Not So Perfect

If you haven’t paid a visit to Cognitive Dissenter lately, you ought to. This post eviscerates the notion that The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsTM is perfect, despite the traditional saying that “the Church is perfect, even if the people aren’t.” It’s a damning collection of information. It would take quite a bit of Kool-Aid to overlook it all and not simply be taking the piss when you deny it.

But let’s say all of that factual information doesn’t matter. Let’s simply examine the structure of the church to see whether or not it is perfect, despite the failings of its people:

If the Church is perfect even though the people are not, then the Church ought to be structured in a way to have checks and balances on human imperfection.

The organisation that makes the rules is the same organisation that investigates violations of the rules. Conflict of interest much? You couldn’t run a government or a charity that way. If human imperfection is inevitable, then why doesn’t LDS, Inc. have a clear and public method of reporting abuses, addressing dysfunction, and exposing malfeasance on the part of volunteers and paid staff?

If the Church is perfect even though the people are not, then why don’t leaders have to go through a repentance process when they wrong a member under their guidance?

Have you ever received horrible counsel from a bishop? Stake president? Oh, you too then? Did anybody ever apologise? I’m not talking about publicity stunts like paedophile priests washing feet. I mean a simple, clear, heartfelt apology as part of a repentance process when an all-too-human Mormon ecclesiastical leader harms a parishioner intentionally or unintentionally. Have you ever heard of that happening? Me neither. Are you aware of any policy requiring this in the Church Handbook of Instructions, or even informally? Me neither.

A church that is allegedly perfect would have to deliberately look out for ways to compensate for the mistakes and abuses of men given substantial amounts of power over other people. These failsafes simply don’t exist in the LDS Church, and when someone is hurt, they are usually ignored or shrugged off as collateral damage. A perfect church would recognise in advance that it would have to do a good deal of repenting on a regular basis.

Mormons, please stop repeating this bloody nonsense that the Church is perfect. You’re only enabling the systematic devaluing of people who have experienced abuse and driving more members away from you. Sorry if I spilt your Kool-Aid there, but perhaps it’s time for you to consider a more grown-up beverage anyway.