So while there are some good points here, some very good points especially about the friend…
Randall Craig Wall
1

Randall,

I’m sorry you perceived this article to be judgmental. It was not written with that spirit or intention.

You are correct in that there’s nothing wrong with only associating with those who share your beliefs, even your religion, or saturating your home with things of your religion or belief system. Nowhere in the article do I posit such a thing. My in-laws hove an LDS saturated home-decor scheme — and they are the most open, loving, compassionate people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and loving. But — they are well-read, educated, and have traveled much. They have seen the world, and are not afraid of differing viewpoints. The article is specific about the difference between them and others who take issue with anything non-LDS.

From the article: “ Unless, when confronted with anything non-LDS related, you find absolutely nothing uplifting about it, or, at worst, you feel put-off, wary, fearful, outright defensive, or repelled by it. Even if the non-LDS thing is in accordance with your LDS belief system.”

So while I agree there’s nothing wrong with what you defend, I’d also like to point out that isn’t what I wrote in the article, nor was it the premise. The thrust of the article isn’t home decor, friendships and whether or not you’ve sinned, left the church, told a lie or read a non-LDS book. The point of this piece is to allow for self-examination.

If one is uncomfortable, or finds he or she cannot associate with others of different belief systems for whatever reason, it might belie a fragility w/r/t that person’s beliefs that he or she may not be aware of. That’s human nature, not my opinion. As Shakespeare wrote, “The lady {or gentleman} doth protest too much, methinks.”

We tend to surround ourselves with things we like and enjoy. Nothing wrong with that. The article’s point is if you find no virtue in anything other than LDS-related things, then you might be missing out on things that are potentially beautiful and uplifting: friendships, nuances of thought, connections, art, literature, and other things that might enrich your life.

So if you engage with the world at all outside your community, and you find you feel like a fish out of water wherever you go, unless it’s LDS-saturated, then there are really only a couple of conclusions to make: 1) you don’t care to learn about the world at large, other belief systems, and your fellow man (outside Mormon culture), or 2) you’re afraid to. If it’s the former, then how are you supposed to practice what Christ taught, which is of course, love and compassion?

You can’t love and have compassion for things you don’t know or understand. The latter? You are unable to engage because anything that challenges your beliefs offends you or makes you angry — all secondary to the primary emotion of fear.

You wrote, “Allowing your faith to “breathe” is kind of insulting actually. I watch R rated movies, use fowl language occasionally read things that are not uplifting and I am the better for none of it.”

I’m confused as to why you find that insulting? Because that’s a choice, to feel insulted by that. Why did you choose to feel insulted by a simple exhortation to allow room for other things to enrich your life that might not be directly connected to your faith?

Your use of [sic] “fowl” language — I don’t see how the use of language is germane to “uplifting” your every day life, either. Unless you write for a living, and “Gosh darn” simply doesn’t cut it in your dark, detective-noir novel, yeah? ;) And viewing R rated movies…here you paint R-rated movies with a broad brush of being the opposite of uplifting. I’m curious as to the types of R movies you watch?

Some of the most beautiful movies with the most relevant moral messages have an R rating. Off the top of my head, Jeff Who Lives at Home, End of the Tour, The Wrestler, and Dogma,: all profane in some very superficial way, yet all uplifting, remembering the “spirit” of the law, rather than the letter. They all speak to what it is to be human, compassionate, loving, and Christ-like.

An authentic, fully-lived life is rated R: Restricted to people who are open to the beauty of the world, in whatever form. Same with literature. I’ve found more truth in literature that had at one time been banned,(thanks to closed-minded religious folks), books with messages that replicate the sacred texts of the world.

In short, Randall, if you feel you are not Mormon fragile, then I’m glad for you. I am not “former-Mormon fragile,” and do not attempt to vilify the church or its members with broad strokes. That belies an ignorance and arrogance I do not possess. I have known wonderful people all throughout my life, religious, non-religious, and everything in between. Nor do I feel the need to justify my departure. My desire here is to build bridges of understanding. I’m very glad the Church brings you joy in your life, and I’m glad you feel content in it.

I know from both sides that many people who leave their churches, whatever church it may be, are ousted from their families and communities. That’s a reality. To choose to ignore it is your choice, but it is not the reality of the world. The smaller your scope, the less inclusive you, your attitudes, and your beliefs will be. That’s not my opinion. That’s how it is.

Finally, I might add, I hardly make a “living” off bashing the LDS Church. There are those out there who definitely do, ie: Kate Kelly, etc. I’m not of that ilk, and don’t like being lumped in with them.

Just as surely as you don’t like being lumped in with people who are, indeed, Mormon Fragile, I’m sure.

Thank you for reading, and for your thoughts — peace to you.

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