Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Morning musing and shit…  §

It’s a uniquely Mormon perspective to believe that one has a “right” to live in a world devoid of sensory input that conflicts with one’s own personal value system. I think it comes from the Mormon doctrinal assertion that thought is reality; e.g. that if you think about killing your teacher, even if you don’t do it, then in the afterlife you will be judged as having murdered your teacher. Similarly, if you think about having had had sex with the first lady, then in the afterlife, fornication with the first lady will be counted among your sins.

Hey, people can believe what they want. If these crazy Mormons believe that watching a documentary on Jeffrey Dahmer will create culpability for cannibalistic acts in the afterlife, fine. But it’s that extra step that’s problematic: since Mormons believe that their salvation isn’t just tied up in what they do but in what they think and in what they see and hear as well, they develop the sense that they have a right to a clean, pure field of vision. They do things like argue for the “right to be free from free speech,” explain how a beer can on a billboard is equivalent to drunkenness, or things like this.

And of course to have doubts about your faith, even if you don’t ever voice them out loud or share them with anyone, makes you a heretic. To doubt is to have joined the army of Satan, and that is how you will be judged. But more importantly, to doubt and then spend time with others — even if they don’t know that you doubt — is to damn them as well, since (whether they know it or not) it is also by and as your associations that you will be judged. And so if you doubt, you endanger not only yourself, but everyone around you as well. If you imagine sex, you not only condemn yourself as a fornicator, but everyone around you as well.

Within the context of a group, it’s a particular kind of mind control that I don’t think exists in other “mainstream” religions. And it’s the sort of conditioning that makes dialog about faith impossible.