Some rambly thoughts upon hearing about those who won’t read a certain author because of that author’s personal associations:
I’m sad that so many people seem to make their decisions about people in a guilty-by-association-sort of way. “I can’t read so-and-so because he’s friends with such-and-such.” Or “I can’t trust so-and-so when they teach because she’s friends with such-and-such on facebook.” I wonder why we don’t trust ourselves to make our own decisions? Why are we so quick to categorize people?
When I watch some members of my church do this, I remember a question a laurel once asked me during class. We were learning about Zion and read the verse that says “there were no poor among them.” She asked, “Does that mean if you’re poor you can’t live there?” I got over my shock and explained that I think it means that everyone takes care of each other and therefore no one is poor.
But I think I see a similar logic going on with too many Mormon friends. We’re so invested in the Church or Zion looking a certain way that if so-and-so is friends with someone who doesn’t think like them, or publishes with a press that publishes someone they don’t like, or is friends with someone on facebook that once said something promoting the opposing political party, they won’t read what they say or have an honest conversation with them. What are we so afraid of? Why can’t that teacher or author engage with a variety of people? What if that person is talking with those who think differently to teach them? Or learn from them? How can we teach those who think differently than us if we aren’t friends with them?
Are we going to exclude the “poor” or help one another? Are we “of one heart and of one mind” because we labor to think and teach or because we angrily defend Zion against those who think differently? OR, in this case, because we refuse to read people who are friends with someone we don’t agree with?? I feel like this is taking things to a ridiculous level!
In addition, sometimes the same author is rejected out of hand by both sides of a debate, because of how they perceive that author’s associations!
It’s work, but isn’t it better to push together the good already going on in Zion, instead of attacking every think we don’t like? And if it’s work but we can see that it’s important, why are we afraid of others who might be doing it for us? 🙂
Why the anxiety and anger? God is in charge, let us praise His name and His scriptures and His Spirit, and let God fight for Zion. Isn’t that the life Zion has?