Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mormon Problem

The Mormon Problem

To any Mormons, friend or stranger, who has had occasion during recent months to read my various thoughts on the potential of a Mormon U.S. President, let me offer this much. First, I do not feel compelled to be an apologist for Mormonism. Also, I am not without some empathy for those in that camp. This is how I think of it.

I am a member of the Democratic Party. This was a choice I made as an adult understanding full well that, as a human enterprise, it was not perfect. It was also clear to me that my affiliation with the organization would leave me open equally to the criticisms and kudos leveled at this group. I accept this as an unadvertised but clearly implied "cost of membership".

I fail to see how being a Mormon is any different. However, if it might assuage any residual hurt feelings, I will again offer this much. Of the individual Mormons I've known, overwhelmingly, I found them to be decent folks. And when I say decent, I mean that I could easily interact on a civil basis with them. Would I want them imposing their belief system on me or my fellow citizens? Certainly not. What does this prove? One might make the argument (and I do) that I know otherwise decent humans whose beliefs are (and this is the kindest way I can say it) unsupported by logical thought or evidence. For all I know, they may well think similar thoughts of me. My advice? Try thinking of it as- "an unadvertised but clearly implied cost of membership".

Meanwhile, setting aside the mystical bits, we probably have many more things in common than things dividing us. We all want to prosper. We all want to feel safe and loved. We all want to satisfy our curiosity about our world. We all want our children to grow strong and have opportunities in the world. And so on. Perhaps, we can agree this is sufficient.

Though I believe it is clearly implied, I will expand briefly. Though I only mentioned Mormons, the reader would be safe to infer that his/her religious affiliation probably falls into the same category in my mind.