Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Year On Ward Gossip

Perhaps fittingly, 2013 began here on Ward Gossip with my take on the historical interpretations of a certain straight white male representative from Utah who, thanks to his painstakingly thorough research, was able to recreate this otherwise unknown episode during the U.S.Constitutional Convention:
Silas Baxter trudged toward home. He was about the business of forming the constitution. 
Standing for righteousness. Liberty. Freedom. The American way.
She was waiting at the doorway, a cotton shawl around her shoulders. "Hi honey, how was your day?" 
"Very discouraging. Mr. Franklin insists on abolishing slavery, while the delegates from the South refuse to give it up. I'm torn between the two sides."
She nodded and made that little pouty face that always drove him wild. "Oh honey, you're such a softy. Feeling sorry for the poor slaves. But shouldn't your first concern be straight white men?"

Turned out 2013 was a pretty darned frustrating for the straight white men who run the LDS Church.

It started with the women who resented Sister Elaine Dalton's remarks in her January 15th Devotional at BYU:
"Young women, you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. You will continue to be virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy and of good report. You will also be the ones to provide an example of family life in a time when families are under attack, being redefined and disintegrating. You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights." 
Shaken by the realization that LDS sisters seemed to believe they should have rights, the straight white guys rushed to make amends by announcing that the first woman would give a prayer in the April General Conference.

Then, just as the old white guys were breathing a sigh of relief, the whole gay thing blew up again, this time when a disobedient young man was denied the opportunity to serve a mission because he couldn't support the LDS Church's stand on gay marriage, a scandal that inspired the following policy:

"Don't tell your stake president that you disagree with the way the LDS Church treats gays, feminists, and intellectuals--and he won't ask."

But in spite of their outreach to women and progressive new policies, the straight white men in Salt Lake City sensed an evil intellectual trend, a tendency toward tolerance--even in places like Abbottsville, CA:
(The Abbottsville) Ward Preparedness team has been hard at work monitoring ward telephone lines, members' emails, and local LDS chat rooms. Over the past 24 hours, we've detected a shocking number of tolerant-leaning chatter. Here are some of the conversational "red flags" we've uncovered:
  • "Shouldn't the job go to the one who's the most qualified?"
  • "Have any new ideas?"
  • "But it's what's inside a person that counts."
  • "It's really none of our business."
  • "Why don't we put it to a vote?"
  • "She makes a lot of sense."
No doubt these fiendish intellectual uprisings led to the necessity of the Gay Deconversion Badge, Boyd K. Packer's rewrite of the Beatitudes, the church-wide survey on doubt, the demise of DOMA and Prop 8, and the subsequent unrest that drove the persecuted straight white men into brawls in their church parking lots.

Then it was those pesky women again, still wanting to wear pants to church, and even attend the October General Priesthood Session! 

Around that time, I published my new book, False Prophet. -- A sequel to The Girls From Fourth Ward, it includes a scene where Lieutenant Ryan manages to go through a session in the Mormon temple

Upon completion of such an accomplishment, I did what any sensible person would do, I left the country. 

So I missed the hoopla around the October General Conference, the thwarted efforts of Ordain Women, Dallin Oak's mean scolding of singles, divorcees, and gays, and Dieter Uchtdorf's deranged plea for members to "doubt their doubts."  

Instead, I got my inspiration from the sides of London's buses.
And that brings us back to those annoying gays, who the courts now insist are allowed to get married. Even in Utah. 

It's been the kind of a year that might even drive the straight white guys in Salt Lake to admit they've made a few mistakes. Well, almost.

But before you declare yourselves "People of the Year," remember, straight white guys, Ward Gossip hasn't all been about you. 

We've celebrated a joyous birth and mourned a tragic death. We've had some fun parties, a great conference, other great reads from the Mormon Alumni Association including works by Johnny Townsend, Michael Oborn, Lawrence Pratt, Micah McAllister, and the amazing anthology, Latter-Gay Saints. Sadly, none were selections for the Relief Society Book Club. We celebrated the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice ("BYU without the sex"), and discussed complex topics like humility, and Mormon exceptionalism. Elder Young continued his efforts in France, Ruthie Renfro plugged away at her MRS, and the sisters in Abbottsville Fourth managed to endure another Mothers Day. Tea Party Republicans continued to entertain, as did the Abbottsville Single Adults, and BYU student life--recently with the introduction of "Caffeine on Campus." I celebrated my 200th post here in June, and my blogger friends kept cranking out stellar stuff along my blogroll. Also, I had lots of fun over on Ex-Mormon Mavens and Main Street Plaza.

Thank you, Gentle Readers. I see a great New Year in our future! And more frustration for the straight white guys.


  1. And to you too, Ahab. It's not even 11 pm on New Year's Eve in SF and I'm about to crash in bed. Further proof of how people who leave the church behave….

  2. Hey! I'm a straight white guy (and I'm old, too!) It's just that some of us are totally hilarious when we think we own the world and all its inhabitants.

    1. Yes, blowhards of all races, religions. genders, and sexual orientations are truly silly. I am grateful to them all, especially the Mormon white guys who inspire this blog.

  3. You have had a productive year, Donna! From where I'm sitting it's pretty awesome watching the straight white guys freak out about the fact that marriage equality has finally come to Utah. Of course they'll waste our tax dollars fighting their losing battle.

    Happy New Year!

    1. AT-So nice to hear from you! :) Yes, every time I think I'm blocked, the SWG's in UT come up with some zany new thing to write about.

      I do feel for UT's taxpayers, as so many couples are lawyering up. Too bad it's not your specialty, you could earn some money, along with even more satisfaction!

    2. I actually received a solicitation from the UT AG to apply for the "privilege" of helping the state of Utard appeal Judge Shelby's ruling. Hah!

    3. OMG -- pro bono of course, it's such a good cause...

  4. It was a great year. I forgot to ask earlier, but is anything going to come of Carrie telling the lieutenant that she might have additional information to share with him concerning the murder of Bishop Loomis? Is a sequel in the works?

    1. Oh yes, there will be a sequel. Can't stop myself. Not sure if it will lead back to Bishop L and the girls. Do you think it should? Thanks for reading!