Monday, May 11, 2009

BEFORE You Friend Me on Facebook

This is mainly for those of my LDS friends who find me on Facebook. Consider this my full disclosure.

I am apostate. I am an atheist. I am pretty liberal in my political views. I use lots of obscenities and blasphemies in my day to day language, and they come up from time to time in my status updates. I drink alcohol, coffee and tea (but rarely all of them at once ;-P). I watch rated R movies. I disagree with a lot that the LDS Church does, and from time to time, that will also make it into my status updates. I have left my husband. I work outside the home.

I operate on a basic premise as far as status updates and comments go. We are all entitled to our own opinion. I personally am not interested in antagonizing anyone. Thus if I see a post on your wall that I disagree with, I will simply shake my head to myself and let it lie. I expect the same courtesy. If you do choose to argue/disagree, please send me a personal message. While I'm not inclined to argue, I'm certainly not afraid to defend my position.

I am aware of the implications of my behavior from the LDS point of view. I accept full responsibility for my lost and fallen state. Let me assure you that I'm happy; I'm healthy; and I'm sane (heh. I realize this has always been debatable, even before I left the church). I am a human being, not a missionary opportunity.

Lastly, if you friend me, I'm sure I'll be thrilled. I enjoy hearing from the people I grew up with and spent time with. I like hearing about people's high moments and being there for them when they're having a rough time. I'll make no claims about whether I'm a good person or a bad person. All I'll claim is that I'm doing the best with what I've got. Be well, mes amis.

16 comments:

darlene said...

I wish you well, I think you're very well grounded and I have the utmost respect for you.

I hope you find many friends on Facebook, and no antagonists.

G said...

please please PLEASE be my friend! :)

Lessie said...

G! Of course I'll be your friend :)

Darlene, I do have lots of friends on facebook. And while I'm sure they don't consider it antagonism, I've had a few of my still-LDS friends try to save my soul against my insistence that I'm happy and okay.

I got tired of the drama and so wrote this post and linked to it from my profile on facebook. Who knows, it may drum up more drama, but I'm hoping future LDS friends will see it, take a hint, friend me, and then let me be.

darlene said...

The bishop that lived next door to me, and a supervisory male in my office (not my own supervisor) both reacted in the same way when I told them I was an atheist.

"No, you're not...not in your heart of hearts...you still believe the church is true".

They were sincere! There was no place in their view of the world for someone with my (non) beliefs who was entirely okay with no longer believing. It wasn't real to them.

So, good luck with your church friends, I'm sure it will take some time for them to come to terms.

Chandelle said...

Tell it, sister! I'm very selective about whose "friend" invitations I'll accept, for this very reason.

Lessie said...

Yeah, I understand your reasoning, Chandelle, but I care about most of these people. It's not that I don't like them, so much that I just want to be allowed to be me. I don't go trying to talk them into being atheists, I expect them to respect my choices.

Hollis Henry said...

I would love to cut and paste your exact words to my own FB profile. You captured it, exactly.

Lessie said...

I know you're right Darlene, and I suppose I should just let it go, considering nothing I say is going to get through to people with that thought process. But I really do hope this post will deter the majority of the soul saving efforts.

Hollis, you could refer people here if you wanted and say "ditto" :P Hell, you could flat plagiarize me ;-) The fact that I even felt the need to write this post is still somewhat annoying to me...

angryyoungwoman said...

I just quit doing the facebook thing because I was tired of explaining to people over and over that I'm no longer mormon. Oy. Good luck. I hope things turn out well for you.

xJane said...

…are you my friend? ::weeps silently to self:: I thought of this recently when I found my niece. I wonder what her mother would think of some of the things I post to fb. None are anything I would be ashamed for a prospective employer to find, but family is a different matter.

Lessie said...

AYW, I guess I'm still too hard headed :) There are a lot of people on facebook that have simply left me alone. We're able to appreciate the things we have in common rather than them feel the need to bug me about stuff they don't agree with. But there are also folks on facebook that I enjoy hearing from, so I stay for that reason.

xJane, I don't know that we are friends, now that you mention it. Must remedy that, n'est-ce pas? You're friends with John, Jana and G, right? So I'll stalk you from there ;-P

Kaimi said...

Well shit, now you tell me.

:P

KatieBug said...

Hello Lessie! Love your blog; I found it through my sister's blog and come to check it out periodically. I have a question for you because I'm currently trying to get some perspective. I too am a former Mormon turned, not athiest (at least not yet lol) but more...agnostic? I simply don't know what to think but I'm pretty sure noone else on earth really has any answers either. Also the idea of continuing to search for meaning and truth in religion is exhausting and overwhelming to me, so I've settled for a kind of spirituality in which I try to be the best person I know how to be simply because it's what feels best to me, not out of a feeling of obligation to a higher power, or hope of an elevated status in the afterlife or any of that. Anyway, my question for you is, what do you teach your children? Do you feel that it's important for them to be exposed to the different schools of belief, or do you just avoid it altogether? I've thought about this over the years and discussed it with my husband but we're still not sure what we want to do. We definitely want to avoid the whole mind-f**k that comes with the doctrines of the mormon church, but wonder if it's important for children to be grounded in some sort of belief system. Will you tell me your thoughts?

Lessie said...

Hi KatieBug! Welcome :) Do you mind my asking who your sister is? Do I know her?

Also, it's totally ok to say "fuck" on my blog ;-)

As to your question: I'd like to do a post as an answer, but I'm swamped. So I'll give you a brief synopsis of my thoughts until I find the time for a full fledged post. I take my kids to a Unitarian Universalist church. But that's more because I go than it is for them. I love the community there and when I have my kids on a Sunday, they go with me. That said, I do like the UU for the alternative it gives my children. My ex-husband and his wife still take my kids to a mormon church. I just want them to have options. They don't have to grow up UU and if they choose mormonism, I think I'll be ok with that as long as I know they had a choice. Does that make sense? Other than that, I don't make any huge effort to introduce them to different schools of religious thought. But that's up to each parent.

Lastly, I'm honest with my kids about my beliefs or lack of belief--which ever way you want to look at it. I tell them that I don't believe in god, that I don't believe in Jesus, etc. But I tell them that I believe in being kind and in trying to be fair. If they ask me a question I don't know the answer to, I tell them honestly that I don't know.

I suppose the one thing I've done, and this will depend on your own beliefs as to whether you want to do this or not, but I refer to Christianity as another form of mythology. When my kids ask me a question about their dad's church I say, "well, according to Christian mythology" or "according to Mormon legend" just as I would if I were discussing Greek, Roman, Hindu or any other type of mythology.

Sigh. So much for being brief. I hope this was helpful and feel free to ask more questions if you want to :)

KatieBug said...

Hey Lessie, thanks for sharing your way of doing things :). And my sister is Eve. She's a "follower" of your blog, and posts comments occasionally. I don't know if you know her personally :).

I have very similar ideas of what we might do with our children, like referring to the Bible stories and Christian belief as mythology or legend seems like a good way to go, because then they stil get exposure, but not necessarily as "truth" any more than Greek mythology, etc. like you said.
I've often wondered about how to get that sense of community that I valued growing up. It seems with any church congregation I attend there are always strings attached or attempts to convert me to their beliefs. A UU congregation sounds like they exert less or even no pressure? Do you still get people of one belief or another trying to win you over? or do you all kind of live and let live...

Lessie said...

I totally know your sister in real life. There's a good chance I know you too ;) Good lord, Katie. You're already married with kids? Wow. Y'all grow up fast.

UU congregations are generally pretty low pressure. I went ahead and joined my UU congregation officially because you don't get to vote if you're not a member of your congregation. That said, it took me over a year to sign the damned book. I was just too scared from my experiences in mormonism. As for beliefs, UUs are kind of a live and let live people. I go to church with Buddhists, other atheists, pagans, Christians and people who believe in god, but don't know how to define him or her. We talk frequently about how we view reality and spirituality and we respect the experiences that have brought us to those conclusions. I like UUs because they teach my kids to think critically, not dogmatically. If you are looking for a place to enforce your values, a UU or Quaker congregation would be a great place to start.