I decided to spare everyone the full title of this article: Why Bearded, Blue-Shirt-Wearing African-Americans Who Support Extension of the Priesthood to Women who love Pr0n are Depressed. (And that title, if you can believe it, is actually culled from what the internal memos discussed).
I’m sure there are several writers on site who are busily searching through intellectual copyright law as I speak, so I must speak quickly before I get shut down (not to mention before the Bearded, Blue-Shirt-Wearing African Americans and Women who love Pr0n nab me for libel).
The other day, John C at BCC made another Monday Morning Theological Poll and asked: “True or False: If someone wishes to leave the church, it is because they have some grave, unconfessed sin?”
…I don’t know how representative BCC is of Mormondom as a whole, but if we can but abuse statistics for this one time, we can come to the conclusion that, overwhelmingly, Mormons do not believe such a claim. Just looking at the stats, more Mormons percentage-wise say “no” to such a claim than Facebookers hate the new Facebook design (drat, that’s a lie: Facebook’s current 93% hate [with millions of votes] tops the 91% of BCCers that say false. But if Obama’s 53% of the popular vote can be a landslide and Prop 8’s 52% can just be a “narrow victory,” then I’m game for anything statistic-wise.) I’ll add Obama supporters to the list of people coming after me.
Anyway, this post isn’t about that. That has nothing to do with B, B-S-W A-As (in particular, didn’t Obama say he can’t even grow a good beard?). or those W-w-l-P. In fact, what piqued my attention was a comment further down the page:
Actually, it has been conclusively shown that people who leave the Church are those who believe that people leave the Church because they have some grave, unconfessed sin.
I was thinking about this…and I realized I had to approach it delicately.
I guess I’m not going to speak so much about depression so much, because while I speak in jest, I don’t mean to jest about people who suffer from this condition. But I know as well that there are those who seem to attract this kind of…I dunno…sour attitude about things. Oh, the Church can’t do this right. And the church can’t do that right. How dare the Church support this but say little about that?
I’m sure that all of these things are of the utmost importance and people have to stick by their principles, but could it be that sometimes, people just take things too seriously? I mean, in the end, people need to decide if they will take something or if they will not, and if they will not, they need to start the process of trying to move past and move away.
I mean, if you’re going to be bearded and blue-shirt-wearing, for example, recognize that you’ll face some flak. If that’s too much for you, say bye (because really, if you don’t want, you don’t have to take it), but be secure in your decision. But don’t think you’ll be off the hook. You will face stigma no matter where you go or what you do, so you might as well pick something that you are comfortable with and then go forward with that.
I really hate the idea that there is something wrong with blue shirts and beards. Is it so important that we all look like missionaries? How appealing does that make us look to non members looking for God? What if Jesus try’s to enter our temples without shaving will he get flak? Who are the Pharisees of today? I don’t think we have to look very far.
I do agree that if we try to stand out from the herd we will get flak and if we really want to avoid that then there is the option of leaving. Peer pressure and herd acceptance is an incredible force in our decision making. I just wonder if we really want people to leave if they like grooming themselves according to our national norm.
I just want to thank Andrew for tackling the topic as worded by our tongue-in-cheek discussions. Great way to address the topic!
So, I guess the question is…since we will face peer pressure from all directions (after all, we’ve got temptations, right?) should be be expected to deal and resist with peer pressure from our fellow brothers and sisters? I mean, it seems like one thing to say you’re standing up to the peer pressure of sin…but going against the grain of those in church? It’s an interesting dichotomy.
That being said, it’s not true that everything done as a norm in church is gospel truth. So, maybe fighting the cultural aspect (that’s against blue shirts, beards, etc.) is worth it.
I couldn’t pass something that good up.
There are mainly three things I’ve learned in life so far.
1) I like being a Mormon because I like attention. When you’re in the Bible Belt and you’re Mormon, you get lots of attention.
2) I like being a liberal Mormon because I like attention. When you’re in the Mormon Church and you’re liberal, you get lots of attention.
3) There’s no smooth or cool way to look at your watch in a social setting without people thinking you’re bored or you want to leave. Maybe I just want to know what time it is, people! Is that too much to ask? Can’t a guy have fun and still want to know what time it is?
#5 Arthur, you took the words right out of my mouth. Now to stir the pot a little…
I don’t wear a white shirt to church for several reasons. First, I don’t like to talk in sacrament meeting all that much or go to extra meetings. Wearing a non-white shirt is like kryptonite out here in the bubble to both callings and speaking assignments. Second, I give absolutely no credence to the modern day traditions of the elders and actually treat them with the spite and contempt they deserve.
There’s a difference between gospel doctrine and mormon culture. The first is important, the second can be more of a burden than it is worth. While social networks are important, they shouldn’t be so important that you have to give up who you are to be part of the herd.
Not being accepted into the herd because you don’t dress/act the way the herd thinks you should… Where have I heard that before?… Something about people going up to a pedestal or a pulpit to thank God for being one of His chosen people… Sad that this still exists today…
Interesting. Now if there’s only a way to stand out from the ostracized liberal Mormon crowd, I’ll be set. Maybe I could experiment with dressing and acting super-Orthodox ironically, but I’m not sure that would be noticeable enough.
One of our stake leaders wears a white shirt and conservative tie to all of the meetings where he’s asked to do so by the local leadership – and beautifully coordinated colored shirts and ties to Sacrament Meeting and the Sunday block. I really like that man.
I wear a suit, white shirt and tie nearly every week to church, because I was asked directly to do so when I was called to my current calling. However, I regularly wear slacks and a polo shirt (or a colored shirt and tie) to baptisms and weekday meetings and other meetings that weren’t included in what was asked of me personally.
Arthur (7): The super-orthodox thing might work. But the main idea is to violate a cultural assumption held by the group. For more ideas, just identify more assumptions.
– “People who conform to others’ expectations are sheeple.” This is the one you’re targeting with a super-orthodox display. It has irony going for it.
– “People should wear clothes to church that suggest reverence and respect.” A fine selection of Elvis costumes and attractive swimwear should violate this one nicely.
– “People should wear clothes to church.” A tricky target, to be sure, but uncovering cultural assumptions has always taken courage.
There are thousands more on myriad topics such as shrunken heads, corporate logo tattoos, odors of all kinds, body parts involved in greetings, speaking Esperanto in talks, and expected skin texture. In short, to stand out among the ostracized, just be a raging weirdo.
You, sir, have opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed.
I usually wear a white shirt because I’m colorblind and it’s easier to match ties with a white shirt. I occasionally wear a purple dress shirt to church because my two teenage daughters think it’s an awesome shirt and because I once had a missionary look down his nose at me when I wore it. I wear a suit only if I’m going to be sitting on the stand or have been asked to give one of the prayers at Sacrament meeting because I think suits are extremely uncomfortable and distract from the spirit of the meeting. I have had a mustache for almost 30 years, including membership in a bishopric, executive secretary to three stake presidents, and a high councilor. It’s getting old for me, but my wife really likes it. I know it bugs the stake president (who was the bishop in the bishopric I served in and is a good friend) but he has never asked me to shave it. When someone asks me about it, I now have a new answer (from the movie Brigham City, which I watched a few weeks ago for the first time): “I’m just trying to be more like Jesus.”
#11 – Welcome. Based on your blog, we could have used you in the thread on evolution. 🙂