I wanted to continue my last discussion about an email I came across. This is part 2 of my thoughts. My last blog entry, discusses the background information-for those who don't know the back story.
This post is to answer some questions the author posed in his email. Before I begin, I must point out that I feel the church as an institution is a toxic organization with little redeeming qualities. If one wants to really see the "fruit of Mormonism" look to the members. Look at non believers, how they are treated, how ex Mormons are disregarded, or how anyone who is different, is perceived. I, myself, can be included in those groups.
My "friend's" email stated that, "I also find it interesting that CS would have so many gripes about the church, AS IF (my emphasis) he had been personally harmed by the church....." This is bothersome to me. Over the last 3 years, since my disaffection, I have found that I am invalidated on all fronts. My opinions, thoughts, or even feelings do not matter. He is taking a basic right, as a human being-the right to determine if I have been harmed, and totally disregards it. Now I must make a distinction, to me the members are the church, the church=members. Without members, the church would cease to exist. I don't like the excuse that men are human, and past leaders were acting as men-but the church is perfect. Yes we do make mistakes, but there is a distinction between inadvertently harming an individual and purposely harming or deceiving someone. I do admit that our behaviors and actions are caused by our upbringing. We only do what we are programmed to do. So I feel the church, as an organization, must take some responsibility for the short comings of it's members.
This last statement, by my friend, nullifies any emotions or feelings of pain. It is unfair and offensive. He continues, "How does he feel the church has harmed him? Is it the tithing he has paid? The time he has spent on church activities? Or just a feeling he has been deceived?" Yes, yes and yes to answer his questions. Why does the Mormon church get a free pass on everything it does? I have stated that the church is like an abusive spouse. Although a spouse may beat you-those bruises heal. Your spouse cheated on you but he still gives you sex-your feelings of betrayal don't matter. Your spouse verbally abuses you, he brings home money so you can eat-quit complaining. What is the harm. You feel hurt,-well your feelings don't really matter. This is evident with Kate Kelly. They, the church, totally tossed aside her feelings, emotions, and rights as a human. I guess God really doesn't care about you, as a person. You don't matter, all that matters is Zion.
He finishes with the statement/question, "Does he really think his life would be better now if he could somehow go back and undo everything church-related?" That is the the crux of the discussion. Would my life be any better without the church? To answer honestly, I don't really know. Would it be worse? I do know that even without the church I wouldn't be sleeping with hookers and shooting up in a ditch. I have morals. I don't need someone else to define those morals. And to be frank, I don't think the church really prevents anyone from doing immoral things. Bad people will do bad things. I know that I am defining morality based on a "Christian" background. I really don't want to get into a discussion of morality in this post.
My point is that we have an intrinsic moral compass, the problem is that can become skewed based on environment and upbringing. I feel that members have had their moral compass rocked-leading to behavior that is "un Christian" . I don't feel my friend would have responded in such a judgmental and condescending manner without the church's influence. I feel the church creates "wolves in sheep's clothing". They appear nice and kind on the outside but in reality they are unkind, judgmental and proud.