I have plenty of friends who have left the Church.
Some of my friends were lifelong members who slipped into inactivity; others were loud objectors who asked to have their names removed; still others were asked to leave.
The lives of people post-Church are sometimes relatively unchanged. Even those who no longer consider themselves bound by the word of wisdom don’t smoke or drink; those who cannot wear their garments wear white t-shirts under their clothing. There appears in some people I’ve seen to be an odd reflection of their former Mormon lives. This could just be an example of “old habits die hard.”
I am curious, however, as to a phenomenon that I see on teh Intrawebs, however — people that have left the Church, and yet cannot get it out of their minds, lives and conversations. Many, many people seem to learn more about Church history and doctrine and spend more time discussing it and studying it once they’ve left the Church than they ever did while they were enjoying the fellowship of the Saints. Why is this so? I can think of a few reasons, which are mostly my own half-baked pop psychology:
Social Imprint. Being a mormon is a full-time job; we eat, drink and breathe our religion, and it’s hard to let go of it. You get to thinking in a certain way about things, then there’s this sudden vacuum and you have to fill it somehow — so you fill it with the opposite of what used to be there, which keeps you at least in the same social milieu, albeit from an utterly different perspective.
Anger. Lots of people leave the Church because they’re angry — maybe that same passion which caused them to get out of the foyer and into the bar across the street still drives them today, to find as many holes in the Church as possible and to persuade others to leave.
Boredom. Like I said before, being a mormon takes a lot of time. Maybe people just don’t have anything better to do? That’s the only reason the “Church Is Not True” podcast exists, so far as I can tell.
Social Conscience. When people get disillusioned and discover the “truth” about the Church, some might feel that there’s a need to warn others about the dangerous qualities of our cult. In essence, it’s a love for others that spurs in them a duty to warn about the Mormons.
Desire to Return. Maybe deep, deep down, they just want to be loved and welcomed back into the fold?
Anyhow, such are my random thoughts. I’m not the only one who can’t understand the fixations of some post-mormons. I am sure someone who has left the Church will be able to tell me in the comments why they can’t just leave the Church alone, and why they continue to frequent believing LDS sites and make comments. I should warn everyone, LDS and post-mormon alike, that I’m going to police this thread pretty closely, and will edit and delete as I am wont to do in my sole discretion to keep things pleasant and civil, like a presidential debate. If you’d like to talk about why you’re a mormon-fixated post-mormon, I’d strongly suggest that your comments address overall thought process and motivation rather than specific beefs with the Church.