Jerks for Jesus?

February 22, 2013 | 54 comments
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Is it possible to be a jerk for Jesus?

If someone believes that God’s laws prohibit women from wearing pants to church, should they physically threaten those women? Is that an act of righteous reprimand and belief, or as a very serious overstep?

If an internet writer vigorously responds to harsh attacks from critics of the church, but these responses are often laced with incredibly foul misogyny, should other church members support or distance themselves from those remarks?

What makes Mormons — normally among the nicest people on the planet — suddenly feel compelled to lash out with as much meanness and vitriol as they can muster towards women who are perceived as violating cultural norms?

Can an excessive focus on boundary-policing result in less Christlike behavior?

When somebody is convinced that God is speaking through their mouth, are they quicker to act like an ass?

There’s more than one answer to these questions, pointing in crooked line.

Love one another but hate your family. Turn the other cheek, but cast out money changers. Mock the idolator but don’t ridicule others. There is ample doctrinal foundation for a variety of approaches, and the statements and principles here can be bafflingly inconsistent — not unlike human behavior.

So let’s ask again:

Can somebody be a jerk for Jesus?

Or are they ultimately just being a jerk?

Update: Brandt provides this invaluable visual aid:

54 Responses to Jerks for Jesus?

  1. Trevor on February 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Yes.

  2. Alliegator on February 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    They’re just being a jerk.

    I’ve found however, that all of us are jerks sometimes, so we shouldn’t write off people as jerks just because they act jerky sometimes. No one is perfect.

  3. Jim Cobabe on February 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    To many in his time, Jesus was the perfect jerk, and those whom he offended had him crucified. Perhaps this suggests that being regarded as a full time jerk by some people is a very good goal to pursue.

  4. brandt on February 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    A meme of mine made it on Times & Seasons?

    My life is now complete.

  5. pieface on February 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Ahh yes Jim, but it’s always ironic how the people it’s OK to offend in the name of God just happen to be the ones who don’t agree with our political/cultural/social views in the first place.

  6. Ms. Jack on February 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    “Love one another but hate your family. Turn the other cheek, but cast out money changers. Mock the idolator but don’t ridicule others. There is ample doctrinal foundation for a variety of approaches, and the statements and principles here can be bafflingly inconsistent — not unlike human behavior.”

    This is really the crux of the issue. “Jerks for Jesus” will typically refuse to be convicted on this matter because they can point to Scriptural examples which they perceive as providing justification for their behavior. Jesus called Peter “Satan” and the Pharisees “brood of vipers,” Elijah mocked the gods of the prophets of Baal, etc.

    I used to be a “jerk for Jesus.” I might have quoted one of the above passages. What finally convicted me to try and change my ways was this:

    “. . . [W]arn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety . . . Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim. 2:14b-16, 22-26, NRSV)

    Go ahead and tell me that it contradicts other passages of the Bible; I’m not here to debate that. I’ve decided that those are good words to aspire to in dealing with others and that’s that. And in regards to the recent All Enlisted controversies, what a world of difference it would have made if all of those “Jerks for Jesus” on Facebook had reached out in gentleness and love instead of self-righteous condemnation and contempt.

    So while I’m still a jerk sometimes (I’m a work in progress), I think my days of invoking a Christian apologetic for jerkhood are behind me. If I’m being a jerk, I’m probably just having a bad day.

  7. Unknown on February 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Pieface – These days it is mostly the ones who don’t agree with the changing societal norms on social issues like gay rights and reproductive rights that are labeled as jerks. For example, one cannot support traditional marriage without being labeled by many as one who hates gay people, although being in support of the former does not automatically mean one is the latter. Similarly, one cannot believe that a religious institution should make its own choices regarding whether to provide contraceptives without being labeled by many as one who hates women, although being in support of the former does not automatically mean one is the latter.

  8. Adam G. on February 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Is is possible to post a series of rhetorical questions about the motes in someone else’s eye?

  9. Kaimi Wenger on February 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Exactly, Adam. Calling other people “dumb feminist bitches” and “Now get your fat ass back in the kitchen and whip up a batch of cookies before I slap you silly,” or announcing that “Emma was a champion bitch and no one else would have her except Joseph,” these are clearly trivialities. Mere motes. It’s not like Jesus cares overmuch how we treat other people.

  10. h_nu on February 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    A times and season’s jerk…

    Is it possible for T&S permas to be jerks?

    If T&S permas believe they have a right to mutiny the LDS church and lead other saints astray, and TBM’s believe they should voice disagreement with such actions, should T&S permas ban those that disagree with them? Is that an act of self-reighteous reprimand and oppresion, or a serious overstep?

    If T&S permas vigorously responds to harsh attacks of their apostate ways, but those responses are often laced with bullying, personal and ad-hominem attacks, against non-colored minorities and victims of sexual abuse, should other church members support T&S or distance themselves from T&S.

    What makes T&S Mormons, suddenly feel compelled to lash out with such meanness and vitriol towards those who are violating the bloggernacle protocal of being unfaithful and snarky. Can an excessive focus on boundary-policing result in less Christ-like behavior? When somebody is convinced that they are cooler, more intelligent, and just better than other people, are they quicker to act like a democrat?

    Just pointing out that self-righteous judgment often has three fingers pointing back at oneself…

  11. MC on February 22, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    The Internet: Where every group is defined by the behavior of its most ill-behaved anonymous 15-year-olds.

  12. MC on February 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Is this another one of those “Your trolls are eviler than my trolls” kind of deals?

  13. Brian on February 22, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    So, h_nu is “pointing out” that pointing at others makes you point at yourself. Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

  14. h_nu on February 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Brian,
    Does insulting someone else’s intelligence make you feel smart? If so, you may be a bully. There’s a pill for that.

  15. log on February 23, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Can one speak evil of an endowed church member while obeying the charge given in the temple to avoid speaking evil of endowed church members?

  16. Ana on February 23, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Kaimi quotes Indigo Girls, wins feminist Internet.

  17. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 12:11 am

    h_nu, you’ll note that our apostate, democrat-penned, mutinous comment policy states that it is “unacceptable to call into question a commenter’s personal righteousness.”

    This policy was jointly written by a group of subversives including Nate Oman, Adam Greenwood, Matt Evans, and Jim Faulconer, who mostly spend their time thinking up new ways to be unfaithful and snarky.

    Please abide by our oppressive and extremely cool commenting rules, or we will have to ban you. Again.

    And really, we’d much rather just continue with our self-righteous apostate revelry. These Witch’s Sabbaths aren’t gonna plan themselves, you know.

  18. European Saint on February 23, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I wonder if, by simply expressing his thoughts for traditional marriage (http://www.johnadamscenter.com/2013/02/how-does-same-sex-marriage-hurt-traditional-marriage/), people like Alan Williamson would be considered “jerks” by Kaimi’s definition. Is it one’s tone or merely one’s position that is eliciting the “jerk” response? I am convinced that, in the case of some (but certainly not all) T&S permas, it is often the latter. (That said, I did enjoy the Indigo Girls quote, Kaimi; we need more quoting from popular songs in our posts.)

  19. h_nu on February 23, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Kaimi, if you read carefully, you’ll notice I did not call anyone’s personal righteousness into question.

    I only levied the same level of implied judgment by asking a bunch of rhetorical and hypothetical questions that mirror your OP. In other words, if you thought my comment was offensive, and unlikely to convince anyone who doesn’t already believe everything the author already believes… then you may want to take a deep breath, look in the mirror, and recognize that from your OP, no one who doesn’t already believe in sync with you is going to change their mind because of your OP.

    Perhaps intelligent and gentle persuasion is not what you where going for. Perhaps you only wanted an echo chamber. I granted you the charity to assume you were willing to look at this from another point of view, instead of looking for emotional validation in your judgment of others. Was I wrong to hope you were willing to be open minded?

    Furthermore, Adam G brought up a really good point, and the only way you could respond was by attacking him. My point, was also valid, and yet Chris just responded to it by calling it simple-minded. It’s a fairly common liberal tactic, to deride something by calling it simple minded. It manages to ignore the painful fact of whether it is true or not.

  20. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Good question, European Saint.

    I definitely wouldn’t characterize Williamson as a jerk based on that post. I think his analysis is incorrect on some substantive issues, but that’s another point.

    We should be able to believe that people are wrong — very wrong, even — and still engage in reasoned and civil discourse. When people start making death threats towards pants-wearing women, I think we can agree that we have departed the realm of reasoned and civil discourse.

  21. Hunter on February 23, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Ms. Jack’s comment is, once again, so excellent. Thanks for sharing (and, actually answering Kaimi’s question).

  22. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Hmm, h_nu. Well, then, let’s discuss Adam’s comment.

    Is it your view that calling other people “dumb feminist bitches,” or saying that they “should be shot in the face,” or telling someone to “get your fat ass back in the kitchen and whip up a batch of cookies before I slap you silly,” or announcing that “Emma was a champion bitch and no one else would have her except Joseph,” — is it your view that these actions should be seen as motes, relatively insignificant?

    I personally would say, no, they’re not. In fact, I’d say that these statements are deeply and obviously inconsistent with the idea that “whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

    And I would suggest that these kinds of statements are also directly contrary to very clear statements in this month’s First Presidency message:

    There is so much incivility in the world today. Because of the anonymity of the Internet, it is easier than ever to say toxic or grating things online. Shouldn’t we, the hopeful disciples of our gentle Christ, have a higher, more charitable standard? The scriptures teach, “Let your speech be alway[s] with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).

    So, no, I don’t believe that Mr. Greenwood raised a particularly good point, because it seems relatively clear to me that such statements are not accurately characterized as motes.

    But then I am, of course, a mutinous self-righteous apostate democrat in an echo chamber, so I’m probably missing something.

  23. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 1:52 am

    And, I agree that Ms.Jack has hit the nail on the head. Given the ample scriptural support for both approaches, we all pick and choose which norm to follow. And Jack has highlighted a very good one. Amen, sister.

  24. NateH on February 23, 2013 at 2:26 am

    This article certainly roused thoughts on the incivility of much of the behavior of those that acted aggressive towards those women, and I am supposing that the post was so largely rhetorical with the intention of making one think… I am more than a little embarrassed for the Church and its members when I see how some people behave (such as those referenced in the OP)… if only people tried as hard to be -like- Christ instead of feeling like they can tear others down because they feel like that person themselves is not being like Christ. It’s ironic, really.

  25. Ms. Jack on February 23, 2013 at 10:43 am

    #21 hunter & #23 Kaimi: Thank you for the kind words.

  26. pieface on February 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Anonymous-
    Your comment did not refute a thing I said. I never specified who was being a jerk, simply saying that it’s human nature to feel justified and seek justification for how we feel and act. I have seen jerks on both sides of the issues you’ve related. Some use religion to justify their unkindness and incivility, others use political standpoints, science, etc, or a combination of all of them. What I’m saying is that regardless of what God you worship, people will use that God to justify their own unkindness.

  27. h_nu on February 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Well Kaimi, I guess you could always lead by example…

  28. jimbob on February 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    “What makes Mormons — normally among the nicest people on the planet — suddenly feel compelled to lash out with as much meanness and vitriol as they can muster towards women who are perceived as violating cultural norms?”

    I guess someone needs to chime in and say that this isn’t a uniquely Mormon problem. People get angry when cultural norms are violated–religious people, irreligious people, conservative people, liberal people. Disagreeing agreeably is hard; very few people do it well or all the time. I think anyone who participates in the Mormon blog world can attest to that.

  29. Jonathan Green on February 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    So, Kaimi, I think the series of rhetorical questions isn’t working for me, either. You seem to be saying that it’s not possible to be a jerk for Jesus. Do I read you correctly?

    From whom did you get those appalling quotes you cited above? You never say it directly, but you seem to disapprove of their sentiments. Don’t you think it would be more effective to state that directly and spell out for us precisely how people should behave? Because I don’t think people should say or write things like that, and I could get behind a post that said so.

    The problem with your post, I think, is that you are collapsing all kinds of things onto the category of “jerk,” so that both misogynistic ravings and clear statements of hard doctrines are treated as equivalent. Is the bishop who denies an alcoholic a temple recommend being a jerk? How about when someone asks you if their baptism into another church is as valid in God’s eyes as yours, and you say “no”? Those and many other things are the hallmarks of jerks for Jesus, at least if you don’t differentiate between hate-filled ravings and unapologetic statements that someone somewhere might be offended by.

    Your listing of Elijah and Jesus as examples of jerks for Jesus should probably be seen as a reductio ad absurdum that indicates there’s something inherently wrong with the argument you’ve set up, unless you’re going to start lecturing Christ about proper Christian ethics.

  30. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Good questions, Jonathan.

    I’m not suggesting that Jesus was a jerk. I _am_ saying that modern jerks very often fall back on a set of stories (Jesus, Elijah) to justify their own actions if they are criticized.

    As for the fact background, I guess I’ve been involved in the events enough that I thought they were common knowledge. But let’s clarify.

    A few months ago, a set of women created a facebook event called “wear pants to church day.” The women noted (correctly) that there is no doctrinal requirement that women wear a dress or skirt.

    The SLTrib and other newspapers picked up the story. A church spokesman said, speaking in official capacity, there is no doctrine against pants.

    And then hundreds and hundreds of ordinary Mormon descended on the facebook page to personally attack these women. To ridicule them. To call them lesbians and bitches and dumb women, to say that they should be thrown out of the church or even killed. Hundreds of ordinary Mormons felt the desire to go on the internet and tell women they had never met that those women were clearly disobeying the Prophets, and had no respect for God, and were dumb ridiculous whiny prideful people who don’t really love Jesus.

    It was stunning. Seriously. I was there, and it was a shock. I pasted President Uchtdorf’s statement (“Stop it”) dozens of times, into dozens of comment threads. For a while, the comments were coming so fast that it was hard to follow them individually, and I just searched keywords. “Ridiculous.” “Rediculous.” “Dumb.” “Bitch.” Dozens of comment threads were springing up in a single day, all along the basic lines of “this is the most ridiculous thing ever, you are all dumb.”

    It was a major Jekyll-and-Hyde sort of experience. A few people collected some of the comments, like in one thread I linked above. Also, the nice young fellow at BYU who threatened to shoot event organizers (with his name attached to his comment!) was reported to the Honor Code office.

    But yes, for all of us involved, I think it was a truly stunning experience. Women who were _not even violating any rules_ became the targets of overwhelming collective meanness and nastiness.

    And, lest my rhetorical questions leave my own views in doubt — no, I don’t think that that response was in line with basic Christian principles.

  31. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Oh, and my post alludes as well to the case of William Schryver, an internet apologist. He is someone who became known for willingness to aggressively challenge church critics, and many other apologists have referred positively to him or his work.

    Schryver also had a penchant for verbally attacking women in incredibly disturbing ways, belittling their physical appearance in bizarrely over-the-top ways (e.g., “I’ll bet you’re a wrinkled middle-aged woman with varicose veins and more good years behind you than ahead of you.”).

    Former T&S guest Bridget Jack Jeffries collected a list of Schryver’s — err, greatest hits? — and posted a detailed history of his comments towards women. It is really appalling.

  32. Ms. Jack on February 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    #29 Jonathan ~ How about when someone asks you if their baptism into another church is as valid in God’s eyes as yours, and you say “no”?

    As a non-LDS Christian, I’ll say that I don’t find it jerkish if a Mormon honestly tells me that they don’t regard my baptism as valid. That’s just a reflection on what most Mormons believe, and there’s a good chance I don’t find his/her baptism valid, either.

    But the LDS missionary who told me when I was 16-17, “You didn’t get baptized, you went swimming”? Yeah, he was being a jerk.

  33. Kevin L on February 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    My understanding of “motes” (the principle, not the word) is any sin we observe in another. Thus adultery that I see in my neighbor is still a mote, while my own pride is a beam. The whole point is that our time and energy are much better spent worrying about our own sinful state.

    I was speaking with a person this week who told me that they can get along with anyone, except people who are judgmental, “I hate judgmental people.” It reminded me of my Grandma’s saying, “We need to learn to be more understanding of people who sin differently than we do.”

  34. European Saint on February 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Kaimi, re your comment (#30): I fully agree with you that these reactions were deplorable and despicable. Who doesn’t? Honestly. Every church and every society has its fringe elements (Westboro Baptist Church, anyone?) that have a tendency to speak (or write) with venom — I would even say that moderates at times can and do stoop to such levels as well. (Hopefully they/we later repent and move forward and upward.) But what truly are you trying to get across with this post? That extremists within our faith tradition are trying to justify un-Christlike behavior? As I recall, Ralph Hancock was called a misogynist, homophobe and worse — at this very website, I believe — over his (in my view respectable) critique of Joanna Brooks’ memoir, but I don’t see you calling into question the Christlike nature of his detractors (possibly because, if I remember correctly, you yourself labeled him some of those very things). So again, I feel the position itself (and not just the tone) is what often drives us to become offended and use “vitriol.” But I wish we wouldn’t.

  35. John Mansfield on February 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Has anyone contacted the police about these threats of violence? If they are something to be taken seriously, that would be an expected course of action.

  36. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    The person with a named comment was reported to BYU, including I believe BYU security. I believe the other threat was via anonymous e-mail, though I don’t know the details.

  37. Nathan Whilk on February 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Kaimi, as a lawyer perhaps you can teach us how to tell the difference between serious threats and rhetoric. For example, should this bloggernacle commenter be reported to the police?

  38. Kaimi Wenger on February 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Hmm, Nathan Whilk.

    Is violent-sounding rhetoric sometimes used without actual intent? Sure. How does one tell the difference? Well, let’s see.

    In this case, we’ve got a facebook page where a few hundred women were talking about their sartorial plans under their own names; and then dozens of strangers descended to hurl insults and profanities, and in some cases written threats of killing, a week after a lunatic made national headlines by actually killing dozens of innocent people.

    Serious threat, or mere rhetoric?

    And, to the point of the OP — a good example of Christlike behavior?

  39. Adam G. on February 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    If I understand you correctly, O Kaimi, you are arguing that the point of the Savior’s beam-mote teaching was that you aren’t supposed to criticize people for stuff that you think is really trivial when you yourself are committing grave sins? Whereas if you are really outraged at the stuff you’re criticizing, its OK? Because, if so, I’m a little surprised that Jerks for Jesus bother citing Elijah or Jesus’ example, when they could just cite the beam-mote teaching. Hopefully they’ll stumble across your blog post here and rectify the oversight.

  40. Jonathan Green on February 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Kaimi, it seems like you’re primarily concerned about the ugly Facebook reaction. I think it would be useful to try to figure out what went wrong in that one event before trying to understand the larger issue of jerkiness.

    Let’s stipulate that the Facebook reaction was disproportional and hatefully misogynistic. Only, it’s hard to discuss it now in much depth, because I didn’t see anything like that here or on the couple other Mormon blogs I read regularly where the same issue was discussed. We sometimes get some questionable types around here, but I don’t remember seeing anything like that. Questioning each other’s righteousness, yes. Death threats? Vulgar epithets? No, not so much. Did anybody save the page before it disappeared? Since the comments were being made under people’s real names, it would be interesting to try to sort out who said what, and analyze why things spiraled out of control.

    I don’t know if you’re looking for a characteristic Mormon character defect, but I suspect a better explanation is self-reinforcing ingroup dynamics – which is probably universal, but that is unfortunately not unknown on Mormon blogs. Some discussion forums promote a reasonable amount of debate and disagreement, while some respond to criticism with an outburst of pile-on scorn. You’ve probably wandered into places in the past where after you make one comment, the regulars won’t tell you the joke, but they’ll all let you know that you’re the punchline, and nothing you say will be taken seriously. European Saint’s reference to Ralph Hancock is probably on target, if you’re looking for something that might be similar in quality, if not in degree.

    So maybe the question is not who or why, but where: what places permit and promote the kind of misogynistic discussions that spilled over onto Facebook? I honestly don’t know.

  41. Alison Moore Smith on February 24, 2013 at 5:58 am

    I’m just trying to figure out if Adam G. thinks he’s criticizing Kaimi over a beam or a mote.

  42. CJ Douglass on February 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, I’m not sure what the disagreement is about here Kaimi. You set the bar so low, I think it would be relatively easy to simply say,

    I completely disagree with the methods of the ‘Pants-People’ and I also completely disagree with the methods of those that were jerks (an understatement) to them. You’re right Kaimi, you can disagree with people without threatening them and demonizing them – especially when its a non doctrinal, non-church policy breaking decision. Our Church leaders have counseled against this sort of meanness and I”m so glad you are behind them on it.

    But, astoundingly, Adam and co. just couldn’t help disagreeing with you. You threw a softball right over the plate and they still wiffed on it. I will not be surprised any longer.

  43. Jonathan Green on February 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Alison, as this is a thread about how online interaction goes bad, here’s where it starts: by treating others not as a person worth talking to, but as a thing to be laughed about. Like your comment treats Adam. It tells Adam: go away, you’re an outsider.

    And then CJ picks up the baton. CJ, I don’t know who “Adam and co.” is supposed to be. The response you recommend was, more or less, what Adam said a month ago. The problem with Kaimi’s original post is that it really wasn’t clear what he was saying, and unclear posts lead to disagreement. Now you see Adam and who knows who else on the side of the violent misogynists because they don’t agree with…what? Perhaps you could ask Adam what he thinks. He’s probably still reading this thread.

    Kaimi, by looking at the incident through the lens of “Jerks for Jesus,” you seem to be implying that outbursts of hate-filled misogyny correlated with religious fervor. Do I read you correctly? By that account, the problem of jerkiness would tend to fall more heavily towards one end of the spectrum of Mormon belief. A few other people have looked for alternative explanations in bad group dynamics, which can happen anywhere. So do you think the problem of jerkiness is that some people believe the wrong things (that Pants Day was a ridiculous idea), or that some people express their beliefs the wrong way (by making death threats)?

  44. Logan on February 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks for this post. I read Times and Seasons frequently, but have only commented once or twice.

    It’s always an interesting situation when someone is so irritated by someone else’s behavior that they justify their own. I am defintely sure that I have made that mistake too often in my life.

    My understanding of the last portion of D & C 121, about the rights of the priesthood, suggests that the ‘ends never justify the means’ i.e. that regardless of how important the work we are engaged in is, we are not justified in inappropriate behavior to accomplish some ‘good’ end. If something is so good or important, it is all the *more* important that our behavior is beyond reproach, in response to others behavior, as opposed to justifying slackening our behavioral standards. It is so sad that we sometimes forget this.

  45. Alison Moore Smith on February 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Jonathan Green, the fallacy in your statement is that it assumes Adam G. is actually attempting to have a civil and sincere conversation in the first place.

    Implying that Kaimi is ignoring his beam for the motes he presents in the OP — without seeming to notice that he’s doing the same thing — doesn’t seem consistent with that position. Further, for him to address “O Kaimi” in such a manner seems at least the first blow toward “treating others not as a person worth talking to, but as a thing to be laughed about.”

    To be clear, I don’t mind “judgmental” discussions, but for someone to criticize another for criticizing — particularly with a beam/mote parable — is amusingly ironic.

  46. Kevin L on February 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Alison,

    Didn’t the OP start the idea of criticizing people for the way they criticized someone else?

  47. Chadwick on February 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Alison, your comment #41 made me chuckle. =). Where’s the like button?

    A few weeks ago, Alison posted an insert about a RS couple’s dinner that came from an actual church flyer. Adam’s response was something about having other nits to pick. OK, great. Thanks for sharing? I mean, it’s fine to feel that way, but did you really need to post it? Couldn’t you simply ignore the urge to comment something that was not of use to the discussion?

    Then he comes here and basically does the same thing. It’s fine to disagree with the topic, not like the topic, etc. But does that really require a one line zinger?

    I see this everywhere I turn, including and especially in the Deseret News forums. Another example: my wife works for a company that posts deals to interested parties. For a time, a lot of people would reply to the group on what a stupid deal that was, or how they don’t like Jamba Juice, or how Huggies is not their preferred brand of diaper. OK, great. That coupon was not good for you. Did you really need to post something about it? Couldn’t you simply move on without commenting? Why the need to put my wife down for doing her job?

    I liked the OP and found it interesting to think about how I can do better in keeping discourse civil with otherwise complete strangers (I’ve only my Marjorie Condor, and Nate Oman’s dad from the T&S family). I certainly don’t want to be a Jerk for Jesus. Thanks for the reminder, Kaimi.

  48. Ziff on February 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    The whole need no physician, but they that are jerks.

  49. Adam G. on February 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

    AMS, #41,

    Are you criticizing me for criticizing KW for criticizing Facebook jerks for criticizing Protest Pants people who are critical of the Church? How hypocritical of you. Or at least amusingly ironic.

  50. Adam G. on February 26, 2013 at 12:20 am

    CJ Douglas,
    Softball is a game for ladies so I am surprised that you would expect a violent misogynist like me to be any good at it. I’m offended; indeed, I question your personal righteousness.
    No, just kidding, I’m not actually a violent misogynist. Like Gandhi and MLK, I believe that women should only be oppressed through peaceful consensus and street activism. The correct response to the protest pants people would be to chain yourself to some gal’s pants and beat on a drum. What do we want? Corsets and skirts! When do we want them? In the 19th C.! In the 1950s! N.O.W.

  51. Jonathan Green on February 26, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Adam, you’re being a jerk.

  52. Adam Greenwood on February 26, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Well, JG, you aren’t questioning my personal righteousness, I’ll give you that. Suitably cowed, I will slink off to have some pregnant, barefoot chick nurse my wounds.

  53. MC on February 26, 2013 at 1:57 am

    I think what Kaimi’s trying to say is, “THIS IS THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!!!!”

  54. john roberts on February 26, 2013 at 2:21 am

    is anyone else having a hard time following this entire discussion?
    It’s about the pants thing again, right? Which isn’t really about pants? and about less than civil comments on blogs? which leads to questioning other church member’s personal worthiness, right? Am I even close or too outside the inner circle to it?

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