Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
333:  Then I stopped listening to Rush Limbaugh:  Steve Otteson

333: Then I stopped listening to Rush Limbaugh: Steve Otteson

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk @ Flckr

One of the great American phenomena is the enmeshment of religion and politics.   That relationship is never more present than in the Book of Mormon belt where being Republican is a matter of faithfulness.  From Southern Alberta down to Arizona being Mormon means listening to Fox news like its a sermon;  supporting the NRA like its a mission and loving the Constitution like its scripture.  

For Steve Otteson, this was the ideological food that he grew up with.   A Mormon boy of pioneer stock who was raised simultaneously without much space between the politics of his region and the religion of his ancestors.   

And then one day it all came crashing down;  both his political and religious certainties.


  1. Marion

    Good podcast.

    Belonging to an, in Europe, “odd” religion I, and probably many with me, have always had that double sight, seeing my religion from the inside and alternating with seeing it from the outside – almost simultaneously. And then, one day, seeing it from the inside becomes quite impossible as that inside has long crowded me out. It was never an easy fit as I care about the environment, elimination of poverty, elimination of racism, equality, inclusivity. I used to work to expand that inside space for me and people like me. And then 2016 came along and a 61% LDS vote for DT. What to do with the one life I have? Propping up patriarchy while gently reprimanding it seems like such a detour; slow, tedious, with frequent backlashes.

    But like Otteson and Colvin I know many good things have come to me by being a member of the CoJJoLDS. So, I am not slamming doors and breaking stuff while stepping away. I am just trying to honor my time here in this life while also respecting my younger self and my more believing friends.

  2. Diana Adkins

    The problem is looking to other members for guidance rather than the Lord. Our religion rests in our relationship with the Lord, not the members around us. Follow the scriptures and the true doctrine is there.

    1. Juanita Hill

      The people make up the church! LDS teachings tell us we are if ONE MIND and ONE SPIRIT! So explain to me how to enjoy my ward when they shun me because I am honest with them!? Covid 19 is a blessing, I am over 78 so now I can be invisible, stay home, cook for missionaries, allow them to pick yp food at door and enjoy not feeling guilty anymore! God knows our hearts, don’t worry about the small stuff, it is all over rated!

  3. Diana

    The testimony lost was a testimony of the church culture not God or true doctrine. We must be careful to be close to the Lord so we cannot be led away by others beliefs.

    1. David

      And then we need to resist other members telling you that you have become prideful and think of yourself knowing more than the leaders.

      God is ever elusive, until you find him within yourself.

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