[continued from above]
"I don't believe you were ever as active as you claim and I sure as hell do not believe you went on a mission, so while my religious beliefs do not align with Mormons I certainly do not appreciate hearing derogatory words about them as a culture, especially from such a passive aggressive person such as you."
Ohhh ... then this isn't about me dissing black people; it's about me dissing Mormon people. (Which is dissing a culture, certainly.) Well that's a whole other kettle of fish.
Where to begin? I'll try this bit of honesty (yes, I claim that it's honest but you're still free to disbelieve me of course): I've struggled with a lot of bitter feelings I held against the church when I was in the process of leaving the church, and for several years after my name had been removed from the roles of the church. It's taken me a long time, but I'm finally starting to feel better about the church and its culture. But that doesn't mean I think everything about the church and its culture is hunky dory, either.
Look, you're talking about a church/culture that has (had at least in the past) warped ideas about blacks (and how they came to be black), yes relinquished patriarchal polygyny here on Earth but still promises patriarchal polygyny in the eternities and in fact, has led and/or let its people believe that Heavenly Father has many Wives, has spent a fortune on killing same-sex marriage in California (before California recently won that back), as well as on buying a mall in Salt Lake City when lots of churchmembers can't even afford to feed their families, reserves ultimate authority in the church for males only, exercises what amounts to brainwashing in my opinon, threatens those who leave the church with eternal damnation, and (in my opinion) has fibbed right and left about bad/nasty/dishonest stuff it and its leaders have done in the past.
I don't consider any of that to be an act of stereotyping on my part, because yes I certainly have had many years (really 1965 thru 1995+) deeply immersed in the church (and its culture), and have done much study (in meatspace books and on the internet), etc.
Now before going postal on me, let me say that I have many friends and relatives who are (ranging from fairly to very active) churchmembers who I very much respect and admire. Heck, most of them probably disagree with (most or all of) the cultural memes I've described in the paragraph above. Judging an individual is a whole different ballgame than judging a church or a culture. I can take issue with the bad parts of the church and its affixed culture, while still appreciating the good parts of the church, its affixed culture, and the truly kind and Christian members who are active (or even inactive) in it.
A few years ago I lost (to complications from diabetes) my favorite uncle. He was as loyal to the church as one could ever ask, yet he was accepting towards all people and a Catholic or atheist would be made to feel as welcome in his home and presence as would his home teachers. He truly exemplified what I think an active Mormon ought to be.
My oldest brother is almost obsessively loyal to the church and has even been known to get on my nerves with his obsessive conservatism ... but I still respect the hell out of him because he's the most giving, selfless person I've ever known and he wouldn't hurt a fly.
So you see, I have mixed feelings about the church and its people. I only pointed out the "fence-riders" meme to illustrate why I might be mentally challenged in the area of accepting and understanding black people. Not that I mean to excuse myself, just that I mean to put my ignorance in some perspective. Ultimately none of that was the church's fault, any more than an individual Nazi soldier could blame Hitler for whatever role that individual Nazi soldier had played in the Holocaust. We can't always blame our upbringing. Sooner or later it's our responsibility if we cling to notions such as the "fence-riding blacks" idea.
Luckily for me I sloughed off that particular meme? doctrine? before I ever even met any black people. But I'm just saying, I don't think the Mormon church and its primary Utahn people do much to help prepare a guy like me for understanding and appreciating the various cultures of black people around the world. I'm on my own in that area. I have to break away from the traditions of my and my ancestors' past in order to get the perspective about black people that I need to get. That's not the church's problem; that's my problem. But again, just trying to put my position in perspective here.
Crud. Now if you need proof that I was an active Mormon and that I indeed served a mission in the Detroit area, you'd need to delve into church records ... hmmm, or not, since I did have my name removed from the roles of the church. And then I had my name legally changed -- to a common name, Kevin Thompson. Not sayin' what my middle name now is because it's not a common name. See the thing is, I like a certain amount of privacy too, so if I was gonna change my name, I wanted it to be a common name so that I wouldn't "stick out." So that people couldn't google my first and last name and easily find me here on a poly forum, for example, since my two V companions do not want me to out us.
And for that reason, I must reluctantly decline to reveal my birth name to you, as then that name would be affixed to this poly site, and people (like family members of mine) could google that name and find me mentioned in this post on this site. Uh-oh. Then I'd be outed as a polyamorist, which I promised my poly companions I'd avoid like the plague. Guess you're screwed if you want to believe me, because I can't post a shred of conclusive evidence on this site without outing myself as a polyamorist.
Nonetheless, I fervently vow that I was born into the church, into a very active family, baptized at eight, deacon at twelve, missionary at 19, all the things that good Mormon boys are supposed to do (except that pesky masturbation thing but hey, I confessed that to my bishop and received his official pardon). I was married in the Washington D.C. temple in 1987 and served many other callings for the next 10+ years: ward clerk assistant, choir director, organist, Priesthood accompanist, Primary accompanist, ward mission leader, home teacher of course duh, and possibly others I've forgotten by now. I've lost count of how many blessings I've done with consecrated oil for the sick and afflicted. As a youth and missionary I was awarded various honors for excellence in learning the scriptures, missionary discussions, etc.
Frankly, I don't understand why you don't believe me. What would my motivation be for lying about this stuff? You do realize, don't you, that bishops and even General Authorities have been known to leave the church, so it's not like you can say, "No one who was that deep into the church would ever leave."
And how's this for evidence, even if it's not conclusive: Ask me questions about church doctrine, culture, and traditions. See how many questions you can trip me up on. I bet you'll be surprised how many questions I can answer accurately. For crying out loud, I still have a (large print) quad (the text of which I read cover-to-cover as a teen) and 1985 hymnal (which I've musically analyzed cover-to-cover) sitting up in my closet, and I still refer to them now and then (especially the quad). I haven't lost my interest in the church, I just don't want to be an official member anymore. And I couldn't be an official member anymore, not unless I lied my way back in, because the church strictly forbids the type of polyamory that I am practicing.
I guess if that's not good enough evidence for you, then you'll have to disbelieve me and consider me to be a lying liar about the church and my relationship with it. Not saying I've never ever fibbed or been dishonest in my life. But I swear in the name of everything I hold dear and holy -- e.g. my poly companions, my pets, science, NASA, etc. -- that I was every bit as active in (and loyal to) the church as I've described, and that I certainly completed (with honorable release at the end) a mission in the areas in and around Detroit (1985-1986). What more can I give you but my solemn word? I've explained to you why I can't reveal the name my parents picked out for me.