Carrie Poppy Talks About the Importance of Using Inclusive Language

At TAM 10, Carrie Poppy gave a talk about “the importance of using inclusive language while doing outreach,” something she says the Mormon Church (which she “joined” last year) does very well:

I haven’t had a chance to watch the full video yet, but if you like any particular parts, please leave the timestamps and summaries in the comments!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Carrie Poppy is awesome. I love her podcast, called “Oh, NO. Ross and Carrie”, where she and her friend Ross join the Mormons, go for acupuncture, and try out other forms of wooo,  etc. and then report on the experiences, from a skeptic’s perspective.

    In this talk/video, she builds a good argument for the importance of building a relationship with others and hearing their thoughts/concerns before you can really expect them to consider your (skeptical) world view.

    • The Other Weirdo

       The trouble with this theory, and admittedly I haven’t seen the video since I’m at work, is that we skeptics have been hearing and listening to their thoughts/concerns for years without the least bit of reciprocity. We see their church slogans at every church. Now they’ve got LED boards, which means their slogans can been at twice the distance in blowing snow. We see it on TV, we listen to friends talk about their church experiences.

      Funny, they never once ask us for our thoughts.

      • http://www.facebook.com/carriepoppy Carrie Poppy

         Hi there! I think you’ll especially like the talk, then. It’s about how to effectively communicate your thoughts to believers without turning them off, regardless of how they’ve presented their thoughts to you. =)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LCH7RIBX7H5G2QHPGYXJ7SZ7P4 Zed Z

    It starts around the 20 minute mark. The plussers need to see this if they are at serious about building a community. They’re not imho, I think they more interested in being whinny and snobby. Even trolls need love.
    Was this your point all along, Hemant?

    • ErickaMJohnson

      I think his point was for you to see it as well.

    • Coyotenose

      When someone doesn’t want to join a group whose most prominent stance is, “We don’t want you if you’re a misogynist,” it doesn’t say anything about that person.

      When someone obsessively gripes about a group whose most prominent stance is, “We don’t want you if you’re a misogynist,” and further complains that they’re “snobby”, it says a lot about that person.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zed-Kelly/100001635961958 Zed Kelly

        Thank you, Coyotenose. You are such a good sport for demonstrating my point so concisely. 

      • Guest.

         Coyotenose, while you say that’s the A+ primary message, it sounds a lot more like, “You must pledge allegiance to a specific brand of feminism before we think you’re not a defective person.”  That’s really hostile.  I’ve yet to see an A+ actually listen and show that they understand how they are viewed by the out-group. 

        Those closest you come is a reformation of the complaint I just made, kind of like this, “The not-A+ claim we are divisive.  Sadly, those stupid people don’t recognize the harms vs women have been going on for a long time and naming a split doesn’t create it.”  This is not the same thing and it comes across as mendacious that the A+ refuse to address what is actually being said in favor of obnoxious, not parallel reframings.

      • BG

         [  When someone doesn't want to join a group whose most prominent stance is, "We don't want you if you're a misogynist," ]

        Except that’s not their “most prominent stance”.

        As far as I can tell, their most prominent stance is “We don’t want you if you disagree with or dare to question us (and if you do, you’re also a misogynist)”. And THAT is what I find objectionable. In large part because it is the antithesis of critical thinking and skepticism, which they claim to practice.

    • RobMcCune

       Damn those plussers, viewing everything through the lens of their sense of grievance, derailing threads in order to snipe at their opponents…

      Oh wait, that’s what your doing.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/LCH7RIBX7H5G2QHPGYXJ7SZ7P4 Zed Z

        Am I missing something? I thought the subject was the value inclusiveness. The topic de jure is the divisive nature of A+ being masked with accusations of misogyny etc.
        Everything here falls into place perfectly and as I suggest I believe this is the subtle point of the post. Is Hemant just lucky or very clever?

        • RobMcCune

          It’s the topic of the day because people like you find every opportunity to inject it into comment threads.

          Everything here falls into place perfectly…

          That’s because your obsessed with atheism+, everything leads back to them in your mind.

  • MV

    I’m sorry, but is this supposed to be sarcasm?  Equating the Mormon Church and inclusive language?  As an example, please explain to me the inclusive language used in their Prop 8 outreach.  And if you can, how exactly does nice language overcome actions that have an actual negative outcome?

    • http://www.facebook.com/carriepoppy Carrie Poppy

       It certainly doesn’t (overcome negative actions), nor do I make that case. The point is just that the Mormons are effective at outreach– it isn’t that they are blameless. I even say in the talk that they “perpetuate evils and believe lies.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/LCH7RIBX7H5G2QHPGYXJ7SZ7P4 Zed Z

        On my first day at a Catholic Universality I was told that non-believers were welcome at the orientation event. They are jerks in some areas but, I have returned the favor because they are giving me something I value. Now when an Atheist University opens up and let’s me be me, then I will respect that.
        FYI: at a state university I attended I got a bible handed to me every semester as walked into the door on day one. Religion is almost never brought up at Catholic School and then it was not prothletising.
        I like Utah very much by the way. The Utah state parks are much cleaner than the national parks. The Mormons are a tidy people.
        You see I can say nice things too.

    • RobMcCune

       The point, which comes near the end of the video, is that mormons were always respectful and tried to find common ground even when Carrie and Ross disagreed with them. They went out of their way to not antagonize those who disagreed, it’s not a statement on mormon doctrine being inclusive.

  • Foster

    Carrie Poppy is absolutely right in recognizing the good in others despite her difference in viewpoint.  No matter what your position is, expressing it winsomely is going to be more effective than spouting fountains of expletives or insulting your opponents.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/LCH7RIBX7H5G2QHPGYXJ7SZ7P4 Zed Z

      To continue my line of thought, I asked myself what is it that I like about Catholics and Mormons and what perpetuates their nonsense? My is that they do some useful and productive things that have enhanced my quality of life and piggyback the nonsense on that. So I ask myself what do skeptics do that enhance my quality life and the only answer positive answer so far has been CFI’s CSICOP and JREF investigating various scams and delusions. So Carrie and Ross, keep making yourselves useful and I hope you get some traction for us all. I have subscribed to your podcast and I like the hour I have heard so far.

  • Zoe

    Blegh comment thread. 

    @Carrie: You rock! And you’re right, gave me plenty to think about!


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