I belong to a cult.

Someone: "You're a Mormon?"

Me: "Yeah, I am. Heard of us?"

Someone: "Yeah, you guys are a cult."

Me: "..."

I've never known what to say to that. To me it's a mark that any more conversation is futile, but I always want to prove that we're not a cult. It never works. Much like wrestling with a pig, arguing with a fool only makes you dirty and the fool happy. No matter how much I say I won't argue, I always end up saying something. I always want that last word. And, as you would expect, I say something stupid and hot-headed. I end up dirty. Despite my stupid behavior, I maintain that my Church isn't a cult.

Now obviously, the definition of a cult can vary. According to Merriam-Websters dictionary:

Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate
1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator (health cults)
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

More than one of those apply to my Church, so we're a cult. I guess I should stop being mad at people who rightfully say that I belong to a body of people who comprise a formal religious veneration system of beliefs and ritual. As far as being orthodox is concerned, I think that really just depends on which side of the coin you're on.

I suppose I can console myself with the fact that I'm a Freemason. At least they're not a fringe group that is often mis-understood and mis-labeled like the Mormons are.

1 comment:

Shaun said...

Ha ha! Yeah, it's a good thing there aren't any deep suspicions about the Freemasons are anything like that.

I agree on your conclusion about the word use, it really depends on how you define it. There are actually a lot of words that are used in ways where they don't actually mean what they infer.

The problem, however, is that when someone uses the word "cult", they almost never actually mean the denotative definition of the word. They're going for the negative connotative values of the word, and that can really bug me (especially if that's the only type of words someone uses).

I'm willing to talk about the cult status of my religion, but to be honest I don't think it has ever come up with me. I suppose I'm just lucky. Even so, from my experience with other people like that, they're usually just uneducated people that don't want to know the truth. They're much happier creating truths they want to believe rather than being inconvenienced with the realities of the world.

In essence, I don't find talking to those types of people worth it. If we can have a rational debate/discussion on something where we can resort to things other than pretentious dogma, I'm all for it. It can be very enlightening and enjoyable to learn how another person thinks, but when all that person does is parrot what they hear from others with no real thought of their own, it's just boorish. Luckily most people aren't like that.