Urban Koda wrote a great post at Main Street Plaza today, about giving things up. Within, he posts about a lot of things he believes he has given up since leaving the church, but one thing in particular which he has not:
The problem is that I still have in my mind the doctrine of the dichotomy of good and evil. I still judge Joseph Smith on the scales – was he all good, or all bad, and I do the same with those around me. Just snap judgments – this person is good, that person is evil.
This is one thing I think many people don’t give up…but which is the thing that we must. I wrote a comment in response about something I feel I have not given up:
…the baggage that I have is in thinking that ideals *should* be all or nothing. I feel that heroes, for example, should be superhumanly good, and as a result, I don’t have many (if any) heroes. I feel like a true church *should* be supernaturally good, and as a result, I don’t feel there are many (if any) true churches.
I suppose this is something I must, eventually, give up.
The problem is it’s hard to give these things up. With every ideal, we think we should preserve the ideal no matter what pressures we have from others to give them up. So, ideals are sticky to change, even when everything else changes.
So, now, I feel like I’m debating whether I have another ideal that I must stick to, or which eventually I must give up. It is spoken about eloquently at this Exponent post: The Unorthodox Mormon. Stella writes about it so succinctly:
I’ve jokingly said, in a few passing conversations, that I’m trying to create a world where orthodox and unorthodox Mormons can all just get along. But why does it always sound like a funny joke when I say it?
Trying to create a world where orthodox and unorthodox can all just get along…but yes, unfortunately, it just sounds like a funny joke.
It’s naive. It’s just not how communities work. And one especially can’t try to “take over” someone else’s community without resistance.
But if this is the ideal…if this is the craving, then I can’t help but feel that some people are missing the point when they offer alternatives…
I don’t know. I don’t think we can try to satisfy this craving to have a world where orthodox and unorthodox can just get along by creating a separate world (especially one that’s just limited to the unorthodox who feel this way). I don’t think we can satisfy this craving just by finding some other world. And I don’t think we can satisfy this craving just by eliminating the unorthodoxy to fit into the current Mormon world. We can satisfy compromise cravings, but this is essentially a destruction of the original craving the destroys a part of ourselves.
I feel that pointing out that on the internet, no one knows you’re a furry animal does not capture the fact that, even on the internet, you will always know you are a furry animal, and you will always know you are a liar if you lie about that fact to fit in. But just as well, if you stick to furry animals, you will always know that you’re lying about your desire to hang out with the less-furry animals. Ultimately, though, it is clearly ludicrous to say that just because everyone else doesn’t have to know that you also don’t.