Sunday, January 21, 2007

Proud to be part of the DAMU and Outer Lightness

Since leaving the LDS church, I have not spent much, if any time in the Bloggernacle. John Dehlin is starting up a new aggregator for Mormon themed blogs called with the goal of being inclusive.

So, tonight, I spent a little time looking at blogs in the bloggernacle. I honestly had forgotten how much people like me are hated by some of those bloggers. Some of the authors have hate that extends beyond anti-Mormons, of which I am not one, to everyone in the DAMU. One said we were "anti-Mormon light. Same bad attittude, but somehow less satisfying."

I spend most of my online time on the NOM and FLAK message boards, and am starting to spend more time in Outer Lightness. Many of these people are my heroes and I look up to them. They are among the best people I know. Let me give props to just a few: Dathon, GypsyD, NannaP, Melodica, GDteacher, AmberAle, Hellmut, Equality, cumom, Nom d Nom, LDA Janis, DesertVulture, LostinPeace, sheanight, JustinMorning, Josephine, kate hepburn, domokun, fh451, capt jack, wrycatcher, solistics, chandelier, etc. Boy, bloggers from the 'nacle that hate people from the DAMU are missing out by not knowing these people and their hate is misplaced. We had a recent thread expressing love for one another:

I am proud to be numbered among these people. I freely admit that I was angry when I first left the church, but I am no longer angry. I find that most all of the people I have mentioned are also no longer angry and have nothing to prove. They are rational, good people. I admire them. Let us all be wary of hating whole groups of people when we don't know them. Labels often don't apply and often carry emotional valence that is unwarranted.

But, with that said, I will proudly apply the following labels to myself: ex-Mormon, apostate, heretic, heathen, infidel, atheist, member of the DAMU, and a good and pleasant person. I am for the Mormon people as I am for the non-Mormon people. I am currently a UU. I still feel charity, love, peace, comfort, and serenity.

I am still interested in learning Mormon history because I can relate to the active members, because that was my perspective for 30 years, and I can relate to those who were disturbed at what was going on and left the Church, because I am there now. This helps me understand my life, where I come from and where I am going. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with NOM's and former Mormons online. We have an understanding of each other and can support one another like no one else can. I want to be open to all that is good. I am so grateful to associate with NOM's, liberal Mormons, the DAMU, and post Mormons. I can also enjoy moderate and conservative Mormons.


Kaimi said...


I'm a little puzzled by your statement about how DAMU folk are hated by bloggernacle bloggers.

I can't recall seeing much (if any) anti-DAMU sentiment in the bloggernacle (major exceptions being J. Stapley's BCC post and one DMI Dave post), and I daresay I've probably spent more time in the nacle than all but perhaps a few dozen people on earth.

Now, I've been on a pretty light blogging schedule the past month or so due to work, so perhaps I missed something particularly recent; in general, though, I would say that the bloggernacle attitude towards DAMU is just one of ignoring. Of course, being ignored is no open-arms lovefest -- but it doesn't strike me as hatred, either. (What posts did you have in mind?)

A number of folks maintain dual citizenship (e.g., Cpt Jack, Beijing, NannaP, Equality, Hellmut) and seem to do fine, though there are occasional dust-ups (like the M* fuss several months ago with Equality and Mayan).

Also, in my experience, the ignoring typically goes both ways. It's not my impression that the DAMU folk hate the nacle, but we're usually ignored.

However, there are at least some personal attacks from time to time. I've been personally attacked and called all sorts of names on RfM when they've linked a few T&S posts (with predictable results). In my (perhaps biased) observation, those attacks dwarfed anything I can recall being said in the nacle about the DAMU or any of its participants.

Dave Sigmann said...

I did not mean to paint the picture that all of the bloggers in the 'nacle hate those in the DAMU. In fact, I think I did say "some" in the Bloggernacle. Later I made a statement about those in the 'nacle that do hate us, trying not to generalize. But, thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify that it was only some.

I think that you are right that for the most part both groups avoid one another. I personally avoid RfM, because I don't like how I feel with all of that animosity.

When I have more time, I'll quote and link a few of the statements about the DAMU on some of the 'nacle blogs that I am talking about to support my assertion in the original post.

By the way, thank you for visiting and prompting me to clarify. I really do want to be fair in my posts. I appreciate you.

Kaimipono said...

Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate your desire to be even-handed in your discussion. And I'm with you on prefering to avoid angry rants, on whatever side of the fence they may.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

I found the link to this blog from Simeon's blog...and I recognized your name from comments made over on the Washington Post blog this week by Michael Otterson on female qualities.

Just wanted to say your comments there were very good, and I'm glad I found your blog too. I've never taken the time to check out the DAMU but am familiar with a few people whose blogs and comments I admire: Equality, Wry Catcher, Belaja, Domokun. I went on RfM once and felt that the tone was not good, so I never went back.

I look forward to reading more from you.

Dave Sigmann said...

SML, Thank you so much for your comments. I really enjoy your blog. My favorite post of yours was when you talked about going to BYU and having your son. You seem like a really fun person.

There is more to the DAMU than RfM. The NOM message board's address is:
FLAK's address is
And I think you would enjoy Cherry a lot:

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Dave, thanks, I'll have to check those out. I get a bit intimidated because I don't feel like my knowledge of history and the scriptures is as good as others, but sometimes I feel brave enough to input my two cents. Plus, I'm afraid I'll get on there and love it, which may add even more to my ever-growing list of reads I can't stay away from daily. I love reading about this so much (read: constantly), that my family is about to disown me.

That post on BYU was fun to write, too. It really took me back. I never realized until blogging that I even LIKE to write, let alone LOVE to write. I've been trying to think up another good post this weekend that comes from memories... Maybe I will.

Meantime, keep up the great posts, and I'll be back. Probably a lot.

Gunner said...

I think the distrust and bad feeling between the bloggernacle and DAMU are jhustified, but most are emotional based. It is there, just more on some blogs.

Bull said...

I have no idea what DAMU is. Can you define it for me?

Dave Sigmann said...

Bull: DAMU stands for DisAffected Mormon Underground. It refers to several message boards and blogs featuring posts from people who no longer believe some or all of the claims of Mormonism. Some of the sites are caustic and are even repugnant to me such as Recovery from Mormonism (RfM). Others are much more reasonable and range from the mild New Order Mormons (NOM) board to the total disbelief of Further Light and Knowledge.

My problem is when some online true believing Mormons paint everyone in the DAMU with the same brush that would only accurately characterize RfM. NOM and Faces East feature regular posters that are very mature in discussing the non-believing side of Mormonism.

You will find some links to a few DAMU sites on this blog on the right of the page.

Bull said...

Thanks. I guess I fit in that group. I don't find RfM repugnant, but I don't find it particularly useful either with the exception of very useful contributions from people like Bob McCue and Tal Bachman who make very thoughtful posts. In my early days I did find it very useful to get answers to questions and meet people in a similar boat.

Hopefully my blog isn't repugnant, although it probably is to believing Mormons.

I've found the blog universe to be very cathartic for me as it allows me to tell my story and my thoughts. It's nice when people find it interesting and useful, but I do it mostly for me.

When people like you make comments it often allows me to go to their blogs and see new world views and thoughts. I think it helps humanize people that believe differently as opposed to demonizing them.