Pet Peeve: Idea of Religion as Necessary
For some reason, I have been suspicious of the blog Mormon Coffee…and I wasn’t able to put my finger on why until quite recently. I wondered if I were being paranoid — after all, Mormon Coffee is an Outer Blogness tradition blog…so we ought to be on friendly terms!
But now I have it…and I can pinpoint at least one of the concerns I hinted at having in my last post. I guess I should’ve realized it before Chanson spelled it out (or before I saw their link to Mormonism Research Ministries, which sends my “anti” meters tingling — even as a nonbeliever!)…but Mormon Coffee represents a Christian (the non-Mormon kind) perspective!
Unfortunately for Jared at a House of Prayer, I don’t necessarily believe Mormon Coffee is irksome for the reasons he does. In fact, he’d probably be more likely to side with them than me on this issue.
The story: I was reading a rather neat article on Post-mormons at Mormon Coffee…I was trying to do some outside research for a blog entry I was writing for Main Street Plaza (will link to it as soon as it goes live), and one thing I got from this article (that I feel Outer Blogness may be behind on) is that Post-Mormonism seems for mature, reasonable people. It is a means of moving past the church in one piece, whereas the actions of certain ex-members (not all, of course) can be simply to rant and rave and hiss and scream as their broken faith lay shattered on the floor — and that does no good to our public image with the faithful or with innocent bystanders.
So, my question was…can the Outer Blogness become a more solid community? Can it sustain a civil community for continued discussion that will attract even the faithful, or is it just a place for exxies to take kleenex and bear testimonies of anger?
Do the Postmormon community’s goals even mesh with the Outer Blogness community? What I fear is that the post-mormon movement may be about setting and forgetting (but then again, I don’t know)…and although I have no problems with those who are able and who wish to do that, as I’ve discussed and as others have discussed ad nauseum, I see myself culturally as a Mormon. I don’t want to lose that just because I don’t accept the whole bundle. Chanson has delineated a list of vocabulary terms for different “kinds” of Mormons, and I for one think that the distinctions are meaningful. But for whatever reason, when I see the post of postmormon, I imagine someone fully dissociating from Mormon part, whereas I might see an ex-Mormon as being one who is out of the church structure but has not “outgrown” Mormonism in full. And then comes Cultural Mormonism and New Order Mormonism. Each has a distinct meaning, and although many would feel at home in the Outer Blogness…each group may have a different fate or calling.
I digress. Really, I was supposed to be talking about what annoyed me about Mormon Coffee…and where does my title fit in anyway?
I was really enjoying this entry on Postmormonism, and then the blog author wrote something that made it so painfully clear that although we may agree on certain issues, our motivations are night and day.
From a Christian perspective, there’s a definite down side to PostMormon.org. The group does not endorse any religion or belief system, though members are welcome to “continue their spiritual journey through more traditional means.”…It’s unfortunate that PostMormon.org, dedicated to helping people find joy in life after leaving a religion whose “dogmatism” was “detrimental,” would embrace such an idea…
I love the idea of available support for people struggling with the problems they encounter in questioning or leaving Mormonism, but PostMormon.org seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Truth is freely available to all; yet the ability to know the truth is not an illusion. By embracing this ideology PostMormon.org is merely replacing one deception with another.
It’s probably just representative of our separate biases, but…I dunno, it seems that this blog author subscribes to the same One-And-Only-Truth-and-It-Lies-In-something-without-proof idea that I disliked in the first place.
Is it a wonder that many (or at least enough to cause people to talk about it) Mormons leave religion completely after leaving the church? Is it truly throwing the baby with the bathwater, or recognizing that the baby was never there?