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Colorado Nightclub Shooter is a (Nominal) Member of the Church


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39 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

2 specific examples I used were 1- Ministerial alliance which is a public group of religous leaders within a community. the other was 2- a high school club. In both cases groups were prohibited from participating. This is discrimination.

the 2nd I agreed with you, though apparently not clearly enough. Public schools are inherently for the public, regardless of identity, and are working to force their disagreement with a club onto others who don’t. Disagreeing with the club isn’t innately hostile to me until you are proactively doing something to repress the club. Ministerial alliance I don’t know enough about. When I googled it, the first lines don’t sound universal. They sound mainstream Christian and that each alliance is different as to who would be in said alliance. Many mainstream groups view us as inherently different. And so it wouldn’t surprise me, nor would I personally find it hostile, if a group of mainstream Christian pastors/religious leaders decided Mormons didn’t fit the purpose/identity of the group. If this was more broad in religious affiliation and it was just member of our faith they wouldn’t have, then I could see more of a problem. 

39 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I would certainly view the church's proactive efforts to deny marriage rights from the LGBTQ community as aggressive, discriminatory and hostile.

Yes and no. The context of the time is my hesitation. At the time of prop 8, most the arguments I saw were not from an overtly hostile perspective against lgbt folk, but a defensive posture in maintaining a mainstream definition of marriage. I would say it was discriminatory and impassioned and liked fueled at times by ignorance but pervasively aggressive and hostile are probably stretching it. Though I don’t doubt some were. Of course this was 15 years ago or so and my main memory was mainly just general discomfort with all discussions around it and a lecture I attended about marriage at BYU that I found both compelling and doomed in its argument. 
 

FTR, i do not see discrimination, most -ism’s, and other forms of group or thought biases as inherently aggressive, adversarial, or hostile. Not on their own. 
 

with luv,

BD 

Edited by BlueDreams
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33 minutes ago, Nofear said:

What percentage of possibility would you ascribe to it before trotting it out as a viable option? 50%, 10%, 90%, 0.001%. What do you think is the probability that this inactive young man who appears to have very little to do with the Church 1) heard or otherwise was aware what Elder Holland said and 2) was inspired to act violently by one he sincerely believes is one of Christ's apostles (that sincere belief being abundantly manifest by his outward life)? Give it a good hearty guess and stand by it as entirely plausible.

I think you miss the point.

I didn't claim that Hollands talk caused the perp to shoot up the club. Holland's talk was used as an example of how church leaders have used violent metaphor and stories in teachings.

So, IF a kid grows up in the church hearing stories of how Nephi beheaded Laban, or Teancum throws a spear through the heart of Amalackiah, Or Brigham youngs teaching about blood atonement, or how Elder Packer talked about a missionary hitting another missionary who seemed to be flirting with him or hears stories about the exploits of Porter Rockwell's justified violence then one might get the idea that violence for a righteous purpose is appropriate. So IF that same kid also hears lessons and talks from church leaders about how unrighteous LGBTQ+ behavior or lifestyle is, from people like Elder Oaks not wanting to be seen with a gay child then it is not at all a crazy leap for that kid to mix both messages. Did that happen here? No idea. But I can't definitively say it wasn't, and neither can you. There are multitudes of factors that impact our attitudes and beliefs and it would be very hard to untangle every string that had an impact on our belief systems. So it doesn't really matter if I think there is a .001% change or a 90% chance that some church teachings may have influenced this individual for the bad. It wouldn't be the first time.

Does that mean that the church actively wants any kind of violence against any particular community. No. I never said they did. But that doesn't mean that the church's history and teachings couldn't have played some role in an individual's bad behavior.

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44 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

the 2nd I agreed with you, though apparently not clearly enough. Public schools are inherently for the public, regardless of identity, and are working to force their disagreement with a club onto others who don’t. Disagreeing with the club isn’t innately hostile to me until you are proactively doing something to repress the club. Ministerial alliance I don’t know enough about. When I googled it, the first lines don’t sound universal. They sound mainstream Christian and that each alliance is different as to who would be in said alliance. Many mainstream groups view us as inherently different. And so it wouldn’t surprise me, nor would I personally find it hostile, if a group of mainstream Christian pastors/religious leaders decided Mormons didn’t fit the purpose/identity of the group. If this was more broad in religious affiliation and it was just member of our faith they wouldn’t have, then I could see more of a problem. 

Yes and no. The context of the time is my hesitation. At the time of prop 8, most the arguments I saw were not from an overtly hostile perspective against lgbt folk, but a defensive posture in maintaining a mainstream definition of marriage. I would say it was discriminatory and impassioned and liked fueled at times by ignorance but pervasively aggressive and hostile are probably stretching it. Though I don’t doubt some were. Of course this was 15 years ago or so and my main memory was mainly just general discomfort with all discussions around it and a lecture I attended about marriage at BYU that I found both compelling and doomed in its argument. 
 

FTR, i do not see discrimination, most -ism’s, and other forms of group or thought biases as inherently aggressive, adversarial, or hostile. Not on their own. 
 

with luv,

BD 

The BOLD surprises me because to me discrimination has a negative impact upon the discriminated parties. There are certainly different levels of aggression and hostility but 1 person treating another as less than because of a demographic they may fall into is harmful and hostile to that demographic. 

I'm curious why you don't see discrimination as inherently aggressive/adversarial.

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On 11/22/2022 at 2:42 PM, HappyJackWagon said:

Apparently, it is cowardice to criticize a church

Where "criticize a church" = "publicly accuse a minority religious group of contributing to mass murder," yes, it's cowardly.

Blood libel.  Updated for 2022.

On 11/22/2022 at 2:42 PM, HappyJackWagon said:

with which I am affiliated

I think very little of people who, having some proximity or familiarity with a person, presume to use that proximity to justify boorish behavior.

Here, you are strongly implying that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is somehow culpable for mass murder.  Can't get much more boorish than that.

On 11/22/2022 at 2:42 PM, HappyJackWagon said:

if I don't also criticize an entire racial group with which I am not affiliated.

It would be both absurd and impolitic to publicly denigrate the black community as bigots - as you so regularly do when speaking of the Church - because 70% of them voted in favor of Prop 8.

But there's no downside to slurring the Latter-day Saints, I guess.  Even worse, you claim some sort of privilege to do so because you were previously "affiliated" with us.

I find your posture here reprehensible.

On 11/22/2022 at 2:42 PM, HappyJackWagon said:

You realize that's crazy...right? 

Be honest. You don't really mean that, do you? 

A while back I had an acquaintance who was quite free with his condescension and mean-spirited comments about and to his wife.  It was pretty jarring when he opened up on her when we were socializing together.  She was, in retrospect, apparently quite a trooper.  She put up with it, and in time he apparently realized what he was doing and stopped it.

I have no such expectation about you.  I think your hostility toward the Church and its members is so all-consuming that you see nothing wrong with publicly accusing us of being complicit in mass murder.

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 hours ago, Teancum said:

The talk combined with so much from the church against the LBGTQ community is certainly hostile.  If you want to hold to the letter of the words you continue to quote, which were clearly hyperbole, then no they don't.  But historically the LDS Leaders comments towards this group have been unfriendly and yes, hostiale at times.

Though I'm sure that there have been both leaders and members who have been hostile (and who have said hostile unChristlike things), I'm with Blue Dreams on why I don't view disagreement and discrimination as hostile or unfriendly in and of themselves.  

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5 hours ago, bluebell said:

Yes, the church continues to teach that SSM is a sin.  It has policies (some still and others that have come and gone) that exist because of that doctrine.  No one is arguing against that in any way.  What is being questioned is whether or not you could support your statement that the church treats the lgtbq community as villains and bastions of immorality that must be stopped.   

Clearly you can't.  A belief/teaching that SSM is a sin and a policy that mirrored the baptismal policy for children of polygamists does not equal treating the lgtbq community as villains and bastions of immorality.

The Church teaches strongly against adultery and fornication.  Does anyone believe that this increases the violence by church members against adulterers and those having premarital sex?

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27 minutes ago, Calm said:

The Church teaches strongly against adultery and fornication.  Does anyone believe that this increases the violence by church members against adulterers and those having premarital sex?

I don't know anyone who believes it, or would argue it.

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4 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Can you describe a relationship that you would find hostile?

Perhaps I see hostility more easily than you do. Perhaps I'm too sensitive. But yes, I would definitely view open discrimination against a religious group participating in a ministerial alliance as an adversarial relationship. I would view rejection of a specific group or the targeting of a specific group (whether religious, ethnic, racial, LGBTQ) as hostile to that group. I see religious people showing up at a school board meeting to demand the Gay/straight alliance be disbanded as hostile. I think it's easier to view hostility in others who don't share your view while people who may be acting in an adversarial way, yet agree with you, are more likely to get the benefit of the doubt.

First, I don't think that you are too sensitive (maybe you are, I have no idea, but that's not what I meant by that statement).  I just think that you have a very broad definition of hostile and that you seem to hold other people accountable to your definition, whether or not they agree with it. I don't say that to make an argument about it; it was an observation that was kind of an 'a ha!' moment for me that helped me understand your posts a bit better.

Second, I would describe a hostile relationship as one that is combative or where I was viewed (or viewed someone else) as an enemy.  I might see a group of people trying to disband a gay/straight alliance in a public school as hostile.  It would probably depend on their reasons.  I can think of some reasons that it might be right to disband such a club, and many others where it would be wrong.

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3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:
Quote

What percentage of possibility would you ascribe to it before trotting it out as a viable option? 50%, 10%, 90%, 0.001%. What do you think is the probability that this inactive young man who appears to have very little to do with the Church 1) heard or otherwise was aware what Elder Holland said and 2) was inspired to act violently by one he sincerely believes is one of Christ's apostles (that sincere belief being abundantly manifest by his outward life)? Give it a good hearty guess and stand by it as entirely plausible.

I think you miss the point.

I think you are dodging the point.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I didn't claim that Hollands talk caused the perp to shoot up the club.  Holland's talk was used as an example of how church leaders have used violent metaphor and stories in teachings.

Meanwhile, your use of "combat" as - in your absurd terminology - a "violent metaphor" is just fine.

How very convenient.  Or something.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

So, IF a kid grows up in the church hearing stories of how Nephi beheaded Laban, or Teancum throws a spear through the heart of Amalackiah, Or Brigham youngs teaching about blood atonement, or how Elder Packer talked about a missionary hitting another missionary who seemed to be flirting with him or hears stories about the exploits of Porter Rockwell's justified violence then one might get the idea that violence for a righteous purpose is appropriate. So IF that same kid also hears lessons and talks from church leaders about how unrighteous LGBTQ+ behavior or lifestyle is, from people like Elder Oaks not wanting to be seen with a gay child

My, how liberated it must feel to be able to utilize blood libel tactics without needing to resort to anything like, say, evidence or fairmindedness.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

then it is not at all a crazy leap for that kid to mix both messages.

Yes, it is.  

It's either crazy or evil to publicly accuse the Church of inciting mass murder.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Did that happen here? No idea.  But I can't definitively say it wasn't, and neither can you.

"Maybe the Jews mix ZERO blood into their matzo, but then again, maybe sometimes they do.  Regardless, the Jews as a whole shouldn't be blamed for every bad actor. Yet, this stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum."  

"Did Jews back in the day murder Christian boys in order to use their blood in the performance of religious rituals?  No idea.  But I can't definitively say they didn't, and neither can you."

You don't even see what you are doing.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

There are multitudes of factors that impact our attitudes and beliefs and it would be very hard to untangle every string that had an impact on our belief systems.

Obviously.  Hence the salience of Nofear's comment: "What percentage of possibility would you ascribe to it before trotting it out as a viable option? 50%, 10%, 90%, 0.001%. What do you think is the probability that this inactive young man who appears to have very little to do with the Church 1) heard or otherwise was aware what Elder Holland said and 2) was inspired to act violently by one he sincerely believes is one of Christ's apostles (that sincere belief being abundantly manifest by his outward life)? Give it a good hearty guess and stand by it as entirely plausible."

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

So it doesn't really matter if I think there is a .001% change or a 90% chance that some church teachings may have influenced this individual for the bad. It wouldn't be the first time.

"It doesn't matter if I, when publicly accusing Jews of murdering Christian boys and using their blood to make matzo, think there is a .001% change or a 90% chance  that this has ever happened.  Someone, somewhere has done something terrible, which justifies my public accusations against them as a community.  And also, I am 'associated' with Jews, so I am entitled to resort to blood libel when speaking of them."

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Does that mean that the church actively wants any kind of violence against any particular community. No.

Oh, so the Church may only be passively or inadvertently inciting mass murder.  My, what a gracious concession on your part.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I never said they did.

"Maybe church affiliation had ZERO to do with this guy's belief system, but then again, maybe some of the teachings he grew up did play a role. Regardless, the church as a whole shouldn't be blamed for every bad actor. Yet, this stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum."

Golly!  Nothing risible or problematic there.

3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But that doesn't mean that the church's history and teachings couldn't have played some role in an individual's bad behavior.

I suppose I should be gratified that you seem to be somewhat walking back the abhorrent insinuations you have leveled against us.  It's an improvement on your comments last year, when you

  • accused Elder Holland of using a "violent metaphor" about "muskets,"
  • declared that Elder Holland's "musket metaphor implies that members should be 'willing to defend the faith' with violence,"
  • declared that "Holland is appealing to people to defend the religion by talking about muskets and musket fire," that "Perhaps you think they are mis-hearing/reading Holland by enthusiastically wanting to defend their religion with violence (even if hyperbolic) but they really aren't,"
  • that - referencing Elder Holland - "it is immoral to incite people to violence,
  • that - referencing Elder Holland - "I'm also opposed to politicians (on any side) urging people to violent action, even if it is hyperbole. IMO it is classless for politicians to do it. But it is even worse for a 'man of God' to do it {incite violence}", 
  • that you "just prefer that the church and its leaders stop harming the LGBTQ community by enflaming the DezNat types (of which there seem to be plenty in the church) with dog whistles of 'musket fire,'"
  • that Elder Holland was actually telling BYU professors to "Do whatever it takes to defend the faith, even with musket fire if necessary," 

And on and on and one.  And that's just from one thread.

By all means, HJW, please continue to lecture us about the dangers of irresponsible and provocative rhetoric.

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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5 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Words are cheap.

What was the context of this talk? Prior to the "musket fire" comment wasn't Holland talking about the former BYU student who came out as gay during a speech. So use of a violent metaphor after addressing an LGBTQ issue is extremely problematic, and yes...hostile to that individual and the larger LGBTQ community. 

Do we have evidence outside of anecdotal that hostility and violence against gays is higher among Saints in general?  That the negative comments are outweigh in influence calls for tolerance and love?  Individual examples are poor evidence because there are too many variables involved to demonstrate causation.  I think it likely with our teachings there could be a tendency where it is more difficult for members to connect with LGBTQ individuals and organizations/communities, which might possibly lead to hostility as no one likes feeling awkward around others and some respond to that with aggression, but we also have massive teachings about loving others which seems likely to significantly suppress levels of violent reaction even if there is a possibility that such may not always promote healthy expressions of love (would like to see studies on more intimate relationships, but Saints typically measure as liking others outside their religion more than most religious groups even though we rate lower on being accepted ourselves, iirc…I can find the research if wanted, pretty sure it has been discussed here before so assuming people are aware of this), but seem likely to at least shift behaviour away from violent reactions.  If in general Saints are more positive to others than the general population, then I think it fair to ask for evidence beyond anecdotal accounts that Saints are more hostile to a particular group than the general population.  Too often anecdotal is used as if it can prove an isolated behaviour when there are a host of influences interacting in complicated ways for each individual, so saying one cause is significant needs more than just being present in a person’s environment.

 

For example, for the shooter being discussed in this thread…potential influences….the grandfather appears to have held some racist views in the past and his reactions to outsiders of his in group are off, but those seem unlikely to have come from the Church (calling local Vietnamese “Viet Cong” and seeing even sending his signature to a Chinese citizen as aiding and abetting the enemy, church teachings would be more likely to suggest sending the guy a Book of Mormon).  Such attitudes might have come from his experiences in Vietnam (he is a vet of that war from what I have read). We also have the mother who apparently has a criminal background including arson while the Church strongly teaches members to be law abiding.  Unhealthy individual and family dynamics (his response to his grandparents moving was an extreme fear and anger of abandonment resulting in a violence/bomb threat) are suggested as high contributors to his behaviour.  How in the world can we tease out church influence from all that family and mental health issue noise?

If anyone wants to claim church culture leads to increased violence in general or in particular towards a certain group or even just hostility, then it seems only fair that they pull up something besides individual examples.  A handful or even a dozen or couple of dozen examples in a church of millions is not likely a significant statistic.  I can see why such anecdotes may raise concerns and that could and should imo be useful in promoting research into determining if incidences of hate and violence are higher among church members, but to simply assume based on a few examples is irresponsible. Such undocumented criticisms may even lead to promoting inappropriate intolerance and hostility themselves, though I would never claim that as if a surety without seeing research that demonstrated that even though I have seen what appears to be connections between the two in my personal life.  It is, however, a concern of mine.

Edited by Calm
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Not to get political about this, but I'm afraid that HJW's rhetoric on this rather reminds me of DJT's rhetoric about Muslims.

But LDS are not a protected species, so it's OK to demonize them based on the very rare bad examples among their members.

So I'm not surprised.

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7 hours ago, smac97 said:

am noting the convenient cowardice and mindreading going on here.

Seems personal to me if by here you mean in this thread and if you don’t, then why bring it up? (Yes, I am boardnannying again).

Edited by Calm
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9 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

All of this will bring the Church closer to the inevitable revelation allowing same sex relationships.

I'd be surprised if we don't begin to hear stories of Church Presidents praying to allow them in the next few decades.

Enough bad publicity and the precedent that has been set multiple times in Church history all but guarantee it.

I hope so. 

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44 minutes ago, Calm said:

My problem is you are considering the metaphors and stories in isolation and therefore assigning them as a potential primary cause while ignoring the fact that such metaphors and stories are few in comparison to teachings and stories about love, including loving one’s enemies and there is no research that shows such teachings increase violence.

If the Church heavily pushes love, forgiveness, and kindness (to the point we get at times complaints about being too nice to those we shouldn’t be, such as not sharing info about or automatically excommunicating those who have defrauded other Saints because we don’t want to create an environment that makes it hard for them to repent, for example), why is it that you believe the metaphors and stories of violence could be the biggest potential influence on some individuals in the Church?  Is it not as likely the violent predilection is there already and the individual will latch on to anything to justify their choice of violence whether or not the example they chose really does?  If someone believes voices are telling them to kill someone, do we blame the voices for inciting violence or assume there is mental disturbance causing the person to believe they are being incited?  If a person latches on to something someone has actually said as justification, should we automatically assume that justification is valid when we wouldn’t accept it if it was an imagined voice?  Wouldn’t a better course be to look at what is being used as justification and seeing if it was connected with other examples of violent behaviour?  And then to study if such connections were statistically significant?

If someone uses a good principle, one we highly value, for a bad act (someone goes around insulting people claiming they believe in absolute honesty, for example), do we blame the principle or assume the issue is the person (if the person does not also say obviously positive things about all those they are insulting, it seems unlikely honesty is actually contributing all that much to their behaviour even if used as justification)?  Is it therefore appropriate to hold a different standard and to just assume that a principle we disagree with is the cause of extreme, violent behaviour in someone or would it be the more reasonable, consistent position to see if the principle was actually connected with extreme, violent behaviour in a statistically significant group of followers of such principle before drawing conclusions about cause and effect?

Can we at least agree that some church leaders’ rhetoric has not been helpful?

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48 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Can we at least agree that some church leaders’ rhetoric has not been helpful?

That is a really broad and vague statement. Not helpful in what way and to what extent?

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

on the very rare bad examples among their members.

I highly doubt “bad examples” are all that rare among the Saints. I hope evil or extremely twisted examples are rare, but unless you have research showing such is very rare, I think it better not to make the claim for the same reasons is it wrong to assume they are common.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

Does it matter that the killer is LDS? Not when the kind of hatred that led to this attack is continuously promoted among some corners of our society and media.

I think the bone of contention being gnawed on in this thread is the accusation that the Church incited this mass shooting, and/or that it promotes or condones hatred of homosexuals.

1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

Enough is enough. Gay and transgender people exist and deserve to be treated as human beings.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Thanks,

-Smac

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11 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

All of this will bring the Church closer to the inevitable revelation allowing same sex relationships.

I'd be surprised if we don't begin to hear stories of Church Presidents praying to allow them in the next few decades.

Enough bad publicity and the precedent that has been set multiple times in Church history all but guarantee it.

Right ... like how we've jettisoned our concept of Godhead because of all the bad publicity and criticism generated by virtually every other Christian sect over the decades due to our not embracing their concept of Trinity.

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14 minutes ago, Derl Sanderson said:

Right ... like how we've jettisoned our concept of Godhead because of all the bad publicity and criticism generated by virtually every other Christian sect over the decades due to our not embracing their concept of Trinity.

Not what I was referring to and you know it.

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