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See if this sounds familiar.

A manmade organization stacks its electors to ensure that the policies of its current leader are continued by whoever succeeds him. The organization has a history of ideological manipulation to encourage the financial gain of its leadership, as well as a tradition of sexual misconduct and relegation of women to minor roles. Its supporters are declining in number, in part due to internal conflicts from the mismanagement of consecutive leaders and higher-ups in its administration, and that mismanagement and decline are contributing to its current risk of default.

It sounds so earth-bound, and yet it also sounds like it could apply to any human organization. Therefore, while I can't ignore its history in education (wool skirts itch) or its influence on the arts and sciences (the blond boy's not his kid), the good it has done and is capable of isn't enough for me to subject myself to its current leadership.

If I'm interpreting this correctly, one point that the recent synod was trying to make is that people who are secure in their religion and yet accepting of others share a common thread. I agree with that point, which is the reason I left.

But there's a difference between religion and faith, and what I see is a religion that, in a bid to stem its losses, is losing the security it once had in itself, to the point that those who remain staunch adherents are questioning its current policies. In addition, it's become yet another community where dissent is not encouraged, and I'm not interested in a place where keeping the peace means living with a gag - that sort of thing just results in a pressure-cooker life, and that internal pressure is going to vent sooner or later. (I'm wondering if the current situation with the organization I'm speaking about is actually that pressure venting.)

There's a reason I still read one particular faith-based author which revolves around "frankly contending for one's own real wish," which I've always interpreted as being open with what one wants and why one wants it, in order to see where what parts clash with another's want - makes it easier to figure out what makes the best of everyone's contribution as opposed to taking on too much oneself or allowing someone else to do so. But how many people know what they want well enough to say so, without worrying so much about what their contemporaries think? (OMG shiny new sneaker-diet-phone trend must have now, repeat in next season!)

Living with that gag in order to keep the peace removes the chance to figure out how to frankly contend for one's own real wish, or even to examine what the wish might be in the first place, and results in defaulting to the cafeteria-level meme-based insight of those who either can't or can't be bothered to use a spellcheck. And in order to attract those who might be willing to look to this organization for answers, to be as inclusive as possible, certainly in part to make up for some of the wrong it's done, I see that this organization is weakening itself and encouraging its adherents to do the same, while glossing over or outright avoiding other issues - in trying to respect everyone, it overshoots and loses respect for itself.

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