Religion Magazine

Mocking Jesus: Invalidating Pain

By Ldsapologetics
So a few years ago I went to my ward's trunk or treat. Everyone was encouraged to dress up, even the adults. I had only one costume-a Jesus costume. I thought I have this costume and I look nearly identical to Mormon Jesus. Tall, thin, long hair and a beard, and white. So I thought, it was a good idea at the time.
I was wrong.
My thoughts and feelings which came up during Elders Quorum and Sunday school, were routinely mocked, invalidated and dismissed. The looks I got, the way people were loud and talkative until I got close were all signs my costume had made bad church experiences even worse.
Even after this trunk or treat my wife would share a thought in Relief Society and hear "Well, what do you expect? You know who her husband is..."
Granted she heard this even before the infamous trunk or treat. But afterwards it was noticeably worse. In Elders Quorum I would raise my hand and even if I was the only one with a raised hand I was not called on.
As I would walk through the church I was glared at, heard muttered insults, and again those talkative types grow quite as I came close and get even louder once I passed. These things were somewhat easy to shrug off before the trunk or treat but impossible to disregard afterwards.
I was Temple worthy for this period, over the course of a few years in fact, yet the Bishop(s) and Stake President consistently "lost" the paperwork my wife and I turned over so that we could be sealed in the Temple. Because my wife's ex husband can marry as many women in the Temple as he wants(or can after his probation is over in another 7 years).
And yet after 7 attempts at turning over the paperwork it had been "lost" every time. We gave up after all of this. The way we were treated, the sexism, the homophobia, which is all institutionalized by the way, it was unhealthy for our family as I have four step daughters and my wife to consider. One daughter is gay and the other child is trans. Not approved, appreciated or even welcomed by Christ's "disciples."
We have been hurt, wronged and wounded by the LDS church. And we were made to feel as if we were simply looking to be offended or hurt and that these wounds were simply in our heads.
A wise man once said "The thing is, when someone tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't." And you sure as shit don't get to decide that others didn't hurt you especially when you did not witness the event(s) or never went to church with you to see what you experienced. Or never knew those who hurt you.
Doing so is invalidating your pain. Invalidating pain is a serious for of emotional abuse. One cannot use abusive language with abusive techniques with abusive effects and claim they were not avoid ice with any degree of intellectual or emotional honesty or integrity.
By contrast in our new congregation with Community of Christ myself and my family have been welcomed, accepted, validated, and understood.
I dressed as Jesus last night for our Halloween/fall festival and everyone loved it! I posed for many, many pictures and people just kept getting even more of a kick out of it as the night went on.
Thing is, with Community of Christ church, I look forward to the services and lessons. I look forward to seeing every person rather than just a few specific people if anyone. The best part for me is that if I disagree with something/someone, I can push back respectfully and it's ok and even encouraged.
Like when I went to a synagogue and the Rabbi made a statement and asked what we thought. We all agreed and she said "If everyone agrees, how can we learn anything?"
Pushback is ok and even appreciated.
Ideas and feelings are validated and respected rather than invalidated, mocked, and dismissed.
Again, invalidating emotion but especially pain is emotionally abusive. Pain is something that bonds people together more than just about anything is capable of doing. But invalidating it, making one to feel as if they are just making it up, or that they "shouldn't" be hurt or have no right to be undermines ones self esteem and sense of self as well as confidence and even sanity. Border line personality disorder is linked to emotion invalidation but so is depression and anxiety.
Here is a list of examples of invalidation behavior. 
"I found this list of invalidating phrases on another site. I think we nons can learn a lot from this list. Invalidation is weird – and it is a natural reaction to what we think is “crazy” behavior and feelings:

“Ordering” the BP to Feel Differently

Be happy.
Cheer up
Lighten up.
Get over it.
Grow up
Get a life
Don’t cry.
Don’t worry.
Don’t be sad.
Stop whining
Stop laughing..
Don’t get angry
Deal with it.
Give it a rest.
Forget about it.
Stop complaining.
Don’t be so dramatic.
Don’t be so sensitive.
Stop being so emotional.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself
Stop taking everything so personally

Ordering the BP to “look” differently

Don’t look so sad.
Don’t look so smug.
Don’t look so down.
Don’t look like that.
Don’t make that face.
Don’t look so serious.
Don’t look so proud of yourself.
Don’t look so pleased with yourself.

Denying the BP’s Perception, Defending

But of course I respect you.
But I do listen to you.
That is ridiculous (nonsense, totally absurd, etc.)
I was only kidding.
I honestly don’t judge you as much as you think.

Trying to Make the BP Feel Guilty While Invalidating the BP

I tried to help you..
At least I …..
At least you….
You are making everyone else miserable.

Trying to Isolate the BP

You are the only one who feels that way.
It doesn’t bother anyone else, why should it bother you?

Minimizing the BP’s Feelings

You must be kidding.
You can’t be serious.
It can’t be that bad.
Your life can’t be that bad.
You are just … (being difficult; being dramatic, in a bad mood, tired, etc)
It’s nothing to get upset over.
It’s not worth getting that upset over.
There’s nothing wrong with you.

Using Reason

There is no reason to get upset.
You are not being rational.
But it doesn’t make any sense to feel that way.
Let’s look at the facts.
Let’s stick to the facts.
But if you really think about it….


I don’t always do that.
It’s not that bad. (that far, that heavy, that hot, that serious, etc.)

Judging & Labeling the BP

You are a cry baby.
You have a problem.
You are too sensitive.
You are over-reacting. You are too thin-skinned.
You are way too emotional.
You are an insensitive jerk. .
You need to get your head examined!
You are impossible to talk to.
You are impossible.
You are hopeless.

Turning Things Around

You are making a big deal out of nothing.
You are blowing this way out of proportion.
You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Trying to get the BP to question himself/herself

What is your problem?
What’s wrong with you?
What’s the matter with you?
Why can’t you just get over it?
Why do you always have to ….?
Is that all you can do, complain?
Why are you making such a big deal over it?
What’s wrong with you, can’t you take a joke?
How can you let a little thing like that bother you?
Don’t you think you are being a little dramatic?
Do you really think that crying about it is going to help anything?

Telling the BP How he/she “Should” Feel or Act

You should be excited.
You should be thrilled.
You should feel guilty.
You should feel thankful that…
You should be happy that ….
You should be glad that …
You should just drop it.
You shouldn’t worry so much.
You shouldn’t let it bother you.
You should just forget about it.
You should feel ashamed of yourself.
You shouldn’t wear your heart out on your sleeve.
You shouldn’t say that about your father.

Defending The Other Person

Maybe they were just having a bad day.
I am sure she didn’t mean it like that.
You just took it wrong.
I am sure she means well.

Negating, Denial & Confusion

Now you know that isn’t true.
You don’t mean that. You know you love your baby brother.
You don’t really mean that. You are just … (in a bad mood today, tired, cranky)

Sarcasm and Mocking

Oh, you poor thing. Did I hurt your little feelings?
What did you think? The world was created to serve you?
What happened to you? Did you get out of the wrong side of bed again?

Laying Guilt Trips

Don’t you ever think of anyone but yourself?
What about my feelings?!
Have you ever stopped to consider my feelings?

Philosophizing Or Cliches

Time heals all wounds.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Life is full of pain and pleasure.
In time you will understand this.
When you are older you will understand
You are just going through a phase.
Everything has its reasons.
Everything is just the way it is supposed to be.

Talking about the BP when she can hear it

She is impossible to talk to.
You can’t say anything to her.

Showing Intolerance

This is getting really old.
This is getting really pathetic.
I am sick of hearing about it."

I hope this simple list helps you spot invalidating behavior. There is more information found on line but what I found was too extensive to be helpful here. And I wasn't sure of what to share. But it's not my opinion that invalidation is emotional abuse. It has been validated by the mental health community. I think it's something we've all a been through to some degree.

If you've been hurt by the LDS church you are not alone, you were not just looking to be offended, your pain is legitimate and deserves to be respected, validated and understood. Rather than judged, dismissed or even mocked.

God loves you enough to have His only begotten live and die for you and your benefit. If others can't see your worth, the worth God has always seen in you, then how can they be claiming to act in His stead? How can the claim to be His disciples?

I don't think dressing as Jesus is or was mocking Him. If you do then be sure to take down every last picture or sculpture or bust you have of Him since the 2nd commandments prohibits and graven image. Do that, follow all the commandments and maybe I'll put my Jesus costume back in the closet.

think it's mocking the idea that He was a white European looking Jew in the ancient near east.

I think being judgmental as hell, condemning and shaming others in His name is the highest blasphemy and mockery of Christ.

I think worshipping a homeless man on Sunday, ignoring at best and hating at worst, the homeless we see throughout our day and throughout our week is mocking everything Jesus taught, lived and died for.

Demanding conformity over simple acceptance of who and what His children  are is mocking the acceptance and love that defined Jesus' life and ministry.

Invalidating the thoughts, feelings and experiences of others is truly mocking Christ to me.

But that's just my take....

Mocking Jesus: Invalidating Pain

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