More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

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Sheldon
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More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by Sheldon » 19 Jun 2014, 08:54

Another NY Times article here about members getting called in for disciplinary councils for their online comments.

Are we next?

GBSmith
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by GBSmith » 19 Jun 2014, 09:14

Sheldon wrote:Another NY Times article here about members getting called in for Courts of Love for their online comments.
Are we next?
It depends. Is your name Sheldon? I would guess that if a person is as vocal in their ward as online then, yeh, he/she could be next.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Jun 2014, 09:18

No. We aren't posting or supporting things that are as inflammatory as Rock Waterman's stuff. Seriously, some of his stuff is so over-the-top that I have absolutely no problem with a disciplinary council. All apostates aren't liberals.

Of course, if you have a local leader who is trigger-happy . . .
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by hawkgrrrl » 19 Jun 2014, 10:42

You are next if your local leader says you are next. That's the beauty / horror of Bro. Otterson's recommendation that those with doubts, particularly feminists, go to their local leaders with their questions. According to the FMH FB group, that's working out well for about 60% of the sisters who do that - meaning, their bishops are supportive and good guys and basically listen to them. About 40% are leaving without temple recommends and being told they are going to hell. So that's fun.

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SilentDawning
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Jun 2014, 11:24

hawkgrrrl wrote:You are next if your local leader says you are next..
I agree with Hawk on this one -- with one exception -- I do believe the HQ pulls the strings of local leaders. I was once involved as a Stake Exec Sec, and I saw firsthand how training from HQ, "suggestions" from higher up leaders, and impending visits from such leaders motivated them to take action on matters they otherwise would not have.

Also, I read an interview with Michael Quinn, one of the September 6 and it implies that yes, the higher ups do give tacit signals to clamp down on certain kinds of infractions. The fact that a lot of people seem to be getting called in and TR's taken away, and threatened with discipline if they don't stop blogging tells me there's been some training on the issue at some point, likely. These things dont' happen magically all at once.

Here is the PBS interview with Michael Quinn, excommunicated former BYU professor that shows the influence of higher ups on local decision-making. Also provides a bit of disturbing attitudes about our history that BKP made, such as that history professors have too much of a tendency to "idolize the truth". Not the focus of this discussion, but something that floored me when I read it. Leaders tend to be compliant with training and general handbook statements, and also church bulletins....so, in that respect, the HQ does pull strings at the local level. The local people also consult with higher ups when they aren't sure, receiving guidance.

Here is the section relevant to the role of HQ influence on local decision-making on one of the September 6, Michael Quinn:
It became clear to me, when I published a long article, almost 100 pages, about plural marriage after the Manifesto, that this was coming to a breaking point between me and the church, because my local LDS Church president, the stake president, was visited by a General Authority and told that I was to be called in and punished, and that at a minimum I was to lose my temple recommend, which was the basis for church employment, and I was a professor at BYU.

Then the leader of this meeting said, "And if this doesn't keep him from doing this kind of thing, you should take further action as appropriate." And he started to get up and walk out. He thought that was the end of it. And the stake president said, "Now, wait a minute." He said: "Michael Quinn gave me a copy of this article on plural marriage after the Manifesto. I and my counselors have read it, and we don't find anything in it that is contrary to faith. It talks about some difficult experiences the church went through, but we don't see this as a reason to punish him. ... And he hasn't done this secretly, and we don't see -- we've read it." And they asked, "Have you read it?" And he said, "No, I wouldn't read anti-Mormon trash." And they said, "Well, how can you judge that what he's written is destructive of the faith if you haven't read it?" And it went around and around, and finally after two and a half hours, the stake president said, "Well, I'll call Michael Quinn in, and I will explain to him what you have said to us, and then we'll go from there."

And this representative said: "Oh, no. You can't tell him that I told you what I've told you. You can't tell him that this came from church headquarters. This has to be your objection that he is to be informed of, that you have objected to, and that you're going to punish him for." And the stake president said: "I'm not going to lie to him, so you decide: Am I going to tell him the truth and call him in, or am I not going to say anything to him? Because I am not going to lie to him." This stunned this General Authority who had been sent from church headquarters, and he said, "Well, then you do [what] you feel you need to do."

So the stake president called me in and explained this whole process, including the fact that he had been told to lie to me and to say that this was his personal objection to what I'd published. The stake president said: "I feel obligated to do something. I have to do something." And he said: "I'm taking your temple recommend. You will not be able to go back to the temple without it. But," he said, "I'm afraid that they're going to use this as a grounds for firing you from BYU if you do not have temple recommend. So," he says, "if anyone at BYU asks if you have a valid temple recommend, you tell them yes, and don't volunteer that it's in my desk drawer. And when it expires, I'll renew it, but I'll keep it in my desk drawer."

And I knew at that moment that I was dead meat, that as long as that stake president was there to protect me I would be protected, but as soon as he was relieved of his position -- and these are temporary positions; it's a lay ministry -- and another stake president who was more compliant was in the position, or if I happened to move ... out of his stake, then I was dead meat. ...
Full article here:

http://www.pbs.org/mormons/interviews/quinn.html

Also, let's not forget the experience of cWald as well. His leader also told him to stop posting and there was a discussion about the possibility of discipline.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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DarkJedi
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by DarkJedi » 19 Jun 2014, 12:49

Fair warning: some of you are not going to agree with my assessment. I do not apologize, I think it needs to be part of this discussion.

I agree that much of this speculation is greatly dependent on bishop/stake president roulette - that is, many of these guys are going to be understanding and tolerant (perhaps 60% if Hawkgrrrl's numbers are accurately reflective) while others are not - and we have no control over that. I think Kevin Kloosterman (mentioned in the article) is a good example of this (although there may be details lacking that might disprove this). We are all aware that Steve Young posted signs opposed to Proposition 8 and that was quite all right.

I also believe, as Ray says, that Waterman's stuff is way outside the boundaries and if they are not apostate they are at least openly defiant of church doctrine and authority. IMO, he is as apostate as the FLDS movement and others who believe in a much more "fundamentalist" or perhaps even "ultra orthodox" Mormonism. I have read some of his own statements and he, unlike Dehlin and Kelly, does not care if he is excommunicated. I see little reason why he shouldn't be, however, I am also not going to be a part of his disciplinary council (or anyone else's at this point).

Likewise, and in an attempt to look at this from a balanced point of view, Dehlin did post on his page (and, like Waterman, under his name) a pretty clear statement that he does not believe the church and most of its teachings (those that distinguish it from other Christian sects) are true. I think three things that make Dehlin different from Waterman are his tone, his lack of open defiance of church leadership and teachings, and that he makes no effort to garner followers (even though he has followers). He clearly states does want to belong to the church, and I think he is sincere. I would not be surprised if after meeting with is stake president there is no disciplinary council, or if there is one that the outcome is not excommunication.

Likewise (again), Kelly has openly defied the requests of church leaders, while on probation yet, and under her name. Keeping her bishop informed, as she asserts she has done, is not the same thing as seeking his counsel or even his understanding. (If Darth Vader had informed the Jedi Council that he was going to destroy the Jedi Temple and slaughter the children there, it would not have changed that he did so.) I do have to agree with the PR department's assertion that this has at least some to do with tone as well - her tone is different from Dehlin's and more similar to Waterman's (although I don't think it's the PR department that should be addressing this). Whether one believes in Ordain Women's cause or not is not the point IMO - the point is they way she has gone about it.

The mysterious Dana, also mentioned in the article, was apparently already on the way out, and just as mysterious as Dana are her posts (which I am willing to bet were not mundane).

So, what about us? I suppose if my bishop or stake president really, really wanted to try and figure out if I post on forums such as this and really, really put some effort into it they have a slight chance of figuring out who I am (Spirit notwithstanding). I have no intention of approaching them with my questions and they know that - I make a point of keeping them to myself, and admittedly I have made a point of late at being less open here about my questions. It's pretty clear to me that this is much more about tone and open defiance than it is about simply expressing a question or an opinion.

As a footnote here, I sincerely wish I could tell you some things that I have experienced of late. I cannot because I hold them somewhat sacred and private (even though others are involved). My experiences are the direct opposite of those mentioned in the article and I think there are reasons for both. And I do not think I am unique - I think similar things are happening in other wards and stakes. They do not gain media attention, however, and well they shouldn't.

Finally, since cwald was mentioned, I want you all to know that I sincerely sympathize and empathize with him almost daily - and I can say undoubtedly that were he living where I live right now, that would not have happened.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by hawkgrrrl » 19 Jun 2014, 13:22

DarkJedi - my local ward is so vastly superior to the reports I hear from others that I think either I am a huge optimist or my ward really is an outlier. I truly can't imagine this kind of crack down in my ward. Maybe at the stake level, which I really don't know.

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SilentDawning
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Jun 2014, 14:55

Strange that for all the correlation, consistency, policy, and collectiveness of our church, they allow so much discretion at the local level that the members' experience is often a result of personality, rather than revelation. And its not consistent. The hamburger may take 2 minutes, or 15 minutes to serve depending where you go.....I wish they gave this much flexibility in our programs and the discretion of the members to live certain commandments, or participate in certain cultural aspects of our religion.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 19 Jun 2014, 19:24, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

common twit
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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by common twit » 19 Jun 2014, 15:21

As with most things with the church, I am quite confused. My very close friend who is a stake president, told me last month that the tone from HQ is one of working with people. Nine years ago, he said, HQ wanted SP to "discipline" the members. He said now they are supposed to work with the faithless and avoid church court. He commented on what a sharp contrast it hS been.
So, to see the church HQ now reversing confuses me.
I just thought I might share my little insight.

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Re: More LDS Bloggers getting the call (NYT Article)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Jun 2014, 16:18

It is a major assumption to say Church HQ is reversing itself and calling for a focus on discipline. My ward and stake certainly isn't experiencing that kind of change, and I am quite certain most others aren't either.

Now, there might have been some direction to take a look at people who are actively working within OW. In other words, I can see a very focused effort on that organization (and, again, I can understand easily both sides of the discipline dilemma with OW), but I don't see a broader crackdown on differing opinions. I do believe the top leadership is FAR more accepting of such differences than it has been for a long time - but OW simply might be the exception that proves the rule.

Also, interestingly, the other higher profile excommunications recently have been of overly CONSERVATIVE members, not overly liberal ones.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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