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Birds in a Cage

I have many LDS friends and family who are like wild birds who over the years have slowly adapted to being caged by the church. When wild birds are first put in a cage they fly against the bars and seek to escape anytime the door is open for any reason. The older birds sit in the cage even when left with a chance to escape. Leaving the Mormon Church in my mid 20s (around 2001) after growing up in the church was easier to escape, i.e. it wasn’t as traumatic as someone born in the church that must face the truth at the age of forty with a wife and kids. I feel sorry for Mormons who are stuck in the cage and have lost interest in freedom. It reminds me of the movie Shawshank Redemption, in one scene an old man who has been in prison his whole life is finally set free but he doesn't know what to do with himself and becomes depressed and takes his life. Later in the movie the character Red is set free and has a hard time adjusting to life outside prison as well. He struggles with things like not having to ask permission to go the bathroom. On the way home one day he says to himself, "There is a harsh truth to face. No way I'm gonna make it on the outside. [pausing at a pawnshop window staring at an array of handguns]. All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole. Terrible thing, to live in fear... All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time." But he finds hope in meeting up with his friend Andy who escaped prison. Many Mormons feel the same way as Red when they abandon the structure of Mormon life. They are truly in prison and many times are afraid to be freethinkers. Their minds are clouded by religious dogma and social pressures. They are not free to entertain doubts that leads to healthy questions that leads to discovery and awakening. Instead, they are prisoners to their fear and ignorance as they have been conditioned to feel terror at the mere sight of a book written by a critic of Mormonism.


Anonymous said…
Oh my goodness - what a great comparison! The fear is instilled at such a young age, it is a scary thought to live without it. I know what life is like inside the Mormon bubble, but thinking of raising my kids without that [false] sense of security has me going out of my mind with worry. Do they have a better chance of success if I try to protect them by raising them Mormon? Fear of the unknown often stunts our growth and keeps us standing still in our shackles. I'm terrified, but I cannot follow a prophet (Joseph Smith) who has been a proven liar over and over again. In the long run, I want my children to make educated decisions. I don't want them to be afraid of asking questions. I want them to be free and to not fear their freedom!

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