Those of us who go to church know that most active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are generally good people who spend a lot of their free time with their families or doing service, either at the temple or in their callings.
President Gordon B. Hinckley famously said that the primary symbol of our faith is not the cross, like other Christian denominations, but instead “the lives of our people,” meaning that President Hinckley was betting that most Church members lead exemplary lives. And in fact I can report, and I am sure all readers can report, that you often hear from non-members that church members “sure are nice,” even if they don’t accept the doctrines of our faith.
It also happens to be true that the vast majority of Church members are conservative, at least socially. Most Church members are against elective abortion and are traditionalists on the issue of same-sex attraction and gender issues. Utah and Idaho, the most LDS states, are heavily Republican.
This creates a dilemma for Progressive Mormons (many of them call themselves ProgMos). How can it be that Church members are 1)nice people and 2)not social justice warriors like they are?
I have lived this reality for 20 years in the LDS on-line world, and one of the things I have discovered is that there is a huge amount of cognitive dissonance among ProgMos. It just can’t be true that your average member, the man or woman in your ward with the four kids and the job and the difficult calling and the monthly temple visits — it just can’t be that these are good people. So, what ProgMos do, and I have seen literally hundreds of examples over the years, is make up stories showing how these members are really racists or sexists or transphobes or whatever the latest really, really bad thing is.
Let me give you a recent example. Check out this tweet today:
NOTE: READ THE COMMENTS OF THIS POST FOR SOME CONTEXT AND SOME CORRECTIONS.
Now, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to pick on Erika specifically. I am more interested in the ideology that Erika has decided to embrace, which is a problematic ideology for a variety of reasons.
If you go to the Utah Monthly substack, you will see that Erika’s passions include “ecofeminism” and “social justice.” And when you go to her Twitter profile you see the obligatory “she/her” pronouns and of course the Ukrainian flag. Erika has announced to the world that she is politically correct and a strident Signaler of Virtue.
So, Erika, who says she lives in Utah, still goes to church, which is awesome, and I hope she continues to do so. But our first clue that something is wrong comes at the time stamp on the tweet: 9:42 Mountain Time. Hmmm.
There are a few possibilities here. Does her ward have Sunday School first, starting at 9 a.m.? Ok, let’s say yes. So, she goes to Sunday School and gets offended and then marches out to immediately tweet how offended she is. She doesn’t even wait to go home — she tweets from the sidewalk parking lot outside of her chapel. And no wonder — she says she is shaking (with rage, I am guessing).
But in her tweet thread, somebody suggests she talk to the teacher first rather than venting to the public, and she says she has already talked to the teacher!!!
So, we are supposed to believe that by 9:42 a.m. she has gone to the Sunday school class and also talked to the teacher??? If her Sunday School class started at 9 a.m., that means it ended at 10 a.m., which means…no, she did not talk to the teacher.
And what kind of motivation does Erika have that the first thing she does it tweet about it publicly (thus Signaling her Virtue to the entire world)? You really have to wonder.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of this tweet is made up or heavily exaggerated.
But there are some other problems. She says the teacher “listed all of the Fortune 500 companies with Mormon men leading them.” Again, I am going to say this never happened. I can tell you from 40 years in the business world, working as a business reporter for the Boston Globe and other newspapers, that there are not that many Fortune 500 companies with LDS CEOs. This would be a very short list. And CEOs, in general, don’t go around discussing their religion, although you might, by accident, find out that David Neeleman, the CEO of Jet Blue and several other airlines, is LDS because you read a profile on him. But in general, no, I am saying that the teacher did NOT list all of the Fortune 500 companies with Mormon men leading them. Didn’t happen.
And the purpose of this list was….”convincing the class of white, capitalist prosperity gospel.”
Again, did not happen.
There is no way that the teacher of the Sunday School stood up in front of the class and listed LDS CEOs and then said they were all white. I would be willing to bet a lot of money, right now, that the teacher never mentioned race but that Erika the social justice enthusiast, inserted race into the equation on her own. (Erika, when the Brethren say in conference that you should not be racist, yes, they are talking about hicks from rural mountain states, but they are also talking about you, the type of person who inserts racism into every conversation. Word to the wise: social justice warriors are the most racist people on the planet. Be careful and avoid the racism.)
I also have my doubts that the teacher mentioned the term “capitalist prosperity gospel” or anything like it. I would even be willing to bet that the teacher would be shocked to hear that this is what Erika took away from the lesson.
So, based on this tweet, I am going to say one of two things happened. 1)Given the time stamp, the whole thing never happened and Erika made up the entire event out of her head or 2)the teacher made some innocent comment about Daniel having leadership qualities and convincing a long line of kings that he was useful, and then the teacher went on to say that having good leadership qualities can make you a good business leader — even a Fortune 500 CEO! And then based on this innocent comment, Erika went on to invent the rest of it out of her head.
Again, I do not intend to make this personal regarding Erika. She is being brainwashed by an evil but very tricky ideology. This ideology has been around for a long time, but the latest manifestation has become part of the social justice theology. The tricky part is that the ideology really does a good job of convincing some people that evil is good and good is evil. So I see Erika as more of a victim than anything else.
But it should be obvious to all of us that an ideology that forces you to lie, or at the very least write extreme exaggerations, to prove how “good” you are compared to all of the “bad conservative people,” is not on the right track. Remember, Satan is the father of lies, and if you are lying you are doing his will, not your Heavenly Father’s. So I sincerely hope that Erika reads this post and realizes that she is on the wrong track and makes some changes. For her own good.