Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How did I manage to ignore the sexism for sooooo long?

I came across this post today.  I'm going to share their pic here so we can talk about it too. This is the front cover of a book written by 15 old, white, Mormon leaders (guys. All the leadership are guys!).

I saw this book a few months ago in a collection that my dad inherited from my Granny. He pointed it out to me and said that my Granny had liked it and that I probably would too. I picked it up and just kind of went "Oh yeah". It repulsed me but I hadn't even noticed the authorship, I just was not at all interested in reading anything Mormon. Now that Usu Shaft has pointed out the 15 old dudes to me I kind of feel a bit sick. Best not to dwell on it too much I think, I mean... I'm out now... dodged a bullet there me thinks. Then in kicks the funny side, I mean come ooooooon! 15 guys collaborated on a book to pin down/box in/make sense of WOMAN and they failed miserably! Poor male folk; looking at their subject with lab coats on and a poking stick was never going to produce any real result. They all just need to get laid man!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I am a stranger to no one, and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all. —p.1299, Guru Granth Sahib

This made me cry; bright and brave youth singing from their hearts about pulling together to help those in need after the cyclone and floods in Queensland.

My favourite part -

"We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come,
we share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are, we are Australian."

I hope Australia can grow to really embrace this part of the song. We do come from all around the world. I am so tired of seeing bumper stickers that say "F... off we're full" (Um, have you seen how effin huge Australia is???) "We grew here, you flew here, f... off". This second one by the way would include me. I flew to Australia when I was 3 months old. Should I leave too?!

I like to think of my home as the starting place for celebrating diversity whilst striving for social cohesion. I need to practice this just as much in my own marriage as I do in my wider community!

Then could we write a global song that embraced the same ideas? - "I am, you are, we are earthlings" doesn't quite have the same ring to it but I'm sure there is some wonderful lyricist out there who could get something flowing. Could we also include the animals, the plants, the very earth itself. We are part of a wondrous cycle of life. The earth sustains us if we respect it. People respond with love when they are treated with love. It should be like some kind of Golden Rule or something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Putting My Brave Face On

About 2 weeks ago, in an attempt to regain some control over my life, I closed my facebook account and shut down this blog. I had reached a point where I greatly resented the public nature of my journey. If I could change the past I would go back and start this blog as an anonymous venture. The passive-aggressive nature of some facebook interactions and misunderstandings had accumulated and worn me down. And perhaps most of all this blog was beginning to shape me rather me shaping it.

(There was also a very specific catalyst for the shutdowns but I won’t discuss it here).

It is one thing when friends un-friend you on facebook, it is quite another when a family member does it. How on earth does religion trump family? It would seem as though the religion that most likes to present itself as family-friendly has a rather bad track record of keeping families together. All of the focus on the afterlife has blinded people to the needs and feelings of those right in front of them in the here and now! I watched an online friend go through the full gamut of emotions recently resulting in serious consideration of suicide. And we all know about the suicide attempts and actual suicides of LGBT Mormon youth in the States.

It saddens me to be experiencing rejection and unkindness from family. The loss of friendships has also been hard but there have been many beautiful people ready to pop up and take their place; do I have to replace family as well? I guess I am beginning to learn that family is not a right but a privilege and must be earned with love, respect and kindness.

I am blown away by the lack of compassion shown by Mormons. There are some that shine out and do what you’d expect any decent human to do but then there are a disturbing number who refuse to even try to understand an apostate’s pain. The horribly overused label stating that a person has “Left the church but won’t leave the church alone” is one that is sadly so entrenched in Mormon culture and yet it is so hurtful to anyone who is trying to process the enormous changes going on in their life. Think for just a moment of how you might feel if everything you thought was true was turned upside-down and it happened at whirlwind speed and then imagine that the people who you have been closest to for your whole life tell you that you must never speak about this to them, ever. For you to discuss your confusion, feelings of betrayal and hurt, your loss… all of these very real emotions and experiences are rejected by those whom you love and instead you are told that you are mistaken, lost and evil.

Instead of discussion there is ignorance. Instead of love, distance.

And so because I started this journey with my brave real face on I now have to choose whether to ‘disappear’ and regain some peace or move forward in the face of hypocrisy and unkindness and put my name to my thoughts and experiences. I know that by writing these things down I will help someone else who is right now being shunned by their Mormon family and friends. After all of the lessons I heard in church about writing a journal to help my progeny it turns out that the most useful thing I can do with my words is to help people survive the turmoil that can come in the first stages of post-Mormonism.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Is there such a thing as a good Mormon teaching?

A commenter here on black/green-bikini sparked an interesting topic in a recent thread. Here is what they wrote:

 "Many people are raised in the church to expect, or come to the church looking for, rules and certainty - answers from God   that they don't have to think about. And those looking for rules will find them. Some pretty good ones, which we'd all be better off following. But eventually, if one is to grow, one will find that God asks us to live principles, not follow rules."

As you can imagine I disagree. I can't think of a single rule or principle that Mormonism has offered to humankind that would improve a persons life. Sure they say "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" but what religion/philosophy (bar Satanism etc) doesn't say that?

BUT, I may be forgetting something. I'd love to be reminded. I don't want to only hate on Mormonism. So, the challenge has been set. Teach me a principle/rule that Mormonism has uniquely offered to humankind to improve ones life. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Verdict: Freedom of Speech - 1; Censorship - 0

I still hadn't heard from the facebook team so I thought I'd just check and see if I was still blocked from posting links to this blog on fb due to being 'abusive and spammy'.  The link successfully posted so it would seem that the fb team figured it out pretty easily. I would have loved to have got an email or something from them declaring my blog to be safe for public viewing; I could have posted it as a permanent seal on the top right hand of my blog! It all worked out pretty good anyway, I was able to post a plain link on fb while I was having a bit of a whinge about someone flagging my blog and I got loads of hits. It was the most fun I'd had yet with my stats page :) Anyway, on with the show I suppose. Time to churn out some more shlock.