Ep 305 – Religious Freedom Smackdown Pt 1

Written by on September 18, 2016

Who puts the dumb in religious freedumb?  Listen in as Heather, Jake, Matt, and Glenn take on recent comments from Dallin H. Oaks, Todd D. Christofferson, and (almost) Alexander “no-middle-initial-cuz-he’s-just-a-lawyer-not-a-friggin-apostle-of-jesus” Dushku.  Get your whip cream and pie tins ready, cuz this wall is gonna get messy.

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  1. Launa Willis   On   September 19, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Do you know what a party line is? It’s an opinion on something you don’t know anything about. Kinda like supporting LGB T and not knowing shit about the T. Kinda, people just add it ’cause if flows’. How about using LGBD for “Don’t know shit about”. I’m about 15 years behind LGB’s and to hear haphazard comments on T makes me wonder which way people will go on the issue? Affirming or dis-affirming? I don’t think you’ve really decided. What drives your concern for ‘T’? Who gives a shit about T and Why?
    Love the show, Shawn McCraney, Lindsay Hansen Park, John Dehlin, John Larsen and all the Infants AND you don’t know shit about Transgender and you should. There’s no bad press so keep it up but I still hear you toying with an Idea you don’t know anything about And it is frustrating to “Transgenders”. Showing up to X-LDS groups for T gets as much resistance among the LGBD supporters as at my local Ward. Why The Face?
    It’s because people don’t know and shines through. I don’t have time to wait 10-15 years for people to catch up. I’m alive right now! I can’t wait 15 years and neither can my family. It’s a big deal to me, transgender kids and our families. Yeah, I have kids too, you know the ones that can’t get baptized. That’s my kids! Once again, no bad press. Love your show and commentaries AND this is a big issue that needs more light and knowledge.

    • Kim   On   September 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      This is the Kim that every once in a while comes on the podcast. I would be more than happy to work with you, as a guest on the show or behind the scenes (whatever you are most comfortable with) on points you feel would be most important to cover. Transgender specific issues are a huge passion of mine and I’d love to support better info getting out there in any way that I can.

      • Launa Willis   On   September 20, 2016 at 3:27 am

        That would be fantastic Kim. I’m more of a Verbal Judo fan but I am sure we can dance. This was an awesome episode until they they dropped the T bomb AGAIN and that makes me a little 96. It’s not “fetching” arbitrary and continuing to hear it that way is questionable. If you are not sure then just drop the T until you know what you are talking about. I enjoy this pod cast tremendously, it hits the spot like no other and I just can’t understand with the information at everyone’s finger tips how they remain so uninformed. Let me know how you would like to make contact. I am happy to speak with you or anyone else.

      • Glenn   On   September 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm

        I had some very transformative interactions a few years back with a “T” I grew up with in my home ward. I have even podcasted twice about that experience. It lead me to stand up in my ward and bear my un-Testimony to them before I finally left for good. So please don’t tell me that I don’t know shit about “T” or suggest that I am only towing a party line without any real concern. It’s ignorant and insulting.

      • Launa   On   September 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        Yes, I remember the pod cast on “Kris” I think you called her. It was very encouraging. I’m glad you know someone who is Transgender. Most do not. I am referred to the same way by people who don’t even talk to me, but they know me (so they are cool with it, they know lots of “transgenderers” ). When is the last time you talked to her? I’m sure she’d love a random call.
        I am curious to know what you know about Gender Identity Dysphoria (GID), it’s prevalence, how it is treated medically and why it is categorically excluded by insurance carriers even though it costs less to include?
        I listen intently to the “blogernacle” and I am glad it at least comes up now and then but I have yet to recognize a positive light on real comprehension and changing the cultural mindset of “supporters”. I am blown away at just how supportive LGB groups are and how little they really know. I am not surprised at the growing distance between LGB and T as the T quack for comprehension. It’s a problem and Transgender have the most to lose.
        Maybe I am over complicating it, but I don’t think you really went in to what it is to be “transgender” today so much as how someone who was Transgender affected your testimony. I will listen to it again. I remember I cried the first time. It was a powerful episode for me and one of only a few touching the subject with any depth. Dr. D promised an episode long ago but has yet to deliver, I am sure he is working on it.
        I will “pray” for more patience in allowing people to get around to this at their own pace. Until then I’ll try not to alienate the firm support on the issue. I have kept fairly patient but get frustrated over time and feel placated and patronized. I recognize you’ve no obligation to me or anyone else and I’ll take any bread crumbs. I do not comment often anywhere, it doesn’t really work well for me but something this time really lit me on fire and ran me around the room.
        I was there when Jeremy Runnells excommunicated the Church and you know what, I still felt like a porcupine at a balloon festival. I’m sure I could have turned that around but why did I have to?

      • Saint Ralph   On   September 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        I’m not sure what you expect. If people grant you the right to be, not that it’s theirs to grant, but if they at least don’t oppose your right to exist and be who you are, can you realistically insist that they know you and thoroughly understand you, too? I don’t demand that of people I pass on the street or sit next to in a Starbucks or even work side-by-side with. We give each other space and don’t harass or impede or discriminate against each other and that’s enough for day-to-day interaction. More intimate interpersonal relations are something else, but aren’t they a matter of choice on both sides? I’m afraid that if you demand more than acceptance and nondiscrimination, you’re going to push people to the point of backlash.

      • Launa   On   September 20, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        Saint Ralph, “let me esplain, no that would take too long, let me summarize”.
        Suppose one day your child who was born with a penis of typical size and configuration says to you, “Mom-Dad, you know i’m a girl right”? What would you do? Would you support your child in presenting their Gender Identity publicly? Would you wonder where they got the idea? Would you casually support and even encourage it or would you try to get some professional help to make sure the prescription fits?
        Would your insurance cover the assistance or would you be left to your own resources? Would you want a second opinion or would you just settle on your brief understanding and support them either which way? It doesn’t really matter right? Or does it? What if you got it wrong and really they just caught an interesting Jerry Springer or Oprah and wanted to give it a try?
        How would you deal with the School District and the other parents who are concerned about your child using the same programs and facilities as theirs. Is it ok your child has to use the teachers lounge just to go pee in a segregated private stall?
        When your child approaches puberty is their body going to improve their Dysphoria or agitate it? Is the insurance company going to tell you “Transgender” is not a real diagnosis? Wouldn’t you want to know “why”? What if the person on the phone said they don’t cover “gender benders”, “twinks” or “transgenders”?
        Being Gay or Transgender is a characteristic and part of our identity like the color of our skin. Society would prefer to look at gender as either one or the other and resists the reality that gender has much more variety in both humans and other animals. That opposition is reinforced by the way we talk about and display our attitudes. That opposition particularly promoted by the LDS is what turns the condition to a disorder and self-hatred so crippling many believe suicide preferential to being transgender or homosexual. I think that was even promoted at one point by church leaders.
        No St. Ralph, we don’t have to be friends. You don’t have to know the ins and outs of the condition but when you are overheard casualizing the aggression toward it, you might expect some “positive and corrective feedback”. The kind a white hood would get at a black panthers meeting.

      • Saint Ralph   On   September 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

        My cousin has a transgender child, so I’m not completely unfamiliar with the trials such a kid faces in school and elsewhere. The reference to a “white hood” is over the top and off the edge. It sounds like you’re out to make enemies on purpose—and I’m not. So, be well and have a nice life.

      • Launa   On   September 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        I am sorry you Received it that way. Definitely not intended. Not out to make enemies. Maybe just venting a little. I appreciate you read as much as you did and I will withdraw my comment shortly.

  2. Launa Willis   On   September 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Oh and the “harm” LGB T groups cause the LDS Church is they expose the “Say one thing, do another” nature of the organization. The whole “Jesus says love everyone” thing kinda falls apart for them in the fine print. Some exclusions always apply.

  3. Krystal   On   September 19, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Could be mistaken, but I think The Agony and the Ecstasy was based on the same-titled book by Irving Stone? Great book. He’s one of my favorite authors. Also really enjoyed The Passions of the Mind (Freud) and Lust for Life (Van Gogh).

  4. Seth L.   On   September 19, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Awesome Episode. Really nailed it on the head. They are moving more out of concern of losing privelage then losing rights. It’s all bravado and talking points for members. It works perfectly with the Mormons native persecution complex.

  5. Colin J   On   September 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    You sort of hint about it around the edges, but I think what is really driving the church on this issue, is not so much a desire to maintain their privileged status, but more a fear of public backlash against their increasingly indefensible positions against gay rights. As you mentioned in the podcast, they’ve played this game before with polygamy and civil rights. They have to know how it will eventually end. But if they back down this time, the consequences are going to be so much greater than before, because in their fervor to oppose gay rights, they’ve doubled and tripled down on it to the point that it’s now the core of modern Mormon doctrine. They are right to fear that if nothing changes doctrinally in the LDS church, openly Mormon people may someday have trouble finding jobs, getting elected to office, or generally expressing their religious views in public free from scorn. That’s not because religious freedom will have deteriorated. It’s because by that point the church will be considered a fringe, extremist hate group. So their best hope now is to frame their stance on gay rights as legitimate religious beliefs worthy of respect, rather than the morally reprehensible views that they actually are.

  6. LDSRevelations   On   September 19, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    First, I f-ing love you all. It’s true. I do. Thanks for keeping the info fun with the editing and banter, Sure, it takes a little longer but it’s the Infants way.
    Second, Heather is spot on in pointing out that religion in the West has made progress and is only acceptable at all to Western society in as much as it has been adapted to the secular ethics and morals that these pluralistic societies have come to. I’ve made the case repeatedly that Mormonism specifically has only come to the worthwhile and lasting ‘revelations’ it has since 1844 by it’s leaders eventually capitulating and giving into what secular society has come to…albeit after the fact. The end of polygamy and the P-hood ban were not things LDS prophets would have undertaken w/o pressure from the larger world. More broadly the reasons that religion in the Europe and the US is less harmful and extreme than other places is because people are free to pick and choose what to accept— if they accept any of it. Oddly enough secularism’s softening progressive influence is what has made religion palatable/acceptable in modern societies.

  7. Rusty Jones   On   September 19, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    I tend to agree with Glen’s pie analogy on this one. I hear my TBM family talk about the November policy change and church this and church that…and it doesn’t seem to matter what the church does, the church is always right. It’s exhausting. I always wonder if people just turned off the news, turned off Facebook, etc. would any of this even reach us? Would any of these political or religious issues actually affect our day to day life. I don’t really think they would…but here I am speaking as a white man of privelage.

  8. AC   On   September 19, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Just wanted to drop by and say that I put on this podcast and was pulling out the law journal article I have to write for school JUST as Matt was talking about how useless they are for actual authority. Great reminder hahaha.

  9. Orrin Dayne   On   September 20, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Without legislation, I would expect that default under the constitution for non-governmental non-entangled institutions is going to be “discriminate all you want.” I would expect the default for religions is the same. I’d love to hear comments from someone more familiar on this.
    What I’d like to know is where the law shakes out for non-church, but church-affiliated institutions. It sounded like Matt was implying that anti-discrimination laws (including their exemptions) must pass a rational basis test. Thus, it seemed to me that Matt was suggesting that exemptions for those church-affiliated institutions must pass a rational basis test, and supernatural beliefs alone do not satisfy the rational basis test. Did I get that correct?
    Does this mean, when legislatures create a new protection (e.g., protecting LGBT citizens from discrimination in housing, but exempting church-affiliated institutions), the exemption must pass a rational basis test? If so, perhaps the church is clever like a fox — hitching their exemption for church-affiliated institutions to the general protections, thus a person not liking the exemption would have to be willing to get the whole bill (and the rest of the protections) thrown out. Is any LGBT advocate going to do that? Probably not until a bill without exemptions is guaranteed to pass.

  10. AxelDC   On   September 20, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Excellent discussion, one of the best you’ve had in awhile.
    Gay marriage is such a strange hill for Mormonism to die on. The number of gay couples is and always will be miniscule relative to greater society. In places where gay marriage has become the norm, it’s hardly noticeable. You might have a nice gay couple down the street from you, or get invited to witness your cousin marrying his beau, but otherwise your life is little affected.
    What makes this so different from the racist discussion is the number of gay Mormons. There were hardly any blacks in the LDS Church in the 1970s, and there still are precious few. It’s rare for white Mormon families to produce black children. The number of Mormons directly affected by the racism made it mostly an external issue.
    However, straight Mormons families are excellent at producing gay children. This is problematic both internally and externally for the church. Internally, it forces TBM parents to choose between the church and their own children. Externally, it makes the nice Mormons look cruel as they reject their own offspring for being gay as society realizes that gays are people to be treasured, not rejected. I know from personal experience that for every gay Mormon who comes out, there are probably 5 other TBMs who leave the church as a result. They cannot continue to treat their own gay members so cruelly and stay solvent as a religion.

  11. Heather_ME   On   September 20, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Mormons figured it out before L. Ron Hubbard. Establishing a religion is the way to really make money in this country.

  12. steve   On   September 20, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Excellent episode you guys and gal!
    It is a protection racket .. plus the leaders are usually selected from a pool of successful business executive types .. guys who are good at growing businesses, gaming systems in to their advantage and creating protective moats. These are the skills they bring to an organization resistant to change, but with some juicy business and gaming opportunities. I’m sure it can be fun.
    It had me thinking about Einstein’s correspondence with Gandhi over the years. I’m reluctant to extend Einstein’s genius beyond physics, but the letters are thoughtful and deep. In one Einstein laments physicists moving away from the pure study of nature to work on weapons of war… he spoke of the need for great spiritual geniuses and suggested the Buddha, St Francis of Assisi and Gandhi were examples (he wasn’t trying to butter Gandhi up). He said the dignity, security and even the joy of humanity depended as much on these geniuses in the art of living as it did on those the term genius is usually applied.
    There are some wonderfully kind members of the church, but somehow I doubt any of the leaders posses the spiritual genius Einstein spoke of.

  13. Chris   On   October 3, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Hey Guys! Did my comment make you self conscious? Do me a favor since it’s such hard work for me to listen while sitting here on my ass drooling over a beer, will you all work on changing your voices for me so it makes it easier to differentiate between them. No but seriously your all my ex mormon ear candy so keep the good faith. I’m particularly looking forward to the engaging conversation I’m hoping you have about the apostle meeting leak and how pathetic those spoon fed echo chamber power point presentations were. Cheers.

  14. Terri   On   October 18, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Love this episode so much! I so appreciate pointing out all the things that are said that is just taken as fact and they keep right on going. This makes me craaaazzzy at church. It’s such a feeling of…what? Relief, kinship, humor, pride? when I hear you go through and say “nu-uh…no wait…what?!” I. Love. It.

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