ThisSmallPlanet is a blog about life and culture. "New Music Today" is the indie rock music division, featuring links to new music downloads, selected music articles from our favorite sites, and original writing, photos, and videos about music by mikedx1 (Michael Donnelly)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) Spits on Joseph Smith in New Solo Video; Denounces Mormons As Homophobes
Not really my kind of music, but anyone who spits on (Mormon founder and charlatan) Joseph Smith, either literally or figuratively, is ok with me.
In solo release, Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn metaphorically and literally renounces LDS Church for LGBT teachings
A screenshot from the video for "Trash," the debut single from Tyler Glenn’s first solo effort.
By Benjamin wood The Salt Lake Tribune
Published: April 30, 2016 12:11PM
Updated: April 29, 2016 10:50PM
Tyler Glenn • The musician says the church’s announcement on gay couples triggered his exit.
In March 2014, Tyler Glenn proclaimed on the pages of Rolling Stone that he was proud of his life as a gay man, his career as a musician and his Mormon faith.
On Friday, two years later, the Neon Trees frontman and former Utah County resident was back in Rolling Stone again, overtly parting ways with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints via the video for his debut solo single, “Trash.”
The video begins with Glenn slumped on the ground, drinking alcohol before he moves through a hallway lined with LDS imagery, performs what appear to be references to Mormon temple rites and ultimately collapses to the floor of an elevator with a red “X” drawn across his face.
“You used to baptize me when I wasn’t ready,” Glenn sings in the video as he spits on an altered image of LDS Church founder and prophet Joseph Smith.
A representative of the LDS Church declined to comment on the video.
In his interview with Rolling Stone, Glenn said he was a square peg trying to fit into the round holes of the LDS Church, which he believed in until six months ago.
“My entire life and perspective on God, the afterlife, morals and values, my self-worth and my born sexual orientation has been wired within the framework of this religion that doesn’t have a place for me,” he said.
Earlier this month, Glenn was interviewed on “Mormon Stories,” the podcast hosted by John Dehlin, who was excommunicated from the LDS Church last year.
Glenn told Dehlin that his exit from the LDS faith was triggered after the November announcement that married gay couples would be considered apostates of the church and children of gay couples would not be allowed to participate in church rites.
He said the shock of the announcement led him to spend the bulk of a weekend studying aspects of LDS Church history he had avoided as a practicing member of the faith.
Kendall Wilcox, a gay Mormon documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the advocacy group Mormons Building Bridges, said the impact from the November announcement can’t be overstated.
The declaration that same-sex couples were apostates was a punch in the gut, Wilcox said, to both gay and straight Mormons worried about how the LGBT community is viewed and treated by LDS Church leadership.
“It rocked everybody’s world,” Wilcox said. “Some people were able to bounce back or have resilience, and for others it was the breaking point.”
He said Glenn’s story attracts more attention as the result of Neon Trees’ success and Glenn’s musical career.
But the emotions expressed in “Trash” and in Glenn’s interviews with the media, Wilcox said, are shared by many current and former members of the LDS Church.
“I see this definitely as a normal and even typical step or phase in the spiritual process of being gay and Mormon,” he said, “where there are moments or periods of deep dissonance and anger that this doesn’t add up.”
Wilcox said the current environment for LGBT members of the LDS Church can be summed up in one word: “fraught.”
He said many feel, like Glenn, that there is no longer a place for them in Mormon culture, while others see a renewed conversation on how individuals and families are impacted by LDS Church teachings and policies.
“It’s as complex as ever and as delicate as ever,” he said. “There is as much reason now, more than ever, to both have hope and to accept the deep challenging realities that we are facing.”
Glenn told Rolling Stone that his Mormon Neon Trees bandmates support his solo effort and that the group will continue working together.
Neon Trees performed Friday night in Provo as part of a benefit concert with fellow local exports Imagine Dragons.
By the way, compare and contrast Glenn's journey with that of fellow Mormon rocker Brandon Flowers of The Killers. Not only did Flowers grow as a Mormon (not his fault), but he has continued to practice Mormonism as an adult, even going so far as to make a propaganda video for the faith.
Many religions feature tall tales that stretch logic and such, but Mormonism and Scientology practically stand alone as faiths that are clearly 100% made up by their founders (for gain) and full of illogical contradictions that make no sense whatsoever.
The shameful history of massacres associated with Mormonism, along with their more recent history of racism, sexism, child abuse, and homophobia, strip them of any vestige of legitimacy. They are no worthy of our respect, they are worthy of our contempt only.