About these ads

True Blue Mormon Liberalism

Can there be a faithful liberal Mormonism? I have recently rediscovered my faith in Christ and come to terms with my Mormonism. My quest from here is to discover my path within Mormonism.

I am not talking about political liberalism. While political liberalism is my primary specialty, this is not “Can a Mormon be a Democrat?” Instead, I am thinking of liberalism in a religious sense. I will commence here my attempt to define a type of Mormon religious liberalism.

I recently belonged to a forum which often referred to True Blue Mormons (TBM). A TBM is somebody who fully accepts the LDS narrative about church history and the scriptures. I do not know what this fully means, but on this particular forum, the TBM, even if well educated in their respective field, is an ignorant fool. They do not realize how corrupt the Church is. They do not realize that Joseph Smith was a fraud. They clearly had not seen the light like those on this forum.

I no longer belong to this forum.

I am not a typical True Blue Mormon.

In many ways, I consider myself to be a liberal TBM…or am I a True Blue Mormon Liberal. I think I like True Blue Mormon Liberal (TBML). Now this will drive those who hate labels absolutely nuts, but I think categories can be useful. I think that is part of the social scientist in me.

Let me share what makes me a TBML:

I am religious person. I am not always a good example of a religious person, but faith and spirituality are important to my life. I also appreciate that others value faith and spirituality…even if they experience faith in ways differently than I do. Now, one thing that makes me a religious liberal is that I do not think that only one religious experience is the one correct religious experience. However, this religious liberalism still allows me to appreciate and respect those with more traditional or orthodox approaches to our religion. I would hope that they would offer me the same respect, but I do not view such mutual respect as a pre-requisite for my respect for them.

I, also, have a respect for the secular. All things of beauty and virtue should be appreciated. For me, Kant and Beethoven are secular spiritual.

I love and value the scriptures. My views of the scriptures are rather unorthodox, but they are my own and I do not expect anyone else to view the scriptures as I do. Can a Mormon view the scriptures in a way different from Sunday School manuals and CES texts? Well, I am a Mormon…and I do.

One thing that classifies me as a religious liberal is my focus on peace and social justice. The well-being of actual human beings matters more to me than the afterlife. I believe that there is an afterlife, but I think that the here and now is of equal significance

I think that my view of Joseph Smith sets me apart from both the traditionalists and the DAMU (disaffected Mormon underground). I think that Joseph Smith was a prophet…a prophet of God. He was the driving force behind the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon (I will address the Book of Mormon more below). He founded one of the great religious movements of the 19th Century, one which extended into the 20th and 21st.

I recognize that church history is not as rosey as it seemed in seminary. However, American history is not what it seemed like in high school, either. With further study, I have discovered greater detail and nuance. Yet, much like my study of Jefferson and Lincoln, I appreciate knowing better the human side of Joseph Smith. It may not be the Joseph Smith that I sometimes hear about in church or a visitor centers. But I also recognize that Abraham Lincoln might not be as awesome as I portrayed him in my American Heritage lectures (though he was awesome). We all speak up those we love and those who are our heroes.

One thing that classifies me as a religious liberal is my focus on peace and social justice. The well-being of actual human beings matters more to me than the afterlife. I believe that there is an afterlife, but I think that the here and now is of equal significance.

I love the Book of Mormon. The writings of Jacob and the speech of King Benjamin are amongst the greatest (and most important to me) of all ancient accounts of moral life and moral society. I learned an appreciation and love of the gospel of Jesus while studying the Book of Mormon. I recognize that others may come to Christ by other means, but the Book of Mormon is central to my Mormon identity and faith.

The TBML tradition is a long one. It includes the likes of Lowell Bennion and Eugene England. It includes others, I am sure, but I think that Bennion and England are particularly illustrative of the tradition that I am thinking of…and the movement that I envision. Richard Bushman and BCC are also examples.

The forum that I had belonged to claimed to be open to a wide range of beliefs within Mormonism. However, it was anything but open. It was a den of bitterness and wrath. Such sentiments are ones which did not help me in my quest to deal with faith. It also made it difficult for me to deal with my depression. I say this with sadness because many great people, including some good friends, belong to this forum.

While I hope for a broad acceptance of many approaches to Mormonism within the Church, such an approach must also tolerate, if not love and accept, those with more traditional (or maybe institutional) views and beliefs. Such people were the target of scorn and disgust on that forum.

This seemed to be different from the paths paved by Eugene England and Lowell Bennion. Both men were minority voices. Both found themselves at the wrong side of CES. Both men vocally opposed the priesthood ban. Yet, both still loved Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They didn’t start a website about staying LDS. Instead, they actually stayed. Not to prove a political point, but because they loved the Church. They even thought it was true and not because they thought the Church or the brethren were perfect. Bennion and England had their own unique reasons for why they thought the Church was true. They also had a sense of loyalty to the culture and Church which played an integral part in shaping who they were.

Now, Bennion and England, like Nibley, were willing to challenge Mormon culture. But, they did so out of love. Afterall, it is the gospel of repentance.

We have some great examples of True Blue Mormon Liberals in recent Mormon history. The question that remains is this: “Did Mormon Liberalism die with Bennion and England?” Oh, it sure feels like it sometimes. Yet, I think that BCC, the bloggernacle, Dialogue, and Richard Bushman are signs that it may still have a pulse.

The future of Mormon liberalism is a long uphill one. One of our next steps must be to shed the poisonous elements which claim to be part of Mormon liberalism, but which, in fact, have no interest in promoting faith and are in many ways very harmful to the movement.

When William F. Buckley was looking to revive conservatism, one of the most important things he did was to distance the movement from the John Birch Society. This turned out to be one of the most important steps in American politics.

I think Mormon liberalism needs to do the same. We need to distance ourselves from not only the DAMU, but also from others who seek to tear down Mormonism from within.

About these ads
Council of 50 300x225
Lost Apostles 225x300

Comments

  1. Thanks Chris. I think you summarized my own feelings as well.

  2. TBML… FTW!

  3. Thank you, Chris. This is a breath of fresh air.

  4. I imagine you were being intentionally vague here?

    “One of our next steps must be to shed the poisonous elements which claim to be part of Mormon liberalism, but which, in fact, have no interest in promoting faith and are in many ways very harmful to the movement.”

    Seems very important to nail down exactly who/what kind of groups you mean.

    Are there really groups that BOTH “claim to be part of Mormon liberalism” AND “have no interest in promoting faith”?

    So as long as we are interested in “promoting faith” we are ok? What do you mean by that? Or is there room for people who cherish their Mormon heritage but feel the Church is destructive, as long as they don’t “claim to be part of Mormon liberalism”? That title in general seems pretty broad, no?

    I agree with you that those who want to destroy the Church should not remain within the Church.

    You know how much I respect you Chris; hopefully this can be a productive dialog. I think I might post some thoughts in response. :)

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    I enjoyed this post, Chris, thanks.

  6. Amen, amen, and amen.

  7. This is a fascinating suggestion that I think has many significant implications. (I don’t endorse them all, but I’m glad to have them discussed.)
    I personally find Mormon Scholars in the Humanities and SMPT to be pleasurable places to be, settings in which bookish believers gather in a positive way to talk and believe and enjoy each other. While I’m not entirely comfortable with the terminology you propose here, I think that those venues would meet some of the criteria you describe.
    How, in practice, to love those who disagree (on either side) is a difficult question, but it’s one of the questions that disciples are meant to struggle with.
    God bless as you navigate these paths.
    For me personally, I find that the challenging aspect of this divide is that the presence of what people seem to term DAMU (is this a phrase they embrace for themselves, or is it merely pejorative?) observers can make it very difficult to have subtle, important conversations with other believers.

  8. aliquis says:

    What a great post! Although I too disagree with many of the things said in CES manuals, etc., I do not disagree enough to call myself a TBML, or Liberal Mormon of the True Blue variety, etc. Yet I loved this post for its uncompromising positions on love, unity, faith, and humility. May Mormons of all opinions and feeling show so much respect and kindness to one another as Chris H. does in this post.

  9. I don’t know that I accept the label. (Although if Richard Bushman’s in, that’s a club I’d join.) I prefer my own label (Passionate Moderate Mormon). My whole thing comes down to this: I choose to believe. I can’t deny what has been witnessed to me by the Spirit. I’ve made commitments to which I try to be loyal. While sometimes frustrated, I do not feel boxed in at church (I have a pretty, good ward even here in south Davis County, Utah.) I don’t like the idea of “purges.” I will simply and respectfully try to get along with everybody and sometimes I have to avoid the people on the right or the left that bring me down to places I don’t want to go. Patience and charity actually work to accomplish more change however incremental and slow. And it’s not easy. But it works.

  10. Wow, Chris H, a rather bold post, but a good one. I would still opt for LTBM or even LBM (liberal believing Mormon). Putting the liberal at the end makes most readers think of a Mormon political liberal, not a liberally believing Mormon.

  11. Chris, this was great. While I am one of those who isn’t a fan of all the different “ites”, I am definitely a big fan of what you’ve said here.

  12. I’m not sure I’d call this a liberal. Doesn’t sound too liberal too me. Probably describes most at FARMS for instance. Still, a great post.

  13. I liked this post, and found myself agreeing with much of it, though i (like Grant) am not a fan of the urge to purify any particular faction by purging the heretics from our midst—i’m a big-tent sort of person.

    One rhetorical suggestion, though: When writing a manifesto like this, it might be better not to alienate a good chunk of your audience with a line like “They do not realize that Joseph Smith was a fraud” near the beginning. (Not to mention that i’m not convinced that one can say anyone was simply a fraud. Engaged in fraud at some times? Sure. But actually being a fraud, as an absolute description? Seems rather exhausting to me.)

  14. Thanks for the post, Chris. I’m glad that you’ve rediscovered your faith in Christ and recommitted yourself to Mormonism. To me that personal element is the most significant part of what you’ve outlined here, in large part because it resonated with me.

  15. David B.,

    Chris didn’t say that. He was describing the view of others, not himself.

  16. Christopher is correct in #14. I just got back from my son’s baseball game (he had two RBIs). I will respond to all (in particular Enoch) in the morning. Thanks to all.

  17. Thomas Parkin says:

    Good stuff, Chris H.

  18. Thanks for this — I love that you made the effort to flesh out what you think it means to be a TBML. And I also enjoyed that you shared some of your own personal experiences. Everything is a reaction to something else, yes, I see that. But I enjoyed this post as a sort of stand-alone statement. Wonderful.

  19. Chris H.: Sorry for misinterpreting. One of the drawbacks of being a linguist, i’m afraid, is that if there’s a potential ambiguity in a text, i will nearly consistently get the precisely wrong reading from it.

  20. Thanks for this Chris. I totally relate and agree with almost every description of your feelings. I am very at peace with my views. I love hearing others articulate the same feelings.

  21. I don’t want to be *that guy*, but I thought “TBM” was already used as a foil not only against NOM, not only against DAMU, but against “liberal Mormon.”

    If that is so, then while there can be a faithful liberal Mormonism (e.g., that is what a “liberal Mormon” has always been), it doesn’t make as much sense to speak about a TBML.

    Anyway, I’ll probably get out of here before someone throws water at me and I melt.

  22. “The future of Mormon liberalism is a long uphill one. One of our next steps must be to shed the poisonous elements which claim to be part of Mormon liberalism, but which, in fact, have no interest in promoting faith and are in many ways very harmful to the movement.”

    This is sort of the money paragraph to me. To even make such a statement seems to limit the liberalism. It seems to say that maybe you are not as liberal as you think.

    If you chose to start articulating this, be careful. People will not like being put into that box. And if you don’t articulate it, people will think you are being passive agressive. All of this is part of why I do not participate as much as I used to. It seems you can’t ‘win’.

    Good luck in you quest.

  23. Thank you, Chris.

    I think a key to most of what you write here is that there needs to be an absence of “bitterness and wrath,” from either/any direction. Opposing views, disagreement, challenges, okay, but “scorn and disgust” can have no part.

  24. Nicely done, Chris.

  25. psychochemiker says:

    Dear Chris H.
    Thank you for you post.
    We don’t often agree, but I liked how you expressed yourself here.
    May understanding increase on all sides.
    -PC

  26. Your post makes me think about the New Order Mormons. The ones I know are so angry with the church and the members that they are past feeling any love or good that the church/members show to these people.

    Moroni 7:45-48 is way to be though.

    People can believe whatever they like but it would nice to stop at hate. Can we just all love another?

  27. Peter LLC says:

    A call to purge “poisonous elements”? I think I’ll pass.

  28. I, too, recently have been a part of a couple of forums where it seems their collective path diverged from where I have wanted to go with my Mormonism, but I still visit them and learn from them. Perhaps an unusual example (and don’t be disturbed by it because of the stereotyping), but I also listen to Glenn Beck in the mornings even though I have a strong dislike for his methods and only but little respect for him personally, I find I can get a good introduction to political issues from him, then I go and do lots of research myself. Likewise, these “new order mormonism” forums (not just one of them) have given me many new insights.

    You, Chris H, and Bro Bennion and Bro England are truly exceptionally rare (and exceptionally good) people, so rare that most other people I think have difficulty understanding you. I hope to be like that.

  29. Alright, lets do this!

    Enoch (#3)

    “I imagine you were being intentionally vague here?”

    Two close friends advised me to avoid naming the specific forum and specific names. My guess is that the actual forum knows who they are since I left with f-bombs blazing. However, given that I do that a lot….I worry that some will think I am talking about them….even though I am not.

    “Seems very important to nail down exactly who/what kind of groups you mean.”

    I probably should, but I better not. Sorry about that. I am not trying to hurt some who I still consider dear friends. I will try to clarify this with you in private.

    “Are there really groups that BOTH “claim to be part of Mormon liberalism” AND “have no interest in promoting faith”? ”

    Hmmmm, you are really pushing on this. Must I name names and groups? I am curious what others think about this.

    “Are there really groups that BOTH “claim to be part of Mormon liberalism” AND “have no interest in promoting faith”? ”

    Yes, and this gets to a later point of yours….I think that we can disagree with the Church…even publicly. However, some seek to embarrass and humiliate general authorities and cherished symbols in an effort to bring about change. Not only does it go against my Kantian sensibilities, but it is a crappy means about actually changing anything.

    I am sure this is still too vague. Please, push may where you see fit to do so. :)

  30. Chris, I think it was very wise not to refer to a specific group. That isn’t what I am talking about. I am writing up a post in response to yours; here’s to some good discussion that I hope comes of it! :)

  31. AshleyM says:

    I see where you’re going with this, Chris and I am glad to hear you’re finding faith again in something that feeds you spiritually. Like you I appreciate the Lowell Bennions and Eugene Englands of our world who draw out the positives of our faith. But there are those who don’t feel nourished by the Church, who are trying to follow what calls to them, spiritually or intellectually and they are being ostracized and shamed for it. I see that path too. That’s a hard road, wouldn’t you agree? Don’t they too need a community to share their burdens with? I for one, feel comfortable allowing them that space. If it doesn’t work for me, than I just don’t go there.

  32. smb (#6),

    I also very much enjoy SMPT, though I have only attended once. Signing up for MSH is one of my tasked for the summer.

    “How, in practice, to love those who disagree (on either side) is a difficult question, but it’s one of the questions that disciples are meant to struggle with.”

    Oh, and I am horrible at it. I am not known for treating my conservative foes with much charity. Sorry about that PC (#24) :)

  33. Ashley I’m sympathetic to that view. However I think for the most part Church is there as an opportunity for us to serve rather than to be thought of primarily as a place to be served. When we think of it in terms of what we can get rather than what we can give I fear we will always feel unsatisfied.

  34. Grant (#8),

    “I don’t know that I accept the label.”

    This is largely an exercise in in self-categorization. So, I expect others to find the label and how I have framed it as unsatisfactory for themselves.

    Grant (#8) and Peter (#26),

    I never said purge. Though not having Peter around is fine by me.

  35. I’ll just be another to chime in and say that I really enjoyed this post and identify with most of it. In particular, I agree with your characterization of the Book of Mormon as a call for peace and social justice and an example of a better way to create a moral society. Thanks.

  36. Dave (#9) makes a good point about the term itself. It might not work all that well, thought term liberal in rather complicated for many reasons. It is a work-in-progress for sure.

    Clark (#11) and Eric (#21) both question whether what I have articulated in actually liberal at all. I will likely need to address that more fully and I will in my next full post. I am somewhat relying on Bennion’s use of religious liberal (that will be the focus of said next post).

    Eric, brother I appreciate the warning. I am not really trying to win, though I may be stirring things up.

  37. I would like to become part of the forum you mention in your post. Would you email me the web link?

    Thank you.

  38. Re: #9/20/35: I see the co-opting of TBM as part of TBML as simply an instance of taking a problematic label and using it as a positive one. It’s not always a successful move, but it works often enough that i don’t necessarily see it as a Bad Thing, myself.

  39. Kevinr (#27)

    “Likewise, these “new order mormonism” forums (not just one of them) have given me many new insights.”

    I did make some friends. I likely lost some of them.

    Manuel (#36),

    No, I will not, but I am sure they can find you.

  40. Thanks for writing this Chris. I feel that there is much to be hopeful about. Especially in the day of the internet these kinds of views are much more accessible to everyone. Of course the internet does lend itself to some vitriol as you mentioned. But I think we have reason to be encouraged.

  41. David B (#37),

    “I see the co-opting of TBM as part of TBML as simply an instance of taking a problematic label and using it as a positive one.”

    This is what I do with the term socialist. I often compare it to homosexuals embracing the term queer. Good strategy? Who knows. But, it is what I do.

  42. “Don’t they too need a community to share their burdens with? I for one, feel comfortable allowing them that space. If it doesn’t work for me, than I just don’t go there.”

    Ashley (#30),

    I am not saying there should not be a space or community of this sort. Myself, I left it.

  43. “No, I will not, but I am sure they can find you.”

    Oh, ok… hum… how is it that they are going to find me? Are they looking for me? Do they have a proselyting program of outreach to others? I am not an active blogger like most people around here. I like reading different points of view from a variety of blogs and a variety of groups of people. So what’s with the censorship?

    My email is included in the ‘leave a comment’ form. You don’t have to post the site publicly; I am just asking you a favor.

    I like your personal approach at dealing with the church as you seem comfortable with it and it works for you, but I failed to see any signs of absolute censorship in sharing the source and object of your poignant and generalizing critique. While I take your word for it, I would like to see for myself what you are describing, and perhaps learn about others in the process.

    Gosh…

  44. Manuel,

    Chris is not blowing you off; it is just that the forum he references is very private and careful about how they manage membership. I respect Chris for preserving the boundaries of that community even though he is no longer a part.

  45. Oh, ok. I assumed it was a public forum. I respect if it is not public. Chris could also be less dramatic and more courteous by stating that instead of a simple and bold “No, I will not.” Don’t you think?

  46. I love Chris but “less dramatic” and “more courteous” are not the first words I would use to describe my friend. :D

  47. re 37,

    DavidB,

    I have no problem with that. I just think that some of the people Chris could be vaguely referring to think the same. In the very same way that Chris says the next step is to shed poisonous elements who claim to be part of Mormon liberalism but really aren’t, I could see a TBM saying they ought to shed poisonous elements who claim to be Mormon (even TB Mormon), but really aren’t.

  48. Manuel,

    I am not good at courteous, despite what aliquis said above. I will send you information to a friend. She can take it from there. Sorry about that.

  49. Andrew S,

    True. There are some who would say that same about me. I even know where such people blog. I am not letting them have the term either.

  50. Enoch, got it :)

    Thanks Chris!

    Sorry for sounding so demanding.

  51. re 48,

    Not even just you, Chris. I mean, even though I know better, because I come from the infinite wailing and gnashing of Outer Blogness, I know plenty of people who would call **BCC** the central cesspool of apostate wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s great that you’re fighting against popular perception and all, but TBM has a lot of baggage to it and it’s not as if you will face no opposition…

  52. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying exactly how I feel in a way that is far more diplomatic and kind than I am capable of saying. I wish I could tone down my rhetoric now and then and speak like this. Thanks.

  53. Huzzah!

  54. Chris,

    You are in good company. I have had a few people tell me I’ll rot in hell for some of the blog postings I’ve done on the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine lessons, or my view of evolution, etc.

    We need to come to an understanding that exaltation is not based upon whether we believe the Book of Mormon to be historical, but whether its teachings are true. I do personally believe it to be “historical” to the point that Nephi was a real person. Whether Nephite depictions of the Lamanites are accurate, is another thing altogether.

    The core doctrines and principles are what save and exalt us. God lives. Jesus is the Christ. God has called modern prophets to prepare us for the 2nd Coming. The scriptures are inspired of God. The first principles and ordinances are: faith in Christ, repentance, baptism/ordinances, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

    If we focus on those as our foundation, and allow flexibility in most of the rest, then we create a big tent that can allow both TBMs, TBMLs, and TBM Libertarians (like myself).

  55. So my first thought was along the lines of, -you’ve got to be kidding me, is this an adolescent contest to see who can come up with the most popular new catchy acronym for the “smart kids”? Are these folks that petty?

    But then I reread it, and I have to admit that I am really surprised at this:

    “One of our next steps must be to shed the poisonous elements which claim to be part of Mormon liberalism, but which, in fact, have no interest in promoting faith and are in many ways very harmful to the movement.”

    I can imagine the Sanhedrin saying the same thing. Kind of like “If we leave him alone, all the people will follow him, and the Romans will take away our…”

    So my questions are-

    How do we decide who gets to define the borders of mormon liberalism? I mean anybody can claim that England and Bennion are the founders of their particular strand of belief…

    Is the orthodoxy of liberalism going to be marked out by the collective opinion of mormon bloggers? If so, which ones, and how do you get on that committee?

    It kind of sounds like your idea of liberal mormonism is anything that is beyond correlation, but still faith promoting??? That seems to leave alot out. I would have thought that the criteria would be centered more around ideals like “truth” or “understanding” rather than “faith promoting”

    I respect your decision to leave a community that you doesn’t fit your ideals, but I have to pause at the thought of “church approved” liberalism.

  56. “I can imagine the Sanhedrin saying the same thing.  Kind of like “If we leave him alone, all the people will follow him, and the Romans will take away our…”

    Yes, because John Dehlin is just like Jesus.

    Read my dozens of posts and tell me if “church-approved” liberalism is what I am advocating.

    Also, I believe that “truth” is a concept that almost always leads to cruelty. I am sure correlation would endorse that.

  57. “Yes, because John Dehlin is just like Jesus.”

    Aren’t we all? Is not that the point?

    Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these…

    “Read my dozens of posts and tell me if “church-approved” liberalism is what I am advocating.”

    I have read a lot your posts. That is why I was so surprised by this one.

  58. Surprise!

  59. This post is more than a bit self serving. It seems calculated to prompt superficial attaboys. “Great job leaving that terrible group, Chris!” “You’ve really captured my feelings about how I need to tow the line while still defining Mormonism in a way that’s true to my need to eschew what I was taught in the nursery, Chris!” “Thanks for coming down squarely on the side that opposes poison, Chris!”

    Like every other liberal I know, you’ve got both victim issues and entitlement issues. You can join or leave any group you wish, but let’s not pretend that you’re entitled to have that group address your priorities, and let’s not pretend that there’s anything heroic about leaving it when you find that it doesn’t.

    I am, to a degree that surprises me, a TBM. And I’m certainly not bitter or angry about you or Mormonism, but your post here makes me wonder if it’s not reactions like yours that fuel the bitterness you detect among the non-TBMs you describe.

  60. You may want to warn the said forum before you take me on, DKL.

  61. OOOOoooooo….

    popping popcorn and settling in for a good show.

  62. Yeah, like I have any concern at all about taking you on.

  63. Getting in a question for clarification before the shouting:

    To DKL (#59): You claim “both victim issues and entitlement issues” as the birthright (so to speak) of every liberal. To what extent are you claiming that those are issues that liberals (and specifically and exclusively liberals) have, and to what extent are those issues shared by conservatives and moderates?*

    * And yes, i realize people don’t always neatly split apart into groups like that, but i’m trying to get this question out in less than three or four hundred pages.

  64. I’m waiting for the gloves to come off…

  65. No, I will let this go. DKL was one of the many serpents at the forum we are discussing. This is what I expect from him.

  66. It seems calculated to prompt superficial attaboys.

    I’ve seen places, blog conversations, message boards like that before… ;)

    mfranti: DKL is pretty notorious for trying to get reactions, stirring the pot, so it’s better to either ignore him or send back some one-liner response, in my experience. I reckon things would be different with him in person, but online I haven’t had much success there. (Mostly because I am a whiney liberal with victim issues who feels entitled to have things like decent conversations!!)

  67. I just heard from my son that his activity on NOM might bring on a church court. I have been reading this site all week with a heavy heart. I never heard the term TBM before. He started out a TBM and is now an agnostic. He’s an adult with the right to choose for himself but I am glad to see that you made it out with some remaining belief in God. I think most of us see ourselves as atypical in some way. I consider pretty liberal in every way but I still believe in God and I love the church inspite of what I consider to be failings.

  68. Susan,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I understand why many would choose to leave. It is not for everyone. However, tonight as I was loading a UHaul for a family in our ward…I was reminded why I stay and love it.

  69. Chris,

    i am reminded of a post by Andrew Ainsworth from the old Mormon Matters (“Why I am Not a Disaffected Mormon”). It was a really great post.

    Things have gone downhill since then.

  70. I don’t see how anyone can see DKL as part of a group. He is a provocateur, which is what makes him worth listening to. If I want to hear an echo chamber, I’ll just re-read my own brilliant comments.

    Chris, your post seems to be a self-congratulatory straw man, yet I am glad that you’ve sorted out your own values. Claiming descent from Bennion and England is like a Republican claiming to be Reagan’s heir: an easy thing to say to get support.

    Not every online forum is for everyone. I think the best ones are the ones that push you to question your assumptions, not just echo every stupid thing you say. Unfortunately, most of our blogs and forums become echo chambers over time. I can’t get behind the TBML label, but I don’t care for labels and affiliation.

  71. hawkgrrrrl,
    “I don’t see how anyone can see DKL as part of a group.”

    Ummm, since you also belong to the forum in question, you know damn well that DKL also belongs to it.

    My appeal to England and Bennion, much like my appeals to Kant and Rawls, are an exercise in intellectual history, a history which few at the forum seemed aware of. Of course, who needs intellectual history when you have South Park.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,821 other followers

%d bloggers like this: