Sunday in Outer Blogness: Disaster edition!

Wow have things taken a turn for the worse lately. So I guess the latest of it in the US is more cops killing unarmed black people and in Europe predictions of an economic collapse thanks to Brexit. And that’s just the stuff I see in the news — I would guess that many other nations and regions are reeling from similar or worse disasters. (At least there have been some positive steps.)

In response I have retreated to the comfort of visiting Narnia. No, really, (I know I mentioned this last week, but) this Ana Mardoll deconstruction of the Chronicles of Narnia is my new favorite thing. She also did Twilight, so now I think I have a pretty much unlimited supply of escapist pleasure-reading. Yeah, I know I could respond to disaster by getting out there and trying to do something useful. Well, I guess I’ll hold that thought until I’m done with this SiOB, and then maybe I’ll come up with something. We have two weeks’ of material to cover — come along!

The reality of the recent massacre in Orlando is making it harder for the CoJCoL-dS to justify its attitudes about homosexuality. Can Mormonism change for the better? There are too many suicides. Young people shouldn’t be trained to hate themselves:

It also reminded me of how much of my self-worth was attached to my ability to get married. I just wanted so much to be good and I just wanted to get married like I was supposed to. I wrote, “On Sunday I was really excited because a girl taught Sunday School that I usually don’t find pretty, but she looked super pretty that day. It gave me a lot of hope. I felt like things were improving. Then that night I went to my friend’s house and her roommate’s boyfriend was there. He’s really handsome and I was sickened with myself for thinking so. He was almost too good looking.” I remember that guy and he really was attractive. Finding a woman attractive = feeling good. Finding a man attractive = feeling sick. This was my reality and it was destroying me.

Then there’s BYU’s rape problem, which can be minimized a bit with a judicious use of the passive voice:

The quote I am interested in is, “Brigham Young University made national headlines this month when it was revealed [by someone] that female students who reported being raped {by assaulters} could be suspended or expelled [by another vague someone] for violating the school’s onerous honor code”.


The third instance of passive voice in this sentence makes it seem like expulsion just naturally happens, like gravity, while we all know boards and committees and people expel other people. Passive voice can let us tiptoe around identifying the party which harms another human being or the party that refuses to halt harm coming to others. In addition, the first instance of passive voice gives up an opportunity to champion those who finally did something about blatant contradictions in what BYU says it does and what BYU actually does. It glosses over the students who set their education on the line, the people who listened and who made crucial phone calls, and the professionals who have built (and used) influential networks with New York Times editors. (See what I did there? I used active voice).

If you went to BYU, you can get your honor code file! Jonathan Green argued in favor of BYU’s policy of kicking out people who leave the church (which I could almost get on board with if they’s facilitate transfers by not freezing people’s transcripts).

This week’s news story is that religious proselytizing is no longer allowed in Russia.

Then there’s getting in touch with your connections with polygamy.

L.T. Downing shared some choice tidbits from the CHI plus questions:

  • If Handbook 1 is doctrine (as some have zealously argued since November 5, 2015), why isn’t it publicly accessible?
  • If Handbook 1 is not doctrine, but is policy based on doctrine, why are members judged according to hidden policy, rather than clear doctrine?
  • How are members (especially women) to know the policies and rules by which we are expected to live and by which we will be judged, if the policies are only available to us secondhand or through hearsay?
  • How are members to determine if a bishop or Stake President steps out of line, or behaves out of compliance with policy, if members can’t have access to the policy?

In Mormon history, we have some historic LDS poems, and it looks like the “17 points of the true church” story (remember it?) probably didn’t happen.

In Mormon culture, Ziff provided some data on the phenomenon of strange Mormon names.

In women’s sexuality, we have the inherent contradiction in “modest is hottest“, shaming girls for vanity, body shaming, and a culture that erase female desire. In men’s sexuality, porn addiction is not a thing.

And, for when we’re not discussing Mormonism, there’s disc golf, stretching with new goals, baking cherry pie, and puberty!

So, sorry I missed last week’s episode — I hope you’ll find this one interesting!


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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2 Responses

  1. Xfxmxh says:

    I dont see any mormons killing gays in mass shootings, so it seems unreasonable to lay that at their dooe.

  2. chanson says:

    @Xfxmxh — My apologies for writing the sentence in a way that was unclear.

    I meant that the CoJCoL-dS bears great responsibility for filling young gay people with self-loathing and despair to the point where a shocking percentage commit suicide. Also, there is an epidemic of mass shootings in the US, many of which are hate-related. However, these two things are not directly related — I just grouped them for conciseness (to post lots of links in a small space). You are correct that the CoJCoL-dS is not responsible for any mass shootings of gay people.

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