My secret’s out.
I’m a Mormon. And a liberal. In Utah, where I live, I’m an oxymoron. I remain committed to my religious beliefs, but I have learned through education, study, respectful discussion, and yes prayer, that I cannot truly call myself a Christian unless I subscribe to a liberal world view.
I have been told by well-meaning friends on both sides of the spectrum, that I must be confused. And I am: by people who assume that they know my mind by knowing my religious or political affiliation.
I am confused by liberals who misunderstand me as a Christian.
If it was good enough for Einstein (who was a Jew), it’s good enough for me.
Many liberals put me in the category of religious zealotry, believing I must be narrow-minded and uneducated . I have a master’s degree in liberal arts. The world is round. Gender preference is something we are born with. The book of Genesis supports the theory of evolution. Other liberals think I live in a fantasy world of magic and witchcraft. I love fantasy! I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. I also love historical fiction that tells about Christians who believed in witchcraft, but I don’t treat such books as scripture.
I am confused by Christians who misunderstand me as a liberal.
I’ve been told that only conservatives are righteous, and that all liberals are atheists building Hell here on earth. Many members of my congregation assume that there are no liberals in their midst because liberal is synonymous with Satan. I am confused, because they read the scriptures but violate the second greatest of all commandments: “Love one another” and forget that Jesus said “judge not, that ye be not judged.”
I am confused by Christians and liberals who misunderstand me as a Mormon.
I’m mostly confused by the Christians, but liberals tend to do it too. Both groups have the mistaken idea that Mormons worship a guy named Joseph Smith, believe in a book that replaces the Bible, and practice polygamy; I don’t do any of those things. Conservative non-Mormons in Utah see Mormons as self-righteous bigots who believe that they are the only ones in the world who will make it to heaven, and are out to convert them. That may be true for many Mormons who don’t truly understand the religion they were baptized into; it’s definitely not true for me. Christians outside of Utah see Mormons as fundamentalists who couldn’t possibly be Christian, and have been led astray through coercive, cultist tactics. Not at all true. I love the Bible. Jesus is my savior. And I was raised by my Mormon parents (my father was a bishop) to question my religion and come to my own conclusions through prayer and study. I have no doubt that my prayers are answered. Not through magic, but through loving communication of spirits that has not yet been explained by science.
So yeah, I’m a bit of a peculiarity. Mormons are a peculiar people. I’m just more peculiar than most. I can’t avoid being who I am, and I can’t separate my liberal nature from my understanding of my god.
I am a liberal; and even though I have joined LDS Dems, and am registered as a Democrat for voting purposes, I cannot commit myself as a party person. Parties divide. United we stand; divided we fall.
Just so you know, I hate arguments, and I won’t allow people to make disrespectful comments on my posts. I often use this blog to respond to social networking statements and news stories that really get under my skin. This blog is for people like me–people who think in shades of grey. I don’t mind if you see your world differently. In fact, I welcome your comments–whether you agree or not. Just remember that we are not discussing matters of right vs. wrong or black vs. white. You can state your opinion. I can state mine, and if we don’t find common ground, then we can agree to disagree. No arguing allowed.