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Should Latter-day Saints be Concerned about "Christian Nationalism?"


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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Nah, it was way too far over the top for that. 
 

Reminds me of a radio talk show host years ago — I don’t recall his name now  — who would have guests on his show who said outrageous things. The thing is, these “guests” were all his own invention. Doing a voice characterization, he would pose as the guest answering questions that he himself had asked as the interviewer. It was very absorbing — in a watching-a-train-wreck sort of way — to hear people calling in to the program simmering with indignation. At the end of the show, the host would disclose the prank, but that never seemed to stop any number of other listeners from falling for subsequent such bits. 

I love Phil Hendry.  The guy is hilarious.  

The sad thing is that "way too far over the top" is not really over the top at all for a growing segment of far-right Americans.  All of his anti-Semitist, anti-vaccine, Christian nationalist memes and talking points come from the deeply held beliefs of a growing social movement - it is not just made up stuff to troll people.  So yes, it can be difficult to spot a phony troll when real life trolls roam freely in America.   

Name one thing he said that is not a belief within that movement. 

1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Beware of such stereotyping. It can make one vulnerable to troll attacks. 

Beware of not understanding the far-right, it can make you vulnerable to mistake the wolf in wolves clothing for a phony troll. 

All of his talking points and memes are par for the course of the far-right 

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On 8/2/2022 at 12:20 PM, jkwilliams said:

The same is true of a school coach wearing a school uniform on school property at a school event where he or she is still interacting with children under his or her charge.

But what about when he's not interacting with children under his charge? What about when he's given free time to do as he pleases? Should he be free to pray during that time, or must he run away if he happens to see a student?

Here's what the Supreme Court held with respect to his post-game actions (citations omitted; emphasis added):

In reaching its contrary conclusion, the Ninth Circuit stressed that, as a coach, Mr. Kennedy served as a role model “clothed with the mantle of one who imparts knowledge and wisdom.” The court emphasized that Mr. Kennedy remained on duty after games. Before us, the District presses the same arguments. And no doubt they have a point. Teachers and coaches often serve as vital role models. But this argument commits the error of positing an “excessively broad job descriptio[n]” by treating everything teachers and coaches say in the workplace as government speech subject to government control. On this understanding, a school could fire a Muslim teacher for wearing a headscarf in the classroom or prohibit a Christian aide from praying quietly over her lunch in the cafeteria. Likewise, this argument ignores the District Court’s conclusion (and the District’s concession) that Mr. Kennedy’s actual job description left time for a private moment after the game to call home, check a text, socialize, or engage in any manner of secular activities. Others working for the District were free to engage briefly in personal speech and activity. That Mr. Kennedy chose to use the same time to pray does not transform his speech into government speech. To hold differently would be to treat religious expression as second-class speech and eviscerate this Court’s repeated promise that teachers do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

 

So, on the one hand, the Court notes that he "remained on duty after games," but it also goes on to point out that his "actual job description left time for a private moment after the game."

If he wants to use that private time to pray rather than check his Facebook feed, that's fine by me. YMMV.

 

On 8/2/2022 at 12:20 PM, jkwilliams said:

I just believe that we are eroding well-established lines between church and state. 

I think children are capable of understanding more than we often give them credit for.

Also, ironically, it's only because he happens to work for the government that he had any hope of winning at all. Private employers have much more latitude in restricting employee speech.

 

Edited by Amulek
Format fix.
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On 8/3/2022 at 1:31 PM, Teancum said:

Try living outside of Utah among staunch non denominational EV types.  Then come back and talk to me.

I grew up in Texas, the oversized buckle of the Bible Belt, and attended a 5A high school with less than a dozen members (if you include the inactives).

I've got a pretty good idea of what it looks like to grow up as part of the religious minority. What, exactly, would you like to talk about?

 

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7 minutes ago, Amulek said:

I grew up in Texas, the oversized buckle of the Bible Belt, and attended a 5A high school with less than a dozen members (if you include the inactives).

I've got a pretty good idea of what it looks like to grow up as part of the religious minority. What, exactly, would you like to talk about?

 

If I recall my comment was not directed at you was it?

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34 minutes ago, Amulek said:

But what about when he's not interacting with children under his charge? What about when he's given free time to do as he pleases? Should he be free to pray during that time, or must he run away if he happens to see a student?

Here's what the Supreme Court held with respect to his post-game actions (citations omitted; emphasis added):

In reaching its contrary conclusion, the Ninth Circuit stressed that, as a coach, Mr. Kennedy served as a role model “clothed with the mantle of one who imparts knowledge and wisdom.” The court emphasized that Mr. Kennedy remained on duty after games. Before us, the District presses the same arguments. And no doubt they have a point. Teachers and coaches often serve as vital role models. But this argument commits the error of positing an “excessively broad job descriptio[n]” by treating everything teachers and coaches say in the workplace as government speech subject to government control. On this understanding, a school could fire a Muslim teacher for wearing a headscarf in the classroom or prohibit a Christian aide from praying quietly over her
lunch in the cafeteria. Likewise, this argument ignores the District Court’s conclusion (and the District’s concession) that Mr. Kennedy’s actual job description left time for a private moment after the game to call home, check a text, socialize, or engage in any manner of secular activities. Others working for the District were free to engage briefly in personal speech and activity. That Mr. Kennedy chose to use the same time to pray does not transform his speech into government speech. To hold differently would be to treat religious expression as second-class speech and eviscerate this Court’s repeated promise that teachers do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

 

So, on the one hand, the Court notes that he "remained on duty after games," but it also goes on to point out that his "actual job description left time for a private moment after the game."

If he wants to use that private time to pray rather than check his Facebook feed, that's fine by me. YMMV.

 

I think children are capable of understanding more than we often give them credit for.

Also, ironically, it's only because he happens to work for the government that he had any hope of winning at all. Private employers have much more latitude in restricting employee speech.

 

I’m not going to argue about this. As I have said, I disagree that a school official holding a prayer service on the 50-yard line at a school event is private behavior akin to checking a Facebook feed.

If, however, the coach checked his email and found sexually explicit photos of his girlfriend, would it be private behavior if he called the players to the 50-yard line to show them the photos? 

Edited by jkwilliams
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2 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I’m not going to argue about this.

Very well.

 

2 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

As I have said, I disagree that a school official holding a prayer service on the 50-yard line at a school event is private behavior akin to checking a Facebook feed. 

And I disagree with your characterization of the coach's behavior as "holding a prayer service." So I guess we're just at odds on this one.

That's okay. I was just out of town most of the week last week and never got around to getting back to this thread. Looks like it has mostly run its course now, so maybe it's best to just leave it at this point.

 

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4 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Very well.

 

And I disagree with your characterization of the coach's behavior as "holding a prayer service." So I guess we're just at odds on this one.

That's okay. I was just out of town most of the week last week and never got around to getting back to this thread. Looks like it has mostly run its course now, so maybe it's best to just leave it at this point.

 

Yeah, it’s kind of run its course. By “leading a prayer service,” I mean what is described in the dissent:

“To the degree the Court portrays petitioner Joseph Kennedy’s prayers as private and quiet, it misconstrues the facts. The record reveals that Kennedy had a longstanding practice of conducting demonstrative prayers on the 50- yard line of the football field. Kennedy consistently invited others to join his prayers and for years led student athletes in prayer at the same time and location. The Court ignores this history. The Court also ignores the severe disruption to school events caused by Kennedy’s conduct.”

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Is saying Grace before my lunch in the school cafeteria unconstitutional?

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

This looks like a prayer service to me, not private behavior. 
 

f5d17487-1173-4592-9a3b-116dd7fffb17.png

What religion is this guy? Clearly, he couldn't be a follower of the guy who said:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.

 

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21 minutes ago, Analytics said:

What religion is this guy? Clearly, he couldn't be a follower of the guy who said:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.

 

Now, that would be private behavior.

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6 hours ago, Peacefully said:

There may be some who enjoy sparring with trolls, but I think we should protect each other on this site from outsiders who just want to make trouble, no matter which side of the fence we are on. FWIW

As I indicated earlier, I’m not confident my identifying the poster in question as a pranking troll would have been heeded. It might even have been regarded as a board rules violation. 

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8 hours ago, pogi said:

Name one thing he said that is not a belief within that movement. 

As I had never heard of the “Christian nationalist movement” before seeing this thread, and as I have not been closely following this thread, I can’t discuss said movement with any degree of competence. 

It’s my impression, though, that Mr. Troll purports to be a Church member. I can tell you with certainty that no Church member within my acquaintance (and there are a good many) comes even close to behaving like that. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

As I indicated earlier, I’m not confident my identifying the poster in question as a pranking troll would have been heeded. It might even have been regarded as a board rules violation. 

I get that and you need to do what makes you feel comfortable. Personally, I would risk violating board rules if I felt someone’s behavior needed to be called out. Especially a troll, lol. 
 

Edited by Peacefully
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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 I can’t discuss said movement with any degree of competence. 

Thats right.  So don't pretend like you know what you are talking about when you said that he was "too over the top" etc.  

1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I can tell you with certainty that no Church member within my acquaintance (and there are a good many) comes even close to behaving like that. 

Not to your face anyway.  Some feel more safe take their masks off online in anonymity.  I personally have met a few members that hateful and antisemitic in real life. Holocaust deniers, etc. Extreme Jew haters. Christian nationalist.  Racist. This wasn't a made up persona.  He is just a small window into a growing portion of your party that one would be wise to make themselves aware of. 

 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Thats right.  So don't pretend like you know what you are talking about when you said that he was "too over the top" etc.

While not acquainted with that “movement,” after decades of reading and contributing to this and predecessor message boards, I have learned to spot pretenders, poseurs, and provocateurs, and to identify grotesque caricatures when I see them. If I had called out the troll as a prankster while he was in his act of trolldom, as Peacefully apparently thinks I should have done, I’m afraid this is precisely the reaction I would have gotten. 
 

You’re entitled to your opinion to the contrary, but I think you and others here were played and need to be more discerning — just as regular listeners to Phil Hendrie soon learned to be discerning about his “guests.”

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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We have had serious racists on the board, including the mommy Mormon blogger or a supporter of hers if you recall. How do you tell the difference between a prankster and the real thing if they are both spouting racist slogans? 

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Peacefully said:

Personally, I would risk violating board rules if I felt someone’s behavior needed to be called out. Especially a troll, lol. 

No need to violate board rules. I just report trolls to the moderators. They do the rest.

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8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

While not acquainted with that “movement,” after decades of reading and contributing to this and predecessor message boards, I have learned to spot pretenders, poseurs, and provocateurs, and to identify gross caricatures when I see them. If I had called out the troll as a prankster while he was in his act of trolldom, as Peacefully apparently thinks I should have done, I’m afraid this is precisely the reaction I would have gotten. 
 

You’re entitled to your opinion to the contrary, but I think you and others here were played and need to be more discerning — just as regular listeners to Phil Hendrie soon learned to be discerning about his “guests.”

 

His intention to provoke is a given.  No doubt he was here to have some fun (perversely) and stir things up.  He was undoubtedly a troll in that way.  But a lot of trolls pull their material from core beliefs and simply turn up the notch for effect.  I have no reason to believe that he wasn’t an anti semitic Christian-nationalist.  There are lots of them out there, some even in our church.  I know one personally.

Again, you can believe like this is a made up caricature (and maybe he was) and pretend that people like him don’t really exist, but the fact remains that people like him DO exist.  Those memes were from legitimate dirt-bags.   No matter how much you don’t want to believe it and burry your head in the sand, they exist.  I have met them.  In real life.  The fact that you think his beliefs were “over the top” shows your ignorance.

 Don’t tell me I need to be more discerning of a group of people that you didn’t even know existed before this thread (mind boggling!), and seem to be in doubt that people like this really exist by suggesting his beliefs were over the top.   You can’t learn to spot something when you don’t know what it is you are looking for.  No amount of experience on boards can help you spot something that you don’t believe exists or know what it even looks like.

If you do believe they exist, after some convincing, but admit that you don’t know what they look like…doesn’t that make it more than a little ironic that you are the one telling me to be more discerning with this group?

Good job on discerning his trolling.  I think everyone here spotted that.  There is no way to discern his true beliefs though.  He may have been a total fake, or he may have been trolling from a base of core beliefs.  If you think it is possible to objectively discern a trolls core beliefs, you are kidding yourself.  The fact that the core base beliefs of his character are not made up make it difficult to discern. That is my point.

Edited by pogi
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7 hours ago, Calm said:

Someone who  is willing to spout racist slogans as a joke may not be a white supremacist or Christian nationalist, but imo it makes them a racist.  Racism as humor is still racism if there is no other context to it. 

Yep.  He also made a veiled threat to my life.  In response to my comment “you go out with a bang” he replied, “so do you” - and then I remembered why I remain anonymous on internet boards.  

That crossed a line that let me know this is a little more than a troll.  This guy is a Bona fide dirt bag.  You don’t joke about ending someone’s life.  Being willing to terrorize people as a joke goes beyond internet trolling.  I am glad Scott was entertained by it all though.

This guy had genuine problems, joking or not.

Edited by pogi
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