To preface I would just like to add that this is a difficult topic to articulate so I will do my best.
As I have many friends and family members still in the Church I am finding it very frustrating to keep their wish of remaining silent and supportive of their decisions. Said silence is supposedly the quintessential display of "tolerance" in our society, a permission of religion.
If you look up the definition of tolerance you can actually find many widely varying definitions. Most are as follows:
nationality, etc.,differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry."
Notice how the definition here assumes that the two parties differ by opinion, not fact. To me, the Church is more than harmless opinions. It is mobile, it hurts, it steals, it deceives, it knocks on doors and judges. In this case it is not a difference of opinion but of fact. Facts which one party (mormons) refuse to acknowledge. Tolerance in this case and by such a definition cannot be defined. What then is tolerance?
To further illustrate imagine a kkk headquarters next to a mormon church. It may be socially acceptable for the surrounding community to oust the kkk but not the mormon church. Both are racist by definition (a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement). If you need more info on the topic read 2nd Nephi and many other church publications. Yet in the end the mormon church remains as it is more cunning and less physical about its racism then the kkk.
I personally don't feel there are shades of gray to racism. Racism is racism no matter how you view it.
So in this context are we supposed to remain tolerant until the point which racism becomes physical and violent?
I realize that there is nothing I can say, nor any fact I can present to change anyones views. What I have come to realize, because that church has the capacity to hurt and deceive people outside its doors, it is wrong to remain silent.
I no longer adopt the belief that any obligatory morality exists other than the unique and individual values we choose for ourselves. While I recognize that the church may harm others, it is the right of LDS members to choose to subject themselves to such a belief system and culture and only they can choose for themselves to wake up and leave it. Any efforts I exert to intervene on their behalf will mostly be fruitless due to the nature of mind control and belief biases. Such interventions can potentially do more harm than good, possibly sending the member to dig in their heals even deeper. For this reason, direct approaches and arguments with believing members are not recommended by Steven Hassan or other cult experts. Better to plant seeds through encouraging free thought, expression and being authentic yourself, which may awaken in them a longing for their own authenticity and putting truth above being comfortably duped.
Another word that can be substituted for "tolerance" or even "acceptance" is respect. I may not agree with the LDS church, its doctrine and its methods for maintaining a false belief system, but I can respect their right to believe as they will and seek happiness according to the dictates of their own hearts, even if it is obvious to me that those "dictates" are planted by an external entity. I would rather live peaceably and happy by "live and let live" than by going on another crusade to convince others to my way of thinking, as I once did as a missionary. Just my 2 cents.
I tend to agree with Micah. While I don't agree with the LDS Church anymore, they have every right to be here on this planet. On the other hand, though, sometimes my anger flairs up (IE: When I found out they endorse treatment for gays) and I want to torch the buildings down. If you want to preach tolerance, live and let live.
Thank you. I never had a choice growing up and correct info wasn't there for sure. I was never taught tolerance like I do for my kids. I'm happy every day that I can give that gift to my kids. Growing up with choices and open mindedness was not something welcomed in that world.
I do so agree. I don't care if others pray to a stick on fire and are amazed by that stick on fire. ...fer all the damned good it'll do 'em :) hahaha. Be happy by not so much respecting others (IMHO here) as it requires me to actually respect ands understand their goofy ass belief system, but just by being nice. There are things, once again, IMHO here, that are not worthy of respecting and the practices and teaching of Salt Lake is a central core one of them. They grind people as a millers stone grinds corn. ...and they don't give a damn about you, how you turn out. ..well, I'll shut up on that before I start ranting :), hahahaha What...someone said "to damned late! " :)
To me tolerance is being cool with others. You wana smoke, you know the consequences that are none of my business, by a carton and smoke brother/sister... go fer it. You wanna drink, go for it. You wanna have sex with beautiful hot babes in dark corners...let me know in advance so I can help ya, HAHAHAHA! :) Just be yourself. Don't judge others and if someone tries to do so with you...keep footin'. Be nice, smile, let them be. :) Make sure they damned well know to let you be. You may have to look a person in the eye every now and then and tell them, as you look them in the eye, "Be quiet." Le them be tolerant as well. Nothing teaches a lesson faster than just walking away as they speak.
I really do not care if they like or respect me or not. I made it this far without their damned opinion, so what use do I have for it today?
Thx, later 'gater,
"Nothing teaches a lesson faster than just walking away as they speak." Love it.
I appreciate your comment, MikeUtah. As a new exmo, I have to find my footing now on how to deal with the people who knew me for almost 40 years as a "TBM-TO-THE-DEATH." Wow, this is challenging. But as with all things, patience and RESPECT (great word) will be the navigational tools in dealing with them. After all, I was once in their shoes. I must remember that. Also, I must remember to have patience and respect towards MYSELF, and towards my own needs during this incredible transition. Thanks for your words.
Hamsonb! This is such an important issue. I'm the only Ex-mormon in a HUGE, tri-state TBM Mormon clan. I have decided that "tolerance" does not require that I shut up and withhold what I believe to be truth (so they can live their lives unimpeded by reality). Tolerance only requires that I listen respectfully and understand them before I speak. In fact, the more I read about ethics, the more I think such speech is an imperative.
You'll never know who among your family and friends will take courage from your speaking against a cruel allusion or a baseless assumption.
<------- That guy!
"All great truths begin as blasphemies." - George Bernard Shaw
"True wit is nature, to advantage dressed; what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed" - Alexander Pope
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education. - Wilson Mizner
"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.--Christopher Hitchens
"The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls." -E.C. Stanton
POTD! Post of the day! So well put and said.
I've come to the same conclusion as you Cora.
I used to try to practice "Respect" by not engaging... then I realized, if I truly respect them as individuals with the potential for free thought and action, then I would be a hypocrite not to be sincerely and honestly stating the truths I know to be fact.
Many mormons are suffering and they don't know what they don't know. Its important that they understand that fraud is not to be respected, honored or accepted.
It may not always be comfortable but it is the right thing to do.