Saturday, January 24, 2009

Welcome to the dark side

I wasn't really going to respond to a comment I received on my de-conversion story, but, I changed my mind.

The comment:
Blogger K.B. said...

I'm curious why people who leave the church always go to the polar opposite end of the spectrum and want to take everyone with them. I suppose misery loves that's understandable. What I cannot even fathom is how one would ever think there is no Father in Heaven. Whether you're LDS or not, if you can look at the beauty in nature or hold your new born baby in your arms and not believe there is a loving, generous Creator, you really have learned nothing.

My response to this line of thinking:

If you had actually read my post, you would see that I explained how (after 1.5 years) I made it over to the "polar opposite end of the spectrum." It was a long process. But basically, after rejecting one belief or teaching, logic holds that eventually I would reject them all. Doesn't it?

What indication have I given that I'm trying to "take everyone with" me? I didn't invite you to read my blog. It's on the Internet, so I'm well aware that this is not a private space, nor do I intend it to be. However, if you don't like what I write, don't visit my site. You're not a captive audience. I'm not trying to force anyone to read my thoughts or agree with them.

And seriously, what indication have I given that I am miserable, so I therefore desire other miserable company? In fact, my post mentioned how utterly happy I am. Perhaps if you read through my archives, you would have read the post about my severe depression during my teenage years. Of course, as a teenager, I was Mormon. I was unhappy because I was an imperfect person who knew she could never live up to Mormonism's picture of what I should be. I was unhappy because I constantly had to deny my feminism and liberalism and rationality to try to fit myself into this mold. I set my own expectations, now. I'm good because I like to be, not because I'm expecting a reward of love, or heaven, or anything else.

When you say: "What I cannot even fathom is how one would ever think there is no Father in Heaven. Whether you're LDS or not, if you can look at the beauty in nature or hold your new born baby in your arms and not believe there is a loving, generous Creator, you really have learned nothing." I have only one immediate response: What I cannot even fathom is how you can look at the destruction nature causes, whether it is in New Orleans, or China, or Thailand; how you can look at your new born baby who is deformed, or suffering from a debilitating disease, or dying before she lives her first day; how you can see the wars and the conflict and the poverty and cruelty throughout the world; how you can look someone in the face who has just lost a loved one AND STILL BELIEVE that there is a loving, generous Creator!

Have I really learned nothing? Who, might I ask, should I have been learning your lesson from?

Clearly, you have learned nothing about me, nor, do I imagine, you have any desire to learn about me. So, if you're afraid of being taken into the dark side to join the rest of us who are so miserable that we need your company, stay far away from this obviously risky blog.

Otherwise, read on.


Anonymous said...

It always makes me wonder why people write in and make accusations like have to bring everyone down, dontchaknow...but the reality is, if your blog were singing the praises of Mormonism and how you befriended someone who is now close to being baptized or has converted, this person who wrote would think how grand it is, and would not accuse you of being miserable.

Michelle said...


K.B. said...

Methinks the lady doth protest too much. ~W.S.

Michelle said...

Uh, maybe the commenter linked over to my Eeyore post and wild assumptions followed? Eh.

K.B. said...

Re: paragraph (5,I believe it was.)
1-The destruction Nature causes- If that is all you see when you look at nature, you're seeing the glass half full.
2-To look at a newborn baby deformed or suffering from a debilitating disease-My first child was born profoundly deaf, unable to hear a lullabye or the sound of her daddy's voice. I could not have asked for a more beautiful, perfect daughter. She also missed out on gossip, foul language, and hurtful words growing up.
3-Wars, conflict, and cruelty are man's doing. Do I think Heavenly Father could step in and stop it? Yes. But then that would be taking away man's agency...the same agency you used when you chose to leave the church. That is what the great war in heaven was fought for. Christ wanted us to have our agency to choose between right and wrong, because in making choices we grow. Satan wanted to force us to be obedient.
4-Look someone in the face who has just lost a loved one. I do it every morning when I look in the mirror. My dad died suddenly, six months ago. I miss him every day. My mom died of cancer when I was just younger than you. I've missed her every day she's been gone.
5-How can I still believe there is a loving Father in Heaven?
Because He brought me through each of these events in my life.
Do I think I'm a "perfect Mormon"? Oh, heck no!! I march to the beat of my own drummer, I ruffle the feathers of other Mormons, I make waves, and I run with scissors. But I know God loves me even when I mess up,and I've messed up plenty in my life! Christ's gospel is perfect, even if it's member's are not. That is what I know for sure.
I didn't mean to offend by questioning your belief or disbelief in Heavenly Father. Please forgive. -K.B.

Bonzai said...

@ K.B. - If you truly didn't mean to offend, as you just stated, you wouldn't have accused Michelle here of being both "miserable" and "trying to take everyone down with her."

That is childish and you should apologize.

If you have disagreements with her views, state your reasons. But don't expect to deal out ad hominem attacks without people getting upset.

irresistibledisgrace said...

I guess I wanted to post this from a different perspective.

Why would people be so vocal about leaving the church (especially in response to K.B.)?'s like this. When you've been raised in the church (or you've spent a significant amount of time, effort, energy for it), you have an attachment to it. It becomes your culture. So, when you feel that the church has betrayed you, when you feel that it is false and it has misled you, when you feel that you've been lied to, you understandably are going to be fuming.

So, that's why people leave. Now, can you just leave your culture? Really, I don't think you can. It is the way you've been raised to think, and now it's all fallen you don't just start over from a blank slate. You have to pick up pieces, and sometimes you hurt because the pieces of glass that formed your past history cut deep.

This isn't misery. Misery is what led people away from the church. Misery is what people are getting away from, and why you might see ex-Mormons preaching against the church -- because they don't want anyone else to suffer in that way. But where people are moving too, as they pull the shards of glass from their flesh...they are moving away from misery.

Those are my thoughts.

C. L. Hanson said...

Good point about the idea of a loving creator. David Attenborough gave a similar response to creationists who send him hate mail for not mentioning God in his nature documentaries.

Michelle said...

Hello and thanks to my new readers/commenters! Super work :-)

Holly Noelle said...

When I look at my beautiful baby daughter I'm filled with joy and love for HER, not for an imaginary sky-Daddy. But, whatever.

Bud said...

There isn't really any middle ground here. Think about Joesph Smith - if you come to the conclusion that the church is not true and that he was lying and making things up, it's quite a disgusting thought. Try reading the D&C with the perspective that he's making it all up to manipulate people.

Then you start to realize how much Mormonism demands from people both mentally and otherwise. How could any decent person just be fine with watching their family and friends engage in superstitious activity?

"They can leave the church but they can't leave it alone."

Better put - They can escape the endoctrinated, self defeating mindset but don't have the decency to leave their loved ones.