Mormon Discussion

Monday, July 25, 2005

Why People Avoid Talking

So, my visiting teachers were over the other day and I was a bit irritated by one of the women's comments. VT1 and I were talking about the Supreme Court and Sandra Day O'Connor and the liberal/conservative split on the Court. Nothing too controversial, just kind of chatting and discussing and asking questions. VT1 asked VT2 what she thought and VT2 said she didn't know. She said she wasn't really sure. VT1 and I were discussing the ramifications of a liberal/conservative shift on things like abortion rights and homosexual rights and women's and minority rights. We weren't arguing, we weren't even disagreeing. We were just discussing. I was saying something about how Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are strict interpreters of the Constitution and that certain ideas (such as the right to privacy) don't exist for them if not spelled out in the Constitution blatantly. VT2 cut in and said, "Hey guys, let's start our lesson and pray. Let's not talk about this stuff because it brings in a spirit of contention."

I was floored...

My question relates to this comment of hers. Since we weren't even disagreeing, how is that we were bringing in a spirit of contention? I feel like this is why so many things aren't ever discussed in the Church that are controversial or even a bit different. VT2 felt so uncomfortable with ideas that weren't exactly cookie-cutters that she felt we were somehow dragging in a contentious spirit. I didn't even understand this.

Do people avoid discussion about issues because they are afraid they might have to think about something from a different angle? I feel like VT2's attitude towards discussing anything even remotely thought-provoking is enough to make people in the Church--and I hate to even say it but it seems to be true--and especially women in the Church, shy away from serious discussion.


  • I can't believe that The Lord God Almighty would let a sinner like you even onto the internet!!! this is blasphemous! well, I hope your happy tearing into and ripping the soft fabric of our world. you need us, bad. Repent and I might consider letting you be saved.
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Even More Latter Day Saints

    By Blogger Elohimus Maximus, at 6:08 PM  

  • It literally sounds as if VT2 was asking you and VT1 to agree to disagree with her (VT2), before, of course, she could tell you that she was disagreeing with you and VT1. Or .... she doesn’t have a view and thought it best to do what she dose know, praying and talking about how reading the bible every night and obedience to the word of a man that personally believes he has revelation from god to tell people about.

    But that’s the problem isn’t it. We are being told that as Mormons we must take a stand of neutrality and to be rocks that don’t move from the grounds of peace. These two do not mix for peace must be earned through the discussion of current events and global topics, and political action. Certainly not through the avoiding of topic, no matter what the setting ……

    Ps - elohimus maximus is probably the funniest thing since Billy Cosby, seriously …. Your busten my balls.

    By Blogger Yakushika, at 9:02 PM  

  • gaara--i agree with you on the idea that we are supposed to be neutral in a sense. But, i don't think it's neutrality so much as more like not-on-the fringe. It's more of a mainstream thing, I think, that we as Mormons are asked to be. We aren't supposed to rock the boat, cause problems or questions, or stir up critical thoughts. I don't think it's exactly neutrality, since the Church has some very definite ideas about things like homosexual marriage and whatnot, but rather, it's more that we as Mormons are supposed to just go along with what the general consensus is in the Church community and not question it.

    and I agree...VT2 probably did disagree with us, but again, I personally don't feel that a disagreement equals a spirit of contention.

    By Blogger mellancollyeyes, at 9:47 PM  

  • People are so weird sometimes. Were they really young?

    Disagreement is not contention, but the basis of community building.

    Duh. Whatever.

    By Blogger Glo, at 11:35 PM  

  • Well, VT1 is young--my age--but VT2 is older than we are, around 29-30. She's old enough to understand that diagreement doesn't mean contention.

    By Blogger mellancollyeyes, at 10:58 PM  

  • I think the fact that the VT didn't want to discuss has much more to do with personality than anything doctrinal.

    There are certain sets of values found within different personality types, and it sounds like your friend finds any type of discussion to be 'arguing' and then facilitates this value by using scriptural passages to support her personality trait. Really though, you can find scripts to support the understanding and knowledge through our use of 'arguments'.

    So really, her position is merely a subconcious reflection of her artificial reality.

    By Blogger Jason King, at 11:47 PM  

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