Monday, April 27, 2015

"You can leave the Church, but..."

You Can Leave the Church, But You Can't Leave it Alone. (Reposted from here.)

I had a conversation with a friend about people who wonder why post-mormons don't all quickly move on. I'm sure you've all heard the saying, "You can leave the Church, but you can't leave it alone." This is my response to that claim:

There's a huge double standard, as evidenced by the following:

1- I don't go knocking on my neighbor's doors to tell them about Agnosticism.

2- I don't text them saying, "I noticed you went to Church today. I sure missed you at not-Church. Hope to see you soon."

3- I don't bribe their kids with treats to stay home from Church.

4- When my Mormon neighbors move, I don't track them down and invite them to leave the Church in their new area.

5- When PBS has a show on about Charles Darwin I don't make fancy invitations and invite them to watch it with me.

6- I don't keep track of who's going to Church and who's not.

7- I don't fly across the country to Philadelphia at my own expense and spend two years trying to get Philadelphia Mormons to leave the Church.

8- I'm not constantly quoting Richard Dawkins or Carl Sagan on Facebook.

9- I don't put on a huge anti-Mormon pageant every year and invite all of my Mormon friends.

10- I don't secretly interrogate their children to find out why their parents are staying in Church.

11- When a Mormon neighbor makes the decision to stay in the Church, I don't write them a letter explaining the eternal consequences of their decision and telling them that before they make such an important decision they must sit down with me to discuss it.

12- I don't drive down to the Church on the night they're having youth activities and say, "Hey kids, we're on our way to the arcade. Do you want a ride?"

13- I never look at a Mormon and try to figure out what type of underwear they're wearing.

14- I never use funerals as an opportunity to teach the plan of natural selection to grieving Mormons.

15- I have never written my testimony inside a copy of No Man Knows My History and given it to a Mormon while explaining what the book means to me and how it has changed my life.

16- I have never bought a Mormon a gift subscription to a Secular Humanist magazine.

17- I have never told a Mormon how they should vote.

18- I have never criticized a Mormon for the clothes they are wearing.

19- I have never chastised a Mormon friend for posting something on Facebook that was too mormony.

20- I do not deny my Mormon friends and family the opportunity to attend weddings, even if they're not Agnostics in good standing.

21- I do not send Birthday cards to my Mormon Neighbor's Children with a note that says, "Darwin loves you and so do I. We sure miss you when you go to Church."

22- I don't tell my Mormon friends that they're going to hell because they don't believe in the Big Bang.

23- When my less-active Mormon neighbors decide to start going to Church more often, I don't visit them at a time when I know their spouse will be at work and tell them, "Now you know you don't have to go to Church just because your spouse wants to go. You're allowed to make up your own mind."

24- I don't disown my child if they decide to be Mormon.

25- I don't counsel anyone to divorce their spouse because they've decided that Atheism isn't true and that Mormonism makes more sense.

26- When I notice that a family in my neighborhood has attended Church for several weeks in a row, I don't leave delicious chocolate cupcakes on their doorstep with a note that I wish they would stop attending.

27- I don't get together with several of my Post-Mormon neighbors and say, "Hey, lets make a list of all the Mormons in the ward boundaries, and let's think about it and pray about it, and we'll narrow that list down to 5 names, and we'll focus all of our energy and attention on these five people or families, and we'll try to get them to leave the church."

When I was Elder's Quorum President, I was instructed to contact all the elders and potential elders every year, even if they had requested not to be contacted, because they could have changed their mind since last year.

So who's not leaving who alone?

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