Thursday, June 01, 2006

6.01.06, Open Letter to the Anonymous Mormon

“An Open Letter on Missing the Forest for a Few Trees”

[Dear Friends and Readers, the following letter is my reply to a person who posted a comment last night, a comment you can link to through the previous blog post on "Heavy Soul?"--it's the second comment. The person posted as "anonymous" but also using the pseudonym "Neptune." For my non-mormon friends, forgive the occasional obstruse reference (a quick Google should find what you need, or email me), but you will get the tone and gist of his post and my reply without difficulty. For my mormon or christian friends, who are supportive and with whom I have relationships of mutual respect, you'll already know that the points I make in this letter refer to one person, this anonymous "Neptune," and they are a specific reply to the comment made, or rather the intent behind it. -Mr. J.]

Dear Uninvited Mormon Person:

So what do we know about you from your comment? Clearly you are a Mormon — congratulations. Surely you made your choice to become LDS once you had past the callow age of 38; or instead was it that you had full cognizance of the consequences of the entire belief system and of your actions at the spiritually mature age of eight when you were likely baptized? What else do we know? You’re male, you’re older than 38, you lack decency. Clearly the LDS church has instilled in you that too common Christian virtue of accusatory self-righteousness — oh, wait, that’s not a virtue from the Holy Scriptures, is it? In fact, not even the Mormon additions to the good book advocate it. Hm, oh well. As I was saying, clearly you have been blessed with self-righteousness and the capacity to judge another’s heart, but sadly you were not given any balls — though I’m sure you are a priesthood holder. On the subject of balls, Neptune — or should I call you Kolob? — why do you not stand up for what you believe and what you choose to preach so disrespectfully in a forum where anyone blessed with Christian empathy, or plain old human empathy, would know their comments are unwelcome (not just by me, but by hundreds of my friends in this time of need, a time you also have disrespected), why don’t you grow some balls and identify yourself? (And you will note, I decided to reply to your post, rather than simply raise myself above it, because you deeply disturbed someone I love, someone who is grieving now, something apparently you cannot understand as you polish your stone.)

I have reasons, perhaps certain professional and personal ones, for not fully making my name, etc. available to any stranger on the web — but most all my readers and my supporters know who I am. Perhaps you will choose to respect this, or not, that is your choice. So we all know who I am, while you hide. What is it you have to lose? What do you fear? Now is your moment to make friends and influence people, the field is white all ready to harvest. Your moment to show all these good readers what a good, nee even model, Mormon citizen looks like. What is it to you what I have done with my agency, my knowledge, and my experiences in my short 38 years? What is to you, Elder Anonymous? Your behavior vaguely reminds me of a presumptuous Mormon Bishop who chose to disrespect an untimely deceased 23-year old nephew of mine, his family, and his loved ones by offering strangely defensive and uninvited opinions of his from a funeral pulpit just over a year ago. Tis sad to see an individual’s personal ideology totally cloud his capacity for careful reading / listening, yet such is the case with most all sawdust ceasars and would-be demagogues. But that’s another story.

So here we find ourselves in a moment I think, objectively, we can call tragic. Go read your scriptures more carefully, go seek counsel from someone who is genuinely religious; perhaps go and ask the question: What would Jesus do? Would he hide his identity and, pardon my French but, would he be such an insensitive prick as to intrude in a forum — my blog — where people are seeking what solace they can? Where people are in pain, where they grieve, where they can share what is important to them? Would a “real” Christian, who should care to ease the pain of others, interfere like this with his petty desires to be proven “right”? Clearly you’ve lived longer than my short 38 years and yet all your existence does is prove the point that it is neither age nor authority that brings wisdom, compassion, empathy, or respect for another’s pain. Let me spell it out for you — whatever I believe, I am walking straight into death and trying to hold my head up as I do so, show some respect for me, my family, and my loved ones at this time.

Although I dislike the counterfactual, remember that even if you were right — sorry but this doctrinal irony is irresistable — remember that there is no Hell in the Mormon belief system. Have you never learned this? First off, I could never be a candidate for Outer Darkness, so no luck there. Go study it again. No brimstone, no fire, no eternal damnation. Secondly, your buddy Joseph Smith had a vision, remember, in which he was shown the Telestial Kingdom (the least glorious of the three kingdoms where humans can go after this life), and what did he report? If I may paraphrase, he said “It is so incredibly beautiful there that you would take you own life to go there immediately if you could see it!”

And do not fear, Elder, this is not “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture” — this is merely the philosophy of one man, mortal, human, fallible, and faced with a challenge which you should pray to your god you never have to face. If I didn’t know people like you better, I would be stunned at your insensitivity. I recall one of the low points of American history, the tail end of a witch hunt with Welch’s inquiry to McCarthy; I recall this line and ask it of you but change the word Senator for Elder: “Have you no sense of decency, Elder? Have you no sense of decency?” Or should I say in language closer to your heart, in the carpenter’s idiom: “It must be nice to be worthy enough to cast the first stone”?

In sum, and with all the respect that is your due, kiss my ass, and sign your name next time, dearest Kolob.

Sincerely Yours,
Mr. Jones

Franky Scale: 6-7


34DD said...

Nicely done Mr. Jones! Opinions are like assholes everyone has one…it just so happens you got an unsolicited opinion from an asshole. Brush your shoulders off…oxoxox

Machine said...

Still, why dignify the misguided and ill-informed comment with a response? Let him/her wither away forgotten...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Jones:

First of all let me start by saying and honestly meaning this: The interpretation of the written word is comments last evening were not as taken. In my PS when I said "I hope you find peace" it was meant as a sincere comment...."peace as you face death" - in reality,if you are at peace with yourself, nothing else matters - not what other Mormons, Jews or Hindu's think - what you've done with your agency is just that "yours" and not to be judged by me or anyone.

I only know you are 38 y.o. from reading your complete profile and thus the reference "your short 38 years". (some of your best years would lie ahead were it not for your tragic diagnosis - I can only try to imagine such a fate).

I am sorry that I intruded on your personal terriorty and upset you and your family members - again, not my intent. Needless to say, this will be my last visit to your blog Mr. Jones. Again, please accept my apology for the comments made that were interpreted incorrectly. It's obvious you are a very intelligent young man who has made a mark on the world and who is loved by his family.


Slarry said...

Ok, Mr. Jones: I commented last night, and poof, it was gone, evaporated "in the twinkling of any eye"-- then I tried again this morning, and poof, it was gone, going bump in the night. But I will continue...
Mr. Jones, I heard you laugh last night, your laugh, for the first time in a long time, it was hearty, full and contagious. It was so "you." And I went to sleep happy...
You continue to amaze me as you so eloquently articulate your feelings, ponderings, contemplations---you continue to teach, influence and impact so many people. I thank you for that.
And to Mr. Neptune, the namesless Mr. Faux Balls, I can answer your question easily, what Mr. Jones has done with his agency, his life. In every thought, with every gesture, he is honest, kind, compassionate and lovely. If you have read this blog before, you must have heard of the reference to his beautiful mind-- and it is beautiful, and it continues to expand and grow, just like his heart and empathy.
Mr. Jones rose above your puny, pathetic, senseless and careless comments and questions, not to defend himself, but to protect and shield his family, friends and loved one's who are suffering and grieiving our impending loss, the impending death of Mr. Jones. Don't you get
that??? Don't you get it ???? Your comments are meaningless to him. But he did rise, when most of us couldn't move or utter a word or an intelligent phrase. MR JONES IS FACING HIS OWN MORTALITY-- with chemo running through his veins and body, with a knot and nausea that I could not bear, unbearable pain, becoming weaker as this senseless, tragic cancer continues to errode and eat away at his body, -- he still chose to respond to you. That's what he has done with his "agency"- that's who he is, who he has always been.
And as one who is suffering and grieivng the loss of him, with each day, becoming more real and prevalent,
you offended me. What was "christ-like" about your comment? What was kind or loving? You should feel so embarrassed and ashamed. But Mr. Jones, has already forgiven and forgotten you. I'm not as HUGE as he is--
he is far more evolved- he is what I'd like to become like. And in his 38 years, he has done so much for so many--- that this tragedy becomes even more tragic, when one thinks of all the more, everything else that he is capable of. His impact and influence- yes, his beautiful mind.
This inane, mean spirited, careless cancer, struck him, when he had only just begun. So we feel robbed, as I'm sure he does, of having his precious life, his beautiful mind cut short. But I will never give up hope, no matter the statistics.
Maybe you will learn something from this-- Neptune, or do you think you are from Kolob? I don't think they would dare let you enter there.... but we are not here to judge one another. To speak your language, "are you better than he?"
I am having to confront the loss of my one and only brother. I love and care for him more than I can express and will miss and continually learn from him, equally as long. Forever and ever. I was the one you distrubed--the one who he was worried about in my on going process of grieving-- initially-- but his heart is bigger, more exspansive than that, and so we all felt it.
frankly, lefty, DZD, Ms. Salad, Ms. Spacely, 34DD, his Mother, mr. Quid, the professor and Mary Ann : ) and countless others, all over the world.
So, if you want to ask me questions and pick on me-- visit Mr. Jones's blog again, I'm here. Just know, we will always try and be kind, but I, (we) will also be honest. Mr. Jones is way out of your league.
You won't get away with petty and pathetic comments- from one who thinks he is so right and righteous, but is, in reality, something just you presume. I like what my buddy, my other brother, Mr. ffralia said about the "trident gum." Ditto. I love you too, frankly, you're my FAVORITE. !!!! : )
Mr. Jones-- big love, as always. I've never been more grateful to be your sister.
Here for you always and we can't wait to see you again. You are my chocolate cheebus. My Easter Bunny, if you will. Lefty sends her love as well. Let's go Scootering!
Warm weather, furry pals, and loving friends and family await you. I even have extra stool softners. After a comment like Mr. Neptune's-- one does feel a little stuck, a little constipated. How does one spell relief?
Infinite numbers-
Slarry aka Sheri

Slarry said...

Ok, I can't help myself ...
Hey Mr. Anonymous, Mr. Neptune:
BTW your apology is as insensitive, offense and silly as your original comment. You really don't get it, do you?
Neptune, things that live and crawl in the sea--
you are like pond scum, stuff I find on the bottom of my shoes.
I told you I wasn't as evolved or forgiving as Mr. Jones.
In the words of the great Donny Osmond: "Go away little girl, go away little girl ... before I beg you stay .. "
You will only find a multitude of love and support in this blog, not for you, Mr. Narcissist-- but for Mr. Jones.
To the one's I love out there, including Mildred, I love and appreciate you all even more today.
Happy Friday.

34DD said...

Slarry your comment made my eyes well up again. People at work are starting to think I'm crazy. Mr. J is fortunate to have a sister as expressive, sincere and loving as you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks from way inside me. If love and support would kill cancer, I'd be fine. There are some great people here, most farther away than I would like, but so it goes. Thank you again, keep up the good fight.

-Mr. J.

Slarry said...

Oh, oh-- Mr. Neptune:
I had a hunch you were not a man of your word. I just felt it in my heart.
I thought you said, and I quote: "I will never visit or intrude on your blog again .. "
Didn't you say that?
It's incredible what technology can do now-- it is like having a pair of those seer spectacles.
Please have the decency to leave us all alone.
Let us go back to supporting and loving Mr. Jones in his struggle to live and to live in peace.
Your smoke gets in my eyes.

Slarry, Lefty, Dr. Phil, Oprah and the Pink Monkey