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MYOB

A delicate flower wiltingly asks:

I have recently found out that a new friend of mine is Mormon.  He never mentioned it before, and I don’t know how I feel about it.  Not just the strangeness of the religion, but the intolerant social policies the church espouses.  What should I say?  Now I feel uncomfortable bringing it up.  

LISTEN:

Then don’t.

Listen to yourself: “What should I say?”  Jesus Christ (latter days or otherwise) – why don’t you just keep your mouth shut??

Every single person in this world – EVERY SINGLE ONE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION – belongs, more or less, to some social structure (family, work, race, religion, ethnicity, etc.) who counts among its members someone who is going to say cringingly embarrassing things.  Sometimes it’s just grandma at a restaurant wondering why none of “the coloreds” work there anymore, or sometimes it’s your kid pointing at a crucifix (seen for the first time) and screaming in terror “WHAT’S THAT!?!?”

(sh)It happens.

And don’t be so mealy-mouthed.  You obviously lack the courage of your convictions – you can’t even write about how you feel anonymously.  “I don’t know how I feel…” Are you kidding?  How come I know how you feel and you don’t?

You’re angry with the church for taking a stand on social issues you disagree with.  You’re extending that stand to all members of the church.  You therefore assume (perhaps wrongly) that your new friend agrees with the dogma of his church.  See?  What’s the mystery?

To me it seems that you labor under the mistaken notion that everyone simply must agree with you about everything, and if they don’t agree with you then they must be wrong.  Or something must be wrong with them.  Throw in a little old-tyme religion, and you can have those bastards roasting on a spit in the hereafter by lunchtime.

I suggest you focus on the things about your new friend that you like, that when his religion comes up as a topic of conversation you stick to bland, informational style questions (Oh, you go to temple on Sundays too?  How neat!  Where is it??) and leave your opinion in your head until he asks for it.

And even then, if just for the first time in your life, try to think clearly and realize your opinion isn’t the received Truth – it’s just your opinion.  Differences in these sorts of things must be discussed calmly, rationally, and and without accusations of intolerance and bigotry – from either side.  Who knows, you may learn something…

…that frothing at the mouth screaming is hardly a pleasant way to get to know someone’s points of view…

…or what kind of impact a rational, pleasant conversation can have on someone’s deeply held conviction.

Bon chance.

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