Friday, December 17, 2010
Mormonism Has Issues Part 3
These posts are not necessarily in a particular order, or need to be read together. Long ago I said I had no plans on bashing Mormonism out-rightly, as in, making specific posts. I've made fun of the culture, I've pointed out issues or qualms I have with it while also pointing out some of the good, but these posts are meant to deal wholeheartedly with Mormonism in it's negative light. I've given the outline of issues, not promising to go into any, and then last time was enraged when I decided to use my god Google to find articles about gay teen suicides in Utah. I was pretty enraged by the stories I was reading about, the stats I would find, the poor and sometimes fatal parenting some Mormon households were doing, and I even posted a links to a few of my 'favorite' stories I had found. But I'm done with that for now. Maybe I just miss USGAY at BYU, I haven't been in a while.
Nope tonight, or this morning, I hope to do just a small post on one area of Mormonism that most people probably know about personally. It is best explained by this video:
Now, I'm pretty sure the LDS church was overstepping some of its tax exempt status with Prop 8 and that was one issue that put me on the fence with the church. I loved the church and believed, but I could not support Prop 8. Peter Danzig's story is pretty similar to the beginnings of how I doubted the church.
But that's not the point, the point is how the church reacted to him. Or to Cary Cralls article. Or to anyone who disagrees with them. There is no open dialogue within the church. You cannot express doubt or insecurity for your leaders, and of course this leads to some issues. In my mission there was an area several years ago where a person high in authority went on a power-trip of some kind and excommunicated a lot of people and upset even more. The classic case of someone who felt teens should be excommunicated if they had lapsed on the law of chastity. As if those teens would ever come back for being excommunicated at that time in their life.
The church is set up so that if your bishop is the one causing problems you can't go to anyone. If you send letters to the Stake President he simply sends it back to your bishop, and then he READS it. Everyone hears horror stories like this, some first person, but I went to this area that I'm talking about, and every Sunday there was a large number of people who were excommunicated and working on coming back, and on the roster there were tons of less actives who had no interest in coming back. Tons of part-member families who had been 'whole' member families before. This is meant to be an example of the authoritarian structure within the church.
The video shows what happens when you disagree publicly. Sometimes postmos in groups I go to will ask how to get excommunicated, cause they do tons of 'bad' things and people know but no one is doing anything. Easiest way? Get up in sacrament meeting and talk about a point you disagree with the church on. In fact there's a video of a guy doing that and then they shut off the mic. Lol.
Being that there is no dialogue about issues within Mormonism many people who wish to talk about it slowly become disillusioned to it. Some people would stay in the church if they could voice their opinions. Well, this could be a benefit actually, rather than an issue.
This stagnates a lot of thinking though, so it is an issue. Perhaps the blacks would have received the priesthood sooner if people had been allowed to question this 'doctrine,' or perhaps members would be educated on the genetics of homosexuality so parents wouldn't kick their kids out onto the streets or how the church used to employ shock therapy. Perhaps if the membership would allow science to explain things instead of scriptures they would understand how depression actually works instead of saying it comes from sin.
I had a hard time accepting that Mormonism was a cult, but any religious organization that tightens its grip on original thought and uses authoritarian rule generally is going to be a cult when you look deeper. Mormons are told that to be truly happy you have to be Mormon, to associate with fellow Mormons and try to convert your neighbors, avoid non-members who can easily corrupt you or your children. They form tight-knit societies wherever they go, they are told to avoid discussing anything against the church, and then they all judge each other, such as who's had all their children go on missions. Told to doubt scholars who aren't Mormon. To distrust anyone who has anything negative to say about the church.
Now, for the churches benefit, many of the Brethren talk about being more open and loving. But at the same time they enforce a cult-like atmosphere. Why do postmos talk about the church? Because we all have so much to readjust and go back and make meaning of after we leave! Lol, there's a level of brain-washing we have to throw off. In the real world I have some odd views that don't really agree with progressive thought, such as women.
This is a lot of rambling, and not very well thought out. I'm getting kind of sick again, probably stress due to finals. The video probably lays it out best, lol.