As you’ve probably noticed my (writing) blogging has fallen off the last, oh, six months or so. I’d say part of that is due to the fact that we’ve been through selling/buying/renovating our apartment(s) but the other part is that I think I’m getting worn out. I’ve been blogging for two years now. While I certainly haven’t explored every single nuance of the Mormon faith, I’ve hit most of the major points. And I’m pretty sure I’ve heard pretty much every single argument against it. And I still keep hearing them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And I’m over it.
I remember when J. Max Wilson cold turkeyed the Bloggernacle and how everyone reacted (the full spectrum), especially me (annoyance, disappointment). I remember thinking that you can’t run away from the negatives, that contention is a natural part of discussing many of the “issues” of the Church and that he should just buck up and deal with it. But now I think I understand a little better what he was doing. I think for him the net-effect of the Bloggernacle wasn’t positive so he figured he’d go elsewhere to get a better return on his investment.
For me the currency of the Bloggernacle is feelings. I’ll continue playing the market because I’m still “up” but I’m becoming less and less willing to spend/lose those good feelings to be able to be in the game. J Max wanted to stay up so he cashed in his chips to invest elsewhere. And I’m truly happy for him. I believe I can still come out ahead but my strategy is evolving to be able to do so. The following are a few ways in which I’m changing my participation in the Bloggernacle:
1) I’m done with the ideas of the antis/disaffected/unsympathetic (note I said their ideas, not them personally). You have an axe to grind with the Church? I don’t care anymore. I promise I’m familiar with your axe, and even though you might have a legitimate reason to pull out the grinder, actual grinding has never produced positive results, has never influenced someone to increase charity and only serves to escalate bad feelings (not good Naclenomics). If you are unsatisfied with a particular aspect of the gospel and are truly interested in a meaningful conversation, great, I’m interested too, but trying to have an adult conversation with an unsympathetic is like dealing with customer service in Brooklyn.
2) I’m finding myself much more sympathetic to those who are sympathetic. It’s nice to see when people are willing to give their bishops/blue-hair old ladies/Q12/GBHinckley the benefit of the doubt. It suggests a willingness to look past the faults/perceived faults of others and shows the humble ability to say “I don’t know.” This in no way justifies all of the insensitive comments, racist doctrines, or stupid ideas of many Mormons, it’s just admitting that we don’t know everything. I like people that don’t know everything.
3) Unless you are bringing a completely different perspective to the table, these are the topics I’m done with: gay marriage, women and the priesthood, your issues with leadership, prejudice-proving anecdotes, your issues with the temple, BoM historicity and a few others. There is so much energy devoted to talking about these issues in so many different, clever ways, why can’t we devote the same creative energy to discussing charity in so many different, clever ways? Because it doesn’t rack up the comments? That’s lame. Because it’s boring? That’s the writer’s fault, not the topic’s.
And I’m not afraid of these issues, I’m just SO FREAKING BORED with them. Hmm, let’s see, which would I rather do: play xbox 360 or read another round of anecdotes “proving” that the Mormon hierarchy is uninspired. Tough choice.
(That being said, I know there are many who are discovering these discussions for the first time and I wish you the best as you maneuver your way through them. Just remember, there is no silver bullet proof of anything, either for or against the Church.)
4) I haven’t been and probably won’t be posting as much as I have in the past. I’ve started dozens of posts in the last few months but completed very few. This is due mostly to numbers 1-3 and the fact that I’m not a good enough writer to finish them at a satisfactory level.
5) I reserve the right to continue to change. It’s not hypocritical, it’s just me figuring out how to become a better person.