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To My Mormon Parents II

created Dec 14th 2016, 03:51 by R Quincy



1751 words
5 completed
The biggest problem with the LDS church is its trust in 'spiritual experiences' and 'faking it to be part of the community' and 'I've put lots of money into this, so I'm not leaving it' to retain its members. Spiritual experiences—the warm feeling in your chest—are products of the mind, not the spirit. I know this, because I often 'felt the spirit' when watching an emotional movie that had nothing to do with god or family. (But, of course, those were just the product of Satan's manipulations, right?) So, I cannot accept the 'holy ghost' as a real entity, but the feeling 'he' creates can only be, to me, a product of a wishing mind. You feel it, because you want to feel it, because you are trained/indoctrinated to believe you must feel it—did you never fake it when you were younger, truly? The 'faking it to be part of the community' didn't work with me, because I never really felt I was really part of the community (this may be, in part, because we moved around so much). And, of course, I automatically ceased to be a part of the LDS community when I (literally) grew up gay. [Men are people, too, naturally, but I do not see them as sexual beings with whom I would delight in intercourse, or deep emotional bonding. This is not nazi-feminism; this is, I believe a product of my inherent nature (there are gay pengiuns, wolves, elephants, giraffes, ducks, etc., etc., etc. ALL naturally in the world, not driven to it by external stimuli); I believe it is also in some (little) part due to, yes, external/internal stimuli that has nothing to do with genes or a natural defaulting preference. I still, of course, have the anatomy capable of having sex and bearing children with a man, but my natural preference does not in any way lean toward the harsher sex. This is simply a fact in my life.] So, I am no longer part of that community simply because I believe that I am not unnatural—quite the contrary—and that my 'sexual urges' (if we want to be so crude) for women are not something to hide, to deny, and to repress. We all know what repression does to people—it makes them completely mad, as Freud pointed out numerous times. This cognitive dissonance between what I believed I was (to exaggerate [only slightly], the Devil's own Spawn), and what I was told by science (and by my peers) what I was (a normal human being, though admittedly part of a minority) is what caused my three-year depression.  
And thus, I learned: Religions are not there to make people happy, though they may claim to try their hand at producing satisfactory answers to the difficult philosophical questions. Religions are corporations trying to sell a product and gain revenue. The LDS church itself has grossed over 40 billion. The Catholic church, a good deal more. Why are you putting money into a corporation that really has no need of more funds? At least 80% of the funding for Prop 8 was given by the LDS church, which actually asked members for more money to push this bill, when it was sitting on so much already. As members, you are spending your hard-earned money to purchase the right to do temple work, just like Scientology/Masonry/Catholicism/Episcopalians requests enormous fees for participation in their rituals. (Be honest, were you really not freaked out when you took your endowments the first time?) If you were to suddenly come to the conclusion—right or wrong, I am currently not debating—that Smith was a con man, or that the early teachings are actually the real version of Mormonism, or that you simply no longer feel the need to practise any religion at all, you would be left with that terrible realisation of where so much of your funds have gone. This makes you invested in your religion, in your material possessions (even when you no longer use them), in friends that are no longer friendly to you. If you are invested/have invested in something (like a college degree), then you are more likely to stick with it, even if your position has changed, even if you realise that you no longer actually use an item you've purchased, even if you begin to understand that spirituality is far more than just adherence to dogma, you will still stick with what you've put your time and money into. Luckily for me, I had not been giving my money to the church, only yours (which, frustratingly, means that a good deal more than your 10% has been given to the church, money which you could have used to pull yourself out of debt). This made it easier for me to leave, because I was not invested in it at all. [Unfortunately, I fear all I'm really doing by explaining this to is is providing you with information as to how you can indoctrinate/scare/force your children to be so invested in—and, thus, attached to—the church that you believe is true, which I obviously do not encourage.]  
But when you put this much into something, you internalise it. And your faith literally becomes you, and you become your faith. Suddenly, if someone attacks your faith, your religion, your political views that you are so emotionally attached to, you perceive that as an attack on you. And this is something I REALY wish you would internalise: you are not your beliefs. Because you can always grow, you can always change your mind. You can always become someone else. You and dad don't seem to understand that. At all. To you, you religion defines who you are, what you do, how you feel, where you live, etc. Why are you letting something outside you and your own thoughts/emotions define your every action? Why are you subjecting yourself to the dubious authority of spiritual leaders? Why are they always true? If you accept the Christian premise that all beings are faulted, how then can you not even question whether or not your chosen prophets are not also just as fallible as yourself? Why are you allowing yourself to believe in the dubious authority of others, unquestioning? You are no longer children without the ability to discern things for yourself, so why have you never grown up? Why have you never taken your life into your own hands, made decisions for yourself? Why do you always do as you are told without pondering on the practical, day-to-day pros and cons of adhering to this instruction? Why do you let words like modesty, faith, righteousness, immorality and others be defined so specifically for you? Why do you not make these decisions for yourself? I cannot understand it.
I have several problems with how you have chosen to parent your children, as I'm sure you know—no child should ever be unleashed on the world as sheltered as I was. But mostly, I take issue with the 'I know best' ideology you have adopted. You function on the idea that you children are yours to raise how you wish until they are 18+ (if not for longer). This includes the right to indoctrinate them how you will, rather than teach them how to think, how to question, how to find out what is true for them. We are all very, very different people.  
When are your children allowed to begin thinking for themselves? When are they no longer your possessions to do with as you will? When does a human become its own person? When will you allow the 'mental maturation' process to begin? Why can you not trust them to find their own happiness? And why is it that you place your TRUTH over your children's happiness? Everyone has a right to their own happiness, but why would you place yours (Celestial kingdom, eternal salvation, family togetherness) over your children's? Do they really need you to tell them what makes them happy/what should make them happy? Do you understand that you are not offering your children a real choice? Where is their free will? Do we have the parental right to deny our children free will by indoctrinating them to believe as we do, making personal choice all the more difficult?  
How is it possible that there is only one truth, anyway? That there is only one version of god, and that that god only just gave us his truth in 1830, when humans have existed for thousands of years? Why are only specific experiences with god/deity/the divine are the only real manifestations? By stating that your beliefs are correct, you are automatically calling every other human who does not believe you wrong. And that, to me, is an immoral position. [But, then, all Christians/Jews/Muslims follow an immoral god, so I can see where they get it from—after all, the Judeo-Christian god states that a non-virgin should be stoned in front of her father's house, that a woman raped must marry her rapist, and that it's all right to kill EVERY Canaanite to make way for his chosen people. This is not a kind, moral, loving god. This god, the OT/NT god, is an (censored).]
There are many cons of adherence to dogmatic beliefs, and I dare you to come up with a sufficient answer to each of these, explaining how they could possibly benefit society. They are as follows:
Humans (the 'Natural Men') are inherently evil—How is this possibly a good idea to spread around? This idea encourages hatred for others or, at the least, disdain when others violate what you consider to be the ultimate moral principles. This idea also requires a strict moral code, which is, naturally, defined many different ways, also causing more religious argument. It is when we drop morality altogether and simply focus on ethics that we are more peaceful.   
Humans are naturally powerless to achieve anything without god—This is beyond rude. This is a personal insult to everyone. When you achieve something, it is never by your own merit, it is god's doing. All we do is for his glory. I am not suggesting that we should be overly prideful, but even conservative Christians believe that we should take some pride in our achievements. This belief makes a person feel powerless, and in some ways, encourages them to not try. If god will give it, he will give it. And when it has been done successfully, it is god who has done it.  
See Part III

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