Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Below is a conversation I had on the FAIR page on Facebook.  I’ve deleted the identity of the person I was speaking with because I haven’t received his permission to identify him here — you will see him say that he’s copied this to his note, and he has not requested permission to identify me as of now.  I am posting it because I’m more than a little perplexed by what went on.  I see me responding to what he’s saying, at least a little of it, with some substance, and receiving insults and attacks in response.  I’m quite sure he sees something almost the opposite of that.  So I’m looking to see if I’m totally crazy here, or if he comes across as a rather rambly whack-job to other people as well.

Please note that I’m not looking for agreement or disagreement about what either of us are saying.  I would rather not have the Mormon folks around here attacking the guy because he’s anti-Mormon, and I’d rather not have folks taking his side because they also think Mormonism is a cult.  I’m more interested in finding someone who can explain this conversation to me.  He annoyed me, and I clearly pissed him off in a serious way, and I don’t see him bringing specific things for me to respond to in any amount, and he doesn’t see me doing that either.

I must admit that my initial responses were humorously dismissive, but I don’t see him complaining about that, so I don’t think that was a conversation-foul.  But I’m open to contrasting views about that.  Or much of anything other than the content of the conversation.

My comments are in blue, his are in red.  Here goes:

Wow… great now if we can just get the church to back this site we will have something of a clearing house for official information on Moromonism (preserved for all time) and can perhaps deal with all the flip-flopping claims that Moromonism is subject to. I mean a guy might be able to get a definitive answer about your doctrine and history which can then be weighed and tested; that would be a real service, but the Mormon authorities will never give up their devised authority and right to change the rules in ‘the game of Mormonism’ whenever it fits their interests… right?

There’s no fun in that.
Sun at 11:12pm
No fun, Blaine? I think I can attest to that!
Mon at 3:17pm
No fun in tidy little answers.
Mon at 4:56pm
No religion without dogmas.
Mon at 7:50pm
No life without things we can’t explain completely.
Mon at 7:56pm
But some things we can be consistent on if we want to profess to holders of ultimate truth- as recieved through revelation– if you buy that stuff. Which bringsus back to my point… no validity to religion without a set of revealed core principles that the faithful can stand by and that the hopeful investigator will find to be the same from decade to decade. IMHO.
Mon at 10:39pm
Thus the gauntlet has been thrown(or whatever that phrase is). Is there anything that varies from traditional christianity that can be called immutable truth? How can we know? (i.e. that the Mormon Church wont change it’s tune/mind on these claims too- down the road- for it’s own purposes of expediency or what have you.) The question I posed I think is merely rhetorical to any one with capacity and openness to objective thought. This group is some further evidence of this truth– that Mormonism doesn’t behave like any other religion and a checklist will show us that ‘the church’ has far more in common with what is understood to be a cult that with any other major world religion. Finally these precise diffences which I allude to are also precisely the points which undermine christian-like behavior in heavily mormon small town Utah and to some great extent even in the state capital of Utah which also serves as the home of the world headquarters for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. (as it were)
Mon at 10:59pm
Once again– IMHO.
Mon at 11:01pm
Scratch that… In My Humble Experience.
Mon at 11:10pm
I think it’s okay to ask for what you want. But I don’t think it’s practical to expect it to happen. The Church isn’t there to please you or satisfy you, and you’re not required to join it or follow its tenets.But maybe you feel better after your rant, so this wasn’t entirely a waste of time.
Yesterday at 8:09am
I agree 100%, Blaine. The Mor(e)mon(ey) leadership will surely continue to behave opaquely and ignore the most important questions for the world’s great religions– IMO those are: 1) are there any immutable truths(framed in doctrine) that we can and should put our faith in; and 2) due to these eternal truths what (if anything) should/can we best do in the service of goodness.
This is probably for the better… it gives some of the most villigant/prudent/ intelligent of us– we who weren’t raised within the sect a big heads up with regard to the type of organization we are dealing with.
Funny however whenever a well-meaning critic of Mormonism suggests reasoned thinking… Mormon participants in the conversation virtually unfailingly sandbag and characterize alternative views in derogatory (rant) terms rather than dealing with the fully rational points that are raised.
I will only advise you…. that as long as this group clings to it’s stated purpose of proving Christains and others that they are wrong (i.e. Mormonism is right and true) it will be a failed venture. In any case I have given any group memebrs who may actually choose to seek rational meaning and to weed out Mormon superstition plenty of grist to chew on for a while (or longer)… So perhaps my efforts in the name of reason and rationality will not be a total waste!
Yesterday at 4:54pm
Any who wish further discussion on these topics can feel free to chat with me or e-mail me using Yahoo Messenger! and/or my Yahoo e-mail address of [deleted].
Yesterday at 5:00pm
(Understanding that there is a fair chance that I will be uninvited/blocked here… if I know my Mormons.)
Yesterday at 5:03pm
Reasoned thinking? You came to the conversation with a closed mind and questions designed to make Mormons wrong regardless of the answers. But let’s try this:
The Mormon Church is not a Church that bases itself on a cut and dried set of doctrines. If you want those, I would suggest the Catholic Church, which has catechisms and confessions designed to rein in all acceptable beliefs. Mormonism is based on continuing revelation, and doctrines can and will continue to be altered over time due to that revelation. These alterations are down to the level of minor occasional tweaks when it comes to our few key core doctrines, and speculation on other doctrines has always been rather wild and woolly. That’s not going to stop.It is much more focused on behavior, and the behavior guidelines of the Church have been relatively stable for quite a long time. Love God. Treat people well. Be honest in your dealings. Don’t have sex with anyone you aren’t married to, and only be married to one person at a time. Respect your body, and don’t put harmful things into it. Honor your duties to your family. Be a good citizen. Display good character. When you sin, repent. Share what you have and know with those around you. A handful of others, and lots of details about what those things mean, but those basics have been solid in the Church (with the exception of the “one person at a time” for a handful of decades, and revelation was involved with that) for more than a century.
Well-meaning would be demonstrated by respect for those you disagree with, and you’re not showing much. I don’t expect I’ll respond further without some effort at civility, and, probably, a bit less self-congratulations about how clever you are. I’m sure that the Church will be failing any day now, just as it has been continuingly failing due to its continuing gall in claiming that it is correct, and those who disagree are incorrect (gosh, who would ever claim such a thing?). I’ll just hold my breath while I wait.
Yesterday at 5:37pm ·
Religion is not a game you can win, Blaine… (only in America would such a sect be built… Scientology, Mormonism, Falong Gong) It is substantially clear to me that the stick and carrot which reinforce your casual rejection of Judeao-Christianity are sufficient that yours and other creative brains (oh, to be as clever as Joseph Smith, huh?) within your cult of personalities are smugly content to continually pervert the christ’s message and to punish any attempts by y’all at true reconciliation in a truly eccumenical spirit– now there’s a real reason for the type of shame (and casting of first rocks)- that y’all are so enculturated by/with.
5 hours ago
And yet again you move the target back to trashing Mormonism, without responding to anything I’ve said. I’m tired of this. When you’ve got something respectful to say, maybe we’ll talk then. If you just want to keep making cheap shots, I’ll be done.
4 hours ago
Whatever, Blaine… I’ll post this in my notes and anyone who cares to read it will see that you were the first (and only)to name call, you were the first to try shame (for not subcribing to your point of view) and you are the one who is from start to end thouroughly unwilling to discuss any of the (perhaps, subjective) truths that I have shared… I have friends in many relgions and I’ve yet to meet someone who is so full of horseshit as most all your congregation members– that is in the rare instance they have any thoughts of their own. I told you I believe I have provided more than enough valid criticism for you to latch on to (especially considering you’ve offered nothing in return) through my numerous anti-mormonism (yes, I said it…oh no, if it’s anti-mormonism, it can’t possibly have any validity, can it?) attacks. Now, if you want to pretend I’ve said nothing critical of you moron’s– worthy of consideration so be it. Continue to live in your cult-fantasy-world and pretend that Mormonism is beyond reproach. IYou’re truly a sick sick sick puppy! I have no need to let you (or any other Mormon determine what constitutes or doesn’t constitute a valid criticism of your fantasy lives …you and your stocking horses are too boring for words!! So, I’ll keep my words simple– unless you want to tell me specifically what claim you’ve made that I can (and you would like me to) respond to– Fuck off!

6 thoughts on “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  1. wow. that got pretty intense. i have seen kind and intelligent people state their anti mormon cases in a respectable fashion. it is possible. apparently not for this guy. seems like he just got pissed off because you didnt attack back and maintained your stance. i dont think you are crazy(i was totally prepared to tell you that you were)-he doesnt know how to play well with others.

  2. I appreciate your willingness to tell me I’m crazy — that makes telling me I’m not have some meaning. Especially where he’s talking about me name-calling (?) and using shame because he didn’t agree with me (?!).

    I’m totally not thinking I’m perfect here, but I don’t think I was that out of line. Thanks for the confirmation about that.

  3. i went back and read everything twice because of his name calling comment. he ended up being the name caller with his “more money” twist on the term mormon. the shame thing threw me. seems like he has serious issues-do we know background on him? is he an ex member? did his high school girlfriend dump him for a rm? i am joking( a little), but he seriously seems to have an ax to grind for some reason.

  4. After reading that, my take on it is that the guy wasn’t really interested in carrying on a conversation or discussing specific points. He really just wanted to rant about/against mormons/mormonism, and that in a rather verbose and somewhat incoherent way. The only kind of responses that would have pleased him would have been those agreeing with him, praising him for his insightfulness, or joining in the piling on.

    As far as things changing over time, that has kind of given me cause to wonder more than a few times, but my feeling about it is that the Lord isn’t just working on perfecting individuals, He’s also raising the church as a whole a bit at a time as we draw nearer to the 2nd coming. And it’s entirely true that the church is what it is and people are free to walk away if they choose to. You don’t have to belong or follow the teachings, although in the small (-2,000 population) Utah town I was raised in, walking away from the church would have seriously limited one’s marriage prospects, etc, and caused one to be somewhat ostracised.

  5. 4 — I think you’re along the right track. I sensed defensiveness in it that had nothing to do with anything I said. He finds the Church to be an attack against what he believes in its very existence, and nothing short of it’s dissolution is going to fix that.

    5 — He certainly did seem to want to evangelize and help lead some Mormons out of the cult.

    I really don’t think I could do Utah, and small-town Utah would be harder. I’m good for visits, but living there would be very, very hard. I’m not Orthodox, although, for bloggy Mormons, I’m relatively so. And I have no sense of loyalty to Mormon Culture per se, although I don’t openly reject much of it.

    But I do have a bit more respect for Mormons who struggle with the Church, can’t resolve their concerns, and leave the Church than those who just go with the flow, go through the motions, don’t think about anything too hard, and never get around to leaving.

    I don’t have a tidy explanation of the reasons for the changes in the Church over time, and how continuing revelation can lead to such different ideas over time. I think the fallibility of leaders, past and present, is probably where much of it lies, but I can’t explain it all away with that either. I can’t explain (for instance) how the priesthood ban came into being, or why God refused to let David O. McKay end it, waiting until 1978 for that. I see God’s hand in keeping it in place, and can’t even guess as to what his reasons were, since he clearly didn’t believe that blacks were categorically unworthy to hold the priesthood.

    Fortunately, I don’t have to know that, or be able to explain it to anybody else. I’m just a guy, puttering around. But welcome. Nice meeting you.

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