Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fundamentalist Freakshow

This past Labour Day holiday weekend, I spent in Bend, Oregon at the annual Bend Institute that is held by the Bend Community of Christ congregation. I will be writing about the awesome weekend this week, perhaps several posts, but for today, I'm deciding to post a dialogue that had occurred on a friend's Facebook wall on Monday evening after I had returned home from the retreat. I was stunned that after experiencing such a great spiritual high with fellow church members, that I would already be hit with a typical ranting of an ignorant, evangelical woman who knows very little about our church. This woman was once a Mormon but left that church and obviously has strong opinions about the entire Latter Day Saints movement. Read the dialogue below. I did not edit any of the comments nor deleted any comments (all misspellings were left intact). The only thing I deleted were separate posts she had made that was only a smiley or a "lol." I was only interested in preserving her comments in regards to our discussion.

The dialogue went badly because she was personally insulting and making assumptions about me that are simply not true. She had only friend-requested me a week or so ago and I approved based on prior comments she had made on our mutual friend's wall (Leon). However, because of her intolerance, she ultimately de-friended me and de-friended Leon! All because she wanted the right to make bigoted statements and not be challenged. She wants us to see things her way but she won't try to see things our way. She has a problem with the Community of Christ because of our shared history with the Mormon church for the first 14 years of the church's existence. Her hatred of the Mormons has blinded her from seeing from another person's perspective. And I believe she was projecting truths about herself onto me (such as being bi-polar, off meds, and dropped on head as a baby, which are all not true in my case).

I feel sorry for people like that. Fundamentalist / conservative Evangelical Christianity is poisonous to the healthy human mind. It creates paranoia and hatred in people of those who don't share the same narrow-minded, literalist interpretations of the Bible as them. I'm glad she de-friended me because she sounds like a very unpleasant person to know. I don't need negative people in my life, so good riddance. If she had experienced what I just experienced this past weekend, I think her mindset would be completely different. Everyone left feeling love for one another and an inspired commitment to act on our beliefs to bring ministry to those who need it. This woman's problem is that she is insulting to people that only guarantees that she has lost potential friends and allies. Her loss. It is also obvious to me that her current religion has not made her a more loving and understanding person. She is egotistical to her core and because I don't view the Community of Christ through her hateful viewpoint, I'm the deluded one, not her! As I tried to point out, I've been a member all of my life and I've attended other churches, but I have never experienced heaven on earth as much as I have within the Community of Christ. We may not have a perfect history, but what organization does? Greater Christianity is filled with the Crusades, the Inquisitions, burning people at the stake, rape, murder, genocide. We can't change the past. We can only decide now what direction we wish to move in and all I can say is that great things are happening in the Community of Christ. I'm definitely sticking around and participating.

Enjoy...or not. If you are an evangelical Christian, you may want to take notes. This is not how you go about winning allies or even converts. All this dialogue did was alienate a potential friend. This is just one more example of my long history of not liking evangelical Christians very much. They condemn what they do not know. Jesus said, "By their fruits, ye shall know them..." and the Community of Christ has borne much good fruit, while conservative evangelical Christianity has borne much bitter fruit or even rotten fruit. So, no thanks. Keep your bigotry, I prefer to bask in the love of God and those who truly know what that kind of love feels and acts like.

Sharon:
Wow... Do you think maybe there's hope for CofC-LDS coming back together after all... like maybe in another 20 years? Maybe we're starting to see cracks in the armor all over the place. Maybe.....

Fundy Woman:
Really?? The whole phylosophy sucks!!!

Fundy Woman:
oh cracks, as in false yes

Sharon:
No, I mean letting in light.

Fundy Woman:
man are u wrong, hey thats my opinion, and its still a free country the last time I looked

Leon:
count on her to add her opinion any time I post anytbhing about the Mormon church! :)

Fundy Woman:
ok ok geez

Fundy Woman:
thats because nobodys heard of the Community of Christ or Reorgs

Fundy Woman:
250,000 people wow

Me:
As for the belief that the LDS and CofChrist becoming one church again...uh, this isn't like East and West Germany. We've gone our separate ways and we have more in common with Methodists than we do with Mormons. I think ecumenical ministries is the wave of the future. We don't have to convert each other, but we will work together in common purpose.

Fundy Woman:
Come to the Methodists, we accept Gays

Me:
Heck no, I love the Community of Christ! I just had an awesome weekend at a church retreat in Bend and got to see the Church president again. I love the direction we're heading in, and this church is my extended family (the modern equivalent of my tribe).

Fundy Woman:
Ok go for it all 250,000 of you, you are a minority

Leon:
All of Christianity is a minority in the world; it's not a competition

Me:
Numbers don't matter. In the Community of Christ, the principle of "Six Degrees of Separation" exists, but its more like "Three Degrees of Separation." I've always been comfortable with small, because it does feel like a family. I would have been lost in the Mormon church.

Fundy Woman:
did ya notice that the direct line of the Smiths lineage died out for ur leadership?? There goes another principle, u know, u cant rewrite, just like Joseph did, or maybe you think you can hmmm

Me:
We disagree. Though I liked the lineage, I also thought it was limiting and helped give others ammo in calling us a "cult" (devoted to the Smith family). Our church is fluid and I like it that way. I don't think I would like the RLDS Church of the 1950s very much. The LDS Church is pretty much a 1950s church.

Fundy Woman:
Oh so did you like Waco then?

Me:
That was The Branch Davidians, which was a splinter group from the Seventh Day Adventist. Had nothing to do with us.

Fundy Woman:
sorry Emma and reorgs are where ur church started at and thats that

Fundy Woman:
Ha ha, ya but see splinter group is what ur protesting, blowing off Emma

Me:
But all origins are false. For example, I don't believe Jesus intended to start a new religion. He was Jewish and wanted people to live by the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law.

Me:
No, its not a splinter group that's the problem. Its a "cult" with a crazy, charismatic leader that's the problem, where free will is not allowed and they have an obsession with doomsday and violence.

Fundy Woman:
Oh No!!! Ur another one that got dropped on his head as a baby!!!!

Fundy Woman:
your on meds right?? you forgot to take them today huh?

Me:
I told you before that I am not an evangelical Christian. What I love about the Community of Christ is that it does not tell members what to believe. It is the most free will church this side of Unitarian-Universalists!

Fundy Woman:
why do I bother?? Leon is all ur friends like this???

Me:
I don't take meds at all. I don't believe in pharmaceuticals.

Fundy Woman:
thats it Community of Christ is full of Bipolar people not on meds

Me:
It is very difficult for a person who did not grow up in the Community of Christ to understand what our church is like. My dislike of evangelical Christians goes back to my teen years when they were so insulting of my church without knowing anything about it.

Me:
I'm not bipolar, either. Everyone who knows me in person knows that I am pretty even-keeled, reliable, steady, stable, non-extremist, non-ideological. I take free will seriously, which is why I cannot be a Mormon or a member of any restrictive, conservative religion.

Fundy Woman:
you are a nut, and im done with you, someone who is not listening is not worth my time.

Me:
Don't you see how insulting you are? Because we disagree, you have accused me of being on meds, of being bi-polar! I just returned today from an awesome retreat with fellow church members where we talked about ecumenical ministries, reaching out to people, showing Christ in our actions, and I have to face your insulting comments? You are in the wrong for what you said. Nothing against you or Methodists, but I love my church. I'm sorry that you have issues with Mormons, but we are nothing like Mormons and it is ridiculous to make enemies of people when I am nothing like you imagine me to be. So don't get mad at me when you are the one hurling personal insults about the church I'm a 5th generation member of and have no problem with.

Tolerance means, even if its not for you, you allow others to enjoy their fellowship with the church they've been a part of all their lives.

Fundy Woman:
ur just refusing to recognize your history is all and ur the one that said you dont believe in meds, so 1 + 1 = ?? no lets rewrite history for ur convenience

Fundy Woman:
close ur eyes ur ggood at it

Me:
Its not rewriting history. History is not a clean thing. I studied it in college. There is NO SUCH THING as a clean history for any organization or church. You think Christianity is clean, with the Crusades and the Inquisition and the rapes, slavery, and genocides?!?

Fundy Woman:
ur the one that said "I dont believe Jesus intended to start a new religion" well arnt you full of urself???

Fundy Woman:
who are u to judge, yep u were definately dropped on ur head ha ha

Me:
You just have a serious issue with the Mormon church that is personal and you attack the Community of Christ without knowing anything real about it. To accuse a church member of being bi-polar or off meds because one disagrees with you is WRONG. How would you like it if I accused you of things without having even known you in person?

I don't believe in taking medicine for myself, because I'm a New Age spiritualist who believes that most problems can be solved by looking deep within.

Fundy Woman:
Hey Ive done my history, why dont you do urs, or are you too comfortable 5th generation man?

Me:
You're the judgmental one, for having diagnosed me as bi-polar, off meds, and being dropped on my head as a baby. I feel sorry for people like you.

Fundy Woman:
ur the one that said u didnt believ in meds, leading me to believe//// you like to argue right??

Me:
Why don't you look at the history of Christianity? Its not clean, either. The point is, I was born in 1971, so my experience with the Community of Christ has been nothing but positive. I don't really care about what happened before, because I wasn't around to experience it.

Fundy Woman:
no I for you, your eyes are closed, by saying Christ didnt want to start a religion Geez.

Fundy Woman:
snooze, ur putting me to sleep here

Me:
But in my study of Christ, I believe that his purpose was to reform Judaism, not start a new religion. That was not his intent at all. It was his followers who created a new religion.

Fundy Woman:
who are u to say, judgmental?

Fundy Woman:
it was christianty FOOL!

Me:
I've also stated before that I am no fan of evangelical Christianity. I've had nothing but negative experiences with them, so why would I leave a church I have zero problem with to join one that is full of narrow-minded bigoted, Mormon haters like you?

Fundy Woman:
lets start with a mood stabilizer for ya

Fundy Woman:
then maybe a anti depressant would be in order maybe

Fundy Woman:
call ur doctor Im sure he would understand

Fundy Woman:
ha ha ur somethin else

Fundy Woman:
let me guess you hate women dont you

Me:
I hope you find the peace of Jesus, because you are obviously having issues with someone who isn't me. You are projecting your shadows on to me and I don't give you permission to do that. I wish you peace. Thank God you de-friended me because I don't need a judgmental arrogant, mistaken assumption evangelical Mormon hater in my life.

Fundy Woman:
oh i do Nick Im a christian, you are only a Reorg no matter whatchu call it

Fundy Woman:
go see ur doctor please you just cant rewrite history to suit your fancy

Leon:
if you continue to insult my online FB friends as you have been doing since I accepted your Fb friend request then I will have to unfriend you here on FB.

Me:
Here's my point...I'm obviously happy with the Community of Christ and have had nothing but great experiences, so I won't be joining another church. I am also quite tolerant and have friends who belong to all kinds of churches, religions, or even being atheists and agnostics. I don't believe it is my place to decide for others what religious or non-religious organizations they should be a part of, and I expect the same courtesy. To accuse someone of being bipolar and off meds because they disagree with you is the essence of being judgmental and rude.

Leon:
This woman is a former LDS/Mormon who seems very troubled by any Latter Day Saint church group or church group descended from the original LDS church group; she has FB unfriended me.

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