Msnowe's Blog

More on Mormonism?

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on November 30, 2007

Usually, when the general population thinks of Mormonism, they think of polygamy, and possibly the semi-flop HBO series “Big Love.” In completely objective terms, let’s look at exactly what’s going on with this religion, and more importantly, if you’re voting Republican – should this factor at all in terms of your decision for Romney, yea or nay? (Instinct says the topic shouldn’t even be broached- we have separation of church and state for a reason – but that’s on a federal level, not a personal one, and depending on the fervency of Mitt’s religion, just like any bible thumping candidate, it deserves a thought bubble of contemplation.)

So yes, there has been polygamy. The US has outlawed it, and the doctrine was revoked by the Mormon church in the 1890s. There still have been your random cases of some extreme fundamentalist Mormons still engaging in the whole “plural marriage” idea, but we can’t really blame the current Mormon church entirely — every religion has fervent sects that break off, and decide that the older version was better. I mean, we still have people toting around Leviticus with only certain lines highlighted. (Note: A.J. Jacobs, in his book “The Year of Living Biblically,” attempts to live for one year, adhering as strictly as possible to all Bible tenants. He of course admits that it is altogether impossible, and everyone on the planet would warrant a stoning, probably many times over).
If you’re into women’s rights (which you should be), this doctrine of polygamy is grating, but it’s not anything new when it comes to religion. While not defending Mormons in the least, we’ve still got burkas, and the barring of women from the priesthood, and the regulation of conception and the double-standard of chastisement for the “un-chaste” woman, cycling through our societies, ruminating like a fowl stench.

But many people look at Mormonism and stop at the polygamy issue, as if that was their sticking point against it – and valid as that may be to some, there are other issues to address that have been strict doctrine of the Church of Latter Day Saints all the way until the 1970s. Now, no church has been especially friendly to those groups it views as outsiders, or people physically different than themselves. But the Mormon’s had a special doctrine that claimed, quite specifically, that people of dark skin where the decendants of Cain, and given their darker skin as a punishment by god, because they had acted in tandem with Satan. So while black members were accepted occasionally, this is the beliefs they stood up against. Only in the 1970s, was the doctrines barring blacks and other races a greater role in the church rescinded. Before 1978, blacks, Native Americans, women of all races, etc., were not allowed to become priests, or even participate in temple ceremonies. Women, while allowed to participate in ceremonies, can be given “priesthood power”, but they are still barred from being ordained as full clergy, even though they can perform most of the same duties. So basically, the Mormons operate like most businesses still do today – women do the same work, for less pay and recognition.

As hard as this is to hear for some, Mormonism isn’t all that different from other protestant religions in the US, who like to sit up on a high horse in comparison, because their man took (and take) mistresses, not excess wives. Romney should be asked, if not about his faith, about how he feels about his church’s sluggish response to racial and sexual issues — he was not exactly a baby when they finally rescinded the racial discrimination doctrines, so how did he continue to tithe with a religion that openly pontificated against blacks and minorities? But it’s important to remember that for every question we have for a person like Romney, and his unfamiliar religion, we should be thinking of parallel questions for other candidates, like Giuliani, and perhaps just how he was officially billing his travel expenses to go visit his girlfriend (while married) on Long Island.

Although important to discuss, when we reach for that apple of religious knowledge in terms of the candidates, we better know what we’re getting into, — because it’s certainly no paradise.

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  1. hkyson said, on June 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Here is the English version of an article on science and Mormonism that I published awhile ago in my blog “Interlingua multilingue”:

    Science and the Mormons
    The Mormons are a religious sect that emerged from Christianity in the United States in the Nineteenth Century. They added to the Bible their own scripture, the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith from an original text in a language he called Reformed Egyptian. According to the mythology of the Mormons, in 1827 the angel Moroni gave Smith these texts, which were engraved on golden tables. Smith could understand them without learning their language through the divine magic of two special lenses that he used to read them while he translated them.
    Smith and his followers were persecuted by traditional Christians, who forced them to travel slowly and with great sacrifices until they reached what is now Utah, where their descendants dominate the religious and social life of this American state.
    According to the Mormons, the Indians of the Americas came from Egypt more than 2,000 (two thousand) years ago. They used this myth to convert many Indians to their religion. “We were taught that all the blessings of our Hebrew ancestors made us a special people,” said Jose a Loyaza, a lawyer in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah. “And this identity gave us a sense of transcendental affiliation, a special identity with God.” But Loyaza gradually learned that there was another outrageous irony to his faith.
    He rejected his religion after learning that evidence provided by comparative DNA studies between American Indians and Asians conclusively proved that the first humans that migrated to the Americas came not from the Middle East but from Asia.
    For the Mormons this genetic confirmation of the origin of the Indians in the Americas is a fundamental collision of science against religion. It is in direct conflict with the Book of Mormon, which, according to their religion, is a completely error-free historical work that must be interpreted literally.
    The Book of Mormon is also fundamentally racist. It narrates that a tribe of Hebrews from Jeruselem went to the Americas in 600 B.C. and split up into two groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Nephites carried the “true” religion to the new world and were in constant conflict with the Lamanites, who practiced idolatry. The Nephites were white (in 1980 the Mormons changed the word to “pure”), and the Lamanites received from God “The curse of blackness.”
    The Book of Mormon also narrates that in 385 A.D. the Lamanites exterminated all the other Hebrews and became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. But the Mormons insist that if the Lamanites returned to the “true” religion (Mormonism, quite naturally), their skin would eventually become white like the skin of the Nephites that their ancestors had exterminated.
    But despite these outrageous racist insults, many Indians and Polynesians (who also, according to the Mormons, are the descendants of the Lamanites) converted to Mormonism instead of telling the Mormons to go fuck themselves. (Through some perverse mechanism in human psychology, these converts are like homosexual priests who support the Roman catholic church or other gay people who support any type of Christianity.)
    “The fiction that I was a Lamanite,” said Damon Kali, a lawyer in Sunnyvale, California, whose ancestors came from Polynesian islands, “was the principal reason that I converted to Mormonism.” He had been a missionary for the Mormans before he discovered that genetic evidence proved that the Lamanites were only a religious myth, and he could not continue his efforts to convert others to Mormonism.
    Officially the Mormon church insists that nothing in the Book of Mormon is incompatible with the genetic evidence. Some Mormons are now saying that the Levites were a small group of Hebrews that went to Central America and after many generations of marrying with the natives they met, their Hebrew DNA disappeared into the DNA of their neighbors.
    In 2002, officers of the church started a trial to excommunicate Thomas W. Murphy, a professor of anthropology at Edmonds Community College in Washington, an American state at the extreme northwest of the continental United States.
    His trial attracted a lot of attention in the American public communications media, which ridiculed the church and insisted that Murphy was the Galileo of Mormonism. The general contempt provoked by this publicity seriously embarrassed the officers of the church, and they stopped the trial.

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