I knew when I posted a response to Jeff Lindsay’s “Anti-Mormon Liars” post I was going to get some heat. Sure enough, shortly afterward I got this response from Robert. He’s “sad,” just like so many other Mormons who read my blog, because he believes me so misguided. He also latched onto something I said to mistakenly believe I had serious mental and guilt issues, and was blaming the Church for them.
“someone just made a mistake and we should forgive them for giving us LIFELONG MENTAL ISSUES AND YEARS OF REPRESSION AND GUILT”
I became really sad when I skimmed your blog and witnessed your attitude against the church, Natalie. I tried to find something to explain to me why you write what you write, because it gives me a bad feeling, but the most revealing sentence I could find was the one above. Why blame the church for your mental issues and feelings of guilt? What could have possibly happened to you that makes you different from everyone else? There are so many people in the church who aren’t bitter against it and don’t blame it for their “mental issues and guilt.”
It is a natural fact of life that people feel guilty when they do wrong; everyone messes up. Why blame the church for those feelings? Do you think the things it cautions against aren’t wrong, perhaps? When I feel guilty, I don’t blame the church or its teachings; I know the guidelines that are there are for my benefit. No, when I mess up I blame myself for falling short. I take responsibility for my actions. And those feelings of guilt go away when I repent; they don’t stay w/ me. I could deal with my guilt by saying that the church is wrong; surely my life would be easier if I didn’t always have it telling me what to do. But would it be better, if I ignored my conscience and fought against the church because I didn’t want to take responsibility for the things I had done that made me feel guilty?
I don’t know, your problems with the church probably go way deeper than I can ever know. But it makes me sad to hear you blame your guilt on the church. This world needs more responsibility, more self-control, and more people willing to do the right thing even if it takes more effort and sacrifice. The church has never expected perfection from anyone, so our feelings of imperfection are only natural. Why not embrace those feelings and let them motivate us to be better people, rather than despise them and blame them on the church?
Robert | 08.07.05 – 4:07 pm | #
Whatever made you think I don’t take responsibility for my actions. It’s not that I couldn’t live up to the LDS Church standards, Robert. It’s that the CHURCH could not live up to mine.
But you go ahead and try to infer I have mental problems and guilt. After all, why ELSE would someone else choose to leave the Church? In the meantime, I have a solution for your SADNESS problem. It’s called Prozac. I won’t tell Tom Cruise if you won’t.