Sunday in Outer Blogness: Trash vs. Treasure edition!
Everybody is talking about two angry outbursts that hit the news the other day! The first was from Tyler Glenn of the Neon Trees. His debut solo single was a passionate reaction to the CoJCoL-dS — which has ultimately rejected him as a gay man. (Here’s a recent Mormon Stories interview of him.)
The parallel outburst came from apostle Jeffrey Holland:
Don’t you dare bail. I’m so furious with people who leave this church. I don’t know whether furious is a good apostolic word. (Crowd laughter). But I am. And I say, what on earth kind of conviction is that? What kind of paddy-cake, taffy-pulled experience is that? As if none of this ever mattered, as if nothing in our contemporary life mattered? As if this is all supposed to be just exactly the way I want it and answered every one of my questions and pursue this and occupy that, decide this, and then maybe I’ll be a Latter-day Saint. Well, there is too much Irish in me for that.
So Elder Holland is furious that people have stopped believing that he and his colleagues have superhuman wisdom and insight…? I have just three words for Mr. Holland: Respect is earned.
And if you don’t know what I mean by that, please listen to this awesome “smack up” from the Infants on Thrones praising Elder Kearon’s fantastic talk about service and compassion in the face of the current refugee crisis. Their biggest criticism was that this sort of talk is the exception rather than the rule. They explained — quite accurately, IMHO — that if the leaders were regularly showing this type of true moral leadership, we’d see a lot fewer people jumping ship over Mormonism’s truth-claim issues.
There were a lot of great responses to Elder Holland’s talk, such as the following from J. Cluster:
Well, let me explain something to you, Elder Holland. People aren’t just losing faith. People aren’t just really pissed off. People are hurting! And you 15 men in your red chairs are not at all accessible behind your velvet ropes and cloak-and-dagger policies. You see, this is what is currently slitting the church’s throat. First, this church (if it can bee called such) is authoritarian in nature and structure. The culture is “trickle-down” revelation, not “trickle-up” revelation. It wasn’t always like that. There were some golden eras within church history when things were much more egalitarian. Now, Common Consent isn’t even a real vote. It’s an opportunity to sustain leaders. Nice spin! Second, since the foundation of the church is appeal to authority, what are members to do when authority has been proven wrong over, and over, and over, and over, and over again?
And this analysis from James Patterson:
People are leaving the church (a.k.a., rebelling) because its leaders have lost legitimacy in their eyes. People are leaving the church because they don’t feel respected. People are leaving the church because they don’t feel the system is fair. People are leaving the church because they don’t feel the leadership is trustworthy.
I also really liked Steve Otteson’s translations of all of Holland’s veiled references. Overall, I think this image basically sums it up:
On a related note, the whole BYU-rape scandal isn’t going away. It turns out that — while the belief that the victim must have been somehow asking for it has traditionally been a popular one — it’s kind of falling out of favor. So, having a rape report trigger an investigation on the victim hasn’t been cool since the ’50’s. Let’s hope that one day the CoJCoL-dS will one day escape the deadly grip of that benighted decade of yore. On the positive side, one Mormon university already gets it.
In other news, it looks like Salt Lake City maybe won’t be losing its independent (of the church) newspaper. And don’t forget Jeremy Runnells and how he flipped the script.
In scripture study, the Book of Mormon’s Jesus chapters have some serious plot holes. In history, grindæl wrote basically a whole book in one blog post about the alleged gang-rape of Eliza Snow — maybe someone could post a [tl;dr] in the comments…?
In poetic life narratives, Monica mused about her former marriage, Joseph Broom about his late husband, and Stephanie about her daughters. In other narratives, Jana Remy has begun recounting her year in IT and Runtu’s Incidental Prophet continues.
Well that’s it for another exciting week in Mormondom. Happy reading! 😀
That image is spot on. My first thought was it underscores the similarity between Holland’s rant and the zealots of 9/11. “Worship God as I see God or else.” 20 years ago he was my favorite. I met him at a stake conference and he might as well have had a halo. He was calmer in the 90s. Of course, that was a simpler time and time of growth for the church. Then the Interwebs disseminated church history far and wide.