Scott L Smith - Ex-Mormon
Scott L. Smith, USA, about 1992 (age 30).
I graduated from seminary in High School but was turned off by the moral brainwashing (even in the Boy Scouts) and the push for all Mormon boys to become LDS missionaries. We can't even solve our own problems so why are we trying to save the world?
While a grownup in the Army I had a better attitude about the Church and believed that the Word of Wisdom at least was a good thing back when everybody smoke and drank. Mormons not living in Mormonville seemed a lot more real to me, a little more grounded.
Then I made the mistake of going to Ricks College (now BYU Idaho) and was really turned off by the "in loco parentis" attitude and hypocritical Mormon moral philosophy brazenly showcased in utopian form. Back to relive my childhood. When does one reach the point of no return? I did graduate but I had to really fake it in Institute classes. A lot of wasted education dollars too. Must've been the Devil's work (he he).
Intelligent Mormons can sometimes compartmentalize secular knowledge and the crap that the Church teaches. In the mind of the educated Mormon there is no ultimate conflict between True Science and True Religion. They of course know somehow that they have the Truth!
Well, if that is so then what is Faith for? I'll tell you: It is an irrational belief in something that sounds good because of fear of the unknown. True-science is not a belief system or moral philosophy at all but a skeptical process of learning by empirical observation and testing the limits of knowledge. Science has nothing to do with moral philosophies and psychologies of social control.
I simply don't understand why otherwise rational people believe in an unknowable God and why they obey the mores of any religion based on such myths. That is really the crux of the matter. I can debate a Democrat or a Republican but I cannot debate with someone's irrational belief in God.
Mormons are not the only true-belivers who are mentally challenged by any means. Religionists universally believe that grownups need to be scared straight in order to be good citizens? Atheists, however, are not necessarily amoral; they have even been known to make good citizens.
Yeah, I figure that I might cease to exist when I die--but I have no more (or less) knowledge of my ultimate fate than the religionist who believes in the "Santa Claus in the sky" or the proverbial lake of fire and brimstone. So why fret about it or try to please the Churchmen in their sad colored suits?
But what to do? One can drop out of the Church but it is hard to "excommunicate" oneself from your entire family, people who define themselves by the Church.
Your folks just have to accept you for who you are or else move on themselves (no, I'm not gay). So finally I stopped troubling myself over what my folks might think and had the Church officially remove me from their membership rolls. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner, when I was 18.
But just to make sure that there was no misunderstanding I got it in writing. I was not excommunicated, I quit. That was an important point for me.
You see, Mormons think based on some key assumed premises, namely that since they have the one-true Gospel, that anybody who might not want it must essentially have a morality "problem" of some kind--maybe a passion for the ponies or to hang out in the coffee shop for a nasty cup of Joe after a hard day of proselyting and procreating to make the Church grow. Truly infantile.
But the problem, as I see it, is not limited to Mormons but the influence of all faiths in society. For starters, I think that all churches should pay income taxes and have their property taxed. It is time to make "separation of church and state" a reality in this country and stop subsidizing it with tax breaks.
And having lived in Mormonville I know what it will be like if Fundamentalist Christians ever manage to turn the entire country into "Red states." Somebody should tell President Bush that he is not the President of Jesusland.
Good luck and best wishes for all ye truthseekers!
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