Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Let's Drive Out the Mormons Again - But This Time, Do It in Style

On an old post, " Have Anti-Mormons Won the War?," a helpful Christian brother explains why driving Mormons out of Missouri and other states made sense - and presumably why it might still make sense today. You see, people recognized that we were a "cult" (you know, a religious organization having - gasp - different beliefs). Guess I never quite thought of it that way, but now it makes total sense. Here is the May 30, 2007 comment:
The mere phrase 'Mormanity' has to send chills up normal people's spines. There are reasons proponents of the so-called 'religion' of Mormonism were expelled from points East of the Missouri River in the 19th century...it was recognized as a CULT! Yet, here we are, in the 21st century - and they have grown from cult to 'religion'...I ask you to compare this to Scientology. Really look into the stupid beliefs of both of these 'religions' and then, look at ancient Egyptology. I guarantee you will be impressed.

The connection to Mormon and Egyptology is closer than anything involving Scientology... just citing examples of unbridled imagination gone wild.
While these insightful comments shed light on our history, they do raise one serious concern. Is the title of my blog sending chills up your spine? Come on, at least a handful of you should be "normal people" who stumbled here accidentally after Googling some normal topic (something like "al sharpton yucatan salt"). So when you saw the dread word "Mormanity," was there a chill? Did it go all the way up your spine or just peg a couple of vertebrae before petering out?

Understanding that it's natural to drive out and kill people who belong to a "CULT!" not only provides the necessary framework to rationalize the alleged "persecution" of the Mormons, but also helps us better appreciate the rational response of the Roman Empire to early Christianity. As I explained in my response,
And there was a reason Christians were slaughtered by Rome: they were recognized as a CULT!! And being the tolerant neighbors that they were, the Romans who did not agree with that new religion did the logical thing and tortured the Christians. So, as our anonymous "Christian" friend points out, it's OK to exterminate those who belong to a different religion - you know, a "CULT!!"

But I can understand why the Romans would be so insanely angry at Christianity: just look at all its ties to Egypt and Egyptology. Belief in an afterlife, belief in immortality, belief in judgment and resurrection, belief in heaven, belief in the soul of man, the use of a cross (ankh) as a symbol of conquering death, the use of temples and shrines for cultic practices, ceremonies of washing, an established priesthood, belief in the Creation by a supreme being, etc. Man, that's spooky - and so similar to "Mormonism." In fact, early Christianity and Mormonism have dozens of things in common - things that are no longer part of mainstream Christianity - so much so that it's really frightening. In addition to driving out Mormons, perhaps we should also go after early Christians as well, once we find them.
Or, as I'm sure has crossed the mind of our anonymous poster and Christian friend, perhaps we should just focus on once again driving out those modern Christians who actually belong to a "CULT!" - the Mormons. After all, they have some parallels to Egyptology. Who would want that in their neighborhood?

I have to admit that driving out the Mormons makes sense, now that I have faced the irresistible logic of our opponents. And I'm willing to cooperate and be driven out - as long as we are driven out in style. I want to go in a Ferrari Enzo, but could settle for a Pagani Zonda C12 F. My wife will be driven out in a Lamborghini Murcielago. For my sons, we'll take 1 BMW Z3, 1 Porsche Carrera GT, and 2 Bugatti Veyrons. And then we'll need a few more for my daughter-in-law and the granddaughter, plus a couple of Hummers and SUVs for my books and other essentials, and a semi for the food storage. As long as your church anti-cult budget can do the job properly, my Mormon family is ready to cooperate and be driven out whenever you're ready. And once we get into our new and fully loaded vehicles, with proper transfer of titles and full gas tanks, you can even torch our home. I know that's an important and traditional part of the deal.

Face it, we need to go. We've got stupid beliefs - different beliefs than yours, for goodness' sake - and perhaps even some ideas related to ancient Egypt. And a touch of Canadian influence, too (plus I like Thai food and enjoy hummus). Really, it's time to purify the neighborhood. But we'll need some real wheels for the trek to wherever - no lame wagons this time. And where will we go? We'll follow the example of our ancestors, I suppose, and head to some forsaken corner of Mexican territory. Puerto Vallerta, here we come.

18 comments:

Scherer said...

When I read your blog title this morning I got the cold sweats and severe nausea. :)

nathanielmacrae said...
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Jordan said...

Oh, Jeff. How could you say such a thing? Hummus? REALLY?

danithew said...

Jeff, I thought we weren't supposed to let the general public know about the Canadian influence.ht

Todd Wood said...

Jeff, you know that new creation museum (Answers in Genesis ministry) that has opened to the public?

In today's American culture, I think it will be burned down by its enemies before any LDS temple in America will be.

Anonymous said...

Mormon's aren't creationists.

Sam said...

Nurturing the persecution complex just a little too preciously?

The commenter was over the top and not representative of those of us who spent much of our lives in Mormonism but see things much differently now.

Showcasing bigots to bolster your own case is cheap.

If you're going to take up the banner of BofM historicity and Joseph's divinity, you've got to come clean with your retreat into faith when your reason arguments are sustainable.

Sam said...

...you've got to come clean with your retreat into faith when your reason arguments AREN'T sustainable.

Bookslinger said...

Jeff, Yes, at first, I did get a shiver up my spine for a long time when visiting your blog. The black and white newsreel, and the voice of the radio announcer at the Hindenburg (the hydrogen airship) disaster kept coming to mind

Hearing "Oh the Mormanity!" as you see the airship crash in flames, and hear the terrified announcer bemoaning the loss of life.

You tried to capture the feel for the phrase in one of your podcasts, but not quite.

You could also borrow from Shakespeare for the anti-Mormon persecution schtick too, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" kind of thing.

The one Sidney Rigdon speech that was one of the impetuses for the Missouri persecutions, and some of Joseph Smith's rejoinders would make good modern zingers.

To whom would you assign the "dough-head" moniker to today? I think it was used by Joseph Smith to describe some of the Mormons who made the stupid remarks and threats that the anti's jumped on in order to justify the persecution.

But today, I'd probably use it for people like Al Gore, Harry Reid, John Edwards.

Mormanity said...

Sam, I think you're missing the point of my post. Sorry if I wasn't clear. As the author of this little blog, I'm allowed to have fun with the type of bigotry that I encounter regularly - bigotry and stupidity that's not nearly as rare as you might think. Messages from bigots who don't seem to even think about what they are writing or to even try to understand the post they are responding to.

But I think such bigotry can be entertaining, and that's the spirit of this post. If you mistake a little playfulness for a desperate attempt to bolster "my retreat into faith," you are mistaken.

And help me out. You tried two different phrases that both puzzle me: "you've got to come clean with your retreat into faith when your reason arguments are sustainable" and "you've got to come clean with your retreat into faith when your reason arguments AREN'T sustainable." I don't think I can parse either sentence into something I can sustain. What's your point again? I'm sorry if I'm misreading your comments.

Anonymous said...

Good blog. Jeff. Very funny. Love the cars, just sorry the christians can't take a day off and have some fun with us. Some things never change.

nathanielmacrae said...
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Anonymous said...

The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often misunderstood . . Some accuse the Church of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion . . This article helps to clarify such misconceptions

· Baptism: .

Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. http://www.imj.org.il/eng/exhibitions/2000/christianity/ancientchurch/structure/index.html
The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. . Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and not allowing non-Christians to witness them

· The Trinity: .

A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration?

The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. . The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. . The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one."

Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. . . .He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. .

Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. . Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was also part of Early Christian belief. . The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.

· The Cross: .

The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection , not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming.

· Christ's Atonement: .

But Mormons don”t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. . They believe Christ’s atonement in Gethsemane and on the Cross applies to all mankind. . The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”: . All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They all worship the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and address Him in prayer as prescribed in The Lord’s Prayer.

It”s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. If members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) embrace early Christian theology , they are likely more “Christian” than their detractors.

* * *


· Christ-Like Lives: . . .The 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . LDS Evangelical

Attend Religious Services weekly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71% . . . . 55%

Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life –

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . extremely important .. 52. . . . . . . 28

Believes in life after death . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 . . . . . . 62

Believes in psychics or fortune-tellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . 5

Has taught religious education classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 . . . . . . 28

Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 . . . . . . 22

Sabbath Observance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 . . . . . . 40

Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 . . . . . . 56

Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 . . . . . . 19

Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen

(very supportive) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 . . . . . . 26

Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping

Teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality . . . . . 84 . . . . . . 35

sam said...

Mormanity

FWIW my mangled last line earlier in this thread was an attempt to call out a point that was made on another thread a few days back...

...you always try to have it both ways - you want the patina of academic arguments and scientific evidences in making your case for BofM historicity and Smith's divine restoration, but retreat into faith arguments when those evidences are exposed for their weaknesses.

I think almost all people are quite happy for you to practice whatever faith you please - your commenter notwithstanding -, and are quite happy to respect the Mormon tradition, but feel compelled to take issue when apologists insist on promoting their claims of exceptionalism while playing on the turf of empirical science and reason.

Mormanity said...

nathanielmacrae said...

Huh? Where did my previous response go?

Have I (again) overstepped the mark?

Yes, Nat, you overstepped the bounds again. I have asked you several times to not post videos here. Being completely off-topic doesn't strengthen the case for the unwanted video links. And video links from questionable services that cause some browsers to crash don't help. So, being the intolerant ogre that I am, I polished up my delete key for this occasion and whacked your comment into outer darkness.

nathanielmacrae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C Ray said...

Dare I make a comment with (certainly) a lack of knowledge? I guess...
You spoke of the Romans driving out early Christians because they were a "CULT!", but as I understand it, the Romans persecuted early Christians mostly because they taught that the Roman Empire was not the ruling state of humanity any more, but that the following of Christ and his commandments were more important than their empire. So...the persecution was based on a challenge to their AUTHORITY, and not their being viewed as a CULT.

Of course if I had some kind of reference, I would post it here. But I don't.

And you should be "green with your cars now, (it's 2009, I understand this blog was started a while ago)check out the ALL ELECTRIC Tesla Roadster.

Mike said...

I'm a Mormon and I am a creationist. So drive me out already.