Friday, October 10, 2014

Why are PostMormons so Angry? Or are they?

I'm sure we've all seen or read something referring to angry Post Mormons being spiteful, and "attacking" the LDS Church beliefs.   A favorite saying is "They can leave the church, but they can't leave it alone." which of course is another adage depicting Post Mormons as angry attackers.

It couldn't be further from the truth.  This depiction, or demonization of Post Mormons is merely propaganda to lump all Post Mormons into a single category that is anti-mormon wanting to tear the church down brick by brick.   Some do, and I can't deny that, but most don't.   It's also easier for Mormons to see all Post Mormons as the same type because most Mormons have a stereotype.   If you're Mormon, you're understood by Mormons, or more to the point, each Mormon can understand the Mormon part of you.   Therefore, it's easy to reason that all Post Mormons must be the same.   Right?

Post Mormons are all the same in one single area.  They once used to be a part of the LDS Church, and left.   Mormons usually can't wrap their head around why anyone would leave such a wonderful and loving organization.   But people do for various reasons, and Post Mormons are extremely diverse as this survey shows.

Focusing on anti-mormons, you'll see a thousand or so here and there with a grudge, and a bone to pick.  There are facebook groups, general conference protests, and so on and so forth with the complete and total dedication to bring the LDS Church to it's knees.     A thousand is a generous number of spiteful Post Mormons, but out of how many?  Millions?   Angry anti-mormons are usually seen as a small number, and the LDS Church so large, but there are more Post Mormons, than there are Mormons.   Fancy that; a much larger number not making waves for their former comrades.

Why are they angry then, if so many aren't?   Aside from the ideal that Post Mormons are very diverse, there's a progression when they leave the LDS church.   What every Mormon has is The Gospel, and it's basically Mormon Doctrine Personified.  The Gospel itself was a very real and important part of our lives because we were once Mormon, and losing the Gospel was so very painful.   It's loss is akin to a death in the family, or some other momentous loss.  Just like with death, there is a grieving process.

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The 5 stages of Grief


Denial / Isolation


At first, our head is spinning because the world we grew up in, and everything we know is crumbling.  We don't know how to handle it, and we deny it.  It can't be.  We search, ponder, and pray, but nothing.   We get frantic, and search through everything we can find in the hopes of validating our cherished beliefs that are no longer.  It's truly maddening.

Anger


After accepting the LDS Church is, dare I say it, not true, we get angry.  How could the church lie to us?   Why did I give them so much money?   They are still fooling my family and friends?   These issues are frustrating, but they are just a catalyst for the real problem.   Once finding out the LDS church isn't true, we of course share our doubts with our families.   Only instead of understanding, and comfort, the usual response, is ignorance, belittlement, and fear.

We just lost our precious Gospel, and are hurting so very badly, that when we reach out to our family and friends for support during a most hurtful time...  We get shunned.   That's like going to a funeral, and kicking a widow or widower in the stomach for losing their spouse.  How dare they lose someone they love?    And that is where this extreme hostile anger comes from.   Pure unadulterated pain and suffering.

Bargaining


After the anger subsides a wee bit, there's the bargaining stage which usually consists of trying to find another religion that's true, or trying to find a belief system.  Something to replace the gaping hole that the Gospel filled.  Some even consider going back to the LDS Church because it hurts so badly not to have that comfort.   (I've never seen anyone actually go back after losing belief.)  

Depression


The LDS Church covers all bases.  It's a social group, and most Mormons derive their social needs directly from other members, so that's gone.  The beliefs are gone.  The support group is gone.  Family and friends are distant.  Getting out of bed is tough.   Everything just sucks.

Acceptance


At this stage, Post Mormons are usually putting their lives back together again.  They've usually custom built their own Moral code to replace the cookie cutter mormon one.   Hobbies, and activities have replaced callings and church service.   They focus more on life rather than church.  From here Post Mormons branch out everywhere.  Most leave the Post Mormon communities because they are no longer needed.   They settle in their respective lives happy without Mormonism.



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President Henry B. Eyring, in speaking about those with doubts, said: “In your love for them you may decide to try to give them what they ask. You may be tempted to go with them through their doubts, with the hope that you can find proof or reasoning to dispel their doubts. Persons with doubts often want to talk about what they think are the facts or the arguments that have caused their doubts, and about how much it hurts. … “You and I can do better if we do not stay long with what our students see as the source of their doubts. … Their problem does not lie in what they think they see; it lies in what they cannot yet see. … We do best if we turn the conversation soon to the things of the heart, those changes of the heart that open spiritual eyes” (“‘And Thus We See’: Helping a Student in a Moment of Doubt” [address to Church Educational System religious educators, Feb. 5, 1993], 3, 4; si.lds.org).

Here we are going through one of the most horrific experiences in our lives, and our friends and family are being counciled Not to talk with us about our hurt and pain.    We're alone in our doubts.  So is there really any wonder why there are angry Post Mormons?  

Tip for Mormons:  When someone is having doubts, just love them.   Don't be scared, or hurt that they no longer believe.  Just love them.  Be as open and accepting to them as you were before you found out they no longer believed.  

All in all though, Mormons truly do get a very nice pass on most Post Mormons being angry because the truly spiteful and hateful anger is only a stage in the grief process.   Granted, there are some grudges held because we got duped for 10% of our money, and quite a bit of our free time.  But most importantly, we still love our family and friends very much, and they are still being exploited.  

Many have gone through the grieving process alone, but luckily, there are Post Mormon Communities out there to help people during their exit.   Our sense of community was not lost in our exit.


7 comments:

  1. Saw this elsewhere:

    ' Written by a friend, I had to share.

    There's a huge double standard, as evidenced by the following:

    1- I don't go knocking on my neighbor's doors to tell them about Agnosticism.

    2- I don't text them saying, "I noticed you went to Church today. I sure missed you at not-Church. Hope to see you soon."

    3- I don't bribe their kids with treats to stay home from Church.

    4- When my Mormon neighbors move, I don't track them down and invite them to leave the Church in their new area.

    5- When PBS has a show on about Charles Darwin I don't make fancy invitations and invite them to watch it with me.

    6- I don't keep track of who's going to Church and who's not.

    7- I don't fly across the country to Philadelphia at my own expense and spend two years trying to get Philadelphia Mormons to leave the Church.

    8- I'm not constantly quoting Richard Dawkins or Carl Sagan on Facebook.

    9- I don't put on a huge anti-Mormon pageant every year and invite all of my Mormon friends.

    10- I don't secretly interrogate their children to find out why their parents are staying in Church.

    11- When a Mormon neighbor makes the decision to stay in the Church, I don't write them a letter explaining the eternal consequences of their decision and telling them that before they make such an important decision they must sit down with me to discuss it.

    12- I don't drive down to the Church on the night they're having youth activities and say, "Hey kids, we're on our way to the arcade. Do you want a ride?"

    13- I never look at a Mormon and try to figure out what type of underwear they're wearing.

    14- I never use funerals as an opportunity to teach the plan of natural selection to grieving Mormons.

    15- I have never written my testimony inside a copy of No Man Knows My History and given it to a Mormon while explaining what the book means to me and how it has changed my life.

    16- I have never bought a Mormon a gift subscription to a Secular Humanist magazine.

    17- I have never told a Mormon how they should vote.

    18- I have never criticized a Mormon for the clothes they are wearing.

    19- I have never chastised a Mormon friend for posting something on Facebook that was too mormony.

    20- I do not deny my Mormon friends and family the opportunity to attend weddings, even if they're not Agnostics in good standing.

    21- I do not send Birthday cards to my Mormon Neighbor's children with a note that says, "Darwin loves you and so do I. We sure miss you when you go to Church."

    22- I don't tell my Mormon friends that they're going to hell because they don't believe in the Big Bang.

    23- When my less-active Mormon neighbors decide to start going to Church more often, I don't visit them at a time when I know their spouse will be at work and tell them, "Now you know you don't have to go to Church just because your spouse wants to go. You're allowed to make up your own mind."

    24- I don't disown my child if they decide to be Mormon.

    25- I don't counsel anyone to divorce their spouse because they've decided that Atheism isn't true and that Mormonism makes more sense.

    So who's not leaving who alone?'

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. While I understand these comparisons are offered in a humorous tone, I find it incredibly ironic that you are posting them in this forum. Are you not figuratively knocking on your neighbors' doors? Are you not writing your testimony in this book? You may not be flying across the country for a couple of years, but you are spending your time preaching your beliefs anywhere in the world that has internet access and a Twitter account. My children are certainly "bribed" not to go to church on Sunday when their coaches tell them they have to play on a weekend travel team or when other families invite them to go camping. There is indeed a huge anti-Mormon pageant put on every night on Broadway. There is frequent chastisement on "Momony" posts in the comment sections of FB. Many spouses are pressured to stop worshipping to keep a marriage covenant. Many children are indeed disowned when they decide to be Mormon. You may not being telling your Mormon friends that they're going to hell, but you are telling them there is no heaven. I do not live in a predominately LDS community, and I can imagine that an LDS neighborhood climate could feel more intense than my own. Can you imagine that the visits, treats, invitations of your Mormon friends and neighbors come from a place of sincere care and belief? Are snarky posts and tweets on a global forum "leaving people alone"? Can't we build better understanding through positive communication?

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    3. Hi Kathleen,

      Thank you for your sincere albeit, frustrated comment. The truth is that many of us would love to communicate positively with our Mormon families and friends. And we try. A few succeeed. Most of us though are set aside, banished ever so subtly from our friends and family. Once we stop believing, Journey not only stops singing, but avoids us. Especially during a most painful time. We're constantly trying to communicate positively, but are met with fear and distrust. Families are broken for the sake of a belief no longer shared.

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    4. Hi Kathleen,

      Thank you for your sincere albeit, frustrated comment. The truth is that many of us would love to communicate positively with our Mormon families and friends. And we try. A few succeeed. Most of us though are set aside, banished ever so subtly from our friends and family. Once we stop believing, Journey not only stops singing, but avoids us. Especially during a most painful time. We're constantly trying to communicate positively, but are met with fear and distrust. Families are broken for the sake of a belief no longer shared.

      Delete
  2. 26. I don't get offended when someone expresses disbelief at my beliefs. I understand that freedom of belief or no belief is their right as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

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