Apologizing for your faith?

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Cnsl1
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Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Cnsl1 » Mon Mar 25, 2024 10:41 pm

I've wondered if anyone else has had this situation.

When I was a TBM, I'd encourage questions about my faith, or leave the door deliberately open for folks to ask something like, where did you learn Chinese?

Then eventually I kept the door mostly closed and when something like language came up, I'd just indicate that I studied it in college, which I did. Or if asked if I was Mormon, I'd affirm but give no explanation or try to open any doors for a religious conversation.

Nowadays, when I'm in the position to explain that I served a mission or that I'm a mormon, I feel pressed to add a caveat just so I don't get lumped into that TBM subset. This isn't with a stranger, but those with whom I have some professional association. I feel the need to explain that's not me anymore. For the most part, people not of this faith probably don't care. Some may actually think a bit less of me after the explanation because Mormons have a pretty decent reputation outside of the exmo postmo population. Still, I don't want someone to think that *I* believe some of that crazy stuff that Mormons believe, even if they don't even know about the crazy stuff. I'll usually add a short caveat such as "my faith has changed quite a bit over the years" or "I'm no longer a true believer". I don't tell them about the crazy stuff, of course, but just in case they already know I don't want them to think that's me. I suppose I care too much what they might think of me.

I've also rationalized that this short explanation may also help support the integrity of other Mormons. Someone might think, Oh, Mormons don't drink but I heard this guy mention that he and his wife tried the margaritas at that restaurant.. oh, but he's not a true believer, got it.

I live in a very Mormon community, but work in multiple communities, most of which are not predominantly Mormon. I'm sure there is some spill over and there are likely many people in my ward who know that I'm not avoiding margaritas, but I don't publicize our jaunts outside the Mormon mainstream and my wife is a bit anxious that it not become common knowledge. It's really our business anyway, of course.

Still, I continue to explain relatively quietly, because I don't want lumped into that box. I don't want to someone to think I believe things I don't believe. Yet, in my community I continue to mostly keep my mouth shut. The church has such an influence on just about everything that goes on, I feel it's better to coast along and not make any big waves (except for not attending and standing up for myself and others when pressed). I'm kind. I will always talk and explain my position when queried though I'll always be careful to not say too much, or not appear to tear down anyone's faith. I never want to do that. I suspect many in the community in other wards believe I'm as TBM as anyone, though surely don't think about it twice as they are so busy building the kingdom that they have no time to consider folks in a different ward.

Does this behavioral dichotomy (wanting to be sure I'm not lumped in with Mormons when interacting with those who are not, yet allowing Mormons to assume I believe the same that they do) make me disingenuous?

Do I behave this way because I'm still not sure where I want to land?

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Linked
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Linked » Tue Mar 26, 2024 12:34 pm

Let me know when you figure those questions out, I'd like to know too. Your situation sounds just like mine.

I like the phrase "I was raised mormon" to describe my position with the church. It's not quite accurate probably since I continue to be involved on the edge of the community, but it's short and gets the point across. Maybe "My family is mormon" would be a better phrase.
Cnsl1 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2024 10:41 pm
Does this behavioral dichotomy (wanting to be sure I'm not lumped in with Mormons when interacting with those who are not, yet allowing Mormons to assume I believe the same that they do) make me disingenuous?
We all have a thousand "selfs" depending on who we are with. As social creatures we are wired to respond to the people around us. Usually the differences in selfs are pretty minor. The different ways you act with non-mormons vs. mormons is necessary to maintain your place in each group. But it can be hard to see your own behavior be so inconsistent, and to know that if someone from one group saw the way you act with another group they would be shocked. I try to find ways to behave that make me feel less inconsistent, like not raising my hand to sustain people in Ward Conference at church and sharing I sometimes attend for my family with non-members if it fits in the conversation.
Cnsl1 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2024 10:41 pm
Do I behave this way because I'm still not sure where I want to land?
Where do you want to land?

I would prefer to have no involvement in church at all. But I stay connected for my wife and to show myself and my kids that our family is more important than church or no church. It's a difficult place to be, but for now it's my place.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Hagoth
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 26, 2024 12:58 pm

Linked wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2024 12:34 pm
I like the phrase "I was raised mormon" to describe my position with the church. It's not quite accurate probably since I continue to be involved on the edge of the community, but it's short and gets the point across. Maybe "My family is mormon" would be a better phrase.
Those are both great options for acknowledging your attachment while implying your distance.

Personally, I prefer a pentagram tattooed on my forehead to get the point across.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Cnsl1
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed Mar 27, 2024 4:39 am

I don't think my behavior is necessarily all that different between groups, it's more about actively trying to disassociate from Mormons if something I say ties me to them while with non believers, yet letting assumptions go that I'm still fully part of the group when I'm with Mormons.

I do not believe, but don't make the effort to be sure Mormons know that, but sometimes make sure others do know that.

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wtfluff
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by wtfluff » Wed Mar 27, 2024 7:14 am

Like Cnsl1, I don't feel like I behave much differently when I'm with believers, other than keeping my thoughts regarding religion to myself, and attempting to not drop too many F-Bombs. :lol: It's taken years since giving up on MORmONism to feel comfortable "being myself" no matter the crowd I'm with.

As far as "letting others know" about unbelief, I have used the "I was raised MORmON" statement.

How about: "I no longer consider myself to be MORmON." (I'm still a MORON all too often.)

Or: "Unfortunately, I was well into mid-life when I finally figured out religion is a giant con." (Maybe that won't go over so well... Though if fits my social-reject personality well.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

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Palerider
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Palerider » Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:50 am

I usually just say, (if it comes up):

"I used to be a member of the LDS church but I'm not any more."

But here in the northwest, Mormon influence isn't what it is in Utah. Not sure I'd care even if I did live in Utah (God forbid!) :?
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Palerider
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Palerider » Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:51 am

Accidental double post
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Just This Guy
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Just This Guy » Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:06 am

Palerider wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:50 am
I usually just say, (if it comes up):

"I used to be a member of the LDS church but I'm not any more."
I say:

I was raised Mormon, but I got better. Being on the East coast, Mormonism is only a minor player in the religion thing. So this usually gets a laugh out of whoever I tell it to.
"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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Hagoth
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:19 am

Just This Guy wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:06 am
I was raised Mormon, but I got better.
I have said, "I graduated" a few times.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Angel
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Re: Apologizing for your faith?

Post by Angel » Mon Apr 01, 2024 12:39 pm

The other day a couple students were chatting about religion after class, they turned to me and said - I hear a lot of educated people aren't religious, is that true? I try avoiding religious/political discussions at work (though I have a lgbtq safe zone sticker on my lab, so everyone kind of knows a few things about me.) Anyways, I divulged to my students that yes, many educated people are not religious, that I myself am not affiliated with any religious or political group, that I value independence and free thought. I said I thought there are good - and not so good - people in every group, that every group has some truths, and some things that aren't so true, that I didn't think any group had "The" truth, or "The" authority -

One of my students looked started and said, well I think my religion is true. ... (Muslim). Another student had recently been impressed with a mega-church guy and was close to paying tithes to some rich preacher - it was a good conversation- I never mentioned "Mormon", tried to keep all of it to general religious groups, do not want to hear student affiliations either - but good discussion on group think, and healthy and unhealthy relashionships.

You know how some families are healthy, respectful, kind... while others are controlling, heirarchy, jealous... same with all groups. That tipping point, where love and devotion turn into flag waving dictators marching around. ... have to keep it healthy...

Anyways, returning and reporting I was good missionary for free thought and escaping all oppressive groups ;)
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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