Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Does the LDS Church Have ANYTHING Good About It?

For any who come across this blog and think that it is a "Mormon Hate" site, I would like to reassure you that it isn't. In fact, in all my years as an ex-Mormon, I've never seen a hate site. Although, to a Mormon, any site that is critical of the church is a hate site.

If this was a hate site, I would tell my readers things like:

"Burn a Book of Mormon."

"If you see a Mormon, punch them in the face."

"Go vandalize your local Mormon meetinghouse."

On the contrary, I would like to inform my readers that I love Mormons. They are my family, friends, clients, co-workers, and classmates. Yes, I think they are in a cult. Yes, I snicker inside when I notice they are wearing their holy G's. But I wish them no harm and I respect their right to religious freedom 100%.

Do I go around tooting my horn that I am an ex-Mormon? That their religion is false? That I author a controversial "anti-Mormon" blog? No, I simply inform them (when they ask) that I am not LDS. That's all they need to know. I have found that nearly all the LDS people who know that I am not LDS, are very respectful and gracious about it.

So, since this blog contains my very strong opinions against the LDS church, I thought I would throw in a change of pace and list all the positive things that exist about the church. Does the LDS church have anything good about it? I believe it does:
  • The LDS wards are usually very socially oriented. They love and care for each other. One thing that I did like about going to church was the strong feeling of acceptance by the other ward members. I always did (and still do) like the people.

  • The LDS church encourages its members to give selfless service.

  • The LDS church teaches strong moral and family values.

  • The LDS church teaches its members to be law abiding citizens.

  • In my experience, the local Mormons have been accepting of my decision to no longer attend church. When they do ask me if I'm coming back, they are doing it with a sincere concern for my well being.

  • I have no doubt, whatsoever, that most LDS people are genuinely trying to be good, god-fearing people.
  • The LDS church is often one of the first to arrive and offer aid in times of natural disasters.

I hope that people can understand that there is a huge difference between "hate" and just sharing my reasons why religion is based on myth. Yes, I blog against the Mormon church. I do not hate Mormons. I do not condone any violence against Mormons.

My issues are not with the common LDS people but with the Mormon leaders, who, in my educated opinion, are knowingly deceiving millions of people. It is my hope that, because of websites and blogs like mine, they will someday come clean about their lies and about their past.

14 comments:

Seth R. said...

Dictionary.com:

"hate speech" –noun
speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

or

hate speech
n. Bigoted speech attacking or disparaging a social or ethnic group or a member of such a group.

big⋅ot
–noun
a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

big·ot
n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

Yeah...

That sounds about like the "Recovering from Mormonism" and Exmormon.org message boards. And the comments section of just about any Salt Lake Tribune news article.

Mormon411 said...

Like I said, to Mormons, anything critical of the Mormon church is hate. But we all know that they have a serious persecution complex.

"speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation."

For example:

All Mormons deserve to die.

Not:

Joseph Smith was a false prophet.

I do not attack persons or groups on the basis of religion; I simply blog about the religion itself. There is a difference.

Seth, it seems that you just want to argue. Even when I write a post that is positive about the church, you still challenge me.

Seth R. said...

Let me ask you something.

How many times a day is the word "Mormon" deliberately misspelled as "moron" over at the rfm message boards.

Have you ever heard anyone declare that belief in Mormonism alone was grounds for disqualifying a person from public office or other positions of responsibility. Have you ever heard anyone remark that merely being a believing Mormon automatically makes a person a bigot, stupid, hateful, self-righteous, petty, etc?

I have observed all these things with frequency on those venues. I've even heard people opine that being a believing Mormon should be grounds for the government taking a person's kids away.

To say nothing of the things said about past Mormons. Such as how the Mormons slaughtered in Missouri "had it coming to them."

Do you disagree with the dictionary definitions I presented you with?

You'll notice that "hate speech" does not require incitement to violent acts.

www.spamlds.org said...

In one post you say you have no issues with the Mormon people, just their leaders.

Just a week ago you wrote this about me:

"I despise this Greg guy more than I despise the Mormon leaders... and that's saying something."

I'm just a rank-and-file member of the Church and you "despise" me. A reasonable person would see an inconsistency between your statements.

Greg West
www.spamlds.org

Mormon411 said...

"How many times a day is the word "Mormon" deliberately misspelled as "moron""

I don't visit RfM but I am sure it's done often.

And yes, I've seen the other things too and I do not agree with them.

That being said, there is no way I would have ever voted for Mitt Romney and the main reason is because he is Mormon. But it's not hate; it's because I disagree with the Mormon religion and I don't want Mormon values incorporated into govt and law (like it's been done in Utah).

I see your point, and yes hate speech is not always violent. But there is still a difference.

For example (and to reply to Greg):

I don't "despise" you JUST BECAUSE you are Mormon. It is because I believe you produce unfair and untrue propaganda against apostates and atheists. And even then, I would not condone anyone planning or attempting to cause you physical harm.

You both have good points, and I understand them. However, I would like you to try and understand that being critical of a religion is not hate.

I have never attacked either of you JUST for being Mormon. I debate you because of the things you say, not your belief system.

I'm not making excuses, but not only Mormons experience prejudice. When JFK (a Catholic) was voted into US Presidency, many people speculated that the Catholic church would try to run the country through him.

And most people are unlikely to vote for an atheist simply because he is atheist.

Let me ask you both something: Would you vote for a political leader if you knew he was a Mormon apostate? Even if you agreed with his political views? (which you probably wouldn't)

Hate speech is: speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

If I blog: "I believe the church is not true and these are my reasons why...", how is that hate? It's not. And if you insist that it is, then Greg is guilty of it too against anti-Mormons, ex-Mormons, and anyone who was or never was Mormon.

Well, I made my attempt at being nice and you guys don't even care so I'll scratch that idea.

I've really noticed that even when I truly attempt to seek mutual understanding, you guys are right there to argue against anything I say.

Mormon411 said...

"I'm just a rank-and-file member of the Church and you "despise" me. A reasonable person would see an inconsistency between your statements."

You're not just a rank-and-file member. A reasonable person would realize that I wouldn't even be debating you if you didn't have a very opinionated and influential website. You told your followers to tell me they're "happy" and I got flooded with them. So don't even try to claim that you're just a regular member.

I don't "despise" you personally. It's what you represent. You really think you understand the mind of an "anti" or an "apostate". But I can tell you that you have no clue about who we really are.

I could write a ton more in my reply to you but why bother? You're set in your ways; you know it all; nothing I say is going to change a damn thing.

Mormon411 said...

For once, why don't you both try seeing what I'm saying for what it is and not for what you want it to be.

You want me to produce "hate speech" so that you can get that "we're persecuted" rush.

Really, why don't you read my post again one word at a time and then tell me again that I produce hate.

Seth R. said...

Don't lump me in with the spamLDS crowd. I don't agree with their approach (in fact, Greg's even attacked me online before - so he's not even remotely an "ally" in my book).

Nor was I trying to make the case that your blogging qualifies as "hate speech." I was merely responding to your assertion that in all your time on the ex-Mormon online world you had never encountered a "hate site." This seemed obviously false to me. So I brought up counter-examples. I definitely have encountered outright hatred in my experiences online from the ex-Mormon crowd.

As for whether I would vote for an apostate ex-Mormon... Sure.

I'm actually good friends with several of the bloggers over at Main Street Plaza (all ex-Mormons) and have had private email communications with them. I ask some of them for advice on issues I'm blogging about occasionally. And I'm often willing to have frank discussions about the problems in the LDS Church. I'm actually not a one-sided ideologue.

As for whether I'm just here to argue... Maybe that's accurate. But that is a lot of what blogging is about right? Debate.

But do realize that my arguments were not about you personally. They were only responding to the limited point you made about "hate websites" not existing in the ex-Mormon community. I strongly beg to differ on that score.

And I do not endorse Greg or his arguments. He's on his own here and can expect no help or support from me.

Mormon411 said...

Seth, sorry about that. I mis-understood you. I really haven't seen much Mormon hate, although I don't frequent too many sites other than MormonCurtain and exmormon.org. I never refer to Mormons as MOROmNS because it is downright disrespectful (not that I'm totally innocent of being disrespectful at times). Thank you for clarifying.

I don't disagree with you about hate existing in the ex-Mormon community. I just haven't seen much of it. I kind of keep to myself.

So, good, I'm glad to hear that you're "cool" with ex-Mormons. I'd much rather be your friend and debate with you than the other way. Right on! I'm glad you pointed that out.

And Greg, well, Greg will be Greg. I do apologize that I associated the two of you together but you both appeared on my blog at the same time so I ASSUMED you were both from SPAM. My bad.

Seth R. said...

I get around all over the place. So I bump into the spamLDS guys on occasion. Not affiliated though.

It's all cool, so I'll leave my remarks there.

Paul said...

Great post and great follow-up discussion!

I know Seth wasn't trying to insinuate that this site was a "hate" site but when I was reading the definitions he supplied I couldn't help but think of Joseph Smith himself! Something along the lines of "Join none of them for they are all false and their creeds an abomination"?

Under those definitions both Smith and Mormon411 as well as Seth and myself would be guilty of "hate speech"... But the point Mormon411 was trying to make here is that he is not advocating violence or hatred towards Mormons (With the exception of Mormon leaders).

I would say that I disagree with Dictionary.com on this one. Christ was vocally and publicly critical of the religious leaders of His day and I don't think anyone would be callous enough to label His actions as Hate... On the contrary, Christ loves us too much to leave us in our ignorance, and likewise Christians (and Mormons) should do the same.

Really great stuff guys!
-PaulO

Mormon411 said...

Well said, Paul. I must correct one thing you said. While I have stated that my main beef is with the leaders of the LDS church, I still do not condone hate or violence even against them.

Yes, I dislike very much what they do and strongly feel that they are very immoral people, but it is not my place to react to them with violence.

Paul said...

My poor choice of wording, many apologies.
-PaulO

Mormon411 said...

No problem, I just wanted to clarify.