Today’s guest post is written by Alisa Bolander. Opinions shared on guest posts may not completely reflect the positions of the blog’s author.
Alisha Bolander is a project manager at a global financial company, a mother of a child with special needs, an adoring wife, and an enthusiastic ice skater who loves visiting teaching visits and lives in the friendliest LDS ward in Sandy, UT.
Two days ago, I wrote about what it is like to be questioned about why I stay affiliated with a religion that is “harmful” (or the other side of the coin being, why don’t I leave if I’m not happy within the church). Today, Alisha writes from a member’s perspective as to why it’s important to respect the concerns of those who may have left, are still in, or are transitioning from our faith.
When the Birmingham, Alabama clergymen criticized civil rights leaders from out of town for caring about what happens in their town, MLK Jr said something that I absolutely believe is true: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
I meet many people who have left the LDS Church who say they no longer care who is abused by the Church, who commits suicide because they are directly discriminated against by the Church, or whether or not women are seen as equals in the Church hierarchy. For me, the Church’s influence is far and wide. If I’m not LDS, or you’re not, it can and will still affect you in many ways: politics, school boards, local elections, promotions at work, housing, etc. The religion influences the way Mormons look at women, gay people, people with disabilities, two-earner households, single people, and racial minorities in every aspect of their lives. So it can’t help but influence the workplace, the community, and the political arena–all areas where LDS men are disproportionately engaged.
Why should we not all care, regardless of whether we identify as members or not, especially along the geographical Mormon belt, but anywhere in the U.S.? Consider that the U.S. Senate has a disproportionately large group of Mormons making laws for all of us.
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST can be reached at natashaparker.org. She authors the Mormon Therapist Blog, hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, writes a regular column for Sunstone Magazine and is the current president of the Mormon Mental Health Association. She has 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.