Posted by kumbisala on May 30, 1998 at 18:43:00:
I am always irritated to the point of twitching every time I hear someone who is very depressed (like my mother) say, "The church is my life line. I don't know what I would do without the gospel."
I think that church doctrine itself is responsible for the depression that many members feel. There is this impossible ideal that everyone is trying to live up to, members must feel worthless that jesus would pay for their sins while they are infinitely unworthy for him to even bother, you can't go a single day without "sinning" in some way, there are endless demands on the time, money and talents of the faithful, you must pray, read the scriptures, write in your journal, fulfill your callings, attend meetings during the week, devote your entire day of rest to an exhausting regime, be a member missionary to every nonmember, feel sorrow for those in your family that have "let go of the iron rod", go to the temple, pay your tithing, fast offerings and missionary bills, if your a woman than you must suppress any "evil" thoughts you might have of working because your duty in life is to be a womb whether you want to be or not, and finally consciously suppress the doubts you have about the church and ignore the blatant inconsistencies of its racist and sexist doctrine. God, I am amazed that I ever felt happy while I was flagellating myself for my inherently sinful nature. When I decided to walk away from the church a bigger burden was taken off of my shoulders than any that I dropped at the feet of jesus. This is by no means the rejection of a mormon jesus for an equally mythical and much more convoluted christian jesus.
Or when I hear others say "The church is really good for some people because they need that kind of support system in their lives."
But I still feel that many do love the church and it is rewarding for them. Religion is a part of most peoples’ lives throughout the world. I wouldn’t want my parents to convert to my way of thinking, which is right for me, because their whole lives are built around the church. While at the same time I wish they wouldn’t let the church dictate that they need to feel sorrow and anguish about their son who has chosen a different path in life. It infuriates and saddens me that my parents allow their religion to come between us. My love for them never changed after I left, but theirs changed once I came out of the apostate closet.
To me, this is like an addict who says "I don't know what I'd do without heroin." And the rest of us saying "I guess heroin is OK for you, then."
Just because the addict is completely dependent upon heroin for comfort and happiness does not make heroin a good thing.
Anyone else share in this frustration? Or have a different opinion?
I agree and disagree with your position. Damn these shades of gray. The mormon black and white world was easy because you’re told how to think. Thinking for oneself is much harder, but I’ll take the freedom and happiness that come with it.