This evening, I ended up watching a temple video tonight of what the endowment ceremony looks like. And you know, I'd read about it, but seeing it performed makes me wonder what the everlovin'-flippin' fuckity fuck is going through my family's collective head, because there is no way to logically reconcile THAT with any sort of rational sense. And that is putting it mildly. There were crimes against logic and narrative continuity perpetuated on film.
First of all, were I still a believer--and believe me, I was very devout when I was--I would seriously have started questioning my beliefs after seeing that. I'm sure I would have gone through the temple very quietly because ALL my loved ones would have been there, and I can't imagine the pressure you'd be under, but it would be really hard to deal with the cognitive dissonance dropping on my head at the same time that all my family was so hopeful and happy about me following in their footsteps. So glad I missed THAT. But as a believer, that film would have left me noting all kinds of inconsistencies, starting with the fact that Satan is the one who apparently introduces the kids to Fig Leaf Aprons, which later become part of the temple vestments. And Satan pretty much introduces the idea of selling the signs (um, tithing???) and there's a couple of things he invokes in his speeches which get rolled back round into the signs and the invocations and all that. So if I WERE a believer, I'd start wondering at what point Satan infiltrated and set up this ritual, because logically that would be the conclusion I would come to: we wear fig leaf aprons (just like Satan!) and get the signs from guys we've tithed to (selling the signs!) so....um....yeah....
But I'm not a believer any more and haven't been, so mostly this just looks like rank superstition with bad logic: why would you call the Aaronic Priesthood the Aaronic Priesthood hundreds, if not thousands of years before Aaron would be born? why does Eve not have the knowledge of nakedness before approaching Adam? why are they commanded to care for the garden but later told that the world they are cast into needs plowing and tilling? why are armies and currency and kingdoms and conspiracies by men invoked when nobody would have the vocabulary or concepts of this since there are TWO people on the earth? why does Satan and Michael and Jehovah play out this little drama which apparently has happened on hundreds of planets before this one but ONLY NOW does Satan get cast down and cursed? Why is Adam such a passive aggressive douchebag--"The woman thou gavest me gave of me the fruit!" Why do Adam and Eve continue to listen to Satan AT ALL--weren't they paying attention in Act I when he got them in trouble? Why do they believe Peter, James and John? "Hey, I will give you the first sign which you received in the garden." "Great! Let me see the first sign!" "I can not!" FACEPALM. Why is it necessary for women to veil during prayers while men don't? Seriously, this looks EXACTLY like what it is: biblical fan fic written by a dude who had very little concept of narrative structure and nobody to workshop his plays before he sent them out into the world.
And people give money to this church with its horrible mundane version of the afterlife, with Masonic symbols and crappy handshakes (TERRORIST FISTBUMP!) that to this day works to keep living people from marrying their loved ones, while baptising dead folks into an ethos they never would have agreed with. A church that was racist and sexist and homophobic, and well, actually still is.
And I'm just so glad I got out before finding myself in a room full of hopeful family members all watching me choke down my disappointment while I try to figure out if I should leave (and cause a scene) or insincerely go through the motions.