Another Bishop Behaving Badly

The catch-all forum for general topics and debates. Minimal moderation. Rated PG to PG-13.
User avatar
JohnW
Valiant A
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:11 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by JohnW »

Kishkumen wrote:
Tue May 16, 2023 9:40 am
JohnW wrote:
Tue May 16, 2023 1:46 am
Yeah, that may be a valid reason to discuss these things in public, but we don't often get a fair discussion. I find that the bad things get discussed and the good things tend to be left out. For example, in the article, both individuals talked about how they had great church leaders for much of their time actively attending. They don't go into detail about those good experiences. The only story we get is the bad story.

In reality, I think I understand where you're coming from, Kishkumen. I really don't expect people here to stop discussing things like this. In fact, if we as a church never discuss this sort of thing, we run the risk of hiding the really bad apples. I personally would prefer that we err on the side of a little too open. I guess I was just in a lamenting mood when I posted my initial response.
I agree that we tend to focus on the negative here. And I know that there are good people who serve as bishops who do so honorably. That said, it is an institution I no longer want anything to do with for a variety of reasons.
Understood. Thanks for engaging on this topic. I would agree that this is one area that we have a lot of room for improvement in the church. It may even be the area where we are failing the most.
User avatar
JohnW
Valiant A
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:11 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by JohnW »

sock puppet wrote:
Tue May 16, 2023 1:36 pm
JohnW wrote:
Tue May 16, 2023 1:46 am
Yeah, that may be a valid reason to discuss these things in public, but we don't often get a fair discussion. I find that the bad things get discussed and the good things tend to be left out. For example, in the article, both individuals talked about how they had great church leaders for much of their time actively attending. They don't go into detail about those good experiences. The only story we get is the bad story.

In reality, I think I understand where you're coming from, Kishkumen. I really don't expect people here to stop discussing things like this. In fact, if we as a church never discuss this sort of thing, we run the risk of hiding the really bad apples. I personally would prefer that we err on the side of a little too open. I guess I was just in a lamenting mood when I posted my initial response.
JohnW, I do not doubt that most bishops are good people, just like most criminal prosecutions correctly put guilty people in jail. The issue is with the anomalies--the incorrect prosecutions, the bad bishops that damage people's lives, often irreparably. The bone I have to pick is with the concept, structure and directives to bishops. It is religion's definition of "sin"--a list of such basic conducts that religions admit no human but Jesus (a mythical figure or divine and thus not entirely human)--can avoid. Thus, guilt is assured. By so guilting is adherents, religion necessitates confession and repentance. Those afflicted by such, those that can't shake it line up at the bishop's door to unload. I think it is great that many parents are protecting their children by being in the room during their children's "interviews." That helps avoid the most palpable and insidious occurrences of sexual probing, intimidation and shaming--and rare incidence of actual sexual molestation by the bishop. This entire structure however is the problem. In the criminal justice system, all accused are presumed innocent, entitled to competent lawyers, not expected to testify against themselves, and innocent unless a jury finds guilt beyond any reasonable doubt to minimize the chance of conviction and punishing an innocent person. Yes, that high standard means some guilty people will walk, which society has agreed is a price worth paying to reduce the chance of convicting innocent people.

Sam Young shamed the church into making an improvement that was obvious to everyone not caught up in the Mormon bubble. Thanks, Sam! That's how it came about, not that the old 15 got a revelation or even realized but for Sam how dangerous those "interviews" were. Nevertheless, that does not correct the core problem with the sin-guilt-confess to bishop B.S. and the long term damage to the psyche and sexual lives of those kids and members that buy into it. That is where the rub is.
I can see your concern. The general idea of religion can go too far when it comes to sin. This can happen on either end of the spectrum. We can hammer the idea that you a sinner and must repent until all we have is a bunch of guilt-ridden people with terrible mental health. On the other hand we can hammer the idea of mercy/forgiveness so much that all we have is a bunch of people who think anything goes and God doesn't really care about our actions. I would argue neither extreme is healthy from a spiritual sense (maybe insert mental health here as a possible analogy if you don't believe in a spirit). I would say there is a balance somewhere. That balance often simply must be on an individual basis, which makes setting church-wide rules rather difficult. I don't think this is an easy problem to solve.
User avatar
sock puppet
2nd Counselor
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:29 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by sock puppet »

JohnW wrote:
Sat May 20, 2023 8:24 pm
sock puppet wrote:
Tue May 16, 2023 1:36 pm

JohnW, I do not doubt that most bishops are good people, just like most criminal prosecutions correctly put guilty people in jail. The issue is with the anomalies--the incorrect prosecutions, the bad bishops that damage people's lives, often irreparably. The bone I have to pick is with the concept, structure and directives to bishops. It is religion's definition of "sin"--a list of such basic conducts that religions admit no human but Jesus (a mythical figure or divine and thus not entirely human)--can avoid. Thus, guilt is assured. By so guilting is adherents, religion necessitates confession and repentance. Those afflicted by such, those that can't shake it line up at the bishop's door to unload. I think it is great that many parents are protecting their children by being in the room during their children's "interviews." That helps avoid the most palpable and insidious occurrences of sexual probing, intimidation and shaming--and rare incidence of actual sexual molestation by the bishop. This entire structure however is the problem. In the criminal justice system, all accused are presumed innocent, entitled to competent lawyers, not expected to testify against themselves, and innocent unless a jury finds guilt beyond any reasonable doubt to minimize the chance of conviction and punishing an innocent person. Yes, that high standard means some guilty people will walk, which society has agreed is a price worth paying to reduce the chance of convicting innocent people.

Sam Young shamed the church into making an improvement that was obvious to everyone not caught up in the Mormon bubble. Thanks, Sam! That's how it came about, not that the old 15 got a revelation or even realized but for Sam how dangerous those "interviews" were. Nevertheless, that does not correct the core problem with the sin-guilt-confess to bishop B.S. and the long term damage to the psyche and sexual lives of those kids and members that buy into it. That is where the rub is.
I can see your concern. The general idea of religion can go too far when it comes to sin. This can happen on either end of the spectrum. We can hammer the idea that you a sinner and must repent until all we have is a bunch of guilt-ridden people with terrible mental health. On the other hand we can hammer the idea of mercy/forgiveness so much that all we have is a bunch of people who think anything goes and God doesn't really care about our actions. I would argue neither extreme is healthy from a spiritual sense (maybe insert mental health here as a possible analogy if you don't believe in a spirit). I would say there is a balance somewhere. That balance often simply must be on an individual basis, which makes setting church-wide rules rather difficult. I don't think this is an easy problem to solve.
Hey, JohnW, do you differentiate your mental from your spiritual aspects of your being? If so, please elaborate.
"I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal." Groucho Marx
"The truth has no defense against a fool determined to believe a lie." Mark Twain
The best lack all conviction, while the worst//Are full of passionate intensity." Yeats
User avatar
JohnW
Valiant A
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:11 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by JohnW »

sock puppet wrote:
Sat May 20, 2023 8:27 pm
JohnW wrote:
Sat May 20, 2023 8:24 pm
I can see your concern. The general idea of religion can go too far when it comes to sin. This can happen on either end of the spectrum. We can hammer the idea that you a sinner and must repent until all we have is a bunch of guilt-ridden people with terrible mental health. On the other hand we can hammer the idea of mercy/forgiveness so much that all we have is a bunch of people who think anything goes and God doesn't really care about our actions. I would argue neither extreme is healthy from a spiritual sense (maybe insert mental health here as a possible analogy if you don't believe in a spirit). I would say there is a balance somewhere. That balance often simply must be on an individual basis, which makes setting church-wide rules rather difficult. I don't think this is an easy problem to solve.
Hey, JohnW, do you differentiate your mental from your spiritual aspects of your being? If so, please elaborate.
They are definitely two different concepts, but I think that they have some overlap. I thought that if someone doesn't believe in spirituality at all the closest purely secular concept might be mental health. I can't think of another concept that has more connection with spirituality.

I've heard from professional counselors that they use the term spirituality, although, my understanding is that they mean something different. The term is used more along the lines of "meaning in a person's life" or "things that are greater than self." I'm certainly no expert, but I would assume that spirituality (in either sense of the word) would have a medium to large effect upon one's mental health. So yes, it was a shorthand to catch some sense of the concept for those who would normally struggle with the word spirituality, but there is way more depth to that. I'm curious about your thoughts.
User avatar
sock puppet
2nd Counselor
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:29 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by sock puppet »

JohnW wrote:
sock puppet wrote:Hey, JohnW, do you differentiate your mental from your spiritual aspects of your being? If so, please elaborate.
They are definitely two different concepts, but I think that they have some overlap. I thought that if someone doesn't believe in spirituality at all the closest purely secular concept might be mental health. I can't think of another concept that has more connection with spirituality.

I've heard from professional counselors that they use the term spirituality, although, my understanding is that they mean something different. The term is used more along the lines of "meaning in a person's life" or "things that are greater than self." I'm certainly no expert, but I would assume that spirituality (in either sense of the word) would have a medium to large effect upon one's mental health. So yes, it was a shorthand to catch some sense of the concept for those who would normally struggle with the word spirituality, but there is way more depth to that. I'm curious about your thoughts.
I differentiate between emotional and intellectual aspects of my mental existence. I think that what many ascribe to be 'spiritual' is experiencing an emotion. If before mortal birth we were, as Mormon theology postulates, functioning intellects (before being organized as a 'spirit' or after), I don't understand why our intellects would not have been functioning at that level when we were born. Sure, there's the veil so that we'd forget our pre-existence, but why did we have to be dumbed down to start our mortal lives? Will we be dumbed down again when we die and pass into the eternal after-life? If not, why not given that we were dumbed down when born mortal?
"I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal." Groucho Marx
"The truth has no defense against a fool determined to believe a lie." Mark Twain
The best lack all conviction, while the worst//Are full of passionate intensity." Yeats
User avatar
MsJack
Deacon
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:27 am
Location: Des Plaines, IL, USA
Contact:

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by MsJack »

One of my first husband's bishops once asked him, "Did you marry [MsJack] because you had to?"

He was suggesting I had baby-trapped him.

We married in 2003. My first pregnancy started at the end of 2005.

Still, I thought it was absolutely inappropriate and none of his business.
BA, Classics, Brigham Young University
MA, American Religious History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
PhD Student, Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
User avatar
Kishkumen
God
Posts: 6317
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:37 pm
Location: Cassius University

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by Kishkumen »

MsJack wrote:
Wed May 24, 2023 1:13 pm
One of my first husband's bishops once asked him, "Did you marry [MsJack] because you had to?"

He was suggesting I had baby-trapped him.

We married in 2003. My first pregnancy started at the end of 2005.

Still, I thought it was absolutely inappropriate and none of his business.
This kind of experience is so common that it must reflect real problems with the pastoral model. I could never voluntarily subject myself to such interviews again. I simply refuse.
“The past no longer belongs only to those who once lived it; the past belongs to those who claim it, and are willing to explore it, and to infuse it with meaning for those alive today.”—Margaret Atwood
User avatar
JohnW
Valiant A
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:11 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by JohnW »

sock puppet wrote:
Sat May 20, 2023 9:26 pm
JohnW wrote: They are definitely two different concepts, but I think that they have some overlap. I thought that if someone doesn't believe in spirituality at all the closest purely secular concept might be mental health. I can't think of another concept that has more connection with spirituality.

I've heard from professional counselors that they use the term spirituality, although, my understanding is that they mean something different. The term is used more along the lines of "meaning in a person's life" or "things that are greater than self." I'm certainly no expert, but I would assume that spirituality (in either sense of the word) would have a medium to large effect upon one's mental health. So yes, it was a shorthand to catch some sense of the concept for those who would normally struggle with the word spirituality, but there is way more depth to that. I'm curious about your thoughts.
I differentiate between emotional and intellectual aspects of my mental existence. I think that what many ascribe to be 'spiritual' is experiencing an emotion. If before mortal birth we were, as Mormon theology postulates, functioning intellects (before being organized as a 'spirit' or after), I don't understand why our intellects would not have been functioning at that level when we were born. Sure, there's the veil so that we'd forget our pre-existence, but why did we have to be dumbed down to start our mortal lives? Will we be dumbed down again when we die and pass into the eternal after-life? If not, why not given that we were dumbed down when born mortal?
Yes, I think for many people, spiritual and emotional states overlap a lot. Taken to the extreme, people may argue that there is little difference between the two. The risk with that state of affairs is that people may become wishy washy in their spirituality, because emotions can swing back and forth rather wildly. For me, I tend to go too far the other way, and treat spirituality with too much logic.

I've also thought lots about the whole concept of the veil and what exactly happened at birth. I like to think that it has more similarity to something like cochlear implants. Those are the devices they implant into people's brains to restore hearing to the deaf. It takes some time for their brains to adapt to the devices. My understanding is that their hearing improves as they adapt. I like to think that the act of shoving our spirits into a physical body (with a brain) takes time for us to adapt, hence the relative physical and intellectual helplessness of babies.
Marcus
God
Posts: 5203
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:44 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by Marcus »

JohnW wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 7:39 pm
...I've also thought lots about the whole concept of the veil and what exactly happened at birth. I like to think that it has more similarity to something like cochlear implants. Those are the devices they implant into people's brains to restore hearing to the deaf. It takes some time for their brains to adapt to the devices. My understanding is that their hearing improves as they adapt. I like to think that the act of shoving our spirits into a physical body (with a brain) takes time for us to adapt, hence the relative physical and intellectual helplessness of babies.
That is an extremely complicated explanation for the relatively straightforward post-birth development of a typical newborn's body and brain.
User avatar
JohnW
Valiant A
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:11 pm

Re: Another Bishop Behaving Badly

Post by JohnW »

Marcus wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 7:57 pm
JohnW wrote:
Mon May 29, 2023 7:39 pm
...I've also thought lots about the whole concept of the veil and what exactly happened at birth. I like to think that it has more similarity to something like cochlear implants. Those are the devices they implant into people's brains to restore hearing to the deaf. It takes some time for their brains to adapt to the devices. My understanding is that their hearing improves as they adapt. I like to think that the act of shoving our spirits into a physical body (with a brain) takes time for us to adapt, hence the relative physical and intellectual helplessness of babies.
That is an extremely complicated explanation for the relatively straightforward post-birth development of a typical newborn's body and brain.
Definitely. If you allow for spirituality, then you must necessarily accept some level of complication above and beyond what is typically explained by science. I guess that isn't strictly required. Sometimes concepts get simpler when you go deeper, but often not.
Post Reply