Since I woke up to a layer of new-fallen snow (Utah-Gods-that-Be: THIS IS SPRING. Get with the program!!) it seemed an appropriate time to open the old cyber mail bag, and respond to some of my, er, fanmail.
Regular readers know that I don’t blog on fanmail. Don’t get me wrong, I do get fanmail, and I respond personally to it. If you want to send me fanmail, in fact, I would LOVE to hear from you. Write Natalie@nataliercollins.com. However, if you want to send me hatemail, spam, information on how to buy Viagra, or a plea to help you transfer your dead father’s money into the United States, please don’t write. I’m far too busy. I’m trying to discover the cure for AIDS, after taking to heart some of the exhortations I received from Mormon readers begging me to make better use of my time, rather than blogging about them. Phew. That was a long sentence. Of course, those of you who know me realize that this is a futile effort, which will undoubtedly have disastrous results, since I have absolutely no training in this field, but I’m determined nonetheless.)
Aaa-nn-yway, I got this email just this morning. This is from a writer who claims to be a non-Mormon who grew up in Happy Valley, Utah, otherwise known as Utah County, the hotbed of Mormonism and the home of Brigham Young University. When I’m forced to go down in that direction, I skedaddle out of there as quickly as possible. I find it frightening. Below, is the email, quoted verbatim. All typos and misspellings belong to her.
I just read over your article “trapped by the mormons” and was honestly a bit shocked. I myself am origionally from Utah Valley but am attending school in New York City. Although I am not mormon, nor have I ever been, I never received that kind of approach from my mormon neighbors or friends. I do not believe in their ways nor am I investiating, but I must say, I am somewhat defensive to them because I was treated with respect and kindness and never felt ‘trapped’ in any way. If anything, I felt loved and accepted by them. I don’t know what part of Utah you live in where you experienced such trauma, but having lived in Utah Valley where most of them exist, I must say I encountered more of them than you (if you do live in SLC) and never was treated how you describe.
First of all, NoMo, thanks for writing. However, next time, before you dash off a letter to someone, perhaps you could make sure you actually READ what that person has written, before getting all offended and condescending? I grew in Davis County, which is probably about 99.99 percent Mormon. I must say that I probably encountered MORE of them than you ever have, mostly because I was RAISED THAT way. Of course, if you had actually READ what I wrote, you would know that. It’s pretty obvious you didn’t.
Ofcourse occasionally freinds invited me to church functions such as a dance or bowling, etc. but I was never pushed nor forced to attend and when I did occasionally tag along, it was only to find that mormons are normal people who just have strong christian values and a faith that keeps them going.
Uh huh. Sure. Whatever. I grew UP Mormon, NoMo. You’re talking to the real deal here. I KNOW how we treated non-Mormons. We didn’t play with them unless we had an ulterior motive. As children and teenagers, we heard over and over again the dangers of mixing in with the “Gentile” crowd. If you didn’t feel any type of bias, it must have gone over your head. Or so full of yourself it never occurred to you that all the people around you thought they were superior to you. Or perhaps there was an alien abduction….
I am disgusted with your exagurations of the mormons and their beliefs.
Which exaggeration and which beliefs? You’ll have to be more specific. And FYI, I don’t exaggerate anything. It isn’t necessary. Living in Utah is larger than life, as you should know.
You and I basically grew up in the same boat (non mormon living in UT) and one of our stories has obviously been completely altered and its not mine.
Yes, it’s mine, and YOU are the one who has altered it. We did not grow up in the same boat, again a fact you would KNOW if you actually read what I have written, or read my bio, or even spent TEN SECONDS at my site. But interestingly enough, it seems you have not. You write me a letter of disgust, and yet you have just about EVERY fact about me wrong. Don’t try to rewrite my history, NoMo. I was raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I spent the first 18 years of my life totally immersed in every teaching and every tenet and every belief. I was baptized as a proxy for a bunch of dead people as a teenager. I spent every Sunday in meetings. I’ve researched, read, and experienced more Mormonism than you every will (that is, of course, if you are REALLY what you claim to be: A non-Mormon.)
Perhaps you met one or two mormons in UT who took their religion a bit too far but to make general accusations about all of the ‘utah mormons’ like that shows a moral lack of good character.
It’s probably best I don’t comment on YOUR character here, and I really don’t think it’s necessary, since you’ve done a bang-up job of self-character assassination all on your own. I haven’t met one or two Mormons. I’ve spent my entire life living among them, with them, as one of them, etc.
Next time, do the research.