Legitimate *pro bono legal services* don’t exist without a good reason. In a few of the exmormon groups I’m in you’ll see regular posts saying stuff like “Look what my lawyer sent me today!” with a pic of their resignation confirmation letter from the church.
You know. Just stuff that a normal average church that is definitely not actually a cult would do. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
im gonna draw any shit from any musical u want, nerds
• u gotta b following me (im def gonna make sure u are my guy)
• u gotta reblog (likes dont count dude)
• that’s all, bros
I will draw:
• pretty much anything
• your favorite underrated musical that nobody even knows? yeah
• your favorite extremely popular musical that you’re afraid to ask for fanart of because you’ll think you’re being annoying? totally, hmu
• porn? maybe. depends on the ship. also im a minor so if getting that shit from me bothers u don’t ask for it
I wont draw:
• characters using slurs
• furries (or dolphins guys dont make me ple a s e)
that’s all! I’m gonna pick the winner on June 3rd, 2017!
When I was eight, I got baptised. I remember my mom telling me she was so proud of the choice I made. But when I turned 13, I remember telling her I didn’t want to attend church any more. She told me I was too young to make a decision like that. I realized then that I only had the illusion of choice. If it wasn’t in the confines of my parents beliefs, then it didn’t exist.
It’s amazing the translating your brain can automatically do to turn things you hear into something that makes sense with what you already think.
I’m just remembering being Mormon, and being a girl in the church, and how much it should have bothered more. Not that I wasn’t bothered. I was. Just, in retrospect, not enough. I was mostly bothered about the clear time/effort/budget difference between the youth programs for boys and for girls (I distinctly remember feeling furious when my brother’s Priest High Adventure involved Kayaking across the Canadian border onto various islands alongside literal whales, while the Young Women’s culminating Laurel activity involved a short hike up a local hill in a familiar park followed by a trip to the mall).
But doctrinal stuff? My brain just translated it. Instead of listening to what was actually being said and thinking through the implications, I would just hear something else entirely, or immediately think of the best, most generous and beneficial interpretation. Without having to think about it. I didn’t think, “oh that’s a problem” and then actively seek the mental gymnastics to resolve it. The mental gymnastics were so automatic I didn’t even know they were there.
I’ve been thinking about this because I just remembered that women can’t go to outer darkness. Which is a thing I somehow didn’t notice while I was active and believing. Even though, when I found out later and went to my church materials to confirm, it was clear no real attempt had been made to hide it. The “priesthood holder” requirement was right there.
I know it’s silly to say, but on a doctrinal level, I think being incapable of being damned would have been more insulting and jarring to me as a believer than any of the other stuff I had found personal explanations for. It’s just so clearly condescending, trivializing, infantilizing. Which is probably why, somehow, when I believed, I didn’t notice it. If you had told me straight out I probably would have told you you were mistaken.
My brain just translated “men” to people. “Brotherhood” to family. “Sons of Perdition” to “Children of Perdition”. The words were interchangeable to me. I didn’t think about them having a meaning that could possibly be excluding me. Especially as nothing “for the brethren” seemed particularly beyond my understanding or ability.
I didn’t believe they did exclude me. I thought that everything that was for Priesthood holders and Priesthood worthiness was for me as well, just without the rituals to back it up. I thought the differences were merely ornamental, and justified them that way. Like, obviously if women don’t need to be “ordained” with the priesthood because we already have an equal power, then we must be just as concerned with how to wield that power.
I didn’t see myself as unequal because I didn’t act and react like I was unequal. I assumed the lip service about “different but equal” was just truth, and that those differences were superficial, which meant I did have power within the church. But those differences were fundamentally entrenched, and I wasn’t actually invited to the table I was imagining I was sitting at. I thought I had a say, or would grow to have a say, and that was never the case. I was, at best, indulged to keep me quiet and out of the way.
As I got older, it become much easier to see how the church was mistreating and hurting other people before I could see what it was doing to me. I saw racism and homophobia radiating from the doctrine long before I grasped the sexism. But looking back, the older I got the more my questions, insights, and contributions in Sunday school were shot down, especially in the co-ed classes. Even things I said or asked that were faith promoting. At the time I thought I just talked too much. But looking back, I was detracting from the lesson for the boys.
The substitutions our brains make even when we’re looking directly at something are fascinating. There was a time when I would have laughed in the face of anyone who told me the church was sexist, truly unable to see it even as men led every single meeting and wrote every single rule.
I can’t believe that, even for a moment, I thought I was equal in a church that doesn’t even consider me good enough to be damned.
What I consider sinning = not sharing with the poor, taking away people’s health insurance when they could die next month because of it, preventing people from seeing their families based on imagined racist fears
What my family considers sinning = not going to church every Sunday, saying cuss words, drinking green tea, wearing thongs, critical thinking
!!! YOU DON’T NEED A RELIGION TO HAVE MORALS !!! You are capable of thinking for yourself without a bunch of old white guys telling you what to do!!!!!!
Many atheists get asked this question, “What would you do if God existed, what if you were wrong?”
My personal reply to this question would be that even if God existed, he would not be the all loving, all merciful deity that people imagine him to be; instead, he would be a deceitful, insecure, power hungry, vengeful bastard, and most certainly not worth worshipping. He would be uncaring, unjust and unfair to those who thought rationally, and came to the conclusion that their was no God based on what evidence they had. He would care less about who you are as a person, and more about how much you kissed his backside, and would lobotomise you when you go into heaven, to not stop and even give a second thought to those unjustly burning in hell,and God would sit back, relax, and think to himself about great he his like a selfish, big headed, egotistical, con artist.
As for what I would do if I were wrong, well, what if we were wrong about the Egyptian Gods, what if we were wrong about Zeus, or Thor, or Vishnu, or Shiva, or other Gods and Goddesses we have made up throughout the ages. What of were wrong about the Easter bunny, or the lock ness monster? If your wrong about Zeus, doesn’t that mean you will spend an eternity in Tartarus (Ancient Greek mythology which was their interpretation of hell) So how can you be sure about you being right and others being wrong? Either way, there is still no evidence for God, and if there is no evidence, we don’t know if it exists.
I’ve seen lots of posts about Laci Green and her transformation into some kind of weird, nominally “centrist,” alt-right enabler - and I am as upset about her nonsense as everybody else - but I think there is a different conversation to be had here that isn’t really happening.
Lots of people assume that her motive is purely material. Like, she saw that the “rationals” were gaining some ground on YT, and so she decided to reach out to them and join them since the “most prominent” SJW on YouTube suddenly disavowing the social justice movement is certainly dramatic and will draw a ton of views. However, I actually give Laci slightly more credit than that, and I’ll tell you why.
I think the most important fact about Laci that most people are ignoring is the fact that she is Ex-Mormon. Most people likely ignore this because it isn’t very well-known how the Mormon church actually functions or how traumatic leaving it actually is. But as an Ex-Mormon myself (for those that didn’t know, I was raised Mormon), who worked with a ton of Ex-Mormons transitioning out of the Mormon Church, I can tell you that the sort of “rational,” New-atheist crowd is extremely appealing to Ex-Mormons and a ton of Ex-Mormons end up as Dawkins disciples.
This is largely because they feel lied to, emotionally, and since the Mormon church bases its entire existence on the “spiritual feelings” that its members are supposed to have about its “truth,” you have Ex-Mormons dissavowing feelings entirely, and only basing opinions on some form of misguided, harsh empiricism. The ultimate “reals not feels” position.
Of course, that position is ultimately ridiculous, because feelings ARE real. Like, it absolutely matters how you feel about your own identity, and how you feel when people insult you, and how your feelings and others feelings contribute to systemic oppression or systemic change. Real science definitely recognizes this, and any scientific study worth its salt about gender issues or racial oppression takes the emotional toll into account.
But Laci isn’t capable of basing her worldview on the very real emotions of others, because that would be, in her mind (and many fresh Ex-Mormon minds) the exact same mistake that faithful Mormons make. And so when Laci first became a feminist youtuber, she pretty much exclusively focused on issues that would help work through her faith transition. She focused on Sex Positivity since the Mormon Church is very harsh and controlling regarding sexuality. She focused on women empowerment, in the white feminist sort of way, because hierarchial positions are exclusively given to men in Mormonism. Essentially, I don’t think Laci was ever an actually dedicated feminist educated about social justice in the way she has been portrayed - I think she was mostly responding to her particular experience of oppression.
But she was inevitability criticized by others for failing to take their experiences into account. Many other feminists, especially intersectional feminists, criticized her work from an emotional perspective, telling her that she wasn’t adequately representing them. She was probably sometimes criticized quite harshly, probably to a fault on occassion. And so, instead of looking at those emotions and learning from the responses, Laci has backpedaled into the “rationalist” community, which is exactly the same state of mind she has always had after leaving Mormonism. And now that she has worked through her own particular faith transition, she can be open and loud about it.
I’m certainly not making this post in order to defend Laci Green - she is doing some atrocious things, and there is absolutely no excuse for giving a platform to white supremacists and other bigots. She should know better. She should listen to her critics and stop listening to alt-right idiots. But I do sometimes wish I could talk to her, because I do think I understand where she is coming from better than a lot of people.
We really have to fight back against the “rationalist” alt-righters, because they are really capable of poaching people who have become disillusioned from a particularly authoritarian faith group. Laci is just the latest example of that happening.
This post has been some months in the offing. I’ve been wrestling with how to address such a personal encounter. Nevertheless, I will try because I think this story illuminates a very important point.
I left the church and my parent’s home at 18. I refused to go on a mission, my parents refused to pay for college, and I was beyond done with their whole way of life. During the last year I lived with them we fought almost daily. My mom and I didn’t speak to each other for nearly two years leading up to my leaving. Things were very tense. They mounted a vigorous campaign to get me to stay, go on a mission, go to BYU - the usual TBM bullshit. I took myself out of the equation.
While the fighting was intense we never directly addressed “the church” or “religion” or “faith.” My parents just sort of assumed I still believed and I let them go on assuming it because it was easier. I was dealing with enough self-doubt and internal change and I didn’t want to manage their reactions to such a revelation. Sure, it was a cop-out and I still feel a little shame to this day of not telling them straight out that I didn’t believe the church was true and that I didn’t believe in god. That remained unsaid.
Jump forward nine years - now, or to be precise, January 20th, 2017. That’s right: Trump’s inauguration day. My parents just happened to be in town to attend the funeral of a family friend (Not just any friend. This guy was the second counselor to my dad when he served as Stake President. A complete asshole who appeared to be the kindest, sweetest person, but every so often the veneer would crack and you could catch a glimpse of the snake underneath). My parents called me and asked if we could go to dinner. I said yes, as things had been going fairly well between us for some time - cool but cordial.
I made the mistake of watching the inauguration right before I left for dinner. I knew I shouldn’t have. In the car, I kept telling myself over and over again: don’t bring it up. Be nice and polite and just get through this. So much for that.
Things were going nicely until… yep, I brought up Trump. I couldn’t help myself. I was terrified. I was having hours of conversations with friends who were terrified - about deportation, about discrimination, about the rise and tacit approval of the alt right. I was pretty keyed up. So I told my mom and dad just that: that I was really worried about the future of our country.
My mom and dad shifted in their seats. My dad explained that while they hadn’t voted for Trump, and didn’t like him personally, he was the president now and our responsibility was to follow him. I pressed the issue, saying that our loyalty as citizens is to fight injustice, not to accept it should it gain power. Then my dad looked me right in the eye and told me that it was “god’s will” that Trump is president.
I hit the fucking roof. You’re telling me that god wants his children to be terrified of their leaders? You’re telling me that god wants hate and fear to rule his “chosen nation?” My dad shrugged and said, maybe it’s his way of hastening the second coming.
At that point it all came out. I told them their religion was bullshit, a lie. I told them I was a proud atheist. I told them I look on it as a duty to seek truth and decry those who promulgate lies, like the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. Needless to say, dinner didn’t end well.
I cannot abide the self-righteous, hypocritical stances of the church and its followers. This is not philosophy we’re playing with here, this is people’s lives. Real lives. Not some test simulation before the real work of the afterlife begins.
It’s been months and the thought of this conversation makes me physically sick to my stomach. Something’s broken between my parent’s and me. For good. And it is good. Because it’s based on truth. Honesty. I don’t want people in my life who care more about their belief-cloaked privilege than other people. I’m done with it.
If I seem super harsh and critical of the Mormon church it’s because I grew up in it. I personally know a Mormon family that had their son sexually assault their daughter and they excused it in the name of keeping the family together. I was told that if I went to a gay pride parade I’d lose all my privileges earned in the church from years of being a member. I was taught that if a man raped a woman, he just made a mistake and had to repent but she had to prevent ever getting raped again and reflect on her actions in her assault. When I tried to kill myself the members of my church tried to take advantage of my weak mental state and further indoctrinate me rather than encourage me to listen to my therapists. Fuck that church.
I have issues with all organized religion but I have a very special bone to pick with Mormons specifically for what I experienced and how I witnessed other women being treated.
you know i don’t want to go to church. the only reason i still go at all is because you won’t take no for an answer. you think things will change if you make me fake it long enough. i’m so tired of feeling ignored and disrespected, i know what you think is best for me but i disagree. i don’t want to be part of the church, it’s not something i believe in and my continued involvement against my will is a source of stress. if i have to, i’ll put myself together and go late today but just know that i cannot be happy. the church does not give me any kind of happiness.
i’m staying home today - a text i sent my mother