For those that have yet to read our previous and satirical post on recycling there was a spicey comment that was made by one of our valued readers M-Lo. In that comment there were enough accusations and suggestions that I feel compelled to dedicate an entire blog posting to it.
In this blog titled "The Spirit of the Law" we seek ways to express our opinion on a variety of issues with the goal to understand how they effect us as Latter Day Saints. Some of these opinions that are expressed are positive, or faith promoting, some are a written with a voice of disdain for a certain practices or ideologies. Some are simply meant to make you laugh and to enjoy all the humor that life has to offer. Most Fridays we try to do a "Friday Morning Light" topic that is meant to be heavy on the sarcasm, and light on hidden meanings. The posting entitled "recycle regularly" was example of that.
However in M-Lo's response to the posting she felt to imply that we write a "negative" blog. It is in the spirit of fairness I wish to answer some of the charges laid against us.
In her opening comment it was said in relation to the "Recycle Regularly" post, "That is just annoying! A litte funny, mostly annoying. If I remember right (and I do) we were given stewardship over the earth and it is so annoying that mormons take it lightly and make fun of recycling and going green, etc..."
To be fair, I was not meaning to insult recycling or people who do recycle as I am one of those people. I also agree that we have been given stewardship over the earth. With that being said I can see how you took that posting the opposite way of how it was intended. However, that comment was then followed with this statement, "I think you should try taking a positive angle on this site. You seem like a very bitter person and it leaks all over the site."
To this I think you might need to do some research before making such an accusation. Let me first point out that there are two people that do a majority of the postings on this blog (all are invited to participate upon our approval by the way). The accusations that you have made regarding me (James Numark) are not fairly judged. I have had my share of postings that have had what many deem as a positive agenda. For example I complimented Obama for things that he has said right. Then there was another one recently on the beauties of section 134 of the D&C with respect to the policies of governments today even though it was written over a 170 years ago. One of my first postings for this blog was a discussion on the positive impact we as LDS can have in politics-like Mitt Romney.
Who is to say that a voice of warning against potentially adversarial ways of thinking is not positive in its goals and intentions? I have yet to read in the scriptures or hear teachings by the prophets and apostles, anything that says that we are to not stand as a voice against wrongs in society. Even President Hinckley talked about Gays, Abortion, crime, etc. It is my opinion that perhaps we should not consider things in the light of positive or negative, but simply events that happen in our lives. To consider something positive or negative in and of itself is making an subjective judgment call. To one person something may be positive, to another it is negative. Many things in life including the gospel effect people in different ways. Here, we simply share our opinion and let the reader decide.
But you have not simply said that the posts are negative, you stated that I am a bitter person (or plural if you meant both M. Galt and I). Such an accusation is never a statement you can make without sounding negative and accusational yourself. So try not to tread on hypocritical waters here. But to illustrate how I feel your assessment is incomplete, I will speak in relation to the blog in which the comments were posted.
I for one, am not someone who is tossed about with every wind of doctrine. To ignorantly jump on the "Green" band wagon and follow a growing mainstream "philosophy" does not mean I am not following the Lord or that I don't care about the environment. There is a noticeable difference between the two. Just because there has been a growing swell of advertising that insists in its undercurrents that you are crappy person unless you buy something that is certified organic or is "green", doesn't mean that I buy into that instantly. I recycle, I have 20 trees on my 1/4 acre property, I have energy conserving appliances (except my fridge which I am working on) and I shop at local farmers markets for my food. I drive a 4 cylinder automobile even though my 8 cylinder one is way more fun. On the subdivisions I construct I consult with Tree Utah and receive their endorsements on our subdivision plans to ensure that we are constructing sound, environmentally responsible subdivisions. I ride in public transportation as often as possible and encourage others to do so. But I don't wear a shirt that says "I am green, you're not, that means you suck." I do my part for the environment without trying to make other people feel like crap for not being "as green" as I might be.
Going Green, doesn't always help the environment and so you have to be careful what you buy into. For an example of what I mean, please read this blog entry on CFL light bulbs.
I have no problems with taking care of the environment, and find pleasure in doing what I can to preserve what resources we have been given stewardship over in my own little way. In that respect, I find your judgment of whom I am and what I am about off base and without merit. But I can see and understand what you are saying with regard to being more positive. Perhaps we should find the good things in politics and not consider that there are things not right in the world. You have suggested that we should be encouraging people to take a stance and not simply complain about our circumstances. I am still not sure how we are to encourage people to be involved in politics and in the societies in which we live without pointing out the things that need to be changed. To that end I have taken your point into consideration and I thank you for your repsonse. In the future I will consider your opinion.
Hopefully in some way that has clarified in your mind to some degree where I stand. Should you continue to think that we are bitter nasty people that sit at our computers all day finding all the things wrong with the world and share that with other people, perhaps you should consider that even that with which you have accused us is better than many are willing to do. However, I know there is much more to it. The 11th article of faith states that we believe in worshiping according to the dictates of our own conscience. For us that means we choose to discuss topics that we feel effect us or are of interest to us. To that end we started this platform so that others could discuss these topics with us as well. In many cases we hope to come to a consensus as to how we as Latter-Day Saints should view the world around us. Just remember there is good and evil in this world, and that we are to be aware of and not be afraid both scenarios. As Lehi states in 2 Nephi 2, there are opposites at work in this world and without misery we would not know happiness. The blog you seem to describe sounds like a "garden of eden" situation that doesn't allow for people to learn and grow passed a certain state. Simply dealing with only positive issues is like cutting out half of our existence and the reason for why we are here on this earth. Don't cheapen your earthy experience by cutting out half of what God wanted us to have first hand knowledge of. I simply ask that you try to view the blog as a report on certain issues and our commentary on the same. Comments are of course welcome if you feel we are out of place. We are not promoting negativism, we are also not endorsing the idea that if we simply don't look at the ugly things in the world that they will simply go away.
Nothing comes of nothing M-Lo and if we as Latter-Day Saints are not willing to be a voice against things that are wrong, then we are not true Latter-Day Saints. Elder David B. Haight in a November 1984 Ensign article entitled "Personal Morality" quoted this, “By your actions or your silence, you, too, enter the fray.” I choose to be a voice rather than sit passively by and think that the world is all roses and honey. So yes there will continue to be posts that will represent some of the issues that you consider negative, but please understand that is not the spirit in which it was intended. However, your point has been made and if there are others that feel your same way, let their voice be heard.