Talking To My Zelph

My quest for freedom from the LDS religion.

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Location: OA, Offworld

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Adverse Advertising

While driving north on I-15 yesterday, I saw a billboard advertising an upcoming Mormon propaganda film entitled "Return With Honor".

I immediately remembered the story a read a few weeks ago about the billboard that had been taken down up in Idaho because the property owner on which the billboard was located (a Mormon, of course) was offended at the thought of sponsoring (even indirectly so) an ex-Mormon website.

And yet it's okay to flaunt pro-Mormon rubbish all over the place.

I can't even walk into Wal-Mart without running into the LDS book display at the front of the store or the LDS music/movie display at the back of the store.

As a Mormon, all this stuff had been invisible to me, but now that I'm looking at things around me with a completely different world-view - I'm borderline nauseous with the innundation of Mormon materials. It's inescapable.

Maybe that's why I'm compelled to push back just a little bit.

I'm unaware of the current status of the "More Good Foundation" and I'm curious to know how well their defensive positions are holding up against the barrage of all the websites and blogs devoted to exposing the truth about Mormonism. The internet has proven to be a powerful medium indeed, and while TSCC may scurry back into the darkness with its lies and deceit, they cannot extinguish the ever-growing number of torches being lit by the angry villagers of FormerMormonVille (ironically, the More Good Foundation utilizes a torch as part of its logo). Some of us are wielding pitchforks too.

How long until the castle walls come crumbling down and the monster is finally revealed? Time will tell.

Which pro-Mormon advocate was it that made the comment "let [anti-mormons] have their own little corner of cyberspace"? I've done a search, and the closest I could come to was an article by William J. Hamblin on the FAIR website.

Whoever it was has delusions of granduer, I'm sure. Those proponents of the More Good Foundation (and Mormonism in general) are fooling themselves if they think their efforts can effectively silence those of us who speak out against the absurd claims of Joseph Smith and his pet pit-bull Brigham Young.

We're here, we're persistent, and we're doing much more than simply "kicking against the pricks."

What's truly sad is that religious fanatics (not just Mormons, but those of other religious faiths as well) actually BELIEVE that we agnostics, athiests, apostates, non-members, anti-mormons, or what-have-you, are the tools of a mythical creature called SATAN! And that there's this invisible cosmic battle between God, Jesus, angels and Lucifer and his unholy hordes. It's preposturous!

When are we, as the human race, going to wake up, abandon the silly myths of religions and strive to make the world a better place? IMO, religions do just as much harm to humanity than good and it's high time we took responsibility for ourselves, instead of leaving our fates to an invisible God and blaming an invisible Satan for all the bad stuff in the world?

I'd like to see that question up on a billboard one day.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Well Intentioned Disrespect

My sister, who is still a "member" of the LDS church but not active (or a believer in anything spiritual for that matter,) called me last night to ask if my wife and I were planning on having our new baby blessed in the church. She's well aware of my complete apostasy from the faith of our youth and has been very supportive of my decision.

When I told her no, she then asked me if I had been approached about it by anyone in our family or by my TBM in-laws. Since most of these people know about my departure from the church, no one has bothered to bring up the subject. I keep expecting my wife to do so, but she hasn't either. She's still a garment-wearing member, although due to my influence, she hasn't been to church in several months. If she was to insist on having the baby blessed, I would probably give my consent, but only in the interest of keeping the peace between us.

Then my sister, who had her first child just a few months ago, proceeded to tell me that her father-in-law (another TBM), went ahead and submitted her baby's name to the church records division despite the fact that my sister and her husband had both told him that they had no intention of having their baby blessed in the church.

Now, I'm sure that my sister's FIN was just doing what he thought was best, but he clearly overstepped his bounds.

I asked my sister if she was planning on confronting him about his decision to go over their heads and make the kid a member anyway, and she said that in order to keep the peace, she would just let the matter drop. I told her that it was her decision to make, but that it's important to establish firm boundaries with LDS friends and family members.

As the title of this post indicates, the well intentions of TBM friends and family can often be very disrespectful to those of us who want nothing to do with the church. It's so unfortunate that we ex-mos (or in my sister's case, non-believing-mos) are in the minority here in Utah and have to tip-toe around sensitive religious beliefs for the sake of maintaining civil relations with those around us. Why is it that TBMs can expect to freely discuss church topics or have their little prayers in public places, but are quick to sneer or scoff at people who voice an opposing opinion? It hardly seems fair.

I really have nothing against the general membership of the LDS church - most Mormons are kind, honest, sincere folks who are just trying to do what they think is right. I used to be one of them. I was under the false (and arrogant) impression that only Mormons had the truth about God and how to get to heaven. I've since relized the error of this mind-set and have completely abandoned it. But most Mormons don't know what we ex-mos know. They haven't bothered to question the validity of their religious beliefs, or the history of their own church or its leaders. I dare to estimate that 95% (or more) of the general membership of the LDS church are simply unaware of all its many problems.

And although it's perfectly acceptable for Mormons to freely discuss their beliefs to others, they aren't usually very receptive to people discussing something that opposes their views. I'm reminded of the YouTube video by John Safran, an athiest, who makes an attempt to go door to door in Salt Lake City, just as the Mormon missionaries do, in an effort to spread his message of athiesm. The responses from TBM's in this video are classic! You'd think Safran was talking to them about Nazism or the KKK from the way they're treated. It's a classic double standard.

Anyway, I told my sister that I would be happy to help her have her baby's name removed from the records of the church if she so desired.

(Oh, and for the record, neither my sister or I intend on completely keeping our children out of the Mormon church, we are both planning on letting them make that decision for themselves when they are old enough to do so - we just refuse to allow them to be indoctrinated at such a young age by sending them to Primary or other church-sponsored functions.)

But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if we take the steps to have our names removed from the membership records of the church or not. Once we die, our well-intentioned TBM relatives will take it upon themselves to have us put back on and go through the silly motions of having our temple work done.

Silly Mormons.