Tuesday, October 13, 2015


You will, on occasion, here religious leaders make a plea to the disaffected in their congregations/churches to come back. They'll often include some words something like, "Even if you've been offended, please come back."

I think the plea to the "offended" is troubling. First, it places the blame on the people who left. They're the one with the problem, they chose to be offended. If they had simply let the offense roll off their back, there'd be no problem.

What this plea doesn't recognize is that the people no longer attending may be staying away simply because the cost of attending outweighs the benefit. This has nothing to do with being offended. It is simply a cost/benefit analysis.

A second problem with the plea to the offended is that it doesn't address the potential problem: a caustic environment caused by the people in positions of power (not necessarily authority). People who have stayed away who might listen to the appeal, will only return to find the same awful environment.

"Why this post?" you ask. I attend a congregation where members are doing some amazingly mean things to each other. Some, unfortunately, are directed at my family.

This post may be the first of several. I'm not ranting. Nor am I trying to extract some sort of anonymous revenge (pretty sure no one in my congregation cares anything about my blog anyway). I'm simply exploring some of the dynamics of church congregational bad behavior.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Infants on Thrones: an open letter. Share your new name.

Infants on Thrones - an open letter

For the past several months, I've listened to several dozen Infants of Thrones podcasts. The "Infants" podcasts are mostly related to the LDS Church. The podcast participants are all individuals dissatisfied with the LDS Church (I hope that's an accurate representation). Their podcasts are often critical of the LDS Church, its leaders, and its members. The Infants often talk about how they've moved on past all the LDS silliness. One is agnostic/atheist and the others, at a minimum, don't fellowship with the Church.

I have a suggestion for a future podcast. But first, I need to give a bit of a background.

In the LDS religion, there are temples. In the temple, LDS members go through an "Endowment" ceremony. In that ceremony, LDS members are given a new name. They're charged to never reveal that name. (you can read more about any of this online) Church members keep this charge pretty serious. You'd NEVER hear an active Church member say what their name is.

So, here's my suggestion to the Infants.

Dear Infants,

You've left the LDS faith behind you. You've abandoned all the silliness. You've recognized the Book of Mormon is just one big fraud (there were no real Nephites or Lamanites). The Book of Abraham... give me a break, right? The entire thing is just a big load of hogwash.

I have a suggestion for your most popular podcast ever. Here, I'll write the abstract for you:

In this episode, each infant shares his temple name and the temple name of his spouse. They talk about what this means and how they felt while sharing their name with the world. They'll talk about the irrational power the LDS Church has over them and the freedom they feel as they sever this final link to that oppressive influence. You'll not want to miss this episode where the Infants shatter this long-standing LDS taboo.



Note: I sent a version of this in an email to the Infants with no response.