That last post about a Mormon's perspective of the delineations between the faithless/unconverted and the anti-mormon/ex-mormon got me thinking again. This gets talked about every so often on here, but it has been awhile.
Exmormon or Anti-Mormon?
It makes me wonder where I fall under that line. I guess if someone that was Mormon wanted to sit down and have me explain my beliefs, I think they might consider them to be anti-Mormon after we parted ways. I am dedicated to fighting back against the bullshit actions that I feel are institutionally connected to particular beliefs of Mormonism, i.e. racism, homophobia, sexism, et al. I will stand in between people trying to take away my own rights, regardless if it is in the name of religion or not. I will rail against their convictions when there is a collision. What they do to their minds and bodies is their own business. Hands off mine. I think that the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead is inherently insulting, even if it is an ultimately empty and meaningless gesture, since I do not believe in their afterlife whatsoever. I would speak out against it, open it up to inspection and ridicule, perhaps, but I don't see myself picketing temples because of it. However, I would definitely be down for marching with my brothers and sisters on Gay Pride Day.
I honestly think that I should be more active against Mormonism, but I see faith in the LDS religion like a really bad cold at best, something unhealthy and contagious that someone will eventually recover from. On the average, I view it as a slight mental illness, one that affects one's coping mechanisms or reasoning abilities, but still does not award one with a handicap sticker from the DMV. At the worst, it is nothing less than a dangerous addiction to a powerful narcotic, something that one develops a dependency upon and will come to define and destroy one's life.
I don't try to convert people. In both the literal and metaphorical sense, I am friends with the sick, disturbed, and addicted. Atheism is not about being happy, but it's not about proselytizing, either. There's nobody that I would consider "taking with me". As an atheist, there's nowhere to go after all this, am I right ;)? "Atheism: Take it or Leave it. I don't give a damn" That could be the title of my autobiography. My belief is that rationality must prevail for the survival of the human race, but that does not necessarily mean the abolition of deism. I am also of the belief that it is unclear if humanity will survive.
I would estimate that those who feel the sting of Mormonism most sharply may be prone to react similarly in the manner described in the long essay written by that guy. However, stinging pain or not, Mormonism is a weed that I am no longer pulling every time I see it. It is the dandelion in the neighbors' yard. An annoying and persistent little pest that doesn't go away, but coexists with my own life.
So, I will not call their prophets heroes and saints, I will call them con men and scoundrels, and of the brigands of the world, I find them to be but one of multitudes. However, at this moment, I do not consider myself an anti-Mormon. I am opposed to what they want to call American history, I am opposed to their theory on gender, race, and many other things, but I am hardly against, say, oh, I don't know, the old widow baking cookies for Primary or something like that. Official representatives of that institution have fine potential for being my enemies, and I don't trust them at all. However, I have little time to bicker with day-to-day believers. Life is too short to waste it arguing with people about their Invisible Leaders.