TMI Friday: Don’t Mess With My Peeps, Yo!

Don't Mess With My Peeps, YoI’m Nicole, and I’m a Mormon.

But I don’t always feel comfortable talking about religion on my blog. As I’m sure most people do in their life, I have had questions about my faith. I have heard unsavory stories of things that have happened through the history of my church. I have lived half of my life outside of Utah, and have conclusively decided it’s more difficult to live my faith in Utah.

“Mormon Culture” is sometimes hard for me to stomach. I will joke about funeral potatoes and green jello as much as the next girl, but I notice people get so caught up in the “culture” of our faith, that they really don’t focus on the content of the faith. I try to live the Word of Wisdom, but I drink Coke. I have a friend known  as Jesus in SLC, who calls me the “coolest Mormon ever.” I have no qualms about joking about the quirks of our religion’s peculiar culture. Part of the Utah Mormon Culture is a conservative political leaning, despite the church’s ever-present stance of political neutrality.

A few years ago, I became acquainted with my friend Gabrielle, aka @funkyvalentine on Twitter. She and I bonded, even though we had very differing opinions on many topics. Through the years, her blogging and faith have been through some significant metamorphosis. She converted to the LDS church, but struggled with some questions with her faith. Eventually she made the decision to leave the Mormon church, and she publicly made statements about this on her blog.

A few days ago, I found out about a podcast on LDS Liberty where the podcast hosts ripped her beliefs to shreds, both spiritual and political. Gabs admittedly has some beliefs that don’t fly with mainstream lifelong conservative Mormons, but the hosts of LDS Liberty made a very public, very blatant attack. I posted the following comment:

Since yesterday, this podcast started being discussed at length on Twitter. I won’t go into the details of our discussions, but it made me sad to see how mean people can be to each other. Especially when it comes to something personal and sacred like religious beliefs. This podcast was a personal attack, a case of cyberbullying, and it’s not okay. I don’t think the podcast discussion was helpful – it was self-righteous and accusatory. Feelings have been hurt, and I personally felt like I needed to talk about it on my blog.

Do you think LDS Liberty took it too far? I’m not interested in discussing the particulars of Gabrielle’s beliefs versus LDS Liberty’s beliefs…but rather the situation in general. Feel free to comment, but please be kind. Hurtful and abusive comments will not be published.

Can’t we all just get along?

  • Thank you, Nicole, for sticking up for your friend. You are absolutely right! I would consider you a “cool Mormon” for doing so… I myself, for personal reasons that I won’t get into on this post, do not attend the LDS church, despite growing up with those beliefs. It is really irritating to me when friends and family say to me “you know better” and “you’ll find your way again”… What am I, a lost puppy? No, I am a person who is seeking the best spiritual option for me… That is not to say that I think that Mormonism is wrong, or that any other religion is wrong per se… Just that they are wrong for me… I don’t stop being friends with someone just because we have different ideas on religion. I appreciate the fact that you are so open-minded when it comes to other people’s beliefs and respect other people’s beliefs even when they differ from yours. In this world, we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of what we call our faith. We should act like it.

  • Sounds like LDS Liberty has been attacked before and so is very defensive. I wouldn’t know what to think unless I was in their shoes for awhile. But I really believe that we shouldn’t attack one another and learn tolerance.

  • Jan

    Learn to coexist. I come from a family divided; raised in what is commonly referred to as cracker redneck land though most of my family is not from here.
    I have lesbian cousins, gay cousins, racist-homophobic-sexist parents, pierced and tattooed relatives and a husband who would accept me no matter what. I was raised southern Baptist which I feel they make up their interpretations as they go along. For example, if the preacher had an affair the past week, he’ll preach about forgiveness; if he had sex with his wife that week, he’ll preach about devotion; if the preachers’ son pierces’ his eyebrow he’ll preach about tolerance; if nothing happens he’ll preach about the power of prayer and the way of the word. I have learned to coexist. I have lived in cracker redneck land but I was not to be validated by it solely. If I had been, I would have dead in a matter of days when I took my job in DC at the height of the gang MI-5 taking over DC. I accept someone is of a different color; different gender; different religion; different sexual orientation; different strength; different opinion and even a different airline……yes, I have to always make a joke amidst the serious…. so please, learn to coexist.

  • angie

    Hey nicole! So glad you mentioned your blog. It was nice chatting with you today – thanks for eating lunch with me! Seriously, call whenever!

  • I appreciate what you are doing with this post Nicole. The world needs more people willing to stand up for their friends and stand up for kindness and tolerance!

  • I have not read or heard about any of this but as an outside person looking in I applaud you for sticking up for your friend. Everyone deserves the right to their own opinions and to live in the manner that they please, as long as they are not harming anyone in an illegal way. The person belittling others is usually the one with the issues!

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