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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 04:22PM

I know you left the comment up elsewhere, but you deleted the post I made out of it. I know this board is for recovery from Mormonism, but it’s getting harder and harder not to talk about how the political divide is almost synonymous with the religious/cultural one in so many of our social lives.

I think we need to understand where conservative political beliefs come from just like we need to understand how Mormonism formed in order to get a firm grasp on the current environment. Our TBM family members tend to have conservative political beliefs too, and the way they talk about apostates and the heathen and the liberals is all the same, because it blends together into the same worldview.

The idea that politics should be left alone comes from a different time in American history when our main differences were only whether there should slightly more government involvement into the economy or slightly less. We are so far beyond that now. We can’t agree on anything, because ethnic demographics are shifting and also religious demographics are shifting and the internet has uprooted everything cultural and thrown it up in the air for reimagination.

This board has been so transformative for me. I don’t want to see it turned into a recruiting tool for partisans. But also, we’ve got to get political. We cannot not talk about #StopTheSteal and the Capitol insurrection attempt when we talk about living with TBMs. We’ve got to be able to talk about how it all flows together in a typical TBM worldview, and that is going to involve some political contextual building. On the Right, it’s all one big picture. They don’t hesitate for moment to talk about how liberalism or progressivism and Democratic Party influence and atheism and secular values strive together. I think we need to flesh out the alternative big picture, the one more connected to reality. And we’ve got to do it because there are dark things coming down the pipe that we have to be able to address.

I welcome more conservative viewpoints too. I don’t get to connect with people who left Mormonism but kept most of their original worldview intact. I find it fascinating. They are the kind of people I want to talk to but can never find but I know they’re here. I talk to TBMs about their politics all the time, but I’m alone trying to construct an alternative big picture because all of my postMormon groups have forbidden that kind of political talk. It’s an open secret that most of us scew to the left of the spectrum. Let’s talk about why, and if there parts of it that go to far, let’s talk about why. All I want to do is talk about why my world is divided between liberals and conservatives and Christians and atheists.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2021 04:25PM by Cold-Dodger.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 04:32PM

I see your point of view. The rule is actually "no partisan politics" I believe. As soon as a politician's name or policy position is mentioned that takes it out of the realm of acceptable discussion here.

As far as I understand.

I think the rule may be to keep discussion centred on the main focus here (Mormonism) and also to avoid the fights that inevitably break out when party politics shows up.

Hopefully, you kept a copy of your post. Maybe you could rework it a bit and try again to fly it up here?

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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 06:00PM

It’s still up as comment on my other most recent post. It’s about why millennials are so liberal and also how America became Trumpistan.

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Posted by: Not logged in ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 09:55PM

See, that right there. You claim to be objective and want to hear the other side, but then you label the country Trumpistan. That’s not open or objective. This site largely leans to the left. Outrageous commentary remains up if it’s of the right, I mean left, persuasion.

For the record, many people leave the church behind but maintain a conservative world view. Not racist. Not bigoted. Not homophobic. But anyone who’s not woke around here gets lumped into the same trash can.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 11:12PM

The assumption being that Trump is conservative.

What exactly is Trump "conserving?" Is he a conservative like Ronald Reagan or George Bush (either)? Or a conservative like John McCain or Milton Friedman?

Parties change. The GOP was organized as the champion of civil rights for African Americans, then it was not. So is the GOP progressive or conservative? The answer is that it has been both at various points in its history. And once you realize that, it's easy to see that the GOP is not at all what it was ten years ago or forty years ago or seventy years ago.

Being a Republican is not the same thing as being conservative, and being conservative is not the same thing as being a Trump supporter.

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Posted by: Not logged in ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 03:53AM

How can you start of with that assumption, and conclude by saying the assumption doesn’t hold? I am somewhat conservative. I am not a Trump fan.

The US became “Trumpistan” in 2016 in the same way it became Bidenstan in the recent election: people look at two loathsome candidates, figure out which of the two lines up closer to their own ideals, and votes for what they hope is the lessor of two evils. In ‘16, for the majority of people that was Trump. In 2020 it was Biden.

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Posted by: Meme Guy ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 06:36AM

Yeah, we've got a lot of that round here. Not so much, "who you voting for?" but "who you voting against?" I definitely think it's a big flaw. Last time I decided to vote for none of them - we had one candidate with no website, if the fool had put one up instead of just linking to the party website, I might have voted for him. Our other local candidates were all horrors who wanted the same things.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 04:42PM

What I don't like about some political posts is the "I'm better than you because I know the truth" that wafts off them.

The posts we create ourselves are opinions, musings, speculations, personal analysis (via our different lenses [mine being full of shit!]), and oft the stuff of dreams.

I will have no problems with such posts that are of a "Here's what I think..." nature.

I am profoundly turned off by, and will stop reading, posts that take the approach, "Here's where you're wrong ya dumb ass, honkey mother-f..."

So within that/those constraint(s), I will back your attempt to topple the government in power.

See you at that barriers; I'll be the one in the mauve gasmask.

Totally off this particular issue...: Cold-Dodger, the posts you have put up this week have left me awe-struck. Granted, you're competing with the Gladys Lotts of the RfM world, but still!!

Crisp, clear, incisive... I don't think I've sensed you trying to be judgmental, even. Just really good, here's-my-point-and-how-I-got-here, writing.

Half the time I don't know enough to know whether I agree with you or not, but I goddam love reading what you write. I'd say that you remind me of a younger, brasher, more informed me, but that would be more than just an exaggeration. (Okay, maybe just a tiny exaggeration...)

I would read your blog and listen to your podcast every day, but try to keep it to 15 minutes, as senility now allows squirrels to compete for my attention...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 04:44PM

I agree. CD is deeply thoughtful, a serious person.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2021 11:42PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 05:15PM

Forgive all my typos.

That’s how I used to make TBMs in my home stake feel, and it’s why they would listen to me talk for long hours about scripture and politics, and it’s also what I gave up when I started to feel there was no defending the church anymore if I had any self-respect left.

I was a journalist briefly. Ive never talked about this here, because it would be easy to ID me, but it was for a newspaper in Utah. I loved it, but my goddamned anxiety got to me when I tried to find another media job up there (it was only an internship), and since so had not connections there I moved back to Arizona.

I majored in English because I thought I was going to follow in Jeffery R Holland’s footsteps someday, and maybe teach at an institute or work for BYU or maybe make apologetics for FARMS or FAIR. He started in English to make sure teaching was his calling and from there he got his masters in American Studies and his doctorate in I don’t remember.

I loved the COJCOLDS once. I would have died for it once. Defending it was the only thing that ever drove me out my introverted shell. I would have been happy to spend my life or to give my life in its service if only the truth had been on its side.

What I want more than anything is to take the wonderful people that I’ve met from both halves of my life and find a way to glue them all together into one tribe. In that world, if I could have it, it would require Mormons to do a lot of soul searching as they reconcile their faith against the facts that all of the postmormons now know. The RLDS did it. It was painful, but they’re growing again and they’re honest with their history and their converts and themselves. I’ve thought about going to be with them.

I hang around Arizona hoping that something is gonna happen and all the people I knew will need me again and I’ll be right there to hold their hands like I used to do and walk them through how their world works in all the ways they need to understand to be secure in it. Instead, they’ve been less than kind to me and my offer and also perhaps my offer is too naive to really work. What else do I do, though? Where do I go? I don’t easily make friends and I don’t easily build new communities around me. Mine is a slow-burning candlelight that I want to share with a few intimate friends. I have deep thoughts about topics that others find too tricky to tackle. That’s how I’ve always been. It’s why I gave the critics of the church the time of day to convince me. I thought I was going to get them, because I knew it was all true and also knew that truth doesn’t need to be ashamed because all truth fits together into a bigger whole. So I never listened to the people who said you have to just bear your testimony and walk away. That seemed like weakness to me. It was tacitly admitting that you’re afraid you might be wrong.

So I engaged with critics. I was able to make the Iowan sons of Presbyterian pastors questions how many gods the Bible taught there are, but also I listened back to them when I thought they were being good faithed. I had to understand why the devil seemed to have so much power against the kingdom of god, and I finally figured out that it was because there was this whole body of evidence I’d never taken seriously or taken the time to put together into a big whole. I understood this in my early twenties but couldn’t emotionally handle the realization until much later. I didn’t have the coping tools or the safe space to accept it as true. Now I do. It’s been a decade, but I’m finally established again and I love how much I feel like my old self but without so much insecurity and anxiety, and I can talk to people about almost anything without fear.

I find it silly that when people refuse to just talk their differences through. Maybe my experience with the church’s porn addiction recovery farce just hardened me against the fear of making myself vulnerable. I’m not afraid to talk about anything.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 05:45PM

My ghawd!

You're me!!! Only not on drugs and You Care!!

Hey, just going for a laugh...don't take it as an insult, even though any rational person would.

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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 06:02PM

I am souped up on legally prescribed amphetamines for my ADHD, actually. Lol. It helps me type up things that make enough sense without wandering around or repeating itself too much.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 06:14PM

elderolddog Wrote:
> You're me!!! Only not on drugs and You Care!!

And he's intelligent! And witty!

Note for instance CD's description of Holland: he "started in English to make sure teaching was his calling and from there he got his masters in American Studies and his doctorate in I don’t remember."

The answer is a Ph.D. in American Studies. I'm not sure what American Studies actually are, but putting that aside for the moment there is much about Holland that in the future people won't remember anymore.

You can't make the point much better than that.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 07:48PM

"...his doctorate in I don’t remember."

I laughed there too, Lot's Wife. It's a clever quip and it rolls off the tongue.

I don't know if it is just a statement of fact (as in "the detail escapes me") or if it's meant to indicate "I don't care". Either or both works for me.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 05:42PM

Just a bit of a quibble with use of the term 'censorship'. RfM has rules about posting in order to stay on topic for the benefit of the larger body of posters and to maintain the purpose of the board (as I've read from Eric several times through the years).

I don't consider it censorship to have a stated purpose and to try and keep posters on that track, for the general good.

I agree with the other comments about your posts, Cold-Dodger, in that I find the topics interesting and your writing a pleasure to read.

I was also going to use the description "vulnerable" in regard to your second post on this thread - I see you mentioned it yourself. I always appreciate and admire candour from posters about themselves and their personal lives. I find it difficult to be totally open, even though it's anonymous. I'm a bit shy-ish IRL and even when anon.

Funny thing - I kind of had the impression you are Canadian, Cold-Dodger. Don't know why. Seems I'm wrong about that.

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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 06:04PM

I was born in Mesa, AZ, and lived here for most of my life. I’ve never been outside of the continental US. Maybe it’s the high brow vulgarity angle I’m going for that makes me sound Canadian.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2021 06:05PM by Cold-Dodger.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 19, 2021 07:45PM

With all the accomplishments and other notable positive qualities of Canadians, the 'eh' is what stands out to the multitudes. It makes me laugh. That and being universally described as "nice".

It's like Australians calling everybody "sport" or wishing you G'day.

I hate to sound like a caricature but I use 'eh' myself, in speaking and even occasionally in writing, even though I wince inside as I know it's such a cliche.

I find it a very useful little word, as in: "It's sure cold out today, eh?"

And it invites affirmation - "It sure as heck is".

Which is always pleasing to receive. :)

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 12:19AM

The removal of what you may deem a reasonable post happens occasionally, but that’s what makes the board possible. Unmoderated boards soon became overrun with trolls and spammers, driving away the best people.

I’m grateful for the mods, which I sometimes treat as a lazy man’s self-censorship. Is my post too much? Too tasteless? Let the judge be someone with actual taste.

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Posted by: Meme Guy ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 06:18AM

I understand that people have different political views, but it feels like certain members here get preferential treatment even even when they are being personally abusive and stalkerish. Far left posts are a lot more likely to get left up than center right ones.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 01:12PM

Your last sentence encapsulates a major part of the problem. You see yourself as "center right". You admit to being on the right, but view yourself as moderate and reasonable. Those to the left of you, however are "far left". Actually, the adjective I hear most often is "radical left". Nobody is ever accused of being center left.

Yes, same thing is done to the "radical right" by those on the left. It's basically a slightly nuanced version of "I'm reasonable. You're crazy and dangerous."

There is a difficulty on the "conservative" side now. Trumpism is hardly recognizable within the traditional definition of conservative, which is why there are so many never-Trumper conservatives. Those two factions are currently at war for the soul of the party. I frankly don't know how it will settle out.

Both parties are realigning. It's like those clear plastic thin boxes with two densities and colors of sand inside. You flip it over and see what kind of random hill the two sands create. The box has flipped, and the sand is still in motion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2021 01:12PM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 02:12PM

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 10:53AM

My understanding when I joined this forum was that it was there to help us recover from whatever damage we percieved we had recieved from Mormonism.
It seems to me that we stray from this quite frequently.
Although pure and holy I sometimes am equally guilty of this.
So my solution would be self censorship and more sticking to the true purpose of this site whic is helping each other recover.
Well I'll probaly get jumped on again but that is not unusual

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2021 10:54AM by thedesertrat1.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 05:42PM

I sincerely believe that making people, whom I like, laugh is a job well done. This often takes me far afield from Recovery from Mormonism. But I tell myself that that act itself, getting far from mormonism, is part of Recovery from Mormonism.

Reddit has subReddit/exmormon and in that sub/reddit's mission statement, they allow ZERO posts unaligned with "exmormonism". This is fine because you can always vary your input by going to one of the mixed channels, so Reddit isn't an all-or-nothing experience...

I think attitude is important, that is, all being in tune. We're exmormons, and we ain't never going back.

Once you're established here, there's no real worry that someone could say something that will send you scurrying back to the church. That actually seems to be an impossible task! What on earth could I say or do that would send any one of you back into the smothering arms of mormonism?

Many of us have had 'serious' careers... Did anyone of you get along with fellow workers so well that you could be open and honest and say just about anything? It wasn't always just about the job, right?

Ever had an operation, and wondered what the staff was talking about as they worked on your naked, shaved, and intubated body? Maybe Roy can fill us in on this topic?

We're chattering monkeys (and one Taoist Neaderthal), and given the opportunity, we'll throw poop...but most of us know better... Well, except me 'cuz I'm so "...full of shit (my) eyes are brown..."

I enjoy this place and it's not because we all follow the rules. Nope, there's more joy in not following the rules, which personal belief is why I'm destined to spend eternity in spirit prison. I'll save you a seat!

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 03:46PM

According to a political compass test, I'm close to the center, but in the lower-left quadrant (liberal with some anarchist leaning). I think your point about the similarities between Mormonism and modern American conservatism is true, Cold-Dodger. They both claim to be the one true set of values and there's a vast conspiracy by Satan and liberals to destroy God's work. And folks love that cozy feeling that being on the one true path gives them. They don't have to worry about if they're doing anything wrong; "we're right because we're right." They don't have to learn to stand up for what they think is right, they have a big strong leader for that. Plus, anything that goes wrong is the fault of the "others;" no need for introspection, just go after the scapegoats.

I've posted about leaving Mormonism and going "left" before on another thread, but I can give a quick version here. I left the GOP before it started going off the rails (well, further off the rails) when I started questioning Mormonism. When I figured out that Mormonism wasn't honest, didn't take long to figure out Fox News was the same way.

I disagree with your claim that most of the bad behavior from the Trump GOP and QAnon is because of "faith" in the party. From what I've seen, the "values" are just a pretense to justify bigotry and power. They aren't bad because they think it's what this country needs; they're bad because they think they can get away with it and they enjoy it. They have the mindset of a schoolyard bully.

I know I get angry and rant here at times. I used to be a Tea Party twit as a Mormon and I hate seeing that conservatives in America got worse than I was. I've said it before and I'll say it again, abandoning bigotry isn't "going left" or becoming "woke," it's "getting your head out of your ass." Instead of agreeing that bigotry is terrible, American conservatives decided their heads weren't in far enough. I got my head out; why do they insist on becoming worse?

Also, I tend only to post about politics when I'm angry because I can't discuss it in real life. My sperm donor was a bigoted, conservative narcissist (he was Rush Limbaugh without the mic) and would rant at me if I got up in the night to take a quiet piss. Not the kind of home environment where political discussions were common or safer than juggling chainsaws. Plus, I was a bit of a selective mute as a kid (who am I kidding? I'm like this even though I'm almost 30!) and don't chat with a lot of folks in person.

As for conservatives on the board, I seem to recall Lethbridge Reprobate saying he was conservative. Of course most Canadian conservatives (with the exception of a certain recurring troll) tend to be saner than their American counterparts. Actually, Canadians in general seem to be "if Americans chilled out and used their brains." FYI, I'm American.

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Posted by: Anonymouse user ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 08:44PM

ookami Wrote:
> Plus, I was a bit of a
> selective mute as a kid (who am I kidding? I'm
> like this even though I'm almost 30!) and don't
> chat with a lot of folks in person.

Have you ever been screened for autism? Selective mutism is a major symptom in children.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: February 20, 2021 08:49PM

Mom thought I was. Brainless Mormon bishop at Alcatraz, Rexburg (BYU-I) thought I was. Even I thought I was for a while.

I later got tested at a college psych clinic. I don't fit the diagnosis for autism, but I fit the diagnosis for social anxiety. Of course, when restrictions lift a little, I plan on seeing a therapist (Medicaid in Washington state pays for mental health services).

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