Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mormon Conversations

Posted By on August 20, 2009, 5:38 PM

Already notable for its awesome public relations, which generally consists of "Wait! Wait! I Won't Tell You!," the LDS Church has gone totally 2006 in its quest to prove it has evolved since the 1970s.---

The church has launched a blog. If you don't know what a blog is, the church explains it by stating that it will have a "more conversational tone" and is a place for items that "may not lend themselves to a news release." Of course, the blog will be written by members of the Public Affairs Department (aka Bureau of Righteous Thought), so their conversational non-press releases will likely sound like stilted press releases from the Mormon Church. (For comparison, read blogs written by journalists as a side project, including posts written by me. They often sound like news stories).

However, despite the blog authors being members of the Bureau of Righteous Thought and the blog being published on the official LDS Church's website, please do not think these are official positions of the church. NO! These are only conversational non-press releases, whose existence were announced in an official press release.

Oh, and by the way, these conversational non-press releases cannot be commented on by people reading the blog. Which, of course, eliminates the conversational part. Then, it becomes more of a lecture. Or a press release.

It gets better. Their total activity on the blog is two posts. The first one is a conversational non-press release explaining their new outlet for conversational non-press releases, which is usually the "About" page. The second post, which seems to be the entire reason for the blog's existence, is an entirely non-conversational item that, after explaining they will take the radical step of linking to other blogs on occasion (revolutionary!), links to another blog that takes the horse whip to an AP story suggesting that the gay marriage opposition of the LDS Church is hurting their image. Which is, of course, a ludicrous proposition, because everyone loves the wonderfully compassionate stand that the LDS Church (and others, to be fair) have taken in making sure that gay couples remain in the shadows.

Essentially, this is a press release telling people everything that is wrong with the AP story, except it's not a press release. It's a conversational non-press release that simply links to problems other people had with the story. So, it's not official. Except it is, because it says that the author of the criticism has "concerns we share." Who is we? The LDS Church (which hosts the blog), the Bureau of Righteous Thought (who writes the blog), or the conversational, NOT official, conversant who wrote the post? Or is that part of the conversation, that the we is neither he nor she (and definitely not he-he or she-she, but maybe he-she-she-she?) but an us, the collective public who is part of the conversation, even though we cannot actually participate?

My head hurts. Is this what's it's like to be Mormon?

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