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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 

My Religion Can Beat Up Your Religion

About two years ago I was at the dog park with my two puppies. I was socializing with the other dog owners, which was always one of my favorite aspects of spending time at the dog park.

There was a couple there who were talking about how much they were going to miss the dog park when they moved to Utah and how they were a little worried about moving to Utah because of all of the Mormons.

They spouted off a few false "facts" about Mormons, like how they still had multiple wives (since there weren't moving to southern Utah, I considered this false) and how they depend on thier kids to get them to heaven, which is why they have so many.

I spoke up in defense of accuracy and attempted to tell them that what they had heard wasn't correct. I told them I used to be Mormon, so that's how I know.

All of the sudden, I was under attack. "Why did you leave? Is it because you didn't want to have 10 kids?" Ummm... my reasons for leaving aren't relevant. I just wanted you to know what they actually believe. "Is it because you know that Joseph Smith was a fraud?" No. My reasons for leaving had nothing to do with that. They are personal. "Well, what are they? Why did you leave?" THEY ARE PERSONAL.

I had to leave immediately. I wasn't ready to talk about it at that point in my life. But what struck me is that this attitude of incessant questioning so that you can prove your point is something that I'd seen before. Perhaps it's something I'd done before.

When you get into a religious discussion with someone and the veracity of a religious belief becomes a point of argument, people don't just give in. They argue and question and probe until you become raw and distrustful and angry.

When I've had conversations with people who are deeply committed to their religion, but who don't seem to live the principals it teaches (like patience, kindness, tolerance) I get terribly frustrated. Don't they know that having such a discussion with someone who believes differently will not result in a conversion, but an avoidance and a abhorance of the religion they are trying to promote?

Have you been party to one of these discussions arguments or whose religion (or lack thereof) is better? Does it ever serve the purpose you hope it will?

I'm a soldier that's been deployed to the Eastern European theatre for a year. I'm in the last quarter of that year, and one of my roomotes is a Born Again Christion. Allbeit, a rather odd one, since he also observes Jewish holidays, don't ask, I don't really understand. And he has tried to get in my face and tell me how I'm part of a cult and going to hell on a number of occasions as I've come back to the Church. Of course, on the flip side, my platoon medic, who rather openly states that he loathes my church, has been rather supportive of my renewed faith, and has had many deep and insightful discussions with me on it, which have often helped clarify my own understanding of gospel doctrine.

The Gooch

I've experienced this from missionaries that my parents keep sending to my house. Why did you leave? What don't you get? Tell us and we'll tell you how wrong you are type of deal.
Very unbecoming.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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