Ep 288 – Respect

Written by on July 10, 2016

Inspired by an exchange from Matt and Glenn in the recent “Hey, Jeremy” episode, John, Randy, Jake, Kim McKay, and Heather (with a brief cameo by M.C. Heather) take on the notion of respect. What does it mean to respect someone or their beliefs, especially when you’ve rejected those beliefs for very specific reasons? Can respect be a useful concept for guiding our interactions in a concrete way, or is it a catch-all for someone losing an argument? And most importantly, how do you spell it?

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  1. Saint Ralph   On   July 10, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    China Mieville’s novel “The City and the City” is a really good illustration of what might happen when mutually exclusive ideologies, world views or modes of perception are forced to exist side by side with enforced mutual “r_____t,” one never allowed to win out over the other. I think it should be required reading in high-school or freshman English. (And freaketh thou not out—it’s completely different style, tone, subject and content-wise from Mieville’s fantasy series.)

  2. HK   On   July 11, 2016 at 1:04 am

    I did meet a girl who got baptized after seeing The Book of Mormon musical. I wish I could remember her name because I think we became friends on Facebook. I think she has since left the church…. I wonder why…

  3. Thomas Moore   On   July 11, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Who would of thought that the word “Respect” and the concept could bring up so many negative and positive feelings (especially in Mormonism).
    1) Here’s why the whole concept or teaching of “Respect” is so, so difficult. We’re trained to respect authority, especially police officers. So when we see a police officer that we were taught to respect shoot a Black man in Minnesota we lose respect; but only because the mayor or chief of police come on and ask for calm and leaders say, “Not all cops are bad; or not all of them act out like this”. Then we learn the fact that the Black man who was murdered had been pulled over 52 times by cops. Isn’t that just straight out harassment? Then we have the 5 officers killed in Dallas and again we’re asked to respect Black lives and Blue lives; yet we all know that in our country it seems White lives are more valuable and matter more.
    2) Speaking of Donald Trump and me living in AZ…well, Trump said he couldn’t respect a person who was captured when speaking about McCain. McCain has been AZ’s senator forever; yet how can we respect him just for being a P.O.W.? Then again McCain did stand up when Lies about Obama’s religion/beliefs were being espoused, but he picked Sarah Palin as a running mate. During this election do I vote for the person I respect more or who I believe has damaged their chance of getting my respect?
    3) I’m a gay man, so I’m supposed to love, respect and defer to groups like “Affirmation” and “Mama Dragons”. Yet, these groups so offend me and I find them more of a sell out to the Abusers and Perpetrators that are abusing the LGBTQ community, both in and out of the church. I do though have respect for individuals in “Mama Dragons” because they raised kids that are proud and open enough to come to their parents with the truth that they’re gay. So instead of sending them to some Christian pray the gay away camp, they show their love by protecting and fighting the corporation. So torn.
    4) Don’t get me going on about Bishops and Stake Presidents that truly believe they’re inspired by God on what is best for their local congregations. Do I believe that I respect them? I do if they’re acting in the spirit of love, compassion and truth; but how do I discern who is having a court of love because a person really wants to repent or whether a court of love is being held against a John Dehlin or a Jeremy Runnells who I respect more.

  4. Tim   On   July 11, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Two years after my faith crisis, I told my bishop that I no longer believed. He is a sensitive, good person. I had served as his executive secretary until the prior year. He was best friends with my uncles as a teenager, and he was best friends with my father-in-law at the time of my faith crisis. At an earlier date, he had once told me that I would one day sit in his chair. But on that day, he sat thoughtfully for a moment before asking, “So, do you think that I’m deceived?” It was a pointed question: We had shared the same beliefs and I was telling him that I rejected them as false. But I didn’t want to take the bait to express derision for the moral foundation of his life. I replied, “Only in the way that you must think that I’m deceived.” Perhaps there was a better response, but it was a thorny question in a tense situation. Then he tearfully said, “I just can’t believe that the Filipino people I baptized on my mission gave up everything for nothing.” It was less than 6 months after the attacks of September 11, and I considered responding that the willingness of 20 young men to die for their beliefs did not make them any more true. But he was a good friend, in pain from my apostasy, reflecting on the importance of the church in his own life. Unlike those times when I think, “I should have said…”, I’ve never regretted showing restraint at that moment.
    It was difficult not using the word “respect” in this account, but it’s more precise and less prone to misunderstanding without such an ambiguous term. Thanks Glenn for inspiring this discussion, and thanks Kim, Jake, Heather, JohnHamer, and Randy for another great podcast!

  5. AC   On   July 11, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I had a really similar experience to Heather when it came to listening to IoT. The first time I listened to an episode, I couldn’t make it through the first 5 minutes. It felt so irreverent and “disrespectful.” But even then, I knew I just wasn’t ready for the tone of this podcast. I was holding on to the cultural norms and subconsciously avoiding taboos. I stuck with Mormon Stories while I let my faith transition settle, then tried IoT again. The second time, I ready, and even craving for the uninhibited discussion. So thank you, Infants, for your tone, irreverence, and occasional disrespect. It is much appreciated and needed.

    • Mensch   On   July 14, 2016 at 4:45 am

      Same here. When I allowed myself to realize that these taboos were created by the same men who created the underlying religion as a way to keep those ideas, teachings, rituals, etc., from being analyzed, I needed to hear from others who had taken the same journey: respecting the taboos to needing to dissect them.

  6. steve   On   July 11, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Heather’s comment on her husband’s changing politics reminded me of my father. Until 80 he was part of the left, but then dementia took over. As it progressed he began to watch Fox News and cheer for the right.
    A great episode. Perhaps it makes sense to do a series on culturally loaded words. In my line of work we have about a dozen third rail words and phrases that we try to carefully explain or entirely avoid when writing pieces for the general public.

    • Randy_Snyder   On   July 12, 2016 at 3:30 am

      Well, we’ve done atheist and respect. What’s next in our accidental culturally-loaded terms series? Belief? Freedom? Bias? Bueller?

      • AC   On   July 12, 2016 at 7:18 am

        “To tolerate.” I had many church leaders say that we should not tolerate sin (usually when talking about something “worldly” like gay marriage). I think they interpreted “tolerate” to signal support or acceptance, which Is confusing because to me, tolerance is just allowing someone who disagrees with you to exist without interfering.

      • JeremiahBorrowman   On   July 13, 2016 at 5:40 am

        You should do Bias. When I left the Church I lost all respect for one of my siblings, and with that loss of respect I also lost perspective. This created this weird downward spiral of confirmation bias where he just seemed like a bigger and bigger asshole. My lack of respect made it so the only thing I used to judge him was biases. He was a TBM, Bishop, Hardcore Republican, Lawyer. Over the course of years I started to view him more as a political cartoon villain and less as a person. For obvious reasons, Heather’s comments have made me reevaluate my thoughts on him and I realized I was probably the asshole all along. I don’t know Bias seems like a logical next step to me.

      • Allison   On   July 13, 2016 at 12:29 pm

        I think bias is a good one. But I also think that if you guys are gonna go down this road you should seriously think about getting a more heterogeneous group to discuss it.

  7. Sterling C   On   July 11, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Respect? Level one is l respect stuff with power that can hurt or damage me or “respect of power”. I respect gravity, I respect 10,000 volts, l respect a crazy man with a gun. I respect an enemy. I must respect anything that can damage me. The authority figures in the LDS Church can hurt my family relationships so I must respect that raw power. In power, respect ‘is’ in the relm of physics, or taken by force; it has nothing to do with you being right or smarter, ideas or beliefs.
    Level two is respect for others out of admiration. There are several people that I deeply respect for their kindness to me and lesson I have learned from them. Most examples here are personal to me, some slightly outer examples of this for me is listening to Carl Sagan and also to Alan Watts. The infants who put themselves out and being real with the world would also fit in this category.
    A smaller category of respect has both. I both admire my wife and have to respect the power she has over me at the same time. In the case of my wife admiration respect is definitely more healthy for the relationship then power respect.
    In my critique, the podcast seems to understate the respect of ‘power’ compared with ‘admiration’. One quick example is “the Adam and Eve” story or temple rites are of a power dynamic much more then admiration dynamic. Therefore, I can’t deal with it very directly with many people. Blasphemy happens when you disrespect power, and that can be dangerous because of that power, right or wrong.

    • Saint Ralph   On   July 12, 2016 at 3:41 am

      The only problem I have with the first paragraph is that I don’t respect the man with a gun. I respect the gun and the damage it can do. The man with the gun is a punk who missed the point back in Jr. High somewhere.
      Same goes for the church dudes: One might respect the havoc that their bigotry can wreak, but that’s all the less reason to respect the actual people.

      • Sterling C   On   July 12, 2016 at 7:55 pm

        I agree; you are saying more clearly then I did. I respect the gun and damage (i.e. power) and not the man, especially after the man has lost the gun. Similar power or ‘respect’ arguments can be made for church or state authority.

  8. Matthew A   On   July 11, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    [1:13:51] Missed a bleep. It hurt my ears. 🙂 BTW, I LOL’d at the background music for John. That was classic.

    • runbob   On   July 14, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Yeah, I noticed Jake snuck one in…I was really hoping it was the end of the beeps, but no such luck.

  9. Zed   On   July 13, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Off-topic, but does anyone know how I can download Infants episodes to my computer? I want to put an episode or two on my mp3 player for a roadtrip.

    • Thomas Moore   On   July 13, 2016 at 2:42 am

      Just click the “download” link under the player bar. Then just save it as you would a mp3, jpeg, gif or any other file. Then you can load it up on your player.

  10. Eric   On   July 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    One aspect of “respect” that I didn’t hear in the discussion: to me, respecting an idea can mean taking it seriously; that is, seriously enough to challenge and test the idea to see if it’s valid and efficacious. The challenge is often perceived by believers as an affront, but–intellectually speaking–giving an idea a fair shake to pan out is much more respectful than dismissing it outright. That kind of respect can ultimately result in adoption, dismissal, or deferment, depending on the results and evidence. Some ideas do deserve to be dismissed after a cursory look (the flat earth perspective is a good example), but I gave the concepts of Mormonism sufficient respect through 25 years of testing.
    It’s even a scriptural principle: John 7:17, Alma 32:28-32, D&C 82:10. These are the reasons I left the church…not because of history or deception. It was a bad seed, but I respected the idea enough to plant it in the first place.

    • Saint Ralph   On   July 14, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      You’re right, taking something or someone seriously is a big part of having respect for that person or thing. What do you call that, in a word? I haven’t come up with a word that means “to take seriously” without meaning or connoting something else besides.

  11. Gabriel von Himmel   On   July 14, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed you chatty banter on RESPECT. Fear of evil gets its due respect for the Saints. Hoping for a brighter day, Thanks Infants for a dive into the abyss. I can respect that.

  12. Thomas Moore   On   July 14, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Guess I got a question for Kay, but anyone else can answer. She used the example that her family members were devout Republicans and would toe the party line and vote for Trump. Yet, the church and high ranking political Mormons (i.e. Romney, Sen. Jeff Flake, etc…) have practically come out and said, “Don’t you dare vote for Trump” because of his stance on immigration and religious freedoms. I’m finding this in my political arguments with family/friends who are also devoutly Republican. How can I respect them? If they trumpet and campaign for Trump by posting memes or pictures or articles, yet deny what their own church says, how do I respect these people?

    • Kim   On   July 20, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      I had in my notes to talk about empathy and regret that I didn’t. I don’t like the word respect because of all the messy meanings of it. But I think empathy goes a long, long way in building relationships. I hope I didn’t sound snarky, but know I put a ton of effort into understanding my diverse family members. I understand why the two I referenced will make the political choice that they will. And whether I invest the time and energy into explaining my perspective depends on my emotional state at the time. Also it depends on what I want to get out of the conversation. In the scenario I referenced in the discussion, I didn’t get into details about those family members. But there are reasons, reasons filled with empathy, that I will not push back on their decisions or perspectives or any potential conflict between religion and politics. It is not the time or place. But maybe someday I will have a chance to better explain my perspective in an empathetic manner. I haven’t listened to the most recent IOT episode yet, but it looks like it might have specific skills for conversations of understanding.
      I think in the end I want my family to see me as a person who really tries to be a force for good in the world. I know I see them as this.

  13. runbob   On   July 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I really enjoyed this episode, until you started censoring the word “respect”. That damn beeper has got to go, or at least adjust the volume so it isn’t so goddamn loud.

    • larryj   On   July 15, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      OMFG!!, With all due RESPECT…. Half way through Infants began to “bleep” over every utterance of the title word to this episode, “Respect”. Instead of the spoken word, I had to suffer through an ear shattering air horn at twice the volume of the rest of the podcast. It felt like tin foil on a silver dental filling. After about 20 minutes of it I had to turn it off because it actually hurt. An hour later and I find I have developed a twitch. Jesus.

      • SachmoJoe   On   July 25, 2016 at 12:54 am

        Absolutely agree, this was an EXCELLENT discussion marred by some bone-headed editing that (a) stopped being funny after about three beeps and (b) was deafeningly, painfully loud on my car stereo compared to the actual voices.

      • WSM22   On   July 27, 2016 at 9:00 pm

        Thank you! I was enjoying this episode a great deal, but those beeps were jarring. I can’t wait to listen again to the new version as I reluctantly checked out because of the beeping.

      • SachmoJoe   On   August 3, 2016 at 2:02 am

        Great to hear it’s fixed – my phone automatically downloads everything you guys put out the minute you release it so I’m leaving myself open to early-adopter pain. The first world problems of a die-hard fan!

  14. Daved6   On   July 15, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    It’s been a while. But I went for a drive today and thought I’d give it a listen. I didn’t make it far, but I tried. I mean I really tried.
    As far as I got it sounded like a few 5 years old musing on the topic of string theory. “I mean religious beliefs are like someone saying 2+2=5 and stuff. so why should I respect them?”
    “respect is tough because I don’t like people who believe stuff. and plus, I mean if someone believes in aliens…come on…I can’t respect them.”
    “yeah but, Donald Trump…I compare him to those terrorists because he supports waterboarding….You can’t respect half of America as people for crying aloud…..”
    “Mormons, I mean. come on…”
    “Faith is the proposition that you believe in that which there is no evidence….”
    “Republicans just trust the party and they don’t have to…”
    “Mormons just trust…they don’t have to think about it…”
    Alls that really came out of it was a bunch of disrespectful people trying to justify their disrespectful ways. “well I can be disrespectful because I can be disrespectful.” THanks again, Randy and co. You guys are such goons.
    I think the ability to respect other people starts from within, guys. Try again. I think you can dig deep and figure it out.

      • Daved6   On   July 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        Now you’re getting it. IoT talking about and in some cases lecturing on respect is about as absurd as it gets. How can anyone respect that? As I said, 5 year olds.

      • Aaron   On   July 18, 2016 at 10:39 pm

        IoT is as niche as it gets and isn’t for everyone. It has never tried to be mainstream. It’s understandable you don’t get where they’re coming from and you don’t listen to them that much. But there are 10,000 of us who do get them and enjoy it in the context of everything else they’ve produced.

      • Daved6   On   July 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        I appreciate the disinvite so you guys can do what you want without push back, but I actually enjoy getting different perspectives and letting them saturate through my levels. I can’t help that idiotic things are praised as thoughtful and useful on IoT podcasts. But I can point it out, hoping something resonates even if the training to fight back in defensiveness, acting as apologists for the unreasonable, happens.

      • Voltaire   On   July 19, 2016 at 11:38 am

        Speaking of five year old talk: “no one around here cares (sniff, sniff),” “the worstest (?),” “you don’t want to accept the ugly part of yourself,” “Alls (?) that really came out,” “You guys are such goons.” Daved6, don’t try so hard to listen. You obviously stumbled into the wrong room. Listen to Aaron.

      • Daved6   On   July 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        You want me to try and listen or not? Ah well. Don’t worry about it. if you’re upset by my comments, I get ya. If I were the upset type I’d probably be like you. I wish you the best.

      • Voltaire   On   July 20, 2016 at 10:06 pm

        Daved6, I can see you are upset that I threw your own words back at you to make my point. Your 5 year oldish comments were not upsetting to me, but I thought they were deserving of a challenge, because you were doing the same thing you accused others of doing. I do apologize for the “sniff, sniff” comment. It was a bit snarky and unkind.
        I am not sure what it is that you think you “get” about me. If it is that I am the “upset type,” I guess that can be true in certain situations, but let me make it clear that I don’t expect or want anyone to choose politeness over frankness on this forum. I am tired of the Mormon way of not saying what you really think, holding back, being sugary sweet with kindness, never pointing out what might be wrong, and never entertaining or expressing anything except positive, agreeable thoughts. I am more into reality now.
        Do you understand that If you are going to listen to these podcasts, you have to expect to hear some things you do not like or agree with, and if you are going to post comments, you have to expect scrutiny and blowback?
        If you find it disrespectful or upsetting for people to contradict you, you need to find a kinder, gentler forum. If you only want to hear what makes you feel good, you are vulnerable to being bamboozled by people who will tell you whatever you want to hear. That is a big issue we are dealing with here in trying to break free from the church mindset.

      • Daved6   On   July 22, 2016 at 6:50 pm

        Well thanks for the attempted reply, Voltaire. Do not fret, I enjoy getting challenged. But if the attempted challenge seems to miss the initial point, well, it’s weak. I used those phrases for an express purpose. I have a feeling, after that simple explanation you will get the point.
        I’m glad you think you enjoy thoughtful dialogue. But if feels like IoT and company have no desire for actual conversation. the point seems to be, as replier Allison put it above, “no one cares” about other perspectives. It’s all about echo chamber, complaining, and being disrespectful hoping to chase away differing views. Hey, it’s a cute game. I’m sure it’s kind of fun in its own way. It’s easy.

      • Voltaire   On   July 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm

        Actually, Allison said the birds do not give a fuck if they bother you. They do care about other perspectives that are rational and defensible. They do want to have fun as stated in their website description . . . the philosophies of men mingled with humor.

      • Daved6   On   July 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm

        Yeah…well she was a bit nonsensical in her reply. But I appreciate it anyway. I get the need to shoo away differing views. I know how tough you guys have it.

    • Allison   On   July 16, 2016 at 6:16 am

      TL;DR — No one cares.
      I’ve been wanting to say something to you for a long time and I hope the infants will forgive me for feeding the troll. I may (nay, will surely) come to regret it.
      Apparently your boring life/smallness/burdensome devilishly good looks/vast amounts of cash leave you no other option but to annoy those around you. You are like a tiny little shitzhu that barks at every bird that flys by. Like the shitzhu, you are unaware of your actual size and stature and thus feel the need to prove yourself bigger and better than the birds that fly by, and warn all those around you that the birds are flying (how dare they). And the birds, flying freely high above in the sky, do not give a FUCK that they bother you. They just sing and fly the best way they know how, with abandon and joy, because the birds know they are flying not to please you, the obnoxious irritant that thinks it’s saving the world from birds with its incessant yipping, but to please themselves. And because they fucking can.
      Meanwhile your barks and yips and yaps and whines are carried off into the wind.
      We all know that those kinds of dogs will Never. Ever. Stop. Barking.
      Yet the birds keep flying. Hush now, pup. Go chase some balls.

      • Daved6   On   July 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

        I know no one around here cares. that’s most of the problem. Treating people like shit is a virtue around here, and yet what’s the biggest complaint from IoT folks? “well, some LDS leader said something that can be considered a bit disrespectful to some people. so they’re the worstest of the worst. Believe us, we know what respect is.”
        My goodness, Allison, I don’t know why you’re so upset about someone that no one cares about. Some one ought to acknowledge the elephant. I guess it hit too close to home. Rings too true.

      • Daved6   On   July 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm

        I had another thought in contemplating your defensive posture, Allison. Becoming an apologist, for most of these highly opinionated perspectives, can make you look pretty foolish, make you sound really unreasonable. You start to realize why those who get so defensive about religion, like LDS apologists, say what they say. They spit out the same message in spirit as you do here. Defensive, battle at every front because you don’t want to accept the ugly part of yourself.

  15. Friend   On   July 17, 2016 at 2:17 am

    I’ve spent the last few days listening to a sampling of your podcasts to understand why this site is important to my friends and family. What struck me most was that the ideas and questions discussed on these podcasts were largely similar to the ideas and questions I’ve discussed with persons who have chosen to remain active members. (Perhaps this isn’t surprising since I suspect the persons I know in both active and inactive circles come from the same intellectual pool.)
    For that segment of active and inactive persons who are discussing similar things and accepting similar arguments/ critiques, I wonder what it is that causes some to stay and some to go. Is it ultimately more about one’s family and friends, one’s personal comfort with the idea of a fallible church / some things just being historical rather than inspired, belief in God or something else that cements the decision one way or the other?
    This observation about the similarities in the conversations also makes me wonder whether the dichotomy we draw between Mormon and ex-Mormon, active and inactive, is useful. I like envisioning a Mormonism where we are all just on a spectrum of affiliation, belief and disbelief – neither in nor out of the religion that, like Hotel California, the existence of this site suggests some of us can never leave.
    One of the most powerful experiences I have had with church recently involved a group of Mormons (active and inactive) simply honestly discussing where they were the church at that moment. No judgment, just listening. I think we’d be surprised by our fellow Mormons if more such moments occurred.

    • Voltaire   On   July 21, 2016 at 12:58 am

      Can I assume that the powerful experience you spoke of was not an official church sanctioned gathering?
      There already is a big umbrella church allowing for a spectrum of Mormon belief and disbelief, and it is the Community of Christ, but that is not a good fit for those who have rejected both Mormonism and Christianity, or religion all together.
      I cannot share your vision of the mainstream Mormon Church ever becoming so inclusive. It would have to drop some many of its basic teachings, truth claims, doctrines, practices, and policies that it would cease to be the Mormon Church.
      As for this site, it exists because doubting, hurting, transitioning, and x-mormons have lost along with their faith, their support group and community. They need a new place to go where they can speak openly and honestly for a change and commune with others who have gone through a similar experience. If they stay here forever, it is not that they cannot leave the church behind, it is because they need a secular replacement for it.

      • Saint Ralph   On   July 21, 2016 at 4:26 am

        Exactly. I’ve always said to those who want the so-called LDS church to change, it already has and Community of Christ is the result. You will find very few more welcoming, inclusive, nonjudgmental, saner churches on the planet. If that’s really what you want.

  16. Gail_F_Bartholomew   On   July 17, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Once again I cannot thank you all enough for the time and effort you put into this pod cast. This idea of respect is so very relivent. If we did not have the struggle of figuring this out we likely would not have a need for the out let of this pod cast.
    Heather, your comment about the irreverent and disrespectful nature of infants is likely a big reason we all are here.
    I remember during my disaffection at fist I was just so thirsty for any info and listened to every thing. Part of what drew first to mormonexpression then infants was this irreverent tone, but I need to say that also it was the highly respectful tone. Yes this statement is contradictory, but Jake I believe you and the rest of the infants prove that the idea of respect is not just lip service.
    Yes you all never hide your anger, your sarcasm is funny as shit, and nothing is to sacred to discuss or make fun of, but you also show a level of respect that I find worthy of emulating. When discussing topics like the temple you always respect the fact that it may offend some and you give warnings and disclaimers. You always try to represent what true believers would rebut if they had the chance. Most of all I always go away with since of respect for who I once was and who many of the people I love still are.
    Like I said before I once listened to mormon themed podcasts because I was thirsty for any info. Eventually podcasts like mormon stories and expository fell away for me, while they were great sources of info but they gave far too much defendants than I am now interested in. By the same token sites like ex mormon foundation and post mormon surved me for a time and also are a great source of information did not give the sense of healing and forgiveness I now need.
    Thanks for this beautiful balancing act you perform.

  17. jon49   On   July 17, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I haven’t finished this one yet but I wanted to make this comment while I was still thinking of it.
    To say that you respect someone with different ideas that you disagree with is to say that you understand their viewpoint and are OK with the other viewpoint. It is also to say that you acknowledge that you have been wrong before and will continue to be wrong in the future and are trying to move on to better ideas. So, the market of ideas is really important and sometimes “bad” ideas win out and sometimes they lose. Hopefully in the long run the “good” ideas will win out.
    As a side note. I always find it fascinating that many ex Mormons reject the authoritarian ideas of the church and many of its bad practices and then turn around and embrace the authoritarian views of the left and/or right and many of its bad practices which have many corollaries to religion. I find it interesting that the church and its members believe they are helping the people that they are actually hurting while the left (and right) do the exact same thing.

  18. Voltaire   On   July 19, 2016 at 3:41 am

    This is in response to jon49.
    Dear Jon, unlike the church, I promise I will not ban you or condemn you to hell if you dissent with what I say. Proceed to read and respond at no peril.
    1. I know it is sometimes better to be silent and kind than to be vocal and right, but I don’t see IOT as that time or place. I spent 32 years in the church and the last 13 years outside being quiet, and now it is my chance to speak out and to vent. I think most people who come to this site appreciate having no holds barred.
    2. I have an example, admittedly extreme, but it shows how your “respect” definition does not work. Hitler had different ideas than mine. I understand perfectly what his viewpoint was. It does not then follow that I am OK with his opinions or that I respect him and his opinions. In America, neo-Nazis have the right to speak their opinions, but we don’t have to respect them.
    3. Hitler’s ideas won out in Germany, and one result was the Holocaust, so obviously just sitting back and hoping good ideas will triumph is not enough. We should consider it our duty to speak our loudly against untrue statements and harmful ideas and there should be no shame in showing disrespect for those ideas and the people who promote them. I am not saying that the church is as bad as Nazi Germany, but it has been known for practices, policies, and attitudes which have done a lot of harm, such as homophobia, racism, polygamy, and handling child sexual abuse and spousal abuse unprofessionally, in-house, and poorly.
    4. All opinions are not equal or valid. The marketplace of ideas is where opinions are tested and measured against facts and evidence, and where indefensible or dangerous thoughts are thrown out. It is not for the faint-hearted or sensitive soul.
    5. I do acknowledge I have been wrong before, and one particularly big mistake was believing the truth claims of the LDS church. I know I will be wrong again, but it won’t be about this. Fool me once, shame on them, fool me twice, shame on me.
    6. It is the church leadership that is authoritarian. How could anyone get any more authoritarian than this, “Follow the brethren, right or wrong.” A big red flag should go up when you are advised to choose against your own conscience, your experience, your knowledge, your observations, your own reasoning or opinion, and just obey. What greater claim to authority could an organization have than to claim it is the only true church on the face of the earth? What greater claim to power over his followers could a man claim than the power and authority to speak, act, and lead in the name of God? This is a form of absolute power, and as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    7. Setting forth strong opinions that are well-founded and based upon reason is different than expecting people to respect or accept what you say just because you are in charge and you say so, or just because your feelings would be hurt to have your ideas rejected. If listening to the forceful opinions and sometimes irreverent and disrespectful comments on the podcasts or reading positive responses to them is hurting anyone’s feelings or threatening any TBM testimonies, then I advise them not to listen. As my mother used say, “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

    • jon49   On   July 19, 2016 at 4:41 am

      I was talking about respect. I don’t respect hitler’s views. So, what I said wouldn’t apply to that. I don’t think you need to respect all views. But I do think it is important to the plurality of ideas to be willing to listen and try to understand others ideas. But in reality no one has the time to listen to all ideas. So, we all need to be willing to weed out the ideas that appear to be false and maybe unpopular. Since none of us is perfect we will inevitably weed out good ideas by mistake. And believe in bad ideas by mistake. Hopefully in the long run we can, in aggregate get to the point where the good ideas win. Whether that would truly happen or not I don’t know. Maybe some societies would be able to do better than others on some instances.
      I think having people that are outliers pushes the envelope and makes it so society can move forward. Even though those ideas may sound crazy in 20 or 50 or 100 years later they might be mainstream for good or ill.
      I don’t think IOT needs to be silent. I think it is great that they give their ideas, even if they are outliers on some of them. But if they say they respect someone then I hold to what I said before. But really they don’t need to respect people, neither do I nor you. But I also agree with the sentiment that respect doesn’t need to be black or white. We can respect certain things about a person and reject other things about a person.
      I agree not all opinions hold the same weight. I would trust the opinion of a bridge engineer over that of an electrical engineer when they are building a bridge.
      I agree the leaders of the church are authoritarian, but so are the politicians that lead the people of the US. Many of the same things you find bad about the church have direct corollaries to government in general.

      • Voltaire   On   July 19, 2016 at 6:07 am

        This is confusing. You were talking about respect, but then ended with a complaint that x-mormons are hypocritical because they rebound from authoritarian religion to authoritarian politics. I don’t get it. Are you assuming that Mormons do not get involved in politics unless they leave the church? Are you saying if a Mormon leaves his authoritarian church, that just to be consistent, he should also drop out of politics all together because governments are authoritarian? Of course everyone who holds a political or governmental position wields some power and authority, but at least we get to choose who gets that power by electing them or rejecting them, and at least US Presidents do not serve for life, but are restricted to eight years. Mormons don’t get to elect their church leaders. Mormons don’t have a vote on church policy, but we do have a vote on governmental policy as US citizens. Protests in front of Church Headquarters can get you excommunicated, but if you protest in front of Capitol Hill, you don’t lose your citizenship or right to vote, and you might actually be able to effect change. There are only two real political choices, liberal (Democrat) or conservative (Republican). Most TBMs are conservative and tend to be Republicans, so are you saying that if they turn liberal, leave the church, and become Democrats, they are choosing a more authoritarian party? I can’t make sense of this.

  19. Voltaire   On   July 21, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I can’t resist one more comment on respect. Regarding Daved6 calling “all you guys” goons . . . Definition of “goon:” a silly, foolish, or eccentric person, or a bully or thug, especially one hired to terrorize or do away with the opposition.
    I would agree that IOTs can be very silly, but that’s a good thing. We all desperately need some comic relief.
    I wouldn’t characterize any of you as foolish (definition: unwise, lacking good sense or judgment). Mark Twain wisely said that it is easier to fool someone than to convince him that he has been fooled. I think everyone here has to have some basic wisdom, good sense, judgement, and also courage, or they would never have got to the point of realizing they have been fooled by the church.
    As for being eccentric (definition: unconventional and slightly strange), using a TBM mindset as the standard for being conventional, then we all fit the unconventional part (which is a good thing), but only a couple of you out there who post your reactions seem to me to be strange (which is only bad if it is strange in a scary way).
    I seriously doubt anyone here has been hired to terrorize and do away with the opposition. I don’t sense that anyone is plotting murder for hire, and I think most of the people here welcome debate and challenges to their thinking and don’t want opposition to be eliminated.
    I’m just saying . . . if you’re going to name call, at least be accurate or make it something that we would see as a bad thing.

    • Daved6   On   July 22, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Just put the word in context.
      “a tendency for whining about dumb superficial crap, and a knack for shutting down anyone who has anything worth making fun of. They’re known for their sarcastic and elitist tendencies, though many on the internet find them hilarious.”
      I quote for your benefit. It’s a well placed descriptor for sure.
      If a next time ever arrives I invite you to just ask. It’ll save you some heart-ache and bewilderment.

      • Voltaire   On   July 23, 2016 at 4:42 am

        Is this a definition of “goon” or just someone’s assessment of the IOTs? The definition I found for “goon” did not include whining. It included bullies who do murder for hire to eliminate opposition, but that does not really equate to podcasters who offend and scare people away from a website by making fun of the things they say. I understand your use of “goon” as hyperbole, as an insult in retaliation for the IOTs’ derisive humor, as a defense of those who you admit say things worth making fun of, as an accusation that the IOTs are bullies who want to eliminate opposition, but then, hey, look, you’re still here. I don’t think the IOTs want to discourage thoughtful, opposing perspectives. They just can’t pass up the opportunity to challenge with their particular brand of humor what they see as irrational, dumb, or indefensible.
        Advice: If you want credibility and respect here, you need to refrain from overstating things, deflecting attention away from the point at hand, misquoting people, misinterpreting their motives, and calling them defensive when they are just expressing an opposing opinion. That is particularly aggravating in this forum, because these are the same things the church does.
        Question: Why are you projecting your own emotions onto me? You seem to think that I am fretting over your 5 year oldish comments. I am simply challenging your name calling. Like everyone else, I have my hot buttons, but this isn’t one of them. I can think of only four times in my long life when I could have been described as fretful, and none of them are now. You seem to think I suffer heart-ache and bewilderment over your “goon” comment. Good grief, that is a downright silly, crazy statement. My moments of heart-ache and bewilderment would be those same four instances of fretfulness. You seem to think I am the “upset type.” My grown kids, the people who know me best, praise me for being rational and drama-free and for raising them with patience and cool-headedness. You told me not to worry over it if you quit listening to the podcasts. I am not worried! I think that would be a good idea.
        I have tried to appeal to your intellect and reasoning rather than your emotions in my exchanges, but I don’t think I am getting through. I am giving up, but before I say goodbye, I want to let you know that I have become sincerely concerned about you. I am not sure if you are just a very sensitive and emotional person or if there is something deeper going on. You asked me, “Do you want me to listen to the podcasts or not?” You lamented to Allison, “No one around here cares,” and “Treating people like shit is a virtue around here.” You seem to be very upset in most of your posts.
        I worry that you are you crying out for help, and are not getting it. Are you feeling all those emotions you have attributed to me . . . fretful, bewildered, with heart aching, upset, worried? Are you feeling alone and desperately needing someone to care about and validate what you do, say, think?
        I hope you are not verbally battling with people here on-line as a distraction from some serious issues in your life that need addressing. The people here are using comic relief a lot, admittedly sometimes at the expense of others’ feelings, in order to deal with their faith crisis, but it is obviously too over the top for you and not something you find funny or therapeutic. I worry that your participation here is doing you more harm than good. If anything that I or anyone else has said has pushed you further down the road of despair, I am truly sorry, and I hope you will move on and find a better place to hang out.
        If you are feeling angry, anxious, unhappy, or depressed a lot of the time, and/or if you are feeling suicidal at ANY time, I hope you will not hesitate to reach out to a Help Line or someone professionally qualified to help, perhaps someone like John Dehlin. There are many places out there where the type of TLC, nurture, and support it takes to heal from depression can be found. I sincerely wish you happiness, good health, fulfillment, peace of mind, and joy in life.

      • Daved6   On   July 26, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        Fewf! You’ve got a lot to say about me.
        Sure I think the IoT crew has little to add concerning respect. They’ve seemed shamelessly disrespectful for the times I’ve listened. And, not to disappoint, sure enough there was plenty of disrespect found in the bit I listened to (although this was a good week or so ago, right? I mean I can’t remember it very well now). No one seems to argue they are respectful, or have a perspective that enlightens on the matter, but the response has been to excuse their disrespect, as you put it, to “challenge with their particular brand of humor”. We can all hide behind that at times–“well I was just trying to be funny… so others can laugh at you while I mock and belittle you”.
        Life seems beautiful when you break it down, no?
        As for me? I’m alright. No need to fret (wow…you express a lot fret for not being fretful). I wish you the best. And hope in the future you are able to comment rationally, on topic, and by using your intellect rather than fill in with defensive fretfulness. I think in the end, as you dig deep in your soul, you’d agree IoT shamelessly disrespects. That’s enough for me.
        It’s a good thing to listen to other’s voices and not get all upset and want to defend without reasoning. My advice to you is, listen to others perspectives. Don’t be afraid to actually engaged the thoughts of others, for their no need to hide behind getting bent out of shape about a particular comment or two (like me saying they sounded like 5 year old’s pontificating on string theory). If you think they are respectful, don’t shy away by excusing their behavior as just trying to be funny so it’s ok. Express yourself. Be reasonable. Be thoughtful. Do not fear.
        I need no respect from others. But thanks for the advice anyway.

      • Glenn   On   July 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Dear Dave6 (aka Dave B, employee for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who actually posts comments here from his work IP address). We do not shy away from criticism or alternate beliefs, but have simply found your repeated trollishness here pointless to pursue. However, I just sent you an email to your work email address (and a message on your FB profile as well) inviting you to come on and record a discussion with us if you would like. You seem to have a lot to say. Come on and say it. Let’s talk.

  20. dodger   On   July 24, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    If I were the monitor for a disingenuous discussion on respect relative to religious sensibilities I would suggest at the outset that respect began as a verb that got massaged and manipulated into being also used as a noun. The discussion was well intended but it went a long way (read too far) to obscure Malevolent intent when defing derivatives of the verb root.

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