Ep 285 – Hey Jeremy…

Written by on June 23, 2016

Ever wonder why the Infants are such smug, dismissive, judgmental, black-and-white thinking ex-mormons who are no better than the smug, dismissive, judgmental, black-and-white thinking Believing Mormons who they smugly and dismissively mock, and bully, and disrespect again and again and again? Well one listener named Jeremy has and asked the question, “Why you gotta be so caustic, yo? Can’t you Infants just respect people, dog?” So listen in as Matt and Glenn say, “Hey Jeremy… here’s what we think of all that. Homey.”

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  1. Seth L.   On   June 23, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Haven’t listened to it yet but the Tags for the Podcast have me pretty excited. #beachedwhale?????

  2. Saint Ralph   On   June 23, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Yeah, if only you guys weren’t you, you could be somebody else. Do you ever feel like you are holding the happiness of the whole rest of the world hostage by not being other than you are? I have relatives who accuse me of that. They sent me to my room to think about it when I was eleven. I’m still thinking.
    Only those things we did for shits and giggles will have been worth while in the end. Serious endeavour is a recipe for stagnation and sleep disorders. I hereby dismiss everyone. You are all free to go. Please leave your papers and pencils on the front desk as you leave.

  3. Blair   On   June 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    It sounds like the Infants are reluctant to discuss Trump and the current election cycle, but I think I found a relevant angle to approach this from. Recently, while listening to a biography of Brigham Young, a certain modern comparison occurred to me, and I put together a list of ways Brigham Young was like Donald Trump.
    Brigham Young would humiliate people he felt had slighted him
    Brigham Young was racist
    Brigham Young was sexist (to be fair, Donald Trump probably isn’t quite as racist and sexist as Brigham Young was)
    Brigham Young was averse to monogamy
    Brigham Young was opposed to free-trade (with non-Mormons)
    Brigham Young was opposed to (non-Mormon) immigration (into Utah)
    Brigham Young’s policies were terrible for the economy
    Brigham Young loved to brag, especially about his wealth and virility
    Brigham Young’s rhetoric was violent and inspired violence in others (both supporters and opponents)
    Brigham Young loved to show off his wealth in his home
    Brigham Young had strange theories he loved to share with everyone
    Brigham Young had reddish hair (Trump’s hair color is constantly changing and always hard to describe, but usually includes a tinge of red http://www.vanityfair.com/news/photos/2015/09/an-illustrated-history-of-donald-trumps-hair)

  4. Jeremy   On   June 23, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I expected a fuck you from Randy and that was about it, so thanks for the response. Not a Mormon stories fan, not targeting you two specifically, and not a new order mormon. Trying hard to not be an atheist, which I’ve found incredibly bleak and I guess that’s why I commented. Appreciate the podcast. My compliments were sincere. Sounds like your podcast isn’t to try to help Mormons leaving the church, but it does. Some people have a community to process this stuff and some don’t. Like Matt said towards the end, it can be really validating and cathartic to hear people talk this stuff through, especially with humor. My only point was lately it seems to be trending towards an area where it’s just sort of assumed that everyone who listens is an atheist and finds believers frivolous, which I find frustrating and I was just trying to say, hey, if you want to reach Mormons just processing this on different ends of the spectrum, even some who are still trying to find some sort of belief in an afterlife or a meaning to life, here’s some feedback. I get that people are going to cycle in and out depending on where they’re at in rebuilding a life outside of Mormonism and you’re not going to appeal to everyone. Maybe it’s not for me anymore and so what? That has less to do with the podcast and more to do with just being exhausted by Mormonism and wanting to leave it all behind. Either way, you’ve helped me, will probably help me in the future, and there are thousands of other people you’ve helped, and that’s no small thing. So, from one smug, dismissive asshole to another, a sincere thanks and good luck going forward.

    • Glenn   On   June 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Jeremy for the clarification. I would have invited you on to talk with us if I had known how to get in touch with you quickly.

  5. Heather Craw   On   June 23, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I understand Jeremy’s distaste for it. As a child, the certainty with which the adults bore testimony of the Church was exciting. It gave me confidence and made me feel like I could make sense of this world. I fed on their certainty.
    As an adult I found out that their certainty had little correlation with truth. So many of the things that people felt with every fiber of their being were TRUE! were in fact demonstrably false. And for a time, certainty itself became repugnant and suspect. I remember listening to some of the Infants and finding not the ideas themselves but the certainty, as jeremy puts it, “a turn off”. Yes, I think that pendulum swing away from certainty is very natural after a life-altering change of world view.
    There is, however, a gaping chasm of difference between certainty of a) objective phenomena that require no one’s belief to be true and b) beliefs that require faith. The Holocaust happened. The earth revolves around the sun. The earth is billions of years old. Water boils at 100 Celsius (at sea level). These thing with can say with certainty and not feel a squeamish post-modern urge to allow for all viewpoints on the subject. Certainty in provable cases should not evoke the same knee-jerk revulsion as certainty that requires faith.
    Atheism does not necessarily mean that a person believes there is no god, but rather that the person lacks a positive belief that there is a god. Atheists are generally the first to admit that they leave open a possibility that there is a God.
    Jeremy, your comment really struck me because for decades I was that person who applied critical thinking to every area of my life except my religion. I was the religious person whose intellect you respect. I hope I am not dismissive of my Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. friends, but I do suspect that, like me, they compartmentalize their religious views, often for very understandable reasons, and do not subject them to the same scrutiny as other propositions preferring to accept them on faith because they have been indoctrinated to believe that in religious matters, faith is supreme virtue.
    But I reserve the right to laugh at myself. To look back and shake my head at the things that I allowed myself to believe without scrutinizing, and to slap myself on the forehead in front of my husband and my quorummates and exclaim “WTF?! That is so stupid.” Because some of it just is.

    • Jeremy   On   June 24, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Right. The only thing I can say with any certainty is I don’t know, and as Matt said on this episode, why would anyone listen to a podcast in which a guy says “I once had this belief about how the world worked, my place in it, and now I spend my days stumbling around lost and confused?” There’s comfort in certainty, which is why people with strong opinions tend to have the largest audience and the most followers, whether they’re on sports radio, political talk radio, holding rallies in airport hangars, or going around the world in a boat trying to get “clear.” So maybe I’m jealous of guys like Randy who seem to have a zeal that borders on religious for their atheism. He seems to have a certainty and peace that I don’t have, and frankly, never had within Mormonism, but at least I had this belief that if I could somehow stop being a sinner God would talk to me, or somehow make his presence known. There was a certain order to the world, a hero’s journey we were all on that made sense of the ups and downs, and I find no comfort in the sinking realization that it’s just chaos, with no meaning beyond what I choose to impose on it. I’m also intrigued by very smart people whose intellect I respect who either rediscover belief or find it later in life (like the poet Christian Wiman or Mary Karr), who against all logic suspend critical thinking for something that can’t be explained, and deeply enrich their lives because of it. I like the idea that there’s magic and wonder in the world, and I do ask myself sometimes if the Mormon experience makes it very difficult to ever believe again. How could people I love and respect believe so strongly in something that’s so clearly made up, and does that make it hard for me to ever believe in anything like that again? The Mormon experience is so dogmatic and specific, with so little room for wonder, doubt and nuance, that it seems the most common path out is atheism, while within other traditions (Judaism, Buddhism) doubt and mystery and not “knowing” are central. Anyway, thanks for indulging me. Like Glenn hinted at in the beginning of the episode, these are probably things you all worked through 15 years ago and I’m sure it’s tiring hearing someone else work through them for the first time, like having a conversation with a college sophomore who just read Atlas Shrugged.

      • Glenn   On   June 24, 2016 at 6:52 pm

        I may have got some (most!) things wrong about you, Jeremy, but I was right that Randy was the main one you got beef with. 🙂

      • Randy_Snyder   On   June 25, 2016 at 7:18 am

        Jeremy, you seem like a nice guy so I have no desire to say fuck you or beat you up verbally point by point. But you have so many things wrong about me it’s exhausting to me to even think about detailing them typing w my right thumb. You have created a caricature zealot atheist figure in me that has peace and certainty in this world. You attribute every negative thing ever said (that you’ve listened to) in this podcast to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought it was me in the Dehlin episode that wanted my dad to leave Mormonism when it was Glenn that said that while I unapologetically said I do NOT want my dad to leave the church.
        I’d recommend you listen to our podcast called Happiness that I hosted and return and tell me if you think I have zen-like peace with being atheist. I’ve stared into the abyss and I’m still traumatized by it. But just because I don’t believe in capital “M” Meaning doesn’t mean I can’t have meaning in my life, or awe or elevation. My fight is against dogma bc it’s a pediment to discussion and exploration and discovery but those with thoughtful faith like my fellow Infant and close friend John Hamer, I’m very open to listen and absorb wisdom.

  6. Aaron   On   June 24, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I love that after so many years together you guys still miss most of Glenn’s dry jokes. Every once and awhile someone plays the Glenn whisperer to explain it to the others lol. Is there something about being raised Mormon that throws off your sarcasm detector, and do a lot of listeners not get Glenn too?

  7. Seth L.   On   June 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    So this is the way to get onto Infants on Thrones? Write a negative comment and bitch about all the free content?
    Mission Accepted!

    I got nothing. Keep up the good work.

    • Glenn   On   June 24, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Sort of. But like I said in the epside, I primarily wanted to announce that Heather was coming to Sunstone. The thought of recording a response to Jeremy was very last minute, and not much more than an excuse to publish a midweek announcement. But I like how it turned out. Maybe we’ll do more like these, where we respond to listener comments from our website. Because this kind of listener interaction really expands the conversations and self-awareness/discovery, etc, and helps us with this shits and giggles hobby. In other words, we Infants can provide the giggles. You listeners can provide the shits. 😉

      • Seth L.   On   June 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm

        I might not bring giggles but I’m sure I can bring a few shits.
        In all seriousness though I appreciate the work you all do. I think this format is fun.

  8. Detestimony   On   June 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    In Jeremy’s defense, the podcast had many dismissive and derogatory comments about religious belief, including:
    • “I don’t buy into the divine nature of Jesus anymore… It’s all crazy and stupid.”
    • “I don’t see any evidence for a personal god…And anything more nebulous than that doesn’t feel worthy of our attention because it’s too nebulous.”
    • “I don’t think it’s relevant or interesting to talk about a belief in God because it seems kind of silly and so fictitious.”
    • “And if I think it’s a stupid question to begin with as to whether there’s some imaginary being in the sky looking after us, I think that is unrealistic and dumb and not worthy of our focus.”
    Most of these comments were made by John, but, except for Randy, none of the Infants really challenged them. Would you denounce the writings of Tomas Aquinas, Soren Kierkegaard, St. Augustine, CS Lewis, or Paul Tillich as dumb and unworthy of attention, because they contemplate the existence of god? Regardless of what you conclude about god’s existence, it certainly isn’t silly or dumb to ask and ponderize the question, though this episode at times made is seem so.

    • Glenn   On   June 24, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Excellent points! Thank you for taking the time to post this. So good.
      So this is the part of this whole conversation that simultaneously fascinates and frustrates me, because I feel so flawed and unskilled at this and just don’t know the answer:
      How, if this is how someone like John (or Randy, or me) truly feels about the question of God — especially in the way they choose to define their own identity –how do you show respect for people who feel differently?
      I think the answer exists somewhere in openness and diplomacy — in a willingness to discuss and hear and understand why someone else’s belief is different. But that can only go so far, right? Because being open to hearing it doesn’t mean I will respect (or appreciate, or validate, or accept, or admire, or fear, or obey, or any other synonyms for respect that I can think of) that person’s reason, or even respect the reasoning behind the reason. And after a while, you start recognizing patterns in these rationalizations, and stop truly being open to hearing anything new, because at some point, there really isn’t anything new to hear. And then you are right back to that risk of dismissiveness.
      For what it’s worth, I wanted to challenge those statements a few times by saying, “it may seem silly and unworthy to you, John, but what about the people you interact with who don’t see it that way — the people who take those ideas as sacred and core to their identity?” That was the question that kept popping into my head, but as with so many of these recorded discussions, we don’t always say everything that we are thinking for any number of reasons.
      But I’d be very interested to hear your take on this. Thanks again for the comment.

      • Seth L.   On   June 24, 2016 at 4:49 pm

        I personally would love to see a more full panel discussion on this topic. I have asked this question before.
        Do we have a duty to respect other peoples beliefs? Especially the one we have left that we have dirt on. Because my take is when Mormons ask us to respect their religion it means don’t ever talk about it unless it’s uplifting. Don’t comment on what we are doing unless you are helping out our goals. Pretty much let us believe what we want, do what we want, and to have have equal voice in the marketplace of ideas. They want to be seen as normal. Their beliefs make that difficult. And the way they live their beliefs make it difficult.

      • Saint Ralph   On   June 25, 2016 at 10:32 am

        My take on it is that my respect can only be earned and believing in imaginary stuff that can’t be proved does not earn my respect. Also, certain behaviors will quickly wipe out any respect I may have had. Mitch McConnell is a good example I have something less than zero respect for the man. His racist obstructionism has done more damage to this country than terrorists have ever dreamed of and I do not respect him or his beliefs.
        So you need a different word. Tolerance usually works. We need to be civil to people and tolerate their beliefs. But even this is now getting out of hand. People are using this required tolerance to skirt anti-discrimination statutes and civil rights laws. Soon they’ll be squirming out from under the entire Constitution by claiming that it violates their deeply held beliefs which we are duty-bound to respect and/or tolerate in whatever form they take.
        There was a news item a week or two ago about Muslim refugees in Switzerland. It is customary in Switzerland for the teachers and students to shake hands as the students file out of the school or the classroom or whatever. The Muslim kids (more likely their parents) wanted the Muslim kids to be exempt from this practice because in their culture females never touch any man they’re not related to for any reason. The Swiss thought about it and then said, “No. If you want to live here you will behave as we behave. We will not behave as Muslims to accommodate you. If you don’t like Switzerland, perhaps you would be happier somewhere else.”
        This is what we as a society have to do at some point. We have to draw a line somewhere. Maybe the line could be between tolerance and accommodation, “We will tolerate you and your beliefs civilly, but we will not modify our behavior to avoid offending you.” Maybe Matt could put some legalese to it. I don’t know how to word it, but there’s a logical limit somewhere to how far you can go in “respecting” someone’s beliefs.

      • Detestimony   On   June 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm

        I agree that it’s probably somewhere between diplomacy and openness, though where on that line I can’t say. It probably depends on the audience.
        I think Oscar Wilde handled it best when he said “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”

      • Detestimony   On   June 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm

        True, but that was intended to be a joke based on the similar adage usually attributed (wrongly) to Voltaire.

    • Randy_Snyder   On   June 25, 2016 at 6:50 am

      Yet I’m the object of Jeremy’s confused ire. Other than CS Lewis whom I consider mediocre, the others you list were great minds that contributed significantly, to say the least, to Western philosophy.
      John’s defense of not using the atheist label seemed lame to me. The question of God is silly (to the level of unicorn existence) and therefore where I stand on that issue is not even in the top 100 things I’d use to define myself? Tall ranks higher? The question of God is the cultural soup we swim in here in the states and furthermore, it permeates the primordial soup John’s influence and celebrity arose from. I’m the caricature atheist that Jeremy imagines he envies for my “zealot-like certainty” but I vehemently disagree that the question of God is silly and stupid and insignificant and I sure as hell don’t dismiss Aquinas and Augustine bc they did contemplate the nature of God.
      I’d prefer John use Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s defense of resisting the label of atheist when Tyson said, “Labels like atheist give people an intellectually lazy way to think they know more about you than they actually do. If half the people I want to scientifically educate will dismiss me because I’m an avowed atheist, how am I to ever reach them?”

    • Voltaire   On   July 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Some of us are more interested in the practical than the theoretical, in what can be known, what is, and what we can do about it.

  9. Matthew A   On   June 24, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Since leaving the church I’ve thought a lot about this idea that was instilled in me that we should respect other people’s beliefs. Historically I think other Christian faiths have been the hardest on Mormonism, and through the years I’ve seen the church trying to reach out and make friends with other denominations. Even now they’re trumpeting things like “Hey look, we’re actually pretty normal! We have beliefs just like you do. We don’t make fun of your beliefs because, quite frankly, we’re fed up with you making fun of ours!” I mean, Meet the Mormons led off with clips from South Park and The Book of Mormon Musical just to illustrate to the audience this notion that Mormons aren’t respected. They proceeded to attempt to persuade us why they should be.
    In some way, I think the call for solidarity between religious groups is an attempt to band together against the rise secular influence. In the last couple of generations, and now even more acutely in the internet age, religious beliefs have been plunged into the marketplace of ideas, open to real scrutiny in a way that I don’t think religion has ever seen. Daniel Dennett talks about it a couple of times in this interview. https://www.closertotruth.com/interviews/47230 Where before many people would have said they valued faith, many would now say they value truth. I certainly think I’m one of those.
    As such, I no longer say that beliefs deserve my respect. I don’t even attempt to separate the beliefs from the people and say that all people deserve my respect even if their beliefs don’t. That’s exactly how Mormons package their campaign against homosexuality. “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.” I think the entire concept is flawed and impractical.
    But here’s what I will do. I’ll defend everyone’s right to set up a booth at the marketplace of ideas and beliefs and peddle their wares. I may despise their beliefs and everything they have to say, but if I cherish my right to voice my disagreement, I have to defend their right to believe and say what they want to believe and say. As Thomas Paine said in Age of Reason, “I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”
    J.K. Rowling actually said it really well recently in regard to the petition to ban Donald Trump from entering their country because of his hateful speech. She defended his freedom of expression, as much as she despises what he says and does. It’s actually part of defending her right to say that she despises it. http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2016/05/j_k_rowling_defends_donald_trump_s_right_to_be_bigoted_and_free_speech_video.html
    TLDR; I think this idea that we should respect everyone’s beliefs is the cry of those who are afraid of scrutiny. I’ll defend everyone’s right to believe what they want to believe, and we should always strive for civility, but we must also defend our own freedom of expression.

    • Matthew A   On   June 24, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      Just look at what Elder Uchtdorf just said at the end of his Facebook post defending his belief in seer stones. “Many religions have objects, places, and events that are sacred to them. We respect the sacred beliefs of other religions and hope to be respected for our own beliefs and what is sacred to us. We should never be arrogant, but rather polite and humble. We still should have a natural confidence, because this is the Church of Jesus Christ.”
      But what about the people who aren’t religious, Elder Uchtdorf? What are we supposed to think of your belief in seer stones? I’ll always defend his right to say silly things, but I won’t pretend like I don’t think seer stones are silly.

      • Zeke   On   June 25, 2016 at 3:37 am

        Okay, Here’s the founding fathers of mormonism showing respect for other religions.
        – “The Bible is translated incorrectly, full of errors, all wrong and definitely NOT the Word of God, or at least not the reliable Word of God.”
        -“The Catholic Church is the Church of the Devil and the Mother Whore”
        “Protestant churches teach the commandments of men and are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord”
        Nice and respectful…………..

      • Zeke   On   June 25, 2016 at 4:03 am

        So i’ll say it if Randy won’t, “Fuck the founding fathers of mormonism!”

  10. chicagoinfl   On   June 24, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    At least part of the reason that ex-Mormons tend to be dismissive of religion is because of the nature of Mormonism. A significant aspect of the Joseph Smith narrative is that all religions except Mormonism are false. No matter how much we want to reject our Mormon upbringing as ex-Mormons, it stays with us – including our dismissiveness of religions. I think this is why ex-Mormons are so dismissive of Mormonism.

  11. Tim   On   June 25, 2016 at 10:44 am

    I cringe at the characterization of people as falling somewhere on the spectrum between smart and stupid. It’s a one-dimensional metric that is incapable of measuring the complexity of what it means to be human. And I think you all do an exceptional job of teasing out the complexity and nuance of the Mormon experience. I think it’s fair for you to poke fun at others, particularly since you poke fun at each other and frequently discuss mistakes you have made. It’s like saying, “Hey! Listen to this crazy thing that someone said. It’s outrageous. But I totally understand, because it’s exactly what I would have said 10 years ago. And in fact here is an example of something awful I said in the past.” Like Randy’s whole Homachnophobia episode.
    My faith crisis came about from witnessing variations in people’s mental capacities. The central tenet of personal accountability falls flat when you recognize that people have differing capacities for judgment, insight, and reason. Add in variations of naïveté, intellect, and social skills and layer that with differing temperaments, perception, and capacity for empathy (this 3×3 pattern is especially for you, Glenn) and you can start to see the futile complexity of the Judgment Bar of God and the injustice of eternal consequences. That’s not an exhaustive list of the discrete functions of the brain that drive our actions. It’s humbling to know that my successes in life are largely in part to heritable factors that I had nothing to do with just as heritable factors caused my wife’s uncle to develop schizoaffective disorder. It’s humbling to consider that simply shifting the balance of dopamine and acetylcholine in my brain would induce a similar psychosis. That a deficiency in prolactin can inhibit a parent’s normal tendency to nurture their children. That a tumor pushing on my classmate’s amygdala could make him an asshole. That irregularities in neurotransmitters and hormones could drive my friends to kill themselves. That sociopaths are simply making decisions without the benefit of a conscience. That it’s normal to do horrible things to other people given the right conditions (The Stanford Prison experiment, The Milgram experiment). These are not the effects of simply being smart or stupid, good or evil. They are the effects of being human.

    • Randy_Snyder   On   June 25, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Awesome post. When I went from dualism to believing in the material brain the effect on me was less judgemental, more empathy, and away from the retributivist attitude that so informs our criminal justice system. Racism is the other thing that informs the criminal justice system.

    • Detestimony   On   June 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      I agree. Your second paragraph is also one of the factors leading to my decision to leave the church. Your comment reminded me of the excellent Mormon Stories episodes on Taryn and Jason Nelson-Seawright, where Taryn discusses how feeling the holy spirit depended almost entirely on taking a particular medication.

    • Gabriel von Himmel   On   July 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Tim, great contribution to the ambiguity of human intention. We are all a swirl of chemistry and experience giving us, all, unique stamps on reality. Cultural immersion creates unique triggers to existence, thanks to both Tim and all the Infants for exposing the effects of being human.

  12. gem2477   On   June 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Podcasts are for sharing opinions. If anyone doesn’t like the Infants’ opinions, they don’t have to listen. How stupid would a podcast be if the people involved always were wishy-washy and never gave a firm opinion on anything? I like to hear Matt’s opinions. They are articulate and hit the mark.

  13. Heather Craw   On   June 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    As far as being challenged (not bullied) about church activity, it helped me thoroughly examine my own thinking on the matter and really analyze the pros, cons, fears and responsibilities attached to leaving. I hated doing it publicly, to be frank, but I’ve never resented the challenging.

    • Glenn   On   June 26, 2016 at 2:36 am

      How should I respond? How about with a multiple choice:
      A) The point was that Jeremy left a comment that I thought could make for a fun and interesting conversation with Matt and has actually inspired some of the most articulate and intelligent comments from listeners not named Anthony that I have seen on this website. Plus I had a few announcements I wanted to make. Sorta like I said in the episode.
      B) What was the point of this comment?
      C) The point was…. Um…. Gee, Anthony. Come to think of it… you’re right. There was no point! Oh my God, what have I done? Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. Hey everyone, Anthony has figured it all out for us. Let’s all just go watch TV. Or go to the kitchen and whip up some troll food for Anthony.

  14. Duke of Earl Grey   On   June 26, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    What “respect” do we owe horrible people who believe and say horrible things (Donald Trump, Westboro Baptists, etc.)? The only respect they are entitled to, and which we must give them, is respect of their rights. They have a right to believe and say what they want, and they have a right to exist, even if the world would be a better place without them. I don’t think they deserve one iota of respect beyond that, or any of my esteem to any degree.

  15. Voltaire   On   June 27, 2016 at 1:49 am

    Any disrespect Infants might show is understandable. The church has hurt, betrayed, lied to, and made fools of us all. It is only natural to feel disrespectful of the institution, and by extension, disrespectful of those who perpetuate the myths of the institution, those who still doggedly cling to and defend it, especially if they refuse to listen to the damning evidence and look down upon those who have left the faith in the light of the evidence. I have heard that those who were once addicted to tobacco and have been able to stop are often the people who are most intolerant of and disrespectful of smokers. Now that I am free from the emotional need for religion or the social pressure to embrace it, now that I see no need for mental gymnastics to defend it or to try to make it seem logical and sensible to myself or others, I find it very hard to be patient and respectful with those who choose to continue in their religious addiction. I can see the need to be polite. I can feel sorry for them in their state of delusion. I can love them. I can understand their need to use compartmentalization as a tool for emotional survival. But saying they have intellectual integrity? No.

  16. RunningOnEmpty   On   June 28, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I thought this was a great podcast, and I’ve enjoyed reading the comments continuing the discussion. It wasn’t until I hadn’t been to church for several years and had lots of interactions with people outside of the church that I realized how uncomfortable many mormons are with actually discussing controversial issues, or really anything where opinions differ (at least, I know I was). We can debate about where Kolob is or whether the sealed portion of the BOM will be translated, but I’ve never heard a really deep discussion in church on racism in mormonism or the church’s stance on LGBT issues. After I left the church, I’ve had several people comment that I have become more combative or argumentative about things, and so they don’t bring them up. But really, that’s usually how adults communicate. You bring what you think to the table and sometimes people will call you on your BS, and you either need to defend it or change your thinking. It is a refreshing way to interact, as opposed to the “we all know the right answer is to follow the prophet so there isn’t much need for discussion” way I was used to.
    I understand the desire for respect, especially when mocking what other people believe. Most of my family is still mormon, so when it is being mocked a part of it pains me because I know so many people I love and respect hold it dear. But that is my issue, not the people on IOT. And it seems like when they have had a guest on, they have been respectful towards that person, even if they disagree. When they’ve told stories about their interactions with their families, it seems like they are as respectful as possible, but maybe I missed it.
    Anyway, I love the podcast, keep up the good work. Especially you, Randy!

  17. Heather_ME   On   June 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    “He uses a lot of 3 patterns, I’ve noticed.”
    Since knowing Glenn I’ve become very self-conscious about this and try to avoid 3 patterns at all costs. I’m not sure why. Maybe I see it as an unconscious mental trap and I try to avoid falling into it?

  18. Chad   On   June 30, 2016 at 2:47 am

    I enjoyed this podcast. I think Matt put it well when he said that the IOT podcasts VALIDATES some of the listeners. That is how I see it anyway and why I listen. Folks like Matt, Randy etc and especially John Hamer hash out the issues and put into words so well what I’m feeling and thinking. Thanks guys.

  19. Ron Hill   On   June 30, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    This topic is a logical rock and a hard place. I appreciate you two trying to be self aware and non knee-jerk toward Jeremy’s criticism, and was impressed in the level of inspection you afforded in yourselves and your approach within Infants. But there was also a part of me that thought you gave up too much ground.
    Face value, Mormonism is an ideologically abusive cult. It is extremely practical and logical that a person realizing this would want the people they love and care about to realize it and get themselves free of it, especially when they’ve struggled and done so themselves.
    The hard part is that correction and contrary information is often seen as personal criticism (necessarily by the person’s construct). It’s so easy to feel a boob and idiot when you start to realize just how bamboozled you are or had been (I think we’ve all experienced these harsh self deprecating thoughts coming out of Mormonism). Given the brain’s self-defecating in this situation, it’s really a tough sell to talk to people so personally attached to these ideas and not come off as mean, judgmental, or smug … but, YOU DO KNOW MORE THAN THEM! because what you know is more than they are willing to investigate or accept having abandoned a high degree of confirmation bias, which they are still embroiled in. If their defenses need to put blame on you as smug, judgmental, bigoted, etc. so be it, but it’s largely a reflexive self protecting response – a dodge. It’s almost impossible to convincingly show/tell people they are wrong about ideas they hold to be of central and utmost importance without the knee jerk response of kill the messenger, ala “You’re a mean smug bigoted jackass jerk!”
    John Dehlin has developed a pretty good and kind approach at this, “Believe whatever you want, but know and understand what it is you’re believing.”, but many still see him as a wolf in sheep’s clothing since he’s pushing buttons they don’t want to be pushed while pretending to be kind and neutral. So no approach is perfect – the backfire effect is strong and highly self preservational.
    I understand that as humans we possess limited sense and perception, but that doesn’t mean we need to accept or give respect to non-sense and perceptual (and sometimes willful) ignorance. “The only thing I can say with certainty is I don’t know” – what a load of crap! There are plenty of things I can say (and not just limited to Mormonism) with a pretty high degree of certainty.

  20. AxelDC   On   July 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    During the discussion, I was caught up the the dilemma of coming across as smug and self-satisfied like TBMs and Mormon missionaries versus coming across as filled with doubt and uncertainty. When you are coming from a fundamentalist perspective, any form of doubt or acknowledgement of your own limited perspective is seen as weak or worse, an opening for conversion. If we come across to TBMs like we are wracked with doubt, they may interpret that as an invitation to reconvert us. You know the typical testimony talk: Bro Soandso read too much antistuff, which invited dark spirits, but when I bore my strong testimony, it saved his soul.
    It is hard to strike the balance of being perceived as thoughtful and open minded versus being perceived as doubting and uncertain. TBMs perceive doubts as signs of weakness, not opportunities for learning. While I do not know the LDS Church is false, I have enough doubts to dismiss it as a fraud and everything I learn and observe since I’ve left has only reinforced that impression. If my unwillingness to bear witness that I know the LDS Church is untrue is viewed as an opening for reconversion, I have to come across as more certain than I am comfortable to ward off those efforts.

    • Travis Gower   On   July 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      You’re absolutely right, but it’s not a bad idea to “plant seeds” with a believer that there’s nothing wrong with uncertainty. At all. And while I believe all conclusions should be tentative, I’m also confident in telling a believer that to me, Mormonism is as likely to be true as [insert wacky belief here].
      On the other hand, I tend to see the scientific method as being unable to prove anything to be true, but very much able to prove things false. So… maybe I really do think the church is definitely, conclusively false. I suppose the question becomes, How many LDS truth claims must be disproved before the church itself is “not true”?

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