Thursday, February 07, 2013

Looking for Help in All the Wrong Places

I keep trying to like Mormon Girl's blog. And she keeps making it so damn impossible.

I'm fed up with the number of e-mails she gets of the "I'm a Mormon and a feminist: HELP!" variety. They invariably follow this pattern: "My sociopolitical ideology conflicts with my religious beliefs. I don't want to quit the church because I have a testimony of its truthfulness. What's a girl to do?" They see the conflict, they know which one shouldn't change, and then they wring their hands about how they can change the church so they can stay committed to both.

Most of these e-mails create problems with "the church" out of problems with its members. Ladies, if annoyingly provincial members were reason to leave the church, we all would have left years ago. But in the instances where their brand of feminism conflicts with actual gospel doctrine, it's their idea of feminism that needs adjustment, not the rest of us.

The "I'm gonna show those bastards what-for by wearing PANTS to church" logic is almost laughable, like when Homer Simpson thinks he's getting even with Ned Flanders by starting a day-care center. We show our respect to God by wearing our nicest clothing to church. Over the past thousand-plus years of European history, that has come to mean women wear dresses. That's European secular thinking, not anyone's idea of what God thinks. As history progresses, our social norms of "respectful dress" can (and do) change; why aren't these women writing about how confined they are by the requirement to wear a scarf on their heads in church? Oh, because nobody does that anymore. Did Moses wear a shirt and tie up Mount Sinai?

I've written before about how so much of what we do in church is based on the circumstances of 1820s New York, not on God-approved practices. He says, "You want to play an organ in church? What do I care?" Then we say, "Woodwind instruments must be the Devil's tools!" Settle down, people; there are a variety of ways to show respect to God.

And I think that's why the "pants on Sunday" movement was so disappointed in the "reactions" they (didn't) get. People said, "Huh," and went on with their lives. (And where they didn't, it was more a response to the "I'll show you" attitude than the legs each in its own pant-hole.) What the ladies thought was a conflict wasn't one at all. Most of the e-mails Mormon Girl gets are the same. And the e-mailers who have legitimate problems between their ideologies and their religion know which one needs to change or else they wouldn't be writing to Mormon Girl for help, they'd just be quitting the church.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I wish more people would adopt the woodwind devil ideology. That way I wouldn't have to play in church so often.