Sunday in Outer Blogness: Mormon activists edition!
What do those Mormon progressives want? Actually, it’s not all that surprising.
Kate Kelly has stopped encouraging women to keep banging their heads against the church door (surprise: it actually feels a lot better when you stop). Sorry to discourage all the women who care about dragging the CoJCoL-dS into at least the late 20th century if not the 21st, but if you want a hint about what kind of success you’ll have, just follow the money.
Like Lowry Nelson a decade before, Stewart Udall decided to write an open letter to promote change on a policy that he believed was wrong and hurt both the church and its members. As the highest ranking national Mormon political figure, his appeal would attract a great deal of media attention, much of which would be embarrassing for the church. In this post, we will examine the contents of that letter and the supportive feedback he received.
On a sad note, the leadership of Reddit decided that the best way to respond to the barrage of racist, misogynistic harassment of (now former) CEO Ellen Pao was to cave entirely and give the most grotesquely bigoted subreddits free super-premium ad-free service!! (With entirely predictable results.) This is sad because the Exmormon subreddit is such a fantastic community that doesn’t deserve to be tainted by that other shit. I really wish the mods of that sub would spin off an independent forum so that people can participate without their clicks and links subsidizing /r/coontown and the like…
In tales of religious interactions, some Evangelical Christian groups succeeded in alienating fellow Christians by distributing a 12-page warning about Mormonism in the newspaper in a city where a Mormon temple is being dedicated. In the other direction, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that President Newsroom’s ideas about “religious freedom” are about as consistently applied as Mormonism’s modesty rules.
Then we have the LDS-interest short-takes: The CoJCoL-dS abridges quotes without even using ellipses! The Mormon marriage threesome. Where was the Garden of Eden supposed to have been? Mormons and monogamy. Same-sex couples in Utah can become foster parents. More hide-and-seek for the controversial “Gospel topics” essays on the official CoJCoL-dS website. A very good question about the LDS position on same-sex marriage. And a perennial favorite question: Is the LDS Church in Apostasy?
In scripture study, we have more brilliant military strategy in the Book of Mormon, a nevermo’s first visit to Kolob, how God values human life (according to the Bible), how conflicting narratives make the New Testament more credible (not), and an entertaining response to LDS apologetics:
Put another way. We know that the peoples, languages and ethnicities described in the Pentateuch (you left out Deuteronomy) were in the regions described, as an absolutely certain, incontrovertible, multiply documented fact. Did they rewrite their history some, and reinvent their origins? Sure.
And thatâ€™s just like the Book of Mormon isnâ€™t it? Where we are so sure that the peoples, languages and ethnicities described were in exactly the regions of the New World portrayed, as an absolutely certain, incontrovertible, multiply documented fact! And thatâ€™s why people like you and Bill Hamblin have failed totally to produce a single smidgeon of evidence in support of their mere existence. And Bill Hamblin and his friends have been searching for decades.
In other words, the situation with the Bible and the Book of Mormon is exactly identical, except that in the Mormon case, we have no trace of evidence that any of the peoples ever existed. Hmm, some difference, donâ€™t you think?
In books, the liberal-leaning faithful have a new spin on polygamy:
The use of a puzzle metaphor for Mormon plural marriage provides a clue as to what the reader will find in the ensuing pages. Their book is less a historically sound assessment of â€œJoseph Smithâ€™s polygamy,â€ than an attempt to bolster a rationale that â€œsolvesâ€ the inconsistencies of early Mormon plural marriage in light of the official position of the modern LDS church. Their high-flying acrobatics will be well received by those whose cultural mindsets engender a distaste for the principle. They will provide relief to those who wish to maintain their association with the church led by Thomas S. Monson while remaining unwilling to practice what was introduced by their founder Joseph Smith and taught by early authorities to be essential to exaltation.
And remember former-and-current Mo’s aren’t always writing about Mormonism! Here are images of Elna Baker’s dramatic weight loss and Galen Dara’s artistry, Knotty adjusting to a new lifestyle, Ren thwarting creeps, Karl Jarvis with your energy footprint, and Heather’s graduate research on homeless youth.