Friday

20 May 2011

If you're old enough, you remember the political posturing over the Equal Rights Amendment in the late 70s and early 80s.
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

bullet Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

bullet Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

That was it. Congress passed it, but it fell short by three states needed for ratification.

Not surprisingly, the Mormon Church opposed the ERA. Not surprisingly, either, some members of the church had issues with that. One, Sonia Johnson, chained herself to the gates of the Seattle LDS Temple (among other things...she really championed against her church for the cause) and those actions brought a lot of notoriety.

The LDS church embraced the controversy. Welcomed it.

Why?

Because controversy breeds curiosity. Curiosity brings questions. And questions bring seekers of truth, and the LDS Church had a lot of their version of the truth to share. People speaking out against the church, picketing at the Republican National Convention, chaining themselves to temples...it brought in new members. They knew it would.

And now?

Ok, maybe the kitties will be Raptured...
Now we're all sitting round waiting to prove Harold Camping and his Rapture-Is-Tomorrow followers wrong. We're having a hell of a lot of fun with it--and why not? I suspect God has a healthy sense of humor--whether there's an underlying belief that someday this will happen, or not.

(And for the record, I don't think that finding this funny is a slam against those who believe that someday there will be a Rapture and accountability. You can believe in it and still find this whole thing so absurd that humor is the only way to address it.)

Like the whole ERA fight in the late 70s and Johnson chaining herself to the Temple, bringing an influx of members to the LDS church, I suspect that even though we're all going to stay put tomorrow, the entire controversy is going to cause a whole bunch of people to take a hard look at their lives and ask What if? It will likely bring as many people to faith as the distaste of hard line evangelicalism has turned away...and hard right leaning conservatives have pushed a lot of people away from faith.

If you're one of those, suck on it. You screwed up. And though it won't be tomorrow, someday you will be held accountable for that. Don't be surprised to find yourself stuck here with the rest of us when the End Times truly begin.

But.

In a distasteful, money grubbing manner (and I suspect it's all been about the money) Camping and his group may actually get a few people to really investigate what they believe and why, and may spur some faith in a few.

Whether that's a good thing or bad, that's up to you to decide.

I think anytime someone steps up and defines for themselves what they believe, what they truly believe--as opposed to what they were taught as children or have adopted out of anger and disappointment--it's a good thing. It's a foundation to build upon.

And when you have that foundation...nothing people like Harold Camping say will have you selling your house and cars, quitting your job, drinking the Kool Aid.

You won't need to.

Because you'll know...

7 comments:

G.G. Mueller said...

I knew there was a very wise woman writing the blog I have been reading. I am proud to know you.

Derby, Ducky said...

It is all about publicity. He wants his 15 minutes of fame. He will fade quickly.

Cheysuli and gemini said...

I think he wants the money people have been donating--I guess his staff has been interviewed and most of them don't believe it will happen and they think he'll disappear with the money...which is really horrible.

Angel and Kirby said...

If he is still here tomorrow, he should do the honest thing and return all money he has received. But we all know he won't!

Bonnie (BornInaZoo) said...

Ow! I belong to the LDS church & a faithful reader of yours. Nice stereotyping & church bashing.

Thumper said...

I *was* Mormon...how did I bash the church? The embracing of the controversy? That was pointed out to us by a speaker FROM the church during a Friday Forum at the LDS Institute of Religion. He was quite clear in that it was very much welcome because of the people it would bring to the church.

From the church's standpoint, it was bringing people to the truth. It was a good thing.

I didn't bash; I didn't stereotype; I simply stated what happened. The LDS church welcomed the controversy that came with the ERA protests and the picketing at the RNC. That wasn't exactly a church secret, not if they were telling a bunch of teenagers about it.

It's not a bad thing, either. People are drawn to controversy, for good or bad. I never said that what brought people to the LDS church was bad; all I said was that it brought them there.

Whether that's good or not depends on what people found for themselves in their investigations. There are a whole lot of very happy people who came to the LDS church during and because of Sonia Johnson's fight against the church over the ERA. They found what they needed and they found themselves.

There are also a whole lot of disillusioned people who felt abandoned by their church.

That's not bashing; it just is what it is.

Hard leaning right conservatives *have* pushed people away from organized religion.

I'm one of them.

I'm lucky in that what it didn't push me from was faith, and the two are not the same thing.

Char said...

I'm not seeing the stereotyping or bashing, either. Just compare and contrast. I'm FAR TOO YOUNG to remember the fight over the ERA, but I understand what you mean in regards to Camping. People are going to look inward and some of them will find faith.