Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I got accused of posting "hate speech"...

because I posted the following video in an exMormon group on Facebook…


I have posted Weird Wilbur's "Most Mormons are Jackoffs" video on my blog before.  It was the very first video I ever saw him do.  Someone had posted it on RfM and it garnered a lot of discussion.  I thought what Wilbur said, while neither particularly respectful nor gracefully stated, was largely based on truth.  Wilbur made this video several years ago after an exasperating visit with his now ex-wife's family, who are LDS.  It wasn't based on just one contact with them.  Wilbur's opinions formed after many observations and interactions.

I posted this in a secret exMormon group last night with the note that Joseph Smith was a flim flam man.  And frankly, in my opinion, he was.  What else would you call a man who sells a ridiculous story about golden plates with "reformed Egyptian" writing on them that he "translated" by looking at them with "seer stones" in a hat?  This same man went on to "marry" girls as young as 14 and the wives of other men.



Anyway, the first comment from a male member of the group was that Wilbur is an "asshat".  I responded that I don't think Wilbur is an asshat.  Then several other males piled on, calling it hate speech and saying that I "should have picked a 'better video'."

I was suddenly reminded of an awful interaction I had with an otherwise nice LDS couple I met while in the Peace Corps in Armenia.  They, too, were serving in the Peace Corps and had impressed me by being attractive, hard-working, and basically nice people.  I happened to mention to them that I had read the book Secret Ceremonies by the late Deborah Laake.  I didn't know it at the time, but that book was very controversial to Mormons.  The male half of the LDS couple basically shamed me for reading "trash" that was full of lies about their religion.  

At the time, I was shocked.  I hadn't meant to offend them.  Yes, I read the book, but at the time I didn't have negative opinions about Mormonism.  I didn't know enough about it to have negative opinions, despite having read Laake's personal account about her experiences growing up LDS.  I didn't say to them what I should have said… or really, should have asked.  And that was, "Have you read the book?  If not, how can you tell me it's full of lies?"  They hadn't read the book.  They wouldn't read it, because church officials had condemned it and they were told it was trash.  Then they shamed me for reading it, even though I am not LDS and didn't get the memo… and even if I had, I still have the right to my own thoughts and opinions.

Deborah Laake was an outstanding, award winning journalist.  Years after that encounter, I re-read the book with Bill, who is a former Mormon.  He confirmed to me that what Laake had written was true, though much of the book was full of uncomfortable aspects of Mormonism that church leaders would have rather kept under wraps and away from the wondering eyes of those who "can't understand" Mormonism.  Laake was invited to many talk shows and at every taping, a group of Mormons would show up and try to drown her out.  She later died by her own hand, because she had breast cancer that was resistant to treatment.  She chose to kill herself rather than wait for cancer to kill her.  Some may think she was crazy for making that choice.  Having never had cancer, I don't feel it's my place to judge.

Now, I have read Secret Ceremonies twice.  I reviewed it on Epinions and, I think, gave it a fair rating.  The truth is, Deborah Laake's book heavily emphasizes sex… and sexual problems that she had.  She blamed her issues on the LDS church.  Some of her issues probably were caused by religion.  Many of her problems probably weren't.  However, the book she wrote is not full of lies.

As for Wilbur's video, I will admit and agree that what he says and the way he says it may be hard for people to hear.  But at least his opinion is an informed one and isn't based on just one interaction.  The group of guys who accused me of posting "hate speech" based their opinions on one video Wilbur made after a frustrating encounter with Mormon in laws.  Wilbur later took the video down, but someone else reposted it.

A couple of years after Wilbur posted his "Mormons are jackoffs" video, he posted another one to Mormons because he needed help from the "families first" church.  At the time, his son and daughter-in-law were having troubles with CPS and Wilbur asked Mormon viewers, who supposedly support families, for help in fighting child protective services on behalf of his grandchildren.  The video he made was later taken down and, to my knowledge, is no longer posted anywhere.  I remember being dumbfounded that he was asking for this help from Mormons, since Wilbur does not live a Mormon friendly lifestyle.  He smokes, drinks, swears, flirts with women and doesn't attend church.  I imagine most devout Mormons, meeting him once, would never support him in his bid to "save" his grandchildren from CPS.  I bet most of them would base that opinion on just one encounter.  It wouldn't take the repeated run-ins Wilbur had with his former in-laws that prompted his frustrated "hate" video.

I got to know Wilbur after he posted that video and we've sort of become friends.  I most certainly do not agree with all of his opinions, especially pertaining to politics.  But I don't think he's guilty of posting "hate speech" when he says that "most Mormons are jackoffs".  If anything, Wilbur is guilty of negatively painting a large group of people with a broad brush, which is something that a lot of people do, especially when they are angry or frustrated.  I think if I were subjected to repeated visits from people in my own home, self-righteously lecturing me about my habits and repeatedly trying to invoke a church I'm not a member of, I'd come to a similar conclusion.  

What's more, I think it's somewhat hypocritical that several people in that group were so deeply offended by Wilbur's thoughts when members of that very same group recently made a game out of disrespecting the church… to the point of having sex in church parking lots and taking photos of themselves flipping off temples, then awarding each other "points" for doing so.  I don't remember people screaming about hatred and asshats when that was going on… but I guess since I've never been LDS, I'm held to a different standard.

*Sigh*…. well, at least it's Thanksgiving weekend and I'm not visiting my parents.  I'll have to post about that next.  



4 comments:

  1. How funny! I wouldn't worry too much about being accused of posting hate speech. There is no shortage of criticism of Mormonism. My own view is that any religion that has a talking animal that isn't a parrot is B.S. Mormons, however, get in your face more than most. Whenever they approach me I just tell them flat out that I'm an atheist. That always shuts them up. I don't think they're trained for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not worried, really… but now I wish I had told that overbearing ringleader that he's not my Dom and we don't have a safe word.

      Delete
  2. Brilliant response if the overbearing ringleader messes with you again.

    Wilbur sounds like a real character.

    My dad said Deborah Laake madw major waves by being the firstperson in modern times to reveal the temple secrets in a mainstream sort of book. The screts were certainly in print prior to that, but not by any publisher so widely circulated as William Morrow. The poor lady seemed to have both mental health issues and sexual problems, and, like you, I can't entirely say that either was caused exclusively by the church, though Mormonism rarely takes an existing problem and makes it better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He won't bother me again. I opted out of the group. One of my friends then got "schooled" by him and either quit or got booted. That stupid thread was going on all day yesterday, even though I started it and left a couple of hours later. Apparently, it sparked a discussion of sexism among Mormons and ex Mormons, since that dude was apparently trying to use his "penishood authority".

      Wilbur is a character. He's a bit of a Tea Partyer, too… I like him, though. He has his views, but doesn't try to force them on others. He's also really funny.

      Deborah Laake was no doubt very troubled, but she was a good journalist. Little did I know when I read her book that one day I'd marry an ex Mormon and become so exposed to its culture.

      Delete

Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.