Friday, May 27, 2016

Apparently, I'm a bigot...

I'm taking a few moments from my busy holiday schedule to write a quick post about a comment I found yesterday.  About a year ago, I wrote a book review about the case of Dr. Martin MacNeill, a doctor, lawyer, former Mormon bishop, and murderer.  Dr. MacNeill was a convert to the LDS church and, on the surface, must have seemed like a stand up guy.  He married a beautiful Mormon woman, had a thriving career, and led fellow Mormons.  He was looked up to as an example to many.  Under the surface, though, he was a criminal.

In my review, I wrote this:

"I can't help but realize that the LDS church seems to attract converts from the ranks of the seriously troubled."

I followed up with commentary about my husband's ex wife, who is also a convert and a very troubled individual.  I could have also provided examples of the many stories I've read about missionaries and their more serious conversion prospects, but I chose not to.  I was reviewing a book and really only added that bit as an aside.  Since this is a personal blog and not a publication people pay to read, I felt free to do that.

I got a comment from a former Mormon bishop who assumes after reading exactly one post on this blog that I am an uninformed bigot.  He encouraged me to go out and talk to more Mormons and stop painting an entire group of people with one "ugly broad brush".  I found that comment very amusing, especially since I can tell by Statcounter that the visitor claiming to be a former Mormon bishop had not taken the time to get to know me.  Granted, I can understand why he wouldn't want to get to know me.  I wrote something that offended him, so I must be a bad person.  Of course, I don't think he took a minute to consider that his comment was also offensive to me and his invitation to meet more Mormons rang a bit hollow after he basically called me a bigot.  I mean, he wasn't exactly setting a good example for his people.  

I actually do know some Mormons and quite a few ex Mormons.  My husband was LDS when we met.  I had absolutely no issues with Mormons or their religion until I did meet a few of them and saw how they treated my husband after his divorce and decision to leave the church.  I have spent years reading about Mormonism and exposing myself to the church's teachings.  After all this study, I have come to the conclusion that I don't like Mormonism.  Mind you, that is NOT the same as disliking Mormon people.  If it were, I wouldn't have come within ten feet of Bill, let alone married him.  The main thing is that I came to this decision after educating myself, which is what Mormons always implore people to do whenever anyone has anything negative to say about them.  I have educated myself and that's why I don't like Mormonism.  I had no opinion of Mormonism, negative or positive, before I "got educated".  

I think it's really funny when I get indignant comments from religious people, Mormon or otherwise, who read one contentious post by me and automatically assume I'm an asshole.  You may spend some time with me and come to that conclusion and that would be fair enough.  But to accuse me of bigotry for "painting a group with an ugly broad brush", especially when it's clear that you're doing the same thing, does nothing to earn my respect.  If you're going to call me a bigot or assume I'm an asshole and implore me to educate myself, you can at least do the same thing and educate yourself.  Otherwise, you're nothing but a hypocrite.

I don't think my dislike of Mormonism makes me a bigot.  I also don't really care what other peoples' religious beliefs are, as long as they don't try to impose them on other people.  In other words, if you're a decent person and don't try to call me to repentance for expressing myself on my personal blog, I won't be offended by what you believe.  The fact is, I really don't care.  

As for my observations about Mormons attracting many troubled people as converts, I think I'm pretty much spot on.  Aside from so-called "hormonal converts" who join the church because they're in love, I can't think of a reason why anyone would go through all the church demands of people unless there's some kind of a payoff.  And by that, I mean there must be a carrot at the end of the stick other than the vague promise of potentially going to the Celestial Kingdom, which frankly sounds like a terribly boring place to be, anyway.

My husband joined the church with his troubled ex wife in a bid to save his marriage.  He and his ex wife were having a lot of problems and their relationship was sinking fast into an abyss of debt, underemployment, and domestic violence (perpetrated by her).  He thought the church might make things better.  For awhile, it did.  He focused on the church instead of his miserable marriage.  But three years later, despite all the promises of blessings brought on by the truth of the gospel, the marriage fell apart.  And thank God for that, because now he's married to me and we're living a great life without Mormonism.

So, while I appreciate it when people take the time to read my blog and even leave me chastising comments, I would caution them to take a moment to think before posting out of emotion or offense.  I have all the time in the world to come back at you with logic and reason.  I have thought long and hard about the way I feel and the reasons why I feel that way.  Can you say the same? 

This is pretty close to Heaven in my book... and I got to experience it with my exMormon husband whose life is supposed to suck now that he gave up the "one true church"...

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