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Associating with Wackos

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The underlying point of my last post was that, assuming the posters to that T&S thread were representative of "Mormon," I do not wish to be "Mormon." Obviously, you and I both know that the comments there are not indicative of all Mormondom; however, I think we can safely assume that some "Momondom" was represented.

Ah, group membership.

I don't know about y'all, but I hate it when I am on the same side as wackos. I hate it when I argue for a position that I believe is eminently reasonable, but the guy next to me arguing for the same thing using bad reason. Or worse yet, his methodology is wacked. I'm as liberal as whatever, but I had a hard time getting through Michael Moore's latest work, even though I think he is, in the end, right. You know, whatever, but I think Moore ends up doing more harm than good for those of us on the left.

But since I am a "liberal" I have to 'deal' with Michael Moore being on my side. Luckily, there are so many of us liberals (and let us praise Heaven for that!...although we could use more...) that the effect Moore has on the perception of the term "liberal" is relatively small.

But what if it wasn't?

Examples are easy to offer: notice how the descriptor "Muslim" was interpreted post-9/11. Since then, it seems, Muslims (especially those in America) have to make "excuses" for the stupid and malicious actions of a few other "Muslims."

Of course, this is nothing new with "Mormon."

And it's relatively easy to dismiss those of the extreme fringes. Do Mormon's really have to make that many "excuses" for, say, Tom Green? Or that guy in the Krakauer book? Usually (it seems to me) the good example of one Mormon can outweigh the stereotypes of the fringe.

But what to do about those the aren't the fringe, but still give your descriptor a bad name? These are the insidious; the Maxim-like just-off-center position compared to the Hustler-esque outliers. What do about those Mormons who say things like, "All Homos are pedophiles" or "Homos recruit straight teens" (which only has the mere semblance of validity if a very broad definition of "recruit" is allowed)?

I don't know what to do. Luckily, I self-identify with groups that are small enough that there aren't a lot of wackos or groups large enough that the wackos are diffused. As much as it annoys me, if the only thing I get accused of being is a raging sex-hound (because I'm a non-Mormon male), life is pretty good.

But there is a problem here, especially when talking about the Mormon wackos. Yes, I don't have to deal with them, because I don't self-identify as "Mormon." But, if I (or anyone else) looks at converting, it is an issue. The question is, I guess, Do I want to be part of a group with these wackos?

10 Responses to “Associating with Wackos”

  1. Blogger D-Train 

    We've got 'em, but we've got no monopoly. Good example: I'm a huge OU fan. But I can't stand and others. Why? Because they're all bandwagon jumping know-nothing lunatics that have no perspective at all (by "no perspective", I don't mean that they don't understand that football isn't that big a deal. I was physically sick after we lost to TCU. I mean that they lose all faith after one bad game and don't get how great we have it).

    That's a trivial example, but I've chosen OU for my own reasons, and my freedom of association is punished because they're free too. I always think it's better to disassociate troublesome individuals from the group than to remove oneself. That's our ward mission leader's job :)

    I'd just plead for others to judge us on the merits. Everyone else has skeletons too. Just try and see our whole closet, bones and all, and use that to make a call.

  2. Blogger Eric Russell 

    The people are different than the religion. If we were to hang out with Jesus and his crowd of often faithless disciples, we would probably say they were as wacko a group as any.

  3. Blogger Pris 

    Yeah, what was up with that TCU game? I watched the second half and...bleh.

    And now OU is unranked for the first time since the last millenium.

  4. Anonymous Susan M 

    Tom Green was Mormon at some point?

    Maybe it's because I come from a big family full of crazy people, or because I just don't care what people think, but I could care less about this kind of thing. There are lame people, there are incredible awesome people. Sometimes lame people can be incredibly awesome, and sometimes incredibly awesome people can be lame. That's just the way it is.

  5. Blogger Pris 

    Susan: now you have me questioning my memory. I do not mean Tom Green, the guy that used to me on MTV. I mean the polygamist/bigamist that was charged/convicted a few years ago.

    If "Tom Green" is not the right name, could someone let me know so I can change it? Obviously I can't google it...

  6. Blogger lchan 

    The polygamist and the MTV guy share the same name. My first thought was of the MTV guy, too.

    I'm glad to hear you can see that Moore is a whackjob. I'm pretty conservative, but I feel the same way about Rush Limbaugh.

    But, Susan's right. Any group is going to have some whackos. If you can't convert to a religion (or even just join a club) unless you can relate to everyone associated with the group, you'll never find a church.

  7. Blogger Pris 

    The question, then, is: is that a bad thing? (Ignoring the truth-claims of various churches, of course.) Should we join an organization with undesireables or just go it alone?

  8. Blogger lchan 

    I think so. Although I'd also say that there's probably not one answer for every person.

    For me, I don't regret the time I spent away from the church. But, I'm very happy that I found my way back.

    I think it's a good thing - especially as a family - to have a church community. And I don't actually know of any whackos in my ward. (Although, growing up I would say a hefty percentage of my ward were whacked, but I loved that ward anyway.)

  9. Blogger lchan 

    What I meant by I think so is that I don't think we should go it alone.

  10. Blogger Arwyn 

    I think one should cease associating with wackos immediately upon discovering that they are, in fact, wackos.

    I will now leave this blog.

    Actually, no. That would be more funny if I'd been more active in blogging recently. But my point is that one man's normal person is another man's wacko, and you can't really ever cease associating and being associated with them, since you can't always tell who's wacko in whose eyes.

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