Things We Can Argue About Other than Gay People

Here is a list of topics that we could argue about other than gay people, their marriages, and whether they have cooties.

  1. Tithing: net or gross.
  2. Should women have the priesthood?
  3. Do women already have the priesthood?
  4. How about those erotic Greek vases?
  5. Who is more marginalized in the church today: Austrians or Peruvians?
  6. Was Lehi related to Genghis Khan?
  7. Was Adam a space alien?
  8. Do two wrongs make a right?
  9. Does the Gauss-Markov theorem have any implications for Mormonism?
  10. How about the affect-as-information paradigm in psychology?
  11. Do you like Richard Mouw’s advice to Mormons?
  12. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was nice?


  1. 13. The Large Hadron Collider and how it is the harbinger of the Apocalypse.

  2. Aaron Brown says:

    Tithing is gross. But not as much as back-scratching in church. Ewwwwww.

  3. Left Field says:

    14. The designated hitter rule: Abomination or Revelation?

  4. Not just the harbinger, but the actual cause.

  5. Mark IV says:


    Re: your number 9.

    According to Wiki, the Gauss-Markov theorem has absolutely nothing to do woth Mormonism. It is uncorrelated.

  6. sister blah 2 says:

    har har, Mark.

  7. Ah, ha, Mark, I challenge that claim! After all, Mormonism is said to be the collection of all truth, and I am firmly convinced that the Gauss-Markov theorem is true. Indeed, I am exhaustively convinced, as I have seen too many different proofs of it at this point in my life. Furthermore, one might regard the Gauss-Markov theorem as pointing the way toward discovery of information about truths in certain very specific circumstances, making the theorem even more profoundly Mormon.

    See? An argument not about gay people!!!

  8. The American League: Abomination or Revelation?

  9. Baseball: brainless time-waster or drunken time-waster?

  10. Mark IV says:

    I’ve heat that when you play the Gauss-Markov theorem backwards, you get a condition known as homoscedasticity.

  11. Mark B. says:

    15. Limericks: Art or Sleaze?

  12. Left Field says:

    Designated hitter rule: Abomination

    American League: Revelation

  13. re #8, considering the American League has won 61 times while the National League has won just 41 times in the world series, and holds an even more starkly commanding lead in the last decade or so, Revelation seems the clear answer.

  14. Mark, you’re making me feel BLUE.

  15. Re:#12 it most certainly would not be nice if everyone were nice. Just ask all the agressive bloggernaclers fed up with passive aggressive Mormons.

    Well– I guess that only works if you think passive aggressive is nice. You forgot about angels on the head of pin JNS. I say none, bodies of flesh and bone and all.

  16. Mark B. says:

    re #13, take out the New York Yankees, the abomination of desolation, and that becomes 41-36 in favor of the league that plays baseball the way God revealed it to Abner Doubleday.

  17. Re no. 7.

    He’s not a space alien. He’s just from New Mexico.

  18. Mark IV says:


    As long as it is this kind of blue.

  19. Doc: I pose a variant to you, then. How many omnipotent exalted beings can dance on the head of a pin?

    Mark: is this color close enough?

  20. What is this game, baseball? Do you mean to say there is something other than football?

    The Kansas City Royals…who? (And I’m a native.)

  21. Mark IV says:

    Close enough, JN-S, especially considering that they came from KC.

  22. especially considering that they came from KC.

    I didn’t think anybody knew/remembered that.

  23. Well, KC was really just a stop-over on the Kings’ coast-to-coast North American tour; they were originally a Rochester, NY, team and then a Cincinnati, OH, team. Then a sojourn in Kansas City, and finally Sacramento. They actually won an NBA championship in 1951…

  24. #16 beat me to it. Remove Satan’s direct influence, and the National League rules.

    Btw, most amazing athlete in baseball – if not all of sprots? Greg Freaking Maddox.

  25. #20 – You have no sympathy from me. I live in Cincinnati. I’d love to have a professional team in town. It’s even worse that we used to have one of the best. We now have The Little Pink Cylinder.

  26. #24 – sports, not sprots (although he probably is the most amazing athlete in sprots, as well)

  27. You have no sympathy from me. I live in Cincinnati. I’d love to have a professional team in town.

    You may have this entity they call a baseball team and with most of this town’s blessing. The last time I enjoyed anything baseball was after we won the 1985 (count ’em, 23 years ago) world series.

    My husband’s from SoCal; he’s lived here six years and he still can’t wrap his head around how much of a baseball town we are not and how much of a football town we are.

  28. JNS #19-
    As many as would want to, but why would any of them want to?

  29. Left Field says:

    Because there must be Opposition In All Things, God permitted Satan to rule his own team and to establish the evil DH, even in the Only True and Living League, restored by the prophet Ban Johnson. During the Millennium, Satan will be bound, his minions will no longer roam the Bronx, and pitchers will swing the bat as God intended.

  30. #29 – That, LF, should be scripture.

  31. Peter LLC says:

    Soccer/Football/Futebol/Le Foot/et al: Why can’t Americans appreciate a real sport?

  32. To add to the list:

    Whether cities should fund sports stadiums.

    Also, the Gauss-Markov Theorem is not a joking matter. At least it shouldn’t be when the jokes are this bad…

  33. Another topic: D&C 132:54

    A local community columnist actually cited it in an editorial on Joseph Smith and the RLDS.

    I’m pretty much a denominational “yes” man, but that passage always made my heart go out to Emma.

  34. …the league that plays baseball the way God revealed it to Abner Doubleday.

    The spirit has testified! Amen!

  35. Aaron Brown says:

    Just because you’re all talking about sports, doesn’t mean you’re not gay.

  36. Aaron, moi brat, you’re making me laugh.

  37. Left Field says:

    Both leagues have descended into sin by playing games outside the league and pretending that they count in the standings. Do NBA teams play games outside their league and count them in league standings?

    Furthermore, the anti-christ Bud Selig has (in defiance of the playing rules) stripped the major leagues of their league presidents and umpires, has hired his own umpires, and has set himself up as the illegitimate de facto president of both leagues.

    Don’t even get me started on the wild card…

  38. Mark B. says:

    During the argument about cities paying for sports stadiums, can we bring up the Sandy/Real Salt Lake thing, even if the owner (and chief whiner for city money) is a stake president? Or do we have to sustain him only if he’s our stake president? Or can we cut him off at the knees even if we live in that stake?

  39. Randall says:

    Stock and Horny:
    Dry Mormons or Pasty floppers in revealing clothing?

  40. Randall says:

    Teetotaling celibates or homo-erotic imbibers?

    Oops, here come those gays again.

  41. Ah, depends…

    Are you a Stephanie Meyer or an Anne Rice?

  42. rondell says:

    For my daughter the question is Edward or Jacob.:-)

  43. Frank #32, good question RE public stadium funding! The answer is “no.”

  44. Are you a Stephanie Meyer or an Anne Rice?

    I’m with Anne, thanks. She’s a little more honest about the sex than Stephenie; ’tis a matter of style (of course, that’s assuming Meyer knows what she wrote).

    cities paying for sports stadiums,

    Don’t get me started.

  45. MikeInWeHo says:

    Anne Rice, all the way! Her adorable son (also an author) lives in my ‘hood. I heard she writes all her books completely sloshed, but that might just be vicious gossip.

  46. 1. Net on job income, gross on gambling winnings from the mob.
    2. As if they don’t have enough problems…
    3. Yes, if by “yes” you mean “no.”
    4. Nothing compared to genuine Kokopelli figures in nature, often anatomically…exaggerated.
    5. Neither. The plights of both nationalities pale in comparison to that of the lowliest ethnicity in the Church today: the closet Catholic Democrat lesbian. The Church actually has a rule that every ward must have exactly one. See if you can figure out who yours is this Sunday!
    6. Well, if you go far enough back…
    7. Yes, if by “Adam” you mean “yo mama.”
    8. Yes. Is there still any controversy about this? Let’s spell it out again, people: violence solves problems. You should always react to everything by resorting to violence right away.
    9. Indeed, exaltation is impossible without it. It’s clearly explained in D&C 132. What, you don’t understand that? I guess you’re just not celestial material.
    10. Indeed, exaltation is impossible without it. It’s clearly explained in D&C 132. What, you don’t understand that? I guess you’re just not celestial material.
    11. I like my advice to Richard Mouw: “Get a last name that’s easier to pronounce.”
    12. No. See answer to #8.


  47. I’m not getting why we need stuff to argue about other than gay people. Gayness is completely sufficient for our arguing needs.

  48. #47 – Besides, if we stopped arguing about gay people, Nick would lose his purpose in life. (I’d give you a cyber hug, Nick, but I don’t want to argue about it here.)

  49. I’m disappointed that nobody really took up the affect-as-information paradigm, which actually does have implications for Mormonism.

  50. Bro. Jones says:

    Garments: Sacred Clothing, Secret Burden, or Filler for Baby Blankets?

    (Yes, I really did know a sister who cut up old garments and then used them as filler for a homemade baby blanket. She found it spiritual–all I can think is, ewwwwww.)

  51. #48:
    Wow, Ray. Are cyber hugs like back scratching?

  52. MikeInWeHo says:

    re 49
    Why, J? Because the paradigm would support scriptures like Alma 41:10 or even Moroni 10:4? I’m not sure there’s much to argue over, though.

  53. Mike, I think there’s more to it than that. Affect-as-information accounts often see emotion as used for making the same kind of inferences as explicit, propositional thought — but based on indirect cues and lower overall information levels. Work in this paradigm often shows that the conclusions of reasoning or of inference can be experimentally manipulated by doing something subtle to change people’s moods. This has real implications for thinking about Mormon practices such as singing hymns to set a spiritual mood before discussing religious ideas: one might imagine an argument that the emotional mood created by the hymns and other affective cues is responsible for people’s conclusions that Mormon beliefs are credible. Affect-as-information might also be used to argue that such reliance on peripheral emotional cues is a reasonable short-cut for people who inherently lack the cognitive resources to meaningfully consider the evidence for and against Mormon truth claims. So this set of ideas could end up as an argument against current Mormon epistemology, or as a back-door support for it on an economy-of-cognition basis even while remaining purely agnostic about the idea that the Spirit is involved at all. Probably plenty that could be argued about here…

  54. StillConfused says:

    Here is a great one: tattoos among LDS youth.
    Disclaimer: the gal on the blurb is my daughter

  55. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 53 Got it. So affect-as-information might undercut the burning-bosom-proves-it’s-true approach to religious faith, eh? And the problem with that would be??

  56. Mike, I think we’ve buried the lede! If you asked that question 50 comments ago, we’d have a proper argument going here.

  57. There’s nothing wrong with a city paying for a stadium, if they want to prevent their neighbor from getting it.

    Arlington, TX “gets it”. And they got it (both the Rangers when Dubya owned them, and now Jonestown and the Cowboys). And now Arlington is getting all of the trappings that come with a $1B stadium (their contribution capped at $325; Jerry is paying the overruns), such as a Super Bowl, college bowl games, a Notre Dame “home game”, and soon, a Final Four. Dallas didn’t “get it”. And they’re losing everything.

    Yes, it’s true that if every city in North Texas refused to pay, Jerry Jones would have been “stuck” (he’s not moving the Dallas Cowboys to Oklahoma). But when you have cities in the same market competing, one of them has to open the wallet.

  58. queuno, there’s a lively economics literature to the point that the various events you describe may end up costing cities more than they generate, and at the very least usually do not equal the cost of public investment in the stadium to begin with. You’re right that bidding wars happen among cities on these things. But these might be the kinds of wars that you’re better off losing…

  59. JNS – I’ve read some of the literature (and in fact, one of the researchers in that field is an Arlington resident and UT-Arlington professor, or at least, he was).

    Part of the value is perception. And right now, Arlington is suddenly the key player in almost everything going on in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. They’ve gone from being this urban outpost on the freeway between Dallas and Ft. Worth (and being nothing more than a suburb to FW) to being a kingpin.

    Couple the Rangers and Cowboys with Six Flags and the water park — and all of the development that the Cowboys will spur — and Arlington will become a power player in the area. That’s worth $325M, in the eyes of most of their residents.

    This isn’t a Seattle deal, where the community really didn’t care enough to build anything to keep the Sonics. I’m not sure that most of Seattle will even notice when the Sonics are gone. In Seattle, also, the community would have paid the bulk of the cost. But like it or not (and many North Texans don’t), here, having the Cowboys and everything that comes with them form the basis of your community’s economy. Irving, TX will now become a series of gas stations and strip malls and cheap tire stores, now that they’ve lost the Cowboys. Arlington only has to pay about a third of the overall cost of the stadium to become one of the focal cities in the area.

    It seems to be a foregone conclusion here in North Texas that Arlington made out like a bandit — over 30 years, they’ll make back the investment easily. And the local power that comes with Jerry Jones’ influence is not to be taken lightly.

  60. How about this for a question:

    “The Sonics moving out of Seattle and moving to Oklahoma City: Tragedy or Progress?”

  61. Do two wrongs make a right?

    I started a research paper once trying to demonstrate the veracity of the idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, as it related to k-means clustering. Of course the answer was “maybe, but only if your world is easily clustered into two classes”…

  62. re 54: Just like any decision made without enough facts to base it on. Voting is a big one. Buying a house or a car is another. Picking a spouse (Honey, are you reading this?). We are not typically creatures of logic when making these big decisions. Why should religion be any different?

  63. Bruce, right — we never fully examine the facts when we make a decision. We lack the capacity.

    queuno, you may be right, and Arlington may be the exceptional case in which public funding for a stadium is a good idea. The reason I hedge against this belief, rather than fully accepting your evidently sensible argument, is that most cities that put public money into a sports facility seem to believe that in their case it’s worth it — but often, or even mostly, that turns out not to be the case.

  64. Re 58:

    I believe that a Federal reserve study valued the tax revenue and job benefits of an NFL franchise at about 40M over 30 years. Even if you want to add on for special events it seems unlikely that Arlington or any other place will make out like a bandit. The numbers from the NFL for Super Bowl related spending (including multiplier effects) is 350-400M(Certainly an optimistic estimate) I don’t know how much of this is taxable spending, but if we imagine that all of it is subject to a 8.25% sales tax then it would generate 33M in revenue. (Assuming the city realizes this revenue you still need 8 or 9 major events to break-even, all else equal.) This outcome, Arlington generating 33M per event, seems unlikely because it is doubtful that all of their estimated spending (which includes hotels, eating, souvenirs, etc.) will occur in the Arlington where the Super Bowl (or other event, like a final 4) will take place given the nature of the greater metro area. Furthermore there are costs to the city of hosting these events (e.g. additional police patrols and clean-up) how these costs are shared with the franchise or between jurisdictions, if at all, will impact how the city does financially. The arguments for public subsidies of sports stadiums are tenuous at best and seem to really hinge on civic pride (which is also a somewhat dubious pillar for support).

  65. gay person says:

    Would that I had the luxury to wax long over the Gauss-Markov theorem, but I’m busy trying to convince the heterosexual majority to let me marry who I want.

    I’ll leave you guys with your games and your spouses.

  66. Please, gay person, could you at least wax short about it? I hate being totally in the dark.

  67. JNS (63) I don’t say this lightly, but most cities aren’t landing the Dallas Cowboys with said stadium.

    I’m a Browns fan, for heavens sake, not a Cowboys fan. But it’s one thing for, say, Glendale to land the Cardinals and Arlington to land the Cowboys. After Dubya built The Ballpark in Arlington (thereafter referred to as “The Temple” by a local radio station), Arlington waited for hotels and development to sprout up around it. It didn’t really happen to the degree it was promised. But it’s because it was the RANGERS.

    Within a month of Jerry announcing Jerryworld/Jonestown would be built in Arlington, there were real estate development companies lining up to build next door and in the area.

    I haven’t delved into the numbers in depth, but there are relatively few people in North Texas who think that Arlington made a mistake on this. In fact, the frustrated chant of the unfortunate souls who live in Dallas is “why couldn’t Dallas have done this?” At the time the deal was signed, it wasn’t a case of “look what those idiots in Arlington have done”, it was seen as a major coup.

    And the folks at UT-Arlington couldn’t be happier. Anything that helps them feel superior to UT-Dallas is a good thing. As the State of Texas looks at adding more flagship universities, UTA thinks that this can’t hurt…

  68. Randall says:

    JNS, You are the Benevolent Polemic

  69. gay person, fair enough. Tell me when you’re getting married in California or Massachusetts, and I’ll gladly send you a wedding present. This post isn’t intended to suggest that civil rights issues are unimportant, but rather to suggest that repetitive and unenlightening polemics about Mormon beliefs regarding gay civil rights are unhelpful and about as useful as arguments about stadiums in Austin.

    queuno, I’ll tell you what: I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the stadium works out. I like Austin.

    Randall, I guess that’s a good thing?

  70. Thomas Parkin says:

    60. Tragedy – for Seattle.

    There is a lot more to having local sports franchises than considerations of increased or decreased local wealth. Not everyone loves baseball – and I don’t care much for the NBA – but for the many of us people that do care about baseball, not having a local baseball franchise would take a big bite of joy out of our lives – something we really cared for and helped make our lives more full, and has helped inculcate failing community feeling, would have been gone. We all helped pay for the Opera House – and what percentage of us will ever attend the local opera or ballet? I did, but looking at a larger picture, even in a city as ‘cultured’ as Seattle, far fewer will ever go to the opera as will enjoy Sonics games. There is nothing wrong with asking us to help fund stadiums and ballparks that add so much to the lives of so many people, even if those people are not the majority of the population. And it is ok to take a net financial loss on those same projects.

    I also note – the decline of interest in the Sonics has a lot to do with the sea change that has turned Seattle from Fabulous Baker Boys to Frasier. From blue collar community to affluent white people into themselves.


  71. As rarely as it occurs, I figured I’d best note that I completely agree with JNS that stadiums are a bad way to spend public money.

  72. Frank, I’d guess that we agree on lots of things. Do you hate babies? Love murder? Despise springtime and weddings? Me, too!

  73. Indeed, we could have a love-fest listing all the things we agree upon, but I think we’d get bored of that pretty quickly and go back to arguing about prophetic counsel.

  74. I do think our disagreements about decision theory and church counsel are more productive than long threads celebrating our shared love for monkey-brains sorbet.

  75. Now I’m hungry…

  76. Eric Russell says:

    I’d like to know why one of the classic “deep doctrine” topics of the church – the location of the 10 tribes – is virtually ignored by the bloggernacle.

    Didn’t Skousen say they were underground or something? That guy was a nut. I think it’s pretty obvious that they’re in outer space and will return on spaceships. There’s really nowhere else they could be.

  77. Adam Greenwood says:

    I am not now nor have I ever been a space alien.

  78. That’s exactly what we’d expect a space alien to say, Adam!

  79. The EXACT temperature for the water in a baptismal font? Surely there should be a handbook ruling …

    And does the temperature rise or fall when the two folks get in the font. What to do about THAT?

    Perhaps … take note ye who set the rules … the water should be the same as that in the River Jordan. And not the one in the Salt Lake Valley!

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