A reminder to be positive and upbeat, especially with members

Atheism DAMU Depression ex-Mormon Moving On post-Mormon

When I left the church, I found that more things made sense to me. I didn’t have to start rationalizing things to make it fit in with doctrine, and I could just believe in the world based on how I saw and experienced it. So, I’d definitely say that when I left the church, I didn’t have to many healing wounds. I can speak about the church without getting too worked up over most issues.

…But Ex-Mormons in general don’t seem to have such a good image. I have written about my latest escapades across the blogging world on my blog, this time with a smaller blog run by kittywaymo. And in a blog entry at Mormon Matters, I’ve inquired about what commenters there would expect of Ex-Mormons (if, hypothetically, they were asked about the church). Anyway, I guess she had some conclusions about Ex-Mormons that I just couldn’t shake (and to admit, after a while I recognized it was better to leave sooner rather than later.) Here are a few:

1) Ex-mormons have no sense of humor and are particularly litigious

2) The Mormon Church will always make your life HAPPY and BETTER and leaving will always make you miserable and angry and demented.

3) In fact, these angry, miserable, loveless ex-Mormons will become…oh my goodness…ATHEISTS! and will make fun of EVERYTHING sacred!

4) Ex-Mormons are prejudiced against Jews, blacks, and yes, even gays! I need to read more of their trash about my race and realize that really, the Mormons have it right.

5) As a journalist, you know everything. So that’s why kittywaymo is Definitely Correct about exmormons and Mormons. I need to wait 20 years and get more journalist experience and understand the plain and simple truths, because now I’m too young (but kittywaymo was once there, so she understands!)

6) Don’t buy into exmo rhetoric! They are not anti-mo, but exmo rhetoric can turn you anti.

7) Ex-mos are lazy; they expect ENTITLEMENT. Most of them didn’t put a single thing into their testimonies, serving others, loving. 10 years of journalistic research shows they were caught up in sexual sin and dishonesty (a shoutout to Cr@ig too, I think)

I don’t know how she got the idea that I was a journalist, and I don’t think she fully clued in to the idea that I am one of the ex-Mormons she is trying to warn me about. But, I dunno…I just don’t know how to respond to this.

I can see how if you go to some sites and some forums, you will see ranting and raving. I think that the ranting and raving, in some cases, is understandable, precisely because of how in depth the Mormon culture is — if that falls away; if you’ve felt slighted, that’s not something minor.

But at the same time, it takes time to point that out. Really, we have to pull ourselves above this, even though it still hurts and even though we still feel there are grievances, and we have to be stoic. But I just don’t know how we can change perception.

I mean, there are some parts that really shouldn’t be conceded. For example, kittywaymo feels confident that you can’t find a CV of any exmormons that are “successful, happy, drug/alcohol free.” Although I know you can find hundreds of CVs for people who fit these, what’s the deal with including a direct throw-out to the Word of Wisdom here? One need not be a tee-totaller to be successful and truly happy. Or, of course, there’s nothing wrong with atheism…and obviously, when the sacred isn’t so sacred, there’s nothing wrong with making fun of it.

But somehow, I feel that we should work each day to try to get through to people…but at the same time, it may be impossible to do that.

27 thoughts on “A reminder to be positive and upbeat, especially with members

  1. That kittywaymo has been all over exmo/DAMU space singing that same tune. She came to my blog here and wrote the following:

    Show me ONE happy exmo, post mo, anti mo.. just One….I have yet in my 10 years on the internet met one, successful in life, happy exmo.. Kittywaymo

    Which, naturally, left me going “Wha….? What the…? Are you kidding? Um, did you actually read anything written on my blog before posting that?”

    I can’t take such a comment even remotely seriously. She’s like those creationists who say “no transitional fossils have ever been found!” and just keep repeating it no matter what evidence is presented.

  2. It a appears that no matter how outrageous us in the humor blogs get, we can’t quite duplicate the burning flavor of true insanity.

    That kittywaymo has one seriously weird blog.

  3. There is more to every story. If someone wants to make assumptions about me, that’s their right. If they are not interested in discovering what makes me tick, or why I made certain decisions, that’s their choice.

    I refuse to stop saying what I think, or to stop making my own observations. Or to stop communicating with a group of people for that reason. In other words, I agree with chanson #1.

    Everyone deserves a chance, but there’s some point where the dialogue is not worth maintaining.

    I can’t diagnose someone with a mental illness – even over the internet. But just as there are people in my life that I interact with in person who may suffer from various mental illnesses, so are there people on the internets that may suffer from various mental illnesses. Which is why I reserve the right to leave conversations at any point for any reason.

  4. Why should exmos be alcohol free? That’s like saying, you’ll find no exmos with a temple recommend.

    There is nothing wrong with moderate alcohol consumption. In fact, many Mormon misanthropes and busybodies might benefit from a beer or two.

  5. Although there is some truth in the observation that many Exmos appear to be bitter, this view is primarily the response of a community in denial.

    Mormons have always had to lie to attract converts. All those eager immigrants would have run away as fast as they could if the missionaries had been honest about polygamy during the nineteenth century.

    Things haven’t changed that much. We are still dishonest about Mormon origins.

    You can only project a happy face as an active Mormon if you are in denial.

    That requires the demonization of your rhetorical opponents, especially when they diagnose the contradictions of your mythology.

    Don’t get me wrong. There are good reasons to be Mormon. It’s alright to be Mormon.

    What’s not alright is to approach your neighbors with a domineering narrative that is not rooted in reality.

    A blindfold is hardly a qualification for power. Facts are stubborn things and in light of the facts, demonization of rhetorical opponents is the only arrow left in the orthodox quiver.

    I suppose that is another way in which Mormonism brings out the worst in us.

  6. One of the LDS assumptions that I’ve been struggling to let go of is that “it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” I grew up with the belief that it was my responsibility to try to convince everyone of the truth.

    In general, that can be a selfless attitude but a heavy burden. I attend sacrament meeting almost every week. If I were following the LDS model, I should be trying to share my testimony with them. I need to be a savior on Mt. Zion, so to speak (isn’t that an ironic thought in this context).

    I’ve had to let go of that expectation of myself. I have more important things to do with the precious little time I have left. If someone isn’t open to what I have to say, I am not persuasive enough to change their mind. I have to humbly accept my inability.

    The most I do about warning my Mormon neighbors these days are occasional rants on my blog which very few Mormons read these days, my conspicuous rainbow-ribbon on Sundays, and trying to be friendly with Mormons despite the awkwardness that is often there (partially my fault, I’m sure).

  7. you’ll find no exmos with a temple recommend.

    Sure you will, at least you’ll find closet ex-mos (people who no longer believe in the church but pretend to, usually for family) with temple recommends. Heck, I myself did some baptisms for the dead after I had lost my faith, drank a lot of coffee, lost my virginity to a rodeo clown, and went to a pro-choice rally. The bishop’s magic internal lie detector somehow managed to not even blip during my mini-recommend interview. If I hadn’t already been convinced the church was crap, that moment really cinched it.

    Anyway, I agree that a lot of Mormons invest a lot of energy convincing themselves that the church makes them haaaaapppy because the alternative is too scary, and ex-mos being desperately unhappy (even if they don’t realize it) is instramental to this theory.

    Also, I think Kittywaymo is a poe. If her name AND USING ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME didn’t clue me in the the fact that she seems to be a gay lds dentist who is a happily married doctor’s wife who lives in the Utah portion of Long Island seems, mashuganuh.

  8. Oh man, I’m glad I gave up on that conversation. i could see it going nowhere almost right away.

    I am a little bitter. I am confused. I am, unfortunately, a lot of what they think exmos are – and i’m not even an official exmo.

    But that doesn’t mean jack crap. It means I’m finding great difficulty in reconciling a lot of things. I’m trusting that in time I’ll feel a peace about something (as always happens), but I will not bow to any fear mongering of the likes of kittywaymo.

    I went through much of the same when I was looking to join the church, yanno?

    Anyway. I’m glad I didn’t stick around, and I can’t change my attitude right now. I can’t stifle some of my anger. I want to let it run its course – that doesn’t mean I’ll let it run amok, but it needs to run its course. If members like kittywaymo want to believe that’s proof positive I’m on the wrong side of the fence, well that’s her joy.

  9. She’s obviously “out there.”

    But I have to admit, her line:

    “Ex-mormons have no sense of humor and are particularly litigious”

    Well, yeah… that is actually kind of true about a lot of them.

    Sorry.

  10. So many blogs, so little time. From Kitty’s blog:

    I do not wish exmo’s to disappear.. who’s sites would I beable to troll and have fun with then? It would be like losing a friend!! Come on, Daniel.. I don’t hate you guys.. I know you guys really don’t like us very much.

    Apparently exmos are Kitty’s Friskies. I think she does make the occasional valid point, though.

    Andrew:

    I can see how if you go to some sites and some forums, you will see ranting and raving. I think that the ranting and raving, in some cases, is understandable, precisely because of how in depth the Mormon culture is — if that falls away; if you’ve felt slighted, that’s not something minor.

    But at the same time, it takes time to point that out. Really, we have to pull ourselves above this, even though it still hurts and even though we still feel there are grievances, and we have to be stoic. But I just don’t know how we can change perception.

    I think MSP does a fairly good job of staying away from the fray of anger. It’s not really the anger that bothers me per se, it’s ex-Mormons the likes of which write to people like Kirby, who recently wrote a humourous column satirising Buttars and Mormon attitudes towards gays, and tell him that because he still belongs to “the cult” he’s still a “fascist Mormon”, so his thoughts are pretty much useless.

    That’s not only humourless – it’s scary.

  11. If members like kittywaymo want to believe that’s proof positive I’m on the wrong side of the fence, well that’s her joy.

    Right, but if her joy is to go around and harass random exmo bloggers — accusing them of being miserable losers — that certainly doesn’t paint members as being very high on the happiness, success, and mental health ladder.

    That said, I wouldn’t take kittywaymo as being representative of faithful members. I don’t thing she’s a Poe — I think bloggernacleburner nailed it. Her writing has the rambling quality of genuine, earnest raving, not satire. Satire tends to be a bit snappier.

    Seth — after all this long absence, you come back just to tell us we’re humorless? Sheesh, thanx a lot, bud! 😉

  12. It’s not really the anger that bothers me per se, it’s ex-Mormons the likes of which write to people like Kirby, who recently wrote a humourous column satirising Buttars and Mormon attitudes towards gays, and tell him that because he still belongs to “the cult” he’s still a “fascist Mormon”, so his thoughts are pretty much useless.

    I agree with that. As long as people take responsibility for the problems that Mormonism causes, it’s really no one’s business if you’re in or out.

    Kirby does a better job holding the brethren accountable than most of us. John Dehlin is another person who comes to mind.

    Lavina Anderson may be excommunicated but she is still active. How much more can anyone possibly do than her?

    On the other hand, it is unethical to support homophobia, misogyny, and authoritarianism. That’s what we did when we paid tithing and supported the brethren.

    I am in no position to judge anybody since I used to participate in all that myself. Perhaps, that is one reason why humor is a little hard to come by.

  13. I found out that I can access this site. Just not via the main page (whenever I try, the page stalls out while loading). Andrew linked here from his blog, so I thought – why not give it a shot again?

  14. I never considered her writings to be satire – agreed: it tends to be snappier (see bishop higgins and molly the mormon, for example)

    I get your point, though. There’s a bit of responsibility one holds if they make a point to represent a group. Being overtly angry and bitter is counterproductive and really only serves to prove the TBM’s points.

  15. interestingly enough, Seth, I can’t view Nine Moons properly unless I go through an article.

    if I go to the main page, I can see all articles, but I can’t see the sidebar (for example, to check for comments)

  16. Jen jc Christian patriot should be the poster child on your billboards for exmormons LOL. When I made this list it wasn’t to be cruel. I’ve been in the ex-Mormon community probably since 1998. These are the traits I truly see. I would say 65 to 70% of X Mormons become atheist. I love someone to prove me wrong statistics. Also… I would love to really need a happy, content, non-angry ex-Mormon. The other kind of X Mormon I’d love to meet: someone who was not in the middle of breaking some major morality or word of wisdom problem\commandment when he or she left the church. I’d like to meet someone who was not offended by a bishop stake president award number. And most of all I like someone to prove Joseph Smith wrong when he said when you leave the church you leave neutral ground forever and you’re left to kick against the pricks fight the Saints and Church of God and to be in a state of Unhappiness under the buffeting’s of Satan. This is what I have seen. I also have an experiment: go to YouTube look up “come let us anew” the one that has the words on the screen with that star of David in the Israeli flag. Listen to it. It’s a hymn that was written in the 18th century tell me what you feel when you see the words and listen to the music please.

  17. I find it interesting to read all the lies and cyber-bullying about my persona on the Internet. It’s incredible the depths of lowness that anti-Mormons will sink to. I always wonder what the anti-Mormons were like as allegedly active true blue Mormons LOL no doubt they were the whiners. Like I’ve said before: it’s so much easier to complain, kick up against the pricks and throw out vulgar insults towards active Mormons like myself, then to actually answer the following questions.

    1. Give me a real person’s name to interview who is anti- Mormon and happy, well adjusted and doesn’t drink alcohol, take drugs etc who is still married and has good, healthy relationships with family and others.

    2. I want to know how successful they are in life since leaving the Church.

    3. I want to know why some anti Mormons are going on 20+ years now fighting against the Church.

    4. Sites that are anti, disclose your income!

    5. High profile anti’s, disclose your income (yearly) and profits from speaking engagements etc.

    Those who live the Princibles of the Gospel flourish. I have yet to see anti Mormons do the same. It is a harsh reality, but nevertheless the truth. I also observed that people’s actual personal moral values seem to diminish. I don’t understand why someone’s who’s never drank etc all of a sudden feels like they have to try every single sin out there just to be contrary to the Church, like a spoiled teen, who’s rebelliousness only really hurts themselves .

  18. It is a two-way street. Those of us who are well-educated, find it offensive when former Mormons want to convince us our personal spiritual experiences are brain-washing and that your private struggles led to some kind “enlightenment” that throws off the “shackles” of Commandments of God who you can’t prove doesn’t exist. You claim to be on a happy journey. If you were content, all of you wouldn’t try so hard to change the Church into your version of religion. Or the other favorite option of anti-Mormons and former Mormons: become atheist.

  19. The above response is in reference to:
    525: Dan Wotherspoon on Speaking with Loved Ones about Faith Differences

    Mormon stories. John says he wants dialogue then typically doesn’t listen to the other side. (TBM)also…to date: how much money has John raked iin “donations” since starting his podcast? Lest we forget: you can buy anything in this world with money. Priestcraft is alive and well!😄

  20. Also… I would love to really need a happy, content, non-angry ex-Mormon. The other kind of X Mormon I’d love to meet: someone who was not in the middle of breaking some major morality or word of wisdom problem\commandment when he or she left the church.

    Kittywaymo, this site is for constructive, respectful discussion. Please see our commenting policy.

    To everyone else: as usual, don’t feed the trolls, thx.

  21. Hi Chanson. I’ve read the community rules, thank you, I will do my best to keep them. An observation: Over a 20 year period, I’ve seen a lot of Ex-Mormon/fringe Mormon world bullying against TBM”s. It truly reminds me of anti-semitism. Replace the word Mormon with Jew and see how that reads.( in any post about Mormons on some exmo boards.) I’m Ashkenazi and believe bigotry must be met head on, in order to expose it to purifying light.

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