Usually, my hate mail is of a hit and run variety. I don’t spend much time conversing with the writers, and with good reason. They all think if they just HARASS me or belittle me or speak down to me JUST ENOUGH, using that Mormonotone, I will come to my senses and return to the fold. Never mind that it is the ultimate arrogance to not actually READ my words, and instead, try to interpret them using the tools they have been given from birth: circular logic and stupendous leaps of fancy.
For example, since Gladys Knight is now a Mormon, this is proof positive that the Church is true, because if it were a racist and misogynistic organization, she would never have joined. I once got an email from an obviously young and quite ardent Mormon, who basically said, “I’m not a Mormon, but it must be true, because look at all these people who believe it!” And that is a familiar thought process within Mormonism, as so many of them seek validation.
Sarah seems to be no different, as she obviously is following my blog. After she read my post, dedicated to her, she sent another email that said this:
Name: Sarah Johnson
> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Message: Thanks so very much for your kind reply and I myself think that it was funny that you felt the need to post it on your blog, if in fact you hate the Mormon Church so much why would you need to draw more attention to us?
> However, I also think it quite hilarious that instead of directly addressing my points, you found the need to bash on my \”clichés\”, and claim that my use of personification is in the wrong when I do believe that you just had no useful rebuttal. And yes, I am a teenager. Which I also think is funny that you would have to bring it up, because shockingly enough, I know what I stand for and I am a Christian, in fact I am a member of the L.D.S. church.
> I also think that while you have the right to voice your own opinion, so do I. teenager or not. And although what I said may have offended you, (and obviously it did or it wouldn’t be posted on your blog) I think that you have given me more power by showing that even if I am a teenager, I at least have the strength in myself to show what I believe in.
> So, you can go ahead and post another blog about me and claim that it makes you laugh, but meanwhile I know that you are truly offended by us standing up for ourselves. Just as I offended you, you stood up for yourself, it’s the same for us, only we don’t stand alone.
To make it easy, let’s do this by the numbers. Perhaps that will make the information easier to remember.
1. I don’t hate the Mormon Church OR Mormons. Have stated that many times. I just don’t think it’s true. Pay attention, Sarah. Bet you drift off in geometry class, too. No worries. I always hated math myself.
2. I have no problem referring to the Mormon Church because I am not even slightly worried that my writing about it is going to have either a negative or positive effect. I don’t care. It’s just me journaling my experiences. I link to the main LDS Church Web site ALL the time.
3. You didn’t HAVE any points. There was nothing to address. Did you forget what your email said? Let me refresh your memory.
Your website and everything in it needs to get a LIFE!!! Get over yourself and stop acting like the Mormon church is evil!! It is a RIDICULOUS accusation and why don\’t you get on some other religion\’s back for ONCE???
4. You wrote: “However, I also think it quite hilarious that instead of directly addressing my points, you found the need to bash on my \”clichés\”, and claim that my use of personification is in the wrong when I do believe that you just had no useful rebuttal.” Again, Sarah, NO POINTS to address. You wanted me to talk about getting off the CHURCH’S back? The CHURCH does not have a back. And I addressed why I write what I do many, many times. As for that sentence about personification, quite frankly, what the HECK are you talking about? That makes no sense at all. WHAT personification? You had no argument. There was nothing about tenets, philosophies, beliefs, etc. YOU JUST TOLD ME TO GO AWAY and PICK ON SOMEBODY ELSE. That, my dear, does not require rebuttal.
5. I have no problem with you voicing your opinion. Good on you. However, you might want to research a bit to support said opinion. Just a thought.
6. You did NOT offend me. I honestly think it’s funny. I know that’s hard for you to grasp, but it’s the truth.
7. Glad I gave you some power. I have received other emails claiming that my books have made people RETURN to the Mormon Church. I think maybe the Church Powers that Be should owe me some props for that. I love being an effective missionary tool, even if it’s for the other side!
8. Sarah, let me make this plain. I am NOT offended by any of this. You, however, seem FULL of offense. Like so many Mormons who come here. They refuse to see this blog for what it is: my recountings of life living behind the Zion Curtain, as an “Ain’t” instead of a Saint. There are TWO sides to every story. You are welcome to share yours and I helped you along. Sorta. You didn’t really tell us much. Would you care to share more? Tell us WHY you believe?
9. If you think I am standing alone, you have NOT been paying attention.
Now, I did some thinking about Sarah’s response to my blog post, after her first silly email, and then I ran across this quote in the Village Voice. It was an interview with actor Ryan Gosling, who was raised as a Mormon. And he compared his own “non-believing” status to that of his mother and his sister, who at the time were apparently still faithful Mormons. (Note, I am not saying they are not STILL faithful Mormons. This just happens to be an older article, and I am not going to assume anything.)
From the interesting article in the Village Voice, circa 2000.
Raised Mormon in Cornwall, Ontario, Gosling (who now calls himself “religious but nondenominational”) says his background made it easier for him to grasp one of The Believer’s main themes—the inconsistencies at the heart of religious faith. “My parents were more Mormon than I was, but it did help me understand. I see how happy it makes my mother and sister, and I think it’s beautiful. Maybe I’m too selfish, or I’m jealous of their humility—that somebody can say, yeah, it doesn’t make sense but I’m going to believe it anyway.”
I like it. It does require a certainly humility to say, “Yeah, it doesn’t make sense, but I’m going to believe it anyway.”