Anouncing a new project that has been coming together between a number of Canadian skeptics that first got together at The Amaz!ng Meeting 7, and picking up more along the way. We have started our first project Skeptic North (not to be confused with myself your humble Northernskeptic). We will be contributing to our group blog on the site with a decidedly Canadian focus. The battle for reality starts at home, and Skeptic North will be one of the first outposts on the northern front.
Archive for activism
Finally I have been removed from the member records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and can offically call myself an exmormon. Thank you again for the support in this arduous process.
This started out as a reply to an old friend on my last post, but I think that it warrants a deeper look. Many friends, family, commenters, and the bishop who came to my house have said that the Mormon church needs to confirm the veracity of my request to remove my name from their records. On the surface this may sound like a reasonable argument, but when examined through the critical eye there are blatant holes that cause it to fall flat.
The argument mainly relies on the “what if” scenario of a fraudulent removal request, in this case some ne’er do well falsely resigns another person from the church. In this case the victim should have nothing to worry about, because first and foremost God wouldn’t fall for it (he is after all omniscient).
As for the local effects say that member records removes him/her, then passes that on to the Stake, then to the Ward, logically the individual’s continued attendance would be noticed and the bishop could easily ask for confirmation without being required to go to the person’s home. A quick e-mail/phone call and the matter is resolved. Alternately if this occurs as a member is moving, then it would be caught almost immediately since the members will ask to have their records transferred to the new Ward and/or Stake.
The church itself did not even acknowledge this as a reason in their official correspondence with me. They simply referred to the matter as ecclesiastical in nature, which required local priesthood leaders to contact me (see their response letter here). The bishop visited me 2 days after receiving their letter, I was out so he left his phone #, which I called about a half hour before my interview on Q Transmissions. I explained in no uncertain terms that I was to be removed from their records and that the letter was not an invitation for proselytization. A couple days after that he came to the house again acknowledging the receipt of my phone message (which call display would have confirmed it as coming from me) but still requiring a face to face. Once again I had to tell him to remove me, and expressed my displeasure at the hurdles being placed in my way. It wasn’t until this point that he mentioned authentication being required. I was not asked to sign any documents, my ID was not requested, and I did not have to confirm my last recorded address that the church had. A couple of days later the bishop dropped a letter off indicating that he had sent the paperwork to the member records. I have yet to receive confirmation from member records despite nearly 3 weeks passing since the last letter from the bishop.
I have found that it is easier to quit a job with a resignation letter than it has been to quit the church. I will be sending yet another letter to the church if I have not received confirmation of my removal by the first week of March. This new letter will not be as nice since this ordeal has been going on since the original letter was sent on December 12, 2008 and it is currently February 22, 2009 over 2 months later.
Returning to the original topic of authentication, as Janine said in the comments on my previous post that there may be some truth in this The Science Pundit did point out that there is a reasonable limit. What could have been a quick matter has been stretched out needlessly, I for one will be glad when this is finally over. Stay tuned as we await the final chapter to my resignation from the mormon church.
Thanks again to SP and Janine their comments on my last blog post inspired this one.
I know it has been a while since I last posted, and for that I do apologize to those who are reading. I just wanted to give an update to my ordeal with the Mormon church.
I did get a visit from the local bishop and made it absolutely clear to him my displeasure regarding the unnecessary hoops I was being made to jump through. I made sure my tone was polite but firm. A couple of days later he dropped off a letter confirming that my request was being processed, I am still waiting for the “official word” from member records but for now it looks like I will be getting my wish.
To those of you who have supported me through this as it has been a far more emotional ride than I anticipated, and my good friends in the skeptical community at large were integral to the process. I eagerly look forward to having a celebration once I get the final notice from the church.
Today I received the long awaited response letter to my resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Needless to say I am not happy with their response. Not only did they refuse to process my request, they sent my letter to the local stake president so that he in turn can send the bishop that covers my area to me.
I will be using Mormon No More again to help set these guys straight. In the meantime I’m including scans of the letter and the pamphlet for your amusement (minus my return address for my roommates sake) and my obligatory dramatic reading from YouTube
This week Heather and Desiree are going to be discussing losing your religion with a very special guest….ME!
I’m going to be talking about my life and background and what brought me from devout mormon to skeptical atheist activist.
Please tune in to hear my story and call if you wish to ask me questions about my life.
I recieved confirmation that my letter was recieved on December 22 in Utah (it paid to use registered mail), now I am merely waiting for their reply.