If you like science fiction, you may remember the Nazi planet from the original Star Trek and an old "B" movie called "Galaxina" with a religion that worshipped "the great god Harley-Davidson and his son Elvis."
What is culture?
Supposed you were taught as a child to spin around three times before opening the refrigerator or the food would be cursed and spoil. After you grow up you find out that it's not true -- but you still do it out of habit and then teach your children to do the same.
Then suppose you travelled to a place where people didn't have refrigerators. How would you explain this aspect of your "culture" to them?
Why continue to do something if the reasons for doing so no longer exist?
This is the hardest part of Mormonism to overcome--the "family-Mormonism" that seems to be hardwired into my poisoned BIC mind.
I still hear "No one will ever love you," but it isn't my Mother's voice anymore, because she is gone. It's my own voice. Really--it's more of the feeling of not being good enough--and not actual "voices" I hear. I'm not that crazy--yet.
I will drop something in the kitchen, and hear, "You skinny little slop!"
My mother's cures lives on: I am a failure. It's sad, because in the real world--my career world and my own happy home (I'm a nicer mother) I have it all--but that old brainwashing keeps me from completely enjoying my hard-earned success. No matter how hard I try--I'm a failure.
I think being a "cultural Mormon" is the most mixed-up of all. It's a lose-lose proposition. Those lost souls get the worst of both worlds. Most of them seem blind to the fact that they are NOT accepted by the mainstream Mormons. They don't have the delusion of belonging to a support system, or having fake friends. Still--they have all the worst parts of Mormonism, like tithing, cleaning the building, callings, etc. They are locked into a sick relationship with a cult they don't believe in. How can they stand by and watch while the cult destroys the happiness of their children? How do they live with lies all around them? I know from my relatives' cultural-Mormon experiences, that the children of cultural Mormons end up being quite deeply disturbed, having parents who are living a lie, and who are KNoWINGLY teaching them lies.
Ha-ha! My uncle used to call Mormonism "The Church of The Planet of The Apes", and it had a "Monkeyhood." Uncle was a cultural Mormon RM, who smoked cigars and maligned women. No Mormon woman would marry him, so he remained a bachelor. Where does a cultural Mormon fit in? If they are in hiding, how can anyone get to know the real individual? Kind of like being in limbo.
carameldreams Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Being steeped in lies is bad for the soul. And it > shows. The facade is evident to those on the > outside, who often ask, 'Who ARE you??'
"I am like you - maintaining membership because of the many fine things the Church offers. But facts speak for themselves. I offered the data available to my Stake Pres. recently and he walked away without it - saying he didn't want to read it. They can hardly execommunicate [sic] us when they won't look at the evidence.
Of course the dodge as to the Book of Abraham must be: "WE DON'T HAVE THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT FROM WHICH THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM WAS TRANSLATED. I conclude that we do have it and have translations of it." (Letter by Thomas Stuart Ferguson, dated March 13, 1971)
Yes, being steeped in lies is, indeed, bad for the soul.
After growing up mormon, you can't go back and grow up some other way...
And for some, apparently few of us, it was all fun and games and we got out early, with just a few bruises. Let me assure you that I sincerely believe for me it was better than growing up "Hispanic" in East LA.
"After growing up mormon, you can't go back and grow up some other way... "
Are you Confucious or what?
Here I am at the end of my life and lately realizing every day how much my life is still colored by being raised in the staunchest Mormon family ever. I came from the county that still to this day has the highest percentage of Mormons and when I was young it was at least 99%. You wanna talk "cultural Mormon?" I'll give you cultural Mormon. Every cell in my body was invaded.
Yes, I have been able to get a lot the poison out. Yes I have had a good life. But it still colors me. What you are engrained with when you are young has it's ways.
To Anybody. One of the things I hate to hear more than anything are those who say this rubbish:
It's still a great place to raise your children.
It's a great place to learn good values.
Mormonism has a lot of good even if the church isn't true.
Bull. Dangerous Bull. Cop out bull.
My dog really likes a routine and hates when its broken. She's cultural too.
Thank you. I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon that I know of and do expect a couple more decades.
Elderolddog's comment just really hit home because lately I have just been realizing that even after forty years out of that church, the impact on my personality is still there. The upbringing doesn't just wash off like so much dirt.
So I like to think I've made lemonade out of lemons though, as then say, after the way I grew up. Can't complain. So lucky to get out young.
Yes, we are the sum of our experiences. The greater the length and depth of one's time in the church, the more indelible the effects. For better or worse, in that none of us will ever stop being Mormon.
It reminds me of a quip by Graham Greene, who once said "I am an atheist, but a CATHOLIC atheist."
> > It reminds me of a quip by Graham Greene, who once > said "I am an atheist, but a CATHOLIC atheist."
This is exactly the phraseology I use when in conversation with mormons who aren't trying to prove anything to me, because when I call myself a mormon-atheist, they don't take it as a personal insult against the church, apparently not at all concerned with the insult to ghawd... Maybe they assume that if I regained a belief in ghawd, I'd go back to church?
Believing Mormon, Social Mormon, Cultural Mormon. In my humble opinion, the comments to date have dealt with the first two, not so much with the topic, Cultural Mormon.
I left the church shortly after my mission and am now collecting Social Security. It's been a while, but until recently was still plagued by a seemingly involuntary reflexive urge to pray, ie when faced with a problem to utter a mental "Dear God . . .". This is a remnant of Believing Mormon, not Cultural Mormon. I seem to have solved this ridiculous remnant by mentally saying "Oh God, hear the words of my mouth." and the absurdity of it all removes the urge to seek God's help.
Again, in my opinion, by coming to the Rocky Mountain area, Mormons set one of the cultures for this area I was raised in. As one example, I believe that by improving and keeping up my property, I am expressing my Mormon culture. Some other cultures have piles of trash on their property. If I were cleaning up to please God, it would be a Believing Mormon act. If I were doing this to please my neighbors, it would be a be a Social Mormon act. As I do it to please myself, it is a cultural act.
because of the culture. I still believed, but I knew how they would be treated once our marriage fell apart as I know how single mothers and children of single mothers are treated. I was treated that way all my life because my dad wasn't very active.
Thankfully, my parents didn't live mormon culture to a great extreme. I no longer have a lot of those voices in my head telling me I'm a failure. My TBM daughter can do that well enough. But she and I have been getting along great for NOW. My boyfriend says we always argue when she is off in Alaska. She is homesick and she has to take out her feelings on me, although she loves being there.
Anyway, I always felt like a stranger in mormonism. I never fit in no matter how hard I tried. I always enjoyed hanging out with the sinners more than the saints. I felt more at home.
I just read my daughter's fb post a bit ago about yesterday being her first time through the temple and I wanted to vomit. She told her dad how strange she found it, but then she posts these things. Oh well . . .
I left to protect my children, too. Everything was so much clearer when I saw how the church was, or would, influence them. One of my kids in particular had characteristics that rendered him/her vulnerable.
Then after I'd left, I looked back and thought "why didn't I protect myself?" Because if it was wrong for my beloved children, it was wrong for everyone. Why had I felt it necessary to try to "fit in" when I hated the culture and, like you, always felt more comfortable with "sinners?"
The church's culture and values are NOT good or healthy. I have great difficulty with people who say it's a better place to rear children.
People are not 100% rational. We make decisions, or fail to make decisions, for all sorts of reasons that don't make sense.
I suspect a lot of cultural Mormons are that way partly out of habit and partly because the benefits of totally breaking away do not outweigh the drama, hassles, lost friends, lost family relationships.
I certainly am not going to say that my childhood and teen years were excellent despite mormonism... Maybe mormonism was not the spring from which the sweet fountain that was my youth sprang, but it never harmed it, part of which is based on being male.
Being male in the church provides a totally different experience culturally to that of being female. If you read on pages 13 and 14 of this survey on Mormon disbelief, you will see that men care about many different things than the women do.
It was more how the church treated me, as a priesthood holder, rather than my 'male' concerns.
All I wanted to do was have fun, and the church, within some loose parameters, caterred to this desire of mine. And I sincerely believe that the old 50's and 60's church gave the young men a lot of leeway in terms of sowing their wild oats.
When I confessed to my bishop that I'd committed a sin next to murder, all he seemed to care about was the 1. Was I repentant, and 2. was she mormon. When I answered "Yes" and "No", everything was all right. I didn't even get disfellowshipped!
I don't think the same treatment would have been laddled out to a Laurel...
And I was off on my mission 7 months later...
I don't think the scenario would be the same today.
Bad things can happen under almost any circumstance. I acknowledge that I was lucky, in that aspect of my life.
Perhaps experiences differ, but Mormon culture seems a lot better than many I've seen.
There are some pretty rough neighborhoods in our local city. Alcohol, drugs and violence.
I'm in the country, and a few months ago a neighor was walking down the road. I waved to him and we started chatting and I realized he was out of his mind talking nonsense.
A few days later he called and said he got back with some family and did some drugs that he swore he would never touch again. He apologized and said he hopes never to associate with them again.
I know we're supposed to want tattoos and nose rings and booze or whatever, I'm glad I never dealt with that, and I have no plans to.
A guy at work did some crime and one day said, "But then we've all been in jail, I guess". I said, actually I've never been in jail, and I have no relatives that have been in jail. Believe it or not, that is possible. You don't have to steal or drive drunk or whatever.
My dad is a cultural Mormon and an undiagnosed narcissist. He stopped attending when I was in Jr. high and still identifies as Mormon, probably for his own ego. He drinks coffee and never attends meetings, but he still wears the garmies, still cooks for Morg activities where they'll appreciate his help, and still demands the respect of a "priesthood holder" while he disrespects anything my mother, myself and my sisters thinks or says. He also goes on rants about how great the culture of Mormonism is compared to the evils of "the world" and how great he is for not being a part of it. The man isn't cut out for Mormonism, but doesn't want to admit that he was raised in a lie.