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Deznat hashtag


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5 minutes ago, Calm said:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/01/31/unholy-war-deznat-troops/
 

I don’t know much about the groups using the hashtag, to my limited knowledge this seems like a rounded article providing information about its use. 

I really should subscribe to the Trib, I'm always trying to open it up when someone shares an article. Was able to see the photo of Porter Rockwell and others...that is an attention getter. 

 

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5 hours ago, Calm said:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/01/31/unholy-war-deznat-troops/
 

I don’t know much about the groups using the hashtag, to my limited knowledge this seems like a rounded article providing information about its use. 

Spencer Macdonald covered this group a couple of years ago here,

  Worth reading.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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3 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Spencer Macdonald covered this group a couple of years ago here,

  Worth reading.

And again more recently here:

 

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This excerpt from the Trib article caught my attention:

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On Jan. 6, as a mob carrying alt-right banners stormed the U.S. Capitol, a #DezNat tweeter stated, “We are here at the Capitol, we have our flags. We are supporting Trump, today, tomorrow, and forever.”
 
Days later, J.P. Bellum, who coined the #DezNat hashtag, tweeted, “Never let the media tell you that violence isn’t effective. We’ve just seen both sides this year show that it is. Expect more of it as the ruling class gets more distanced from reality.”

This seems a bit ambiguous.  Whether violence, particularly in a political context, is "effective" is distinct from whether it is moral.  The Church, via Pres. Oaks, has been quite clear about this:

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The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “it is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind.”

President Howard W. Hunter taught: “The world in which we live would benefit greatly if men and women everywhere would exercise the pure love of Christ, which is kind, meek, and lowly. It is without envy or pride. … It seeks nothing in return. … It has no place for bigotry, hatred, or violence. … It encourages diverse people to live together in Christian love regardless of religious belief, race, nationality, financial standing, education, or culture.”
...
An essential part of loving our enemies is to render unto Caesar by keeping the laws of our various countries. Though Jesus’s teachings were revolutionary, He did not teach revolution or lawbreaking. He taught a better way. Modern revelation teaches the same:

“Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.

“Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:21–22).

And our article of faith, written by the Prophet Joseph Smith after the early Saints had suffered severe persecution from Missouri officials, declares, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12).

This does not mean that we agree with all that is done with the force of law. It means that we obey the current law and use peaceful means to change it. It also means that we peacefully accept the results of elections. We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome. In a democratic society we always have the opportunity and the duty to persist peacefully until the next election.

The Savior’s teaching to love our enemies is based on the reality that all mortals are beloved children of God. That eternal principle and some basic principles of law were tested in the recent protests in many American cities.

At one extreme, some seem to have forgotten that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That is the authorized way to raise public awareness and to focus on injustices in the content or administration of the laws.
...
At the other extreme, a minority of participants and supporters of these protests and the illegal acts that followed them seem to have forgotten that the protests protected by the Constitution are 
peaceful protests. Protesters have no right to destroy, deface, or steal property or to undermine the government’s legitimate police powers. The Constitution and laws contain no invitation to revolution or anarchy. All of us—police, protesters, supporters, and spectators—should understand the limits of our rights and the importance of our duties to stay within the boundaries of existing law. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.” Redress of grievances by mobs is redress by illegal means. That is anarchy, a condition that has no effective governance and no formal police, which undermines rather than protects individual rights.

I would hope that Latter-day Saints would be conversant in their own history.  If they were, they would not resort to lawless violence and anarchy.  We were on the the receiving end of that sort of thing.

This doesn't impress either (from the article) :

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Though most posters use #DezNat to share scriptures, sayings and inspiring quotes, some deploy refashioned alt-right memes to rebut, revile and, yes, mock their religious foes.
 
J.P. Bellum acknowledged that some users can be “combative, rude, crass, aggressive, even mean.”
...
One of the reasons for adopting #DezNat, Bellum said, was because the church’s “most vocal” critics were “getting the most likes and retweets” on Twitter.
 
He’s not wrong, said social media researcher Spencer Greenhalgh. The University of Kentucky scholar has made an in-depth study of #DezNat tweets.
 
In the recent past, research on Mormons and the internet has largely focused on progressive members, especially feminists and “queer Mormons,” he said. “A lot of the story has become how the internet has allowed progressive voices in the conservative religion to emerge.”
 
The #DezNat community wanted “to play the same game as progressive Mormons,” Greenhalgh said. “Even without having a church office, they feel they have a mandate to shore up the authority that already exists … and to prevent further change in the church and more assimilation into the larger world.”

Yeesh.  Taking behavioral cues from "the church’s 'most vocal' critics," with the result of members of the Church becoming “combative, rude, crass, aggressive, even mean” is not the way to go.

And this:

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A couple of years ago, the social media researcher set up a “Twitter tracker,” which automatically downloaded every tweet that includes #DezNat and entered it onto a spreadsheet. He now has amassed hundreds of thousands of tweets.
 
The vast majority would not be seen as violent, Greenhalgh noted, but they do wield a lot of alt-right language and what could be termed dark humor.
 
They rely on ambiguity in the message, he said, so if targets take a threat seriously, they can say, “with a wink and a nod,” that they were just kidding.

I don't think we can or ought to be "ambiguous" about violence.  We need to clearly and unequivocally distance ourselves from it and condemn it.

I reiterate what I said in December:

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I am reminded of the swastika, which was originally a benign religious icon that was appropriated by the Nazis, such that it now overwhelmingly carries connotations of great evil.  Similarly, whatever #DezNat started out as, it has since been misappropriated and corrupted.   And since it is newly-minted and has no revelatory provenance, I think it should be abandoned and rejected by the Latter-day Saints.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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Something I have learned: In any group of any size, on any side of any fence, there will be a tiny fraction in the group, that are some blend of crazy/evil/dangerous/stupid.  This is also true for us good LDS folks.   The rare exceptions when it isn't true, one barrier for being translated like the city of Enoch is removed. 

Other things I have learned:
- Social media allows for such fractional tiny minorities to find each other, organize, and act, quite easily.  
- It's rather easy to have a tiny fraction of a minority, look like more than they are.   Someone's crazy uncle and half a dozen idiot teenagers can become something everyone hears about.  (I would assume #Deznat is probably bigger than that, but not much bigger.)  
 

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1 hour ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Something I have learned: In any group of any size, on any side of any fence, there will be a tiny fraction in the group, that are some blend of crazy/evil/dangerous/stupid.  This is also true for us good LDS folks.   The rare exceptions when it isn't true, one barrier for being translated like the city of Enoch is removed. 

The problem I see is that online groupings

A) are often virtual (little or no face-to-face interactions), such that the "Online Disinhibition Effect" can really have an impact;

B) are not organized, and hence have no leadership, and hence have no agreed-upon sets of behavior, rules or code of conduct; 

C) have no "gatekeeping" function, such that whackos and false flag operators can very easily take up residence amongst them; and

D) are way to susceptible to devolving in terms of squabbles with ideological opponents, and even amongst themselves.

I am grateful to belong to a visible, structured group that has leadership, rules of conduct, and so on.  And yet even then, as you say, we can have members among us who are "some blend of crazy/evil/dangerous/stupid."  We need to help these folks, but also guard ourselves, and the Church's good name and reputation, against their antics.

1 hour ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Other things I have learned:
- Social media allows for such fractional tiny minorities to find each other, organize, and act, quite easily.  
- It's rather easy to have a tiny fraction of a minority, look like more than they are.   Someone's crazy uncle and half a dozen idiot teenagers can become something everyone hears about.  (I would assume #Deznat is probably bigger than that, but not much bigger.)  

Yep.

Thanks,

-Smac

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