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I now know why I am not Mormon...


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...and all it took was reading a thread at T&S.

It's because I don't care about other people.

And I don't mean in a "charity" sort of way. No, I think we should help out people when we can.

I mean that I don't care what people do.

I'll watch out for my own, you watch out for yours. As for "yours", well, frankly, I don't give a goshdarn. I'd appreciate it if you felt the same way about "my own".

'Cause, you know, I don't really care if you want to go get blitzed. Just don't drink and drive.

I don't care if you go to Church on Sunday or if you worship at the church of football.

I don't care if you find your own gender attractive. Heck, if you want, go ahead and 'experiment'. I'm not going to stop you or call you evil.

Likewise, I don't care if the only naked human you ever see is your spouse. I'm not going to stop you or call you evil.

I don't think it's a good thing to cheat on your spouse, but if you two have an 'understanding', then whatever. Even if you don't, hey, not my problem.

It's not even a question of having a mote or a log in our eyes.

It's knowing where your place is.

My place is one that doesn't allow me to make many judgments about your behavior.

I have the sneaking suspicion that your position might be the same.

Am I my brother's keeper?

I don't have a brother.

And that's why I'm not Mormon.



(Standard Disclaimer: no, not every Mormon is this way. There are some very very good Mormons out there who I have lots of love for, and this includes the bloggernacle. Oh, and props to Flanders on the above linked thread for telling it like it is.)


15 Responses to “I now know why I am not Mormon...”

  1. Blogger D-Train 

    Kinda seems like that, huh? What I really love is the "fornication might be bad, but it isn't like what those homosexuals do."

    Sheesh.

  2. Blogger NFlanders 

    Thanks, Pris. Posts like that tend to bring out the worst in the bloggernacle and make me embarassed to be Mormon. But even I am surprised at how ugly it's getting on that thread.

    D-Train got in some good licks over there, too. My view is if you're going to embarass yourselves, I just want my objections noted.

  3. Anonymous Susan M 

    I can hardly ever stand reading anything over at T&S.

  4. Blogger D-Train 

    Were I a horrible liberal that ascribed wretchedly regressive motives to anyone that had different views than I, I'd cite exhibit 1A in the "just how white IS this Church? (in America)" trial:

    "I’m the Ward Mission Leader, and I attend a very ethnically diverse ward – on any given Sunday there may be an African-American member or investigator in attendance."

    From a beloved T&S thread.......

    Seriously, there's zero racism there, but how might this apply to the view of homosexuals that you often get in places like that? In a lot of ways, it's just a different world, I guess.

  5. Blogger annegb 

    oh, dear, perhaps I am not a Mormon, either.

  6. Blogger annegb 

    no,on second thought, I am a Mormon because I think Times and Seasons is okay. Perhaps I need to read more closely. I go there all the time.

  7. Blogger D-Train 

    T&S is a real mixed bag for me. I think the occasional post is interesting, but the stuff that flat-out pisses me off is pretty uncommon. M* is more conservative, but more readable in my opinion. M* is also the prettiest of the three. BCC is probably my favorite of the biggies, although it was probably in third about a month ago. I've decided to check that one a little more often and my preconceptions were changed to a large extent.

  8. Anonymous Daylan Darby 

    I wish more 'Mormons' would wake up and realize what the war in heaven was all about - Christ and his angels fought so that we would be FREE to CHOOSE his way. Satan and his angels fought to FORCE us to obey.

    I don't care what others do to themselves or with consenting others, as long as they don't (through laws or other force) make me or others responsible for (e.g. pay for the consequences of) their actions.

  9. Blogger John W. Redelfs 

    The War in Heaven is still going on here in mortality. But for those of us who kept our First Estate, the reward is our agency. We have already won that. There is nothing that the devil, Adolph Hitler, or even George W. Bush can do to overturn that fact. A law could be passed making every form of sin illegal, and we would all still be free to break those laws. Those who argue that vice laws violate the principle of agency apparently don't know what agency is.

    The only reason that rape and murder are illegal is that those behaviors are sinful. Do laws against rape and murder violate our agency? No, they don't. And neither do laws against abortion, homosexual sodomy, or bestiality.

    Libertarianism is a "false philosophy of man," and there is no such thing as a victimless crime.

  10. Blogger RoastedTomatoes 

    John, I love you, man. Someone has to bring the old-time Mormon stuff online, even if it rubs against the grain of the culture here, and you do it so well. This might sound sarcastic, since I don't really agree with you that often, but I'm being sincere. Our online world is a richer and more inclusive place because of Bro. Redelfs, so here's to you, John!

    Okay, back to the main topic. The thing is, I think Mormons have a cultural need to feel under siege. If we don't feel like everyone's out to get us, I think, it seems like something's wrong. Polygamy once filled this role for us, but it is too far in the past. Opposition to civil rights worked, too, until 1978--but that's done, too (and good riddance). And, frequent Evangelical comments notwithstanding, modern prophets and the Book of Mormon just aren't sensational enough to maintain our feeling of impending doom. So we need something else to make the rest of the world seem e-v-i-l.

    Homosexuality is starting to fit the bill. It didn't really work when mainstream Americans were violently homophobic, because we just fit in with everyone else then. But as rights and acceptance for same-sex relationships continue to gain ground, this issue will increasingly fill our need for marginality. For that reason, I expect to see an increasing level of stridency on this issue until we reach a critical point. Then, we'll get instruction from the top that temple marriage will be available to all worthy couples...

  11. Blogger D-Train 

    John,

    You've created a straw man worthy of the biggest corn palace in Iowa. Nobody's saying that you can't regulate morality. What is being said is that morality can't be legislated unless others are affected by it in some way or unless there's a compelling societal interest. You've shown neither.

    You're right that agency can persist in the face of a hostile law. But you can't argue that it's irrelevant to it. Are all of the French people that didn't act exactly the same once the Nazis rolled in culpable for the Holocaust? Of course not. The law sustained by brute force kept them from doing the right thing. Are they to blame? Well, I guess so. Their agency was still present. They could have done more.

    Put it another way. Let's say our laws do curtail homosexuality (which they obviously didn't, or we wouldn't be talking about it). Do you really think that the passing of that law will do a thing for the salvation of anyone in the country? In short, why do you argue that a law external to our agency will make our salvation more likely? If you're not arguing that our salvation is more likely, then why do you demand legislation in the face of the fact that consensual homosexual sex does nothing to harm anyone other than those engaged in it? Is there any societal benefit at all to embracing your worldview? If agency and law are not related, why push for laws? Why not just live the principles yourself and warn your neighbor, presuming you have in fact been warned? If they are related, why do you want to cut it short?

    Libertarianism is a philosophy of men, the same as any legal theory that argues that sodomy laws are constitutional. You've done nothing to show me that faithful members of the kingdom of God must support sodomy laws and less to persuade me that it would provide any social good.

  12. Anonymous Anonymous 

    John says "there is no such thing as a victimless crime".

    An old childless hermit smokes some weed to reduce the pain of dying. John, Who is the victim? Himself?

  13. Blogger annegb 

    I never felt a need to have somebody out to get me, as a Mormon. I'd rather nobody be out to get me. But that's just me.

    Times and Seasons gets too high brow for me, especially with the lawyer stuff.

    I didn't take as much offense at the homosexual thread as you guys did, but now I do. :)

  14. Blogger D-Train 

    I wasn't as initially offended as Ned, but his wisdom became clear given the direction that the thread took.

    Roasted Tomatoes, I think that your claim that the Church will move toward recognizing SSM (especially in the temple) strikes me as missing three key points.

    1) The Church's claims about the purpose of celestial marriage and sexual relationships are much too fundamental to the plan of salvation to be altered to that extent. I believe that these teachings are true. Even if they weren't, they're too ingrained in the social and doctrinal culture of the Church to be changed.

    2) The Church is composed of an overwhelmingly conservative population. These people don't want change --- they fear it. Now, I don't want to give that a negative connotation, since change isn't necessarily good and the status quo isn't necessarily bad. But people in the Church (in general) aren't interested in social change and see the Church as a "restoration". The old has redeemed the new. Even as doctrine develops anew, it's painted within the context of a restoration.

    3) Railing against homosexuality is just too good an identity creator. It's a historically marginalized group that's small enough to not really be powerful. It's the last socially acceptable discrimination. The structure of the Church discourages even people that never indulge in homosexual behavior to keep their orientation a secret, so that there isn't even an internal conflict over it. Plus, most people in the Church still think that people that struggle with same-sex attraction are actually bad people and think that their temptations are evidence of sin. Perfect divider.

    Of course, that "gay=bad" equation isn't explicit and it's certainly not doctrinal. But it's cultural enough that condemnations of homosexuality tap into that and create ingroup-outgroup identities within the Church culture.

  15. Blogger Pris 

    Oh, wow, it's still going on over there. It makes me sad.

    RoastedTomatoes: Interesting thoughts. My question, perhaps building on D-train's #2 and #3, is: do you see this shift as coming from the Brethen down or from the membership up? That is, who's doing the primary directing?

    John, you're correct, depending on how one defines "victimless." In the sense that everything we do has consequences (good and bad), I agree with you. But I won't/can't go much farther than that.

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