|Who are you to deny this poor boat the ability to "self-identify" as a train?|
We're through the looking-glass, ladies and gentlemen.
Right now at the Times and Seasons blog there is a vote going on for "Mormon of the Year."
Some of the candidates include Mia Love, Brandon Flowers, Neylan McBaine, Fiona & Terryl Givens, and plenty of other worthy candidates.
Do you want to guess who is leading the poll by a wide margin?
If you guessed an excommunicant and two anti-Mormons, you'd be right!
Yes, Kate Kelly, who was excommunicated for apostasy, Jeremy Runnells, the petulant cult leader of the ex-Mormon reddit whose calling in life is to make as many ex-Mormons as possible, and John Dehlin, who makes his bread and butter by therapizing people into openly flaunting the commandments and standards of the Church (that is, if they bother staying in the Church at all after consulting with him), are (as of this posting) ahead of the pack in first, second, and third place, respectively.
The apparent designer of the poll (or at least the guy who posted it), in responding to the obvious and sensible complaint that these individuals hardly qualify as "Mormons" in any meaningful sense, responded thusly.
We don’t define “Mormon” by their activity level or membership status in the LDS Church. We define Mormon by how they have identified themselves and by their heritage.Right. Because it's just silly to define someone as a "Mormon" based on their membership, activity, and belief in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the Mormon Church, aka the Mormons.
More importantly, though, is how dreadfully flimsy these criteria are in defining someone as "Mormon." You self-identify as one and have "Mormon" heritage? That's good enough!
Based on this, what's to stop me from running for Briton of the Year? I mean, I can self-identify as British (even though I'm not a UK citizen and have been to the UK exactly twice in my entire life and don't particularly care for British culture or customs) and have British "heritage" in the form of some great-great-great grandparents. Isn't that all that counts? Self-identity and heritage?
The bizarreness of this whole affair is only compounded with comments like this (also from the poster): "THE WINNER OF THE ONLINE VOTE IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MORMON OF THE YEAR!!!" So if the person voted "Mormon of the Year" isn't really "Mormon of the Year," then what the heck is the point of this poll in the first place?
But the reason I bring up this poll isn't just to point out the obvious fact that calling Kate Kelly or Jeremy Runnells the "Mormon of the Year" is meaningless, and is a heinous slap in the face to actual Mormons who actually did make very important contributions to the world (like Tim Ballard), but also to point out the sad state of the Bloggernacle these days.
You see, stuff like this is further indication that the Bloggernacle has become, in the words of one acquaintance of mine, "little more than a haven for anti-Mormon rhetoric and whining." Some Bloggernacle sites are worse than others, to be sure. But the pervasive Zeitgeist of the Bloggernacle these days is one of gripey disaffection to outright antagonism. And voting for Kelly, Runnells, or Dehlin, currently the three living avatars of the gripey, antagonistic, disaffected "Mormon," as "Mormon of the Year" certainly doesn't help. I'm especially disappointed that this sort of stuff is happening on the Times and Seasons blog, since it was one of the few Bloggernacle sites I actually cared for.
But such is the Internet these days, where people voted "Mormon of the Year" aren't really "Mormon of the Year," and Kate Kelly, Jeremy Runnells, and John Dehlin are viable candidates.