I've never directly addressed that inquiry here on Ward Gossip. There's a reason for that, and it involves the preservation of my sanity. As many of my Gentle Readers probably know, engaging with Mormons on that issue can be a head-banging, mind-numbingly maddening experience.
I end up getting angry - like back when I was a Mormon. And since not being angry all of the time is one of the best things about no longer being a Mormon, I tend to opt for humor. In part for my own therapy.
However lately a decline in my blogging enthusiasm has made me see the end of Ward Gossip closing in on the horizon. And there are a few things I still want to share before I go, including my answer to the highly annoying question: "Why won't Ex-Mormons leave the church alone?"
- Mormon missionaries travel worldwide, knocking on doors and sharing their message.
- Members are encouraged to share the gospel with their neighbors and friends, also to reconvert "inactives," even when the so-called "inactive" has made it clear that he or she is no longer interested in attending.
- The church springs for in-your-face advertising: TV commercials, billboards, even a feature length film.
- Mormon temples and historical sites boast attractive, well-manned visitors' centers.
- They have a big choir that regularly tours and records.
- High profile Mormons in business, politics and the entertainment industry publicly embrace the faith. In 2012 one even ran for president.
- The Mormon Church has encouraged/pressured its members to vote for and donate money to political causes that impose its narrow values on society at large. For example, the extreme liquor laws in Utah, the successful opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment during the late 70's and early 80's, various gambling initiatives, and perhaps most notoriously, the successful passage of Proposition 8 that banned gay marriage in California back in 2008.
"Why are they persecuting us? We're a humble, private people who only want to practice our religion separately and in peace. Why can't they leave us alone?!"
"WHY DON'T YOU GET IT? Humble my @$$. You belong to the one and only true church, for crying out loud. Your religion's headquarters has expanded into half of downtown Salt Lake City. And when your Utah-based church tries to dictate the marriage laws two states away - where roughly 1% of the population is LDS - people aren't going to leave it or you alone."
But there are a smattering of fundies out there who, like an unfortunate number of Mormons, mistake freedom of religion with the right to impose one's religion on all of society. Take, for example, Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who, for the sake of obeying "God's law" broke federal law when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Now she's in jail, and, no doubt, feels persecuted.
I could attempt to explain to both her and her supporters why I believe the government won't and shouldn't "leave her alone." But it would likely be yet another head-banging moment. Then I'd end up getting angry - like back when I was a Mormon. Angry and bitter.
There's another common question I'd like to answer before I go: "Why are Ex-Mormons so angry and bitter?" One thing at time...
Coming soon: Why Ex-Mormons Won't Leave the Church Alone, Part 2! (Spoiler alert! Content to include seriously terrifying little-known facts about John Lennon and The Eagles. Also some disturbing examples of "LDS rock music.")