Sunday in Outer Blogness: Gold standard edition!

First of all, please take the time to congratulate the winners of the Brodie Awards 2015 — and collect your prize if you won! 😀

(Of course now that it’s too late, I’ve just learned about some other books that might have been nominated…)

Second of all, you have perhaps noticed that we’re having some tech issues here. Specifically, I had been running an ancient version of WordPress on an ancient version of debian (linux) — and it was starting to get a little crochety, with numerous security and stability problems. So I wiped the disc and wrote a lovely ansible script to reinstall the latest-and-greatest debian, wordpress, nginx, svn, trac, buildbot, minecraft, etc. — I even got some digital certificates so you can view this site (as well as Outer Blogness and Mormon Alumni Association Books) in beautiful https! There are still a couple of things left to do: the look-and-feel of this blog (obviously), plus the email sending is not working (it was already broken on the old site…). I’ll fix up these points in the coming weeks.

BTW, nobody has left a comment since the server upgrade, and I’m not quite sure whether it’s simply that nobody tried to comment or whether there’s some problem with commenting. If you try to comment and it doesn’t work, please email me: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com.

And now for this week’s news!

President Newsroom re-released a statement claiming that the CoJCoL-dS does not have a child abuse problem. A lot of people had a problem with this, because the church does, in fact, have a problem:

In each case, I know because they told me, they called that hotline. And in each case they were told how to protect the church from liability, not how to help me. You can see the truth of that in the press release. “The help line provides legal counsel to aid clergy in complying with the law and working with law enforcement.” Except that legal counsel seems to be, repeatedly, don’t call law enforcement.

My story is not unique. Hundreds and hundreds of women and men have told me their stories. A bishop molested them and the Stake President sided with the bishop. A registered sex offender was in their ward and the bishop was only worried about “repentance” that practically sent victims into their arms. Women raped by their husbands and then chastised for failing to submit. Girls raped by someone they were on a date with and then forced to repent for it while the boy was sent on a mission. Bishops asking inappropriate questions in worthiness interviews that made teenage girls feel violated without the language to explain why. A hierarchical system in which every man has more authority than any woman and grooms women to be susceptible to predators as they deny their own voices and experiences to line up with what they are told every Sunday.

Making stuff up doesn’t help the church’s credibility:

No, “preventing and responding to child abuse” is not “the subject of a regular lesson during Sunday meetings.” Where does this assertion even come from? I’ve never been in a church meeting that was devoted to issues like learning the signs of abuse, counseling victims, documenting cases, and reporting suspicions to the police. And I sure don’t see this in our Sunday curriculum.

No, we don’t have a policy that prohibits an adult male from ever being alone with a minor. The so-called “two-deep” policy the “Effectiveness” statement boasts of isn’t mentioned anywhere in the 2010 church handbook for bishops and stake presidents, and in fact that handbook states that “worthiness interviews should be private” (7.1.1).

Unsurprisingly, stories of abuse have flooded the Internet, too many.

And they hadn’t even finished their ass-covering about the suicides. Here’s a positive suggestion for how to do better: some real diversity.

Meanwhile, the CoJCoL-dS is standing in the way of the legalization of medical marijuana in Utah. But… at least here’s a point where we can give the CoJCoL-dS some kudos without hesitation for improving their message to girls.

In other LDS news, Nearing Kolob has some more dispatches from the mission field! Free BYU’s law school investigation is proceeding. Simon Southerton has the latest on DNA and the Book of Mormon! And it would appear that Daniel Peterson has gotten away with something.

In personal stories, the Debrief Society interviewed an LDS lesbian.

Some new LDS-related sites showed up this week including a new channel by Joesph Smith and Chubs Gato’s site offering resignation services! Also, a book review!

In fun, we have Valentine’s Day cards and more coloring pages!

In other random stuff, it looks like the inane clown posse can’t even walk onto a debate stage without screwing it up.

That’s it for this week! Happy reading, and I hope you all like the new server! 😀


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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4 Responses

  1. Parker says:

    The SlTrib article regarding the Church’s opposition to a medical marijuana bill is strange. I don’t know if the strangeness is attributable entirely to the Church position, or the nature of the reporting. On the one hand you have the article stating the official Church position of opposition due to “unintended consequences.” If you actually are aware of some event having unintended consequences then you tend to those potential effects so that they are neutralized. On the other hand if they are opposing the bill simply because there is the potential of yet unidentified consequences, then that is head in the sand behavior, because everything has the potential of some unintended consequence. I think maybe they meant “unanticipated consequences,” instead. A little clarity on how those unanticipated consequences might over shadow the medical benefits would have been helpful, according to the bill’s author.

    Then you have the responses by a bishop and stake president, who in effect said if you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal a member can use it and still hold a temple recommend. On the other hand if you reside in a state where it is not legal, no matter your health condition, using medical marijuana will result in you forfeiting your temple recommend and good standing in the Church. What we don’t know is if this is primarily the opinion of a particular bishop and stake president, or if it is also the official position of the Chruch. If it is the latter it is particularly bizarre, because it implies that Church leaders are having a difficult time determining their position on medical marijuana medically, legally, and morally. It makes little sense to say that we are opposed to medical marijuana, but we won’t say anything if your physician prescribes it and it is legal. ON the other hand we will have something to say about your standing in the Church if you use it in a state where it is illegal.

    I suppose it would make some sense if the Church was appealing to the AofF and compliance with the laws of the land, at least if you are a Pharisee. The problem with the position that we abide by the law of the land emerges with the Church position on illegal emigrants. One can be in this country illegally but still be in good standing in the Church, attend the temple, and even go on missions. So a person can escape the pain and turmoil of a country out of control through illegal means, and still be in good standing in the Church, but a person escaping the pain and turmoil of rampant disease through illegal substance forfeits his or her good standing in the Chruch.

    Oh well, I guess I will go drink a coke.

  2. chanson says:

    Excellent points.

    I think the church’s problem on this issue is very similar to its problem with marriage — they’ve hitched their definition of what is and isn’t a sin to the laws of the land. (Sex goes from sin to sacrament as soon as the state declares the couple married; pot is a sin as an illegal drug but not as a medicine prescribed by your doctor.) This makes the church feel the need to control what the law says.

    Though in this case it would appear that they’re not totally clear on what they want the law to be…

  3. Nazni says:

    I had the same idea. I am writing a novel (72.5% on the first draft)… I find that I don’t have the time to blog as much. Also, I have been deinalg with illness since the first week of September. I guess that is how things go.So good luck. Cyn

  4. chanson says:

    Note: I have just received a series of comments (such as the above) that seem maybe Mormonism-related, yet not quite relevant to the post they’re posted under. Are they spam? Thoughts?

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