Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not Good for Females

I have repeatedly said that one of the main reasons I left the morg is because it is not a good place for women.

I have given my personal story of how I have been harmed by misogynistic leadership.  I have heard so many women who have shared similar storied to mine.  The pat answer I get back is that *the church is perfect, the leadership is not*. This is so completely lame, it doesn't deem a response. However, since I hear it so often, I will respond.

If the church were indeed receiving guidance from god, then it would not be making poor choices, repeatedly, that harm a large group of people over a long period of time.

If the church were indeed receiving guidance from god, then its leadership would be making choices that were god-like, not human-like.

If the church were indeed receiving guidance from god, then its choices would reflect equality, love and acceptance, not judgement, condemnation and subjugation.

People would not be leaving in droves due to pain and disillusion.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The trouble with Polygamy

As Warren Jeffs is in the news of late, I can't help but wonder the uncomfortable feelings that are being felt by so many of my former friends who are mormon.  I remember so many discussions we had, that often got heated and ended in arguments and hurt feelings as polygamy is still a difficult topic for most mormon people, especially the women.

As it ought to be.  Although the church has banned the practice, it is still written as doctrine in their approved scripture in

 D&C 321:  Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many awivesand bconcubinesTherefore, aprepare thy heart to receive and bobey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlastingacovenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye bdamned; for no one can creject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

Even though the church claims to believe in marriage only between one man and one woman, it is written into their doctrine that no one can enter their version of the highest heaven, the celestial kingdom, unless they practice plural marriage.
This article in the Salt Lake Tribune does an excellent job comparing Joseph Smith to Warren Jeffs.  I hope my mormon family and friends will have an open mind enough to read it.
As I have left the church, I am of course, no longer conflicted about polygamy, since I do not believe I will be forced to practice it.  We were always told we would accept it. But how could we, when our kind, loving hearts rejected the thoughts of our husbands having sex with multiple women now?  Leaving us and being emotionally tied to many other women? Physically and emotionally abandoning us to be with others?  If we can't accept it here and now, it isn't going to be possible to accept it in another realm.  This is reality, cognitive dissonance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Choose for Yourself

Tonight, I sit in the shade, listening to the music, people watching in downtown Boise.  It is Wednesday and Alive After Five. People are eating, mulling around, drinking beer and wine. Children are splashing in the water ponds.  I hear laughter and see friends getting reacquainted.

As I watch this scene, I marvel that ten years ago, I was taught that this scene was sinful, that to associate in this environment would be considered 'the appearance of evil' and therefore should be avoided. As I take in the scene, I wonder why. Why is this sinful?  No one is being murdered.  No children are being abused.  No grand theft is taking place. So, what is the sin? People are drinking alcohol, including myself.  I have a glass of wine sitting in front of me.

Is the very nature of drinking the alcohol sinful?  Not that I can tell.  Everyone seems to be drinking responsibly.  I see no one drinking in excess.  I see no one acting irresponsibly.  I see no crimes being committed due to drinking.  This isn't to say that these things don't happen, but it is clear by the scene in front of me that the vast majority of people are able to drink in moderation and responsibly.

I believe people for the most part are able to make wise choices for themselves, including drinking alcohol, tea and coffee.  These should be personal choices and not imposed from a church.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can good people do bad?

I took my first psychology class in ninth grade. It transformed my life.  I was beyond shy; I was introverted. I learned that I could metaphorically step outside my body and observe my actions--see what I was doing that wasn't working for me, put an action plan together and change my behavior.

I had decided to step outside my comfort zone, to try something that made me uncomfortable. As I did this, I developed a new comfort zone. My comfort zone expanded and my self esteem grew.  I began to like myself, even love myself.

I took another psychology class in college. I became fascinated with how the human mind worked; with the studies done on how thoughts influenced behavior. I took courses in behavior modification. My career now in fact is about changing behavior based on motivating the individual.

As I embraced science, I also left behind magical thinking. I could no longer believe my thoughts were the cause of magical beings, but because of chemical reactions in our brains.  Chemical imbalances could be fixed and therapies such as cognitive therapy can help change thought processes.

 I had been raised in a religion that believed that evil thoughts and actions are caused by an invisible entity.  What we learn from science, however, is that group peer pressure and group think can cause good people to conform to do things they normally would not do. It has nothing to do with an invisible spirit.