“You still aren’t over it”, Jory said to me. “You are really cool about it… but every now and then when the topic comes up, you still have a reaction. You still have some things to work out before you are totally at peace with it”.
My dear friend Jory was talking to me about my reaction to things involving “the church” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for those of my readers who aren’t familiar). It’s true. I still have a knee jerk, gut wrenching reaction to a lot of things involving the LDS church. I wish it wasn’t that way.
Aside from being a critic of the church, I really hate the anti-mormon counter culture. 99% of the time, critics of the LDS church are ill informed and have no style. I. Seriously. Do. Not. Like. Anti-mormons. I’m an anti-anti mormon.
As for my own gut twinges when church comes up: I don’t know if I’ll ever NOT have a visceral reaction to organized religion. Sometimes I beat myself up for being such a prick about the church. And sports fans. And Democrats. And Republicans. (all are forms of worship) I know I’m being an ass. Sometimes I feel like it’s what God wants me to do. You heard me. But anyway, even as I make criticisms of religion, I have mixed feelings about what I’m doing. Part of me wishes I could just be live-and-let-live. Part of me knows that I’d be lying if I didn’t give voice to what I’ve seen. I am also painfully aware of the fact that my words have consequences when it comes to those around me, particularly friends and family that may embrace ideologies that I criticize.
On a different – but not at all different topic: Rush just came out with a new album. Every Rush record seems to echo my own inner state – it’s uncanny. The lyrics seem to have been written for me. I hope that someday I can meet Geddy, Alex, and Neil from Rush, shake their hands, and just say “Thank you” for giving voice to so many things I have felt.
Here are a few stanzas from their new song, “The Anarchist” that really spoke to me:
“Will there be world enough and time for me to sing that song?
A voice so silent for so long. For all those years I had to get along, they told me I was wrong
I never wanted to belong – I was so strong
The lenses inside of me that paint the world black
the pools of poison the scarlet mist, that spill over into rage
The things I’ve always been denied
An early promise that somehow died
A missing part me that grows around me like a cage.”
Listen to the song here: