Is religion “shoved down your throat”?

This short blog post tries to bust the myth that religion is “shoved down people’s throats.”

My experience as a non-Mormon living in Utah is that I have never really felt like Mormonism was being "shoved down my throat" by my neighbors or even by the occasional missionary.  Sure, there is a kind of omnipresence to it.  But I feel that mostly with my students and in my classes.  It rarely comes up with most of my colleagues (save Sherlock), and we have a nice group of non-lds friends to hang out with.  Occasionally it will come up in a discussion about our annoyance with Utah politics.  But our LDS neighbors are very friendly and quite understanding of us having a different faith.  While I am sure if we were Mormon we would be closer to our neighbors, we have been very warmly embraced by them (we are one of 2 non-LDS families on the block).  Neighbors bring our kids thoughtful little Christmas gifts and such things.  Sure, we are sort of boxed out of some neighborhood things and we do feel "on the outside" sometimes.  But that is a different issue than anyone forcing their Mormonism on us. And, frankly, we are not pining to go to Relief Society meetings and such things anyway.  We do those things with our church and don’t invite our neighbors, and that is how they treat us. I have never felt the slightest bit of pressure, and none of our neighbors has ever done anything that even approached proselytization.

But I hear my students talk quite frequently about serious religious pressure. I wonder, is it an age thing? Is it just different for ex-Mormons? Apparently some are having a very different experience than I am having. The USU SHAFT blog had a piece the other day on the very aggressive (and ultimately ungracious) missionary work / proselytizing to former members. Thoughts?

About Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.
This entry was posted in Catholic thought/religion/culture, Philosophy, USU Catholic Newman Center. Bookmark the permalink.

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