Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

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Not Buying It
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Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:37 am

So yesterday I’m in a meeting at work (not in Utah) and a fellow starts talking about how the Mormon Church has all this genetic data, they own Ancestry.com and 23andme, and the reason they have all this genetic data is because to join the Church you have to prove you are a descendant of David. A couple of co-workers who happen to know I’m Mormon give me a funny look.

Do I say anything? Nope, didn’t say squat, just let it pass. Why? Two reasons. One, I never, ever, EVER talk about the Church in a professional setting. I don’t want people to know I’m a member of the Church, because then they assume I’m a homophobic sexist bigot who believes stupid nonsense. And rather than try and convince them otherwise, it’s better if they just don’t think that in the first place.

Second, that particular piece of nonsense is inaccurate - but there’s all kinds of nonsense the Church really does believe. Why would I put myself out there to correct this misinformation about a ridiculous belief when the Church really does believe a guy translated an ancient record from golden plates using magic rocks then started a Church led by people who claim God talks to them all the time - and that barely scratches the surface.

I see no reason to bother informing them some piece of nonsense isn’t what the Church teaches when there is so much nonsense it actually does teach.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Red Ryder
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:48 am

Not Buying It wrote:I never, ever, EVER talk about the Church in a professional setting. I don’t want people to know I’m a member of the Church, because then they assume I’m a homophobic sexist bigot who believes stupid nonsense. And rather than try and convince them otherwise, it’s better if they just don’t think that in the first place.
Ditto. My office has a few Mormons, two are engineers and Bishops which makes them extreme weirdos! :lol: Occasionally I'll walk into a conference room a few minutes early and they'll be chatting with each other about church stuff. It's crazy when you can listen to them talk in some form of secret cultural Mormon code to outsiders and understand them.

The best part is nobody knows. The coffee and black t-shirt under the button up work shirt helps mask the Mormonism!
Not Buying It wrote:I see no reason to bother informing them some piece of nonsense isn’t what the Church teaches when there is so much nonsense it actually does teach.
Ditto! How do you choose which crazy to defend? Polygamy? Gold plates? Coca Cola ownership? DNA collections?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Mormorrisey » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:23 am

Yep, talking about the church in a professional setting is a no-go, and there's good reasons for all of us. However, once it comes out, I have to admit that I do my best to re-iterate that I'm not "typical" in my beliefs - I support LGBTQ rights, I believe women should have the priesthood, decry all the racist nonsense, etc. I think that's important, at least for me, to put that out there if the conversation goes that way. But when it comes to the wacky stuff they've heard? Not much I can do with that, and I can just shrug my shoulders when they find out the crazy.

In many ways, I think it's cost me in a professional setting when people found out I was a Mormon - my department tried to axe me at one point, and I couldn't understand why. I suspect for some, until they knew me, just knew that the Mormon guy probably could be the one to go when my contract ended. Luckily, once they got to know me, not the "probably a gay-hating misogynist" person they thought they were getting, these same people actually tried to save my job when the time came that severe budget cuts rained down on my institution. Didn't work, but I appreciated the effort! One of my best friends in another department, a married lesbian, initially tended to shy away from me during work functions when she found out I was Mormon, thinking that I didn't approve of her lifestyle. We were thrust together at a university fair one year, and had a ball chatting away the whole day. Once she realized I wasn't "typical" in my Mormonism and wasn't out to convert her, or judge her for being gay, we became great friends - we still keep in contact even though she's hours away and I haven't taught there in years.

So I can certainly understand why to avoid all the crap, it's better to hide your religion in the first place. But I've had fun with it when it does come out, and I'm sure I'm the worst missionary ever from a Mormon point of view.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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blazerb
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by blazerb » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:31 am

People already know I'm Mormon where I work. There's not much I can do other than be normal. My co-workers know that I have no sympathy for homophobic attitudes. They also know I'm not going to try to convert them. I seem to have become a safe source of information about Mormons.

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Brent
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Brent » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am

I say I was raised Mormon and most folks can nuance out I'm not anymore.

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alas
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by alas » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:21 am

Brent wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am
I say I was raised Mormon and most folks can nuance out I'm not anymore.
This is what I do. It is honest, it gives them the unstated that I am not anymore, and yet does not deny my background. I found that trying to hide that I was ever Mormon kinda doesn’t work for me. I had a nonMormon friend tell me once that I was “dyed in the wool Mormon,” when I was a total nonbeliever. Hmmm, I guess in Utah the cultural markers are still there and visible to members and non that have lived in Utah for years, even though I don’t wear the funny underwear, and I am very liberal on social issues. So, trying to make people think I am neverMo doesn’t work. Best I can do is be the wicked apostate. I guess the Mormonism doesn’t bleach all the way out.

But in this kind of situations, I might say something like, “they believe a lot of crazy stuff, but that isn’t one of them.” I don’t need to imply that it is one of the crazy things they believe by staying quiet when they suspect I am Mormon.

But I agree, even in Utah, it is often best to hide the Mormonism. I had a situation where one of my clients was lesbian and too afraid to tell me because she knew I was Mormon. The other gals in the support groups talked her into it because they knew me a little better. But there are a LOT of negative stereotypes about Mormons that you don’t want people assuming. And I would rather have the bigoted Mormons avoid me because they think I am apostate than have the gay and queer folk, the womens libbers, and other social liberals avoiding me because they think I am Mormon. I have so much more in commons with Mormonism’s enemies (the people Mormons hate, not the people who hate Mormons) than I do with TBMs.

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Corsair
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Corsair » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:14 am

Brent wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am
I say I was raised Mormon and most folks can nuance out I'm not anymore.
Yes, I have also had very good results from saying I was raised LDS. Additionally, I make it a point to carry around a cup of coffee once in a while at whatever office I am at. Avoiding coffee is one of the most visible LDS shibboleths in an office. Drinking coffee is probably the fastest and most polite ways to announce that you are not LDS in a professional workplace.

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achilles
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by achilles » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:39 pm

Brent wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am
I say I was raised Mormon and most folks can nuance out I'm not anymore.
Bingo. I've used these four words several times in the past few years and it works great. Seems to convey a lot of information without bogging down conversation.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

-Joseph Campbell

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Just This Guy
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Just This Guy » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:26 pm

achilles wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:39 pm
Brent wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am
I say I was raised Mormon and most folks can nuance out I'm not anymore.
Bingo. I've used these four words several times in the past few years and it works great. Seems to convey a lot of information without bogging down conversation.

For me, when people ask my about my religion, I say that "I was raised Mormon, but I got better." That usually will get s few chuckles.

Insert John Cleese meme here...
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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IT_Veteran
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by IT_Veteran » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:47 pm

While I was finishing my coffee at breakfast this morning, another soldier and I were getting to know each other. He asked where I was from, so I gave him a list. Having lived in Utah, another person asked me if I was Mormon. I just told him I used to be.

He then talked about the Mormon he knew, really smart guy, that was “a high deacon in the church” and told him all about the Mormon Mafia running meth in Utah. I just shrugged my shoulders and said it was new to me and left it at that. Nice not to have to defend or explain crazy.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:34 am

Corsair wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:14 am
Brent wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:38 am
I say I was raised Mormon and most folks can nuance out I'm not anymore.
Yes, I have also had very good results from saying I was raised LDS. Additionally, I make it a point to carry around a cup of coffee once in a while at whatever office I am at. Avoiding coffee is one of the most visible LDS shibboleths in an office. Drinking coffee is probably the fastest and most polite ways to announce that you are not LDS in a professional workplace.
Yes and Yes at my office. Not only coffee, but an occasional beer at lunch and a lot of drinks at open bar company parties. Also, there's three bottles on my desk from various trips and events: vodka from St. Pete, wine from Sophia, Tequila from Cinco De Mayo and Whisky for whatever occasion we want to make up. The bottles are more decorative than anything else. I've got TBMs on the right and front of me, NOM on the left and mostly NoMos in the department. For a downtown SLC biz, I'd say we are only about 40% LDS at this location and across the globe I'd guess 5% or less.

I actually went through my faith transition while at this company, but only a handful know the details of that story, the rest probably just think I was always an infidel or fell off a wagon. I find it interesting that our accounting department is nearly all TBM; you feel like you are at a Ward function hanging out around those folks. I'm happy to be in the trenches with the engineers, where even the TBMs are relaxed and humorous, like a bunch of 13 year old boys. I see a lot of those poor cobblers in their monkey suite around the salty city and it just makes me all the more grateful for my freedom.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

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PalmSprings
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by PalmSprings » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:13 am

I tell people I have family members in Utah but was never a member. I even supervise an RM and even told him I was never a member. Works for me...

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Archimedes
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Re: Not Bothering to Correct Misinformation About the Church

Post by Archimedes » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:09 am

If you are on your toes, you can actually contribute little tidbits of your own to spice up the conversation. Somebody expresses concern that the church owns ancestry.com and 23andme and uses the information to decide who can be a member of the church. Not only do you not correct the faulty information, you can casually add a tidbit along the lines of "oh, yea. And they keep all that info backed up in secret vaults and tunnels carved into the Wasatch Mountains."

Try it, it's fun!
"She never loved you; she loved the church, her one true love. She used you to marry the church by proxy."

-- unknown reddit poster

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