Sarah writes back….

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: lazy_baby_girl@hotmail.com

> 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.”

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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21 Responses to Sarah writes back….

  1. ames says:

    Wow….I came here today and absolutely love your site. Way to go! The truth is there is no truth in the mormon organization! thanks a ton

    Like

  2. azteclady says:

    You know what made me smile? That Sarah felt the need to declare her religious affiliation.

    Ah, Sarah? It was obvious to any one reading your first note that you were/are a mormon. People with no agenda of their own rarely come around to other people’s space (online or physical) with guns blazing.

    You did, there had to be a reason.

    Natalie, I like that quote from Gosling’s interview. However, I’d like it even better if more people were able to say, “I don’t have the ONE TRUTH, but I believe what I believe, and it doesn’t offend me if you believe differently than I do.”

    Like

  3. Renee says:

    Azteclady, that really is my mantra. Please everyone, believe what you will, and don’t force it on each other. PLEASE.

    P.S. let me buy real alcohol at the grocery store. ‘Nuff said.

    Like

  4. Cele says:

    I can quote the Bible about One True Religion, but then everyone interprets, believes they MUST change the world to believe the way they do because IT’S TRUE.

    Sara I am glad that Mormonism answers a need inside of you. That doesn’t make it true, it is just the way you chose to believe. More power to you. I’ll believe my way, you believe your way, and don’t baptise me after I’m dead.

    Like

  5. Erin says:

    I have a problem with organized religion in general. Each denomination seems to say that if you’re not with us, you’re going to hell. Well, they can’t all be right. I just think religion is very personal and people should be free to express it as they wish, whether inside a church building or not.

    Like

  6. Alicia says:

    Natalie, I totally love that one line:

    “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.”

    I think it’s made even worse because she’s a teenager. She’s taking gold right now in mental gymnastics.
    (I say the above as a teenager so you don’t get another e-mail about the evil meanies on your site making fun of her because she’s just so young and incredibly strong and faithful. What are the odds a few years down the line this is going to become some faith-promoting story? “Okay, I know this is totally true because my sister’s friend’s cousin’s used car salesman’s neighbor’s dog heard it, but there was a teen girl who valiantly defended the church from this evil lady online and through her faith the website just totally KERSPLODED!” Just give it some time …)

    Like

  7. Tracy says:

    Teenagers, God love um’.

    Like

  8. azteclady says:

    Teenagers, gotta lurve ’em or they wouldn’t reach adulthood (so says the mother of two of the critters–no offense, Alicia)

    Like

  9. Kitty says:

    This site makes my day! Alicia, you are way too cute. Loved your comments.

    Like

  10. Glo says:

    Dang I wounder if I was that crazy when i was a teen

    Like

  11. I think it’s funny that Sarah thinks you stand alone. You soooo don’t.

    Also… I would enjoy reading your rebuttal of her actual points… if she had any.

    Like

  12. Sally says:

    Apparently Sarah’s definition of fellowship is to not value those who do not think just like her. Her attitude is representative of Mormons I meet on a regular basis (in Mesa AZ) who feel they must ostricize others who do not share her faith.

    Like

  13. Sideon says:

    I wonder sometimes (okay, that’s not true – I only wondered now because I was reading and my mind went on a tangent) what would happen to Mormonism if it embraced other tried and true tenets of other faiths. Imagine Moism meeting Taoism or an Eastern philosophy. Heaven knows there’s already an inherent belief of the divine within.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Moism any element of Christianity could be calm and listen instead of running around for the nearest tree to carve their own crucifix right then and there?

    Before anyone says “hypocrite” – I never said I embraced any of those philosophies. I was a bad Mormon, and at best now I’m a mediocre agnostic pagan with a side order of interest in eastern medicine and energy work.

    Like

  14. INTJ Mom says:

    I wonder who all these many people jumping on the Mormon bandwagon are? There aren’t that many when you compare it against both the US and world populations. Since the LDS church says that only about half of its claimed membership is active (other studies say only 25-33% but lets be generous and give them 50%), that means about 1% of the US population is active Mormon.

    And let’s say the other 3.5 million or so active Mormons outside the US compare against the remaining 5.7 billion or so people in the rest of the world. I’m pretty sure that’s about 1/10 of 1% of the world’s population that are active Mormon. When you look at it that way, it’s not so surprising really that the Mormon church has a following. Even David Koresh, Jim Jones, Hare Krishnas, and the Hale-Bopp cult have managed to attract a small minority of people.

    I don’t know of any great scientific or learned minds, people revered throughout the world for their intellect, that are Mormon. Gladys Knight is an entertainer. She sings, that doesn’t take brains or an ability for rational thought. Just look at Brittney Spears for proof of that.

    Like

  15. mlbower says:

    Wow! That’s an abundance of facts and figures.

    Sideon, I appreciate your honesty about being a bad Mormon.

    Like

  16. Renee says:

    Natalie, any comments about Buttars? Just wondering…

    Like

  17. Anarla says:

    I like your blog and liked the quote from Gosling as well. I’m a former active LDS convert that walked away. There was a lot of good stuff there, but I don’t really believe that any one religion has the “truth” of God’s teachings if there even is a God. I too wish people would just allow others to believe whatever works for them at that time in their life.

    Like

  18. Jessie says:

    It is very interesting to read your blog. I don’t see anything wrong to express personal experiences about mormonism. Anyway, Why MORMONS worry so much about “anti-Mormon” (as they call it) literature? The church itself ask its faithful butt-kissers to do not read it, not to search “Anti-Mormon Material” online and or receive from “gentiles” information. This Sarah whatever is just a bimbo who doesn’t even know what she is saying, I don’t even think she knows whay she is in the Mormon Faith. As an EX MORMON (Proud of it) I enjoy laughing at the TBM comments.

    Like

  19. Hal says:

    If only I had the internet available when I had to choose not to attend a mission. Don’t know how much easier it would be if I had this type of access to information to defend my position. In fact, I never explored “Anti-mormon” information until 2 years ago. Suppose I was just too busy trying to survive to worry myself about how right my gut was.

    Do we hope this girl is visiting this site to test the water? Will she see the light? We know that she isn’t “supposed” to be here. I don’t have faith in her seeing the light. I don’t have faith in my parents and half my siblings seeing things my way. It’s as though the mold is cast and cannot be modified in so many cases. I was just as stubborn as anyone in order to hold my ground and come out not a complete wreck. And I didn’t have the Tanner’s or anything else to stand behind. I only had my scatter brained concept that something didn’t add up and a vow to not be defeated by my choice.

    Like

  20. spence says:

    This sarah girl has interesting logic. I am a devout mormon. I actually attend school in the LDS mecca. I don’t really take any offense to anything Natalie has published. It’s good that there is material online to create dialouge for those who wish to take a more analytical approach the the LDS faith, other than the far too often dogmatic 3 hours on sunday.

    Like

  21. Lilian says:

    Are all self-proclaimed “authors” this condescending? And you do care what people think. Probably more than any other blogger I know/read.

    Like

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