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Mormons in Politics
Posted: 07 September 2012 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Full disclosure: I am an atheist who was raised as a Mormon.  I don’t believe in God because a serious commitment to reason precludes the acceptance of propositions on insufficient evidence, or faith.  The believer must accept exactly two such propositions.  They are as follows: 1) there is an all powerful being that created the universe and has an interest in how people behave, and 2) there is a particular scripture and/or prophet through which we can be informed of the opinions and wishes of said creator.  Those who subscribe to only the first proposition are deists.  Those who subscribe to the second as well are theists and usually members of a religion.  The choice of scripture and prophet will depend on the tradition with which a believer associates. 

 
We can understand why Evangelical Christians have such animosity towards Mormons.  They disagree on the choices made in the second proposition and (as is so often the case between religions) the incompatibility of these choices leads to irresolvable conflict.  This conflict has been amplified by Mitt Romney’s recent selection as a major party candidate for President.  This argument should be meaningless to atheists since they never even got to the first proposition.  Secularists should be adverse to either group’s claims with identical zeal and for identical reasons.  But this has not been happening.  They have lately been joining with Christians in an intellectually bankrupt attack on the Mormons. 


Men whose intellects I admire have been debasing themselves in their rush to join the chorus of anti-Mormon sentiment in our public discourse.  My eyebrow was first raised while I was watching a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.  Maher, a noted atheist, said of the Mormon Church “It does take crazy to a whole new level.  I mean, all religions are magic tricks, Mormonism is just a particularly bad, novelty shop level, intelligence insulting magic trick.  This religion is so ridiculous Tom Cruise would not join it and Glenn Beck did.” Now, this is funny, and Maher is a politically oriented comedian, so I dismissed the comment.  However I couldn’t shake my perception that the delivery of this line was such that Maher believed it to be one of his show’s insightful moments.  I just couldn’t accept that an atheist would find anything particularly offensive about LDS beliefs compared with, say, Catholic or Muslim beliefs.


But as is so often the case, once the mind is open to an idea it finds examples everywhere.  Noted atheistic intellectual and evolutionary expert Richard Dawkins had this to say “The Mormon religion is so obviously fake, founded by a transparent charlatan in the nineteenth century, Joseph Smith. Nothing could be more obvious than that that man was a fake and a charlatan and a liar, and yet now we have a Presidential candidate who is prepared to say that he believes in this mountebank.”  Dawkins is right to be incredulous that only faithful men are acceptable candidates for President, but wrong in thinking this is made worse by the presence of a Mormon candidate. 


In another conversation which Dawkins had with Astrophysicist and really smart guy Lawrence Krauss, Krauss added the following on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith “We also read that the biblical stories are equally ridiculous, but the difference is we don’t know they were written by known conmen, but in fact he was a known felon.” Krauss misses the point, in that it doesn’t matter the source of the beliefs people adopt on faith, only the content. 


Finally, Sam Harris, perhaps the world’s most articulate living anti-theist, said “Mormonism, it seems to me—objectively— is just a little bit more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be: it is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.”  He later added, “We can make common cause with our Christian brothers and sisters on this point.” Contrary to Harris’s assertion, the content of Mormon beliefs is not more idiotic than any other Christian faith.  If one is going to accept the Bible as the word of God, there is absolutely no scientific ground left on which to mount a stand against the Book of Mormon. 


Harris has written a book entitled the Moral Landscape in which he argued that we do not need religion to have a sense of morality.  The crux of his argument is that morality amounts to the sum of the well being of conscious creatures and that there are knowable ways of moving upwards or downwards on that scale which constitute an objective ‘playing field’ for moral behavior.  It seems to me, that that is the only arena from which secularists can attack one religion more than another and maintain intellectual honesty.  Therefore, he can say (and has) that Muslims are worse than, say, Jainists since the former are more likely to engage in suicide bombing attacks, but he cannot say that Mormons are worse than Catholics since they believe in the story of Nephi in addition to the stories of Noah and Moses.  Would he criticize a person who plays the lottery and picks the same number 5 times in a row by arguing that they are therefore less likely to win?  In truth, their chances are identical and infinitesimally small in both cases.


Moreover, Mormons pass Harris’s moral landscape test with flying colors.  They live clean, drug free lives with an emphasis on family cohesion and usually in close knit communities that have perfected the art and the spirit of charity to a degree that puts all other Christians to shame.  I don’t mean to dote on the Mormons who leave themselves open to serious criticism from a secular perspective.  They refuse to say that polygamy was always wrong, even when their founders practiced it; they were embarrassingly late to recognize the equality of all races; and they must still hang their heads in shame based on their dogma concerning women and homosexuals.  However, these offenses are no more or less damning than those which can be charged to any religion. 


No, Dr. Harris, we cannot make common cause with our Christian brothers and sisters on this point. They attack the Latter Day Saints because they believe that the Bible tells them that the Book of Mormon is evil.  They enlist incredulity on the evidence supporting the Mormon faith with great hypocrisy, since they suspend that incredulity when they learn third hand that Jesus raised the dead and walked upon the water.  We on the other hand must convict them equally on these points.  We can make judgments only on objective criteria.  The Mormons are worse than Christians who have learned to embrace women in the priesthood and homosexuals in matrimony, but they are better than those which teach that one imperils her eternal soul through the use of contraceptives. 

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Posted: 08 September 2012 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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TheCoolinator - 07 September 2012 10:14 PM

Full disclosure: I am an atheist who was raised as a Mormon.  I don’t believe in God because a serious commitment to reason precludes the acceptance of propositions on insufficient evidence, or faith.  The believer must accept exactly two such propositions.  They are as follows: 1) there is an all powerful being that created the universe and has an interest in how people behave, and 2) there is a particular scripture and/or prophet through which we can be informed of the opinions and wishes of said creator.  Those who subscribe to only the first proposition are deists.  Those who subscribe to the second as well are theists and usually members of a religion.  The choice of scripture and prophet will depend on the tradition with which a believer associates. 

 
We can understand why Evangelical Christians have such animosity towards Mormons.  They disagree on the choices made in the second proposition and (as is so often the case between religions) the incompatibility of these choices leads to irresolvable conflict.  This conflict has been amplified by Mitt Romney’s recent selection as a major party candidate for President.  This argument should be meaningless to atheists since they never even got to the first proposition.  Secularists should be adverse to either group’s claims with identical zeal and for identical reasons.  But this has not been happening.  They have lately been joining with Christians in an intellectually bankrupt attack on the Mormons. 


Men whose intellects I admire have been debasing themselves in their rush to join the chorus of anti-Mormon sentiment in our public discourse.  My eyebrow was first raised while I was watching a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.  Maher, a noted atheist, said of the Mormon Church “It does take crazy to a whole new level.  I mean, all religions are magic tricks, Mormonism is just a particularly bad, novelty shop level, intelligence insulting magic trick.  This religion is so ridiculous Tom Cruise would not join it and Glenn Beck did.” Now, this is funny, and Maher is a politically oriented comedian, so I dismissed the comment.  However I couldn’t shake my perception that the delivery of this line was such that Maher believed it to be one of his show’s insightful moments.  I just couldn’t accept that an atheist would find anything particularly offensive about LDS beliefs compared with, say, Catholic or Muslim beliefs.


But as is so often the case, once the mind is open to an idea it finds examples everywhere.  Noted atheistic intellectual and evolutionary expert Richard Dawkins had this to say “The Mormon religion is so obviously fake, founded by a transparent charlatan in the nineteenth century, Joseph Smith. Nothing could be more obvious than that that man was a fake and a charlatan and a liar, and yet now we have a Presidential candidate who is prepared to say that he believes in this mountebank.”  Dawkins is right to be incredulous that only faithful men are acceptable candidates for President, but wrong in thinking this is made worse by the presence of a Mormon candidate. 


In another conversation which Dawkins had with Astrophysicist and really smart guy Lawrence Krauss, Krauss added the following on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith “We also read that the biblical stories are equally ridiculous, but the difference is we don’t know they were written by known conmen, but in fact he was a known felon.” Krauss misses the point, in that it doesn’t matter the source of the beliefs people adopt on faith, only the content. 


Finally, Sam Harris, perhaps the world’s most articulate living anti-theist, said “Mormonism, it seems to me—objectively— is just a little bit more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be: it is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.”  He later added, “We can make common cause with our Christian brothers and sisters on this point.” Contrary to Harris’s assertion, the content of Mormon beliefs is not more idiotic than any other Christian faith.  If one is going to accept the Bible as the word of God, there is absolutely no scientific ground left on which to mount a stand against the Book of Mormon. 


Harris has written a book entitled the Moral Landscape in which he argued that we do not need religion to have a sense of morality.  The crux of his argument is that morality amounts to the sum of the well being of conscious creatures and that there are knowable ways of moving upwards or downwards on that scale which constitute an objective ‘playing field’ for moral behavior.  It seems to me, that that is the only arena from which secularists can attack one religion more than another and maintain intellectual honesty.  Therefore, he can say (and has) that Muslims are worse than, say, Jainists since the former are more likely to engage in suicide bombing attacks, but he cannot say that Mormons are worse than Catholics since they believe in the story of Nephi in addition to the stories of Noah and Moses.  Would he criticize a person who plays the lottery and picks the same number 5 times in a row by arguing that they are therefore less likely to win?  In truth, their chances are identical and infinitesimally small in both cases.


Moreover, Mormons pass Harris’s moral landscape test with flying colors.  They live clean, drug free lives with an emphasis on family cohesion and usually in close knit communities that have perfected the art and the spirit of charity to a degree that puts all other Christians to shame.  I don’t mean to dote on the Mormons who leave themselves open to serious criticism from a secular perspective.  They refuse to say that polygamy was always wrong, even when their founders practiced it; they were embarrassingly late to recognize the equality of all races; and they must still hang their heads in shame based on their dogma concerning women and homosexuals.  However, these offenses are no more or less damning than those which can be charged to any religion. 


No, Dr. Harris, we cannot make common cause with our Christian brothers and sisters on this point. They attack the Latter Day Saints because they believe that the Bible tells them that the Book of Mormon is evil.  They enlist incredulity on the evidence supporting the Mormon faith with great hypocrisy, since they suspend that incredulity when they learn third hand that Jesus raised the dead and walked upon the water.  We on the other hand must convict them equally on these points.  We can make judgments only on objective criteria.  The Mormons are worse than Christians who have learned to embrace women in the priesthood and homosexuals in matrimony, but they are better than those which teach that one imperils her eternal soul through the use of contraceptives.


Beautiful.
One can almost picture a tar baby tag team wrestling match.

[ Edited: 08 September 2012 12:04 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 08 September 2012 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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A bit long winded but well made, TheCoolinator.  No religion may declare another religion wrong or false if each assumes gods exist.  Skipping that first step and going straight to the nature and desires of the gods is a crucial mistaken assumption over which wars are fought.

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Posted: 08 September 2012 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Skipshot - 08 September 2012 12:31 PM

A bit long winded but well made, TheCoolinator.  No religion may declare another religion wrong or false if each assumes gods exist.  Skipping that first step and going straight to the nature and desires of the gods is a crucial mistaken assumption over which wars are fought.


One wonders if the mind’s belief in gods is not the cause of wars, but merely one of the evolved results of its own genetic survival mandate.

[ Edited: 08 September 2012 02:28 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 08 September 2012 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Skipshot - 08 September 2012 12:31 PM

A bit long winded but well made, TheCoolinator.  No religion may declare another religion wrong or false if each assumes gods exist.  Skipping that first step and going straight to the nature and desires of the gods is a crucial mistaken assumption over which wars are fought.

You seem to have missed the point.  Dr. Harris has adequately described the problem with mutually incompatible truth claims.  This explains the differences between Evangelicals and Mormons, and I understand it.  I don’t like it, but I get it.  What I don’t understand, is why atheists are picking on Mormons.  I understand the motive to single out Islam and even Catholicism, but apart from their anti-gay agenda, I don’t understand singling out the Mormons.  Unfortunately, their anti-gay political activism is not the source (so far as I have seen) of the atheistic singling out of Mormons which I cited at such length above.

 

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Posted: 08 September 2012 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Posted: 08 September 2012 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I see no difference between religions.  They all assume the supernatural exists.  What they do after that is pointless to me since they all use faith as their motivation and justification.  Religion is also a form of power, and while the religion is small and weak they are harmless, but give them power and they are corrupted because they are made of men.

As an atheist, attacking Mormonism is no different than attacking Greek mythology and deserves no exemption.

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Posted: 08 September 2012 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Skipshot - 08 September 2012 10:11 PM

I see no difference between religions.  They all assume the supernatural exists.  What they do after that is pointless to me since they all use faith as their motivation and justification.  Religion is also a form of power, and while the religion is small and weak they are harmless, but give them power and they are corrupted because they are made of men.

As an atheist, attacking Mormonism is no different than attacking Greek mythology and deserves no exemption.

I am tempted to believe that you are willfully refusing to understand my point.  The question isn’t whether Mormons should be exempt.  It is whether they should be grouped with Muslims as exceptionally extreme examples of the corrupting influence of faith.  If you can’t see the difference between Jainists and Muslims, you should re-read Dr. Harris.  Religions are are all equally guilty of conflicting with reason, but they are not all equally guilty in causing people to interfere with human well being.

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Posted: 08 September 2012 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Are you saying some religions are more benign than others?  If so, then you are ignoring my point about power corrupting religion. 

There is no need to be concerned about Mormonism right now since it’s followers are relatively isolated and few, but were it to have as many followers as mainstream Christianity then its corruption and backwardness would be amplified and likely would be represented by leaders just as ugly as any pope or ayatollah.  I don’t trust religion further than I can kick it because it gives men any justification they need to gain and hold power.  Religion is a chameleon-like parasite on society and useless except as an example of what not to be.

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Posted: 09 September 2012 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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TheCoolinator - 08 September 2012 10:33 PM
Skipshot - 08 September 2012 10:11 PM

I see no difference between religions.  They all assume the supernatural exists.  What they do after that is pointless to me since they all use faith as their motivation and justification.  Religion is also a form of power, and while the religion is small and weak they are harmless, but give them power and they are corrupted because they are made of men.

As an atheist, attacking Mormonism is no different than attacking Greek mythology and deserves no exemption.

I am tempted to believe that you are willfully refusing to understand my point.  The question isn’t whether Mormons should be exempt.  It is whether they should be grouped with Muslims as exceptionally extreme examples of the corrupting influence of faith.  If you can’t see the difference between Jainists and Muslims, you should re-read Dr. Harris.  Religions are are all equally guilty of conflicting with reason, but they are not all equally guilty in causing people to interfere with human well being.


The Mormons are not exempt from the excesses that occur from believing one’s religion is the ultimate truth.
Read about the early history of the Mormon church when they controlled the power in Utah.
Scan through “The 19th Wife” by Ann Eliza Young.
Brigham Young was a murdering brute who referred to his wives as “my cows”.
Check out the Mountain Meadow Massacre and many other incidents that make the Latter Day Saints no different than any other fanatical group when they feel they control the power to exert their agenda.
Anyone who believes that their God demands certain behavior will seek to convert those who think differently.
And if they have the power, they will use force.
Every religion believes that this life is nothing compared to the afterlife and its perfectly alright to kill infidels if there is no one to protest.

 

 

[ Edited: 09 September 2012 11:51 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 09 September 2012 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Skipshot - 08 September 2012 11:11 PM

Are you saying some religions are more benign than others?

Yes.

Skipshot - 08 September 2012 11:11 PM

If so, then you are ignoring my point about power corrupting religion.

Not so.

Skipshot - 08 September 2012 11:11 PM

There is no need to be concerned about Mormonism right now since it’s followers are relatively isolated and few, but were it to have as many followers as mainstream Christianity then its corruption and backwardness would be amplified and likely would be represented by leaders just as ugly as any pope or ayatollah.

Your argument rests on the equivelance of the Pope and the Ayatollah.  Would you also assert that Osama Bin Laden was no worse that those men?  Also, the Mormons can not be considered benign because they are small.  Branch Dividians were smaller still.  We must weigh their crimes on the merrits.  They are equally guilty of abandoning reason, but there is diversity in the assaults they have made against it - and in their willingness to commit violence. 

Skipshot - 08 September 2012 11:11 PM

I don’t trust religion further than I can kick it because it gives men any justification they need to gain and hold power.  Religion is a chameleon-like parasite on society and useless except as an example of what not to be.

Agreed.

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Posted: 09 September 2012 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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toombaru - 09 September 2012 09:27 AM

Check out the Mountain Meadow Massacre and many other incidents that make the Latter Day Saints no different than any other fanatical group when they feel they control the power to exert their agenda.

This is precisely my point.  Please stop looking to me for an apology for the Mormons.  They’ve corrupted the minds of my parents and two of my siblings and I will never forgive them for those crimes which weigh heavier on my heart than any of vile things they did in the 19th century.  The purpose of my essay was to point out that we abandon our intellectual integrity when we single them out for criticism.  The Mormons were as often the victims of atrocities in their early years as they were the perpetrators.  Remember, they lost the ‘wars’ in Illinios and Missouri.  And the reasons for the all of the mob violence on both sides was exactly the same: “My God, not yours.” 


The fact that both the Mormons and the Evangelicals have been less violent over the course of the past century cannot excuse all the innocent lives that were lost.  However, let us not come with any nonesense that the Mormons are worse than any of the others.  The Mormons in fact do hold power over the States of Utah and Idaho, just as the Evangelicals hold real power in the South.  They are both hypocritical and tyranical overlords, but just don’t try to tell me that one is worse than the other unless you can point to some crime one commits that the other does not.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 12:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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TheCoolinator - 09 September 2012 11:06 PM
toombaru - 09 September 2012 09:27 AM

Check out the Mountain Meadow Massacre and many other incidents that make the Latter Day Saints no different than any other fanatical group when they feel they control the power to exert their agenda.

This is precisely my point.  Please stop looking to me for an apology for the Mormons.  They’ve corrupted the minds of my parents and two of my siblings and I will never forgive them for those crimes which weigh heavier on my heart than any of vile things they did in the 19th century.  The purpose of my essay was to point out that we abandon our intellectual integrity when we single them out for criticism.  The Mormons were as often the victims of atrocities in their early years as they were the perpetrators.  Remember, they lost the ‘wars’ in Illinios and Missouri.  And the reasons for the all of the mob violence on both sides was exactly the same: “My God, not yours.” 


The fact that both the Mormons and the Evangelicals have been less violent over the course of the past century cannot excuse all the innocent lives that were lost.  However, let us not come with any nonesense that the Mormons are worse than any of the others.  The Mormons in fact do hold power over the States of Utah and Idaho, just as the Evangelicals hold real power in the South.  They are both hypocritical and tyranical overlords, but just don’t try to tell me that one is worse than the other unless you can point to some crime one commits that the other does not.

 

They say “By hell” a lot.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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I’m not going to comment on the issues Coolinator has with the unfairness of picking on Mormons over any other religion. I would agree with him in principle, except for one thing. There has never been another Mormon president, and the mormons seem to believe some really crazy shit: (Thanks to Jefe - a former mormon at the Project Reason forum - were I pulled the following excerpts from)

Mormons believe that the end-times are coming.

Mormons believe in modern revelation. The head of the church is believed to be a Prophet and can receive revelations concerning church doctrine and beliefs, keeping the church relevant and living.

Mormons believe in two spiritual authorities, the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood (collectively referred to as the Priesthood). The power of the Priesthood is required for almost all Mormon rituals. Only men may hold either Priesthood.
Mormons construct temples that are different from normal churches. In these buildings (approximatley 150 of them worldwide), sacred temple rites are performed. Only Mormons in good standing with the Church who have a temple recommend from their local bishop may enter.

Mormons believe in baptism (and other ordinances) for the dead. These rituals are performed in Mormon temples using living people as proxies. Because Mormonism was so late to the religious party, there are billions of people who never had a chance to accept it and are consequently waiting in spirit prison for these soul-saving rituals. This is why Mormons are so big into geneology – they want to make sure all of their dead relatives make it into heaven. To be clear (because I’ve heard some confusion on this point) this practice has not been abandoned. There were some policy changes after the public uproar over the Church baptizing Holocaust victims; since then, they are being more careful about exactly which dead people they baptize. But baptism for the dead is alive and well in the mainstream Mormon church.

Mormons have a unique view of the afterlife. When people die, they either go to paradise or spirit prison, essentially based on whether or not they are Mormon. But this is just a temporary condition until Jesus’s return and the final judgement. In the final judgement, we’ll all be reunited with our bodies and be sorted into one of four places (in order of increasing desirability): Outer Darkness, Telestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Celestial Kingdom.

Mormons believe in something called exaltation in which the most righteous men will be promoted to Godhood in the afterlife and create universes and planets of their own. (emphasis mine)

There is also another site I dug up http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n2226.cfm which has some interesting asserstions from another former mormon, who had changed belief systems to some other crazy form of christianty when he wrote this:

We will end with one final eerie note which I cannot prove, but which I will share. When I was a temple Mormon and doing temple work in the Washington DC temple in Silver Springs, Maryland [c. 1983], I had a conversation with a fellow LDS priesthood holder. He was a member of the US Treasury department and a Secret Service agent.

He was obviously very proud of the temple, which was indeed an awesome 20 million dollar structure (in 1970 dollars!) of white, glistening marble. He shared with me that very few knew what was on the fifth floor of the temple. I asked him what was up there, because even worthy temple LDS were not allowed on that floor.

He told me that there was a council room up there which was an exact replica of the Oval Office of the White House. He told me they even had all the radio and telemetry equipment in place, hidden beneath a dome on top of the temple. He said that from this council room, the prophet could run the nation just as easily as he could from the White House itself. He also claimed that these electronic devices on the roof were so strong that airlines had to avoid flying right over the temple or their instruments might be thrown off.

What do they intend to do with an exact replica of the oval office in a mormon temple? I have heard the Romney is a bishop in the church. As a person of reason I would prefer anyone holding the office of the POTUS and the Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed forces to be a person of proven sound moral judgment and not some delusional religious type.  I don’t think Obama is a nut case. and he has already proved himelsf to be a man of high moral caliber and princible to me. If Romney actually believes any of this shit, WTF does that mean for us?

Madness. Simply madness.

[ Edited: 10 September 2012 02:36 AM by CrazySailr]
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Posted: 10 September 2012 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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CrazySailr - 10 September 2012 02:31 AM

I’m not going to comment on the issues Coolinator has with the unfairness of picking on Mormons over any other religion. I would agree with him in principle, except for one thing. There has never been another Mormon president, and the mormons seem to believe some really crazy shit: (Thanks to Jefe - a former mormon at the Project Reason forum - were I pulled the following excerpts from)

Mormons believe that the end-times are coming.

Mormons believe in modern revelation. The head of the church is believed to be a Prophet and can receive revelations concerning church doctrine and beliefs, keeping the church relevant and living.

Mormons believe in two spiritual authorities, the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood (collectively referred to as the Priesthood). The power of the Priesthood is required for almost all Mormon rituals. Only men may hold either Priesthood.
Mormons construct temples that are different from normal churches. In these buildings (approximatley 150 of them worldwide), sacred temple rites are performed. Only Mormons in good standing with the Church who have a temple recommend from their local bishop may enter.

Mormons believe in baptism (and other ordinances) for the dead. These rituals are performed in Mormon temples using living people as proxies. Because Mormonism was so late to the religious party, there are billions of people who never had a chance to accept it and are consequently waiting in spirit prison for these soul-saving rituals. This is why Mormons are so big into geneology – they want to make sure all of their dead relatives make it into heaven. To be clear (because I’ve heard some confusion on this point) this practice has not been abandoned. There were some policy changes after the public uproar over the Church baptizing Holocaust victims; since then, they are being more careful about exactly which dead people they baptize. But baptism for the dead is alive and well in the mainstream Mormon church.

Mormons have a unique view of the afterlife. When people die, they either go to paradise or spirit prison, essentially based on whether or not they are Mormon. But this is just a temporary condition until Jesus’s return and the final judgement. In the final judgement, we’ll all be reunited with our bodies and be sorted into one of four places (in order of increasing desirability): Outer Darkness, Telestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Celestial Kingdom.

Mormons believe in something called exaltation in which the most righteous men will be promoted to Godhood in the afterlife and create universes and planets of their own. (emphasis mine)

There is also another site I dug up http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n2226.cfm which has some interesting asserstions from another former mormon, who had changed belief systems to some other crazy form of christianty when he wrote this:

We will end with one final eerie note which I cannot prove, but which I will share. When I was a temple Mormon and doing temple work in the Washington DC temple in Silver Springs, Maryland [c. 1983], I had a conversation with a fellow LDS priesthood holder. He was a member of the US Treasury department and a Secret Service agent.

He was obviously very proud of the temple, which was indeed an awesome 20 million dollar structure (in 1970 dollars!) of white, glistening marble. He shared with me that very few knew what was on the fifth floor of the temple. I asked him what was up there, because even worthy temple LDS were not allowed on that floor.

He told me that there was a council room up there which was an exact replica of the Oval Office of the White House. He told me they even had all the radio and telemetry equipment in place, hidden beneath a dome on top of the temple. He said that from this council room, the prophet could run the nation just as easily as he could from the White House itself. He also claimed that these electronic devices on the roof were so strong that airlines had to avoid flying right over the temple or their instruments might be thrown off.

What do they intend to do with an exact replica of the oval office in a mormon temple? I have heard the Romney is a bishop in the church. As a person of reason I would prefer anyone holding the office of the POTUS and the Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed forces to be a person of proven sound moral judgment and not some delusional religious type.  I don’t think Obama is a nut case. and he has already proved himelsf to be a man of high moral caliber and princible to me. If Romney actually believes any of this shit, WTF does that mean for us?

Madness. Simply madness.

 


Obama believes that he can help people by giving them money.
Not that’s scary!

 

 

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Posted: 10 September 2012 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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CrazySailr - 10 September 2012 02:31 AM

He told me that there was a council room up there which was an exact replica of the Oval Office of the White House. He told me they even had all the radio and telemetry equipment in place, hidden beneath a dome on top of the temple. He said that from this council room, the prophet could run the nation just as easily as he could from the White House itself. He also claimed that these electronic devices on the roof were so strong that airlines had to avoid flying right over the temple or their instruments might be thrown off.

 

What do they intend to do with an exact replica of the oval office in a mormon temple? I have heard the Romney is a bishop in the church. As a person of reason I would prefer anyone holding the office of the POTUS and the Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed forces to be a person of proven sound moral judgment and not some delusional religious type.  I don’t think Obama is a nut case. and he has already proved himelsf to be a man of high moral caliber and princible to me. If Romney actually believes any of this shit, WTF does that mean for us?

Madness. Simply madness.

The oval office thing is unlikely to be true.  Though Mormons famously don’t let anyone in their temples, and I’ve only ever been in one room of one once as a small child [to perform baptisms for the dead as it happens], they are open to public tours after they are constructed but before they are consecrated.  It seems unlikely that this fiscally prudent people would then remodel the interior in cognito.  The airplane business is patently untrue and easily falsifiable.


As for the rest of the beliefs you’ve laid out - well done.  Few people have taken the time to list them so accurately.  One small note, I believe that the Telestial Kingdom is actually above the Terrestial Kingdom, but I’ve never been able to keep them straight. Next, perhaps you can get me the recipe for cow shit sandwiches.  Never mind, it probably wouldn’t be relevant to anything. 


The baptism for the dead, or baptism by proxy as they prefer to call it, is one of my favorite examples of the irrational hatred of Mormons.  Let me show you.  I hereby baptize you forever, permanently and irrevocably in the Church of The Coolinator.  This baptism is deemed by God to supersede and replace any and all previous spiritual rituals you have undergone or may hold sacred.  There, did that hurt?  It went a lot further than the Mormons go, and is exactly as consequential.  I’ve done it to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. as well.  I’ll do it to Jesus soon if I’m not stopped.


I won’t waste your time rattling off the insane beliefs held by Catholics and Evangelicals.  Your irrational fear of Mormons is an exact analog of the irrational fear of JFK’s Catholicism over half a century ago.  None of the things you’ve said indicts a Mormon for a single crime against reason which cannot be equally charged to any other believer - and that is the point which everyone in this thread is dancing around.


There are a thousand very good reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney for anything ever.  His being Mormon simply isn’t one of them.  Unless, of course, he were running against an atheist.  But he isn’t. 

 

 

 

[ Edited: 11 September 2012 12:06 AM by TheCoolinator]
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