Andrew Ainsworth on his Facebook page had a link to something called “An open letter to President Thomas S. Monson: Prophet of the Mormon Church.” Andrew adds, “Hoping this will lead to positive results.”
If what Andrew is hoping for is further dialogue on the subjects the letter brings up, then I’m about to give him some (small) positive results. However, I’m going to make the case that this letter is more destructive then constructive and that Andrew is wrong to support it.
I am not going to link to the letter because, frankly, I don’t want to raise its Google ranking. But it’s easy enough to find if you’re curious. I am going to analyze this letter and ask some question and encourage comments. I am going to make the case that this letter is being specifically written from (and can only be read as) a non-believing view point and that it is primarily a stunt at anti-Mormon publicity rather than a serious attempt to resolve the problems it outlines. I will do this by outlinging the specific claims the letter makes and making brief comments. Possible extended future points for discussion will be mentioned.
Who Is Writing this Letter?
The letter claims it represents “We are a part of a community of thousands of current and former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Continue reading
I have been working on a series of posts about morality for a while now. In some previous posts I talked about the following:
- The human perception of morality is not rationally justifiable and can’t be justified without an appeal to some supernatural Something-Like-God.
- That any attempt to explain objective morality will always end up being a religion, for religions are what you get when you assume morality to be objective and then come up with an explanation of how that can be.
In one of my older posts I mentioned in passing that morality is (almost) always non-personal and is perceived as applying to everyone. In fact, it so strongly applies to everyone that it even applies to people long dead. Continue reading
In my first post I gave a bit of my history on Mormon Matters and explained the players that were there when things began. I also covered my previously mentioned reasons for quitting, which included feeling like my interest and the communities did not match and also feeling like Mormon Matters played a certain important role that I was personally disrupting by my presence.
Was Mormon Matters Balanced?
I had come to the conclusion that Mormon Matters was not intended as a true open discussion about Mormonism. (i.e. it claimed to be a “one stop shop” but in fact wasn’t.) I believed that it was (as I said in my previous post)…
… a friendly place to ‘let off steam’ for those that didn’t believe in the LDS Church’s defining beliefs any more (sometimes still practicing, sometimes, not) while still allowing them to interact with a certain kind of Mormon that still believed, but was sympathetic to their concerns. This belief-with-sympathies approach really only worked if the believers were willing to not strongly challenge the post Mormons on their new beliefs or on their concerns.
To explain why I had come to this conclusion, I’m going to post about a number of related subjects. While I doubt I can convince anyone of my position, if I can at least get you to say “yes, I can see why you’d draw such a false conclusion” I’ll consider these post as having wildly exceeded my expectations. Continue reading
In my last post I gave some background on my stint on Mormon Matters and then talked about some of the important players.
When I left Mormon Matters my dear friend, DougG, was the only person that really noticed I had disappeared. He was also the only person that actually asked me to return. When I talked with Doug on the phone (that was when he asked me to come back) this is what I told him.
I said I felt like Mormon Matters played an important role of being a friendly place to ‘let off steam’ for those that didn’t believe in the LDS Church’s defining beliefs any more (sometimes still practicing, sometimes, not) while still allowing them to interact with a certain kind of Mormon that still believed, but was sympathetic to their concerns. This belief-with-sympathies approach really only worked if the believers were willing to not strongly challenge the post Mormons on their new beliefs or on their concerns.
So I had come to wonder if my presence there – where I would directly challenge a former members new beliefs — was disrupting that purpose. Was it possible that I was even causing people to quit by my presence?
We had several post Mormons quit within my short stint due to “too many posts supportive of the LDS Church.” After they quit, John Dehlin quickly utilized his post-Mormon network to find new replacements — and this took all of 30 seconds in most cases. And not a single post Mormon that quit ever said “I quit because I don’t like how Bruce is challenging me too much.” It was generally just the existence of too many “pro Mormon posts” that caused the problem. On at least one occaision, we had a blogger quit because she was upset with how Hawkgrrl had moderated a comment. (If you know how permitting Hawk is with comments, you will laugh at that last statement. You have to be cussing and threatening some GA before she’ll consider cutting the comment. Yet it was true that this angered at least one blogger that then quit.) Continue reading
Prisoner: What do you want?
Number Two: Information.
Prisoner: Whose side are you on?
Number Two: That would be telling…. We want information…information…information!
Prisoner: Who are you?
Number Two: The new Number Two.
Prisoner: Who is Number One?
Number Two: You are, Number Six.
Prisoner: I am not a number; I am a free man!
Number Two: [shouting] Why, why, why did you resign?
Prisoner: I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own. I resign.
Number Two: Why did you resign?
Prisoner: For peace.
Number Two: You resigned for peace?
Prisoner: Yes. Let me out.
Number Two: You’re a fool.
Prisoner: For peace of mind.
Number Two: What?
Prisoner: For peace of mind!
Number Two: Why?
Prisoner: Because too many people know too much.
Number Two: Never!
Prisoner: I know too much!
Number Two: Tell me.
Prisoner: I know too much about you!
My Introduction to the Bloggernacle Through Mormon Matters
Recently Bonnie from Wheat and Tares asked me a question that no one had ever asked me before. She wanted to know why I had resigned from Mormon Matters. Actually “resigned” is the wrong word. I supposed I never in any sense officially resigned. I simply stopped posting one day and stopped even visiting or commenting. It didn’t even really happen all at once. It started out with me taking longer and longer breaks from blogging on Mormon Matters and then one day the “break” was so long there was no point in my coming back. Continue reading