Thursday, December 8, 2011

The way things work

Inspired by:

You're not a mormon

  1. You get completely wasted one night and get in a car accident.
    Society)  Doesn't care, let the authorities handle it.
    Your church)  Frowns on your reckless behavior
  2. Accuse people of not being "born again" to their face
    Society)  Is dismissive of you, largely doesn't care
    Your church)  Varies from praising you for being a defender of the faith to not really caring
  3. You attack someone's faith or way of life
    Society)  Is tolerant and largely silent regarding your behavior
    Your church)  Praises you, in general, for supporting them.  Tries to publicly preach love and kindness.

Now, you're a Mormon.

  1. You get wasted and get in a car accident.
    Society)  Let the authorities handle it.  You see a handful of news articles describing how the mormon church is wrong because they preach abstaining from alcohol and it creates these nut-jobs who inevitably go overboard.
    Your church)  Varies depending on your attitude.  It ranges from "let the authorities handle it" to "removal from the church, and let the authorities handle it"
  2. You boldly state to someone that what they're doing doesn't fit your interpretation of doctrine
    Society)  Criticizes church policy, demonizes you, and tries to make your mistake as public as possible.
    Your church)  Tries to lovingly correct you, and reminds you that we are to do our best to teach principles and leave the interpretation up to the Spirit of God.  Church usually defends its members from the public flak they get, while still attempting to help the public distinguish the difference between an individual member and the church as a whole.  
  3. You attack someone's faith or way of life
    Society)  Large quantities of angry and loud people start protesting around your places of worship, everything you said is circulated as fast as modern media will allow.  People start drafting legal cases against you, and try to label you and everyone of your faith as bigoted and entirely off-base.
    Your church)  Reminds you of the policy and doctrine instituted in 1844, that we claim the privilege of worshipping God, and allow all men the same privilege to worship how, where, and whatever they may.  Makes a public statement that the church in no way holds your position or view point, and never has.

Now you're me

You chose to be a mormon, and you're free to change that decision at any time.  You wouldn't change your decision for all the misunderstanding, flak, and criticism in the world--not because you're opposed to change, just because you don't believe negativity should influence your decision-making process.
It upsets you to hear people within your own faith become increasingly antagonistic towards their religion, but you do your best to bite your tongue. 
You try to illustrate the logical disparity in the way your treated because of your faith on particular matters, only to be received with more antagonism and criticism. 
You know you're not right about everything, and that's fine, because you're still learning and know that you have a long way to go--but you ARE right about a few things and get attacked because you won't compromise that standard. 
You can see wisdom, and room for improvement on your church's policy--but acknowledge that you don't have any certain idea as to HOW to improve that policy, and simply lack enough information to make an educated guess.
Having said that, you don't mind being held to a double-standard, because you've always held yourself to the highest standards you could think of, and you don't mind that other people do the same to you.
You're a mormon by choice. . .no one is making you stay that way but yourself.  You're still a mormon.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....