M*, M*, Blah, M*, Blah, Blah…Zzzzzz

Rusty - February 15, 2011

• There are too many faithless Mormons paying tithing
• Jmax writes one of his signature stupid posts
• Both appropriate sarcasm and intelligent counter-argument ensues
• Most of it is deleted
• Aaron B. Cox disguised as Jmax responds
• Jmax is M*’s friend so he’s allowed to call people hypocrites
• Blah…
• Geoff B reminds us (as do the Greg Olsen paintings on the wall) that M* is not our living room
• Seriously? You are going to edit THAT comment??
• If you don’t like America (or M*) JUST LEAVE!!
• Fondue with the Tanners
• Blah….
• Scripture as bludgeon
• Those who call themselves Christians
• Blah…
• Blah…
• Chain of events inspires Rusty to write something for the first time in forever
• [yawn] Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

This depresses the hell out of me.


  1. They seem to hate Mormon Archipelago people who stop by…I am thinking they should be cut loose.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 15, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

  2. M* was probably my favorite blog back in the day, besides this one of course. They had Clark, Bryce, Adam Greenwood, John Mansfield, the Spackman’s, etc. It was certainly conservative in thought back then too, but much more thoughtful than it is now. It was usually the place where a lot of good doctrinal debates happened as opposed to the cultural ones had elsewhere.

    Comment by Tim J — February 15, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

  3. Rusty,

    I apologize that I deleted one of your comments. I was trying my best to balance things as best I could. I was uncomfortable with one of J Max’s comments, specifically:

    “Instead,  ironically, their primary criticisms of my post have been Reductionistic and pettifogging mischaracterizations like those found in this thread.”

    But he did go on to say, “Those who are confident that they are not guilty of the kind of hypocrisy I have described, have no reason to be offended by anything I have said, even if I am wrong.”

    Plus he was non-specific. There was no ‘personal attack’ made against anyone in particular.

    In my attempt to balance things, I decided to leave up J max’s comment and to let the personal attacks on him stand for a day or so, so that everyone had a chance to read them.

    I asked J Max if he wanted me to leave the comments up and he said he wanted me to.

    But I finally decided that long term I had no interest in leaving personal attacks on the thread. Now that everyone had read them and had their say, I wanted to remove them for posterity so to speak.

    I’m not against you saying what you want on your own thread, however, so here, I’ll put back the three deleted comments here that you said was most of the intelligent discussion. (People can judge for themselves on the accuracy of that claim.)

    That way I’m being totally fair but also maintaining my own personal standards against personal attacks:

    From Rusty:

    J. Max,
    That is the best impression of Aaron B. Cox I have ever seen. Good show!!

    From Orwell:

    Wow, J. Max, that #98 is a pretty cringe-worthy piece of work. This whole thread has been pretty tame by bloggernacle standards — people have been disagreeing but, for the most part, it’s all been pretty respectful. Your little freak-out comes off as awfully childish.

    I was trying to let Bruce persuade me to give you the benefit of the doubt in all this, but now I’m just embarrassed for you.

    From Mark Brown:
    LOL!! You’re all class Wilson.

    The reason nobody responded to what you think is a strong argument is because it wasn’t an argument at all, but a claim made without evidence.

    You have absolutely no warrant or standing to call anybody a hypocrite. You have no standing to sneer and call somebody a pettifogging child. Your own pettiness and hatred of your fellow saints is evident enough, and your ridiculous thoughts deserve nothing but rididule in response. Grow up.

    I feel like I shouldn’t have deleted Orwell’s actually. It’s really not a personal attack like the other two. I should have left it up. I don’t really have a way of putting it back once it’s deleted, however. So I’m going to have to admit I did wrong on that one. If he asks me to, I’ll put the comment back as a copy and paste into one of my comments.

    Comment by Bruce Nielson — February 15, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  4. When your posts are attacks on the faith, integrity, and worthiness of others…you might expect backlash.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 15, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  5. Also, if those are “personal attacks”…

    Comment by Chris H. — February 15, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  6. Bruce, that wasn’t a personal attack, it is an accurate description of J. Max Wilson’s behavior. His propensity for throwing childish temper tantrums is well known, and as I said, his contempt for his fellow saints who don’t toe his personal line is evident in almost everything he writes.

    I repeat again: Wilson, of all people, has no standing to label anyone else a child or a hypocrite. For him to do so, then, in his very next post, get all whiny about incivility in blogland is not only hypocritical and childish, it is also hilariously funny.

    It’s your blog, you can obviously do whatever you want with it, but don’t pretend you are promoting civility. If you think that was a personal attack, I will respond in the manner of JMax himself: The wicked take the truth to be hard.

    How do you like them apples?

    Comment by Mark Brown — February 15, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  7. Mark,

    I do see your point. It does seem like “personal attack” might be defined partially on perception. I really meant ‘singling people out by name.’

    I left a number of personal attacks against myself up. Instead I wanted to talk to the people and clear up misunderstandings.

    It is hard to know where to draw the line sometimes.

    Comment by Bruce Nielson — February 15, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  8. Oh, I lied.

    Two other comments get deleted:

    I believe in the Church. While I hate the likes off J Max, Geoff, and Bruce…I love the Book of Mormon. I love the prophet. That the most vile of people believe as I do…I have no control over that. I am staying and I am sorry that ruins it for you.

    Also, I give my tithing envelope to my bishop. I have never had a drop off alcohol or coffee. You need better strawmen. You need a refund from the University of Phoenix.

    Now all the dirty lawndry is aired. No one was left out and no one ‘got deleted’ in the ultimate sense.

    Comment by Bruce Nielson — February 15, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  9. *laundry

    Comment by Bruce Nielson — February 15, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  10. Bruce,

    except the deleted comments are here, not where they were supposed to be. Posterity is not going to search at Nine Moons to see for comments deleted in a post at M*

    Comment by Dan — February 15, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  11. Hey Bruce, could you please drop me an email? Thanks.

    Comment by Mark Brown — February 15, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  12. where’s the “like” button?

    Comment by mfranti — February 15, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  13. After reading all of that, the main thing I got out of it is something I knew already: There are a lot of members of this Church who, if they met Joseph Smith in their ward, would not consider him to be Mormon and wouldn’t support him as a leader of the Church in any capacity. Oh, and it also confirmed, once again, that Jettboy is a complete ass.

    Comment by MCQ — February 15, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  14. Oh, and thank God for MarkD and Mark Brown (what is it about people named Mark? They’re just so…right. You too mfranti).

    Comment by MCQ — February 15, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  15. The comments quoted in #8 are brilliant. I wonder who made those comments?

    My comments at M* usually go straight into moderation. Even when I use a different name, I know Geoff will delete them when he finds out that it is me…no matter what I say. So, I am trying to break the china in your living room.

    I do the same thing at DAMU sites.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 15, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  16. “Oh, and it also confirmed, once again, that Jettboy is a complete ass.”

    Isn’t somebody gonna delete his comments?!

    Apparently, 9M’s is a great and spacious living-room.

    Comment by mfranti — February 15, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  17. I think of it more like a great and spacious screen porch. You know, a place where you can hang out and talk, but you can also have snacks, drinks and yell stuff at passers-by.

    Comment by MCQ — February 15, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  18. I just read the entire thread and boy does my head hurt. It’s an over-wrought cliche, but basically the museum-for-saints-versus-hospital-for-sinners argument all over again.

    I think the story of the Adulteress is so applicable here. I let Him who is without sin choose whether to cast the first stone, and remember that in that very circumstance He chose not to.

    I recognize my own failings and peccadillos far too clearly to ever openly condemn a fellow traveler on the road back to our Heavenly Home. I’d rather rejoice over the fact that we’re on the same path.

    Comment by Chad Too — February 15, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  19. That OP is awesome. Accurate too.

    Comment by Latter-day Guy — February 15, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  20. Nah, Bruce, you don’t need to restore my deleted comment. That would stem the flow of the sweet, smug, and self-righteous nectar of martyrization (known only to the unjustly oppressed) which I am now drunk with.

    Comment by Orwell — February 15, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  21. See, this is exactly the sort of fiery, traffic-drawing controversy that my blog needs.

    Comment by Syphax — February 15, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

  22. As a stake president I would say that faithless Mormons should still pay tithing. The blessings promised will in many cases restore their faith.

    Comment by Bill Paternoster — February 15, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  23. I think most of those targetted by these posts have faith…as well as pay ourr tithing. It is just not the correct faith.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 15, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  24. Bill, that is an interesting idea. I just find it hard to think of people paying tithing without belief.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — February 15, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  25. Tim,
    Just come out and say it: you liked Reagan Republicanism and hate what the Tea Party has done with the Right.

    Your whole comment #3 is insane. Do you have any idea how crazy it sounds? I deleted some comments because they were kind of like personal attacks except they weren’t because it’s better to call groups of people hypocrites than to use someone’s name but to balance things I had to turn it clockwise three degrees so I posted the comments at Nine-Moons so that 63% of the bloggernacle doesn’t get offended except that it wasn’t really fair to delete Orwell’s not-personal attack and btw, because its so hard to control the conversation, I mean to know where to draw the line, I wrote all the comments myself even though Geoff B. frowns upon that except when he’s your friend but you don’t need to read M* if you don’t like it.

    Mark, Mark & Mark,
    Yes, the Triumvirate of Marks speak te Truth.

    Great non-sequiter.

    Comment by Rusty — February 15, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

  26. #22 Wow– I just looked at your blog. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

    Comment by C Jones — February 15, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  27. Laugh.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 15, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

  28. I second laughing.

    Comment by Dan — February 16, 2011 @ 5:09 am

  29. Great OP. Mark Brown said everything else I wanted to in #6.

    #22, at first I hoped your blog was fake, but after reading a post or two it obviously isn’t. That makes it funny AND sad instead of just funny.


    Bill, that is an interesting idea. I just find it hard to think of people paying tithing without belief.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all. You don’t think people that are struggling or losing their faith continue paying their tithing for the benefit of a spouse or family?

    Comment by jjohnsen — February 16, 2011 @ 7:22 am

  30. Bill is the new TAMN.

    Rusty’s 25 FTW

    Comment by mfranti — February 16, 2011 @ 7:34 am

  31. If his name is actually Bill Paternoster, he’s not really a Stake President as he doesn’t show on the CDOL. That just makes it all the more funny/sad.

    Just come out and say it: you liked Reagan Republicanism and hate what the Tea Party has done with the Right.


    Comment by Tim J — February 16, 2011 @ 7:34 am

  32. Yeah, I should have read further. It becomes obvious quickly what he’s doing.

    Comment by jjohnsen — February 16, 2011 @ 7:49 am

  33. “scripture as bludgeon”


    Comment by Ben Park — February 16, 2011 @ 9:15 am

  34. Bill is fake, people. Come on.

    Comment by Steve Evans — February 16, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  35. Whew. Because I was getting freaked out.

    Comment by meems — February 16, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  36. Of course he’s fake. He’s like a one-man BofH. But not in a good way.

    Comment by C Jones — February 16, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  37. I miss the good ol’ days — the “thoughtful period” — of M* as well, back when I was a contributor, along with Ryan/Davis Bell, Elizabeth (ECS), Clark, and the others. Back when the content and conversation were less strident. (I suspect no one misses me as much…)

    I can’t even parse much of what has been posted there in recent years — it’s like a foreign culture. If anyone wants to “get the band back together” sometime, somewhere in the future, I’m all in…

    One of the great learning experiences of the Bloggernacle has been to realize that what counts as “orthodoxy” in the first place from an LDS perspective differs from person to person, and from decade to decade, even among Church leaders.

    I wonder if J.Max even realizes that what counts as standard and orthodox for him today would have been “heretical” in the Church even within the last 50 years, let alone in Brigham Young’s time. Am I supposed to seriously consider him my guide to what is an “acceptable” belief and what isn’t?

    Comment by KMB (The Baron) — February 16, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  38. @ #24 “Bill, that is an interesting idea. I just find it hard to think of people paying tithing without belief.”

    This is exactly why people should pay. No matter what level of belief the Lord has promised to open up the windows of heaven, and when this happens belief will return if one is not hard hearted.

    Comment by Bill Paternoster — February 16, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  39. definitely not in a good way.

    Comment by mfranti — February 16, 2011 @ 11:12 am

  40. Do not let the troll distract from the important of the OP.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 16, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  41. “important issue”

    Comment by Chris H. — February 16, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  42. I can’t even parse much of what has been posted there in recent years — it’s like a foreign culture. If anyone wants to “get the band back together” sometime, somewhere in the future, I’m all in…

    It really was great and I’d love for you guys to get back together. I forgot that ECS first started blogging there as well.

    Comment by Tim J — February 16, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  43. One of the great learning experiences of the Bloggernacle has been to realize that what counts as “orthodoxy” in the first place from an LDS perspective differs from person to person, and from decade to decade, even among Church leaders.

    I think this is probably the core failure of his hypothesis. The methodology of the Church to establish what one would consider “orthodoxy” in the doctrines appears to me to be a chronological “focus” of the teachings. Older dogmas rarely (or should I say never) get officially dismissed.

    When new approaches to old issues are presented, sometimes the new approaches differ drastically from previous approaches, but previous approaches never get officially dismissed (with few exceptions). Thus creating an ocean of sometimes subtle, sometimes passive/agressive and sometimes agressive contradictions; given that for the most part, teachings from the Quorum of the 12 and the first presidency through the proper venue or media are considered scripture to LDS members.

    Members are often left to fill the gaps of the contradictions often times creating “unorthodox” explanations, folk religion and unofficial views to make sense of it all. Some of the folk religion actually being disseminated by the General Authorities themselves (never to be officially dismissed nor specifically clarified). The culture of the Church to deal with these issues is to simply shift the focus of the teachings and be mute about previous contradicting dogmas.

    In light of these practices, how can someone really point at a certain group for being orthodox or unorthodox?

    Comment by Manuel — February 16, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  44. [President] Bill. By any chance is Winifred Smith Young a relief society president in your stake? http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002108522720

    Comment by DavidH — February 16, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  45. ECS wasn’t at M* very long. She said it was too conservative for her, even back then.

    Comment by Ben S — February 16, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  46. Aw, you guys. It’s nice to be remembered :) I enjoyed blogging at M*, and didn’t mind the conservative bent so much. In fact, I appreciated the thoughtful, respectful discussions many of us had both on the blog and behind the scenes on the back email lists. I did mind, however, J. Max using M* to personally attack my friends at BCC. I didn’t feel at all comfortable at M* after that.

    Comment by ECS — February 16, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  47. ECS, neither did the rest of us!

    Comment by Steve Evans — February 16, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  48. @44 thanks I never knew my cousin was on facebook

    Comment by Bill Paternoster — February 18, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  49. M* used to be my favorite blog. When I was new to blogging it was the place that welcomed me and tolerated me and was very kind to me. I don’t blog as much as I used to, but as I recall, the changes to their site, for a time, created some issues where I wasn’t able to comment and I just got out of the habit of checking there. It seems a lot of the bloggers there have changed and I’m not as familiar with the current bloggers. All THAT being said, and no offense guys, but there is something kind of boring about the posts and problematic about posting. I can’t put my finger on it. But it’s not what it used to be, that’s for sure. But I’ll always be grateful for the welcome when Times and Seasons people were pretty much holding their noses at the very mention of my name.

    Comment by annegb — February 19, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  50. PS: the only time we edit comments on MM is when people use really really bad words. You know who you are.

    Comment by annegb — February 19, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  51. annegb,

    Sorry about that…DKL deserved it.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 19, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  52. I think we have the same policy at 9M, with the added proviso that I generally delete comments made by jackasses.

    Comment by MCQ — February 19, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  53. annegb,

    Sorry too. DKL deserved it.

    Comment by Dan — February 20, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  54. Wow,

    All I can say is that you libs are a bunch of weenies.

    Comment by Jack — February 20, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  55. What’s a lib?

    Comment by MCQ — February 20, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  56. Since that is all Jack can say, he probably will not be able to respond. In honor of M*, a lib is everyone to the left of Geoff B. It is the only place were both Nate Oman and I are both libs.

    Comment by Chris H. — February 20, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

  57. Nate Oman is left of Geoff B? How can you tell?

    Comment by MCQ — February 20, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  58. Conversely, if I feel that I have enough faith already, does that mean I can stop paying tithing?

    If so, this will come as a welcome relief to my inability to construct a decent household budget.

    Comment by Mark N. — February 22, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

  59. I retired from teaching a few years ago and I miss the kids as well as the joy of teaching. This post and the responses made me wax nostalgic once more about good old Vallejo High. Every now and then some of the brothers would gather out in the Quad and play the dozens, trading “yo momma” insults as fast as possible until one was clearly the best. The brothers and sisters on the net seem to be playing a Mormon version, sort of a “yo apostate” competition.

    Alas, this pleasure soon faded as I realized the kids showed wit and intelligence. Too many bloggernacle folk, on the other hand, only demonstrate venom and vitriol. I have two simple suggestions:

    1. Someone should print up a tee shirt to replace the old standby, “Church basketball: the brawl that begins with a prayer.” The new shirt should read, “The bloggernacle: where uplifting religious discussion meets sanctimonious incivility.” At least someone might make some money out of it.

    2. Possibly we should have a little acronym between where we type our response and “Add my comment.” That series of letters would be ITWJCWWMTS. The ten characters would stand for “Is This What Jesus Christ Would Want Me To Say.”

    Comment by sTAN bEALE — February 26, 2011 @ 2:49 am

  60. I love the T-shirt idea. We really should have a bloggernacle shop, where you can purchase BoH memorabelia and other nacle wear. DKL punchingbags and Steve Evans mood rings would sell out in a heartbeat.

    Comment by MCQ — February 26, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  61. [...] Stan Beale suggested a T-shirt idea which I thought was great and would go right along with some other great ideas for ‘naclewear.  We already have some T-shirts out there, like the BoH inspired shirt above, and I came up with the following items, which should sell like hotcakes.  Feel free to add your own ideas for the gift shop in the comments. [...]

    Pingback by Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The Online Bloggernacle Gift Shop » The Online Bloggernacle Gift Shop — February 26, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  62. I cannot thank you enough for the post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

    Comment by Leslie Bennett — April 24, 2012 @ 4:51 am

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