Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'm (No Longer) a Mormon: Christian Edition by Regina Samuelson

I'm (No Longer) a Mormon by Regina Samuelson
This is the author's "Christian Edition" of her memoir about why she is leaving the Mormon religion. I find it interesting that she feels the need to have a Christian version - vs the what - non-Christian one?
She states that in this version she left out foul language and she gives instructions at the end for Christians about how to speak to Mormons. I also find it rather interesting that although she no longer believes the Mormon religious teachings, she still is willing to believe the Christian ones.
Regina's parents converted to the LDS church before she was born and as converts, her parents were a bit more open minded than many Mormons so her upbringing allowed her a bit more freedom than other Mormons. However, her teen years and her college years at BYU were adversely affected by the LDS religion. She includes some rather damning stories about BYU and the programs that Mormon teen girls and Mormon women are required to participate in.
She explains how the Mormon religion controls every aspect of their lives, much more than I realized, and to me that ultra control is what tips the religion into the "cult" category the most - that along with the secrecy involved. Regina explains how self-righteous the religion makes people and how when she questioned some teachings that did not make sense, she was told that she should not THINK so much, which leads to cognitive dissonance, which is the way that people in fundamental religions have to disregard what makes sense and just believe the religious nonsense by "faith".
She also explains how the Mormon religion gives all the power to the men and none to the women relegating them to the position of being less important and in general just less than men. Regina, honey, it is not just Mormons who do that - you will find that in fundamental Christianity, Muslim and Orthodox and Hassidic Judaism as well. If you want equality as a woman, don't join a fundamental religion.
Regina shares her struggles with the religion she was raised in and how difficult it is to leave it. At the time she wrote this book, while she no longer believed the nonsense that the Mormon religion teaches - including things like God living on a planet named Kolob and the native Americans being descendants of the Israelis (disproven by DNA testing), she was still meeting with the Mormon church and raising her children in it. I hope that she gets her children out of there before they suffer the same psychological damage that she has.

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