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Author Topic: Pope Benedict announces resignation.
Darth_Mauve
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T-Shirt I saw: "Too Pooped to Pope 2013"
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Can you clarify? I'm not sure i understand what you are trying to say.

From the perspective of most people knowledgeable about the Joseph Smith story, Mormonism is the product of a con man making stuff up. From the perspective of a skeptic or a rationalist, the whole thing comes off as ridiculously transparent.

So Orincoro's response was totally going to be that.

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Samprimary
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http://www.theonion.com/articles/resigning-pope-no-longer-has-strength-to-lead-chur,31248/
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Boris
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quote:
From the perspective of a skeptic or a rationalist, the whole thing comes off as ridiculously transparent.
Well when you get your information from a site that quotes Southpark while calling itself the "Rational Wiki"...
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Can you clarify? I'm not sure i understand what you are trying to say.

From the perspective of most people knowledgeable about the Joseph Smith story, Mormonism is the product of a con man making stuff up. From the perspective of a skeptic or a rationalist, the whole thing comes off as ridiculously transparent.

So Orincoro's response was totally going to be that.

The summary in the article gets quite a few things correct. But it overstates quite a few things as well.

Annnnd if you look at the link for the "fraud conviction" it sounds like Joseph Smith found the chest the man asked him to find, and told him a bunch of things about himself he couldn't have known... so I'm not sure why it's being linked other than to show some court somewhere found him guilty of using a stone to find treasure.

edit: Also, "born of relatively affluent and well-educated parents?" His parents were literally dirt poor.

more edits: It's completely inaccurate about his not telling anybody including his closest family members about the first vision or the gold plates. Their journal entrees attest to this.

good grief more edit: It says several people who claimed to have seen the gold plates recanted. I have never heard of a single one doing so.

final edit: And I stopped reading the article because it couldn't be more biased. I mean, seriously.

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Boris
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BB, did you notice the prominent quote from Southpark at the top? I'm pretty sure it gets most of its information from that one episode...
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
BB, did you notice the prominent quote from Southpark at the top? I'm pretty sure it gets most of its information from that one episode...

I've seen that episode, I don't think the article gets most of its information from that. It's been awhile, but I think the episode focuses mostly on the first vision, finding the plates, translating, and that's it.

As far as their descriptions of translation, they probably aren't far from the truth. Joseph Smith did use a seer stone, he did put it into his hat and look into it. He translated without the plates physically in front of him. He also said by the end he no longer needed to use his stone.

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Rakeesh
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Straightforward questions on a few matters of which I'm almost totally ignorant: is it a part of the Mormon faith that Smith did translate the Egyptian language before anyone else had done so in more modern times (that is, you know, in the last few centuries), or is this a bit of associated history but not considered doctrine, or is it just a legend told about Smith, but not assigned religious significance?

Related questions: if these translations are purported to have happened, do the materials still exist? If so, who has them, and who if anyone has been permitted to see them?

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Straightforward questions on a few matters of which I'm almost totally ignorant: is it a part of the Mormon faith that Smith did translate the Egyptian language before anyone else had done so in more modern times (that is, you know, in the last few centuries), or is this a bit of associated history but not considered doctrine, or is it just a legend told about Smith, but not assigned religious significance?

Related questions: if these translations are purported to have happened, do the materials still exist? If so, who has them, and who if anyone has been permitted to see them?

It's a difficult question to answer, but I will try. I've never heard it said in the church that Joseph Smith translated Egyptian before anybody else could. It's just never mentioned. Seems silly to believe so, since the Rosetta Stone clearly demonstrates people in the past could translate Egyptian, and who knows, maybe we just didn't know who was around that still could, we just didn't find anybody and assumed it was a lost language until the stone showed up.

Anyway, as to your second question yes and no. The original manuscripts (along with an untranslated Book of Joseph in Egypt) were believed to have been lost in a fire that consumed a museum in Chicago. About 50 years or so ago, a man doing some research happened on some of the papyrus in an archive in New York, and recognized the images as identical to the facsimiles found in LDS scriptures. The church was given back the papyrus. It was generally believed (though wrong) that these are the exact papyrus Joseph Smith used to write the book of Abraham.

After looking at these papyrus it was concluded both in and out of the church that these papyrus have no relation to the text of the Book of Abraham. Not only that, the original translations that accompany the facsimiles are also hopelessly inaccurate.

Apologists have pointed out that the manuscript that contains the translations of the facsimiles is not in Joseph Smith's hand, and must have been done by a scribe. We cannot be sure the scribe was actually dictating a translation by Joseph Smith. Perhaps it was somebody else's translations, or supposed impressions. There is no question the actual book of Abraham was written by Joseph Smith, only that the facsimiles and *their* translations might not have been.

In any case, I don't think the facsimiles should be in the scriptures. It's clear the images were not transcribed correctly, and the translations appear to have serious problems.

Anyway, people in the church don't really pay much attention to the facsimiles or this issue. They mostly just read the Book of Abraham, which like the Book of Mormon does not have original source material we can compare it to. The care more about the truths found within.

edit: Changed 15 years to, about 50 years. It was a lot longer ago than I thought.

[ March 02, 2013, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
I'm pretty sure it gets most of its information from that one episode...

Then you're, well, obviously not very skeptical.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

final edit: And I stopped reading the article because it couldn't be more biased. I mean, seriously.

A question: would you say that the mormon church's historical account about Joseph Smith is unbiased or the least biased account available?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:

final edit: And I stopped reading the article because it couldn't be more biased. I mean, seriously.

A question: would you say that the mormon church's historical account about Joseph Smith is unbiased or the least biased account available?
Heck no. But nobody brought up the LDS church's official biography of Joseph Smith.

edit: If the article is intending to tell an objective telling of who Joseph Smith was, it fails miserably.

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Rakeesh
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BB,

Oh, sure, I should be specific-I was asking whether it was claimed that Smith had translated Egyptian before anyone else did, not that no one else could have anywhere. Overall the question I was asking about primary sources, and their current availability. Thanks kindly for answering.

Also, I wanted to point out that I'm appreciative of your willingness to discuss these things with a courteous demeanor, as a serious, calm person, and to treat even frankly skeptical questions as arguments rather than harsh personal attacks. I don't just offer that appreciation in contrast to the behavior of others, either-respect, on its own, and thanks.

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Samprimary
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The peril of small wikis, then. I guess I could go find some other better nonaffiliated purchase of the info on smith, his mastery of the egyptian language, etc.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
I'm pretty sure it gets most of its information from that one episode...

Then you're, well, obviously not very skeptical.
I'm extremely skeptical of a source that calls itself the "Rational Wiki" but makes very prominent use of a quote from a cartoon satire.
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Samprimary
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The point is, the article obviously didn't get its information from south park. It just prefaced the article with a quote from south park.
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Boris
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Honestly, I don't know *where* the article got its information because they didn't cite anything, except of course the link to the New York vs. Smith text, which doesn't actually explain where the original came from, how to find it, how the original was found, or anything else like that. In fact, the only reference to how that document was found I can find *anywhere* is a vague reference to a 54 page "Brochure". I can't find when it was found, I can't find any news articles about it being found. All I find is rumor and innuendo.
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
Honestly, I don't know *where* the article got its information because they didn't cite anything, except of course the link to the New York vs. Smith text, which doesn't actually explain where the original came from, how to find it, how the original was found, or anything else like that. In fact, the only reference to how that document was found I can find *anywhere* is a vague reference to a 54 page "Brochure". I can't find when it was found, I can't find any news articles about it being found. All I find is rumor and innuendo.

I don't understand this response. How could you not already know about those ideas? I mean, you're not saying that the link or the episode said anything false, yet you don't seem to like it.
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Boris
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I do know about those ideas. I've heard of many of them, but haven't taken the time to research them in depth (Which I would have done, and did a little, if the article had given some kind of citation). What I'm calling out here is the fact that Samp used that particular link as evidence of what "a skeptic or a rationalist" thinks, but the text of the link is rife with innuendo, rumor, and supposition with no cited works to back up claims it makes. Thus making it a very inaccurate measure of how a skeptic or rationalist would view the story. Unless I'm giving skeptics and rationalists too much of a benefit of the doubt when I consider that a skeptic or rationalist would want to rely on verifiable facts rather than sarcasm and satire as a basis for their ideals.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
BB,

Oh, sure, I should be specific-I was asking whether it was claimed that Smith had translated Egyptian before anyone else did, not that no one else could have anywhere. Overall the question I was asking about primary sources, and their current availability. Thanks kindly for answering.

Also, I wanted to point out that I'm appreciative of your willingness to discuss these things with a courteous demeanor, as a serious, calm person, and to treat even frankly skeptical questions as arguments rather than harsh personal attacks. I don't just offer that appreciation in contrast to the behavior of others, either-respect, on its own, and thanks.

You bet. [Smile]
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
I do know about those ideas. I've heard of many of them, but haven't taken the time to research them in depth (Which I would have done, and did a little, if the article had given some kind of citation). What I'm calling out here is the fact that Samp used that particular link as evidence of what "a skeptic or a rationalist" thinks, but the text of the link is rife with innuendo, rumor, and supposition with no cited works to back up claims it makes. Thus making it a very inaccurate measure of how a skeptic or rationalist would view the story. Unless I'm giving skeptics and rationalists too much of a benefit of the doubt when I consider that a skeptic or rationalist would want to rely on verifiable facts rather than sarcasm and satire as a basis for their ideals.

But if you're aware of that stuff... I guess I just can't wrap my head around the idea of being aware of really bizarre claims about my religion, and not being able to say whether those claims are true or false? How does that not bother you?
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
I do know about those ideas. I've heard of many of them, but haven't taken the time to research them in depth (Which I would have done, and did a little, if the article had given some kind of citation). What I'm calling out here is the fact that Samp used that particular link as evidence of what "a skeptic or a rationalist" thinks, but the text of the link is rife with innuendo, rumor, and supposition with no cited works to back up claims it makes. Thus making it a very inaccurate measure of how a skeptic or rationalist would view the story. Unless I'm giving skeptics and rationalists too much of a benefit of the doubt when I consider that a skeptic or rationalist would want to rely on verifiable facts rather than sarcasm and satire as a basis for their ideals.

But if you're aware of that stuff... I guess I just can't wrap my head around the idea of being aware of really bizarre claims about my religion, and not being able to say whether those claims are true or false? How does that not bother you?
It does bother me. Because almost all of those claims are based on rumors about rumors about rumors. I like to go to the source of information, and if I can't get a source, it's hard to get at the truth, and that just pisses me off.

There are a lot of claims about the church's beliefs I've run across that actually do come from an obtainable source, and each time I've run across those sources it becomes pretty apparent to me how and why people were mistaken in their claims when the evidence is viewed from an understanding about the core doctrines of the church. When I can't find a source of some specific piece of information, or some claim or what not, what do you expect me to do with it?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
...i t becomes pretty apparent to me how and why people were mistaken in their claims when the evidence is viewed from an understanding about the core doctrines of the church.

You need to understand how that sounds to others.

"Understanding about," and "viewed from." If you are not very explicit about what you mean here, come across as: "belief in," and "biased by."

The trouble with this kind of speech in general is that it is difficult if not impossible to know whether you are substituting neutral (ish) sounding language because you are intellectually aware of how language of indoctrination sounds to others. Additionally, you can make it appear as if you are also subconsciously aware that your "understanding about," and "view of," church lore is in fact indoctrination, and does not stand up to scrutiny, even from you- making it easier for you to refer to your beliefs as "views," which unlike beliefs, sound like they could have a basis in rational, reasonable thinking.

This is very much not unlike the language you hear often from Scientologists, who like Mormons, are pressed to defend or deny peculiarly specific and specifically weird claims about their church (mostly owing to the lack of distance of time involved). They often refer to the skeptic "not knowing," and "being unaware," and "not understanding," the core principles involved with Scientology. This is, I hesitate to say always, but pretty much always, the language of rationality disguising indoctrination- with the understanding that Scientology's core beliefs are a demonstrable fraud, when viewed rationally. That we can substantively prove their fraudulence is just a product of the age of that religion; it is not more fraudulent than Mormonism- just more apparently a fraud.

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Foust
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quote:
There are a lot of claims about the church's beliefs I've run across that actually do come from an obtainable source, and each time I've run across those sources it becomes pretty apparent to me how and why people were mistaken in their claims when the evidence is viewed from an understanding about the core doctrines of the church. When I can't find a source of some specific piece of information, or some claim or what not, what do you expect me to do with it? [/QB]
It's just that if I were in your position, I'd obsess over it until I got some clear answers. You seem to be ok not really knowing.
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Anthonie
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O'Brien admits guilt.
quote:
"However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.

"To those I have offended I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic church in Scotland."

Of course, his admission is likely an understatement as in most situations like this.

More from the Guardian:
quote:
A key figure behind allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Cardinal Keith O'Brien has launched a powerful attack on the Catholic church's response to the complaints, saying he fears the church hierarchy would "crush" him if they could.

...
He said that when the four came forward to the church, they were asked to make sworn signed statements to Mennini. But they were also warned that if their complaints became public knowledge, they would cause "immense further damage to the church". The church, he says, failed to act quickly and appropriately, adding that he fears the matter was in danger of being swept under the carpet.

...
'Lenny' [*name changed] says the cardinal was his spiritual director and used bedtime prayers as an opportunity to make advances to his young student.

"I knew myself to be heterosexual," he says, "but I did say to others that I thought it would be easier to get through seminary if you were gay."

Lenny had had a conversation with a priest we'll call him 'Peter' whom he hadn't spoken to for years. Peter told Lenny about an inappropriate relationship the cardinal had instigated with him. Two other priests were drawn in: 'Kenny' and 'John'. Both had experienced unwanted advances from the cardinal.

"I'd never wanted to 'out' Keith [O'Brien] just for being gay," says Lenny. "But this was confirming that his behaviour towards me was part of his modus operandi. He has hurt others, probably worse, than he affected me. And that only became clear a few weeks ago."

...
But I [reporter for The Observer] had four statements that described the cardinal attempting to touch, kiss, or have sex with people in his care.

"He started fondling my body, kissing me and telling me how special I was to him and how much he loved me," one had written. One of the statements was five pages long. Given the strength of the evidence we had, the Observer chose to publish the story.

...
Peter wrote to me saying it had been the worst week of his life. He couldn't eat, couldn't sleep. Each of those men spoke out knowing it could ruin their lives. Some of them were trying to work out what order they might be able to take refuge in if the church disowned them for speaking.

The biggest sin in the Catholic church has historically been "scandalising the faithful". That is why the abhorrent cover-ups of child sex-abuse scandals have been part of the church's history. They shield their own and if you speak against them, you stop being their own. Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow who caused outrage last year when he linked the tragically premature death of David Cairns MP to his homosexual lifestyle publicly said prayers for the cardinal at mass in Edinburgh after being named as the cardinal's temporary replacement. He invited the cameras in while he did it.

...
Priests tell me there is a "gay culture" in the Scottish Catholic church but not an open, healthy one. In some ways, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise. The church has always had a deeply cynical side when it comes to sexual morality. Lenny recalls being a young priest, accompanying an older priest who would rise to great heights in the church. The older man was drunk and was ranting about men who left the priesthood. Why leave to have sex? Why didn't they just visit a sauna and go to confession in the morning?

...
Some people have questioned, though, whether his alleged behaviour constitutes abuse. After all, this involves adults, not children... Lenny gave up his priesthood when O'Brien was promoted to be his bishop. He did not want to be in his power. "He harmed me in so many ways," he explained.

And ask Peter if this story involved abuse. Peter has undergone long-term psychological counselling. His experiences with the cardinal are part of his records. Peter admits he even contemplated suicide. And still people are shouting "Reveal yourself!"

Why should he? ...


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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
I do know about those ideas. I've heard of many of them, but haven't taken the time to research them in depth (Which I would have done, and did a little, if the article had given some kind of citation). What I'm calling out here is the fact that Samp used that particular link as evidence of what "a skeptic or a rationalist" thinks, but the text of the link is rife with innuendo, rumor, and supposition with no cited works to back up claims it makes. Thus making it a very inaccurate measure of how a skeptic or rationalist would view the story. Unless I'm giving skeptics and rationalists too much of a benefit of the doubt when I consider that a skeptic or rationalist would want to rely on verifiable facts rather than sarcasm and satire as a basis for their ideals.

Maybe we can be sarcastic and occasionally use satire, and also think that the whole Joseph Smith story is irrational to trust, but maybe we could give a pass to his startling revelations about the egyptian language?
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kmbboots
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We experienced a moment of levity during the Eucharistic Prayer at mass yesterday when the celebrant offered prayers for "Ben...uh...TBA, I guess".
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BlackBlade
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[Big Grin]
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MrSquicky
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errr...so, sorry I got that started. I wasn't trying to single out LDS specifically. Once a conservative religion with strict sex roles gets big enough, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a significant section of their leadership are going to be violating these codes. There are explanations of various lengths I can go into for this, but they pretty much boil down to "that's just how (some) people work".

I only threw LDS out there because I was talking to an LDS person. And I only mentioned that vocally anti-gay thing to underline how people often act in the opposite way people often expect.

To me, thinking that there aren't at least say 3 or 4 guys in the LDS leadership who like to have gay sex on the side and who look out for each other in this is, as I said, terribly naive. I'm sure that there are far more who are just cheating on their wives. That's the nature of people in positions of power, especially ones of a western conservative moral bent.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:


To me, thinking that there aren't at least say 3 or 4 guys in the LDS leadership who like to have gay sex on the side and who look out for each other in this is, as I said, terribly naive. I'm sure that there are far more who are just cheating on their wives. That's the nature of people in positions of power, especially ones of a western conservative moral bent.

I'd just say "that's the nature of people", and leave it at that. It's like people getting so angry over the Clinton/Lewinsky thing. How do people get to a certain age and NOT understand human nature?

For that matter, often the most promiscuous girls I've known have been the most religious. Not that that says anything about religious girls, but more just about human nature.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
errr...so, sorry I got that started. I wasn't trying to single out LDS specifically. Once a conservative religion with strict sex roles gets big enough, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a significant section of their leadership are going to be violating these codes. There are explanations of various lengths I can go into for this, but they pretty much boil down to "that's just how (some) people work".

I only threw LDS out there because I was talking to an LDS person. And I only mentioned that vocally anti-gay thing to underline how people often act in the opposite way people often expect.

To me, thinking that there aren't at least say 3 or 4 guys in the LDS leadership who like to have gay sex on the side and who look out for each other in this is, as I said, terribly naive. I'm sure that there are far more who are just cheating on their wives. That's the nature of people in positions of power, especially ones of a western conservative moral bent.

That's typical of people in positions of power, especially ones of a western conservative moral bent.

I find the current leadership of the church to be in some ways to be outliers (in good and bad ways) from your typical organization's leaders.

I absolutely do not believe even one of them is having secret gay sex on the side, outside the bounds of their marriage. It's not impossible, an apostle betrayed Jesus, and in Mormonism we had apostles join with mobs, leave the church, and commit adultery.

But I do not believe an apostle could long be committing such an atrocity, and not be found out quickly. They have furiously busy schedules, and maintaining mistresses or boyfriends is not something I think could be accomplished easily.

edit: And, (and I doubt you believe this) spiritually you would be able to pick up on that sort of thing.

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advice for robots
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I'm also going to say I don't think that is going on in the top LDS church leadership either. While I have no illusions about how the boyfriend/mistress thing is alive and well at the tops of many companies, organizations, and governments, this is one place in which it is absent. You'll say that sounds terribly biased, naive, sheeple-ish, and {insert adjective here}, but nevertheless.
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jebus202
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I didn't buy the secret gay Mormonism sex ring thing, but the idea that it's not probable that any of the current or former apostles have had affairs or engaged in sex outside their marriage because they're too busy is more than a little silly.
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Rakeesh
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I wouldn't say it was terribly biased or anything-rather that it was very ordinarily biased. Almost as a rule, people view their own families and institutions more favorably and optimistically than they do others. Even when they're well aware of the pitfalls of other groups similar to theirs, there will be something that permits a titled head and shrugged shoulders to dismiss the concerns.
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MrSquicky
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BB and afr,
My impression of both of you is that you are decent people who try to do the right thing. One pitfall that people like that fall into is that they generally assume that others are like that, especially people in their in groups and especially the leaders of their in groups. It's the flip-side of people who are not particularly good people thinking that everyone is as flawed as they are and it is just "human nature".

I know I'll not be able to convince you otherwise, but I'm near certain that a large chunk of the LDS leaders are much less decent that you think they are. It will likely take several scandals before you even credit the idea, so I don't see much point in discussing it further.

Although one thing, BB. The idea that the only motivation that LDS leadership bring to fighting gay rights is that they think it is against god's will is ludicrous. There is absolutely no way that that is true.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
BB and afr,
My impression of both of you is that you are decent people who try to do the right thing. One pitfall that people like that fall into is that they generally assume that others are like that, especially people in their in groups and especially the leaders of their in groups. It's the flip-side of people who are not particularly good people thinking that everyone is as flawed as they are and it is just "human nature".

I know I'll not be able to convince you otherwise, but I'm near certain that a large chunk of the LDS leaders are much less decent that you think they are. It will likely take several scandals before you even credit the idea, so I don't see much point in discussing it further.

Although one thing, BB. The idea that the only motivation that LDS leadership bring to fighting gay rights is that they think it is against god's will is ludicrous. There is absolutely no way that that is true.

It is also common for outsiders to compare groups they are not familiar with to groups they are.

I've met some of these men, I've studied their rhetoric for years, I pay attention to what people say about them.

I've already acknowledged the capacity for my leaders to do barbarous things. You haven't acknowledged the capacity for people to actually transcend their human natures at least in part if not on the whole, and act in such a way that exceeds expectations.

I get that it's unlikely I am right, but I believe Mormonism actually can churn out the best humanity has to offer, more than any other institution in the history of humankind. I don't expect you to agree, but you don't know the Mormonism the way I do.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
And, (and I doubt you believe this) spiritually you would be able to pick up on that sort of thing.

You are right; I don't believe it. Ask thousands of Catholics who were stunned to discover that their beloved priest was molesting children. Sexual predators as a group are notoriously charismatic.
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Tittles
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That old joke about how it was a Catholic girl you wanted to be dating? In my high school, it was a Mormon girl.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
And, (and I doubt you believe this) spiritually you would be able to pick up on that sort of thing.

You are right; I don't believe it. Ask thousands of Catholics who were stunned to discover that their beloved priest was molesting children. Sexual predators as a group are notoriously charismatic.
Are you conflating secret gayness and child molestation?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
And, (and I doubt you believe this) spiritually you would be able to pick up on that sort of thing.

You are right; I don't believe it. Ask thousands of Catholics who were stunned to discover that their beloved priest was molesting children. Sexual predators as a group are notoriously charismatic.
Are you conflating secret gayness and child molestation?
No.
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Xavier
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It does seem like your last sentence does do that. I think the greater point of not being able to "spiritually detect" homosexuality or adultery is valid, but those who are secretly gay aren't "sexual predators". So pointing out the charisma of sexual predators was irrelevant unless you're conflating the two.
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stilesbn
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I feel like the goal posts are moving a bit. At first it was a certainty that there was a gay sex ring among the high leadership of the Mormon church. Now it's "To me, thinking that there aren't at least say 3 or 4 guys in the LDS leadership who like to have gay sex on the side and who look out for each other in this..." I guess that could be a ring.

I'm also unclear as to what you are considering high leadership. BlackBlade seems to be thinking the First Presidency and 12 apostles which is the top 15 people in the church. I also find it unlikely there.

If you want to start going down from there I think the likelihood increases from, "OK I can see it possible though unlikely." At the level of the 70's. To "Well we know for a fact that this has happened in the past" at the level of Stake Presidents and Bishops. BlackBlade even confirmed himself that there have absolutely been Stake Presidents who have been outed for gay sex.

There have also been a number of 70's who have been excommunicated for one reason or another, though I haven't heard of any cases of gay behavior.

So MrSquicky could you clarify a bit as to what level you have in your head? Here's a list of the different levels.

Prophet and Apostles (15 People)
70's (There are quite a few of these quorums. I'm guessing like 300 people?)
Area Authorities/Mission Presidents (This has some overlap with the 70's but I'm going to put guess about 300 maybe?)
Stake Presidents (A lot)
Bishops (Like thousands here)

BlackBlade seems to be arguing just the first and maybe second group. I'm unclear as to what MrSquicky or anyone else is arguing.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
It does seem like your last sentence does do that. I think the greater point of not being able to "spiritually detect" homosexuality or adultery is valid, but those who are secretly gay aren't "sexual predators". So pointing out the charisma of sexual predators was irrelevant unless you're conflating the two.

"Gay" was not the predator part. Abusing a position of power (religious leader) is. Not that spiritual leaders can't have healthy relationships but they are unlikely to be ones that they have to hide.
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Xavier
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Well a gay "sex ring" among leadership, or group who secretly have sex and "look out for eachother" doesn't presuppose anyone abusing their power.

But I guess that's kind of splitting hairs.

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kmbboots
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I guess I was looking more at the power dynamic. I would suspect that for a clandestine situation, sex with underlings would be more likely and easily hidden. The "sex ring" model in my head was the one at the Vatican that the Italian papers are touting.
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Anthonie
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quote:
Homosexual activities were constantly occuring in the showers and steam room at the Deseret Gymnasium in Salt Lake throughout the 1970s and 1980s, when I had a membership there. Several members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, one Tabernacle organist, and at least two General Authorities were participants in the sexual activies there, as personally witnessed by me or by a Gay employee I knew who worked there.) Quinn claims that First Presidency member, J. Reuben Clark, asked former Bishop Gordon Burt Affleck "to organize a surveillance for possible homosexuals in the steam room of the church-owned Deseret Gymnasium."
I don't know how historically accurate it is, but Connell O'Donovan's book cites many references as well as offering personal accounts, as he did above.

I don't claim this necessarily constitutes a "gay sex ring," but it substantiates the idea that general authorities have been involved in gay sex. In fact, according to O'Donovan (and substantiated by his sources), it appears the second-to-last General LDS Church Patriarch, Joseph Fielding Smith, was homosexual and involved in gay relationships before being banished from Utah.

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Samprimary
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Only here was the pope resigning going to turn into a question of how many mormon lieutenants or whatever have gay sex rings or how high up the brass totem they went
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... But I do not believe an apostle could long be committing such an atrocity ...

It helps to believe it if you don't consider it an "atrocity" [Wink]
(We're still talking about consensual sex right?)

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... But I do not believe an apostle could long be committing such an atrocity ...

It helps to believe it if you don't consider it an "atrocity" [Wink]
(We're still talking about consensual sex right?)

Consensual sex outside the confines of marriage (and while married), especially in the context of being a leader within the Mormon church is an atrocity.

If some person who does not believe in celibacy until marriage has consensual sex with a guy or girl that is not an atrocity to me.

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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I wouldn't say it was terribly biased or anything-rather that it was very ordinarily biased. Almost as a rule, people view their own families and institutions more favorably and optimistically than they do others. Even when they're well aware of the pitfalls of other groups similar to theirs, there will be something that permits a titled head and shrugged shoulders to dismiss the concerns.

Yeah, and I'm fully admitting I'm biased in favor of my church and its leaders. At any rate, insofar as this is all conjecture, my word is as good as anyone else's. [Smile] (You might even say that, having had personal interactions with a fair number of general authorities to compare with my impressions of many other people I've met throughout my life, I have a better take on this question than many do.)


I don't agree with the shrugged shoulders thing. I'm not about to dismiss some gross mistake (or peccadillo, for that matter) just because I'm biased toward them. I would let it go in a government leader longer than I would in a church leader. They are held to incredibly high standards of conduct based on the offices they hold, standards that extend deep into their personal and family lives as well as their positions and responsibilities in the church.


Take it however you want, I guess, when I say I don't see a secret tawdry second life in any of them. I know it doesn't prove anything, but that's my opinion, informed by a lifetime of observation. But I'm not blind to the fact that it could happen.

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