Monday, November 16, 2009

Double Standards

I try very hard not to hold someone to a standard I can’t live. If more parents and children (both Mormon and non-Mormon) would grant the other the same consideration they request for themselves (understanding and the elimination of unrealistic expectations), much of the angst and misunderstanding that exists within relationships would be moot. (i.e., “Why can’t my child accept my convictions?” is no different than, “Why can’t my parents accept my choices?")

In that same light, much of the inter-denominational bickering and fighting we see all around us also would cease. I never cease to be amazed at how many people bristle and complain when others try to explain their beliefs, but it is more astounding to me how many of those people wouldn't hesitate to explain their own beliefs to others. At the most core level, there is little or no difference between the Mormon call to "share the Gospel" with other Christians and the Protestant call to "witness" of Christ to Mormons and Catholics and other Christians. That similarity seems so obvious to me that it surprises me when others can't see it.

However, whenever that thought hits me ("Why can't they see that?"), I have to remember the point of this post - that criticizing them for their apparent blindness is not a good idea for someone like me who has plenty of blind spots of his own. Moats and beams and pots and kettles and all that jazz.


Ardis said...

I'll agree with you, but only up to the point where someone else's witnessing stops being "This is what I'd like to share with you about God" and becomes "This is why your religion is a cult." Frankly, I don't think I've ever heard or read a Protestant, including those who frequent the Bloggernacle, who ever spoke only of their own beliefs and didn't instead presume to dictate what Mormons "must" alter to make our beliefs and actions acceptable to them.

adamf said...

Ardis, from my experience many Protestants consider the "your religion is a cult" and "you must change" stuff to be an act of *loving* their neighbor. We may disagree, of course, but it was not until I had experienced this numerous times, and even had this idea spelled out to me that I was able to tolerate their methods a little more. So next time someone says "you're a cultist" just re-frame that in your mind as meaning "I love and care about you." ;)

Morgan Deane said...

I understand your point Adam, and in many cases I think that method of thinking would apply. But with the "love" that I have seen from many on my mission in Texas and since I wouldn't need mortal enemies. So that kind of translation from "you're cultist" to "I love you" doesnt work. Some people really do hate us. (or maybe I just rub people the wrong way)

Anyways, thanks for the great post.

Papa D said...

Thanks, everyone, for taking this in an interesting direction.

Ardis, I agree with your main point - and if people would focus more on simple explanations of their beliefs and less on tearing down others' beliefs life (and the Bloggernacle) would be much better. Unfortunately, that often applies to LDS members as well as those of other faiths.

adamf, I agree that such statements often are motivated by concern, but I'm not sure they generally are a product of real love. It's easy to say, "I hurt you because I love you" - but, in the end, the actions still are hurtful. Again, unfortunately, that applies to members as well as others.

Morgan, I also saw firsthand the reality that some people really do hate us simply for our religion, and it's a higher percentage than most of us would like to admit - but lower than many living in the Inter-Mountain Bubble assume.

Anonymous said...

And coming back to the family,I find it easier to allow others their own beliefs than i do family members-because I love them.Their choices I believe will effect us all eternally.Sometimes i think it would be easier all round if i gave up that particular belief.

adamf said...

Haha I agree with all of you on this. I personally don't think a lot of them ACTUALLY act that way out of love, no way. But THEY will often say that is why they act that way.I was just speaking for them, hence the winky smiley. It's kind of like, "I love you, and to show it I'm going to beat you until you see the light."

My biggest thing with that tactic is that it is NOT effective at converting me to the "real" Jesus or whatever they call him... if anything it just engenders ill will and more distance.

Papa D said...

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that "allow all (wo)men the same privilege, let them worship how, when and what they may" includes those we love the most.