(Note: to my believing friends, this post is probably one to skip. A number of people now follow my blog via email and they’re a mixed bag. For most posts I try to keep them thoughtful but sometimes I like sharing this kind of stuff that could be considered a little bit more “one sided”. I have no control over the post distribution — so I can’t selectively exclude my believing friends from the updates — sorry 🙁 ).
I’m sorry, I just have to share this, it is TOO FUNNY. (And wildly insightful about apologetics)
So recently a (probably “soon to be ex-“) gay Mormon Tyler Glenn released a very provocative and controversial music video. It’s quite strong. I’d recommend avoiding this if you don’t want to go into it. But I think it was quite thought-provoking.
The video can be viewed here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-neon-trees-tyler-glenn-slam-mormon-church-in-new-solo-video-20160429
In any case, suffice it to say it contains a number of elements that would be considered offensive to believing Mormons.
However, that’s not the funny thing I wanted to share.
Basically, after the video was released, naturally a lot of believing members started being offended by the content, thereupon this EXCELLENT and hilarious piece of “FAIR apologetics for the new Tyler Glenn music video” came out on the ex-Mormon subreddit.
“I’ve seen all manner of TBM fans on Facebook making wild assumptions and choosing to be offended about what they presume is going on in the music video for Tyler Glenn’s new music video, “Trash.” All of these baseless claims and trumped-up charges can be easily dismissed by viewing the video with a critical eye and taking the problematic aspects in the proper context.
Drinking from a liquor bottle: Many detractors have accused Tyler of violating the Word of Wisdom at the beginning of the video. However, there is no way to know conclusively what was contained in the bottle he swigged from. We do not have the original bottle for scientific testing, and so will never know for certain what he drank. Many scholars have shown that videos shot during this time period often used other prop liquids in place of actual alcoholic beverages, and so we can dismiss these issues outright.
Spitting on a picture of Joseph Smith: While the portraits shown in the video admittedly resemble known paintings of the Prophet Joseph, the faces of the paintings’ subjects are obscured from view. Without a view of the entire picture and a greater understanding of the process by which the paintings arrived in the video, we cannot certainly conclude who was meant to be represented. Several unnamed witnesses gave varying (and contradictory) accounts of the subject’s face before it was painted over, so we can safely assume it was not Joseph Smith.
Temple tokens demonstrated on camera: Anti-Tyler critics claim that he demonstrates sacred temple tokens in the video, which is a gross misrepresentation. Only 2-3 hand positions were shown on camera, which means we have no way of knowing that any other tokens were included or executed correctly. In fact, the hand movements shown were done by one person to himself, using both his right and left hands, which specific actions do not correspond to any portion of the endowment ritual. These motions are therefore substantively different from any temple tokens, and are of no further concern.
Pages flying around in elevator: Baseless speculations claim that these pages represent either: the lost 116 pages, pages of a ripped up Book of Mormon, pages of a Church Handbook of Instructions, or a copy of the CES Letter. All of these claims can be separately discredited, but the sheer variety of theories demonstrates that no one can be certain of these pages, their contents, or their meaning. This issue is completely unrelated to one’s salvation and the simple, beautiful messages of the music.
Give Brother Tyler a break!”
Ah, sweet brilliant reverse-apologetics irony.