Did Ed Snowden do the right thing?

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 19:21:01 MDT 2013


On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 8:52 PM, Sasha Pachev <sasha at asksasha.com> wrote:
>  All I can say is that I respectfully disagree. I have been inside it - I
> have served a mission, have been in a number of leadership positions, have
> sat through a lot of meetings, and have visited and got to know a lot of
> people through church service. I have seen the difference that faithfulness
> in the church makes in their overall qualify of life, ability to reach
> their goals, ability to be happy, and the ability to get along with others.
> I have seen that difference in my own life as well. I cannot help but quote
> Alma 30:34-35 at this point:

I'm glad that you are happy.  I know a lot of Mormons who are very
happy in their religion.  However, living a happy life does not mean
that the religion whose structure you have found happiness within was
founded by an honest or scrupulous man, or that it does not operate on
self-deception.  It is very fair to ask whether it matters, so long as
you are happy.  I suppose to many people it doesn't, and I don't
begrudge them their happiness.

I personally was extremely unhappy being Mormon.  It never quite felt
right to me.  There were little things that didn't quite add up.  I
felt like I was living in The Truman Show, and if I just scratched at
the right spot the whole facade would come away.  The default Mormon
answer to this kind of existential discomfort is to search, ponder and
pray, read the Book of Mormon, pray more, spend more time at the
temple... essentially, to try harder and harder to be Mormon.  Because
when you're Mormon, that's the answer to everything - after all, the
fruits of righteousness are joy, right?  If you're not happy you must
be doing it wrong.  Go see the Bishop, he'll set you on the right
path.  Have you read the Book of Mormon recently?  Maybe you just need
a different calling... wait, are you sure you've paid all of your
tithing?  Discouragement, despair and depression are the three D's of
the devil - why are you letting the devil into your life?  You must
not be praying enough.  I bet it's 'cause you missed sacrament
meeting.  Is your testimony okay?  Have you been to the temple
recently?  That always makes me feel better!

When you're Mormon, the only answer to problems is more Mormon.  I can
honestly say that I have never been happier since I had my name
removed from the records.  Ironically, I didn't leave because I was
unhappy, and I had no expectation that leaving "the church" would make
me happier.  It was a pleasant, and unexpected, side effect.  It
wasn't until I got some distance and had a chance to re-examine my
experiences as a Mormon from a different perspective that I realized
how incredibly screwed up things were.

Ultimately, I'm glad that you're happy.  I'm glad that you're not
affected by the screwed up parts of your religion.  And I hope that
you will recognize that your religion really is not the ultimate
answer to everything.  There are people who really can be harmed by
it, in very real ways.  And I hope that if you encounter one of them
in the future, you will stop and think that maybe "more Mormon" isn't
the right answer for them.

-Dan


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