People > Programs

I had to delete several comments from a post in the seminary teachers group today, each of which violated our rules by criticizing other group members.

One of those whose posts was deleted DMd me to complain. The conversation was so interesting. She started out by saying her comment was censored because I didn’t want people to hear about the beauty of the Atonement. Huh?

I explained that her criticism of other members was a violation of our rules.

She responded by saying no one was being called out, and I was censoring the voices of people who want to have “important conversations”.

I sent her a screen cap of her comment with the offending remarks highlighted, in which she plainly does call out others, and explained again that she had violated our rules. I noted this is not censorship — it’s consequences — and her choice is to make comments that follow the rules or leave the group.

Now here’s my favorite part…..

She comes back on me with this: “So, in other words, it’s perfectly fine to criticize anything about Church leadership, history, policies, programs, etc but nothing is allowed to be said about those doing the criticizing. Gotcha.”

Why, yes, Sister. It is okay to abuse policies and history and program to whatever degree you wish. But criticizing the people who express these concerns — that’s a no go.

It is super interesting that someone who wants to talk about “the atonement” is so remarkably unaware that people > programs, policies, history, teachings.

That a Christian thinks she is justified in going after people instead of ideas.

That a Christian thinks criticizing a story is bad, but slamming people is a win.

And I’m the one who is off the reservation.

This is why I’m struggling to find a place at church right now. In my own ward leaders criticize members over the pulpit. Other ward members say there’s no place for those who question — that if you doubt, all of your previous good works are gone, and it’s just like you’d never been a part at all.

I recognize this isn’t The Church, per se. But members do make it really hard to be part of “the church” when they say such stupid stuff and then drop an in the name of Jesus Christ on top.

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.