Self Identity

I found this guy through YouTube, when I first saw the video of the temple footage that I linked to the other day.  I've now watched several of his videos and I love him.  He's so funny, he's full of good points, and I enjoy it thoroughly.

Anyway, I wanted to post this particular video because I have found in my own personal experience that it is quite true.  With all of the Mormons that I have known and interacted with in my life (and that counts well into the hundreds, since I was a Mormon for about 28 years), nearly all of them have reacted like this.  Once I start hinting at the fact that I don't believe in their church, or that they're wrong about God or anything like that, they get very defensive.  They tell me that I shouldn't be so negative, that I shouldn't attack them.  They tell me that I should let them live their life.

The truth of the matter is, I'm perfectly willing to let them live their life and do whatever makes them happy.  I have no problem with people thinking that Joseph Smith was actually a character of good repute, or that Thomas Monson actually communicates with the supreme creator of the universe.  If that makes them happy, let them think it.  But, that doesn't mean I can't say that I think it's all a bunch of nonsense.

He's hit the nail right on the head, if you ask me.  When I say "Joseph Smith was simply a really horny man that wanted to sleep with lots of young women--and girls", Mormons will take it as a personal attack.   I'm attacking them, I'm attacking their religion.  They're incapable of separating their own identity--their own person--from the religion that they believe in.  And so, they don't want to talk to me anymore.  They unfriend me on Facebook (which just happened today--someone unfriended me after arguing with me about Mormonism yesterday), they block me, they ignore whatever I say.  And that's fine.  I don't want to force anyone to watch my videos or read my blog.  People that want to should feel welcome to and those that don't should feel welcome to ignore me.  Great.

But, honestly, you really do need to be able to separate between your own personal identity and your beliefs, or your religion.  If someone says "atheism is stupid" or "atheists are wrong" or "there is a god", I'm not going to interpret it as a personal attack.  It doesn't bother me in the slightest.  I don't mind people disagreeing with me.  I'm not going to unfriend them just because they claim there's a god and I don't.  But, Mormons do that all the time.  You tell them that their temple rituals are really just masonic rituals that Joseph Smith took from the freemasons and they block you.  They close their ears.  They don't want to hear it, because any suggestion that their church isn't 100% true is an attack on their very character.  I can't just say "I think your church is false" because it's interpreted by a Mormon as "I think you're a terrible person and I hate you."  Which isn't true at all.  I have lots of Mormon friends that I think are great people, but I do think that their beliefs are stupid.

One thing that I find truly ironic is that there's a saying that goes around Mormonism (and other religions too, I believe) all the time that says "love the sinner but hate the sin", thus exhibiting the capability to separate between a person and their actions.  I think that's an important distinction to make.  A person isn't an evil person just because they told a lie.  Nor are they a good person just because they shipped vaccines off to Africa.  But, Mormons are incapable of making this distinction when it comes to their own beliefs.  Just as they can hate the sin but love the sinner, I should be able to hate the beliefs but not the believer.  A very intelligent, kind, and loving person can believe in something completely stupid and false.  It happens all the time.  I don't think you're a moron just because you believe in something that I think is moronic.

So, if you are a Mormon reading this blog, you've probably already learned how to make this distinction.  But, if not, try it.  Try to actually think of your beliefs as something other than your own person.  When I say it's stupid to believe in a god, I'm not saying that you're a stupid person.  It isn't an attack.  Don't treat it as an attack.