Damn It, Sucked Right In Again

I feel kind of stupid for letting myself get sucked back into the pointless bickering between apologists and critics of the LDS church. I’m not going to do that again.

Back when I was an “apologist” on the old alt.religion.mormon page and the FAIR/MAD board, I learned some valuable lessons. First and foremost is that there are good, honest, intelligent people on both sides of the divide, and I made friends among serious apologists and hardcore apostates alike. The second thing I learned is that, despite the rhetoric, it’s not an important battle over the souls of men. It’s just a bunch of opinionated people arguing over a message board.

The odd thing is that I’m usually not involved in these disputes anymore. I just don’t care enough. I have never contributed to MormonThink, and I rarely read anything from the FAIR/FARMS/MI crowd. It’s just not an important part of my life anymore. And yet I let myself get worked up over a silly essay from someone I already knew was a bit of a crank, and I instinctively sided with the apostate in a dispute with the church. In all honesty, I don’t really know if David Twede was trying to get people out of the church. I take his word for it, but I’m so far removed from the issue I can’t say anything definitive.

I don’t know Lou Midgley (though I saw him once in the lobby of the Maxwell Institute), nor do I know Scott Gordon. But I said a few unkind things because I was upset about things that happened. I stand by my analysis of Midgley’s attack on C.L. Hanson, but I think she handled it with far more grace than I did by just making light of it. I hope David Twede can work things out to his satisfaction. I don’t know his motivations, but I do know that the information he has provided on MormonThink is accurate and honest.

As for our visitors from FAIR, this is the first time I’ve had any interaction with Allen Wyatt, and I didn’t think his comments were “mean” or anything like that; I’ve known Steve Smoot for several years, and though I rarely agree with him, I’ve never had any hostile or unpleasant interactions with him. I hope that my responses did not come across as heated or angry, as they were not.

In the end, arguing over Mormonism is all “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” There’s no point.

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7 Responses to Damn It, Sucked Right In Again

  1. FireMountain says:

    “There is no point”. Exactly. The True Believer will continue to “know the church is true”, and the thinker/apostate will continue to doubt and question. In spite of what both sides claim, there is no “proof” either way.
    Believe or don’t believe, but don’t fight about what is a matter of faith. Mormons often want to think and/or claim that their religion is something other than just acceptance of what various leaders of the church say, but it isn’t.

  2. GBSmith says:

    “Believe or don’t believe, but don’t fight about what is a matter of faith. Mormons often want to think and/or claim that their religion is something other than just acceptance of what various leaders of the church say, but it isn’t.”

    Way to condescend, dude. My wife’s a TBM, a Sunstoner and a thinker all wrapped in one.

  3. I think all this media coverage of Mormonism – combined with recent events – are fraying our nerves. I find myself getting sucked into this as well, in spite of my best efforts not to,

  4. pollypinks says:

    I think Mitt Romney is playing a huge role in getting some of us worked up. But the bottom line is we all like to be respected and treated as worthwhile human beings, so isn’t that the best way to treat our mormon cohorts? When I first left the church 24 years ago, dad and I would argue on the phone for 2-3 hours at a time, and I’d drive my poor grandmother absolutely bonkers, thinking I was going to change these people, and they, thinking I was going to come back. Just last week dad said, “It’s alright Suggy (Suger), you’ll come back before I die and I’ll rebaptize you,” At this point, I’m happy that he’s happy and has purpose, at 90, that he’s never home because he’s doing for others rather than waiting to die in a nursing home, that he’s mowing lawns, shoveling snow, babysitting, you name it. So I just said, “Okay.” And he always asks me if my sermons each week from my female pastor were good, and would I forward them to him, so I do, and he always says he appreciates how she interprets scripture. So I say let’s don’t fight with mormons, especially if they are happy and fulfilled. Life’s too damn short to try to force others into thinking the way we do.

  5. vikingz2000 says:

    I like this:

    LET IT GO

    Let it go.
    You can’t play a game you can’t ever know;
    On a team that doesn’t care and hits too low.
    So…
    Let it go.
    Know what’s important, though:
    What is, what isn’t and let the rest go —
    Detach, relax and enjoy the show.
    And when the hot air starts to blow:
    “Hey, bro!”
    “It’s this way; you ought a know!”
    “Hey, bro!”
    “You need to keep the status quo!”
    Just blow some back with an, “Oh…” and let it go.
    There’s nothing here to win or to grow;
    Sufficient your own life will ebb and flow
    With you at the helm, not some other Schmoe.
    So…
    Let it go.

    Copyright © 2012 by Paul Anthony Belfiglio

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