Jump to content

Thoroughly Modern Mormons; Shunning Of Former Mormons??


Bill “Papa” Lee

Recommended Posts

I found this article and it speaks of “shunning”, we are not Amish.

http://www.religiond...modern_mormons/

Thoughts?

Quote that caught my eye...

Last week, the BBC aired an exposé by investigative reporter John Sweeney that dug into sensitive community issues like the shunning of former Mormons and esoteric elements of LDS temple ceremonies. Sweeney even managed to put high-ranking LDS Church leaders on the defensive on camera.

:sorry:

Link to comment

Another piece from Joanna, who seems to share some of Sweeney’s sentiments while at the same time expressing sympathy for her fellow Mormons.

There is no such thing as “shunning” of former Mormons. We don’t use that word. We are to show love and respect for everybody, no matter what their status is with the Church. Some families do a better job with this than others.

We sometimes “disfellowship” and “excommunicate” people, so perhaps to the casual outside observer there would seem to be little practical difference. What gets lost is that these actions are usually taken out of a desire to call the person to repentance and bring them back into full activity in the Church. Excommunication doesn’t have to be the end.

Link to comment

I used to manage a grocery store in Utah. One of the highlights of the month was when we received the "blacklist". - the list of those who were not in good standing in the Church so we would know not to serve them in our store.

Ok- see how stupid that sounds? One of the more common complaints you hear about the church from former members is that they are blacklisted or no longer able to participate in the community.

We had 14,000 customers a week. Didnt have any way to check the membership status of them.

Link to comment

To declare that shunning does not exist in Mormon culture is just as much a falsehood as saying that all former members are shunned. There are many who shun former members. My family is very active in the church. I have 3 brothers and a father who have served as bishops. Yet my family has decided to not include me in any family dinners, missionary farewells, blessings, reunions, weddings etc. Last month, my father turned 90. I was invited to participate in this celebration. It was the first time in years that I have been invited to a family event of any kind. They were all nice to me as if nothing has ever occured. I do have one sister that keeps in touch with me. She has argued before the family that they should get over the fact that I am gay and I should be included in family activites. But she gets over ruled. I am also on good terms with my exwife and children. But siblings and father, not so much.

I know I am not alone. I have ment plenty of other former Mormons who's family has chosen to shun them. I have moved on and don't really worry about the whole thing. I figure at some point, their hearts may soften. Until then, I can not get to worked up about something I don't have any control over.

Out of all of my former ward members, only a handful of members have ever had any contact with me since I left the church. I know it is difficult dealing with someone who is gay. I certainly had my own struggles dealing with being gay. I try not to spend much time worrying about their attitudes toward me. Shunning is certainly part of Mormon culture despite what is preached from the pulpit.

Link to comment

I used to manage a grocery store in Utah. One of the highlights of the month was when we received the "blacklist". - the list of those who were not in good standing in the Church so we would know not to serve them in our store.

Ok- see how stupid that sounds? One of the more common complaints you hear about the church from former members is that they are blacklisted or no longer able to participate in the community.

We had 14,000 customers a week. Didnt have any way to check the membership status of them.

???? And just who was this list recieved from? Unless you had a community busybody making it his/her business, the list you refer to does not exist.

Edit-upon further reiview, the above post is discerned to be TIC. No touchdown is recorded, no penalty will be assessed. First Down!

Link to comment

To declare that shunning does not exist in Mormon culture is just as much a falsehood as saying that all former members are shunned. There are many who shun former members. My family is very active in the church. I have 3 brothers and a father who have served as bishops. Yet my family has decided to not include me in any family dinners, missionary farewells, blessings, reunions, weddings etc. Last month, my father turned 90. I was invited to participate in this celebration. It was the first time in years that I have been invited to a family event of any kind. They were all nice to me as if nothing has ever occured. I do have one sister that keeps in touch with me. She has argued before the family that they should get over the fact that I am gay and I should be included in family activites. But she gets over ruled. I am also on good terms with my exwife and children. But siblings and father, not so much.

I know I am not alone. I have ment plenty of other former Mormons who's family has chosen to shun them. I have moved on and don't really worry about the whole thing. I figure at some point, their hearts may soften. Until then, I can not get to worked up about something I don't have any control over.

Out of all of my former ward members, only a handful of members have ever had any contact with me since I left the church. I know it is difficult dealing with someone who is gay. I certainly had my own struggles dealing with being gay. I try not to spend much time worrying about their attitudes toward me. Shunning is certainly part of Mormon culture despite what is preached from the pulpit.

That's not called shunning, if a sibling of mine left his family and announced he was gay, I'd still love him, but frankly, would not know what to say. It WOULD freak me out a bit. My Sis-in-law, after over a decade of temple marriage to my brother, decided she wanted to be a "bad-a*s biker chick" (her words), left her husband and children and moved in with a biker. We always got along fine, but I have not talked to her since. Am I shunning her? No, i just would not know what to say other than "What in the world were you thinking???". So I'm not perfect. Sue me.

Link to comment

That's not called shunning, if a sibling of mine left his family and announced he was gay, I'd still love him, but frankly, would not know what to say. It WOULD freak me out a bit. My Sis-in-law, after over a decade of temple marriage to my brother, decided she wanted to be a "bad-a*s biker chick" (her words), left her husband and children and moved in with a biker. We always got along fine, but I have not talked to her since. Am I shunning her? No, i just would not know what to say other than "What in the world were you thinking???". So I'm not perfect. Sue me.

My mistake evidently. What would you call shunning?

Link to comment

To declare that shunning does not exist in Mormon culture is just as much a falsehood as saying that all former members are shunned. There are many who shun former members. My family is very active in the church. I have 3 brothers and a father who have served as bishops. Yet my family has decided to not include me in any family dinners, missionary farewells, blessings, reunions, weddings etc. Last month, my father turned 90. I was invited to participate in this celebration. It was the first time in years that I have been invited to a family event of any kind. They were all nice to me as if nothing has ever occured. I do have one sister that keeps in touch with me. She has argued before the family that they should get over the fact that I am gay and I should be included in family activites. But she gets over ruled. I am also on good terms with my exwife and children. But siblings and father, not so much.

I know I am not alone. I have ment plenty of other former Mormons who's family has chosen to shun them. I have moved on and don't really worry about the whole thing. I figure at some point, their hearts may soften. Until then, I can not get to worked up about something I don't have any control over.

Out of all of my former ward members, only a handful of members have ever had any contact with me since I left the church. I know it is difficult dealing with someone who is gay. I certainly had my own struggles dealing with being gay. I try not to spend much time worrying about their attitudes toward me. Shunning is certainly part of Mormon culture despite what is preached from the pulpit.

"Shunning in the classic sense is a policy where someone of the same family cannot even eat at the same table. We do not do this...also many times someone leaves the Church many think he or she "wants" to be left alone and distance themselves from the Church.

Link to comment

PA PA, while the LDS do have an Official shunning policy/ doctrine, individual LDS families have and do shun wayward family members. In another thread a poster spoke of being shunned at his grandmothers funeral.

Yes- and another poster talked of being shunned by his NON-LDS family.

Interesting that you seized upon one remark and fastidiously ignored the other.

The problem with the water you are carrying is that none of the examples you or California Boy cited are examples of the CHURCH shunning.

Even IF the examples you and CB offered were true (and that's a big "if"), all of the examples are INDIVIDUAL, not institutional choices or practice.

As such, they are matched by examples in every other religious sect and even political association.

Contrary to hateful and foolish rhetoric cited, such behavior is NOT a product of LDS culture or policy- and are actually against the Church's teachings.

Yes- individuals (of all stripes) behave in stupid and hurtful ways.

That is not the fault of the LDS Church or Mormon culture- it is a human failing, not a Mormon one.

The haters might just as readily accuse us of causing the sun to set every day.

When most people think of "shunning" they think of practices like those of the Seventh day Adventists, Scientologists, certain Muslin sects and the FLDS, where a person who is excommunicated is an outcast and almost literally a non-person.

And the haters- such as the anti-Mormon BBC bigot-, capitalize on that misunderstanding to condemn and demonize the Saints for actions we abhor and beliefs we do not hold.

Link to comment

PA PA, while the LDS do have an Official shunning policy/ doctrine, individual LDS families have and do shun wayward family members. In another thread a poster spoke of being shunned at his grandmothers funeral.

That is just weakness within those people and should not be attributed to our faith.

Link to comment

My mistake evidently. What would you call shunning?

As others have explained more eloqently than I, "shunning" is official and institutional. I gotta be honest. If I was in your family, I'd probably be polite and civil to you, but would offer a lot more love and support to your former spouse and children, because based on my imperfect knowledge of the situation, I would almost certainly consider them to be the victims of your decision. Again, that is based solely on the information I have, and I acknowledge that I don't have all the information.

Link to comment

As others have explained more eloqently than I, "shunning" is official and institutional. I gotta be honest. If I was in your family, I'd probably be polite and civil to you, but would offer a lot more love and support to your former spouse and children, because based on my imperfect knowledge of the situation, I would almost certainly consider them to be the victims of your decision. Again, that is based solely on the information I have, and I acknowledge that I don't have all the information.

I would agree, wife and children before ANYTHING else. Anything less ends in tragedy.

Link to comment

Yes- and another poster talked of being shunned by his NON-LDS family.

Interesting that you seized upon one remark and fastidiously ignored the other.

The problem with the water you are carrying is that none of the examples you or California Boy cited are examples of the CHURCH shunning.

Even IF the examples you and CB offered were true (and that's a big "if"), all of the examples are INDIVIDUAL, not institutional choices or practice.

As such, they are matched by examples in every other religious sect and even political association.

Contrary to hateful and foolish rhetoric cited, such behavior is NOT a product of LDS culture or policy- and are actually against the Church's teachings.

Yes- individuals (of all stripes) behave in stupid and hurtful ways.

That is not the fault of the LDS Church or Mormon culture- it is a human failing, not a Mormon one.

The haters might just as readily accuse us of causing the sun to set every day.

When most people think of "shunning" they think of practices like those of the Seventh day Adventists, Scientologists, certain Muslin sects and the FLDS, where a person who is excommunicated is an outcast and almost literally a non-person.

And the haters- such as the anti-Mormon BBC bigot-, capitalize on that misunderstanding to condemn and demonize the Saints for actions we abhor and beliefs we do not hold.

I actually agree with you. I do realize that the church counsels that families should show love and concern for those that have left the church. Maybe that is why I find it strange that my family who is so active in the church has chosen to act the way they do towards me. But hey we are all imperfect, and I do realize how difficult it must be for them to accept me because I am gay. I don't fault the church and I really understand the reaction my family has. I think they still love me, but I also think that they feel if they treat me as a member of the family they are somehow accepting gay behavior. This attitude is probably not uncommon in the church. Just read the thread concerning whether members should attend a gay marriage, including your stance on the subject. It is certainly not an easy question for some members including you to deal with. But the reporter was stating that shunning does occur in the Mormon church, And to be accurate, yes it does despite the church teaching its members to not shun.

Link to comment

I actually agree with you. I do realize that the church counsels that families should show love and concern for those that have left the church. Maybe that is why I find it strange that my family who is so active in the church has chosen to act the way they do towards me. But hey we are all imperfect, and I do realize how difficult it must be for them to accept me because I am gay. I don't fault the church and I really understand the reaction my family has. I think they still love me, but I also think that they feel if they treat me as a member of the family they are somehow accepting gay behavior. This attitude is probably not uncommon in the church. Just read the thread concerning whether members should attend a gay marriage, including your stance on the subject. It is certainly not an easy question for some members including you to deal with. But the reporter was stating that shunning does occur in the Mormon church, And to be accurate, yes it does despite the church teaching its members to not shun.

The issue is that we are only hearing your side of the story. We don't know what your Mormon family might think. So we are left with the impression that your family is completely to blame and you are the victim. I don’t know, but they might actually really want to reach out to you, but they don’t know how. Maybe try to set up a lunch date with one of them at a time, and then have a one-on-one chat. Just a thought. It takes effort on both sides to have a close relationship.

Link to comment
Yes- and another poster talked of being shunned by his NON-LDS family.

Interesting that you seized upon one remark and fastidiously ignored the other.

The problem with the water you are carrying is that none of the examples you or California Boy cited are examples of the CHURCH shunning.

Even IF the examples you and CB offered were true (and that's a big "if"), all of the examples are INDIVIDUAL, not institutional choices or practice.

As such, they are matched by examples in every other religious sect and even political association.

Contrary to hateful and foolish rhetoric cited, such behavior is NOT a product of LDS culture or policy- and are actually against the Church's teachings.

Yes- individuals (of all stripes) behave in stupid and hurtful ways.

That is not the fault of the LDS Church or Mormon culture- it is a human failing, not a Mormon one.

The haters might just as readily accuse us of causing the sun to set every day.

When most people think of "shunning" they think of practices like those of the Seventh day Adventists, Scientologists, certain Muslin sects and the FLDS, where a person who is excommunicated is an outcast and almost literally a non-person.

And the haters- such as the anti-Mormon BBC bigot-, capitalize on that misunderstanding to condemn and demonize the Saints for actions we abhor and beliefs we do not hold.

It's a good thing I did not implicated the LDS Church with my comment.

You seem to have failed to understand I spoke of individuals in the LDS Church.

Link to comment

As others have explained more eloqently than I, "shunning" is official and institutional.

I assume you mean "isn't" official, etc.

The only possibility for "official" shunning that comes close is not allowing exLDS to attend weddings in the temple or participate as priesthood holders in ordinances, but since that is the same standard that applies to all nonLDS, to LDS that are underage or do not hold the priesthood, it can hardly count as "official" shunning by definition. Discrimination, sure, shunning, no.

I can understand that it might feel like shunning after having been able to do those things, but it was the action of the individual's and not the Church or their family that disqualified them, it was their choice not to live according to the required standard, not the Church or family that changed their standards to shut them out or whatever it might feel like emotionally.

Link to comment

calmoriah,I think he did mean what he said,that for it to be considered shunning,by his definition it must be official and institutional.I concur with his specific definition,but there remains the more personal type of shunning that has been referenced in this thread.

Link to comment

Ah, I agree with that, shunning is recognized as some sort of organized effort usually based on traditional standards and processes and precisely set roles to play of victim, shunner, etc I think a more precise label for what happens among our families that do not involve the more traditional highly rigid shunning practices is much more useful and less like to lead to a total breakdown of communication between those involved. Better to describe actions by what they do and not by a label because someone might be willing to deal with and overcome the description while feeling too overwhelmed or like fighting a lost cause if one starts applying exclusionary terms like shunning into the relationship. Makes it more dramatic, allows one to feel more victimized...but hardly solves anything.

(Hope that made sense, interesting reaction to the drugs tonight....just to keep me on my toes.

Link to comment
To declare that shunning does not exist in Mormon culture is just as much a falsehood as saying that all former members are shunned.

To call the occasional discomfort or awkwardness that Latter-day Saints may experience with family members who have left the Church "shunning" is a notorious canard, and nobody with any degree of honesty supports it.

Di ck Baer is an excellent example of how "Mormon shunning" works in the real world. After he left the Church (including some devious manoeuvres to enable him to claim that he left of his own accord after he was excommunicated for immorality) he decided he was "saved" and thus superior to his benighted Mormon relatives. At his father's funeral, he was asked to serve as a pall-bearer. He responded by telling his bereaved family that it was beneath his "saved" dignity as a Born-Again Christian (™ and ©) to act as a pall-bearer to someone who was currently burning in hell. In the circumstances, it would be hardly surprising if his LDS relatives drew back from such a display of venomous arrogance; but that didn't stop him from bleating in his anti-Mormon publications -- including "The God Makers" -- that he was being "shunned."

That's where this worthless piece of hate propaganda comes from, and that's what it always means. Unless, like Martha Beck, they are simply made up out of whole cloth.

So let's be clear on this point, shall we?

Regards,

Pahoran

Link to comment

To call the occasional discomfort or awkwardness that Latter-day Saints may experience with family members who have left the Church "shunning" is a notorious canard, and nobody with any degree of honesty supports it.

Di ck Baer is an excellent example of how "Mormon shunning" works in the real world. After he left the Church (including some devious manoeuvres to enable him to claim that he left of his own accord after he was excommunicated for immorality) he decided he was "saved" and thus superior to his benighted Mormon relatives. At his father's funeral, he was asked to serve as a pall-bearer. He responded by telling his bereaved family that it was beneath his "saved" dignity as a Born-Again Christian (™ and ©) to act as a pall-bearer to someone who was currently burning in hell. In the circumstances, it would be hardly surprising if his LDS relatives drew back from such a display of venomous arrogance; but that didn't stop him from bleating in his anti-Mormon publications -- including "The God Makers" -- that he was being "shunned."

That's where this worthless piece of hate propaganda comes from, and that's what it always means. Unless, like Martha Beck, they are simply made up out of whole cloth.

So let's be clear on this point, shall we?

Regards,

Pahoran

I am not sure why you quoted my statement as some kind of answer to what I said. Iwould certainly agree with you that at times tere may be very valid reason for "shunning'" a family member. Are you trying to make the case that because of your example, all Mormons who are shunned deserve it?

Can I ask you a few questions? If you found out your brother was gay, and has found a person he wanted to share the rest of his life with and left the church as a result of that relationship, would you:

Attend his marriage if he chose to marry his partner?

Invite your brother and his partner to dinner in your home?

Invite your brother to dinner as long as his partner didn't come?

Allow your children if they were under 18 around your brothe at family eventsr?

Try at all to get to know your broythers partner?

I am not trying to set you up for some kind of defensive answer. I am just curious how you would handle your relationship with your brother. And let's assume your brother has never said anything negative about the church so that is not part of the issue. he is just gay and has a partner.

(btw, I have never asked my family to meet my partner. This isn't about me or my situation at all. I am just trying to understand how you would deal with having a gay brother.)

Link to comment

CB:

Attend his marriage if he chose to marry his partner? Yes

Invite your brother and his partner to dinner in your home? Yes

Invite your brother to dinner as long as his partner didn't come? No

Allow your children if they were under 18 around your brothe at family eventsr? Yes.

Try at all to get to know your broythers partner? Yes.

Would I allow in my home my Brother/Sister to spend the night in the same bed with their Girl friend/Boy friend? No.

Link to comment

CB:

Attend his marriage if he chose to marry his partner? Yes

Invite your brother and his partner to dinner in your home? Yes

Invite your brother to dinner as long as his partner didn't come? No

Allow your children if they were under 18 around your brothe at family eventsr? Yes.

Try at all to get to know your broythers partner? Yes.

Would I allow in my home my Brother/Sister to spend the night in the same bed with their Girl friend/Boy friend? No.

Thanks for your response. I found it interesting. I notice that Pahoran chose not to answer my questions. I guess I understand why.

Link to comment
I am not sure why you quoted my statement as some kind of answer to what I said. Iwould certainly agree with you that at times tere may be very valid reason for "shunning'" a family member. Are you trying to make the case that because of your example, all Mormons who are shunned deserve it?

No.

I am saying that there is no such thing as "Mormon shunning." Further, that in cases where people claimed that their LDS families have "shunned" them, either it didn't happen as they described it (e.g. Martha Beck) or else the "shunned" individual started off by offending their LDS relatives and then bleated when those relatives responded in a way that had absolutely nothing to do with any part of their religious beliefs or LDS culture, and everything to do with the way normal people respond to gratuitous rudeness.

A number of years ago I saw a discussion among exMo's about whether, while visiting LDS relatives, showing some degree of politeness during prayers would be consistent with their "personal integrity" and "ex-Mormon principles" (an oxymoron if ever there was one.) And yet people like that have the temerity to complain that we don't just lie down and let them wipe their feet on our faces.

Can I ask you a few questions? If you found out your brother was gay, and has found a person he wanted to share the rest of his life with and left the church as a result of that relationship, would you:

Attend his marriage if he chose to marry his partner?

No. I don't find high-camp parodies of weddings to be entertaining.

Invite your brother and his partner to dinner in your home?

Invite your brother to dinner as long as his partner didn't come?

Neither of the above. I would invite my brother to dinner. If he chose to bring his current partner, naturally they'd both be welcomed and they'd both be fed.

For me to insist that he leave his partner behind would be to impose conditions upon our family relationship. For him to insist that I treat his partner as equal to a real spouse, contrary to my beliefs and moral standards, would likewise be to impose conditions upon our family relationship.

Allow your children if they were under 18 around your brothe at family eventsr?

Yes.

Try at all to get to know your broythers partner?

Sure, why not?

I am not trying to set you up for some kind of defensive answer. I am just curious how you would handle your relationship with your brother. And let's assume your brother has never said anything negative about the church so that is not part of the issue. he is just gay and has a partner.

(btw, I have never asked my family to meet my partner. This isn't about me or my situation at all. I am just trying to understand how you would deal with having a gay brother.)

Which has what, exacty, to do with the notorious canard of "Mormon shunning?"

Thanks for your response. I found it interesting. I notice that Pahoran chose not to answer my questions. I guess I understand why.

I guess you don't.

Regards,

Pahoran

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...