Strange bedfellows for Progressive Mormons…at Wheat and Tares
Hey, everyone…I have some good news (well…depends on who you are whether you care or not…) I’ve gotten an upgrade at Wheat and Tares!
Now, instead of having posts every other Saturday morning, I get every Thursday morning slot. Which means I have to come up with twice the material. (Hmm…maybe this isn’t as good of news as I thought?)
Anyway, to prepare for my first post at the new time, I wrote Strange bedfellows for progressive Mormons.
The main points are as follows: for…ever, I have thought that most ex-Mormons treat their position as primarily one relating to what the church is and claims to be (so if the church is true [or if I believe that], then I will support it. If the church isn’t, then I won’t.) This, I think, is why a lot of ex-, post-, former and other disaffected Mormons do not like John Dehlin’s various projects (well, also, the fact that he has some nasty forum posts in his past denigrating ex-Mormon sites can’t help)…because they see him as someone who knows too much and who believes too little to remain in the church.
But…for once, this post isn’t about John. It’s about someone else whom many of us know and have various extremely charged feelings about: Chino Blanco!
I really have to say, for a long time I didn’t really like CB. I think it’s a personality clash; I’m still trying to get the handle of advertising myself and my involvements (thanks to my fencing club involvement, I’m getting the hang of it), so since CB is just so much better at it, that used to bother me. (I wrote an entire post, which was really silly now that I think about it.)
The second thing that bothered me is that Chino Blanco is like…crazy smart. He’ll just throw in a bunch of allusions to various things as if it’s no big deal, and I won’t be able to decode the message using context clues because even the context is another allusion.
ANYWAY, as I said, I used not to like him. But as I’ve started growing up and stopped being a baby, I’ve realized that maybe I’m just a tad bit jealous of a skillset that I don’t have, but that I’m trying to get. (Namely, I talk and talk and talk, but I don’t make stuff happen. Chino makes stuff happen.)
What really made me start reconsidering was some of his comments he had on my post about Uncorrelated Mormons (as you can read about in the W&T post linked above.) I expected that he, of all people, would talk about how people who do not believe the church’s truth claims are in no position to serve it in critical ways (e.g., being a missionary when you don’t believe the things you are teaching people is sketchy)…but instead, he talked about actions. The church’s actions to its members or to the outside world. How the church supports or doesn’t support its visionary (yes, visionary!) members like Joanna Brooks, John Dehlin, etc.,
It painted a very different picture: there are many disaffected Mormons who are, regardless of their beliefs in the church, discouraged because they feel they have no political efficacy: the church will not allow them and other perceptive members to help the church.
In this way, the difference between people like Joanna Brooks, John Dehlin, many of the bloggernacle personalities…and then Chino Blanco, chanson, and other Main Street Plaza/Outer Blogness personalities is not in goals (I would go so far as to venture that most Bloggernaclers in general have progressive goals for the church whether they are actively pursuing change for them…in other words, if the church were to amend the Proclamation on the Family to include for gay households, I don’t see the bloggernacle being up in arms against the change) but in whether one believes that one can effectively change the church from within…or whether one even believes the church can be changed.
What I’m interested to know is…how does this pattern play out among more ex-Mormons? If you do not believe in the church’s truth claims, but you were convinced that if you tried to help the church on various fronts (better treating gays, feminists, intellectuals, “less actives”; improving how it preaches, how meetings are run…any aspect could be up for improvement), your efforts would be accepted, would you still try to stay within the church to improve it from within?
Or, stated in a different way, how much of your disaffection deals with your perception that, as Kiley summarized, the church isn’t changing?