By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog
The greatest Mormon blog in the universe.
Kristine and bycommonconsent.com on CSPAN.
I tried to comment as I always do, it refused to let me because I once registered for a WordPress account.
Tried to click on the picture to see the video, it just showed me the picture and then froze. FYI.
Have to click the link to see the video–it works . . .
Stephen, the photo is just a photo. The link has the video. Not sure what happened with your comment box.
Argh–must we? Can I note again for the record that I’m terrible at extemporaneity? Time to start that blog called “What I Wish I Had Said.”
Thanks, Kristine. Your comment notwithstanding, that was a wonderful discussion. I wish it could be seen and heard by everyone in the country – and I hope Mitt Romney gets to see it.
You did a fantastic job, Kristine.
Nice discussion. Thanks for posting the link.
I watched it the other night. Thought you did great, Kristine.
Kristine, I watced the panel on C-SPAN tonight and must say, if there is anything Mitt Romney didn’t need it was all of your comments about Mormonism. What were you thinking? Was the attempt to destroy his campaign even more? I sat amazed in listenting to the 3 of you demean his character, join Santorum and others in calling him a “flip-flopper” and almost every comment was negative.
First, I am a born-again Christian and have supported Mitt Romney since the 2008 campaign. I also work in the ministry and am a Christian singer/musician with a Master Degree in Christian Education. I was not famliar with the Mormon faith and went to a book store to READ the Book of Mormons in order to understand a little about your faith and to make sure my choice in Mitt Romney was a positive choice.
There is nothing wrong with a person changing their mind on an issue IF the change is moving toward a BETTER and appropriate view. For a matter of record, you should know that Norma McCorvey, the lady known as “Jane Roe” who was instrumental in the passing of ROE vs WADE law for abortions to become legal also CHANGED HER MIND in 1995. At which time, she began writing books, speaking for conferences and other engagements to talk about the VERY WRONG DECISION SHE FORMERLY HELD ABOUT ABORTIONS. She very much regrets the fact that it was she who pushed that law forward that has caused the deaths of millions and millions of babies.
So, surely, if “Jane Roe” herself can change her mind about abortions and become PRO-LIFE, certainly Mitt Romney can do the same thing when realizing that abortions actually kill babies.
I applaud him for making that decision and so should you and every Christian who is harshly judging Mitt Romney.
With all of the opposition he is up against from the conservatives, evangelicals, religious organizations and Christian newspapers — he doesn’t need people who call themelves Mormons also speaking negatively against him.
Why wouldn’t your purpose be to promote his campaign in lieu of harming it? I would think that as a Mormon, you would be proud to have a Mormon as President of the United States.
As a final statement, in 2008, Mitt Romney has already held a 30 minute press conference to clarify his religious belief. He said that, “He is a Christian and believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God and and that he believes the Bible to be the Word of God.” Therefore, I accept him at his word and more importantly, I look at his life and his character that speaks volumes about who he is as a person .
I see a man of honor and integrity who has been a successful businessman, entrepreneur and political leader. Equally important is his dedication to his wife of more than 40 years and the closeness of his family relationship.
America is in danger with the current administration and it is vitally important that we get a President who loves our country and has the ability to turn our economy around before it is TOO LATE! I believe Mitt Romney is that man and hopefully, the Mormons will begin to speak positively about him in lieu of tearing him down.
You really have no business barging in and calling Kristine “someone who calls herself a Mormon,” nor do you have any business telling Mormons that they should vote for and support one of their own just because he is a co-congregant–any more than I have any business asking why in the world you’re not supporting Obama even though he’s a Christian.
Connie, I’m curious how you reached the conclusions you did, if you watched the same program I did. Seriously, I really am curious.
Also, your use of the phrase “call themselves Mormon” is incredibly demeaning, dismissive and flat-out offensive. I hope somehow you realize that when you re-read your words.
“I see a man of honor and integrity who has been a successful businessman, entrepreneur and political leader. Equally important is his dedication to his wife of more than 40 years and the closeness of his family relationship. ”
I completely agree with you, Connie, and I don’t believe I said anything to suggest otherwise.
Because the point of the forum was to discuss the role of anti-Mormonism in American politics, I think it was inevitable that there would be negative things about Mormons repeated. It was my intention to help contextualize those ideas, show where they intersect with real issues in Mormonism, and where they don’t.
I feel reasonably certain that an hour-long panel discussion on C-SPAN is unlikely to affect the campaign much; if I wanted to help campaign against Romney, I would choose another avenue for my efforts.
Your presentation on c-span was a complete and total embarrasment – not only to you (you really should watch it) but to the Church as a whole. It is a really good thing that your highly impressive deep seeded knowledge of Mormonism helps you understand our faith, Christianity, the omniscience and truth about diety and most of all about “grace”…..because you certainly will need it. Could it be that you are secretly anti-Mormon, and just want attention from the media?
As a successful business woman and member of the Church, living in the mission field all of my life I can understand some of the opinions others have about Mormons. Not only did you justify any negativity or thoughts against our faith, you also fortified them against Mitt Romney. It made me sick listening to you.
I am embarrased and outraged that you would be so condescending and negative against your own.
I challenge you to watch your presentation. You’ll see it.
Sister Kim Hutchison
Hey Kristine, Just watched the entire program and tried answering each question as if I were in your hot seat. Suffice it to say, you were definitely the right person for the venue. Kudos! I’m sure you’re second guessing yourself–I do after just casual conversations on the church, let alone televised ones. Way to represent!
You’re welcome, Kristine – and I just want to point out that there are two comments in this thread that are FAR more dismissive and hateful than anything your said in that discussion.
If “anti-Mormon” means “hateful toward someone who is Mormon” (or, even more instructive, “hateful toward someone who is fully active Mormon”), then we have two prime examples of anti-Mormon statements here in this thread.
I am going to provide a link to something I wrote on my personal blog yesterday that I think deals directly with that idea:
“Dealing with Members Who Let Us Down” (http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2012/03/dealing-with-members-who-let-us-down.html)
I just finished watching and have to say that I’m disappointed. Kristine, do you really believe that Mormons are a bunch of ignorant dolts who don’t understand their own theology? I am a 35 year convert from the Catholic faith. While I am far from being a scholar, I’ve studied extensively and believe I have a pretty good understanding of the evolution of early Christian doctrines and how they compare to Mormon theology. Most church members that I’ve associated with through the years are eager to understand Mormon teachings and why they are so different from others. I’m sorry, but you came off as elitist to me.
Sister Hutchison–I’m sincerely sorry to have provided occasion for embarrassment and outrage, and I would not claim to have either deep seeded or deep-seated knowledge of Mormonism, only the working understanding gained from a lifetime of activity.
Looks like this post got picked up on some Mitt Romney forum…
“I just finished watching and have to say that I’m disappointed. Kristine, do you really believe that Mormons are a bunch of ignorant dolts who don’t understand their own theology?”
No, I don’t, and I sincerely regret it if I gave that impression. I do think that most Mormons are practical and more interested in being doers of the word than hearers, a trait which I find generally admirable.
Was going to add ‘Don’t be too hard on yourself’ but clearly others are doing that on your behalf. Wow people! I would say that one characteristic of Mormons being Christian is they treat others who disagree with them in a Christ-like manner. Kristine is being a great example. Everyone please show the same respect!
Kristine, for a different perspective, my wife just said to me as we finished this, “I’m just glad their are intelligent faithful Mormons out there representing us well”
I am really curious about this RS president who converted the church to being anti-ERA. Where can I study that?
Come on Matt W, if really big hair and Gen RS Pres didn’t tip you off to Barbara B. Smith, I can’t be mad at you because you weren’t taught the history of the RS presidents. However, that’s a-changin’ I’m sure if you googled her name and ERA, you’d find it. I’m too lazy to look it up or link it.
If someone disagrees with Kristine, they should be able to do so politely without resulting to name calling. As a Christian, I find such personal attacks on a daughter of God to be offensive.
Matt, the only treatment I know is Tona Hangen’s paper on Barbara Smith–I can’t lay my hands on it right now, but it’s in the proceedings of the Smith Institute Conference on Mormon Women in the 20th century. I’ll find it tomorrow and try to post at least real bibliographic info.
Dear haters: please identify the email list-serve or rapid-response campaign effort that brought you all out in such sudden force, and with such a mean spirit in your hearts. Pouncing in this manner reflects FAR more poorly on Mormonism than anything Kristine said.
Kristine, I thought you were brilliant. I loved how you showed the world the things about you that are delightfully oh-so-Mormon, and the things about you that are uniquely your own kind of Mormon. I am very pleased to have you representing us and explaining us to the world. I think the kind of people who would be watching that segment are almost certainly going to have their opinion of Mormons and Mormonism improved by your contribution to the discussion.
@25: “Pouncing in this manner reflects FAR more poorly on Mormonism than anything Kristine said.”
Indeed, and amen.
Well, at least I got one thing right–when Prothero said Mormons don’t seem angry enough to be really fervent culture warriors, I said they just take it out on Mormons who disagree with them. :)
I mean c’mon, people, do you honestly not realize how conspicuous and ridiculous for all of you to suddenly appear on blogs and websites where you’ve obviously never been before, with the sole purpose of Mittism and Mormonism from your hilariously villainized caricature of Kristine Haglund.
“Elitist” is usually what people say when they want to exorcise their self-consciousness about their own ignorance by villainizing someone else’s intelligence, or when they want to claim that pretending difficult issues do not exist is somehow a greater act of faith than addressing them.
I actually get the “elitist” accusation–it’s hard to generalize about a group that you’re part of, but need to explain to outsiders. I probably got the tone wrong.
Thank you Kristine for your expression of regret and further remarks. Sorry if I came off as hostile or a “hater”. For the record, I am a BCC lurker who rarely posts. I suggest your next blog post be entitled, ” I Ask Unanimous Consent to Revise and Extend My Remarks” :-)
“it’s hard to generalize about a group that you’re part of, but need to explain to outsiders.”
That’s a very true and profound statement, Kristine – and most people who will criticize you the most vehemently probably have not had to try to do it, much less live on television.
You added so much to the discussion with your wit and intelligence to the discussion. I can think of few others who could have handled difficult questions and in that forum with so much grace. I’m glad to call you a friend.
Steve, I think more like “I Ask Unanimous Consent to Never Ever Be on TV Again.”
OK, folks–like all good media-attention-craving secret anti-Mormons, I finally finished making the treats for my Primary class tomorrow and I’m going to bed so I can get up and go to choir practice before church. Try to keep the discussion civil…
#35 – BCotW
Sister Kim Hutchison–
Your comment on bycommonconsent was a complete and total embarrasment – not only to you (you really should read it) but to the Church as a whole. Could it be that you are secretly anti-Mormon, and just want attention from the Bloggernacle by coming here and arrogantly attacking a fellow member of the Church?
As a student of religious studies and member of the Church, living in the mission field while going to school with only non-Mormons I can understand some of the opinions others have about Mormons. Some are positive, some are negative. Some see Mormons as a collection of brainwashed dolts, some see them as a bunch of smiley-faced nice-nice niceys. Your comment is certainly a good representation of the fact that we Mormons can be most brutal to our own, rather than attacking outsiders we sometimes reserve our vindictiveness for our fellow Mormons, as you have done. Not only did you justify some of the negativity or thoughts against our faith, you also fortify them against Mitt Romney, because knowing you’re a supporter of his does not inspire me to admire him any more than I already did. It didn’t make me sick reading your comment, but it annoyed me.
I suppose I ought to be embarrased and outraged that you would be so condescending and negative against your own, since that is apparently what made you so upset about Kristine. Oddly, you’ve personally attacked her with a good deal of vitriol, thus ceding any moral high ground you otherwise might have stood upon to cast your stones at her from.
I challenge you to read your comment. But I doubt you’ll see it.
Brother Quickmere Graham
I’m a Kristine Haglund fan, previously, now and always. Great job as usual, Kristine! We love you!
I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion, and I’m at a total loss to understand why people think Kristine is anti-Mormon or even anti-Romney. But I would be a failure as a businesswoman, and I grew up in Utah, facts which, in some way that I cannot determine, may account for my perspective.
My husband listened to it online at work (on the church’s dime) after seeing a Facebook link in the “LDS influencers and bloggers” group (but I don’t think they’re necessarily rabid Mitt fans there). He (and I) are impressed, Kristine, but really I want to see these treats you made before I pass judgement.
P.s. I am also getting the prompt to login before commenting bec my email is associated with a wp account — and this was frustrating on my iPhone bec. the mobile site doesn’t show the WP/Twitter/Facebook icons to click on. And it’s annoying in the full site bec I have commented before without having to sign in to one of those accounts. Webmaster: please make it easy to comment!
As a fellow member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I felt misrepresented by your comments. I did not appreciate your condescending remarks towards our doctrine, family of faith, and current prophet. I believe that the Savior is the very head of this church. If you truly share that belief, I wonder why you did not have more respect and humility when asked to represent His gospel.
I watched the whole thing and enjoyed it. Often my attention span fails me, especially if the format is academic and written. I’m not much of a written-word scholar, but a dry panel discussion about religion and politics? As long as it’s spoken aloud I can follow it.
I thought you represented us well, Kristine. Whenever I see fellow members trying to put the beatdown on those who express less than mainstream orthodoxy it makes me wonder what they must think of the people who populate the “I’m a Mormon” campaign.
Your description of Mormon sexism gave me a chuckle.
It frustrates me that some seem to believe that the only legitimate Mormon voice is the one that has been highly managed. There is a place for that if one is looking for official proclamations, otherwise there is great value in letting Mormons authentically be themselves. I know Kristine — she is deeply committed to the church and completely Mormon in every way (except for her love of Anglican choral music, but maybe even that is a throwback to a time when Mormons sang better). She is also capable of honest and articulate introspection about the faith and I am sad that some can’t seem to cope with that. If you wanted to counter the view of Mormons as “ignorant dolts” you would put Kristine Haglund in front of the camera more often.
Thank you Kristine. Well done.
Tom says: Kristine, I hope if you are a Mormon, your beliefs and convictions run deeper than your comments and portrayal of our faith as portrayed on the panel debate last night. It was obvious that you appeared uncomfortable and nervous about sharing what should have been your true feelings about the LDS faith, if you have them? I’m not ashamed to be a Mormon, and your entire remarks appeared to be of someone not committed to the faith. I’m not sure that you or anyone else knows what President Hinckley would have done with Prop 8.
Tom–try here: http://bycommonconsent.com/2010/12/27/holy-holy-holy/ or here: http://bycommonconsent.com/2010/03/19/the-liturgy-of-jello/ if you’re sincerely curious about how I talk about my faith in forums where that is the appropriate mode of speech.
Tom D: you don’t have to type “Tom says” at the start of your comment. The website does that for you. I hope if you are a Mormon, your beliefs and convictions about charity, the pure love of Christ, run deeper than your comments and portrayal of Kristine. It was obvious that you appeared uncomfortable and nervous about her perspective. I’m not ashamed to be a Mormon, and your entire remarks appeared to be of someone not committed to the principle of Christian charity.
I have some involvement in our local church p.a. Based on that experience, let me say this: the church needs a thousand Kristines. Anyone who thinks she did not represent Mormonism well doesn’t know what the hell he or she is talking about.
^ Ditto Kevin Barney. Kristine was fantastic.
Thank heavens for Mormons like Kristine. I can think of few more faithful, committed, and intelligent voices representing the Church today.
Amen to Ben P. More to say on this, but, like Kristine, I need to head off to church. Kristine is truly one of the most compassionate and genuinely good, Christlike people I know. Rude remarks addressed to her (anti-Mormon? REALLY?) hurt me and all of us who recognize the good and the great in Kristine.
member of the Church, living in the mission field all of my life
I’m going to be pointing to this embarrassing tirade in future whenever anybody rags on “Utah Mormons” for referring to the rest of the world as “the mission field.” Not that this is the worst part of the comment — not by far — but it will be the most useful.
Good job, Kristine. My connection is so slow that downloading an hour-long recording took closer to two hours, but it was entirely worth it. Sometimes while waiting for the next bit to buffer I worked out my responses to those questions. My responses were generally: “We– we– we– well, I, uh, well, you know, if you think about it … if … so … what was the question again?”
As a not-so-successful businesswoman, and a member of the Church, living in the world-wide mission field all of my life (so far, and likely to the end of said life), I applaud you, and your articulateness, and your status as an informed Latter-day Saint who hit every note precisely on key.
(BCC, I wish you’d fix your WordPress problem)
Kristine’s comments were simply superb. I’ll echo Ben as well. Mormons like Kristine ensure that the Church doesn’t die a slow, isolated, parochial death. Kristine is one of the most intelligent, loving, faithful Mormons I know. I cannot imagine what some of those whose comments are so hysterically hostile on this thread would have said in the company of renowned scholars like Prothero and Wolfe, with an educated and intelligent audience watching and commenting. Kristine was easily their equal and represented Mormonism fairly, intelligently, and faithfully.
Kristine, a few years ago, I was in the audience at an academic forum where a Mormon was asked to join in a discussion of Mormonism among several non-Mormon voices. Overall, the non-Mormons were polite and objective. Instead of matching their tone, the Mormon stridently “bore his testimony” to the embarrassment of everyone on the panel and in the audience. It wasn’t that his message was inappropriate or offensive, it was that he had mis-judged the tenor of the place he was speaking and put everyone on edge by communicating in a way that was not appropriate and made others feel uncomfortable. One fellow forum member gently chided him by saying that Mormons needed to learn how to speak about their religion in mixed company, or future engagements really wouldn’t be fruitful.
I think that your comments on the C-Span program were exactly the appropriate tone that was needed for the event. You epitomized the kindness, grace, and academic rigor needed for a Mormon to engage in that type of discussion. I was proud of my Mormon upbringing when I listened to you. Thank you for setting an example of perceptiveness and humor, and thank you for the courage to put yourself out on a limb when others would surely find a chance to demean you–something that happens to anyone who chooses to discuss their ideas publicly.
I notice that all of the unChristian posts on here sound just about the same. I think they are being coached to come here. Which means BCC has hit the big time. Yeah
Kristine I watched you on c span because I had a feeling that the topic would include Romney and I was right, it did. Kristen I would like to know what was the inner reason that turned u so negative against the church? Was it simply because your a Democrat? There are many Democrats in Utah, I know cause I’ve been to their meetings and know them personally. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
Or is it because your a working women? Heck almost. every woman works outside the home nowadays that is in the church in fact I’ve had every Bishop tell me to go to work and I haven’t listened to them. In fact the only women I see that get callings anymore r only the ones that work outside the home nowadays.
My point is I don’t know why u said such hateful things against Romney and the church, I wish I could have been there to debate with u on this subject again. In fact I challenge u and Alan wolf to another debate only this time with me in it! U had no right to be there representing anything to do with our church or Romney. True u didn’t tell lies but u didn’t tell truths either. There is something terribly wrong with you and your outlook on every thing. Call me next time u debate this subject and I’ll be there.
pat, might it be possible to arrange such a debate through text messaging? Just to give you an advantage by playing to your strengths.
Pat, a debate would be fine, but I much prefer duels. Broadswords? Or Walloons?
Brava! I can’t imagine a more pitch-perfect representation of Mormonism. I’m proud to be part of a church with Kristine in it.
Regarding the C-SPAN episode…. I was readily intrigued by the subject of the discussion. Well done, Kristine, and my kids would enjoy your primary class as much as I did last night’s dialogue. I like how Karen H., above, said it, so I won’t be redundant.
Whew, stirred up a hornets nest with this one! Trolls will troll, I guess. :D In any case, I thought you did a superb job Kristine.
Kristine, I really enjoyed your comments. My favorite was the tension between the authoritarian revelatory thread and the personal one. That tension has always been to me a critical part of mormonism, and the ebb and flow of which thread is currently ascendant is fascinating to watch. For me, after my mission, I always found it confusing that we start with the personal thread (ask God if the Book of Mormon is true) but after baptism, we switch our focus to the authoritarian thread (follow the counsel of the prophets). Thanks for an intellectually stimulating discussion.
Kristine could not have been a better emissary of Mormonism. Every swing a home run.
Regarding the trolls, I only regret that Poe’s Law makes it forever impossible to determine if they are real Mormon nutjobs doing their best to disgrace Mormonism, or fake Mormon nutjobs doing their best to disgrace Mormonism.
But no matter. We know that Kristine is the Real Deal.
To settle this I propose a race around the world. Kristine and pat, meet me at Leister Square tomorrow. The Queen Herself shall drop the checkered flag.
Well done, Kristine. You represent Mormonism so well, and I am very happy you participated in that conversation.
Kristine: I just finished watching the clip and I just wanted to say that I thought you did a great job. I admired your poise and intelligence. If more Mormons were like you, I’d probably be attending church a lot more often.
After tuning in to the broadcast as soon as I heard about it, I caught the last 25 minutes or so. I noticed Kristine’s tendency to pause and visibly reflect before her comments. What an incredibly rhetorical breath of fresh air after all the general news debates of loud people talking over each other. My lasting impression was, “Thank goodness she’s comfortable with saying she doesn’t know.” After the Bott comments that caused such an uproar, I was grateful to see someone speaking on behalf of my faith who so clearly understood tone, audience, and the value of real reflection before answering. Kristine, I was proud to have your represent my faith. Thank you.
Kristine’s comments as to the awkwardness of Romney and us mormons in our own skin hit the mark, imo. I do not subscribe to Romney’s world political view (I trust no one that supports more build up of militarism and pre-emptive wars of aggression), but I do have a degree (small) of empathy for Romney in his efforts to mask his thinly veiled ambition for power that allows him to pander to his party–or at least I hope it is pandering.
As for the personal attacks on Kristine they caused me to re-listen to parts of the program, and as to those who would criticize I would suggest that Kristine does more for the face of Mormonism than millions spent on “I am a Mormon” campaign.
It is a maturing and deepening faith that produces the Kristine types that do not have to reflexively support one of their own no matter their policies/positions and who can reasonably, objectively and intelligently critique their own faith. I know there are many within our faith that would like to see some of us paraded out of Mormonism, but more and more of us are not leaving, so get used to it, ie, get used to self and collective introspection.
I understand the trolls. I am embarrassed to admit that over 30 years ago I was so offended by a quote attributed to a BYU professor in the national media about return missionaries that I wrote a personal letter to him telling him I was deeply offended and disturbed. He never replied. I am glad he did not. I met him for the first time a couple of years ago and apologized for my angry letter of so long ago; fortunately he did not remember my letter or name (or pretended not to) and was quite gracious. I think our trolls are more accustomed to hearing the Church discussed among members as part of missionary outreach–emphasizing the positive. Thus, the honest, authentic sharing of Church experience by many such members is generally restricted to very close friends with whom the member feels safe–honesty about both the good and bad seems disloyal or like airing dirty laundry. I understand that. But people know when we are acting like salespeople for our Church, and when we are simply expressing our honest authentic feelings and experiences.
I thought Kristine did a terrific job, and spoke from the mind and from the heart. Her authenticity and committment to the Church clearly showed through. Do members of the Church experience or see things differently from other Church members? I hope so. That is part of why God blessed us with two eyes–to get a different perspective on things.
Digging around on the internet, I encountered a few You Tube clips showing selected phrases and sentences of Kristine’s remarks cobbled together without even pretending to show context. I suspect the trolls didn’t bother with the whole program, but came here after watching a two-minute mishmash of selected phrases.
#70 – That is sad and disgusting. Thanks for letting us know.
#70: that video made me weep for zion.
Ugh, the comments accompanying those YouTube clips are both shameless and shameful.
On the other hand, I incorporated Kristine’s comments on the tension between personal revelation and institutional practices into my lesson for Elder’s Quorum this morning and sparked a rather stimulating conversation – we’re on chapter 6 of the manual, dealing with sustaining leaders despite personal fallibility. Went pretty well, I thought; hats off to Kristine for the material. I, for one, am very proud to be a part of the same church as her, regardless of what the trolls have to say.
Looking at that youtube user’s other videos is pretty telling, in a disturbing way.
Oh dear oh dear. What Ben #72 said.
Well, Kristine, in addition to what you point out in #28, you were right about another thing, I don’t know if I can handle 8 years of this division and bitterness among the saints about politics. Heartbreaking.
One thing that this election process is exposing is that the LDS community, for all of our correlation and standardization, is not as monolithic as we are considered by outsiders–nor as united in our beliefs as we consider ourselves (mentioned by Kristine in the forum). I can understand folks getting upset (even viscerally so) by someone jumping into the arena to represent Mormonism, when the Mormonism they represent may feel completely foreign. Whatever one feels, though, I certainly don’t condone outright rudeness, name-calling, etc…
However, one example from this discussion was Ms. Haglund suggesting that since Mormons always feel themselves “on-stage,” that we develop some kind of split personality or that we’re always putting on a show…Although she prefaces it with explaining that it’s not in a sinister sense, the message at its core that comes across is that Mormons are faking…something…
The problem with this is (at least) twofold:
First, I don’t know if this is how Kristine chooses to live her life and conduct her business, but this idea not at all representative of me. I would appreciate if she would limit her commentary to her personal feelings and conduct (which to some extent may indeed be representative of the community) without so liberally projecting it on the whole community.
Second, although I’m not a Public Affairs type (I’m a Naval Officer by occupation), I do understand a little about controlling information. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that I’m the outlier and that most Mormons do indeed impose some artificiality in their public behavior in a sincere attempt to act as they believe they should (i.e. to follow Jesus’ example), is that really something that we want to put out there? It may be true, but do we want to call attention to that knowing that the bottom line–“faking it”–will be the big takeaway of most of the audience (36 of the 42 people who watched this on C-Span). I guess the underlying question is whether we’re really ready for a “frank discussion” in which we air our dirty laundry to the world before we’ve figured it out among ourselves.
We could go on and on…A little bit of condescension comes across when she opines that Mitt Romney doesn’t engage Mormonism on an intellectual level like she does (although there’s a bit of a save with the self-deprecating reference to nerdiness), and I don’t agree that Mormons have not developed a “robust theology of Grace;” I feel a bit misrepresented by that statement. But no more so than by Gordon Hinckley telling Newsweek that he doesn’t know a lot about the doctrine of exaltation (that was kind of weird, especially when he tried to pretend that he was misquoted).
In any case, Kristine, I salute you for actually getting into the arena. I further salute you for whatever body of work you put together to get yourself invited to participate in this forum. Although I don’t agree with you on every point, it’s a welcome counterbalance to Russel Pearce…:)
#77 – “But no more so than by Gordon Hinckley telling Newsweek that he doesn’t know a lot about the doctrine of exaltation.”
Speaking of misrepresentation, I wish members would stop saying that about Pres. Hinckley’s interview. It’s not what he actually said – not even close.
I’m neither a lawyer nor a theologian. I am, however, fairly literate and I’ve read the transcripts provided by the journalist in question (Richard Ostling) in his attempt to defend his professional reputation. I’ve also read numerous published statements asserting that we do indeed have a known doctrinal position on the issue.
I’m not hating on President Hinckley. Anyone can have an off day. The point is, PR is a minefield in which even the best-equipped can stumble.
Shawn Holyoak (62)–are you Shawn Holyoak from Ann Arbor?!! HI!!!! (if you’re not, well, still “hi,” just with a little less long-lost-friend exuberance :))
“Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that I’m the outlier and that most Mormons do indeed impose some artificiality in their public behavior in a sincere attempt to act as they believe they should …, is that really something that we want to put out there? It may be true, but do we want to call attention to that knowing that the bottom line–”faking it”–will be the big takeaway of most of the audience ”
I love the self-referential paradox.
christer1979 (67): Thanks. For the record, the long pause when he asked about a Mormon woman holding high public office was because I was trying to figure out whether I could say “Absolutely, and she would totally kick ass” on C-SPAN without getting them in trouble with the FCC :)
Joshua A., I think you made an interesting point about the “public face” of Mormonism. I agree with you in painting it in a very optimistic light. I do think that people are trying to act like they feel that they should, and it comes from a genuine desire to do what’s right. In many conversations with non-member friends, however, they have commented on that style of a communication in a negative way. They think that it feels inauthentic. Some have even used the word “creepy.” They’ve asked me why Mormons choose to present themselves in that way. That was really surprising to me, but I think that maybe we do all need a push to examine our styles of discourse sometimes. If it is coming across as inauthentic, that certainly isn’t what was intended. I think it’s nice when people recognize chinks in their own armor or in the armor of an organization that they affiliate with. It makes them human. It makes their striving more emotionally involving. It makes me want to trust them more with my own feelings and thoughts. Kristine’s voice is one that I’m proud to show to my non-Mormon friends because she’s a good person who is trying to be better. Not in a show-offy way, but just in a real way. I like that.
I get really tired of people bashing President Hinckley over those comments. We’re talking sound bites in a context where the viewers are going to have zero background. He was great. If I were in his position I would have said much the same thing (or I would have if I had had the presence of mind to frame it that way). Besides, what he said was frankly true; it’s not something we sit around talking about at church (well, maybe outside of HPG!). I can’t remember a discussion on this subject within the halls of church in my entire life.
Talking about the Church publicly in a specifically non-LDS context is hard. When people like Kristine or President Hinckley do it well, we should celebrate it, not throw them under the bus because it didn’t sound like over-the-pulpit formulae.
“Talking about the Church publicly in a specifically non-LDS context is hard. When people like Kristine or President Hinckley do it well, we should celebrate it, not throw them under the bus because it didn’t sound like over-the-pulpit formulae.”
81, indeed I am that Shawn Holyoak. Hi back at ya! Looks like you’re doing really well. Love to chat offline and catch up.
Sigh. Long supportive comment deleted by the stupid wordpress error.
Joshua, If you want to assert that, either quote the part you think says it or provide a link.
I just realized I’m probably conflating the TIME interview and the Newsweek interview, but I’d still like to see the exact quote you are referencing, Joshua.
Khristine. Great job. That is so very difficult to be coherent and compoundable in an interview of that length of time. Amazing really. You also had the added weight of attempting to describe conservative mormons as a democrat. If you are the other in a group of others are you now normal or are you just extra-other with less of a support group? At times I cringed as a conservative …the californian mormons I knew were well read and very aware of potential problems and had no illusions about the temple. There were other things similar to that..but really minor. I think the take home was positive. I understand the elitist thing..but it is really hard to speak for a huge group as you were asked to do…to do it in an academic setting and to sound at all intelligent and not have everyone pointing and saying “elitist!”
I was interested in looking at Romney from a purely pragmatic stand point.
I’m glad Harry Reed was brought up. I’m glad Glenn Beck was pushed back under the couch like the infamous dead cat of mission lore.
I especially loved the last segment about “are we chrisitans?”. I have found that question very useful…as well as the standby “What do you mean by saved?” I also found it interesting to hear the other man’s comment about why he values the christianity question from a philosophical viewpoint.
and yes this is my second comment thanks to wordpress…despite the warnings. I forgot that logging in, in another window…doesn’t immediately transfer. In the lovely words of my darling teenage daughter fail.
Kristine, fantastic work. You’re a gem.
“Ray Says: #35 – BCotW”
I add my vote.
I also found it ironic that in the introduction of religion and politics…an attempt at understanding and tolerance really in my understanding…we have a statement that Ron Paul isn’t really Baptist, or whatever, he actually worships Ayn Rand.
they better call and tell him who he worships. I don’t think he knows
Kristine, you did a fantastic job. Please do keep going on tv! It was great.
I saw you recently on C-SPan at the Boston College presentation. In general, I thought did a good job of explaining things Mormon. They indicated you were a Mormon Historian as part of the display of your credentials. I was surprised at your answers about blacks receiving the priesthood. As the church of the restoration, we knew it would happen at some point in time, so it was no surprise that it happened. It didn’t come about through public pressure (I know you didn’t say that was why it occurred), because that device was not a factor in the late ’70’s as compared to the ’60’s when there was a tremendous amount pressure to on the church to make the change. The timing coincided with the opening of the Brazilian Temple in a country that is very racially integrated society. I was disappointed in your response to ‘Christain’ question, especially since you were fed the line referring to the Nicean Creed. without doing a bear your testimony thing; as an academic, you could have stated that we have a greater knowledge about the nature of God & Christ. Because of the ‘First Vision’ (my phrase), we have a clearer picture of the nature of God. You could have been really bold & challenged their claim to being called Christians, since they are encouraged to Know God in the scriptures & their knowledge is lacking. I got the impression that you wanted to be more intellectual & less spiritual, but you could have made your point just the same by using the statement ‘we claim’ during your discussion. Nonetheless, I think you did a good job with your discussion points & made it clear, at least to me, that are an active member of the church.
#81: So true, Left Field!
Wow. Who let all the trolls loose?
It was enormously refreshing to see someone with Kristine’s perpective and insight talking to a national audience about these issues. She was spot-on in all her comments — particularly the explanation of Mormonism as a performative. Congratulations to her (and to BC for hosting). No need for her to be the least apologetic or embarassed.
On the other hand, some of the folks who dropped in to comment here are thoroughly embarassing.
Bro. Sharp, generally in an academic setting it isn’t good form to say “other people’s religions simply aren’t as good as ours, we have a better understanding than everyone.” It’s generally better to simply express the perspective and let any betterness speak for itself, in my view.
Coming late to this, but I want to add my voice to the chorus of praise Kristine has rightly received. I can think of few who could have represented Mormonism so well. Thanks, Kristine.
I realize this is only anecdotal, but I was tipped off to Kristine’s interview by a couple of friends who are quite conservative and ardent Mitt Romney supporters. They mentioned watching her and how they wish that she could be a spokeswoman for the church – they appreciated an intellectual who could discuss these bigger issues without getting emotional or defensive, and they appreciated her acknowledging certain aspects of Mormon culture that others might perceive as being doctrine (or doctrinally based).
AND, to slather Kristine with even MORE praise, I just watched the interview with my husband and for the first time in many moons, we had a productive political debate that didn’t end in me getting mad and marching off to the other room (we have a, uh, mixed political marriage). So I thank her for providing the fodder for it! Great job, Kristine!
Kristine that was the most interesting hour of television I have seen in a long long time. You did great. I do think our belief in grace is actually quite well developed, however. Anyways, good job and good job!
nice work, Kristine
Well done, Kristine. I loved Stephen Prothero’s insights too, as well as Alan Wolfe’s. All of the people on the panel were a pleasure to listen to.
Medstudent–our _belief_ may be well-developed, but our theology less so, I think, in terms of figuring out a Mormon notion of grace, rather than just trying to figure out the proper relationship of grace and works in largely Protestant terms. But I’m no theologian. (Not really a historian, either, though it’s nice that C-SPAN gave me a promotion :))
And it’s nice that you think that’s a promotion. :)
Kristine, I think we have a pretty well-developed theology of grace – but we call it “the atonement of Jesus Christ” rather than “the grace of God”. (I know that they aren’t exactly the same thing, but I believe grace is a silent sub-set of the atonement – that we ignore the word “grace” while preaching it within the atonement.) That clouds the discussion with “others” greatly, especially since we don’t know, generally, how to articulate “grace” through “the Atonement” very well. Also, I think, historically, we haven’t really believed our theology of grace fully – especially in our haste to position ourselves against others who use the term “grace”. In battling the extreme (“easy grace”), we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater in many cases – our theology notwithstanding.
Iow, I think Mormonism has a theology of grace; I just think it’s been shunted aside for a long time, so we don’t have a culture of grace. That saddens me. Thankfully, however, I see the Church leadership talking about the Atonement and using the word “grace” more and more often lately. Hopefully, this will help bring the theology of grace back into the spotlight more prominently – and we can begin to start using both terms in a more cohesive manner and start embracing a culture of grace, as well.
Stephen Prothero really did a good job explaining the Mormon faith. I loved his comments. I can understand why some people were negative about Kristine’s and I am sorry for that. It is just that we so much want our faith to be understood and seen in the beautiful light we see it. I think her comments weren’t harmful to the church and will probably be beneficial because it showed how open minded and progressive we can be. But I don’t think Mormons are just pragmatic or ignorant of their beliefs. I know many Mormons who are very smart. I have been raised in a intellectually stimulating religious environment. From all that I have gained from these sorts of pursuits I am glad that the Mormon faith isn’t lead by scholars. Though I love and respect them.
I am often amazed at how knowledgeable the church members are in their doctrine particularly when scholarship is not a means to progression in church offices. I am glad that we realize that being a Christ-like person is separate from being able to engage in intellectual discussion and yet our average member is relatively very well educated in their beliefs. We should remember the value of both. I hope that an intellectual in the church won’t look down on another member, or call them ignorant, or scoff at them, or even suggest that they are simply pragmatic or think the church is foolish in it’s organization. We shouldn’t forget how often intellectuals have been quite wrong throughout history. I also hope that someone who is not intellectually driven will not look on the intellectual with contempt or disapproval for how their faith moves them or the complexities of their discussion. We should remember how often intellectuals have been quite right throughout history.
Something I thought of after watching the full clip again….our country is moving toward a more balanced representation of women in media, politics, business, etc. The church does not have enough women (any?) in the upper echelons to fill the public need for female Mormon commentary. It seems besides Beck & Dalton (who only speak on RS and YW issues) the rest of the voices of Mormonism come from male leaders and that is no longer sufficient for world standards. They want women represented. (If liberal media exists they surely don’t want to repeat the errors made by conservatives on the Birth Control issue and only include male voices on their panels)
If this is the case, lay female members of the Mormon faith will have more and more opportunities to speak. If the conservative voice wants to be represented on these panels, then they’ll have to eventually press upon the church to provide more women who can speak to their point of view or step up and be willing to speak on their own behalf.
I loved this–thank you so much, Kristine. I particularly agreed with your assertion that many Mormons feel that they are always “on stage”. I know that I am often acutely aware that people with whom I interact may never have as close a relationship with any other Mormon, and I therefore feel some not inconsequential pressure to be the ideal Mormon. But over the years, I have found that people tend to be more likely to continue to talk to me about the Church, and bring additional questions to me, when they understand that I am not trying to recite articles from the Ensign verbatim, but simply to offer my perspective as a lay member. I found your responses in this forum to reflect that perfectly. I aspire to sound as thoughtful and knowledgeable, and yet as self-effacing.
I sincerely appreciate you and all the others on this site who speak thoughtfully and insightfully about the Church in public, thereby putting yourselves in the cross-hairs of both members and non-members. You do us a great service with seemingly so little reward. Thank you.
My son, who is a regular contributor to this blog, emailed me this link. I watched it and was riveted. Finally, an L.D.S. woman who thinks. Your answers were incredibly well spoken and not knee-jerk responses. I loved your humor, your knowledge and your gifted way of expressing yourself. I’ve been a member for 50 years and would love to sit in your Gospel Doctrine class or any other forum in which you speak. Ignore the jibes; your love for the Church was loud and clear. Also, Mitt Romney was explained to me in a very helpful way; I never knew how to take the flip-flopping, the stiffness and the disconnect with the general public. Now I understand and like him better. So there – good for you Kristine.
The only thing that could have improved it, Kristine, would have been to pull out your fiddle and play a bit of Bach or Mozart to punctuate your most trenchant commentary.
Right–Mitt is workmanlike, like a Bach invention–it’s not a flip-flop, it’s a variation! :)
Thanks for the kind words, Carlene.
Great job Kristine. That was an hour well spent. Thank you! And Stephen Prothero was fantastic as well.
You were articulate, accurate, and insightful. What an excellent representative to have in such a forum. congratulations on a job well done.
I look forward to the day when you run for President.
Someone should ask Olene Walker what it was like to be female, LDS, and Governor of Utah, and then to be pushed out when she ran for the office.
Kristine–I was proud to be a member of a church that would produce people as thoughtful and articulate as you. Well done.
Your one response that I found a little off, though, was your assertion that in your experience, Mormons tend to be more pragmatic than theologically inclined. I’m a lifetime member who has spent significant time in Utah, New England, and Europe, so I have seen the church in a variety of forms.
Your experience is somewhat different than mine. There are certainly the pragmatic, “doers of the word” in every family/ward/etc. And depending on the ward/community, they may very well be the dominant strain in some places. But at least in the wards I’ve been in, it’s always felt like we had as many people who were VERY into our theology. Every ward I’ve seen has seemed to have large groups of them–these are the people, after all, who never stop commenting in gospel doctrine classes and quorum discussions. What’s even more interesting to me is that, at least in my experience, a lot of these same people struggle to do their home teaching or attend the temple regularly or whatever…thus indicating that, for them, the theology is more important than the pragmatism.
Granted, this is anecdotal, but, absent actual polling, any discussion along the lines of “Mormons tend to be…” is going to be anecdotal. But along those lines, I thought it was interesting that when you attempted to pull it out of the anecdotal realm, you did so by citing our early pioneers as the source for a pragmatism-over-theology construct. If I understood you right, your point was that because the early Saints were too busy finding food and moving from mobs, they didn’t focus as hard on the theology. I’m not a historian, but from what I have read, that seems historically off. After all, it was Brigham Young, the great pragmatic colonizer himself, who gave us the theology-on-steroids Journal of Discourses. And it was the late 19th century period–the very time where we were busy immigrating and colonizing–that gave us a whole host of deep doctrines that we’ve spent the last 100 years ignoring/moving away from/silently repudiating (Adam-God, the United Order, and the sealing/adoption ideas are three that immediately spring to mind). You’re more of a historian than I am, but if anything, it seems to me that something about that period made us MORE theologically inclined as a people, not less, and though we’ve chilled out somewhat as a people in the last 50 years or so, there’s still an active strain within the church that works on the same lines.
That said, your comment was clearly articulated and you’d clearly thought it through. The danger of forums like that one is that panelists often end up giving short-form answers summarizing complex ideas. I’d really love to hear a long-form post from you about your thoughts on this issue. I somewhat disagree with what it is that I think you were saying, but would really like to hear more about what your thoughts were on it.
Overall, though, I thought you were great, and a real credit to us as a people. Thank you for being there and being so great.
56-57= My favorite exchange so far. Hands down. Still laughing.
And re:#96, it’s disturbing that some members think our purpose, when given a platform and a voice, should be to call other religions out and “[challenge] their claim to being called Christians”. We are not the owners of Christianity, nor are we its only followers.
Kristine, you did a wonderful job. Thank you for being an intelligent articulate representative of our faith.
Kristine – *sigh*. You did a fantastic job. Alas, I think the haters are in the majority…Welcome to the twilight zone.
I think it’s more likely that the majority is unaware of the whole thing, and we’re fringe-fighters all the way, yo.
Wow, reading the comments on Kristine’s C-span panel discussion was almost as stimulating as watching the show!
I enjoyed the panel discussion very much and as a member of the Mormon church sat in my family room rooting for a fellow member talk about Mormonism on this major news station. But, my biggest concern is that Kristine “spoke” for members of our faith. I believe a few “in my opinion” would have helped me feel a little more comfortable with what was said when speaking of members as a whole.
#120 – Linda, in academic situations like this interview, the “in my opinion” is understood as a given – unless someone says explicitly that they are speaking for a group as a whole. Kristine never did that, as far as I remember. Many members are used to testimonnies in strong terms and in the other extreme (lots of disclaimers), and many are not used to the style of this type of discourse.
Believe me, please, when I say that regular use of “in my opinion” would have been off-putting to those who were in attendance, by and large – esepcially since the questions were understood to be soliciting the personal opinions of the panelists.
I was pointed at the video and this discussion by a webforum I visit. Kristine, you should keep trying to overcome any hesitation you have over speaking in public forums. You came across as an intelligent thoughtful women who was both deeply committed to her faith and able to see the human weaknesses of its followers.
(And I really enjoyed your Rush Limbaugh comment.)
I usually have a high tolerance for this sort of thing, but the negativity expressed in these comments is depressing. Kristine did a great job. It’s a drag that some members could be so hostile to an honest (and, in my opinion, accurate) appearance. There’s some major bunker mentality going on.
I finally got a chance to watch this, and I can see where the negative opinions are coming from. I’ve been reading the ‘nacle long enough to know what to expect, so I didn’t think it was too bad, but I can see where the typical “mainstream” member of the Church might be a bit surprised or dismayed by the directions and tone of the conversation.
The good news is, it’s not likely Kristine is going to get reamed for whitewashing or putting an overly positive spin on things. :)
I really loved Stephen Prothero. He was (as well as Kristine) articulate and thoughtful, and I really enjoyed his gentle way of bringing up some positive things about the Church and Romney. I thought his mildly positive take on things was a nice counterpoint to Kristine’s mildly negative view, and between the two the conversation maintained a pretty even keel, for the most part.
Kudos to Kristine for getting out there on camera.
Hear hear! So impressed. Wish we had many more like Kristine. Thanks so much for your courage and thoughtful participation in this very public panel.
I am late to the party, but I have watched half the video, and I really don’t see what all the hoopla is all about. I thought it was a great exploration of some very important topics.
if you only saw half of the show you obviously missed some of the parts that generated the comments, which would explain why you don’t know what all the hoopla was about—DUH!?
How embarrassing! I which a better representive for our faith could have there.
Save your embarrassment for another time, Tracy. For instance, when you discover just how badly you’ve misjudged Kristine.
I hope no one confuses that Tracy for me- Kristine did a stellar job presenting an informed, intelligent and faithful representation of our faith. We couldn’t ask for better.
Finally got to watch the whole thing- marry me, Kristine! Between this panel and my stumbling across this PMQ clip ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sitAQkQFCBU&feature=share ) I feel like I’ve been given a glimpse into what public discourse could be: smart, funny and actually progressing public understanding- not just hurling talking points across the aisle. I hope there are many more radio and tv appearances in your future, Kristine because you are a treat to listen to. Oh, and I laughed my head off at the Limbaugh quip!
This is a late response but I wanted to add that Kristine did an exceptional job. Kistine’s comments and discussion were a timely demonstration of our unique differences. I feel proud to know that we are part of an organization that gives each other the freedom to speak openly and with conviction of our own take on any given subject.
Nobody thinks Kristine is the Prophet and that every word she uttered was divinely appointed. Rather, I see her as an articulate, thoughtful woman sharing what she generally believes. We need not be so fearful! I believe it helps the world view of the church when they see LDS members express opinions on subjects that are sometimes difficult. It is a healthy and welcome position to know we can disagree on issues from time to time and that it will only make us a more thoughtful people. Thanks Kristine for demonstrating that LDS women can and do think for ourselves and that we even feel free to ruffle feathers from time to time.
Thanks, Mel, and others, for your very kind words. I appreciate the criticism, too–this is not something I’m practiced at or enjoy, and I’ve learned a lot from the negative reactions.
October 3, 2014 By RJH 20 Comments
The Living Christ
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