In part 2 of my interview with Dr. Dave Christian, we discuss the opportunities and challenges of building face-to-face communities for progressive and post-Mormons, based on the work of Dr. Jonathan Haidt’s book entitled “The Righteous Mind.”


  1. Gary in Oregon August 29, 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

    I thoroughly enjoyed Part 1 with Dr. Dave. Hearing details of a Mission President Train Wreck is better than the reality TV shows I never watch. (I stopped watching TV ~7 years ago.)

    This Part 2 is the only Mormon Stories podcast that I did not finish … due to lack of interest or natural engagement with my psyche. The content is probably very appropriate for a Masters Thesis, but I turned it off after about 45 minutes. Maybe it’s because I am an engineer with little interest in abstract sociology theories. (That’s probably an incorrect description of the content.)

    I would like to hear if others enjoyed the podcast, and if others are in my same boat and turned it off.

    • zoo August 29, 2015 at 7:59 am - Reply

      I found the discussion very interesting and pertinent to what Mormon stories is all about. With out this in mind the podcasts are just gossip or interesting stories. Using this as a foundation, we can find solutions and how to best serve and assist people in their journey and how to avoid heartache.

    • Alison August 29, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      I completely disagree. I thought this podcast was extremely interesting. It’s probably one of my favorite episodes yet. Lots of food for thought here. I was thinking about the recent “chairgate” (Kate Kelly vs. Sunstone–luckily peacefully resolved) kerfuffle on facebook, and how a lack of these community-affirming conservative values can create conflict in the progressive/liberal/post Mormon world. Good ideas about balance and bridging gaps.

      • Gary in Oregon August 29, 2015 at 9:55 pm - Reply


        I am glad to hear you really enjoyed Part 2.

        I attribute my comparative lack of interest to my intellectual shallowness and spiritual superficiality.

        Maybe I should call the missionaries and undo my exmo status. Sounds like I am overqualified for membership.

        • EDiL13 August 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

          I enjoyed it too — it gave me a lot of things to think about, but I’m willing to admit that maybe it’s because I have lots of interest in “abstract sociology theories” and not so much in engineering, probably just because I’m at least a little bit mathematically challenged :)

          …But maybe you shouldn’t sell yourself short, Gary. The fact that you can poke a little fun at yourself indicates that you might not be as “shallow” and “superficial” as you think, especially since at some point you apparently had the intellectual and spiritual capacity to walk away in the first place.


    • Goto August 29, 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I just turned it off with 40 minutes left. Sorry but episode one I too found to be extremely enjoyable. Part two just did not resonate with me.

    • JC August 31, 2015 at 10:18 am - Reply

      I have not finished listening to it but I have to say it’s difficult to follow if you’re not watching the video (which is something John highlighted at the beginning of the podcast). That said, I tried following and got hooked when Dr. Christian explained why the believing spouse will go into Mormon “overdrive” when there is disbelief in the marriage. He literally described my situation with my wife and I think this is what being in transition is all about: to understand the psyche of both parties and how you can overcome the hurdles based on clinical evidence and what others (especially counselors and psychologists) know, as opposed to me trying to make sense of it all without furthering my anger at the church or my wife.

  2. Vegetarian Outcast August 29, 2015 at 1:30 am - Reply

    Outsiders view TBM’s as backward, ignorant bunch because MOST OF THEM ARE!!!

  3. cl_rand August 29, 2015 at 7:37 am - Reply

    I don’t see any way to download this episode. Am I missing something?

  4. zoo August 29, 2015 at 8:05 am - Reply

    I found this podcast fascinating. To me this is exactly what Mormon stories is all about. Without this as a baseline, the podcast is just gossip or interesting stories. This provides answers of how to serve individuals and help organizations recognize how to improve outreach to all groups. By practicing these principles we can help individuals avoid additional heartache. I found it to be very objective and with no other underlying destructive tones.

  5. Eugene Kovalenko August 29, 2015 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I, too, found this podcast interesting and useful. Living in a scientific community as I do, it was helpful for me personally in my interaction with the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum, which is comprised of various church groups from a wide spectrum of belief and scientific backgrounds. Specifically, I found David Christian’s counsel to first familiarize oneself with a group’s purpose before trying to suggest changes. That one suggestion has helped me reign in my propensity to want to change things too quickly. Thanks, Doc Dave!

  6. Mags August 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I loved this episode. I have never commented, although I listen faithfully. Perhaps it’s my Canadianism that this speaks to, but I really appreciated hearing that even seemingly ‘opposing’ sides have so much to offer. I agree with zoo and Eugene. I think this is a really important episode in terms of application. I think listening to each other, trying to see each other’s individual points of view, and making the most of our strengths as a group is so helpful and healing. Thanks so much for this great episode. More of this!

  7. Chris August 31, 2015 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    I hope your lobbying for climate protection includes reducing animal agriculture and meat consumption, considering that is one of the leading causes of climate change. And since you believe in climate protection, I assume you are also vegetarian.

  8. HaroldTheCat August 31, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    I really enjoyed both episodes. I found the differences in the six moral foundations between conservative and liberal very interesting, as well as how a sense of a healthy community is vital for our country. Thanks for sharing!

  9. GP September 1, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Here are two links to a document entitled “Principles of Unification” by JJ Dewey. These principles may provide a “Mission Statement” of sorts for a group or community based on common moral beliefs.

    This link is to the document written in language adapted to those who may be aethiest or agnostic.

    This link is to the document written for those who have a belief in God.

  10. Lori September 3, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Thank for this podcast. I found this information to be enlightening and helpful and not boring at all. I almost didn’t listen because of some previous comments, but I really enjoyed the presentation and I feel it will help me to have a more balanced approach when dealing with family and friends who think differently from me.

  11. Marty Anderson September 12, 2015 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I appreciate the constructive nature of this episode. Thank you Dave and John for addressing a problem that I have struggled with for the last ten years as one who has left the Mormon church. The solutions you offer for “bridging the divide” and forming community, although difficult, are valuable… and applicable to post-Mormons, liberals, and anyone transitioning out of conservative/fundamental religions. I will be listening to this podcast again.

  12. Larry Ballard September 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    I appreciated the ethic in the first episode regarding the errant mission president who was using manipulative tactics to emotionally convert people to the mindset that fit his purposes. The Milgram Experiment along with the Stanford Prison Experiment both show how malleable the human plastic psyche can be to authority and toxic world views and the assigned roles people begin to allow to change their ethics. Great examples. The definition of logos is kind of…”Requires one to convince the minds of the listeners and readers by proving the truth of what one is saying.” Juxtapose that against pathos which is defined kind of as…”Requires one to put the listeners and readers in to a ‘frame of mind’ favorable to ones purposes, principally done by working on the emotions.” So, the difference in direction is huge. If truth is the ultimate outcome, pathos can be a highly manipulative tool which engages all kinds of psychological methodologies that are outcome based, not on acquiring the truth; rather on maneuvering the minds of others in to the confined framework of the social construct of the one promoting an idea, doctrine or whatever. Thoughts…..feelings….behavior is an ordered timeline of how to gain truth and avoid manipulation. I don’t personally want “community” if it leads me to live within a toxic world view or an illusion. I want to live in truth under Natural Law and in reality. Thoughts must precede feelings. Note that in pathos, the one manipulating the many does it by working mostly on the emotions. When emotional commitment precedes thoughtful inquiry, we are susceptible to fallacy…a syllogistic chain of reasoning that leads to illusion and fallacy. So, the approach must be with pure intent founded upon the best human effort to objectively seek objective information from an eclectic variety of sources prior to making an emotional commitments. Emotional attachment attaches the ego at the deepest levels, gives a dopamine rush that “feels” pretty good and becomes almost a subconscious chemical driver maintaining us in erroneous belief patterns that go unchallenged. Couple that with a fear based system that places any one as the “other” or eccentric to the norm along with incentives to maintain the status quo and cognitive dissonance lies buried under the cognitive dissonance that is surrounded with dopamine and fear. If one considers TWO Generative Forces or polarities being FEAR and LOVE, then Fear will lead to Ignorance and a Refusal of the Truth…which leads to Confusion or Internal Anarchy….which leads to the individual being a slave or under the control of authority which is External Monarchy….which leads to Chaos or Evil. Love, on the other hand, leaks to Knowledge over Ignorance which is tied to a genuine Seeking of the Truth…Which leaks to Sovereignty or Internal Monarchy…which leads to Freedom underpinned by External Anarchy and finally to Order or Good. Unfortunately this second session caused me some pause as I listened to the methodologies of how a liberal promoting man made climate change can promote that purpose, not with factual information and genuine discussion; rather finding methodologies to persuade the opposite side by using methodologies that, sure engage the dialectic, but with a desired outcome that can end up being less than honest. It is a sad state of affairs that representatives of the people can be manipulated by persistence, friendship and other tools. Is this too much of a purist approach?

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