This is a really good illustration of what happens to New Order Mormon-types.
- We realize, for whatever reason, that we no longer believe some or all of the church's exclusive truth claims.
- We decide that we want to stay affiliated with the church: for family reasons, for the community, because we think it's as good a place to find God and worship as any other, or any combination of the above.
- We tell people or not, depending on our own circumstances. "Telling" usually involves things like letting the bishop know we can't teach, but that we're willing to serve in other ways. We try to work out a place for ourselves in the tent.
- We're marginalized. Our honest search for God where we find God isn't faithful enough, and after all, we might damage somebody's fragile testimony (like the third member of the Godhead can't stand some a little heat and light).
Apparently, that's not good enough.
I have an enormous amount of respect for Dave. For a guy whose last name I don't even know, he's been a huge influence on my ability to continue to see the good in the church. After a couple of years in the DAMU, finding DMI was a revelation to me. Here was a guy who talked about church stuff dispassionately. He talked about culture, history, and practice in a neutral tone. I didn't get the feeling that he had an agenda - that he was just interested in the subjects, and that he was writing down what he had learned. What a refreshing change of pace from the apologetics/polemics wastelands! And then the Bloggernacle emerged around DMI (at least, that was my perspective) and when BCC turned up (Democrats!) and Feminist Mormon Housewives hit, I figured maybe I can make this Mormon thing work after
all. Maybe these folks will have something to offer and will treat me like an equal, regardless of whether I buy into onlytrueness.
I'm not sure where I'll go from here. When VNF moved to an "other islands" category on the Mormon Archipelago I thought maybe something was cooking. Now I suspect that it's just a matter of time before we're quietly dropped. The audience here is pretty small anyway. Losing our listing might just kill it. Maybe that's the point.
I do appreciate the folks who take us seriously and share their perspective without being obnoxious (Seth R. especially. That man can tell a story and share an opinion without setting off my BS meter even one little bit.) And my "New Order Mormon Guide to the Doctrine and Covenants" has been perking along in my brain for over a month now. I had thought that the experience might make a good essay to submit elsewhere, but the way the material was shaping up, the bloggernacle was looking more and more like the right venue.
Except now I'm not in the bloggernacle any more.
I'll try not to let the door hit me on the butt on the way out.