Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Critics of Mormon church: Why do you care? —Mary Redshirt

What is it that keeps you obsessed? Trying to save Mormon souls? Trying to prove you're right? Just being mean?
Well it's not every day I get to agree with joshsybs.

joshsybs: "I love the answers that say if you eliminate the LDS faith you are closer to the truth.

Great reasoning guys, now you only need to find the truth out of 59,999 instead of 60,000 Christian denominations."
It's like watching those Living Hope Ministries videos. Some are really well done, for all but the last five minutes, when they try to make their own pitch to the audience, like "Now that we've shown Mormonism is bunk, let us introduce you to our own equally implausible beliefs."

Honestly I wish mainstream Christians would just let Mormons into their club. All the arguing is divisive and just makes both sides look petty. (I think it's a two-way street here, Mormons like to ridicule Christian beliefs too, particularly the Nicean Creed.)

But back to the question, I do care and I am at least a bit obsessed. I'm not trying to save Mormon souls or even prove I'm right. But leaving Mormonism is one thing, taking away the power it has and the negativity it unfortunately causes in my family situation is much harder.

I'll stop caring about Mormonism when the church convinces my wife that it's OK--really and truly OK--if loved ones believe different things. I'll stop caring when my mom stops hoping against hope for my return to the fold, because it actually hurts her that I don't believe. I'll stop caring when I no longer have to worry that my kids are being taught predefined gender roles and unhealthy views about "morality." And when they stop chanting that damn "Follow the Prophet" song. :)

What I'm saying is I agree that it's silly when religions fight about interpretations of Bible verses and who has the right to call themselves "Christian." But don't imagine that other critics don't have strong personal reasons for persisting. The LDS church is and will likely always be the biggest wedge in all my closest relationships. I'd love to see it implode, at least as far as my family is concerned. (Hope they keep the gym open for Wednesday night basketball though.)


The Mandevilles said...

What amazes me about sites like this is the amount of time the hosts put in to it - paragraphs and paragraphs, pages upon pages, and links to other sites just like it all expounding how evil and controlling the LDS church is. For the most part, I think you’re preaching to the choir - helping other atheists, ex- and anti-mormons, feel better about themselves.
What exactly is so objectionable about the church? Some of the basic tenants of the Church are service, honesty, integrity, and morality that you as an individual should follow in your life. I am grateful for the role the Church plays in my life - I have a wonderful wife, beautiful children, and I have opportunities to serve and comfort them and others because of the organization of the Church. Are the people who run it perfect ? No. Was Joseph Smith perfect? No. Do I know and understand every detail of the gospel, the BoM, the history of the church, and the world? No. Do I need to? Not really.
I work, I go to school, I spend time with my family, I serve in the church and elsewhere in the community. I have a happy life and take comfort in the personal and family relationship I have developed with God.
So, back to you who host and publish on sites that intend to disprove the validy of the Church, or religion in general - by creating such a massive support network, aren’t you just supplanting what you intend to eliminate? The doubters and lost are your “congregation”. Destroying faith is your “service”. Atheism is your “god”.
I hope members who are comfortable in their testimony feel empowered to share it - but if you feel shaken by what you’ve read, then look at your life and the lives of others think about what good fruits the church and your faith has brought to it.

ElGuapo said...

Hi T.M., good comments. I'm glad to hear I "amazed" you. :) And yes, I quite agree that for the most part I'm just "helping other atheists, ex- and anti-mormons, feel better about themselves." I hope that's OK with you. We're people too.

You asked, "aren't you just supplanting what you intend to eliminate?" Yeah, pretty much. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not particularly bothered by your comparison. We agree again.

Was it your point to say I may as well have remained Mormon then? Small problem, I don't believe any of it. I'm glad it works for you though.

My only comment about the "fruits" thing is that I think you should give yourself more credit. Service, family, personal integrity, those things are all rewarding in and of themselves. You don't have to buy into a religion to enjoy them, know what I mean? And I hope you weren't implying that belief in the church can be justified on a utilitarian basis. If it's a lie, then integrity demands you expose the lie.