Another of my comments from Sunstone blog, slightly revised:
What I've been saying related to this Dutcher deal is just a bunch of irritating gobbledygook if you don’t accept Mormonism’s basic truth claims. If you do accept them, then I fail to see how you could NOT think that something is amiss in someone who leaves. Because if something isn’t amiss in them, then something is amiss in Mormonism, because it didn’t live up to its claims in that person’s life.
I choose to give Mormonism the benefit of the doubt rather than Dutcher, especially because it’s not hard for me to imagine how an artistic ego could play into someone leaving. Certainly not that I know much if anything about the reality of Dutcher’s situation—I’m just imagining how it could play out for me if I were in the same boat.
While I just can’t see any justification for rejecting Mormonism wholesale like Dutcher has essentially done, I obviously think there’s room for a whole range of behaviors within Mormonism, as shown by my own activities. As far as his admission to drinking beer, I could make a case for beer being a gateway drug in this modern day and age for a whole carnal lifestyle/mindset that hadn't yet materialized when the Word of Wisdom was first penned. I'm not making any comment specifically on Dutcher and beer; rather, I'm making a generalization and also an inference about the role beer would play in my own life, if I chose to resume its consumption.
And here’s another thing to tell you where I’m coming from: If Mormonism’s basic truth claims aren’t true, then I’ve really been wasting my time and effort, because I don’t much like the institution or the culture or the lifestyle, although I can begrudingly admit the benefits of most aspects of Mormonism. I’m just living this religion because I believe in the restoration story and in the eternal doctrine, not because I like the lifestyle or culture. For me, it’s either all true or it isn’t, and if it’s all true then by definition you gotta stick with it.