This forum is currently read only. You can not log in or make any changes. This is a temporary situation.
Recovery Board  : RfM
Recovery from Mormonism (RfM) discussion forum. 
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Posted by: Just Wondering ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 11:14AM

I was a little shocked to see that Maxine Hanks, a excommunicated victim of the "September 6" purging in 1993, has not only found her way back into Mormonism, but is participating in the FAIR conference. It is one thing to quietly return to Mormonism, perhaps for personal, emotional, or family reasons, but to participate in the charade of FAIR is disingenuous at best, and betrays a rather cowardous character. Maxine Hanks, of all people, must know that Mormonism this theological nonsense.

Perhaps Steve Benson can shed some light on this, he being a personal friend of Hanks (As I recall). I am curious as to whether Steve is ready to unlease is barbed tongue on Hanks, as he so readily does with other Mormon apologists, as well as against exMormon's who choose to remain theists.

Just Wondering

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 03:51PM

Rejoining the Mormons is odd enough, but then participating with FAIR, which has an extremely casual relationship with integrity, is just jaw-dropping.

Is she going to explain to them how to get exmos to come back, by telling them what worked for her? Unless she just likes being on stage, I don't get it.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 04:07PM

Do you remember when Michael Jordan decided to play baseball instead of basketball? He was one of the greats of basketball. But when it came to baseball, he was good, but not great. He didn't stick with the baseball very long. One day my husband asked our son, why he thought he went back to basketball and son replied, "I guess he missed being Michael Jordan." I think that may be what's going on here. Outside of the church, she's just a person, but inside the church, she's Maxine Hanks!

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/54514350-80/church-excommunicated-faith-hanks.html.csp

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Joy ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 04:11PM

Ha-ha. Brother Of Jerry answered our question. Some people like being a big fish in a small pond. It is hard for some ex-Mormons to find themselves in the big world, where they are just ordinary. I enjoyed "disappearing" and re-inventing a better self, but some exMos lose their identity completely. Maxine was, for a brief moment-of-glory, a mover and a shaker.

Yes, she just likes being on stage. You know, like the politicians who lose a campaign, then run again for the opposing party.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Senoritalamanita ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 04:28PM

Devoted Exmo

I think you really zeroed in on it. Exactly. But I don't think it's purely an egotistical concern about stature. It's more a fear of losing your identity.

I think that's why a lot of Mormon's don't leave the church -- or even want to consider reading so-called "anti" literature or other points of view.

It's their twisted logic telling them they will have no purpose, no identity without the gospel.

And it's sad, that Maxine Hanks was unable to find her own identity or purpose, without church interference, once she was excommunicated.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 04:31PM

I found it kind of sad too. Mormonism sure does a number on some people.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 05:18PM

My older sister "went back" and became insufferable as a consequence. No more Sunday phone calls. Sigh...

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 06:21PM

Contents deleted.

Changed my mind about wanting to participate in this thread, for reasons of my own.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 05:49AM by Nightingale.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 08:23PM

During that time, we have talked for countless hours, both face-to-face and over the phone.

She has her reasons for having left the Mormon Church and for having rejoined it. She has spoken publicly about some of those reasons, but not about all of them. The speculations expressed here per her re-baptism are largely uninformed and inaccurate. I would not hesitate about getting into the details, except for the fact that she has explicitly asked me not to because it only leads to grievous personal attacks against her that wound her deeply. She reads this board and has been profoundly hurt by the untrue claims made at her expense.

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Maxine, although she and I have clear and significant differences of opinion on some fundamental matters. Nonetheless, she is a very good friend of mine. I know how she thinks and the reasons behind her actions. In my view, based on my years of being friends and interacting with Maxine, it is safe to say, judging from much of the commentary in this thread, that plenty of people sinply don't get it.

'Nuff said.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2013 09:02PM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Just Wondering ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 10:34PM

Not Quite.

It is O.K. for you to maliciously attack people for their beliefs when you don't know their history and motives; but when it is an apologist friend you do know, hands off, because you now you understand, there are extenuating circumstances, and they deserve understanding and a free pass if we all only knew. Maybe, Steve, your free passes should be more evenly distributed, with the assumption that others you don't know may also have legitimate motives, psychological or otherwise.

Hanks may well have personal reasons for her actions, and that's fine. But to actively align herself with FAIR is beyond understanding; and certainly beyond a free pass from Steve Benson.

I trust that the next time you are tempted to ridicule someone's beliefs on this board, you will remember this post, and avoid such blatant hypocrisy.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 04:14AM

What you regard as "malicious" is actually manifestations of critical thinking. We do that on this board. Welcome to the real world of pushback in the arena of competing ideas.

And like I said, if you knew Maxine and how she thinks, you would perhaps understand (if not agree with) how she has approached the topics that she has chosen to address at the FAIR gathering. I don't agree with some of her choices and conclusions, but I get her much better than you obviously do. Moreover, the bottom line as to why I don't go into the personal details is because she asked me, as her friend, not to. Perhaps that agreement is beyond your understanding, as well.

Finally, I trust that the next time you are tempted to read my critical assessments of the fiction of god-belief on this board, you will remember that your reaction is all about you--and that I struck a nerve.



Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 04:23AM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Senoritalamanita ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 06:40PM

Since we are not disaffected Swedes or Maxine Hanks, we can only speculate about what has occurred or how they or she feels in any given situation.

This site would be pretty abbreviated if we were entirely restricted to fact-based statements. And what precisely are "general comments?"

I'm not trying to belittle what you say or to be argumentative here. Perhaps Ms. Hanks motives are not at all what we think. But we cannot know what her motives are unless she comes forth.

I chafe at the barbed tongues on the board myself because it brings me back to a time in church when I felt belittled or helpless at the hands of arrogant power players. But if I were entirely honest, I've probably thrown out many barbs myself here, whether intentional or not.

I've had to grow a backbone over time on RFM, and get over my hurt when someone throws a javelin at me, or at someone I "like" on this board. Sometimes I still feel "butt hurt." But it's inevitable.

I guess what I'm saying is that I would hate to see RFM "sanitized".

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 08:30PM

Contents deleted.

Changed my mind about wanting to participate in this thread, for reasons of my own.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 05:50AM by Nightingale.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 08:45PM

Is it perfectly fine to speculate about what the top 15's motives might be? Or any random bishop, stake president or regional reps motives? We can speculate about any random persons parent, brother or sister of a poster here, but when it comes to someone who Steve Benson knows personally it's especially hurtful?

I think it might kind of come with the territory if she's operating in a quasi-public persona capacity, such as speaking at a Fair conference, or publishing books, to be specutated about her possible motives.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2013 08:46PM by Devoted Exmo.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 08:54PM

Contents deleted.

Changed my mind about wanting to participate in this thread, for reasons of my own.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 05:50AM by Nightingale.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 08:57PM

Yes, I do speculate. And I occasionaly make judgements about people. I would find it hard to go throughout life without it. I'm also very open to changing my mind about things.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Senoritalamanita ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 09:56PM

Well pick your word of choice. I'm either an uninformed speculator or an "attacker".

I feel like the bishop [Steve Benson] was just called in and a rag was stuffed into my mouth. Naughty me.

Maxine Hanks, if I have offended you in any way, I am deeply sorry for "speculating" or "attacking" you, a quasi-famous rebaptized LDS woman, on a Mormon recovery forum.

I find it so humorous that the "bishop" can routinely throw his own elite family under the bus, or do the same to former members of LDS hierarchy who most likely trusted him enough to share their confidences -- or routinely debase and humiliate fellow RFM posters -- but at the same time he worries that such "grievous personal attacks" may wound deeply."

Steve Benson even admits in his own words that:

"I would not hesitate about getting into the details [about Maxine Hanks], except for the fact that she has explicitly asked me not to because it only leads to grievous personal attacks against her that wound her deeply."

In other words, you would not hesitate to dish the dirt on your friend, except that she "asked you" to refrain. How nice.

Your Subject header about "knowing Maxine Hanks" reminds me so much of a 1988 presidential debate between Dan Quayle and Senator Lloyd Bentsen, when Bentsen called out Quayle, saying:

Bentsen: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy. (Prolonged shouts and applause.)

I beg your imperious pardon for attacking your "good" and "longtime" friend.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2013 10:44PM by Senoritalamanita.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: wine country girl ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 10:23PM

But Senoritalamanita, wouldn't you stick up for your friend if you were in the same position? (I think you would.)

;o)

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 04:26AM

You are projecting your own experiences on to me. I can do nothing as to your feelings in that regard, since you generate them, not me.

I can and will tell you this, however: Based on what I know about Maxine as her personal and long-time friend, your speculations about her are wrong. That's not being "bishop;" that's being factual.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 04:39AM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Senoritalamanita ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 10:26PM

Wine Country Girl,

Yes I would certainly defend a friend, but I would not qualify it first by saying what he said:

"I would not hesitate about getting into the details [about Maxine Hanks], except for the fact that she has explicitly asked me not to because it only leads to grievous personal attacks against her that wound her deeply."

He said he would not "hesitate about getting into details" about her, but calls us "attackers".

That's what I find offensive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2013 10:29PM by Senoritalamanita.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 04:30AM

. . . but I choose not to go there, since I agreed not to.

It's really quite simple.

If you are offended by this committment of mine to a friend, then so be it. I am not responsible for the feelings you choose to have.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 04:31AM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: thingsithink ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 10:34PM

Damn, I didn't know anyone had been attacked. But, she reads this board, so maybe she'll comment - maybe she has - or had. I will speculate that she did not return because it is true.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 09:04AM by thingsithink.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 11:01PM

I'm sure she has her reasons for whatever she is doing. She has no obligation to explain to anyone.

I do wish that she would not take what a bunch of us goofballs on a bulletin board say seriously. If only she could just blow off whatever it was that bothered her based on the fact she is probably smarter than 10 of us combined.

A lot of the people who stay here have developed the ability to have thick skin and speak out when they are miffed. Maybe if she had put the smack down to us we could have apologized or corrected things. Maybe it wasn't worth her time or interest.

Since we don't get to know the facts, people will speculate. I guess that's what usually happens.

I hope she has found a spiritual home if that is what she is looking for. She was a lovely person. I hope she is doing well.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 04:32AM


Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: derrida ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 11:22PM

Interesting, from the article linked below, that at least part of her going back to the LDS church had to do with the idea of lay priesthood. It sounds like, as she says, she "pulled back" in her studies or from being ordained (?) or couldn't go through with that, perhaps because the idea of a priesthood separate from the laity didn't fit well with her Mormon background. That would make some sense. And so she re-discovers to her relief the point of a completely lay priesthood, and goes back to the LDS church.

I'm not sure how that works with any feminism, given that the LDS church's priesthood is decidedly patriarchal, in focus and largely in practice. But yeah, one of the things that attracted me to Mormonism as a convert was the LDS church being led by laity at the local level. My DW thinks that men performing priesthood blessings of healing and comfort is one of the most beautiful things about Mormonism.

Of course, what's really pulling at me these days, in the wake of the NYT piece on Mattsson, is how empty Mormonism was for me spiritually and intellectually as a practicing Mormon. Couple that with the rigid authoritarianism, the paleo-conservatism, and the intense, cognitively paralyzing and emotionally crippling indoctrination techniques used in the LDS church (members who question LDS church dogma are essentially coerced into staying in the LDS church, sacrificing sacred matters of individual conscience because they don't want to lose marriages or family ties), and the LDS church seems an odious place.

For me now, considering my experience in the LDS church and considering the Mattson affair, I think about the obvious virtues of a theologically and historically educated class of pastors, ministers, priests, etc., who can REALLY perform actual pastoral work and discussion in the wards. (The experience of sitting in a LDS chapel on Sunday morning is mind-numbing, so one starts to wonder if there are any seriously wise and well educated ministers out there worth listening to each week.) The pastor is paid for pursuing his vocation, rather than a ward or stake having a necessarily puffed up full-time accountant or podiatrist or business executive doing part-time pastoral and ministering work (as though these were after-thoughts!). And he or she is not part of a special priestly class (a la Catholicism) that is understood to specially mediate sacred teachings for the members. For example, I can see where a born and raised Mormon would pull back from Catholicism, or maybe ordination in a church in the Anglican or Lutheran line of Protestantism, but a Calvinist, Baptist, or Presbyterian church doesn't doctrinally separate off the laity from the priesthood ("of believers)" like that.

In practice, Mormon priesthood is largely symbolic and empty. A pro forma affair where men run around doing Important things; they lay hands of blessing on people; they perform ordinances. But actual pastoral work is often reduced to checklist interviews for "worthiness," or "pray about it, read your scriptures." Gee, thanks. I mean, when one is going through a faith crisis in the Mormon church, one is a bit naive to go to one's Bishop, although that's exactly who the LDS church hierarchy wants you to go to. And why? Because he's their man in your ward. He's there primarily, in the last analysis, as the Handbook of Instruction says, to "protect the good name of the Church." He is not there first and foremost to counsel, to heal, to offer real advice helpful to that individual. If he does any of those things, that's just a matter of luck. There's no design in Church hierarchy and administration for real pastoral work, for an honest grappling with doubts or trials of faith, to actually happen. That's partly why the LDS church is in such a mess now: Faithful people with serious doubts or questions go in to the Bishop's office, struggling, and they more likely to be berated, chastised, mocked, looked down upon, than they are to be treated with consideration, compassion, understanding, and true ministering.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/54514350-80/church-excommunicated-faith-hanks.html.csp

[Relevant quotes from the article:]

Hanks rejoined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February.

On Friday , during a popular evening session of next week's Sunstone Symposium, an annual meeting for Mormon intellectuals and observers, Hanks will detail her 20-year spiritual sojourn as a feminist theologian and chaplain, which brought her full circle back into Mormonism.

"Given who I was, there was no place to go but out," Hanks said in 2003, on the 10th anniversary of the excommunications. "Mormonism was limiting to me, so I needed to test the limits — to see who I and the church really might be. … Excommunication opened the door to a larger cosmos, inside and outside myself."

From that point on, she explored various Christian teachings and practices, assisted clergy with religious services and served as volunteer chaplain at Holy Cross Chapel for 13 years. In 1999, she joined the Interfaith Roundtable for the 2002 Winter Olympics, where she enjoyed the association of representatives from various faiths and led the annual Interfaith Week.

She studied "traditional, sacramental Christianity and priesthood," Hanks said this week. "But when I got to the point of priestly ordination, I pulled back. I moved into recognizing the value and power of a lay priesthood in the body of Christ and Christian community. My searching was complete. I had my answers."



Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 12:02AM by derrida.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 04:35AM

Thanks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 04:35AM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Raptor Jesus ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 11:41PM


Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 11:41PM

I said I was surprised that she would associate so prominently with FAIR. Maybe she does hope to turn them around in some way. That is actually the sort of thing I would expect her to say.

And if that isn't the reason, beats the hell out of me what she would be doing with them. Maybe she does like being on stage. That is not a crime, nor a personality defect. She is in 3 sessions. One other person is in 2, and all other participants are in 1 session (14 total sessions).

As for reading people's minds, we all do it, ALL THE TIME. When someone types a post, they are trying to represent what is in their mind. Usually they more or less succeed. When we read a post, we try to reconstruct what that person had in their mind, again, usually more or less successfully.

When I see Jeff Holland in GC, with distended neck veins, flushed skin and raised voice, thumping the BoM, I think he is suffering extreme cognitive dissonance, and frustration at not being able to stop people who figure out the truth from leaving the Church. That's speculation on my part, but I feel pretty comfortable with that speculation.

We even speculate about our own motives. People lie to themselves all the time about why they do something.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 05:05AM

Actually, based on my experience with Maxine, you're wrong on your maybes.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 05:07AM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: snuckafoodberry ( )
Date: July 27, 2013 11:56PM

I think I can read between the lines on this one as to why she is back in full fellowship and working with FAIR. My speculative guess is she is being used to try and empower women within the church and get that change going. Part of replacing old parts with new ones. It benefits her because that was her original motive/mission and benefits them because she can be used as an example for the brethren as to how compassionate they are toward the fallen. It's a win win.

I can also speculate she will be frustrated in the effort.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/27/2013 11:59PM by snuckafoodberry.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 04:36AM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 04:37AM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Senoritalamanita ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 12:20AM

Derrida,

Thank you for submitting this information.

I just want to interject my own thoughts about what you said about laiety at the local level.

Like you, I was a convert. I was only 14 when baptized. My parents were not Mormons. I often felt comforted when the elders put their hands on my head and performed priesthood blessings of healing. I also took great joy in seeing them bless and name their own newborn babies!

I can identify with your wife, who thinks that a man providing blessings of healing and comfort can be a lovely thing to behold.

In Joseph Smith's time, women were allowed to provide blessings of healing and comfort. What is more natural than a woman blessing her own ill child or fussy baby -- or to lay her hands on a female friend who is in labor or experiencing a difficult pregnancy?

The official church doctrine back then:

"It is the privilege of all faithful women and lay
members of the Church, who believe in Christ, to administer
to all the sick or afflicted in their respective
families, either by the laying on of hands, or by the
anointing with oil in the name of the Lord: but they
should administer in these sacred ordinances, not by
virtue and authority of the priesthood, but by virtue
of their faith in Christ, and the promises made to believers:
and thus they should do in all their ministrations."

However, in July 1946, Joseph Fielding Smith changed the tradition of women providing comfort to their families by saying: "It is far better for us to follow the plan the Lord has given us and send for the Elders of the Church to come and administer to the sick and afflicted."

Here is the full article:

https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/115-6-30-43.pdf

When I joined a United Church of Christ, I loved to see the smiling face of my female pastor as she broke off chunks of bread and handed the chunks to each one of us. It was almost like taking bread from my own mom. I loved this pastor with all my heart and although I identify as an agnostic she is a mentor and friend to this day.

I see no difference between a lay mother or wife blessing her little ones with love, and an ordained woman approaching her congregation with a beaming smile.

It's not about power, or women's liberation, or stealing thunder from males in a congregation.

It's about caring for your community with charity and love.

I can probably never know what Maxine Hanks feels in her own heart about laity or ordination, or how this all somehow relates to her returning to Mormonism.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Just Wondering ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 08:59AM

I am an ex-Mormon and an atheist. The only problem I have with you in the present context is that you have demonstrated on this Board, over and over again, a complete intolerance of views that are not consistent with your own. This intolerance has not just been about critical thinking, it has often spilled over into the personal, in that you have suggested that people having such opposing views are stupid and worthy of distain. In my opinion, by taking this approach you have undermined much of the good you do as an ex-Mormon. I am not suggesting you should attack Maxine Hanks. I am suggesting that you should consider toning down your rhetoric on the assumption that there are others, perhaps like Maxine Hanks, that deserve a higher level of understanding.

That said, when Maxine Hanks rejoined the Mormon Church, she would have been required to repent of her past errors (sins) and seek forgiveness from God for her critical writing about the Church and CHurch leaders. She would have had to acknowledge that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the male dominated priesthood was God's plan after all. Thus, she either lied, or she is now a believer. It is not like someone who knows it is false, but chooses, for whatever reason, to stay. Maxine Hank's high profile, and excommunication, puts the matter on more serious moral footings.

I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she is a woman of character and actually believes Mormonism. If that is the case, then so much for her critical thinking skills. If, on the other hand, she is tricking the Church and is attempting to change it from within, then she is equally misguided, because Mormonism is fundamentally false, from beginning to end, and as an institution is doing great personal and social damage. To attempt to save it from within, by somehow making it a viable spiritual alternative, is almost as misguided as believing it in.

So, either way, Maxine Hanks deserves reproach. Notwithstanding your attempts to salvage her character, and refusal to challenge her publically, by alligning herself with FAIR, she speaks volumes. It is a slap in the face to all exMormons who have been abused by Mormonism, and especially to you, her friend. Seeking spirituality is one thing. That is deeply personal. However, alligning oneself with a group whose very purpose is to lie and deceive, and put down and ridicule those of us who have been victimized by Mormonism and are speaking out, is quite another.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: The other Sofia ( )
Date: July 28, 2013 09:31AM

You are being a good friend, Steve. I don't know Maxine's reasons. I have friends and family members who stay in the church. I know why some do, but some baffle me. Each have different paths to walk in this life. I can't live in the church right now, but have not resigned. To me it is recognizing their power, but I completely understand why some do and maybe someday I will. I don't understand why Maxine is speaking at FAIR, but I don't need to.

Options: ReplyQuote
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In


Sorry, you can't reply to this topic. It has been closed. Please start another thread and continue the conversation.