Can we please talk civilly about... the Olympics? (2002) January 17, 2002 2:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm really intrigued here. A perfectly good thread (well maybe not great) about censorship of the Olympics, derailed by general revulsion towards a religion. Some tried to get back to the point, but the damage was done. Are all posts voicing concern over how the 2002 Winter games are run doomed to the same fate?
posted by Wulfgar! to Etiquette/Policy at 2:24 PM (36 comments total)

I'm sincerly wondering if there is a "common sense" that will defeat further efforts at discussing real issues due to a particular bias. I grew up and live in Morman country, my boss is Morman, many of my friends in high school were Mormon. Yes, those friends tried their level best to convert me, but I don't put every thing I encounter in my adult life through that filter. So why is this community seemingly "hellbent" on Mormanizing the Winter Games, Utah, and Salt Lake City in general? Is there a party line that people here wish to follow? I really am curious about this.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:29 PM on January 17, 2002


there is a strong mistrust of religion and the religious among many of the mefiles. from "they're evil" to they're dumb".
posted by rebeccablood at 2:32 PM on January 17, 2002


I thought the deal was that they were already Mormonized.

(Heheh, "The Mormonizer!")

If religion had not been a serious possible reason for the banning, it probably wouldn't have come up. I don't think it will show up in every thread about the Olympics, unless this thread gives some wiseguy some ideas...
posted by whatnotever at 2:33 PM on January 17, 2002


*uh oh*
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:34 PM on January 17, 2002


I grew up and live in a Morman country.

Forgive my ignorance, but where is this Mormon country?


posted by the cuban at 2:35 PM on January 17, 2002


Utah, Idaho, and Montana all have large numbers of LDS churches and followers.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:37 PM on January 17, 2002


lots of people are opinionated (i'm one of them), but it seems to me few are somewhat proselytical about it: they must tell you all about why they feel the way that they do and convince you of the correctness of their beliefs. i'm sure i don't always catch myself doing that, though i try; i wonder if it's the same scenario for others. this attitude doesn't often help conversations on threads, it seems to me.
posted by moz at 2:38 PM on January 17, 2002


You know, I keep interchanging the last o in Mormon for an a. That's prolly kinda annoying, and I apologize.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:40 PM on January 17, 2002


Are all posts [..] doomed to the same fate?

Since MetaFilter is NOT a discussion board, what difference does it make? (This is a legitimate question, not a smartass remark.)
posted by mischief at 3:02 PM on January 17, 2002


Wulfgar! you forgot Arizona.

posted by th3ph17 at 3:25 PM on January 17, 2002


People are entilted to have and voice whatever opinions about religion they want. However what's not cool is crossing the line into prejudiced name-calling. Witness srw12's remark

I do find it hard to not leave out that second 'M' though...

Imagine how bigoted a remark like that about Muslims or Jews would sound. MeFite's would be justifiably outraged. Why should Mormons be any different? I'm not Mormon, but I've known a few in my day and they generally speaking were good people. To tar them with such a broad brush is unfair.

Actually, I wonder whether it's bigotry or merely an overly stated antipathy to all religion on the part of some mebers that dooms any MeFi discussion of religious matters to oversimplification.

Oh, well...forgive them Matt for they know not what they do..
posted by jonmc at 3:27 PM on January 17, 2002


It's inevitable that the Mormon thing is going to come up a lot during the Olympics. Unavoidable.

As a lapsed Mormon (or, in Utahan, 'a jack Mormon') I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I think it's going to be interesting to see the spin that the mainstream media puts on Utah culture. It could be a great opportunity for people to learn (and even argue) a little about Mormonism - a historically fascinating, contradiction-riddled, and quintessentially American religion.

On the other hand, if the depth of commentary is confined to statements like "Mormons are insufferable, cliquish prudes" and "ha ha Mormon sounds like moron", February's gonna be an annoying month.
posted by varmint at 3:43 PM on January 17, 2002


in Utahan

And here I thought it was "Utahoan".

It could be a great opportunity for people to learn (and even argue) a little about Mormonism - a historically fascinating, contradiction-riddled, and quintessentially American religion.

I would love to. As a theologically trained philosopher and Bible edukated (sic) person, I have serious difficulties with the religion. But sports and this forum hardly seem the venue to debate those issues.

February's gonna be an annoying month.

Uhyup, I thinkin so ...

posted by Wulfgar! at 4:00 PM on January 17, 2002


But sports and this forum hardly seem the venue to debate those issues.

Agreed. I would never advocate a serious MeFi debate of Mormon theology. That's a black hole. I think we share the hope that the subject doesn't creep into every Olympic thread. Or, if it does, that it's handled more like it was in this delightful jello thread.

posted by varmint at 4:21 PM on January 17, 2002


the thing i find absolutely precious--as an atheist, ex-mormon ex-missionary from the type of mormon family that is a Very Mormon Family--is that the same christians who bristle and fume in every thread where we atheists give them a few bumps jump on and pluck the eyes out of mormons in other threads. Note to people who believe the bible, god, religion, etc..., in any flavor: You should stick together, because to those of us on the outside you all look Exactly the same.

*shakes hands with varmint* shaking hands is one of the mormon habits i just can't break.

posted by th3ph17 at 4:37 PM on January 17, 2002 [1 favorite]


February's gonna be an annoying month.

February is the cruelest month, breeding
Trolls out of the woodwork, mixing
Religion and talk of sports, causing
Dull talk and flame wars.
New Years made us soft, covering
Mefi in well-crafted links, tricking
A little break from double posts.
Olympics surprised us, coming over the Great Salt Lake
With a burst of idiocy; we stopped by Ice Skating Porn,
And went on in redundancy, into Metatalk,
And debated points, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Troll, stamm' aus Seattle, echt newbie.
And when we were new here, afraid of the bullies,
My first post, it shamed me to no end,
And I was frightened. They said, j.edwards,
j.edwards, hold on tight. And stay I did.
In the Metafilter, there you feel proud.
I read, much of the night, and go to bed in the morning.
posted by j.edwards at 4:39 PM on January 17, 2002


I've noticed this in real world conversations too: for some reason educated people feel that it's okay to say things about it that would be unacceptable to say about another religion, say, Jainism. (Or heck, Catholicism. Would it have been taken innocuously for a poster to assert that Catholics were out to take over the world?)
posted by Charmian at 5:00 PM on January 17, 2002


I've noticed this in real world conversations too: for some reason educated people feel that it's okay to say things about it that would be unacceptable to say about another religion, say, Jainism. (Or heck, Catholicism. Would it have been taken innocuously for a poster to assert that Catholics were out to take over the world?)
posted by Charmian at 5:01 PM on January 17, 2002


j.edwards ...you are a mastermind Northwest Homeboy!
posted by Mack Twain at 5:39 PM on January 17, 2002


let me tell you all a story 'bout a man named jed...

eh, never mind. i love that guy.
posted by anildash at 6:01 PM on January 17, 2002


My god. We had a golden opportunity to talk about panty shots at the Olympics and instead we squandered it attacking some organized religion. You people are no fun. Turn in your Fark memberships at once.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:11 PM on January 17, 2002


You should stick together, because to those of us on the outside you all look Exactly the same.

Hehe. Speak for yourself.
posted by skallas at 11:09 PM on January 17, 2002


Hey-ya learn a lot of scary things being married to a jack Mormon....i stand unrepentant....
(did I tell you his dad used to work for Gordon Hinkley?)

oh and another thing-I never walked up to complete strangers in Wal-mart to start proseletysing-unlike two fresh-faced young men in white shirts, black slacks and name tags-and no they didn't work for wal-mart..........for a period of time there I honestly thought I was a Mormon magnet-and I live in North Carolina!
posted by bunnyfire at 3:49 AM on January 18, 2002


i stand unrepentant

Then get a clue.
posted by rodii at 6:51 AM on January 18, 2002


As for why Mormonism gets so little respect, my guess would be that it's because there are few other religions with central tenets and documents that are as easily and thoroughly discredited.

...unless we're counting Scientology as a real religion these days.
posted by NortonDC at 7:03 AM on January 18, 2002


i was disappointed no one goofed on:

“As couples try to be more entertaining, they produce moves that are gynaecological, which is about as politely as it can be put.”

gyn-ecology: the natural history the playtex set.

come on, it's funny. ok, no it's not, but there has got to be a joke in there (besides the Sun has crappy spellcheckers) which is why i was disappointed.

i think the mormons deliberately hijacked the thread so that there would be no panty jokes. they so sneaky.
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2002


Hehe. Speak for yourself.

err, yeah. true. sorry to speak for the heathen masses before i've been elected king of the world...very true skallas, that was careless of me.

bunnyfire, myself, i don't call myself a jack-mormon, that is my term for mormons who believe but don't follow...i prefer the term "recovered", and someday i'll run into one of the people that i taught when i was one of those missionary types and i'll apologize profusely. I didn't break any rules till i was 25 and decided to leave.

As far as mr. Gordon B. goes...mormons are a tight clique worldwide. Everybody's friend or relative or something has worked with, taught with, married, etc...somebody. Hell, my great great great grandfather was in prison for polygamy with the president at the time.

Being "mormon" is almost...like an ethnicity...truly. It's my culture, and i live outside of it yet alongside--since i'm not estranged from my family at all. I'm like a poster-child for leaving for all the right reasons.

anyways...are we done? good. lots of good threads today.

ciao.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:45 AM on January 18, 2002


in that case I stand corrected-former jack mormon.

I still have to talk him out of his fantasy of wanting to blow up mormon temples......
posted by bunnyfire at 11:50 AM on January 18, 2002


I like the people-it's the organisation that creeps me out. Kinda like Disney.
posted by bunnyfire at 12:00 PM on January 18, 2002


Hey folks.

You knew I would show up eventually.

I guess as one of a handful of practicing Mormons here, I feel a certain obligation to stand-up, and be counted.

I've always tried to talk candidly, articulately, and politely about my faith... and about the misconceptions that many have about it -- whether in the real world, or here at Mefi -- and I think I've done a pretty decent job. I have no starry-eyed fantasies of disabusing any of you of such sentiments, but as long as there're people who want to bring it up, I'm more than happy to sit in for a round.

As for the Olympics... well, I guess we'll just have to see how February unfolds. I'm excited for the Games, and hope they're very much Utah's games -- and not the Mormon Games that the media (and some here) are so eager to portray them as.

I'll do my best not to mix the two.

Let's see how everyone else does.

- sG

PS... It's "Utahn".
posted by silusGROK at 1:27 PM on January 18, 2002


the Sun has crappy spellcheckers

Actually, "gynaecological" is correct in the UK.

I was surprised that religion was mentioned, since the article didn't imply that the decision to change the rules had anything at all to do with Salt Lake City or Mormons, it says nothing about anyone outside the figure skating world (it quotes a guy from the National Ice Skating Association, and an American judge, but nobody from the Olympic Committee). But I suppose it isn't impossible to imagine that lobbying could have had something to do with it.

I certainly didn't get the impression that there was "general revulsion" towards Mormonism in the thread. A couple of people voiced strong opinions, but I didn't think there was much that was actually unpleasant in there.
posted by biscotti at 7:45 PM on January 18, 2002


[Since MetaFilter is NOT a discussion board...]

So much for "Weblog as conversation" then, huh?
posted by revbrian at 6:00 AM on January 21, 2002


So much for "Weblog as conversation" then, huh?

Don't worry rev, mischief is just making ... erm ... you know. Trouble. Or something.
posted by walrus at 7:19 AM on January 21, 2002


But I like this post by webmutant about what MeFi is, FWIW.
posted by walrus at 1:18 PM on January 21, 2002


For What It's Worth Department (and considering the source, this is a temporary link):

LIVES OF THE SAINTS

by Lawrence Wright

At a time when Mormonism is booming, the Church is struggling with a troubled legacy.


posted by y2karl at 5:54 AM on January 26, 2002


%I expected a lot more recognition for that poem.%
posted by j.edwards at 2:26 AM on May 2, 2002


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