“The answer is easy if you take it logically”
Christian sects are distinguished in part by their policies toward baptism. Some sprinkle. Others dunk. The Catholic Church will baptize infants. Many protestant churches won’t. The Mormon Church recently decided not to baptize the children of married, same-sex couples. That policy has generated a good deal of dissension, and thousands have resigned from the church in protest. According to one interviewed, “It is difficult for people to leave the Church. It takes people a long time to make this decision. It is a well-thought-out one and it is not taken lightly.” I suspect most just moved a small distance to another sect, rather than take the opportunity to leave religion entirely.
Today’s Sunday paper featured an article about the difficulties young Muslims face in today’s America, given the political animosity to Islam. It offers quite a few suggestions. Except for the one taken by the Mormons above: leave the religion.
Between Joseph Smith and Mohammed, it is hard to decide which is the more absurd, self-serving prophet. Both were guided by angels. Both formed separatist communities that they led to new lands. Both provided new scripture. Both married many women for allegedly holy reasons. Sociologically, there are quite a few resemblances between the two religions. It’s little surprise that Joseph Smith was called the new Mohammed while still alive.
As with any successful religion, the vast majority of Muslims and Mormons today were simply born into their religion. They deserve no mistreatment or discrimination because of that.
That said, this needs to be said also. America is a free nation. No one has to follow their parents’ religion. Contrary to the Mormon interviewed above, I suggest it doesn’t have to be so hard. There is a real effort in the mental gymnastics required to hold such silly beliefs. Leaving a religion is like learning to skate backwards. It doesn’t seem nearly so scary once you’ve done it, as it did prior. Ask yourself whether you really believe that your religion and your prophet are all that better than any other’s. Take “no” for a reasonable answer. Tell your family you must go your own way, but you are still their brother, son, cousin. Tell your friends you will be there for them, even if they continue to believe or practice.
For yourself? Run away from dogma. Say good-bye to prayer. Wave away the magic men. Wear what you want. “Make a new plan, Stan. You don’t need to be coy, Roy. Just get yourself free.”