Thursday, March 31, 2011

When the Mormons gather....

If history serves as any guide, the first weekend of April, 2011 will find the the tulips of Temple Square in Salt Lake City bedecked in snow and bent as if in supplication while nearby, members of the LDS faith will raise their collective right arms to the square in what can only be described as an affirmation of subjugation to fifteen fellow primates whom the rank-and-file Mormons will proudly call 'prophets, seers and revelators'. Such abdication is not uncommon among the faithful, Latter-day Saint or otherwise.  Mainline Protestants regularly claim to be slaves to Jesus; Mormons merely have an extra step to the divine by placing mere mortals --all men, not surprisingly--  in positions of power to act for and in behalf and in the name of god.

Peggy Fletcher Stack's article in The Salt Lake Tribune, dated March 25, 2011  gives due justice to such personal secession: taught to the young and innocent and impressionable and codified in Mormon scripture, all Latter-day Saints are commanded to 'follow the prophet'. For example: ask any Mormon about their code of health and they will tell you that abstaining from wine, coffee and tea has less to do with the health benefits of the moderate intake of alcohol and caffeine and more to do with obedience.  Granted, being a teetotaller for Jehovah is progress of a kind from the slaughters commanded by the god of Israel to his chosen people, but it still leaves open the invitation to apply similar reasoning to future actions.  It would seem that Smerdyakov was wrong and the Bible, in this case is right (Matthew 19:26): if one has a belief that god can command --through mere mortals-- the extirpation of the infidel, the homosexual, the apostate; if god can command the mutilation of genitalia, and the taking of children as wives, what stops such actions from being commanded this weekend? Or the next?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Faithless in Zion

If there is one thing that Jesse Fruhwirth's article Temple Termination shows is that the more a religion emerges as oppressive and absurd, the more humorous and ironic it becomes.
Drew Call's story of castigation by his church and his employer merely confirm the theory that the LDS church keeps two sets of doctrines: one for the rank-and-file members heard from the pulpits and
insolently forced across the desks in bishop's offices throughout the Mormon world; a doctrine of guilt and shame and loathing for any who dare to be --either by choice or by nature—different; and one that is shown to the rest of the world of clean-cut, happy, straight members whose only concern is whether to serve green or red Jell-O on Family Home Evening. Such behavior in an individual is capricious at best and schizophrenic at worst; but in an institution it borders on evil.
Those of us who have seen through the lugubrious and pitiful religious bulling that emanates from Temple Square find it pitiful that a church which allegedly prides itself on family would have its adherents choose between following the prophet or rejecting the love of their own flesh and blood simply because they are gay, or atheists, or critics of what the LDS church claims to be the truth.  As an atheist, I embrace my family members, many of whom still believe in golden plates and reformed Egyptian; and in all fairness, they accept me.  What is of concern is  when  my parents or my siblings have their next temple recommend interview they find  they can no longer ‘affiliate’ with me because of my non-belief,  lest they risk the wrath of their ecclesiastical leaders who hold the keys to salvation with the right propitiations.    The antics of the LDS hierarchy seem to indicate no love of family except one that is so narrow as to render the definition inane.