there to me, too. From what the newsroom says about Dehlin’s excommunication, I would guess that Brooks is in danger as well. I think it’s mostly just the fact that she’s been keeping a lower profile lately that’s saving her from discipline.

  5. visitor says:

    Yes, I wrote that in an earlier stage of that food fight. But, good god! I know the internet is capable of them but I have never seen blood in the water like that first hand before.

  6. chanson says:

    @6 True, it was pretty exciting to watch it unfold!

  7. Parker says:

    I’ve noticed that when someone has brought up the unevenness of disciplinary courts, as in behavior X may get you excommunicated in one stake but doesn’t even result in a court in another, the answer is that is a sure sign of the working of the Spirit, guiding the local leader on appropriate stance. It leads to lots of testimony bearing on the grandeur of priesthood authority coupled with the guidance of heaven. At the same time many of these same people already knew for certain that Kate and John should, without question, be excommunicated. No Spirit, no priesthood authority needed. Strange religion.

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