Monday, October 19, 2015

Passive aggressive notes...

An exMormon friend of mine posted about an unpleasant encounter she had the other day while she and her husband were about to board a plane.  The two of them were in line having what they thought was a private conversation.  My friend must have been making negative comments about Mormonism.  I wasn't there, so I don't know exactly what was said.

When they got off the plane a couple of hours later, a woman who had been standing in front of them while they were boarding handed my friend a note.  She then hastily skedaddled.  My friend handed the note to her husband, then went to get some coffee.  When she came back, her husband confirmed what my friend suspected... that the note was full of shaming and unChristian sentiments about how she didn't know anything about Mormonism and had no right to be making negative comments about it.  However, though the woman was clearly upset enough that she felt the need to confront my exMormon friend, she wasn't woman enough to confront her directly and risk being confronted in return.

My friend's husband ended up tossing the note in the trash.  I wish he hadn't done that.  If it had been me, I would have posted it on Facebook for all the world to see.  I would have also commented that if you don't want to be upset about what people are saying, perhaps you shouldn't eavesdrop on private conversations.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Just because someone has negative opinions of Mormonism, that doesn't mean their opinions are invalid.  My friend is a graduate of Brigham Young University and was raised LDS.  She still has friends and family in the faith.  She is now an atheist because growing up Mormon caused her significant pain.  She even wrote a book about her experiences and why she quit the church.  Clearly, she DOES know about Mormonism and has formed an opinion.  She has every right to her opinion and certainly the right to express herself.

Of course, the lady who took offense also has the right to her opinion and to express herself.  However, she did so in a very cowardly way.  I'd say passing anonymous shaming notes won't do much to sway anyone's opinion of her precious faith.  Indeed, all it did was give my friend and me something more to criticize about certain Mormons.  I hasten to add that this kind of behavior isn't necessarily a "Mormon behavior"... I'm sure it could be attributed to anyone in any group with a persecution complex.  Fortunately, not everyone who is religious is such a tool.

I guess I've never really understood why so many people feel like they have to "respect" religious beliefs.  I think it's okay to expect a certain amount of tolerance, but not necessarily "respect".  I don't respect a religion that divides families the way I've seen Mormonism has.  I don't respect a religion that encourages shunning and shaming and judging the way I see Mormonism does.  I know Mormonism is certainly not the only belief system with members guilty of this behavior, but it is one that has affected me personally.  So that is why I don't like Mormonism and don't respect it.  And that is why I write about it.  My friend who received the shaming note from the woman on the plane has had similarly bad experiences with the so called "church".  So she expresses herself and she has a negative opinion.  And her opinion did not form in a vacuum.  She's not ignorant.

So... to all you folks out there who are tempted to pass passive aggressive notes, let this blog post offer some perspective.  At the very least, your drivel is not going to be read.  If it is read, it's not likely to change anyone's mind or make them respect you more.  You may temporarily feel better for getting it out on paper and passing your note to the person you hope to shame, but bear in mind that you could just as easily end up the object of shaming.

And then feel free to fuck right off and have a nice day.


  1. Passive aggression in almost any form is one of my least favorite things on the planet.

    1. And it seems that some people are masters of it.

  2. Mormons are so adept at making themselves appear as the victims when they are the ones who shun. They also have this unrealistic expectation that only believers should be allowed to tell their story, blowing off all the negative experiences from former Mormons with some shallow excuse such as "this person was just offended." - Drivel indeed.

    1. Exactly. And that kind of behavior does not make them more appealing to non believers. In fact... now you've given me some inspiration for another post!


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