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"Addicted to Outrage" - Implications for the Church

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40 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece:

Mr. Morrow raises a number of salient points, including some which may some application to the Church.  Some excerpts:

Mr. Morrow proceeds with some commentary about political animosities from both ends of the political spectrum.  I'll skip over these in the hopes that we don't get sidetracked into arguing political ideologies.  However, above he says pretty much what I have been observing and thinking for some years now, including how things are being addressed in the Church.

I'm thinking here of Kate Kelly, Sam Young, Bill Reel, Gina Colvin (and others, such as Dehlin and Runnells), and other "prominent" members of the Church who seem to be caught up in the "signature emotion" of outrage, who use Internet-based resources to spread their particular brands of it.

Outside-of-the-Church anti-mormons are doing the same thing (Fred Karger, for example).  But I have different expectations for people like him.

Yes, and smaller subsets of society, like the membership of the Church, should likewise reserve their outrage for special occasions.  

Mr. Morrow goes on to provide some salient examples, but I'll omit those (again, I'm trying to keep this thread focused on how some members of the Church are fomenting perpetual "outrage" against the Church).

Yep.  Consider, for example, Bill Reel's ongoing hissy fit about Elder Holland holding up a copy of The Book fo Mormon.  What an absurd thing to get upset about, and yet Bill has moved heaven and earth to generate "outrage" about it.

Yes.  Think of Sam Young and his histrionics.  They are shot through with intellectual laziness.

Think of Bill Reel and the deep-as-a-puddle screeds against Elder Holland, and the Church.  "Organizing a [figurative] lynch mob" against Elder Holland (who, I think, is a convenient proxy for the Church) sounds about right.

I agree with this.  But perpetual outrage is exhausting.  And sooner or later (usually sooner), the lack of good faith associated with such things becomes apparent.  Chicken Little redux.  Over and over and over again.

Sam Young and Bill Reel have, I think, been the worst at ratcheting up the "outrage" to 11.

Here Mr. Morrow gives voice to my concerns.  I've spent the past several years reading all sorts of disparaging remarks about my "category" (white male).  I've seen such category-based resentments and hostilities becoming voiced with increasing frequency in the Church.  It's not a good thing.

Well put.  And I think this has some application to the Church as well.  Sam Young's rhetoric is not, I think, "authentic."  His indignation is playacting (or even, as Morrow puts it, a "mania").  The same goes for Bill Reel and much of his hyperbolic stuff. 

The same also goes for a lot of the rhetoric about the Church's 2015 policy changes.

Quite so.  Fortunately, the Church has a mechanism for putting an end to the "endless indulgence of outrage" typified in the cases of people like Sam Young, Bill Reel, and others.  Membership in the Church is a bilaterally voluntary thing.  A person can choose to associate with the Church, or not.  The Church can choose to associate with a person, or not.  When that person's behavior becomes so noxious and disruptive and profane, that voluntary association may need to be limited for a time, or perhaps even ended.  If and when that person has a change of heart, they can be welcomed back with open arms.  And I hope that happens.  

But if not, they and their Perpetual Outrage antics need to be addressed.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

Thoughts?

We are scr..... uh....  in serious trouble.

And it seems to be contagious.  I think even non-believers have to see that the world is going to pot.

Yes, that way too.  ;)

 

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It’s a tough one isn’t it...haven’t many significant and (imo) important changes in the world been preceded by what one might call “hysterics”? 

 

I have learned that in truth, very little is actually worth heading a parade for.  So often there are many sides of an issue, and a parade leader needs to have blinders on to maintain momentum.  Once you get started, pride is a heavy hammer. 

I think the culture online and even on this site do much to perpetuate a society that propagates outrage.  

Edited by MustardSeed
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3 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Like most things, I think it starts with the person staring back at us when we look in the mirror.

Stated in the context you describe, I choose not to be outraged by the allegations and statements made by the individuals you reference, and also choose not to be outraged by the fact they made those allegations and statements.

I do believe I'm not terribly affected by anyone else's journey either.  I wonder how I would feel if one of my parents decided to go awol?  I imagine I'd be sad about it....but I do have a child who decided that church isn't for him.  He thinks we are all crazy.  But we love each other and I'm not going to let his life choices steal my joy. He's happy, I'm happy.

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35 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

He thinks we are all crazy

Crazy is a relative term... literally and figuratively.

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11 hours ago, smac97 said:

 

But if not, they and their Perpetual Outrage antics need to be addressed.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

Yes, I'm intrigued, your outrage of their outrage, over the Church's outrage (the exing of those you mention for instance, or the reflexive 2015 policy change) is interesting.  Outrage all around and it seems like everyone thinks the best medicine is more outrage.  This post you offer is quite a story in itself, smac 

"I'm so outraged that they are outraged and we need to talk about their outrage because I'm so outraged."  

 

Quote

A healthy society reserves anger for special occasions. Today taking offense has become a reflex.

Yes, if there were a God surely he'd not be so easy to take offense for someone calling themselves Mormon.  But apparently in our society of outrage, someone who presumes to speak for God has told us God is more easily offended than us all.  

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7 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Yes, I'm intrigued, your outrage of their outrage, over the Church's outrage (the exing of those you mention for instance, or the reflexive 2015 policy change) is interesting.

Except that . . . I am not outraged.  

7 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Outrage all around and it seems like everyone thinks the best medicine is more outrage.  This post you offer is quite a story in itself, smac 

Well, no.

7 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

"I'm so outraged that they are outraged and we need to talk about their outrage because I'm so outraged."  

Except that . . . I am not outraged.

Thanks,

-Smac

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23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

and we need to talk about their outrage because I'm so outraged."  

 

25 minutes ago, smac97 said:

. I am not outraged

What is your feeling about all the outrage from alienated members? 

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Part of the general problem may be an addiction to outrage but I suspect they are switching the cause and effect. Maybe there is just so much more to be outraged about. Part of that is the toxic nature of the 24 hour news cycle and part of it is just that there is a lot more outrageous behavior. I am not sure which is worse at this point: feeling outrage requisite to the events described and being perpetually exhausted or sinking into numbness to try to cope and accepting this as the new way things are.

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12 hours ago, smac97 said:

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece:

Mr. Morrow raises a number of salient points, including some which may some application to the Church.  Some excerpts:

Mr. Morrow proceeds with some commentary about political animosities from both ends of the political spectrum.  I'll skip over these in the hopes that we don't get sidetracked into arguing political ideologies.  However, above he says pretty much what I have been observing and thinking for some years now, including how things are being addressed in the Church.

I'm thinking here of Kate Kelly, Sam Young, Bill Reel, Gina Colvin (and others, such as Dehlin and Runnells), and other "prominent" members of the Church who seem to be caught up in the "signature emotion" of outrage, who use Internet-based resources to spread their particular brands of it.

Outside-of-the-Church anti-mormons are doing the same thing (Fred Karger, for example).  But I have different expectations for people like him.

Yes, and smaller subsets of society, like the membership of the Church, should likewise reserve their outrage for special occasions.  

Mr. Morrow goes on to provide some salient examples, but I'll omit those (again, I'm trying to keep this thread focused on how some members of the Church are fomenting perpetual "outrage" against the Church).

Yep.  Consider, for example, Bill Reel's ongoing hissy fit about Elder Holland holding up a copy of The Book fo Mormon.  What an absurd thing to get upset about, and yet Bill has moved heaven and earth to generate "outrage" about it.

Yes.  Think of Sam Young and his histrionics.  They are shot through with intellectual laziness.

Think of Bill Reel and the deep-as-a-puddle screeds against Elder Holland, and the Church.  "Organizing a [figurative] lynch mob" against Elder Holland (who, I think, is a convenient proxy for the Church) sounds about right.

I agree with this.  But perpetual outrage is exhausting.  And sooner or later (usually sooner), the lack of good faith associated with such things becomes apparent.  Chicken Little redux.  Over and over and over again.

Sam Young and Bill Reel have, I think, been the worst at ratcheting up the "outrage" to 11.

Here Mr. Morrow gives voice to my concerns.  I've spent the past several years reading all sorts of disparaging remarks about my "category" (white male).  I've seen such category-based resentments and hostilities becoming voiced with increasing frequency in the Church.  It's not a good thing.

Well put.  And I think this has some application to the Church as well.  Sam Young's rhetoric is not, I think, "authentic."  His indignation is playacting (or even, as Morrow puts it, a "mania").  The same goes for Bill Reel and much of his hyperbolic stuff. 

The same also goes for a lot of the rhetoric about the Church's 2015 policy changes.

Quite so.  Fortunately, the Church has a mechanism for putting an end to the "endless indulgence of outrage" typified in the cases of people like Sam Young, Bill Reel, and others.  Membership in the Church is a bilaterally voluntary thing.  A person can choose to associate with the Church, or not.  The Church can choose to associate with a person, or not.  When that person's behavior becomes so noxious and disruptive and profane, that voluntary association may need to be limited for a time, or perhaps even ended.  If and when that person has a change of heart, they can be welcomed back with open arms.  And I hope that happens.  

But if not, they and their Perpetual Outrage antics need to be addressed.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

I'm not a WSJ subscriber, so I can't comment on that article in depth.  I do think our society seems increasingly polarized on politics and that in some ways people seem to be getting more outraged.  However, I have to temper this observation with a review of the past as well, and some of the really terrible things that political opponents have said about the other side going all the way back to the founding of our country.  Its really hard for me to judge whats happening today against my knowledge of what has happened in the past when it comes to flamboyant outrage towards political opponents.  

As for the list of excommunicants in the past few years in Mormonism.  I actually disagree quite a bit, as I think all of the names you listed have for the most part been quite respectful throughout their critiques.  In contrast you could list maybe an Ed Decker as a outraged opponent that used straw man arguments and tried to demonize the entire institution in unfair ways.  None of the people you listed did that.  I'm surprised you think these critics fit the same mold as some of our more polarizing people in politics today, I think these people and the circumstances surrounding their journeys are clearly quite different.  

 

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54 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Except that . . . I am not outraged.  

Well, no.

Except that . . . I am not outraged.

Thanks,

-Smac

Well then, neither is anyone else.  

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I like let’s rolls view, suggesting it starts here. 

We cant wait for outrage to self assess. Defensiveness is super high, especially online (where a lot of the exmormon outrage manifests) and what’s actually freeing is learning that vulnerability is not as expensive as it feels! 

I’m certainly not perfect but it is an ongoing exercise of mine that when I feel that “oh, he’s after me “ to slow down my quick reaction and find an element of truth in the others position and to not be a part of today’s culture of offense and aggressive retort.  There’s a reason I began that journey that I won’t share here but I will say it is extremely effective for my blood pressure.  

If it’s futile and the enviroment is one that must have ongoing high conflict to survive I typically remove myself.

I have considered that with this site because the call for defensiveness is really loud and it seems a constant clamor to be right wins over being kind, and I don’t want to get caught up in that, but I don’t know where to go to talk about some things that I need to talk about. 

I digress, but I do agree with let’s roll on the responsibilities of us as individuals to curb rage. 

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Yes, I'm intrigued, your outrage of their outrage, over the Church's outrage (the exing of those you mention for instance, or the reflexive 2015 policy change) is interesting.  Outrage all around and it seems like everyone thinks the best medicine is more outrage.  This post you offer is quite a story in itself, smac 

"I'm so outraged that they are outraged and we need to talk about their outrage because I'm so outraged."  

 

Yes, if there were a God surely he'd not be so easy to take offense for someone calling themselves Mormon.  But apparently in our society of outrage, someone who presumes to speak for God has told us God is more easily offended than us all.  

There is another side to this coin, I think, and that is: I believe some people are addicted to victimhood in the same way others are addicted to outrage, and perhaps some are addicted to both. Think " I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!!!".

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19 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

There is another side to this coin, I think, and that is: I believe some people are addicted to victimhood in the same way others are addicted to outrage, and perhaps some are addicted to both. Think " I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!!!".

I'm unable to read the article, there's some block on it.  But I would question what is meant by addicted here.  Surely some people get all upset and outraged unreasonably in some cases, some people like to donn the victim cloak as well.  But claiming addiction all because someone gets outraged or claim addiction because someone says they are a victim, well, that's just seems silly to me.  I'm not saying none of this is possible or likely, and perhaps i'm most disagreeable to Smac's attempt to throw what seems to me to be nothing more than contempt at certain individual Mormons whom he seems to see as more outraged than he, as if he and Holland are victims of some sort.  But I dont' see smac as addicted to anything.  I think he's clearly upset at certain Mormons and wants to make a fuss about them.  

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

What is your feeling about all the outrage from alienated members? 

I would like them to calm down a bit.  I would hope they would give controversial matters more thought and study and prayer.  I would hope that they would give the Church a fair hearing.  I would hope they would be circumspect and moderate and respectful in their statements.

By way of example: I have an acquaintance, whom I will call Pat.  Pat grew up in the Church, served a mission, went to BYU, married in the temple, and so on.  Pat's siblings are all active and observant members of the Church, as are Pat's parents.  Pat has become estranged from the Church.  Pat recently sat down with one of his/her siblings and explained his/her reasons for leaving the Church.  The sibling sat and listened.  Pat then ramped things up a bit, to the point where he/she was comparing the Church to Nazi Germany, and that teaching children about the doctrines of the Church is akin to the 1930s-era Germans sending their children into the Hitler Youth.  Pat said these things to his/her sibling, whom he/she knows is raising children in the Church.  Pat more or less accused his/her sibling of being complicit in a great evil.

I get that Pat feels "outraged."  But Pat's behavior here was disappointing.  Disrespectful.  Profane.  And quite overwrought.  Bombastic.

Yesterday while in Church I walked past the Primary Room and lingered for a moment to listen to the children in there singing a primary song.  The kids were from the Japanese Ward that meets just prior to mine, so they were singing in Japanese.  Still, I knew the melody of the song, and hence the words.  It was not Es zittern die morschen Knochen, or anything like the songs the Nazis taught their children.

Yesterday evening, my family and I broke our fast and had a delicious dinner of parmesan chicken, roasted vegetables, steamed rice, and home-made rolls.  We then sat down together and watched the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional.  We then cleaned up after dinner, then had a few hours of chatting and laughing together, followed by family scripture study (15 minutes of personal study, followed by another fifteen or so minutes of thoughts and observations regarding what we had each individually read).

There was nothing Nazi-like about my experiences yesterday.  No promulgation of racial supremacy or Social Darwinism.  No expression of hatred of Jews.  

Such has been my experience growing up in the Church, and now raising my own children in the Church.  I think my experience is fairly typical of observant members of the Church.  And yet according to Pat, I an my wife are acting like inchoate Nazis.  Or even worse than Nazis, since we are living with the benefit of hindsight and yet still choose to teach our children in ways that - according to Pat - are similar or identical to the horrible things the Nazi's taught their children in the 1930s.

That Pat feels at liberty to compare and equate religious observances such as those above with Nazism and Hitlerjugend rather strongly suggests that there is something amiss here.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I would like them to calm down a bit.  I would hope they would give controversial matters more thought and study and prayer.  I would hope that they would give the Church a fair hearing.  I would hope they would be circumspect and moderate and respectful in their statements.

By way of example: I have an acquaintance, whom I will call Pat.  Pat grew up in the Church, served a mission, went to BYU, married in the temple, and so on.  Pat's siblings are all active and observant members of the Church, as are Pat's parents.  Pat has become estranged from the Church.  Pat recently sat down with one of his/her siblings and explained his/her reasons for leaving the Church.  The sibling sat and listened.  Pat then ramped things up a bit, to the point where he/she was comparing the Church to Nazi Germany, and that teaching children about the doctrines of the Church is akin to the 1930s-era Germans sending their children into the Hitler Youth.  Pat said these things to his/her sibling, whom he/she knows is raising children in the Church.  Pat more or less accused his/her sibling of being complicit in a great evil.

I get that Pat feels "outraged."  But Pat's behavior here was disappointing.  Disrespectful.  Profane.  And quite overwrought.  Bombastic.

Yesterday while in Church I walked past the Primary Room and lingered for a moment to listen to the children in there singing a primary song.  The kids were from the Japanese Ward that meets just prior to mine, so they were singing in Japanese.  Still, I knew the melody of the song, and hence the words.  It was not Es zittern die morschen Knochen, or anything like the songs the Nazis taught their children.

Yesterday evening, my family and I broke our fast and had a delicious dinner of parmesan chicken, roasted vegetables, steamed rice, and home-made rolls.  We then sat down together and watched the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional.  We then cleaned up after dinner, then had a few hours of chatting and laughing together, followed by family scripture study (15 minutes of personal study, followed by another fifteen or so minutes of thoughts and observations regarding what we had each individually read).

There was nothing Nazi-like about my experiences yesterday.  No promulgation of racial supremacy or Social Darwinism.  No expression of hatred of Jews.  

Such has been my experience growing up in the Church, and now raising my own children in the Church.  I think my experience is fairly typical of observant members of the Church.  And yet according to Pat, I and my wife's behavior are inchoate Nazis.  Or even worse than Nazis, since we are living with the benefit of hindsight and yet still choosing to teach our children in ways that - according to Pat - are similar or identical to the horrible things the Nazi's taught their children in the 1930s.

That Pat feels at liberty to compare and equate religious observances such as those above with Nazism and Hitlerjugend rather strongly suggests that there is something amiss here.

Thanks,

-Smac

Bringing back memories Smac, watching the Christmas Devotional was always a highlight with my young children. And your Sunday dinner to break the Fast sounds sooo delicious!

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1 minute ago, Tacenda said:

Bringing back memories Smac, watching the Christmas Devotional was always a highlight with my young children. And your Sunday dinner to break the Fast sounds sooo delicious!

Thanks.  The parmesan chicken was even gluten-free, as we have a son with celiac disease.  My wife has really perfected her recipe for it.

The roasted veggies and home-made rolls and steamed rice were my contribution.

Thanks,

-Smac

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22 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Thanks.  The parmesan chicken was even gluten-free, as we have a son with celiac disease.  My wife has really perfected her recipe for it.

The roasted veggies and home-made rolls and steamed rice were my contribution.

Thanks,

-Smac

Well I'm impressed! I made rolls for Thanksgiving and they rose and it looked like I finally made rolls that didn't look like flying saucers! But then I bit into it and all I tasted was yeast. I think I added too much. And then I insisted on homemade turkey gravy and my picky family missed the brown packaged gravy that I hate but they insist at meal times, but only my husband admitted not liking it this time. And then I made homemade pumpkin pie and crust, and will never make homemade crust again despite what people say and how it's sooo easy to make. It was awful. Next year I'm buying everything made in advance except for the turkey, I do okay there. 

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39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Thanks.  The parmesan chicken was even gluten-free, as we have a son with celiac disease.  My wife has really perfected her recipe for it.

The roasted veggies and home-made rolls and steamed rice were my contribution.

Thanks,

-Smac

Oh gosh....to you and your wife...have you  got some lists/recipes for my son who has the same disease???  I am really outraged at this disease...hard to go out and eat together..hard to make meals...just outraged!!!

Edited by Jeanne

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1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

There is another side to this coin, I think, and that is: I believe some people are addicted to victimhood in the same way others are addicted to outrage, and perhaps some are addicted to both. Think " I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!!!".

There is a kind of outrage heavily associated with virtue signaling where there is a kind of unspoken competition to increase one’s victimization or moral superiority through being more disadvantaged and calling each other out for mistakes. It is a cheap way of imagining you are virtuous without doing anything. It is rare outside of the Internet because people who practice it are insufferable even to each other and there is little good feeling in the groups as they are perpetually in competition.

One of my friends slipped into this for a while. She was in her early 20s and got into normal healthy feminism and some causes. Her husband and friends were supportive and she did some good in local politics fixing a minor (but important) injustice against women. Then she got into a rather toxic online community and started overanalyzing everything. Everything had to be evaluated from an extremist paradigm and, if you look hard enough and she did, everything was found wanting including her friends, her husband, and everyone else. She was following arcane rules about media consumption and conversation. She went from one of the happiest and most fun people I had ever met to someone devoid of joy trying to live life to impossible standards to avoid betraying the “cause” and her supposed friends encouraged this endless self-analysis. Fortunately she “came to herself” and got out of there and found happiness again. 

I do not want to pick on feminism here specifically. These communities are based around all kinds of situations: racial/ethnic groups, angry dominant groups, hobby groups, political causes, preferred forms of consumer media, religious organizations, estranged family support groups (look this up if you want to see stalking raised to an art form), and even things like sexual fetishes. We need to do better at teaching people to avoid toxic online communities. Not sure how.

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm not a WSJ subscriber, so I can't comment on that article in depth. 

"Micronesia's Leading Newspaper since 1972" apparently has a mirror of the oped. Not sure if it respects copyrighted material.

Edited by Nofear

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1 minute ago, Jeanne said:

Oh gosh....to you and your wife...have you  got some lists/recipes for my son who has the same disease???

Parmesan Chicken:

1. Toast a slice (or multiple slices) of gluten free bread, then sit it/them out to dry out (15-20 minutes).  

2. Break the toasted bread into pieces and put them into a blender and blend them into crumbs.

3. Pour crumbs into a mixing bowl and add dry granted parmesan cheese (not shredded - the shelf-stable stuff available at Walmart works fine - as moist parmesan gives the coating a gummy/rubbery texture).  My wife does a 1:1 ratio with the crumbs, but I favor something close of a 2:1 cheese-to-crumbs ratio.  Whatever you like.

4. Add seasoning to the crumb/cheese mixture.  We usually use Italian seasoning, garlic salt, pepper and paprika.  To taste.

5. My wife coats the chicken breasts in butter, then coats them in the above mixture.  A coating of a fat-free nonstick spray works if you want to reduce calories.  

6. Place the coated chicken in a pan (preferably on aluminum foil sprayed with a nonstick spray) and bake at 400 degrees until done.

7. An added flourish: Pull out the complete chicken and cover each piece with slices of tomato and shredded Italian mix cheese (or mozzarella, or whatever you have), then put them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts.

It's good stuff.  

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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