The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

But Polygamy's Still Okay, right?

Before I proceed to excoriate an entire religion, I'd like to first issue a disclaimer. I fully support everyone's right to peacefully practice their religion no matter how inane their beliefs are (and yes, I'm looking at you Scientologists). Regardless of how foolish the texts supporting many faiths are, I generally view religion as a good thing for some people and a terrible thing for others (read any good cartoons lately?).

That being said, here are a list of 10 things that I believe in more than the Book of Mormon.

10. The inherent divinity of the lima bean.
9. That Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit could carry on a legitimate, loving relationship in spite of their obvious physical disparities.
8. That the new American 60-hour work week is a good thing.
7. That Paul Walker is the new Marlon Brando.
6. The Lost City of Atlantis.
5. Clay Aiken is a paragon of heterosexual masculinity.
4. That Barry Manilow's new album is indeed "dope."
3. That 50 Cent is "talented".
2. That Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are engaged in a loving and healthy relationship that hasn't been seen in Hollywood since the days of Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton.
1. That Avenged Sevenfold are the new "Guns N' Roses." (direct quote taken from the mouth of Mark "Sugar Ray" McGrath)

So of course, it doesn't surprise me much that the LA Times ran this article last week, calling into question the Mormon Church's conversion practices in Latin America and Polynesia. According to the article, the Mormons had been teaching millions of other Native Americans (read: potential converts) that they were descended from a lost tribe of Israel that reached the New World more than 2,000 years ago.

Now some of this subject material has been covered before. In fact, if you haven't already done so, please watch "South Park's" episode on the Mormons. Let's just say that it involves a cartoon version of Joseph Smith and the history of the Book of Mormon. Each time that he manages to convince another person to join the church, a chorus chants "Dumb dumb, dumb, dumb." Ultimately, South Park concludes that while the Mormons may believe in some ridiculous things, ultimately any religion that teaches it's people to produce solid caring families and be good citizens is at worst benign.

Now, I don't disagree with that philosophy, however I do disagree with any religion that feels the need to prostylize to the unconverted. This is where most of the evils done in the name of religion have occurred (the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, Creed). You might be saying so what, they just want to spread the gospel and help people improve their lives. All well and good, that is if you don't have to completely deceive innocent people into believing your fairy tales.

The Times' article chronicles the anger and hurt that many Native Americans have felt in recent years as DNA tests have concluded that they don't share any DNA with the ancient Israelites. I'd make the case that this is actually a good thing for them, as let's just say the Jew's lot hasn't been smooth sailing and doesn't look to be getting any better any time soon.

But let's get real, how is anyone really supposed to take the word of the Book of Mormon seriously. I mean, according to the Times' article

"According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an angel named Moroni led Joseph Smith in 1827 to a divine set of golden plates buried in a hillside near his New York home.God provided the 22-year-old Smith with a pair of glasses and seer stones that allowed him to translate the "Reformed Egyptian" writings on the golden plates into the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

All I have to say if when I was 22 years old, I started seeing angels leading me to gold plates then there was only one logical conclusion: that I had gone off eating the mushrooms again. And you know what, I may have had several great trips, but I'm pretty sure that they weren't fodder for starting my own religion. And as the Mormon religion forbids any use of drugs, alcohol, or fun of any kind, I'm willing to bet that Smith was just trying to hoard all the good drugs to himself. And any religion that doesn't share it's hallucinogens that that's no religion that I can honestly endorse.

But the drug stinginess of the religion isn't the only thing I find problematic. According to its tenets, "the book's narrative focuses on a tribe of Jews who sailed from Jerusalem to the New World in 600 BC and split into two main warring factions.

The God-fearing Nephites were "pure" (the word was officially changed from "white" in 1981) and "delightsome." The idol-worshiping Lamanites received the "curse of blackness," turning their skin dark.

According to the Book of Mormon, by 385 AD the dark-skinned Lamanites had wiped out other Hebrews. The Mormon church called the victors "the principal ancestors of the American Indians." If the Lamanites returned to the church, their skin could once again become white."

Am I the only one who find this unequivocably racist? It took them to 1981 to stop calling blackness a "curse." This is after only finally allowing blacks in the priesthood in 1978. Which of course would mean that in those three years in between, there were a lot of black priests preaching the word of God despite being evil.

Quite an impressive track record to convert on. But this still hasn't stopped the Church from continuing to convert millions of people across the globe, while spinning a web of lies to cover its inherent doctrinal fallacies.

"We would hope that church members would not simply buy into the latest DNA arguments being promulgated by those who oppose the church for some reason or other," said Michael Otterson, a Salt Lake City-based spokesman for the Mormon church in the Times' piece. "The truth is, the Book of Mormon will never be proved or disproved by science," he said"

Okay, Michael Otterson, let me extend this same form of logic to a different argument. I can also never "prove" that The Bravery is a shitty band. Sure, I can make all the arguments I want about how the band's lead singer Sam Endicott used to sing in a band called "Skabba The Hut" and how they all wear make-up on stage. But just as though anyone with taste would recognize that The Bravery are the indie-rock equivalent of O-Town (click here for a pic...nuff said), anyone with several undamaged brain cells would realize that the Mormon orthodoxy is about as legitimate as Eddie Murphy's defense that he'd picked up a transvestite on Hollywood Blvd. at 4:00 a.m. because he was trying to be a good guy and give him/her a ride home.

In the meantime, the Church has waged a full-scale war to excommunicate member's of the church who diverge from the "points" made in the Book of Mormon, going as far to as starting an excommunication proceeding against Thomas W. Murphy, an anthropology professor at Edmonds Community College in Washington state. Murphy was deemed a heretic for saying the Mormon scriptures should be considered inspired fiction in light of the DNA evidence.

The nerve of Murphy. I'm sure God has a special place in Hell reserved for him. I hope it's just next to mine so that we can make fun of the Mormon scriptures together. That is if one of the Mormon missionaries trolling my neighborhood doesn't get to me first. Luckily, I've devised a strategy to ward off their hungry convert-happy eyes: lock my doors, turn off all the lights and hide. If that doesn't work, I just throw on my Avenged Sevenfold album. That seems to scare them off. But you know who it doesn't scare off? Me. After all, haven't you heard? They're the new Guns N' Roses. Welcome to the Jungle...of pop-punk!!!!

P.S. If my screed against Mormons wasn't enough to turn you off against the religion. Just consider the fact that Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the Killers is a practicing Mormon. If that doesn't horrify you, I don't know what will.


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Joey said...

It's racist. You're not the only one.

Like you, I have no problem with people practicing what they want. But I have major problems with presumptuous fucks who always try to force their religion upon others. It's one of the many reasons I hate George Bush so much.

Nice post.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger amphimacer said...

Might I recommend "Roughing It" (1872) by Mark Twain? In it, he describes his visit with Brigham Young, and takes apart the Book of Moroni. No one since has really had to do a hatchet job on it, because all you need do is refer to Mark Twain's wholly masterful dissection. Twain has some sympathy for the polygamy, not because he wants to practise [yes, this is the correct British/Canadian spelling] it, but because he thinks Young must be a saint not to have cracked under it.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Nate said...

"According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an angel named Moroni led Joseph Smith in 1827 to a divine set of golden plates buried in a hillside near his New York home.God provided the 22-year-old Smith with a pair of glasses and seer stones that allowed him to translate the "Reformed Egyptian" writings on the golden plates into the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

How much more ridiculous is this then Moses Parting the Red Sea??? Or Jesus being resurrected?? This is just as ridiculous as every other religion's base. Honestly. And if people get offended by that they are just fucking idiots. It's just funny to me that people that believe in those things can ridicule the Mormon religion as being outlandish, when they believe in things like I referenced above. You feel me?

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Ian said...

Or that whole thing about Muslims being greeted with virgins in heaven. Yeah, getting shitty handjobs for a year and a half until they feel they're "ready"; is that worth blowing yourself up for?

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

To Joey: Remember pessimism never created a job (which was definitely the most hilarious attack line on John Kerry Bush and Rove that ever concocted...Nice Alito Post by the way...kinda chilling)

Amphimacer: Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely check that out when I get a sounds really interesting.

Nate: What??? you mean Moses didn't see god in a burning bush. Now they tell me...and I had that Bar-Mitzvah for nothing...fuck

Ian: Well played. Well played. And you just gave me a great idea for a blog that I may write soon..thanks


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