Ripe for the Picking
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
A person who spends his or her entire life, from the moment they hear human voices, imbibing the flavored, highly sweetened and vibrantly-hued Kool-Aid of religious indoctrination are often assured that only they are drinking of the pure, “living water.” So ubiquitous are the children’s hymns and poems and axioms to which they are subjected, they often don’t realize that what they are being force-fed is flavored at all. It is simply part of their environment–the way life is. The pedagogy makes certain to tell them that their doctrine is the norm–so normal and banal as to be mundane and common ..read more
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Illusions of Happiness
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
I’m no longer content with being happy, but I have learned to be happy with being content. Perhaps I should say, that I have found happiness is not consistently satisfactory, even the pursuit of it which, in the United States, I have as a recognized, natural right. It would be safer and more honest to say that I do, now, find satisfaction in choosing contentment over happiness as a preferred state of being. I wasn’t born this way, and I didn’t wake up on morning after reading philosophy the night before, suddenly enlightened and enlivened. I still struggle to be content though the struggle doe ..read more
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The Standard of Goodness
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
Early in A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens introduces us to Sydney Carton. Initially, amongst the other characters, he is forgettable, pathetic, and even loathsome. Perhaps that is a hallmark of great literature. It can produce contemptible, disgusting characters like Sydney Carton in whom a man like me may see our own character reflected. I speak only of the Mr. Carton found in the first quarter of the book. Of this character, Dickens writes: Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable ..read more
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No Mask, No Vax, No Problem
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
You don’t blame the neighborhood cats for barking. Barking is a dog problem and one that seems to spread with little encouragement. When one canine begins the nightly recitation, it’s as if all dogs within earshot cannot help but joint the expanding chorus. I can’t claim to know much about Islam or Judaism. I can say that the madness of crowds appears to be an especial susceptibility amongst Christianity. They have just enough political clout and a sense of inter-denominational solidarity that when one pundit, priest, or pastor makes sufficient noise–though it sound like irrational barking to ..read more
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The Pinnacle of Piety
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
When I invite my son to go on a hike, maybe his reluctance and even refusal are because he’s been listening in church. He knows that when Abraham’s invited his son Isaac to climb Mount Moriah, it was more than a leisure hike that was intended by the father. He also knows that I’ve never demonstrated enough devotion to any person or thing to sacrifice a non-combatant to it. I’ve often told my children that, so long as they are not harming themselves or others, they can count on my support for their decisions. Cases of self-defense and war aside, I can’t imagine what it would take to bleed the l ..read more
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The Cult of Human Sacrifice of Latter-day Saints
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
Brigham Young once said: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Well, he may not have said it but he lived it. What’s it called when you say one thing but do another? Hypo…NO! That’s not it. Ahh! It’s called being a Special Witness of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days! It’s not okay for YOU, dear reader, and you should definitely confess to your bishop or branch president about any instance of transgression. But, if any of your duly ordained apostles happens to do it, that’s fine. It’s like polygamy. When God condones it because the ordained leader tells you He cond ..read more
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Inclusivity: On Demand
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
If there’s one thing you can count on from the overly vocal spokesman of Jesus, its the self-congratulatory, gratuitous usage of really shitty metaphors when trying to make a point. Typically, the bombastic preacher employs these metaphors when they must defend their archaic position on a matter that is only made controversial by the dogmatics’ devotion to it. After years of being disappointed by unfulfilled prophetic words and unanswered prayers, it’s hard to see any other consistency in the sayings or doings of prophets. I realize now that such metaphorical speaking grants these narcissists ..read more
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Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
If you are looking for a repository of absolute truth, unalterable mental meanderings, or in-amendable sophistry I suggest you stick to your favorite house of worship with its preferred texts and energetic spokesmen. One of the beauties of empirical science and philosophy are their willingness to be censored and amended. Not long ago, I didn’t see it that way. I felt that knowledge or wisdom failing to stand up to the scrutiny and competition of new and better data was a glaring weakness. An idea or affirmation should stand on its own merits and, if it does not, deserves to be cast aside under ..read more
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What’s In a Name?
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
I don’t like the circumcision of my name. When I was a kid, being called Pete didn’t bother me. Only a couple of my friends did it anyway. Here’s the thing, I don’t get angry or offended when someone calls me Pete. For some, it’s a term of endearment, for others it’s just their way. To be honest, the only time my name was used in derision was when someone called me Peter. If you can’t guess why, I’m guessing you were never in public or private middle school America. I suppose I’ve reached a place of self-confidence and self-acceptance that the juvenile joke doesn’t bother me. I used to say ..read more
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Creating a God in Whom I could Believe
M. King Byrd » Exmormon
by Finding My Own Voice
2y ago
For all the outcry over individual mental and emotional and sexual autonomy in society, it seems that in finding shoe on the other foot we have discovered steel toes on both. Society largely agrees and vehemently declares that no one should compel another to believe anything they don’t want to. Anyone who uses societal shame to silence, de-platform, or shell any nut with an opinion is only doing what those who went before them have done. Tyrion Lannister, charming imp of the Game of Thrones series, cleverly observed that “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar ..read more
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