Hate Speech

chirstandmoneychangers

I have chosen to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.  He got angry.  I’m going to make an angry post.  I’m not like Jesus.  Just trying to emulate.

This morning I woke up at 3:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Maybe it was thinking about tonight’s Talkeria.  Several wonderful people with fascinating and heart rending issues and stories plan to come.

Then, I opened up the internet and found this ARTICLE.  It troubled me greatly.  You’ll find two of the reasons below.  But, first some background on my past.

Black People Are Inferior

Yep.  That’s what I was taught.  By my own church.  In my own church.  They were descendants of Cain.  Cursed with a black skin.  Denied the preeminent blessings of my church.  The only true and living church, by the way.  Those blessings being the priesthood, admittance to the temple and participation in the ordinances of exaltation.

Why had they been born into the accursed race?  Why…because they had not been valiant in the preexistence during the war in heaven.  I have a white skin…I was totally valiant.

In 1978, our racist practices were overturned by revelation.  But, NOT our racist theories as to why the blacks were smitten with the inferior color.  It wasn’t until December 8, 2013 that the church officially disavowed these teachings.  It took the form a an internet essay entitled “Race and the Priesthood.”  In it, the church CONDEMNS our past racist teachings and practices.  Thank heavens!  But, I wouldn’t  hear about this essay until the latter part of 2014, at the ripe old age of 62.

I don’t think I’m racist.  But I probably am.  For 62 years, I KNEW that blacks were cursed and inferior.   The church, that I KNEW to be the only true church, had given me that spiritual gift of knowledge.  Sure…it’s a condemned gift now.  But, a lifetime of belief is hard for the mind shake.

Homosexuals are Perverts

Now where would I get that idea?  From the true church?  You better believe it.  Taught from my youth.  Just as I was taught of the inferiority of black people.

We have been wrong about LGBT at every turn.  The apostles haven’t condemned our homophobic practices, teachings and policies…yet.  However, I give them great credit for having backed off many of the harsh and dead-wrong statements & practices of the past. But, we have a long, long way to go.  Dreadfully harmful views are still heard at street level in our wards.

For my part, I’ve made a strong apology for having condoned the wrong and hurtful attitudes of the past.  You can read it HERE.

Atheists are Evil

Well, of course, I grew up with that, too.  I did not personally know any atheists until this past year.  I have been very open about my faith transition.  You can read it HERE.  Since I have been open, people have opened up to me.  Over the last 7 months, I have come to know many atheists.  Both former and currently active members.

How about that?  We have atheists who find enough good in the church to ‘stay in the boat.’  They serve in callings. They say prayers.  They give great talks. They are great people.  And…they all keep their mouths shut.  Remember, atheists are evil.

And the atheists who have left the church?  They are every bit as awesome as those who stay.  Several months ago, at a Talkeria, I marveled as a resigned-Mormon atheist counseled a person struggling with doubts.  The questioning member had a traditional testimony and was struggling to come to terms with historical issues.  My new atheist friend gave great words of wisdom.  I thought, “those words would fit perfectly in a General Conference.”  Here’s a man who does not believe there’s a God, helping a believer maintain his faith in God.

So, within less than one year, I have come to know several atheists and find them to be normal, good, and moral human beings.  However, the term ‘atheist’ still leaves an aftertaste in my head.  Fortunately, I don’t have that same reticence towards my beloved black and gay brothers and sisters.  Maybe in a year or two, I’ll be able to say the word ‘atheist’ and not think it’s pejorative by nature.

Now to the article.  I have 2 gigantic issues.  I’m going to label them #1 and #1.

Reason #1:  I’ve Been Fooled Three Times…Already

“Atheism Is Paving the Way for a New and Destructive Moral Order.”  Nope.  You are painting a huge and growing group with a hateful brush.  Shame on you.  I’ll not be fooled again.

You (Dustinandbrittany), nor the church, nor the leadership, nor anybody are going to suck me back into racist, homophobic or bigoted viewpoints ever again.  I know better.  I was oh so carefully tutored as a child.  I was oh so properly piloted as a young man.  I ever so fondly followed…right to the edge of my golden years.  Then…to find out I’d been led astray about people of color, about people’s gender, and now about people of no belief in God.

You basically equate a society of atheists to a society without morals.   I recognize that representation as horrid and hateful.  We should be reaching out to good people in all stages of faith including none.  Instead you villainize and demonize.  From your platform you reach a wide audience of faithful members.  Your post has been shared 25,000 times.  Certainly your views total in the 100’s of 1,000’s.  It’s my prayer that your mean message is soundly rejected by the good Saints of my church.  They should know better.

Reason #1:  Family & Friends

Speaking about critics of the church, you say, “They want us to look at our friends and family members who are leaving the Church and feel alerted to the idea that there is something wrong with the Mormon Church.”

Oh my friend, right here you are pointing out a huge “something wrong with the Mormon Church.”  It’s attitudes just like yours.  For 2 years, I have tried to alert members and leaders that family and friends are leaving.  People I love and care about.  The response…a big fat yawn.  Action?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  In the past 2 years, I’ve witnessed my mother leave.  All my siblings leave.  Five families in my ward leave.

Yeah, I’m a critic, alright.  My critique is that nobody gives a damn about friends and family leaving the church.  Well…they’ll say they care.  After 2 years of talking and no doing, it’s damning evidence that the church culture could care less.

And then your anti-atheist article comes along.  How hypocritical that we don’t care if someone leaves.  But, then bemoan the certainty that they’re destined to become an amoral atheist.

Advertisements

Conversations. Chapter 5: George Politely Declines Talkeria Invitation

invitation

From George (For Context see Chapter 3)

Dec. 20, 2016

Sam,

Geography makes this impossible.  I used to travel to Houston frequently for work, but that was a previous employer.  I expect that I would not be considered “safe” by your group.  I would defend the doctrine and teachings of the Church.  I would encourage the invited people to reconcile themselves to the prophets of God and to subject themselves to the will of their Heavenly Father like a child despite places where their opinions and understandings differ.  Your guests would not be happy to have me there.

My Response

Jan. 3, 2017

Hi George,

Oh, that darn geography.  You are probably right. Your presence might not contribute to a ‘safe’ environment.  When trying to find answers to questions and doubts, being called to repentance can be very off-putting.

Defending the doctrine and teachings of the church is absolutely permitted in the Talkeria. But, the discussions have to be totally open to examine the complete history and doctrine from all sides.

A faith crisis is often painful and lonely.  The purpose of our meetings isn’t to tell someone what decision to make or what direction to take.  Rather, it’s to listen, support, and empathize without judgment.  These are intelligent, thoughtful adults who are hurting and confused.  They’ll make the choice that is right for them and their family.  I trust them.  Those who choose to leave, I can and do support.  Those who choose to stay, I absolutely support.

The last 2 Talkerias have been dedicated to help struggling members remain active and continue to serve in their callings.  Of course, that’s what these folks desire.  The heavy weight of silence is lifted from their shoulders as they are able to talk and share openly.  At the end of the gathering one person said this, “I’m looking forward to going to church, now.”

This Thursday’s Talkeria will be much more diverse.  One person wants to stay.  One person left the church 15 years ago, but still has issues.  One couple has decided to leave.  Again, I’ve asked members to come who can relate to specific concerns that have been expressed.

George, you are selling yourself a little short.  I think you would be surprised at how well you could express love to people in all stages of testimony.  After all, we are in the Church of Jesus Christ.  His great commandment is to love.  Charity never faileth.

By the way, I plan to respond to the longer email soon.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year,

Sam

 

2016 Blog Stats

blogInvisible’s Cubit was born on May 12, 2016.  It was meant as a vehicle to express my thoughts and feelings regarding religious matters.  I had undergone a painful and lonely faith journey.  Avenues to discuss these matters at church and with church friends was effectively blocked by a church culture that had previously gone undetected by me.

When the Cubit was created, I knew very little about blogging.   The first post received about 50 views in the first week.  I thought, “Cool, I’m sharing with 50 people already.”  In the previous 2 years I had become gun shy with sharing my thoughts and feelings with anybody.  Today, I have a way to share out in the open air.

A blog site like WordPress provides statistics that I had not anticipated.  Some of my readers might be interested in an activity report for 2016.  I have no idea how these numbers stack up in the world of blogging.  To me, they are amazing.

Thank you for taking the time to read, follow, and comment on my blog.

All my very best wishes to you for a marvelous 2017.

General Stats

# of Posts = 60

# of Countries with viewership = 118  (This blew me away)

Total Views = 82,416

Most Views in 1 day = 3,703

Top Viewed Posts

5,165     Empty Chairs at Empty Tables   (Originally, my favorite.  But over time, I realized nobody really cares if people leave the church.  That’s been one of the biggest shocks in my life.)

4,715     Do We Love Jesus Enough To….

4,201     You’re Not Broken—I’m Sorry    (My personal favorite)

3,406     I am Mormon.  I Love My Mormon Church

3,232     A Compassionate Caution to My Dear Mormon Friends

3,059     Taboo

2,942     “The Dominant Church Narrative Is Not True”

2,905     The Only True Hope for the Only True Church

2,607     Joseph Smith IS My Hero

2,239     The Man Who Voted Opposed  (Recounts a modern day miracle.)

2,018     The Mormon Talkeria

2,001     Oh, the Vaunted Priesthood of God—Making the Sabbath a Delight

1,803     Temple Covenant Breakthrough!!!

1,639     Conversations.  Chapter 1:  George

1,634     A Register for Disapproval (Opposition)

1,586     Conversations.  Chapter 2:  George Continued

1,550     Nude Sailing   (Result of this post:  I discovered there’s an LDS nudist forum composed of active members)

1,549     If I Don’t Dissent…I Consent     (I cried the most writing this one)

1,457     Dancing with Jesus    (Another one of my favorites)

1,347     Behold My Mother—I Stabber Her in the Heart

1,325     My Choice Choice    (I share the one when people ask where my faith is today)

1,120     A Mammoth & Moving Spiritual Experience

1,062     Gay Underwear

Least Viewed Posts

92           Greetings World!

100         Citizen of Subject?

206         Heaven Prep 101:  Tocubit is Invisible’s Cubit

Views by Country

United States 74,131
Canada 2,049
United Kingdom 1,614
Australia 776
Germany 563
Sweden 253
Japan 234
New Zealand 229
Denmark 218
Philippines 205
Norway 169
Mexico 143
South Africa 140
Finland 136
France 98
Netherlands 97
Brazil 97
Spain 86
Belgium 74
Switzerland 70
Italy 68
South Korea 67
Argentina 57
Singapore 46
Hong Kong SAR China 39
Ireland 38
India 37
Saudi Arabia 33
Ecuador 31
Austria 29
Portugal 25
Thailand 25
United Arab Emirates 25
Turkey 24
Costa Rica 21
Russia 21
European Union 20
Chile 19
Poland 17
Taiwan 17
Malaysia 17
Qatar 17
China 15
Hungary 15
Vietnam 14
Guam 14
Guatemala 13
Kenya 13
Jordan 11
Iceland 11
Peru 9
Czech Republic 9
Fiji 8
Greece 8
Dominican Republic 8
Egypt 8
Slovakia 7
Puerto Rico 7
Croatia 7
Israel 7
Panama 6
Bahrain 6
Slovenia 6
Nigeria 6
Laos 6
Uruguay 6
Indonesia 6
Honduras 5
Bolivia 5
Romania 5
Uganda 4
Colombia 4
U.S. Virgin Islands 4
Lithuania 3
Myanmar (Burma) 3
Cayman Islands 3
Sint Maarten 3
Zimbabwe 2
Bulgaria 2
Kuwait 2
Morocco 2
Oman 2
Bahamas 2
Tajikistan 2
Ghana 2
Mauritius 2
Cambodia 2
Uzbekistan 2
Trinidad & Tobago 2
Luxembourg 2
British Virgin Islands 2
Latvia 2
Ethiopia 2
Namibia 1
Iraq 1
Grenada 1
Nepal 1
Afghanistan 1
Vanuatu 1
Palestinian Territories 1
Albania 1
El Salvador 1
Algeria 1
Kazakhstan 1
Serbia 1
Macedonia 1
Dominica 1
Kyrgyzstan 1
St. Kitts & Nevis 1
Curaçao 1
Tanzania 1
Montenegro 1
Burkina Faso 1
Bangladesh 1
Botswana 1
Caribbean Netherlands 1
Pakistan 1
Lebanon 1