I gotta say I love me some Jack Mormons sometimes. I've got 2 neighbors who fit this description. They don't attend church but they talk about how they don't go because the ward sucks or someone offended them, but, as my dear neighbor put it "I still totally believe."
It really got me thinking when she said this. I looked back on my own life and realized that I could never have been a Jack Mormon. To me if were true then it was my duty to be active and go. Even if I felt sh*tty and felt like I could never do my best or live up to expectations...if it were true, all would work out in the end so I'd have to keep plugging along. So I just never understood Jack Mormons. If they still believed why in the world weren't they living it? So I gots to thinking a bit more. Maybe it's because they really don't believe it; they just haven't admitted it to themselves. My friend, I'll call her Angela, though that's not her real name, has told me that she's never been super active even as a kid or when she was a teenager. She's been drinking for over 20 years and has lived quite the non-Mormon lifestyle. She admits that she feels God loves her for her and not for what religion she does or does no adhere to. Though, two seconds later she reaffirms to me her belief....but I think what she's saying is she doesn't believe in any kind of religion that tells her she's a bad person because she drinks alcohol or shops on Sundays or has sex outside of marriage.
I think a lot of Jack Mormons are like this. Angela and her husband are really laid back type people. They never got worried about eternal salvation and damnation, they've lived their lives pretty guilt-free in that respect. Since they've never really worried about it like I did, they've never had a reason to find reasons to not believe. So since they were raised Mormon that is just their default religion and nothing more.
Granted, not all Jack Mormons fit this description. Two of my brother-in-laws live their lives in constant guilt and fear since they are not living the Church's standards but believe that the Church must be true. So my husband's drug addicted, drug dealing brother calls him on the phone and tries to preach repentance unto him. His other brother feels so guilty all the time because he drinks beer, married a non-Mormon woman, and is raising his kids without Mormonism.
So they are a very different breed, for sure. I'm just glad I have my Jack Mormon neighbors where we can fill up a kiddie pool with hot water and hot tub it at night with some mojitos and shots! It's awesome.
If I had the Jack Mormon personality I know I wouldn't be where I am today so I'm glad I pushed myself to search and look for myself.
Also, please keep us in your thoughts as my husband and I go into the belly of the beast in three weeks with his family on a really long family camp out. All hell's going to break loose as they find out we're no longer Mormon. Yikes.....