I received an email the other day from someone asking why I blog so much about Mormon related topics and also asked if I was anti-Mormon. To answer the second question first, No, I am not anti-Mormon and I don’t like the term. It’s an intellectually improper label used to discredit someone when he/she presents some aspect of Mormonism that is controversial. I am not anti-Mormon; I am an angry, former Mormon who dug himself out of the dark cave of that church (and religion in general). This leads to the answer of the first question as to why I blog so much about Mormons: 1) I was born and raised in the church, went on a mission and was a “good Mormon boy”; I didn’t drink, or smoke, or have sex, I went to church and my youth group activities, I was an example, I graduated from seminary, I spoke kindly of others around me, I magnified my callings, I was an honest and honorable missionary. But, at the end of 2008, after about 5 years of inactivity and intellectual development, I officially left the church. 2) I blog a lot about Mormonism because I am writing a book that takes place in Utah that includes Mormon characters, so church related themes are always bouncing around my subconscious. 3) The relationship of the church to the world in this day and age fascinates me. Never before in history has the spread of ideas and information been so easily accessible to so many people. Access to intellectual discussion, fact based study, historical analysis and evidence has shaken the very foundation upon which the church built itself in the 20th Century. The body of evidence that the church is not what it claims to be is massive and shines like a white-hot spotlight onto lies and deception. The Internet has destroyed the stranglehold that the church held on its own actual history. The “faithful history” practiced by most Mormons (either by choice or ignorance) is crumbling under scrutiny. It is for these reasons that I feel compelled to tell my stories, examine the changing structure of the church, and spread correct ideas and principles to interested people of the world. The Mormon Church, like all religion, survives based on the acceptance of non-verifiable information, deception, false promises, contradictions, bad premises, and force.
My main problem with the church began last summer when the Utah-based church became actively involved in California politics. The lay members of the church in the United States were ripped in half by the rusty knife of a directive from the First Presidency to give of their “time, means and money” to ensure the passage of Proposition 8. Those that didn’t blindly follow the Prophet and do as they were told were labeled apostates. The so called “prophets, seers, and revelators” failed to make a prophecy, see or reveal anything pertaining to gay marriage. (But when was the last time a Mormon “prophet” ever did anything that would allow us to ascribe that title?) The leaders of the church in their ignorance didn’t anticipate (it seems) the backlash both in and out of the church. I resigned in November because if there is any group of people that needs to shut the fuck up when it comes to the definition of marriage, it is the Mormons.
Recently, it has become known that the Church failed to report the actual amount of money spent supporting Prop 8. The numbers they originally reported showed the church spent about $2000. Turns out they actually spent over $180,000. Why so dishonest in the reporting? I realize it wasn’t just the Mormons involved in financially supporting Prop 8, but they, as a group, sure raised a lot of money to take rights away from people. The leaders of the church said they were involved because Prop 8 was a “moral issue” but they never defined what a moral issue is. I would like the church to clarify what that means.
A few months after the passage of Prop 8, bills were introduced in the Utah legislature called the Common Ground Initiative, designed to push legal protection for gay and transgender Utahns. Leaders of the church publicly stated that they did “not object” to rights to same-sex couples such as hospital visitation, probate rights, and safeguards in housing and employment, which is what the Common Ground Initiatives wanted to create.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the ugly face of the Mormon Church took center stage. State Senator Chris Buttars (a former Mormon Bishop), and Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka, two active and practicing Mormons came shrieking into the spotlight…again. Buttars said in a documentary that the gay movement was “probably the greatest threat to America…It’s the beginning of the end,” Buttars said. “Oh, it’s worse than that. Sure. Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide.” He called same-sex couples an “abomination.” He compared gay activists to radical Muslims and said they lack morals and want special rights. When the story broke, Buttars was asked to apologize. He responded by saying he had nothing to apologize for. Really Chris? Nothing? Not one thing? Not for your hateful and hurtful words? Not for the pain you inflict on gay members of your church? What about the children of gay parents who now have precarious legal protection in your state? What about the families in Utah you have helped to tear down and belittle? Is it beyond your comprehension that gay people also have families? What exactly are you learning in your Priesthood lessons on Sunday?
What strikes me is that the Mormon Church has yet to come out and say, “This is not our view on the issue; Chris Buttars does not speak for the Church.” I’m certain they never will either, because as an elected official Buttars does represent the church. He knows that and so do they. If the things he said are not actually what the church teaches or believes, then how did a life long member and former Bishop get so many wrong ideas? And why has the church not made an official statement to correct his error? What’s disturbing is that if he was opposing the viewpoint of the church, he would be dealt with immediately. For example, a part time BYU instructor of philospohy, Jeffrey Nielson, wrote a logical, well reasoned op-ed piece opposing the viewpoint of the church on same sex-marriage. It was published in the Salt Lake Tribune. He was not rehired for the summer term; but a State Senator with government power to pass or kill legislation that directly affects actual human lives can make vicious remarks demonizing a segment of the population and the church has no opinion and remains silent.
Gayle Ruzicka and her flying monkeys returned too. Never in the history of Mormonism has a Mormon woman held so much power as her. (Ironic, I know.) She testified before the legislature that any support for the Common Ground Initiatives would precipitate a court battle over marriage similar to the situation in California. That is a false alternative and a stupid argument from a stupid woman. The situation in California could not be repeated in Utah since, thanks to her and her Constitutional Defense of Marriage Alliance, she helped pass a law that made gay marriage illegal in Utah. The court could not on a whim overturn that.
Buttars and Ruzicka are the faces of modern Mormonism. Behind the fake declarations of “concern and love,” they represent everything the church actually stands for: hatred, indifference, force, lies, and deception. They are the end result of altruist mysticism and a lifetime of Mormon influence and teachings. They are the fearful, the irrational, the hysterical voices of people who think they have a monopoly on truth and love. The do not, no matter how sincere their church is in declaring it. They are the enemies to individual rights and freedom. The leadership of the Mormon church must be held accountable for the years of mental and physical abuse inflicted on their own members. The church must be exposed and examined. And that’s why I blog about Mormons.