Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not-So-Bad Girl.

I've got a confession to make.

I'm not a Bad Girl. I never have been.

None of my friends are Bad Girls either, though sometimes I refer to a few of them as such.

From The World's view, I'm pretty uptight and conservative. I'd even go so far as to say that The World might call me a sheltered-right-wing-nut-job-goody-two-shoes. I don't drink and have no desire to. I don't smoke and have no desire to. I don't swear (much anyway, and when I do it's of the fake variety). I think mothers should stay home with their children when it's possible. I go to church because I want to. I believe the doctrines of my religion. I'm usually nice to people (except when I'm not). And while I'm no Mother Teresa, I try to help people out when I can.

What makes me "bad" in the eyes of some members of my church, I suppose, is that I don't follow the doctrines made up by those who have no authority to do so.

There are actually very few things in my religion that are black and white, right or wrong. We're given really good guidelines to follow. We're given examples of how to behave in the scriptures. Most importantly we're given the gift of The Holy Ghost to help us know if what we're doing is right or wrong.

In those areas where there is no clear teaching, we are counseled to pray about it. We are told that it's between us and the Lord.

But there are people, many people, who have their own answers about how we should live, and they treat it as doctrine. Even among bishops opinions about certain things vary. Those of us whose answers might differ are often viewed as "bad" by other members.

Here's an example.

Today I was pulled aside by a woman at church and was told that my shirt was immodest. She told me it was far too tight to be appropriate.

I was wearing this exact outfit:

Once again, ignore my freaky robot hands.

Now, I know it's not immodest in the least and I'm not overly concerned about what this person thinks about my clothing choices. She can join the people who think I shouldn't talk about sex even within the bonds of marriage, or who think I'm evil because I don't hate homosexuals, or those who think I'm on the fast track to outer darkness because I laugh at some of the ridiculous things in LDS culture (repeat, the culture, not the doctrine). But what does concern me is that when you get a group of people together with all these varying beliefs, judgments start flying and Christ seems to get taken out of the equation.

I'm not exempt. There are certain things I feel are "correct" and I find myself judging those who believe differently. (An example? Paying tithing on one's gross income, including housing allowance. I believe you should. Others see it differently. There's no specific rule--only a general teaching that you should pay 10% of your increase. How you interpret that is between you and God.)

I forgot where I was going with this.

Oh yeah. Bad Girls.

I just sometimes feel like I'm surrounded by the Jews in the bible who forgot the spirit of the law in their zealousness to follow the letter of the law. You know, the ones who made rules about how many steps one could take on the Sabbath, while forgetting that the point of the Sabbath is to honor God.

Some Sundays I feel like it's 101 steps to church but some members have decided that the law only allows 100.

Does that make any sense?

I guess my point is that as much as I may joke about it, I don't think I'm a Bad Girl. I don't think any of you are, either.

Unless you're wearing fishnets, because fishnets = total whore.

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