Out of Mormonism by Judy Robertson
In this book Judy tells of her family’s experience joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, then leaving the church to start the Concerned Christians Ministry.
What I liked
I liked that this was at least a half-memoir.
What I didn’t like
I read this book because it was fairly short and because I thought Judy was going to have this interesting story. I thought she was going to tell this train-wreck of a story about how awful her life in Mormonism was. She didn’t. Half of this book is basically a commercial for Concerned Christians, not concerned Christians in general, the group called Concerned Christians.
I know a lot of Mormons. Are there awful things that can happen in the church? You betcha. Are there things that need to be stopped? You betcha. Can it be weird to members of other churches? You betcha. Is it Satanic? No. Judy’s group actually claims that a church, about Jesus, and God, and going to heaven, and seeing your family as important, is Satanic. I kind of get the cult claim, kind of, but Satanic?
I want to roll my eyes so hard that they’d roll to the back of my head.
Look, if you don’t want to be a Mormon, don’t be a Mormon. It’s that simple. If you’re not a Mormon and someone asks you to consider joining the church, you can politely decline them. If you’re already a Mormon and you want to quit being a Mormon, quit. I actually believe there’s a website to that tune.
I’ve encountered some religious people who have put a very bad taste in my mouth for their whole religion, but did I go out and start an organization that had the sole purpose to publish material against their church? Nope, I did not, and you know what, a lot of people don’t do that. People are supposed to be able to worship however they want to in the United States as long as they’re not breaking laws. You want to worship a giant bagel? Go right ahead. May you find peace in your worship of the great Bagel. In the name of Cream Cheesus, Amen.
Judy does bring up some very valid points sometimes. Have spouses who have a spouse who left the LDS church been counseled to get divorces? Heck yes, should it have happened? Probably not. Should it still happen? Probably not. Even so, that’s not a reason to widely distribute information labeling people who are just trying to be closer to God as Satanists. I get being angry about this, but sometimes anger taken to an extreme, where you’re actively and vehemently proselytizing against the thing you’re angry at, can make you look like a woo-woo fruit loop.
I get being angry. I don’t get how extreme it became.
If you belonged to a religion that was a little strange to a lot of people and then you left because you disagreed with something, would you start a very vocal group to oppose this religion or would you just go on with your life and chalk the whole thing up as a learning experience?
Is the story cheapened by Judy’s promotion of her organization?
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College by Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht, and Jennifer Worick
Many of us went to college and many of us had many questions about how college works. It’s difficult to go from being a kid to being responsible for your own life and education. This handbook has a few bits of advice that might be helpful in your college education.
What I liked
Some of this book was humorous.
What I didn’t like
This was a farce. This is not an actual advice book. It’s a joke book. While some of the studying advice could be highly useful, it seems that the rest of the book is all about how to find a party school, how to sleep in class, how to hook up in the library and about fifty different ways to open a beer bottle. While some amount of street knowledge is nice to have, it’s not really the be-all and end-all of life. College is way too darn expensive to read something like this and take it as actual advice for how to get through college.
A more appropriate use of an advice handbook for college would be advice on how to get through college with the least amount of student loans possible. Am I right? Yes, you know I’m right–praise Jesus, Amen, all that, and a bag of chips!
On the one hand, I’m pretty sure this book was supposed to be a goof; on the other hand, how many college students who read this would take this advice to heart? Oh, there’s advice in this book about how to stall for time when the professor asks you a question? I’m in! This means I won’t actually have to read the text-book!
The Worst-Case Survival Scenario board game is the worst thing ever and a lot of the trivia is wrong, so I didn’t exactly expect high quality from this book after playing that awful board game, but I expected at least an attempt at something. It took three people to write this book? Three? Really? Were they conferring on all the different ways to slack off at college and make a mockery of that 40K + you’re spending on a college education? I could write a book, of this length or longer, about all the ways to screw up your college education by myself. Let’s start off with advice on skipping class and extra classwork, then work our way up to vandalizing school property and getting an academic dismissal.
Did you know that BJU(Bob Jones University) is right down the road from FU(Furman University)? True story.
What was some good advice someone gave you about college?
Did you find advice about being a slacker just as helpful as advice about being serious about college?
One time, I was in a Mexican Restaurant with my boyfriend and there was this large group of very conservatively dressed young people. They were college aged and we guessed they were from BJU, out on the road, for something. Most of them were quite awkward and the conversation from the table was awkward. There was one girl after some guy, but he wasn’t interested, or something, but at least I had tacos.
What If… by Shirley MacLaine
Shirley likes to ask questions about life. What if this and what if that? She sees the world as possibly a play in which we are the actors. Who are we putting the show on for? Maybe aliens? Maybe ourselves. What if we acted this way? What if we treated each other in this manner? What if war was just for profit? Shirley has a whole lot of questions about life.
What I liked
I do not know a whole lot about Shirley. I read this book anyway. It’s a short book of Shirley’s questions about life and her thoughts on a few things. I like that Shirley is one of those people who are open-minded, meaning, that she doesn’t necessarily take things at face value. Maybe there is something more to this question or this aspect of life and it’s completely different from what we ever expected.
My ex took “open-minded” to mean doing drugs. For real, when I told him he needed to be more open-minded about things in life, he said, “So I should do drugs?” I’m not really sure where that comes into play. I guess in a way being open-minded could mean doing drugs and being open to whatever you may or may not experience while doing drugs, but I look at the phrase “open-minded” to mean that you question things before you. Is this really the way things are or are we looking at this entirely wrong? That’s how we should be at life. Always consider that things may not be the way you think they are. Shirley is very good at this, I think.
What I didn’t like
Some of this is a little too “woo” for me. Are we the only life in the universe? Probably not. It’s self-centered to believe that we are. There’s an entire universe out there. We cannot assume there isn’t bacteria, fungus, animals, or other thinking beings somewhere out there in the vastness of space. Do I believe there are little green men flying around? How about people getting abducted by aliens? I don’t really have evidence to get behind any of that. On the other hand, I don’t have evidence not to get behind any of that. I’m adult enough to admit that I don’t have all the answers to everything, but I’m leaning towards a “No” on the little green men.
Shirley seems to believe these things. It’s her life and she can believe whatever she wants to, but it’s just a little too strange for me.
Shirley, I also have a lot of questions about life.
What is a question about life that you don’t have the answer to?
Do you ever think about all the questions you don’t have answers to?
Perishable by Dirk Jamison
Dirk had a difficult and non-traditional growing up experience. His family first lived in one area, where his father was a construction worker, who frequently got fired. Then they moved to Mammoth, California where his father decided to dumpster dive for their food, literally. He even made the kids go along. Why buy food from the store when people were throwing it out?
Their mother didn’t like it. Dirk’s sister was as mean as a snake, constantly doing awful things to Dirk. Their father didn’t set a good example, leading by example by kicking the family dog for biting someone when she was pregnant(the dog was pregnant), and also telling the kids that the dog had cancer. Their father sold their house right out from under them and would up and leave multiple times throughout the marriage.
Their mother finally moved the family to Oregon to be near her Mormon family where Dirk received some structure in his life, but the shadow of his father was always there. His parents got divorced, for the third time it seemed, and Dirk went on with life. His father moved to California.
What I liked
I liked this book as a memoir and I feel like the story was told well.
What I didn’t like
Good Lord this is sad. Look, if someone doesn’t have enough money and lives on the streets, eating out of the dumpster is one thing, probably a necessary thing, but if someone had the ability to work, but they were just too lazy to work and they’re going dumpster diving to feed their family, that’s wrong. The family deserves better, plus there are people less fortunate than this person, by way of not being able to get a job that need that food the grocery store just threw out.
Why the Hell would you kick a pregnant dog?
What in the world was wrong with Dirk’s mother that she didn’t get her children out of this mess. I can point at depression and low self-esteem right off the bat, but sometimes you got to woman up and do what you have to do, which includes getting any children you might have out of a crappy situation. I can see that the situation was mentally abusive, Dirk’s mother was also a victim of this, which is probably why she let her husband make all the decisions and just went along with it, but it doesn’t help that she was probably taught, growing up, as a Mormon woman, to let the man of the house have the final say. I feel bad for everyone involved in this situation.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, get out, especially if you have kids, end of story.
If you were in Dirk’s mother’s position, could you have left with your children?
Do you think you would have gotten into a relationship with someone like Dirk’s father in the first place?