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The Chronicles of Mormonia
Posted: 05 November 2006 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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A very old and rather brazen friend of mine once remarked to a priest, “But you have to agree….celibacy is one of the most unatural and unhealthy states for a young person to exist in”..
She had Balls, that girl, I’ll never forget her.
I feel very sorry for anyone who had to endure adolecence with the stigma of sexual restriction based on faith.  Being a teenager is hard enough…let alone having someone tell you that if you touch yourself you could go to Hell!  I mean, Jesus H. Pirsig, when you’re a teen that is all you think about!  No wonder kids get scarred!
Many studies show that kids who enter into “Abstinence pacts” last about 18 months before having sex.  Also,  I believe that many who firmly belive in no sex before marriage find themselves marrying for the sake of sex, or in the belief of true love when in fact it is adolecent lust.  It’s better to go out and do what you need to do, experiment, get it out of your system before settling down and rasing a family.  Just my opinion.

btw, If I had tied one hand to my bedpost at the age of thirteen, It really would have given my other hand much more incentive!  (not sure, but I think that I might have tried that)

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Posted: 05 November 2006 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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[quote author=“switch”]btw, If I had tied one hand to my bedpost at the age of thirteen, It really would have given my other hand much more incentive!  (not sure, but I think that I might have tried that)

Right, and what an incentive to become ambidextrous wink. The task is one of the simplest that can be performed by humans, and although I don’t know the, erm, ins and outs  of male desperation, I would imagine there are hands-free possibilities available to the truly determined. Unless the body is fully suspended in mid-air, legs locked straight, then any number of creative solutions can be explored.

switch (welcome back!). . . there was an NPR story on the Abstinence Pledge movement about two years ago—the “Silver Ring Thing”, it was (is?) called, named for the silver ring that teens are given to wear on their wedding finger after committing to virginity until marriage. It was quite a long program, so they spent a lot of time talking with the leaders of the movement, the hopeful parents, and the teens who were agreeing to participate in these rock-concert-style pledge events. You can only imagine how this sets up everyone involved for disappointments, but they marched into it anyway. The extreme naiveté was apparent in one and all, and only when they got to the follow-up phase—as you say, some 12 months to five years after the pledge ceremony—did troublesome facts emerge.

From the “Virginity Pledge” page at Wiki:

The first peer-reviewed study of virginity pledgers—- by sociologists Peter Bearman and Hannah Brueckner of Columbia and Yale, respectively—- found that in the year following their pledge, some virginity pledgers are more likely to delay sex than non-pledgers; when virginity pledgers do have sex, they are less likely to use contraception than non-pledgers.[1] This study found, however, that virginity pledges are only effective in high schools in which about 30% of the students had taken the pledge, meaning that they are not effective as a universal measure. Their analysis was that identity movements work when there is a critical mass of members: too few members, and people don’t have each other for social support, and [t]too many members, and people don’t feel distinctive for having taken the pledge. [!!!!!! raspberry] This study was criticized for not being able to conclude causality, only correlation, a criticism which applies to all studies of virginity pledges thus far.[2]

The second peer-reviewed study, also by Bearman and Brueckner, looked at virginity pledgers 5 years after their pledge, and found that they have similar proportions of STDs and at least as high proportions of anal and oral sex as those who have not made a virginity pledge. They speculate that pledgers may substitute oral and anal sex for vaginal sex.

The third peer-reviewed study—- by Melina Bersamin and others at Berkeley—- found that adolescents who make an informal promise to themselves not to have sex will delay sex, but adolescents who take a formal virginity pledge do not delay sex.

The fourth peer-reviewed study—- by a Harvard public health researcher—- found that over half of adolescents who took virginity pledges said the following year that they had never taken a pledge. [5] This study [6], showed that those who make the pledge but have sex are likely to deny ever pledging; and many who were sexually active prior to taking the pledge deny their sexual history, which, it is speculated, may cause them underestimate their risk of having STDs.

These huge problems came out in the NPR show. From their own lips, Virginity Pledgers claimed that oral and anal sex were not technically breaking their ‘vows’ because it did not involve vaginal penetration. Neither did orgies break the pledge, so long as that one spot was left alone. You wouldn’t believe how married they were to that very specific concept. Most had a great deal of sexual activity under their belts after a couple years (beyond their pledge) and seemed confused by the interviewer’s suggestion that they had indeed misunderstood the premise, that the pledge was designed to keep them entirely free of sexual involvement until marriage. These kids sounded like imbeciles as they fumbled to answer logically. All they’d been doing was working within the letter of the law as they decided to interpret it, but were not limiting sexual activity at all.

Anyway, paired with shaming over masturbation—which I would hope is emphasized less than it once was (is it? anyone know?)—it’s a wonder how religious parents can act surprised when their kids grow up with major sexual issues that get worked out in ways they surely wouldn’t approve of. 

Someone mentioned elsewhere how immature the Catholic clergy is behind the scenes, due to their lack of a normal and healthy sex life, and that they act basically like adolescent boys in regards to anything of a sexual nature. That would seem to apply to anyone set up to pledge adherence to something—sex, alcohol, smoking, strict caloric intake, exercise—as opposed to making thoughtful (or visceral) decisions for themselves as each life situation presents itself.

It comes down to Christians believing we need our morals spelled out for us, because surely we can’t be trusted to construct them ourselves based on observation and participation in society These kids are instructed to swear to themselves that they will deny their most powerful drives until marriage, take vows to suppress every craving, and to feel fallen and dirty if they succumb. And then of course they’re supposed to turn on a dime once they’re actually married, and feel all healthy and comfortable with sex from then on rolleyes. Hello, cognitive dissonance.


Sorry for veering off the path of Mormonia, Nogs wink. . . sex tends to distract me.


.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 01:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”]These kids are instructed to swear to themselves that they will deny their most powerful drives until marriage, take vows to suppress every craving, and to feel fallen and dirty if they succumb.

Hey, there’s another one of those Freudian typing/spelling/homophone tricks that Ted likes to point out. It’s a fun game.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 02:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“Noggin”]Since I attend church with my wife and kids as a general support structure

Looking at the way this thread is going, how are you going to keep your kids from the sexual purity police as they grow up mormon?  Bishop interviews, firesides, Sunday school blah blah blah.  I pulled my kids right out of churhc and that was the best thing I ever did.  Or maybe things have changed and it is all alot better now and you don’t have to worry.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 02:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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THE MORMON SEXUAL PURITY OBSESSION

A few observers have questioned the notion that my former church could be manipulative or damaging, or emotionally stunting.  There is a strong belief that church can do no harm, and only work for the betterment of striving humans.  I recognize that for many, the Mormon church system “works”.  This system did not work for me.  I resent the fact that because it failed, the assumption is that I did something wrong.  I look forward to the day when the Mormon church will be forced to take accountability for it’s offensively over-reaching policies.  Here is an account of one of my teen age encounters with Mormon authority.  This aptly describes the manipulation.  I have spoken with several Mormon males who have agreed that they too experienced low self-esteem and anxiety on account of the Mormon policy regarding sexual purity.

But still, there is the persistence that I am making this up, or that the church is perfect but the people in it is not, or that obviously, I am too sensitive to this and just need to “get over it”.  If you do not understand how manipulative a church system can be with regards to sexual purity… here is my true to life example.  The Mormon church’s obsession with sexual purity warps the mind and self-esteem of many young people who live through it.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

What is that sound?

pause…. tap tap, tap tap…. pause….

It grew louder as I practically leaned off the edge of my chair to hear for it.  Then it dawned on me.  Cripes.  When did he start walking with a cane?  Luckily, being a man of god will show him restraint and he won’t try to beat me with it.  He’d never do that, but maybe I wish he would.  Maybe that would be the trick in getting me to finally be “good”.

The hallway was dark.  The activity inside the gymnasium around the corner and through the double doors had just begun on this Wednesday night.  I would rather be playing basketball tonight than having to sit through this next hour.  Heck, I would rather be doing my homework than to sit through this dreadful meeting.

“Well, hello Mike.  Glad you could make it.  Sorry I am late”, said the man.

“...‘sallright”  I mumbled, pretty certain that it wasn’t.

Here we go again.  The mental self-chastisement resurfaced… the naggings screamed out at me as I got up out of my chair:

What was wrong with me?  Why the repeated trips to this office?  Why was I the only one sitting here in this hallway? 

No one else had this terrible habit.  I hated myself for it.  I hated that I would be sitting shamefully with my family again during the sacrament.  I hated that I, one of the supposedly noble youth of Zion, had indeed faltered yet again in unworthiness.

I followed him into his office.  The room was already hotter than the midday sun during double sessions at football practice.  I had thought I would start this school year off strong and in control.  I was wrong.  Just like the other years.  I took the obligatory seat across from him and his four foot by eight foot faux mahogany desk.  I sat in this chair every Sunday in our sixteen year old Priest quorum group discussions. 

This judge in Israel, uh, my judge in Israel,  fumbled through his papers.  I knew he pretended to look for something that was not there.  I guess this was not his favorite conversation either.

I could tell he already knew.  He always knew.  It was his job to know.  As Christ’s representative for His congregation, it was his responsibility to be in tune with the spirit enough to know these things.  God gave him these powers of discernment.  So of course he knew! 

With that thought I blushed out of anger and self-deprecation. 

Dang it, Mike!  Stop already! You need the companionship of the holy ghost to guide you!

No good.  Vexing oneself never worked.  I would just have to sit there blushing, humiliated and ashamed that I had failed to honor my priesthood ... again. 

He took off his glasses, and forcefully rubbed the spot we priests jokingly called “The Unibrow”.  It was as if the glasses had irritated him profusely.  But, I knew why he was irritated.  He had to come all the way to the church after a warm meal with his family to talk about my lame problems.  Leave his life and address mine.  All because I could not seem to control myself.  How pathetic was that.  What in the heck was wrong with me?  I heard the tick tock of the clock on the wall.  It was pretty loud in the silence between us.

He drew in a deep breath and he looked at me as he held it momentarily.  Suddenly, In a heavy and drawn out exhalation of air out from his lungs he began:

“Ssssssssssssssssssso,” 

pause….

He peered over the top of his glasses,

“Young man, how is your priesthood holding up?  Bright and shiny?”. 

It was a friendly tone he used but there wasn’t a smile attached to it.

And I wished he would not breathe out like that.  He had very offensive breath.  How could he not know that his breath was that bad?  I had heard his question and I was stunned.  Fixating on the smell did not stave off the awkward pause in the room.

I also noted he got right to the point this time.  Obviously, I hadn’t heeded well enough his advice in the past.  I put out spotty performance in responding valiantly in past visits. 

No chit chat this time?  No how is your 3.5 grade point average coming along… any new songs on the piano? or even how was football practice today?  The man was all star defensive lineman in high school, loves the game, and he can’t even recognize that I am something other than a troubled kid with a jerk off problem.  He came at me straight out of the chutes.  Ruthless.

pause.

“uh… I… uh… I wasn’t… uh… valiant”

I gripped the sides of my chair so hard that a raised rogue staple in the upholstery under the right arm dug into my cuticle.  That hurt.  The dam broke.  Tears welled up.  I had told myself I would not cry.  Where were the tissues?  He always had tissues on his desk in that crocheted white funky tissue box cover of his.  He made no move to console me.  He never did so I did not expect it.  I hated crying.  It was just that I was so humiliated.  I was so inexplicably frustrated.  At least I didn’t sob.  I wiped the lower rims of my eyes to dry up any rogue tears that tried to escape down my face.  I tried to maintain some form of dignity.

“Mike.  You really have got to get past this.  You know that this problem disqualifies you in the Lord’s eyes.  The spirit of God cannot dwell in unholy temples!  Your body is a temple and defiling it in this way displeases God.  We have been through the steps of repentance before.  Where do you see yourself missing the mark?”

Missing the mark?  Geez.  I have no clue.  I have done everything he had asked and then some.  I had prayed my guts out so many times, so many ways.  Only to fall to temptation yet once again.  What a failure I was. 

My shoulders drooped and I looked at the floor as a pungent flash back to three weeks ago entered and left my head. 

I reviewed in my head how I had done some high powered serious soul searching.  I sought, from the depths of my soul, the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  After all, it was the 2nd principle of Christ’s Gospel.  I knew that the ancient book of Mormon prophet, Nephi, taught that there is no temptation for mankind placed upon him save the lord prepares a way for us to escape it.  That only served to confirm how I knew I was the problem.  I also knew I only needed faith the size of a mustard seed and then I could be empowered to overcome as Jesus declared in the New Testament.  Isaiah said that my scarlet sins could become white as the driven snow!  I craved that.  Jesus said we could move mountains with that tiny particle of faith.  I was not looking to move a mountain, today, I was looking to climb one. 

I had a specific purpose in mind when I climbed Mount Toro.  I wanted to follow Nephi’s example and use it to get nearer to god.  At least, that was my plan.  I figured somehow the physical act could show God I was serious about this desperate pleading I kept offering.

Joseph Smith departed to his grove to seek after God, I would have my mountain. 

When I summited, I wasted no time.  I had played it out ten times in my head as I hiked over the last two hours.  The top of this mountain would be my temple.  My secret sanctuary.  My altar of sacrifice.  A physical symbol to my God that I desired to grow closer to him.

No sooner did I realize that I was suddenly about to address my Heavenly Father with the one item I longed to be banished from my life than my heart spilled over.  My heart leaped into my throat as I felt every ounce of genuine sincerity inside of me get called to attention.  I was racked with remorse and I fell to my knees with my hands gripping the roots of my hair.  I practically doubled over as I shouted my prayer in halted jerking sobs. 

“Oh… my… God!” I cried out in pain.  “I am so sorry to bring this before you again!  I know you healed the blind! Won’t you consider healing my heart?”

Looking back, I believe I shouted so that I would be sure God would have to hear his begging child. 

There was no anger in my tones, in fact, much of my noise got carried away on the whipping windy breeze slipping by me in the trees.  Nevertheless, my prayer gushed out of me as I begged for a change of heart…. as I implored my maker to fix me.  I told him my fears, my secret insecurities, my most inner thoughts.  I was willing to do whatever I could to achieve His holy assistance in getting this mess behind me.

God made me, he could fix me.  How could he not see I was doing everything and more for this to happen?  All that was missing was his providential hand… an augmentation of my sheer willpower and determinism.

Suddenly, I felt physical pain in my heart when I realized that as a sinner, God could cleanse me as decreed in his holy word.  All it took was a particle of faith to get that set in motion!  But another condition for the cleansing was that I realize significantly the gravity of guilt played out from causing God’s son torturous pain in the garden of Gethsemane.  I had to own up to the fact that I placed a burden on the son of God that only He could expiate. 

The beginnings of that thought sent me into absolute horror as I contemplated my role.  I had been taught that Jesus died for my sins.  I was now experiencing the depth and breadth of that concept.  I was feeling the torture… maybe this was the cleansing power I sought!  I buried my face in my hands and throttled a few tortured screams of agony, the blood pressure risingin my throat.  Eventually, there was a calm that quieted my anguished sobs.  I reflected on how I felt inside.  It was nothing huge, but yet it was huge.  I had contemplated my part in the great plan of salvation and had been overcome with unspeakable emotion.  But that was how God worked, right?  I stood up a moment later from my absolution, firmly resolved in my mind that God had answered my prayer.  I looked around.  Fists still clenched and determined.  I started to hike back down the mountain…..

“Mike….”

“Huh?...” I blinked.  My eyes were dry, I must not have blinked for awhile.

“Mike, you were far away there for a few seconds…. I was just asking if you could see where maybe you are missing the mark in the repentance process…”

I think he could have gut punched me and I would not have flinched as hard as I did with his question. 

I knew I had not missed the mark.  My experience on the mountain proved that to me… Yet, obviously I had.  What more did god want with me?  What more was I supposed to do?  I was so confused.  I wanted to relate my experience to this man but it seemed sacrilegious to do it.  I had my communion with the highest holiest being in the universe… and I had failed Him yet again!  How could I possibly explain what happened to me on the mountain when I just admitted to him that I am ground zero again?  It would seem, perhaps, as if I enjoyed torturing the Son of God. 

That is a sick, sick, vile thought Mike.  What is WRONG with you?  Do you enjoy it?  No I don’t enjoy it dang it.  I am just a weird guy with a weird problem.

But was there truth to it?  I had my epiphany.  And I had just as quickly backslid not even three weeks later.  No wonder God wouldn’t change me.  Being God, He knew I was just going to mess up again anyways.  I did not deserve the cleansing blood of His son in my life.  Such changes only come to those with pure intent and sincere repentance.

I walked out of the office, physically ill from my plight.  My church authority figure in my life gently emphasized to me that when I sin in the way that I have been, all the former sins thus repented of return to me.  I was again forbidden to participate in my priestly duties until I could present clean hands and a clean heart.

Oh.  That was not what I needed to hear.  But that was what God’s message through his mouthpiece to me was on this late summer’s night… 

I drove home with my window open.  The night air on my face helped to calm my stomach.  I pulled up to the house and sat in my car for a minute.  The “lights are on” chime dinged in my ears but I could not hear it… or at least I was so fixated on my problems that the noise’s significance failed to register.  I walked up to the back door.  I was greeted cheerfully by my mother whom I ignored as I slipped past her, zombie like, towards the stairs leading up to my room.  I closed the door.  I climbed into bed.  I thought the forbidden thoughts of giving up, giving in, ending it all.  Forbidden.  Doing that would make things even worse for me.

I felt the pangs of a guilty soul, searched my heart for resolve to overcome and be what was required of me… and drifted off to sleep.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 02:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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I read that whole account and it is AWFUL!!  Yet so true.  I think that they were not so hard on females, probably because most of us didn’t even know what it was, but still.  The sexual haunting continues for me even now.

I don’t know if you saw my question, but how are you going to change things for your children so that they don’t have to go through the same thing that you did?  It’s almost inescapbable, unless things have really changed since then.

Josie, former Mormon

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Posted: 06 November 2006 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“Noggin”]THE MORMON SEXUAL PURITY OBSESSION

A few observers have questioned the notion that my former church could be manipulative or damaging, or emotionally stunting.  There is a strong belief that church can do no harm, and only work for the betterment of striving humans.  I recognize that for many, the Mormon church system “works”.  This system did not work for me.  I resent the fact that because it failed, the assumption is that I did something wrong.  I look forward to the day when the Mormon church will be forced to take accountability for it’s offensively over-reaching policies.  Here is an account of one of my teen age encounters with Mormon authority.  This aptly describes the manipulation.  I have spoken with several Mormon males who have agreed that they too experienced low self-esteem and anxiety on account of the Mormon policy regarding sexual purity.

But still, there is the persistence that I am making this up, or that the church is perfect but the people in it is not, or that obviously, I am too sensitive to this and just need to “get over it”.  If you do not understand how manipulative a church system can be with regards to sexual purity… here is my true to life example.  The Mormon church’s obsession with sexual purity warps the mind and self-esteem of many young people who live through it.

Again, I am deeply moved. This reads like something out of 1984. You need to keep writing, Noggin. It seems cathartic for you and incredibly informative for the rest of us.  You have a rare combination of writing talent and this unique perspective on this subject.

I am curious how did the sex police catch you? Did they always just intimidate you into confessing? Did they make people, like your siblings or your parents turn you in?

Also, I am curious as to Josie’s question. What are you doing to protect your own children. This is personal so just ignore it if you want. I know how much you value your marriage and family.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”][quote author=“switch”]btw, If I had tied one hand to my bedpost at the age of thirteen, It really would have given my other hand much more incentive!  (not sure, but I think that I might have tried that)

Right, and what an incentive to become ambidextrous wink. The task is one of the simplest that can be performed by humans, and although I don’t know the, erm, ins and outs  of male desperation, I would imagine there are hands-free possibilities available to the truly determined. Unless the body is fully suspended in mid-air, legs locked straight, then any number of creative solutions can be explored.

Great Post Mia,

I recall a book that a friend read in high school about the Cuban revolution, called “In the Fist of the Revolution.” He pointed out to me a character in that book that had a nightclub act in Havana in the ‘50’s. That act consisted of him walking out on stage naked, sitting down, achieving an erection and having an orgasm without touching himself.

Quite an imagination. raspberry

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Posted: 06 November 2006 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]Again, I am deeply moved. This reads like something out of 1984. You need to keep writing, Noggin. It seems cathartic for you and incredibly informative for the rest of us.  You have a rare combination of writing talent and this unique perspective on this subject.

Hi eucaryote

The reason I post stuff like this is 90% carthartic.  It’s also a bloody stump with a tourniquet yanked tight around it.  My Mormon family pities me, the fool, who chose to leave the Truth.  And of course, part of the reason I post is to shed perspective to you all who choose to read it.  I do hope you come away a tad more grateful for what your life is all about.

I am curious how did the sex police catch you? Did they always just intimidate you into confessing? Did they make people, like your siblings or your parents turn you in?

Great question.  And here in lies the sickening fact to display for conditioning.  I was conditioned to believe that God had spoken to Joseph Smith.  I knew it had happened because I prayed to God and God told me (through feelings) that this is how it happened.  God restored his church on earth in 1830 through Smith.

From Smith, there is an unbroken chain of prophets.  I think the church is on Prophet #13 currently, a man by the name of Hinckley.  Anyhow.  This prophet decrees the decree.  The authority is extended from the prophet to the local congregations via something of a chain of command if you will.  The Bishop is the man that the church goers interface with during most of these interviews. 

Key:  You must realize that since I was a little boy, I was told that during these “worthiness” interviews, I was to be truthful for that would bless my life in immeasurable ways.  I was taught, and completely believed that lying to the Bishop was equivelant to lying to Jesus Christ.

Once you buy that, and believe with all of your heart that this is Jesus Christ’s church, and that whatever the authority says is coming directly through inspiration or personal revelation from god on high, you cough up quite readily alllll the sordid private details of your life.

The Mormon church is extremely big on personal revelation.  And that Bishops can receive revelation as to what is appropriate counsel for whoever they are interviewing.  My bishop told me X, I swallowed X as jagged a little pill as X might be.

Also, I am curious as to Josie’s question. What are you doing to protect your own children. This is personal so just ignore it if you want. I know how much you value your marriage and family.

I should decline to answer it.  My response makes me look like some form of a Eunich.  But I won’t.

My wife had a glorious experience in Mormonism.  Still does.  Her experience is one of warm fuzzies, no pricklies, no intrusive interviews, everyone loves everyone and Jesus is at the head of it all.  I tried to tell her my story.  She shrugs and doesn’t understand.  I am pretty sure she thinks I am embellishing.  Mormonism “works” for her in the most pleasant unintrusive ways.

There is a melding of two completely different polar opposite world views going on in my house.  It is a challenge.  Mostly we don’t talk about religion.  When I came out of Mormonism, I told her that my kids will not be interviewed by any bishop at any time.  If he wants to command authority of what my kids can or cannot do with their lives, he will have to step over my dead body first.  I will not allow my children to half even half of a chance of emotional turmoil that I had.  They can go in and sit with the man and talk about no stealing or cheating on tests and I would allow encouragement for celibacy (prior to being eighteen years old) on the most puritanical and non graphic terms, but to take over their heads.. that’s not going to happen. 

Of course, it’s all tough talk and a pipe dream.  The church will steam roll me, pretty sure.  I hope my wife stands up for what I want.  She seems to be doing that pretty well.  But…...  it’s a source of serious anxiety for me.  I honestly fear divorce will happen when I take my stand.  Most women leave their husbands when the husband chooses to leave the church.  When I take my stand, and if the bishop tries some power play and goes ahead and probes into my kids’ sexual development, and I come unglued and make a scene… I fear that my wife will side with the church.

I won’t be able to live with that, if that happens.

What would you guys do?  Be honest.  You have to imagine you love your spouse immensely, are committed, and have already been through divorce once (8 years ago) about similar religious issue and dread to have it happen again… and you value a 2-biological parent home for the kids above most things on the planet.

Some of my ex mormon acquaintences have told me plainly to just ditch my still believing spouse.  Seemed like throwing out the baby with the bath water to me though.  There are more things in life that matter than any god, you know?

Lastly, I am my own person.  This is the Eunich part.  I am responsible for my own sanity.  I like my life.  I love my wife.  I love my kids.  I have succeeded in transcending the chains, for the most part, of god.  This to the point that if they want to chase after that, then who am I to forbid them?  I can always be there as a signpost of rational thinking. 

Like I said, my kids have already shown to be smart people.  I am sure that they will likely figure things out for themselves.  I would never want to coerce them to think like I do.  If they choose Mormonism, after reading the books I will encourage them to read, then that’s what they do.  But I will defend their right to not have an old man in an office probing every corner of their minds for indiscretion and possible places of purgatory they never knew that they had.  It is so pointless!  So unecessary!

and really.  thanks for reading and responding.

Noggin

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Posted: 06 November 2006 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“Noggin”]All I can say is this

1.  it is funny, I grant you that.  Especially if you are an outsider reading that.

2.  this advice and tons more like it is what hundreds of thousands of young teen males in the 70’s and 80’s had doled out to them.  I was one of them.

3.  the emotional scarring, the social stunting, the frequent self-loathing, the devisive manipulation of a young guy’s self-esteem is not funny.

Thanks for setting me straight with your third point.  I am an outsider which is why it sounds funny, but I forgot how easy it may be for a young man to take that destructive advice seriously.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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In college I read a book by Thomas Szasz called The Manufacture of Madness. Something Dr. Szasz spent a great deal of time on was what psychiatry has called masturbatory insanity. He points out that masturbation has long been identified with a huge number of illnesses by the psychiatric profession. So it’s not just religion. At least it’s hard to know which came first, the religious problem or the wacko science problem.

Szasz shows that many things that we identify with mental illness do not represent real organic illnesses but instead, often mythologies and social proprieties.

I really recommend the book. He links things like masturatory insanity to persecution for witchcraft.

 

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Posted: 06 November 2006 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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[quote author=“Noggin”]2.  this advice and tons more like it is what hundreds of thousands of young teen males in the 70’s and 80’s had doled out to them.  I was one of them.

It also reminds me of something I read during elementary school which was not aimed at adolescents.  My aunt was single until her late 40s and had a 50s-era book called A Woman Doctor Looks at Love and Life.  The doctor was, of course, single too.  She had similar tips on how to avoid masturbation.  It wasn’t presented so much as a moral question, as a question of being a normal woman.  If you married, you were much less likely to achieve satisfaction with your mate if you’d become used to quick’n'easy self-gratification.  If you didn’t marry, then you would wind up masturbating away in your lonely room rather than enjoying wholesome activities with others.

The Church took care of the purity part.  I remember helpful little pamplets on how to examine your conscience (before confession) that certainly gave me suggestions about impure behavior I don’t think I would have come up with on my own.

The “dirtiest” little girl I knew, growing up, was my Mormon friend.  She had an insatiable appetite for innuendo and perverse speculation and an uncanny ability to scout out pictures of naked people in the most unlikely places.  For instance, in the Victorian novel Trilby.  (This novel by George du Maurier introduces Svengali to English literature.) 

Apparently Trilby was an artists’ model at some point in the story, and there is an illustration of her posing in the nude.  Cyndi must’ve gone through every book her Mormon parents owned to find that picture, because it was not an attractive reading prospect for an 8 year old, and certainly didn’t constitute pornography in its own right. 

Cyndi also managed to find suggestive content on the cover of a jazz album owned by the intellectual/artistic parents of our other friend Maki, to the point where they felt they had to hide it in the depths of their hi-fi cabinet. 

Because, the thing was, Cyndi would act on her findings, if you see what I mean.  Maki’s parents were liberal but they weren’t keen on having their little girl’s slumber parties turn into prepubescent orgies.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Noggin,

It’s pretty hard to give you advice in a situation like this. My wife and I often thank our lucky stars that we think the same. In our case, we are each so intolerant, that we doubt our marriage would survive, if, for example, one of us were to find jesus, get saved and fall off the deep end.

I think though, you are on a one way trip, that is I don’t see you going back. Hopefully, your wife will want to relate to the new Noggin enough to at least learn where you are coming from. Possibly some family oriented courses in comparative religion and philosophy might be in order. I do think that knowlege is power and runs at odds with your concerns.

I fear for a train wreck otherwise. I can tell you this much. If it were my children, there is no way I would subject them to the kind of thing that you described. I see it as a form of child abuse.

Perhaps there is some possibility of family counseling of a very secular kind with an emphasis on mental health. There is no way that what you were subjected to was healthy for anybody. No one could make a case for it. Maybe you should make a scene, or at least take a stand. I don’t see it as moral for people to be able to teach their children whatever kind of BS that they want, certainly not to the extent that affect their mental health.

In the recent past, if one was found ill by reason of masturbatoy insanity, medical doctors found justifications for cauterizing one’s genitals. We are not far away from some pretty medieval thinking.

It sounds like you were programmed to think that somehow the Bishop just knew….like you had been intimidated since birth to just comply and confess. Your mormon social network forced you to want to fit in and be “normal”. You seemed unable to simply lie and hide your behavior, as, for example, I did. I’m again curious, not every teenage mormon male was forced to break down before the bishop, yet surely most of them were guilty as well. Some of them knew how to lie and get ahead?

Teach your children well Noggin, free their minds, and don’t waste their time or their emotions with nonsense. I know you will.

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Posted: 06 November 2006 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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[quote author=“made_maka”]
Cyndi also managed to find suggestive content on the cover of a jazz album owned by the intellectual/artistic parents of our other friend Maki, to the point where they felt they had to hide it in the depths of their hi-fi cabinet. 

Because, the thing was, Cyndi would act on her findings, if you see what I mean.  Maki’s parents were liberal but they weren’t keen on having their little girl’s slumber parties turn into prepubescent orgies.


OK Minxs,

Thanks to you I have an image of a slumber party of little girls masturbating to a suggestive album cover…..where there’s a will….

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Posted: 06 November 2006 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“made_maka”]
The “dirtiest” little girl I knew, growing up, was my Mormon friend.  She had an insatiable appetite for innuendo and perverse speculation and an uncanny ability to scout out pictures of naked people in the most unlikely places.  For instance, in the Victorian novel Trilby.  (This novel by George du Maurier introduces Svengali to English literature.) 

Cyndi also managed to find suggestive content on the cover of a jazz album owned by the intellectual/artistic parents of our other friend Maki, to the point where they felt they had to hide it in the depths of their hi-fi cabinet.

Minxs,

Are you suggesting that Cyndi’s apparent fascination with sex, (“dirty”), was a function of her mormon upbringing? Maybe she got a chance to act out with her non-mormon friends. It’s like the more we repress something natural the more it wants to express itself. Conflict….

I recall when I was “that age”, we had Playboy! It would get passed around. What did you think that boy scouts did on their campouts. I guess I have Hef to thank for what I take to be a little bit of sexual sanity I enjoyed as a child…...ahhh! miss november, 1962. 8)

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