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My life with Anti-Mormon Obsession

June 28, 2009

It’s apparently my deep, dark secret: my anti-Mormon obsession.

I have a weakness for dialogue and wordiness; I do not deny these things. I try to tell my story with rogue (and unproven) hope that perhaps at least one person will expand their viewpoint (even if it’s ultimately me). But I would like to think that I’m not explicitly anti-Mormon. I would like to say that the members who know me know that that’s not my MO, and I really can’t stand a lot of the anti tactics anyway. (if you disagree, speak out! or forever hold your peace. Do I come off as anti?)

I don’t have much interest in trying to disprove the church. I believe such a game doesn’t matter. Instead, what I may get passionate about is in defending a niche for myself and others like myself. I don’t care if you believe the church is true. Rather, I care that I am not looked down upon for disagreeing. I simply care that people who are hurt and stressed by the church can realize that it is not irrational or immoral or weak or cowardly to leave. And if I fight, it is to fight for that niche. To fight to one day be able to not believe without someone challenging me.

So, when I see posts like Greg West’s “Empathy for atheists — my spiritual journey” on Examiner.com (which, by the way, is just an incredibly buggy, flawed blog platform), filled not so much with empathy but instead with pity for the “unenlightened”, I want to reach out. I want to say, “Hey, I appreciate your own experiences, but could you at least consider another’s opinion?” Something I see often (and other atheists see) is that former/ex/lapsed atheists often generalize their own atheism to all atheists…so they feel that the arguments that convinced them should be able to convince all atheists…and the holes in their own experiences and logic are holes in atheism as a hole. So, the rhetoric of these former atheists becomes an attack on straw.

And so, I wanted to respond, but I wanted to post as an individual and not just a number in a movement, since I knew there would be more strident, (somewhat justifiably) upset voices than mine (and if you see the comments section, there were), and I don’t agree with such voices. I feel that I am fit for the task because of my calm, no matter how much unfairness I see.

But I guess it didn’t work.

Greg didn’t seem so fond to answer comments (maybe it’s his policy?), and I already didn’t like the examiner.com site, so I left it alone for a while. I nearly missed his two-part article update: “A ‘kitchen table discussion’ about objective and subjective truth.”

I was excited because I believed he had read my comments and was responding to them. Perhaps I was presumptuous, after all, anyone can talk about the distinction between objective and subjective valuation. But really, how many people go that strategy?

I liked a lot of what he had to say, but I think he mischaracterized my position in a few fundamental ways, and since he had written such a lengthy article (Examiner.com apparently limited even him, since he had to split it into two article), I just wanted to get some things straight.

A terrible note -_-. Examiner.com’s comment policy cuts you off at 1000 characters. So, I ended up taking 11 comments. Maybe I overdid it. But I wanted to be meticulous.

But there were no further responses. Ah, to feel like you’re being ignored!

All was not lost! Greg has another site…and that’s where I found what he really thinks. So, today, I’m proud to announce that I am an example of anti-Mormon obsession! I bet you wouldn’t have guessed I could be so exemplar, huh? Greg says:

One guy, who goes by the Internet moniker “Andrew S” posted a total of ELEVEN comments on those articles. He began by grousing that the comments interface only gives him a thousand characters per comment, so he just went on a roll, continuing them one after another. He just couldn’t turn it off.

I mean, if you’ve got a lot to say, why not do what I did and start your own blog and attempt to attract an audience of like-minded folks who will appreciate what you have to say? No, in typical anti-Mormon fashion, the guy just has to spew his grievances. At least this guy is somewhat civil, albeit a little snarky.

Exccccccellent.

Things got internet-fun-weird. Because in the next comment, he did find my blog. Yay Google! But nope. No comment, no email from Mr. West. ;_;. I’m HURT Greg. He claims that I’ve been bitten by the anti-Mormon bug. Egads! And I should stick to my accounting homework instead of posting anti-Mormon stuff.

And I should watch out — someday an employer will Google me and find out my history of intolerance. (This one actually means something — there are a lot of Mormon accountants, you know with BYU being a premier accounting school.)

I don’t like my posts to be that much longer than 800 words, so I’ll just link you to commenter Rebekah’s ever-famous symptoms of an anti-Mormon. We love Twitter, You Tube [sic], and Yahoo, apparently. And drat, she found my Helium articles too!

I am in awe of the internet. The end.

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21 Comments
  1. Don’t feel bad, Andrew. Apparently I’m an anti-Mormon as well. An “albino anti-Mormon” at that.

    It’s funny that Mr. West entitles his post, “Want to see an example of anti-Mormon obssession?” [sic] He sounds like he’s touting quite the persecution complex himself.

  2. albino anti-Mormon, he said…that makes us like yin and yang or something. Adam Greenwood is such a character!

    Between his forum post and some things he said in his blog post, I do get the persecution complex. I just feel bad for it; there’s really no need to have such a reaction to people who really aren’t out to get you.

  3. “I don’t care if you believe the church is true. Rather, I care that I am not looked down upon for disagreeing. I simply care that people who are hurt and stressed by the church can realize that it is not irrational or immoral or weak or cowardly to leave. And if I fight, it is to fight for that niche. To fight to one day be able to not believe without someone challenging me.”

    I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for giving us a voice. I know that lots of people are going to assign me all sorts of crazy labels once they realize I’m not in the church anymore. I don’t care to destroy their faith I just don’t believe. Can’t we all just get along.

    I think that you come off as anti-mormon to the TBM crowd, and others because of the persecution complex. e.g. Why are the gay and lesbians so mad at us, we didn’t do anything to them! (yes that is overly simplistic, but it’s just illustration a point) Anyway, To some the presentation of any ideas that are different from the church’s are labeled as anti-mormon. So I guess that makes us alot of us antis.

  4. I think what makes one anti is their intent and their tone. Since you do not seem to have the intent of hurting others’ faith, and your tone is generally friendly and open, in no way would I consider you to be anti. AGAIN with the labeling! Buy calling someone anti, they basically dismiss them with one word. I have no problem with the word when it is properly applied to those who want to put an end to my faith, or whi have an overwhemlingly antagonistic tone or style.

  5. Even I was called a traitor on a couple occasions.

  6. Traitor!

  7. Wait… is this the same guy who vomits comments on evangelical-LDS dialogue blogs as “spamLDS”? (For example, see his latest comment on Jessica’s “I Love Mormons” blog here). If so, that explains a lot.

    I like how his latest comment goes off about his quest to defend the church. I friends with quite a few prominent, capable LDS apologists from both FAIR and FARMS/the Maxwell Institute, and I’d bet money that they avoid this guy like the plague. Or they will if they want to save face.

    Between his forum post and some things he said in his blog post, I do get the persecution complex. I just feel bad for it; there’s really no need to have such a reaction to people who really aren’t out to get you.

    Stop that, Andrew. You’re an ex-Mormon atheist and I’m a never-Mormon evangelical. You’re not supposed to have more sympathy for these people than I do, and I think they’re only good for the lulz. You’re making me look bad.

    Or maybe you really are the yang to my yin or something.

  8. Ug. You have to become a member to leave a comment.

    I just wanted to tell the SPAM people that they make me literally feel sick to my stomach, and I am a believing member. I have NO problem with apologetics or etc., but they are quite condescending. How is that Christian? Sheesh. SPAM people–there are actually good and decent apologists out there. You could learn something from them! 🙂

    These type of people drive people away, cause divisions, and generally disrupt the church more than any good they may do.

    Granted, I could totally be dismissing them myself in this comment! 😉

  9. Andrew, could I also ask that you stop linking to these types of sites? They drive me crazy, and I “just can’t leave it alone” lol. I know it gives you some fodder for your blog though…

    4-5 of my facebook friends are currently blocked on my homepage because they constantly post stuff about Obama and the devil and socialism, etc. etc. I just decided one day that I didn’t need to get worked up every day.

  10. mandi permalink

    not gonna lie, i was really shocked and a little angry at the tone of his post. instead of responding to you, he reposted found your personal information (which was online anyway, but still) and called you a crazy bigot (in so many words). it makes me feel a little defensive. :/

  11. mandi permalink

    excuse the typo. should have said “he found and reposted your personal information”

  12. Seth, I can’t imagine why. Unless it was by Adam Greenwood — he calls out a lot of people who do anything he dislikes from his new Ganymede perch

  13. re Jack:

    “Wait… is this the same guy who vomits comments on evangelical-LDS dialogue blogs as “spamLDS”?”

    OH, It appears you’ve run into him (or others in his group). Cool, so now I don’t feel lonely on this one. I’ll try to not be so sympathetic in the future.

    re AdamF:

    Yeah, the fact that the SpamLDS site requires membership gave me a nice barrier. I’ll go relatively far, but even I know when I’m being talked around my e-back and the other party doesn’t want to meet on equal terms. LOL, I’ll try not to link things like this in the future (I wasn’t going to link it at all, but he had a comprehensive 2-page article and a lovely forum discussion going on, and isn’t it rude to ignore people?)

    re mandi:

    OK, then I’m not crazy. The best part is that he continues to post over there without making a peep elsewhere (it’s like he’s beckoning me to continue to make the first move). And he says, “Just once, I’d like to hear one of these guys admit that, “Yes, I am anti-Mormon. I hate Mormons!”

    LOL. He wants a hater badly.

  14. Wow. Just wow. I went to the page you linked, Greg’s post “Want to see an example of anti-Mormon obssession?” It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an echo chamber like that.

    “When are anti-mormons going to just admit they hate us?”
    “Oh, gosh, yes. Anti-mormons are so hateful! And obsessive!”
    “You said it! And they don’t fact-check!”
    “Yeah! And we don’t need to fact-check, cause we know they’re wrong already!”
    “Why should we fact check, when we know the church is true, and the anti-mormons are just hateful?”
    “They are hateful! And their farts stink, but ours smell like roses!”

    And so on. Echo echo echo echo.

    And in the title of his post, he spelled “obsession” as “obssession.” It just seems wrong to moan about fact-checking when he doesn’t even spell check (I’m usually not a spelling nazi, but I couldn’t pass up the comment).

  15. :/ Leading with a plurality of votes is “Yes, anti- sometimes, or a little bit.” A lovable anti, eh?

  16. This guy just keeps getting better and better. See his comment here:

    How can I tell that Andrew is an anti-Mormon? It’s easy. If he simply didn’t believe, he would leave it alone and go on with his life.

    By that same reasoning, Jan Shipps and Lawrence Foster are anti-Mormons. Craig Blomberg, Greg Johnson, Paul Owen, Carl Mosser, and Richard Mouw are anti-Mormons. Any non-member (be they ex-Mormon or never-Mormon) who devotes considerable time to study of the church, no matter how polite, is an anti-Mormon, because if they didn’t believe, they would leave the Church alone and go on with their lives, right? Only faithful, active believers are allowed to be interested in Mormonism, according to Greg West.

    Grab your pitchforks, boys, it’s time to have us a witch anti-Mormon hunt!

  17. monk permalink

    Maybe it doesn’t flow in this stream, but does it have to be anti-Mormon? The term appears to be conveying something like, “You’re mean!”, when a rational defense isn’t available. This strategy changes the focus from the subject that’s on the table to the person accross the table. Granted, there are mean people at the table; though the other [Biblical] Christianity is classified “an abomination” by Mormon’s, they have never been called “anti-Christians”. They are the aggressive ones, confronting people in their homes and on the streets of their neighborhoods, but are they being labeled anti-Christians as they try to convince Biblical Christians that the Bible is inferior to The Book of Mormon? No. So why, when somebody with enough knowledge of the truth holds a [couple of them] to the fire, is he/she then profiled (according to the political correctness police?) as being anti-Mormon.
    If its about what’s true versus what is false, and somebody has the truth that disproves something false, can it possibly be pro- something rather than ant- ? Personally, I happen to be pro-life. As such, to many I am inherently anti-abortion, and whoever wants to can use this labeling to avoid having to grapple with the truths that I may bring to the table?
    There is a great lack of resposibility being nurtured by our condoning the use of anti this and anti that when shining the light of truth in the dark is the issue. Little children may say, “You’re mean!” when they want there way and can’t understand yet why truth is cramping their freedom. Adults need to mature, and use a better argument than “You’re mean, turn that light off!”

  18. I’m very anti-Mormon since an insane LDS candidate is the GOP guy this year. The insidious fraud that is the Mormon cult is more inherently duplicitous than people realize. I am an atheist, but live amongst a slew of Mormons so it’s very close to me every day.

  19. VegasJessie,

    However much you think Mitt Romney is insane, very little of it is because of Mormonism as opposed to, say, his socioeconomic privilege and opportunistic political opinions.

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