Thursday, May 22, 2014

I quit. At least for now.

*Oops. I wrote this back in May and thought I posted it. I guess this is how I felt in May. :)

I have been feeling like I should write this post for a very long time. I suppose some people saw it coming.

Anyway, world. I quit. I am no longer trying to cope as an active Mormon when technically I'm agnostic.

For two reasons.

Most importantly, it just isn't working for my family. My husband works long hours and has a long-a commute. My kids almost never see him during the week. And then the weekend comes, and we can finally all be together, and I take the kids AWAY for three hours? It just doesn't seem right. If I go to church, I feel guilty for leaving my husband at home. If I stay home, I feel guilty for not pursuing my goal of doing this Mormon thing for myself and my kids. I'm tired of feeling guilty no matter what I do! So I asked myself which thing is most important to me--My family being together when we can? Or raising my kids in a church that, while certainly beneficial in many ways, I don't actually believe in?

Guess which one I chose?

The second problem wouldn't necessarily be enough on its own to make me quit, but the timing sort of coincided with my other issue. It's kind of complicated, I guess. Basically, I'm having a lot of conflicts about the role of women in the church and the way we respond to people who question the status quo. 

I'm not necessarily big on female ordination (since I don't exactly believe in priesthood anyway), but I have been really bothered by the way mainstream members have responded to the Ordain Women movement. Inviting these women to "just leave" if they don't like how the church operates? That doesn't seem like the way Christ would respond. Questioning their faith? Writing mocking blog posts about things the men want, like cushy chairs and a nursery during their activities? It all just seems so insensitive, intolerant, and sometimes even cruel. Not the Mormon community I thought I grew up in, and not the community I thought I was trying to raise my kids in for the last two years. These are women who love their church and want badly to be involved in it. They have legitimate questions about some things. They have problems with the way they feel marginalized by the church they love. They are internally conflicted. Faith struggles can be intense, emotional, lonely. And how do their "brothers and sisters" respond? They invite them to leave. Surprisingly, it's mostly the "sisters" doing this. I just don't really like the idea of raising my kids in a community where asking questions or disagreeing with something results in an invitation to "just leave" the community; where your "family" turns on you the minute you speak up. That doesn't work for me.

And why CAN'T women occupy more leadership roles regardless of the priesthood? Why CAN'T they handle money? Why AREN'T they a part of disciplinary councils, particularly those concerning other women? I could go on and on, but I'm sure you all have heard all of these questions from various other platforms. 

I'm just saying, I'm glad women are asking these questions and fighting these battles. I see the church changing, institutionally and on a membership level. I'm excited about that. But I really don't care for the disdainful treatment of people who ask questions or disagree. Yuck. And no, thanks. 

Anyway, if my husband woke up this Sunday and decided he wanted to go to church, I would go. I would happily raise these babies in the LDS church if it were a family affair. (Though I would teach them not to be intolerant jerks to their "brothers and sisters", and I would encourage them to think for themselves and ask questions freely.)

But for the foreseeable future...Agnostic Mormon Mom...out. 

(But I still might blog sometimes, because I just can't keep my mouth shut.)

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