I am going to start a series of posts dedicated to understanding the “Uncorrelated Mormon Movement” – these posts are not endorsed by John Dehlin, but are my own interpretation.
It will help to give readers an understanding of how the uncorrelated or questioning Mormon feels while living in a family or culture of correlated Mormons.
*Uncorrelated Mormons don’t actually like being labeled as “different” by the status quo, but they do frequently find themselves behaving or believing differently from what an “authority” tells them is the “right” way.
In the uncorrelated Mormon view, it is possible to be different and still be all right. There can be two-or more answers to the same question, and all can be right. None has to be wrong.
Correlated Mormons may have some difficulty understanding this and future blog posts on this subject. If you are a correlated Mormon and have a hard time understanding, discuss it with at least five uncorrelated or questioning Mormons, three of whom are feminists. If after that you still cannot understand or accept these ideas, then you may have a great deal of work to do.
Two uncorrelated or questioning Mormon experiences will be presented in future posts. The first is a reactive experience. It is not an experience that uncorrelated or questioning Mormons would choose, but is a way of coping with the labels assigned to them by the correlated Mormons.
The other uncorrelated or questioning Mormon experience is one that emerges when they “get clear” and feel free to express their values and perceptions.
Correlated Mormonism is the culture and/or family in which many of us live, and in it, the power and influence are predominantly held by correlated, mostly white males. We live in this system, but it is not reality. It is not the way the world is. Unfortunately, some of us do not recognize that it is a system and think it is reality or the way the world is.
The correlated Mormon world view controls almost every aspect of our Mormon culture. It decides what is useful knowledge and how it is to be taught. Like any other belief system, it has both positive and negative qualities. But because it is only a system, it can be clarified, examined, and changed, both from within and without.
Some of you correlated Mormons may be convinced that you are not judgemental towards uncorrelated or questioning Mormons, or that you don’t want to be, or would rather not admit that you are – this is not the same as doing something about your prejudice. Correlated Mormons may want to hear that they are not like everyone else, that they are not judgemental. Once they hear that, they can avoid having to deal with their prejudice towards uncorrelated Mormons, which is real no matter how hard they try to ignore it or cover it up. The issue is not whether correlated Mormons are judgemental, but of how judgemental they are. As soon as they are able to accept and acknowledge this – then and only then can they begin to work on their judgemental attitude and behavior towards uncorrelated Mormons (perhaps even their own kids?).
To uncorrelated Mormons, correlated Mormonism can be analogous to pollution. This is what I mean by that… When you are in the middle of pollution, you are usually unaware of it (unless it is especially bad). You eat in it, sleep in it, work in it, and sooner or later start believing that, that is just the way the air is. You are unaware of the fact that pollution is not natural until you remove yourself from it and experience non-pollution.
Very few groups have stepped away from the status quo of correlated Mormonism, reflected on it, and declared their own alternatives. It is very difficult to stand back from correlated Mormonism because it is everywhere in the Mormon culture. You can not easily get away from correlated Mormonism. It is our Mormon culture. Mormons live in it. We have been educationally, politically, economically, philosophically, and theologically trained in it, and our emotional, psychological, and spiritual survival has depended on our knowing and supporting this belief system.
Mormons believe that they get their identity externally from the correlated Mormon system and that this belief system is necessary to validate that identity. Therefore, challenging the system becomes almost impossible.
There is a direct correlation between buying into the correlated Mormon system and surviving in our Mormon culture. Sometimes what happens to those who try to escape or ignore the correlated Mormon system is that they are either excluded outright or have to fight every step of the way. Economic and emotional survival have been directly related to accepting and incorporating the correlated Mormon system.
(To be continued…references will be on last post in series)