Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why it didn't take....

I was talking to my friend Grant a couple of years ago about Mormon indoctrination.  I offered this Jesuit quote:

"Give me the child till the age of seven 
and I will show you the man." 

He quipped back, "Well if that were true why don't we still have you?"

It is a good question.  Why?  I was raised in American Fork, Utah.  You will not find a more fundamental Mormon community.  This was especially true in the 70's and 80's.  Everything about daily life centered on the Mormon tradition.  All of my mentors, outside of the home, were faithful practicing Mormons.  I had the utmost respect for them and admired their spirituality.  So why am I now a militant atheist?

As I pondered this question it dawned on me.  Because I was never fully "in".  My parents were "Jack-Mormons".  They lived outside of the bubble.  For the first 20 or so years of my life they still believed but chose not to do Mormonism by the book.  I think their level of belief started to fall off as they aged.  More importantly they didn't accept all of the tenants of Mormonism as truth or even as what they perceived a just god would condone.  My mother would frequently ask why.  'Why can't blacks hold the priesthood?'  'Why can't women?'  'Why is this guy a bishop when the whole town knows he is crook?'  'How did this guy get to stay as the bishop when was molesting children? '

My Dad was known for saying, "Well that's bullshit."

I learned from my parents, that questioning authority, demanding evidence, and being willing to declare something bullshit when the facts didn't support the claims was a virtue.  My personality made it difficult for me to compartmentalize for any prolonged period of time.

I also think this is why many members do not allow their children to play with non members, children of apostates or children of Jack-Mormons.  Because if they find out that it is reasonable to not believe... it won't take.