Friday, May 27, 2011

Moderation, Tolerance and Sister Dottie

I have decided to make comments on my blog un-moderated, i.e., to remove the pre-approval requirement.  I added this requirement in the early days of my blog because of a very condemning comment left by an apparently active Mormon woman that shook me up a bit.  (What she was doing reading my blog, I don’t know.) 

In those days, I was paranoid about people finding out about me and my blog and linking the two.  Of course, in those early days of coming out, I was paranoid about a lot of things.  I was very unsure of myself and the slightest cross-wind would send me running for cover.  So, among other things, I wanted to make sure that nothing appeared on my blog by way of a comment that would upset my very wobbly apple-cart.

In the months since then, I have rarely not published a comment.  I can think of maybe three instances (one where the comment consisted of “eye roll”).  But it’s the principle of the thing.  I recently decided that I had “grown up” enough to the point where I no longer felt the need to pre-approve comments.  Mind, I still have the ability to delete offensive comments, but I envision that ability being used only sparingly.  So, look over my scribblings, then (please) comment away!

In other news, last night was the opening night (sold out!) of the two-night run of the annual Salt Lake Men’s Choir spring concert.  At the Wednesday night dress rehearsal, we had the opportunity for the first time to hear some of (mistress of ceremonies) Sister Dottie S. Dixon’s comments, though we didn’t see and hear the full picture until last night. 

I was deeply impressed by something that Sister Dottie said in a sermonette about differences.  “Tolerance,” she said [paraphrasing], “means that I can believe you to be inferior without anyone else knowing.”

Wow!  That comment really hit me.  Coming out has, among many other things, caused me to look at life and our society in very different ways than I did before coming out; and this comment on tolerance made me look at this concept, as applied in a societal construct, in a very different way than I had previously. 

In our culture here in Utah, “tolerance” is generally seen as something that supports a sense of enlightened self-righteousness, i.e., that we glam on to make us appear as even better people than we already believe ourselves to be.  Sister Dottie’s comment, however, pulls back the curtain to reveal what is really going on:  a façade that is intended to convey enlightened acceptance, but in reality hides a forced, grudging accommodation. 

What I learned from this comment is that we as a community should not accept mere “tolerance.”  Of course, tolerance is better than discrimination and hatred; but it is not the same as acceptance, let alone celebration (as Sister Dottie points out).

So, when we meet with “tolerance” in our culture, masquerading as it often does as enlightened self-righteousness, I hope I/we have the presence of mind and courage to point out that we are very well aware of the fact that the emperor is not wearing any clothes.  In other words, to call a spade a spade, or a bigot a bigot.

End of sermon, with acknowledgement to she who inspired it, Sister Dottie:

P.S.:  Tickets are still available for tonight’s fund-raiser concert, which begins at 6:30 at the State Room on South State in Salt Lake City.  For ticket information, see


  1. It was a great concert last night. The choir did a great job and Sister Dottie was hilarious. After hearing her on the radio for so long, it was nice to see her in person.

    And her last "sermon" was so deeply moving. I'm glad I went.

    The place was packed! Standing room only. So if you want to see them tonight, get there early. It was nice to see such support from friends and family in the community.

  2. Jeff & I really enjoyed the concert, it was awesome to support and see our friends perform. We had a great time and it was indeed a great message' thanks for sharing your talents!

  3. Utahhiker801 - It was great to see you! So glad you could make it!

  4. Hey Miguel - So glad you and Jeff could make it! It was awesome to see you guys there!

  5. congrats on the concert! also, I love the "romantic hero" you've chosen for your backdrop!

    I wanted to make a comment about tolerance: I find that interesting but I challenge to redefine the word tolerance, or at last an understanding of its meaning: to respect difference without a feeling of superiority or inferiority. If people, humanity, could have this kind of "tolerance" then I think that we could affirm difference without feeling measured or needing to measure others, but simply learn, discover and widen one's horizons.