I am laughing about the more-than-usual degree of posturing hand-wringing currently going on amongst "liberal Mormons" who now seem to be faced with the decision of whether or not to jump ship and join the other apostates as formal "ex-mo", who leave the Church, but can't leave the Church alone. This question has been cause célèbre in the so-called "Bloggernacle" for quite some time. John Dehlin was apparently their heroic advocate since around 2010, until he was recently excommunicated. I wasn't giving the incident a lot of notice, but since it was aired in public to all the news media, it would have been hard to miss. The "Bloggernacle" also doted on Kate Kelly and several others who continue a pitched public and legal battle against the Church, but no longer as members. Dehlin proudly claims credit for disclosing the intended updates to Handbook 1, purportedly passed under the table by some confederate mole inside the Church Office Building. (The do-gooders who wear their bleeding hearts on their sleeve generally seem to easily overlook this kind of duplicity.) They insist that the Church should be more loving and inclusive. (By some ironic twist of random fate, I seem to be excommunicated from commenting in such "loving and inclusive" forums. Saves me a lot of time.)
There is no question that my take on this popular phenomenon is twisted and wrong. I should be properly sympathetic and tearful, and put my arms around the simpering and snivelling displayed by many who take offense about those nasty mean Church rules. As far as I can tell, most of these are useful idiots being manipulated to serve the agenda of those whose interest is to tear down the Church. I have been informed by any number of people that I am all at once "pathetic" and "compassionless", or that I am just too critical and intolerant of the views of others. I'm sure they all have good cause for their disparaging, though I seldom see anything specifically iterated beyond reference to my general creepiness. I guess that will serve as sufficient basis for the "loving and inclusive" to transform rather quickly into spiteful and exclusive.
One particularly entertaining and trite example...
One of the many swimmers in the "sea of sameness" of "Bloggernacle" bloggers, for some unfathomable reason, at one time "befriended" me on Facebook. After a recent disagreeable exchange of comments on her blog, she now asserts that she later "unfriended" me because I tend to be rude and disagreeable. I vaguely recall that the actual occasion of "unfriendliness" had something more to do with her condescending rejection of my absurd assertion that an LDS Chapel is an acceptable venue for a wedding reception post-Temple sealing. Apparently not so for any of her precious daughters, who needed a more appropriate and less tawdry social setting. Anyway, now she testifies assiduously (in her most loving and inclusive manner) what an evil and unpleasant person I am. Ejected from the choice inner circle of this blogger, among so many others, I am almost beside myself in despair. Feeling particularly despondent and unloved. But alas, I was born this way. It would be foolish and vain for me to try to deny my propensities.
BTW, no word yet on the proposed firing of the Church legal department.
I am happy to concur with the few outspoken Church leaders who have commented on similar occasions. One of my favorties...
The Church is like a great caravan—organized, prepared, following an appointed course, with its captains of tens and captains of hundreds all in place.
What does it matter if a few barking dogs snap at the heels of the weary travelers? Or that predators claim those few who fall by the way? The caravan moves on. (The Caravan Moves On)
What can I say? I'm obviously just a really bad person. But of course, I have no choice in the matter - I was born this way!
Another note appropriate for mentioning to all those "faithful Mormons" who insist on sniping about Church policy. Sustaining the Brethren. I don't expect any of these dissidents to share such ideas, or to bother with even a cursory review of the Interpreter article, but it is some small comfort to me to learn that I am not the only Church member who feels this way.
I am not offering to condemn any of these dissident voices so critical of the Church. I am fully satisfied to let God be the judge between us. Ultimately, I have little doubt that your own words will bring condemnation.
PS: I can see from Google Tracking that at least someone from the "Mormon Murmurer" has been checking my blog posts. Not sure whether that means they are planning to sue me, or if they are actually reading.
PS: Is the Church Legal Department fired yet?
The hand-wringing exercises continue. Here's a more current and up-to-date example. Women in the "Bloggernacle" seem to believe they are particularly gifted with special insight. Thus they tend to be collectively holding a vast pool of wisdom that if possible, surpasses any occasional commandment from Heaven.
Another example of the agonized frenzy "liberal Mormons" have worked themselves into. This particular forum is generally pretty bland, but occasionally the owner betrays her true sentiments. Now the blog owner complains about suggestions purportedly being offered by intolerant and unloving, "Why don't you just get out?", referring to those who are threatening to abandon their faith in favor of worldly philosophy. This is a particularly specious complaint in light of the media attention being so craved by those who ARE "getting out" with accompaniment of brass bands and drunken self-congratulatory celebrations. And particularly ironic to me personally, since this is another forum characterized by "progressive" and "inclusive" ideas that ceased to love me when I presumed to upset their delicate sensibilities, and summarily excommunicated me long ago.
Also most ironic to observe that if you're agonizing about whether to abandon your faith - you obviously already have.
Conclusive evidence that indicates that the "Why don't you just get out?" approach is hardly unique to the Mormon community.
Yet another post from the "Bloggernacle" from a "faithful Mormon" who now feels compelled to publicly air his own testimony that HE now knows the Church is going astray from the true and righteous leadership of popular social trends. Turns out that the Church has always been wrong, about this and a whole lot of things, but is sadly still in denial. He presumes to speak for us, "...Our vision of social issues reflects the conservatism and provincialism of our Great Basin leaders." I note the use of inclusive pronouns. Presumably either the royal "we", or he believes he can speak in behalf of the general audience.
He comments further, "I have long felt that were I not born into the faith that I simply cannot imagine joining it as a convert." And my persuasion has long been that with no exception, EVERYONE who joins the Church should consider themselves to be a "convert". Nobody can rightfully claim to be "born into the faith". I believe this false assertion represents a common misunderstanding slur intended to denigrate less enlightened disciples who fall into this categorization simply by virtue of having been "born into the faith".
For any who are seriously of the mistaken impression that such diatribes are anything particularly new, please check out Boyd Petersens's ten-year-old review of Martha Beck and her melodramatic fiction "Leaving the Saints". Interesting parallels.
This has the flavor of a bad SciFi flick. Freely adapted from "Total Recall"...
The walls of reality will come crashing down. One minute, you'll be the savior of the rebel cause, and the next thing you know you'll find yourself marching lock-step with the John Dehlin and Kate Kelly fan club. You'll also have fantasies about your heroic battles against the perfidy of the "Mormon Patriarchy", as you ordered. But in the end back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized. So get a grip on yourself and put down that pen.