Mormons ape Islam over apostasy

Mormons ape Islam over apostasy

A COUPLE  of years back, a Mormon bishop from Illinois got into hot water for coming out as an ardent supporter of gay rights. Death threats followed.

Life got weird fast for Kevin Kloosterman, above, who was reported here as saying:

Mormons of the more conservative variety called for me to be excommunicated. There was one extremist blog even wishing ‘apostates could be executed’ juxtaposed with my name, my wife’s name, our home address and work address for all to see as well as calling for ‘blood atonement’, which is primitive Mormon talk for execution.

Soon after, Kloosterman, a mental health therapist in Sycamore, Illinois, was excommunicated.

The church hierarchy, it appears from this report, has decided that dissent will not be tolerated, and those that deviate from its core doctrine – from either  liberal or orthodox perspectives – can expect harsh treatment.

Take Denver Snuffer, for example, a lawyer in Utah who blogs and writes books about Mormonism. Snuffer, a conservative, revealed on his blog that he was excommunicated for apostasy last fall.

Rock Waterman, a retired innkeeper in California, is another conservative who was threatened with excommunication for creating a blog called Pure Mormonism, which attracts Mormons so orthodox that they believe their church is not sufficiently adhering to its own doctrines.

Last month, Waterman posted a combative challenge addressed to one of the Mormon Church’s top leaders:

Stop making up your own rules and try preaching the Gospel of Christ for a change.

Two days later, he said, he was summoned to a meeting with his bishop and told to either stop blogging or resign his church membership. If he did not resign he would face excommunication.

The latest prominent Mormons liberal Mormons who were threatened with excommunication are Kate Kelly, the founder of the Ordain Women movement, and John P Dehlin, creator of the Mormon Stories podcast and an advocate for gay Mormons.

From California to Virginia and states in between, more than a dozen Mormons interviewed in the past week said they had recently been informed by their bishops that they faced excommunication or risked losing permission to enter a temple because of comments they had made online about their faith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

They claimed said their bishops had questioned them about specific posts they had made on their blogs, Twitter and Facebook, in the comment streams of websites or in conversations in chat rooms.

The kinds of comments that have attracted the scrutiny of bishops and stake presidents, who are regional supervisors, include support for the ordination of women; advocacy for same-sex marriage; serious doubts about church history or theology; and, as in Waterman’s case, protests that the church demands more in tithes than its doctrine requires.

But Michael Otterson, Managing Director of the church’s public affairs office, said:

There is no coordinated effort to tell local leaders to keep their members from blogging or discussing their questions online. On the contrary, church leaders have encouraged civil online dialogue and recognize that today it’s just part of how the world works.

However, he said, church leaders do grow concerned when discussion is used to recruit others for campaigns to change church doctrine or structure.

Mormons are such active bloggers and voluble writers that they have created a whole universe of sites, which they call the Bloggernacle, where they go to discuss their faith. The church cannot police them all or shut them down, but it can, in a Big Brother manner,  demonstrate to members where it draws the boundaries of acceptability by scaring those who stray.

Said Kevin Kloosterman:

It feels scary to have all the words I say on Facebook and Twitter monitored.

Kloosterman was a bishop from 2007 to 2012. He hit the headlines after giving an emotional talk at a conference in Salt Lake City in 2011 apologising to gays rejected by their Mormon families. He also lobbied for same-sex marriage in his state. But there were no consequences until March of this year, when, at a meeting, his bishop cited a Twitter post Kloosterman congratulating the first gay couple to be married in Utah.

Michael Ferguson and Seth Anderson, the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Utah, in Salt Lake City. Photo Kristin Murphy for The New York Times

Michael Ferguson and Seth Anderson, the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Utah, in Salt Lake City. Photo Kristin Murphy for The New York Times

“Jesus would never do that,” the outraged bishop told Kloosterman, He then revoked Kloosterman’s “temple recommend,” denying him entrance to the temple, where important rituals like baptisms and marriages are held and where he and his wife used to go regularly for spiritual uplift.  Kloosterman said:

It’s been devastating. I’m in shock still.

Some supporters of the Ordain Women movement who have posted profiles and pictures of themselves on the movement’s website have also recently had their temple recommends withdrawn or been removed from church volunteer positions, according to Kelly and Ordain Women leaders.

So assiduously is the church monitoring the Internet that even Mormons posting comments anonymously are being identified and threatened.

“Dana”, a member in the church’s Buena Vista stake in Virginia supports the ordination of women and same-sex marriage.

She said that soon after she posted comments anonymously in an online chat room, her bishop sent her emails quoting what she had written and questioning her about her beliefs. On June 1, she said, her bishop phoned and told her to stop posting or face a church disciplinary hearing. Instead, four days later, she and her family resigned their church membership.

As for Waterman, the blogger in California, he has refused to resign and is willing to face discipline. He declared:

I’m not trying to get the church to change. I’m trying to get the church to abide by its doctrine.

24 responses to “Mormons ape Islam over apostasy”

  1. Broga says:

    The church leaders have to use censorship and threatening interviews. They cannot use temperate discussion based on facts and reason as they would be seen to be irrational. The BBC pushes religion by censoring as much as possible anything that disagrees with its superstitions.

    For example, the vapid, dire Thought for the Day now listened to by many as entertainment because of its ability to convey nonsense without laughing.

  2. Trevor Blake. says:

    It feels scary to have all the words I say on Facebook and Twitter monitored.

    Perhaps Mr. Kloosterman would benefit from considering the scariness of an omniscient diety.

  3. Agent Cormac says:

    Denver Snuffer. Really?!

  4. Agent Cormac says:

    ‘The name’s Snuffer. Denver Snuffer.’
    Pause pregnant with disbelief, entire room falls about laughing.

  5. And still today, after repeatedly telling the world it would stop, the Morons, er, um Mormons STILL “baptize” dead people who never belonged to their idiot religion.
    Old Joe Smith was a super con man of his day. He invented a new brand of religious loony out of his own odd imagination. Hmm, not all that much different than every other religion ever, all invented by men to rule over the rubes.

  6. lonbo says:

    Ah yes, the omniscient deity, the Ultimate Snuffer.

  7. Agent Cormac says:

    Charlie, the mormons are behind one of the biggest free online ancestry facilities. It’s all done so they can trace the names of people who are long dead and baptise them ‘in absentia’. Not that you’d know the site had anything to do with a religion unless you happened to notice the tiny logo at the bottom of the home page.

  8. Bubba T Flubba says:

    Ahhhhh……….such goodlyness and forgiveness. NOT. Like all religions they have to resort to clerical bullying and threats. Beats me how people get suckered in the first place but how individuals put up with the crap year upon year is beyond my comprehension. The veil of authenticity is so thin, so tenuous, so transparent and yet the inculcated seem incapable of recognising the lie, the deception, the sheer bare faced disingenuousness of the scam. Or do they see the reality but are incapable of admission…..admission that all the money they have tithed, all the time they have wasted marks them as credulous stupefied fools. It’s a human weakness to admit that you have been suckered. This is how religions prevail….the victims are too embarrassed to admit that they have been exploited. I can understand that so we should embark on a programme of explaining to such victims that it is far better to face reality, to come out as one who now is brave and mature enough to change….to step out of the shadows into the full glare of atheism ….of reality ….of truth.

  9. barriejohn says:

    They’ve just broadcast a video on ITV News in which ISIS fighters from Britain encourage other similar idiots to “answer the call of Allah” and join their stupid “jihad”. (“Jihad gives meaning to life” evidently – like cutting your own throat gives you a sense of purpose, I suppose.) I actually burst out laughing at this, because what is going on in Iraq is that people who have decided to “worship” Allah are slaughtering other people who have decided to worship Allah, for the simple reason not that the second group are worshipping the wrong god, but that they are worshipping the right god in the wrong way. You couldn’t make up this shit. Everyone knows what “God” wants, and he wants what they have decided that he wants. Anyone who thinks otherwise is, as Bob Hutton said of Sir Cliff Richard recently, an apostate – simply for seeing some things differently and interpreting their “holy book” in a slightly different way. Isn’t religion absolutely bloody marvellous, and a great asset to the human race?

  10. barriejohn says:

    I see that I’ve said much the same as you, but I started typing before your comment appeared. I find that the longer my comments get the more likely they are to freeze before I can continue, so progress can be very slow. Do others have the same problem?

  11. Agent, thanks for the information. I did know that they ran one of those family tree sites, just did not remember which one.

  12. Crazy of course, but that IS religion isn’t it?

  13. L.Long says:

    And the difference between fundy jews-moremans-xtians-islames is what?? Well except for the bombs.

  14. Barry Duke says:

    I have a confession. I was a bit iffy this morning over posting this one … until I clocked that name. That clinched it!

  15. Agent Cormac says:

    What a name to have had during the Inquisition. ‘This morning, Agent Cormac your Inquisitor is Snuffer. Good luck, I don’t think we’ll be seeing you again.’

  16. Agent Cormac says:

    Charlie – while I find it repugnant that these idiots are ‘baptising’ (or ‘baptizing’, depending which side of the Atlantic we live on) people who have no say whatsoever in what is going on in their name, I also find it amusing that the ‘morons’ (good call) are pouring so much time, effort and money into what can only be described as the ultimate exercise in futility. I mean, how far back do they think they can go? Will they include Neanderthals? After all, recent archaeological evidence would suggest that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals did interbreed
    No doubt they’ll find way of tracing us all back to Adam and that rib of his.

  17. Matt Westwood says:

    That means muslims will be killing muslims, then? Pardon me for sounding a little crass for saying something that could get me ejected from the tories and arrested, but: where’s the problem?

  18. Matt Westwood says:

    As I have changed my work location I no longer need to be on the road by 7:45 and so no longer have the opportunity to listen to TFTD. And I’m out of the country more often than I’m in it at the moment. However, next week I have to attend an out-of-town training course so will be well placed on the good old M4 to be able to catch this daily gem five more times.

  19. Barry Duke says:

    My favourite remains Tom Estes. I dubbed him Testes as I because, like Bob Hutton, he’s a barking mad Baptist, posts balls on his blog and thinks “Potty” is doing a great job
    He is featured here:

    and here:

  20. 1859 says:

    Being a long-ago lapse RC I ‘get’ some of the differences between the C of E and RC ism, but anyone understand the ball-park differences between Shiites and Sunnies?

  21. barriejohn says:

    It has to do with who supposedly took over when Mohammed died. As with all religious disputes it’s all too silly for words.

  22. Broga says:

    Well there is a treat. I have noticed a tendency towards common sense in TfTD recently. However, there are lots infiltrated with religious fiction and even the relatively sensible ones always succumb to some reference to a non existent saint or a fictional event.
    I’m not always around to listen myself but when I am Platitude for the Day offers some catharsis later. It is a disgrace that the religious cabal at the BBC censor, in their fear of rational opinions, any atheist contributions.

  23. reasonlogic says:

    Whats the problem here?
    Would seem a very good thing to be excommunicated from the grasp of a group of people who believe Christian myth and superstition …..not to mention the fairy tales created by Smith himself about golden tablets and that the Garden of Eden being somewhere in the Missouri area.
    And to think that 47% of Americans actually voted for a Moron ……. sorry Mormon.