So I haven't made it any secret that writing the letter of resignation is a def possibility in my future. It wasn't until I was able to say that publicly that I seriously considered it, and it wasn't until the Church's official response to Judge Walker's ruling on Prop 8 that I decided it was probably getting to be time.
For me, it's a matter of disingenuousness.
That's not a word, but work with me here, people.
Though we began some serious questioning even back in 2005, I think (right after April conference, if you'd believe it), we didn't get active about it until three years later. In 2005, however, I went to renew my temple recommend. It was always such a pain in the ass thing to do as it was with our schedules, but with the nagging questions and impressions it made it that much harder to do. But we did. It was the last time we would.
I have always had this thing of being honest to a fault, so when my bishop asked me the questions I was pretty honest. I dunno about 100% intellectually honest, but I did my best.
...until we hit the "Do you believe/know/whatever that Joseph Smith blah blah blah?"
I told him I wasn't sure about that anymore. He told me I should watch more BYU-TV and gave me my recommend. I didn't bother telling the stake president about my issues after that. Whatever, yeah?
Besides, I was pretty pissed for being dismissed like that. I was in tears because I was so scared the church wasn't true and I get this. BYU-TV, are you fucking serious?
The temple became interesting after that.
Anyway, fast forward to 2008ish and we're in a new ward. It's after Prop 8. I had my last blog up. I wasn't looking to leave but I could see it coming. My bishop knew nothing of this--or maybe he did. Not sure now. The timing is all blurry. This may or may not have been after I had my pointless "Tell me please why I should vote yes" talk with my bish. That was a fun talk. Srsly. Also good PR for me. I could tell people I not only prayed about it but I cleared it with my bishop.
Which is stupid.
But I did. I wanted him to give me one good reason to vote, and he didn't. I walked out more sure than ever to vote no.
I have to give the guy credit, though. He didn't say I was apostate for voting no when teh prophet said otherwise.
But I digress. Either before or after that, I was called to be a 5th Sunday Relief Society teacher. Or 4th. Whichever one has me teaching from General Conference talks. Doesn't matter, I had to teach.
I love teaching. I always have whenever I've been given the opportunity to. I'm not always good about it, but when I relax I like to think I've a talent. So I accepted the calling even while knowing I may not be able to stand behind the things I'd have to teach--I mean, if I had to teach something akin to "Mother's Who Know," I'd bust a vein. And I'm only slightly exaggerating.
If only I knew of the blogosphere back when that hack of a talk happened, I would've been better off. Felt very alone in my hatred for that talk.
So my first talk comes and I do my best to make it (a) something I could swallow, (b) not cliche and (c) something edible for the women while also being a bit, if only a drop, fringe.
The second talk came and I really, really struggled. I don't remember which talk it was based off of, but it had something to do with activity or sustaining or something stupid like that. I did my thing and it wasn't as good as my first lesson.
I couldn't take it anymore. I felt like my skin was crawling. I called my bishop and asked to be released. Of course he wanted to know why, and with my "honest to a fault" crap, I told him. I outed myself. He wanted to visit with me, but the appointment was made unknowingly on Back to School night and--sorry, bish, my kid comes first.
We never rescheduled. He never said a word to me. The Relief Society President came to me on two Sundays wanting to help me. It didn't seem to me that she knew I was looking to become inactive because she said something about knowing my life was too crazy for this shizz, so she offered to have me be on the less demanding (?) enrichment committee.
I gave it thought over the hour of RS but only because I didn't want to disappoint this woman (I hate disappointing anybody), but in the end I knew I couldn't do it. Not with a clear conscience. Besides, I didn't want to be in church anymore. I knew the anchor of a calling would only drag me further to the bottom. Besides, church bugged the fuck out of me. So I told her no. And it was weird, mostly for her. The look on her face--No?
It's foreign, I know. Maybe I should've tried speaking louder, slower, or in sign language. Though I think I did shake my head as well.
We moved soon thereafter, and that's when we decided we were done. It took us a few weeks to decide finally that we wouldn't even go once (because then you REALLY attract attention), but we did decide.
So now we're looking at the resignation letter, and I'm met with the same feelings. I can't help but feel that, if we stay, we are expressing passive support of the church and its doings. We are counted among the membership even though we don't go and don't believe. We retain the title for whatever intents and purposes, LDS/Mormon. We also, however, get the benefits whatever they may be. If any. We never liked using them anyways.
Just as I didn't feel right teaching lessons to these women I couldn't stand behind (even though I thought I could help them think about things differently), I don't feel right staying in a church I cannot stand by.
So I spoke with Eric last night about it, and he brought up an interesting point. There have been benefits of our lazy membership within the church. It's called getting a job.
The community here is saturated with LDS people. They're literally everywhere. And Eric is sure a few someones gave him a good reference. The parents of LDS kids want their kids in his classes--and they're good kids.
Like it or not, people do associate positive things with members of the church. And here, the idea that the church was so involved in supporting Prop 8 wasn't an issue. Everyone else here supported Prop 8, too.
So he's worried about what may happen once we officially remove our records from the active church files (they never really destroy yr records). And it's a real concern. While he's one of the only teachers at his school with a single subject credential in math, he isn't tenured yet. Next year. And that may not even matter. Every year the budget is cut so that they have to lay off a ton of teachers. We got the initial pink slip this past year before he was "rehired"
And we figure he gave two years of his life to this church plus I-don't-want-to-know how much money and time, so what the hell.
But I don't know. As his initial worry about his family and friends' reactions went away, I think this one will too. Maybe after he's tenured. But then I have to wonder about myself when I'm ready to get a job.
It's incredibly selfish, I'll give you that, but it's practical. I guess. I'm just not so sure we should give that much weight to this theory that being and growing up LDS helped him get the awesome teaching job.
What say you?