Thoughts that bother me about myself and others who have cut or change the umbilical cord connection with the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints
Thought: We have a tendency to blame "The Church" for lying to us.
When we went to church and heard the lessons say that Noah was a great prophet we were lied to because there was no such prophet! He didn't exist. We were told a fairy tale and believed it (at least for a while). Do we blame Walt Disney for telling us about Santa Clause or Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer? No way! But we blame "The Church" for the anti-science claims right and left. But we tend to be irritated that the "Church" lied to us!
When we were told that Adam fell from grace after disobeying God, we were told a lie! What did we expect the church manuals to tell us? The same is true of Joseph Smith and other LDS prophets.
When we were told that Mary was a virgin, yet gave birth to a child who was part man and part God, we were lied to! Again, what did we expect them to say when we went to Sunday School? When you go to a carnival, you get carnival food -- not REAL food -- no way! When you pay a preacher (or a church or ward) to make you feel good (I call it a religious orgasm), you get what you pay for -- a story that makes you feel good inside -- and makes enough sense to help your continued activity. Never mind if it is "true" or "real". If you go to a fortune-teller, what do you want them to tell you? That they are all just entertainers and charlatans? No way! You are begging to be taken down the "feel good" road.
The LDS speakers know that you are NOT looking for truth, but for a way to feel good -- so they give you what you are seeking for and hoping to be true. What is wrong with that? I think one of the prophets even cautioned against telling the bare honest-to-goodness truth IF IT DOES NOT HELP A TESTIMONY AND INSPIRE MEMBERS.
Yet a lot of Ex-Mormons somehow "blame" the Corporation of the First Presidency of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints for repeating the things that a sane person would have to admit were pretty obvious misrepresentations of fact. Horses in America! Swords and bows of steel that were strong enough to behead an enemy -- before such technology was invented! The use of the wheel by Indians (lets call them Nephites) before the wheel was invented. The sun stopping in the sky. Etc. Etc.
I was an alcohol and drug abuse counselor most my professional life. I have heard a LOT of excuses for drunkenness and intoxication (literally thousands of excuses). But I have NEVER heard a man dying of liver failure complain that the bartender he went to to buy alcohol was actually to blame because he gave him what he went to the bar or store and paid to get -- ALCOHOL! He went to the bar to get alcohol and got it. The man seeking salvation did the same thing by going to a minister (bishop or missionary) to feel good about mortality, pain and suffering -- and where you are going after you die.
I was present a couple weeks ago when one LDS man (who I admire and respect to this day) gave the story of a man who disappeared in Vietnam during the war there. He obviously died during a military mission. The family was heart-broken and failed to find closure in their grief and sorrow. No body was to be found. No remains would ever go back home to America. They wanted and needed hope and an explanation that would help. So they went to their LDS leaders for help. He told them that no reason is more comforting than to tell them that "God needed their relative more than we did, so he was called home." They found comfort and satisfaction in this remark and left feeling better.
Now, if they had gone to me or other atheist, I would have had to tell them the truth -- that death is simply a part of life and that is that. They will never see their relative again. I consider my answer and explanation more accurate and truthful -- but less comforting to those who WANT comfort. When you pay the piper for music, you can't complain too much if you had really WANTED food instead of music. What slot do you drop your quarter into?
I think the same is true of most church teachings -- especially fundamentalist churches. I stayed in the LDS church for decades because what I WANTED was a feeling of community, a feeling of purpose and potential salvation. I only realized as I neared retirement that NOW I want the truth! It wasn't the fault of the LDS church leaders that they gave me what I wanted most my life -- and paid for.
When I finally got up the courage to make changes to my status with the church, I have to take the full responsibility for staying so long in the church and for all the religious stuff (crap) related to that fact. I can't properly blame the church if they try to ostracize me. It was my decision to stay so long. It was no one else's fault. They can't continue to provide hope and faith if they also accept the fact of earth's origins -- and eventual destiny as most likely being consumed by our dying sun.
So, I would advise others to stop blaming the (LDS) church for your bad experiences and get on with living your life. You can live a bitter, angry situation, or you can forgive yourself for being given what you paid for when you were active in the church.
Similarly, how can I argue "truth" with members of any fundamentalist church when there is a good chance that they "REALLY" don't want or are not ready for truth just yet. They just might very validly and badly NEED personal hope and inspiration that truth might make pretty difficult to obtain.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Nobody likes it when extreme religionists preach their condescending doctrine on street corners. It's about time that someone stood up to them and gave them a taste of their own medicine...
http://www.youtube.com/user/religiousantagonist You can see more awesome videos here!