While driving home from a shopping trip with family yesterday afternoon, my wife mentioned that she wanted to go to church with her mom this weekend and that she wanted to take the kids with her.
My thoughts immediately turned to the whole "mother-in-law coming over to the house to get the kids ready for church" scenario and I took a moment to compose my thoughts.
"Is your mom coming over in the morning?"
"I don't know."
Then, while trying to explain to my wife how much it bothered to me that her mother would do this, I got a little worked up. The more I talked about how much it upset me, the more mad I got about the whole thing and it would be safe to say that I over-reacted a little bit.
My wife attempted to assure me that her mother's offer to help with the kids had nothing to do with my "apostasy" from the church, to which I responded "that's bull."
I know my mother-in-law means well...I don't fault her for that. But I can't help be bothered at her invasive behavior.
Later, after we had arrived at home and I had taken some time to calm myself down (I can't help it, I have a passive-aggressive type of behavior), I explained to my wife that we needed to establish some boundaries with her family and their influence on our children.
The first of said boundaries needs to be set right at the front door. I have every right to be comfortable in my own house. I should be able to do whatever I want, say whatever I want, or believe whatever I want within the confines of my own home.
When her mother comes over, I no longer feel comfortable.
We started to talk about taking the kids to church. She wants them to go, and of course, I don't. I said we'd have to figure out some sort of compromise, but we weren't able to finish the discussion on the topic. I'm thinking maybe a 50/50 kind of a deal. They can go to church with her every other Sunday until they're old enough to decide for themselves if they want to go or not, and then we respect whatever decision they make.
Many LDS folks will try to make the point that there's nothing wrong with raising children in the church, and that they will in fact, benefit from attendance. Maybe in some areas, but certainly not all.
I hadn't heard about Kip Eliason until this morning, while reading one of my favorite blogs "Mormon Truth". I looked up the story about this poor kid who committed suicide back in 1984(?) because he couldn't shake a masturbation habit. I can relate to his plight.
When I was in High School, I came close to suicide myself (I damn near swallowed every pill I could find in my mom's medicine cabinet) for almost the exact same thing.
The LDS church demands perfection from its members. They demand sexual purity and clean thoughts. They interview teenaged boys and girls to determine their "worthiness" (THERE IS NO SUCH THING!) They ask personal, invasive questions about their sexual habits, to include masturbation and the viewing of pornography. Almost every Priesthood Session of General Conference makes mention (at some point) about the harmful, negative effects of pornography and masturbation and how critical it is to the salvation of the male members of the church to avoid them at all costs.
Their demands are ridiculous and unhealthy.
I WILL NOT allow my children to feel "unworthy" of God's love or Christ's Atonement (if such a things exists) because of such silly things. I refuse to allow the church to railroad them into thinking they have to conform to such expectations in order to be considered upstanding members of a "church".
I know that I DESPISED MYSELF for always failing to be as perfect as the church wanted me to be. I hated myself enough to think that I was better off dead than living a life unworthy of the so-called "priesthood."
Give me a break.
If my wife ever tries to play the "what harm will it do to raise our kids in the church?" card, I'm going to hand her a copy of the Kip Eliason story and make her read it.