Sunday in Outer Blogness: Where you’ll go edition!
Has Trump finally crossed the line? Nothing Trump said in the leaked recording is particularly surprising coming from him, but maybe hearing it in his own voice will end some of the denial…? And it looks like the Mormons are first in line to dump Trump!
As I’ve said before, it would be awesome if Utah put itself on the political map this November by refusing to give its electoral votes to the Republican nominee, but it’s far from a sure thing. We can’t get complacent. We have a race between an extremely qualified/competent candidate and a candidate who is probably the most grotesquely unqualified presidential candidate nominated by a major party in the history of the US (and that’s saying something), so let’s band together and avert disaster. (If you’re a US citizen and not registered, your time is running out.)
At least we have General Conference to cheer us up. Elder Ballard gave all of us exmos the most charming gift when he asked “If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go?”
Where will we go? We’ll go wherever the hell we want to go. We’ll go to the real world where science can teach us about the elements and the origin of the earth and species, where rationalism can help us form values and opinions without relying on a magical worldview, and where technological and medicinal advances are causing more lame to walk, more deaf to hear and more blind to see than religion ever has.
We’ll go where truth is the authority, rather than the inverse. We’ll go where we can let our intellect sprawl without limitation. We’ll go where questions and progressive views are valued rather than suppressed. We’ll go where doubt is recognized as the beginning of wisdom, and not a spiritual “infirmity.”
We’ll go outward, becoming a more integrated part of a local, national, or global community.
So, to whom shall we go when we leave the church? Does it matter? We go where our heart, our brain, our conscience takes us, and we find a happy and authentic life. Elder Ballard seems to be suggesting, as my mother would about people breaking the Sabbath, that people who leave only “look happy” but aren’t really happy.
But we are. I am, anyway.
The other inspiring General Conference image was that of the women with the purple umbrellas standing up for themselves and asking to be heard. Also, if you parse President Monson’s talk very, very carefully, it appears that wine and beer are now OK for Mormons.
The leaked videos contain some interesting revelations, such as the fact that the primary goal of the church history department isn’t history, a fixation on homosexuality, and the CoJCoL-dS influencing US policy through a relationship with a US senator, yielding the lovely new term “church-broke”:
This term is used by church leaders, often with a chuckle (as in the video), as a way to describe people the church desires most, those who are willing to do whatever they are told, no questions asked.
There was also an interesting discussion of why the CoJCoL-dS is not retaining young single adults (hint: the organization can’t see them as anything other than children). Here’s a great strategy: just pretend like the problem is due to North-Vietnam-style propaganda!
Thunderchicken told a heartfelt exit story about trying to make it work in the church.
So it’s been an exciting weekend-after-conference-weekend, as usual. Happy reading!