Response to an Anonymous Mormon*

(Because I really want Anonymous to read my response, I am taking my brother's advice and making my response to him/her shorter so as to make it more likely to be read . Anonymous, if you are out there, I am dying to hear your response! Leave me a comment! {If you are feeling extra motivated, the previous entry contains the original, longer version of my reply to you. I would have just shortened my original entry shortly after having written it, but my internet was down all last evening so I'm making a new entry altogether.})

As a reminder, here is what you said to me:

Anonymous said...

Always funny how those who leave the church never can leave it alone. Your pursuit of self justification will yield no fruit, of course. This isn't a final judgment, of course, a word of advice: keep this nonsense to yourself.

Your comment indicates you are an active Latter Day Saint. Can you imagine how you would feel if you wrote a blog post expressing your feelings about the Church and I left you a comment telling you to 'keep your nonsense beliefs to yourself'?
I imagine you would find it frustrating. You would likely find it further justification of the truthfulness of what you were saying and if anything it would give you encouragement to speak of your beliefs more often.

This is close to how I feel after reading your comment.

I will try and explain more of why your comment is so deeply frustrating to me:

Your comment represents part of the reason I left the Church and part of the reason I stay away. Ie. People who are uncomfortable with the truth and want to silence voices which disagree with their own. Thankfully this does not apply to all Church members or leaders, but enough so, that it was one motivation in my leaving the Church.

Any organization or individual which seeks to silence those who disagree with them strikes me as the opposite of 'good'. Their claims become automatically weakened and suspicious. Anyone who claims to seek after truth should be open to all forms of inquiry and commentary.

Had you merely disagreed with me and expressed why I would have not been bothered at all, however, you made no effort to counter any points I have made, rather you had the audacity to try and dictate to me what you feel is acceptable for me to write about.

Whats worse, is that you have done this on MY blog. My place to talk about my personal thoughts, feelings and experiences. Had I, for example, left a comment on your blog saying something critical about the Church, perhaps I would understand why you would tell me to keep it to myself. But for you to feel justified in dictating what I can and cannot write about on my own blog is upsetting. I imagine you knew before reading my blog what sort of person I am and what sort of things I write about. If these things make you uncomfortable the better solution would have been for you to not read my blog in the first place rather than to read it, then advice me to not have written it.

To address the first part of your comment: "Always funny how those who leave the church never can leave it alone."

This is untrue for many I know who leave the the Church, but for those for whom it is true, it is understandable.

Anyone who grows up in an institution that influences so many aspects of their life and one in which they were intimately part of, will, of course, find it deeply affects much of their life and thinking even long after they leave and will, if they are open about their thoughts and feelings, tend to speak of this. This does not mean they are attacking that organization or seeking to justify themselves. It is also not evidence that the organization is true, as some Church members seem to claim. If this were the case, Scientology would probably be the most true religion as it has the most vehemently outspoken critics and former members.

This phenomenon is by no means exclusive to the Lds Church. It is common to most religious organizations, particularly those which exert a strong influence on the lives of its members.

Do you feel that people who are lapsed Jews, Muslims, Flds etc, who speak about the organization they were raised in are trying to justify themselves? I imagine not. Because you are not emotionally tied to these organizations, you are able to see more objectively that it is only natural for anyone who is raised in a particular organization and leaves it later in life, to find it difficult to 'Leave alone'.

Finally, while your comments may be relevant to other things I have written in regards to the Church, it is strange to me you would have left this comment on this particular entry. It isn't as if, just out of the blue, I decided to write a super long blog entry about Mormonism. I wrote it because missionaries came TO MY HOUSE. In this instance, I wrote about Mormonism, not because I can't leave the Church alone, but because it is something which just barely happened to me.

Adding to that, this entry wasn't even negative towards the Church. (which makes me question whether you had even read it before leaving your comment. If you hadn't actually read my post before commenting, which is all the more frustrating that you would attempt to belittle and silence my thoughts without first even knowing what they are.) I briefly touched on some of my views of the Church insofar as it was relevant to the story, but otherwise this wasn't a critique on Mormonism. It seems that anything about Mormonism which isn't absolutely positive you find offensive. Which is unfair. People are allowed to not feel positively towards things you like.

*I am not trying to point a finger at Mormons by using 'Mormon' in my title, but I thought that if Mormon were in the title you, anonymous would be more likely to read this.


camille said...

I enjoyed reading about your visit with the missionaries and the subsequent posts.

I was saddened by the anonymous comment.

That is all.

betty said...

You are most likely correct in assuming that anonymous is Mormon.

Chris Almond said...

it is good to hear from you.
It is funny because although I haven't heard from you in a while, just a couple days ago i was thinking about you. Interesting how that seems to happen so often, we will think of someone we haven't interacted with for a while, then shortly after we will have an interaction with them.
Anyway, i am glad you liked my entry and the the subsequent entries and were saddened by the comment. It is reassuring to hear such things from believing Church members.

I bet I am too. 1) If they weren't, they likely wouldn't have cared so much. 2) If they were not they probably wouldn't have referred to the lds church as simply 'The Church'.