for the past year or so i’ve been carrying around a lot of anger about the mormon church, and i haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly why.
i never wanted to be one of those disgruntled ex-mormons with an ax to grind, belligerently pointing out doctrinal flaws at a moment’s notice. yet here i am – i leave church feeling angry, and i even can’t stand being around my wife’s family without feeling rage bubble up. (her family is extremely devout, and her father is well on the path to becoming a mission president or area authority).
today i think i had a moment of clarity as to why i feel this way – bear with me, this idea is just germinating.
mormons love to see things in terms of moral absolutes. this goes back to the whole “if you are lukewarm i will spew you from my mouth” idea. good vs. evil. believer vs. apostate. active vs. inactive. and this isn’t limited to their religious perspective – it colors their entire worldview.
this is what made prop 8 so difficult. it was no longer a political issue after the church got involved. it was a moral issue, with a good and evil side. this could be just me talking with a chip on my shoulder, but after prop 8 it seems like it became OK to moralize political issues outside of prop 8 – health care, taxes, immigration, etc.
I took to the Internet to validate my hypothesis, and came back with a grab bag of religious vitriol courtesy of my favorite mormon – mr. glenn beck. my favorites are the ones in which he repeatedly suggested that progressives and liberals are “enemies of God” and “enemies of Him,” and declared that they “don’t have [God] on their side.” (via mediamatters.org)
maybe i’m oversensitive, but i don’t like people thinking i’m evil just because we have a policy disagreement. and i’m not sure to what extent that these ideas are commonplace in general LDS attendance, i just checked and a good portion of my LDS facebook friends are fans of mr. beck (i know, hardly research).
in any case, after i made this realization i stopped feeling angry, since i was able to at least put a finger on why i was feeling this way. if anyone has any insight, let me know.