Mormons Attack!No biking today, a stationary front / line of rain from New Mexico to New England -- except for a 100 mile gap centered on Lexington, KY. We did finally get some drizzle, but we are still in severe drought. I walked the dog instead of biking, about half the yards look like science fair projects in "Natural Selection of Drought-Resistant Weeds".
This will be a special post, dedicated to one of everyone's favorite topics, antitheism.
So around a month ago, we went to the wedding of an old friend's daughter. She was only around 20, still had a year to go in college, we'd never heard of the boy, we're kind of wondering, what's up?
So, at the ceremony, there's two god dudes, one with official god dude clothes (robe and stole, a Lutheran I think), and one in a suit. They're kind of tag-teaming the ceremony, I'd never seen that before. Then the suit guy says "by the power invested in me as an elder in the church of jesus christ of the latter day saints, I pronounce you man and wife". Uh-oh, Mormons!!!
I work with a mormon or 2, as individuals I have no problem with them, they don't partitularly present as being any more delusional than your average religious person, but, in groups, they really creep me out.
Like the two old guys on the groom's side -- you start wondering how many teenage slave wives they have back in Utah. Mormonism is a young and virulent strain of christianity -- I think in general, the younger the religion, the more virulent the strain. The downwards trends in church-going in, what, pretty much the whole civilized world except for the bible-belt of the USA, indicate that the mind can learn to immunize itself from viruses -- but, Mormonism is I think a new antibiotic-resistant strain. It is very well engineered, with directions on how to live many parts of your life that religions normally stay out of. And, it has the normal (for virulent young religions) harsh treatment of apostasy -- I think your family is expected to pretty much disown you.
After being told by a gorgeous young woman now she had been heavily involved in the bride's conversion, and how wonderful it was, and how she was leaving on her mission soon, we beat a hasty retreat. I talked to the father later (the Lutheran), he said that he considered Mormonism a cult because the Mormons had told him that they believe in current-day prophets ("latter day saints") who are receiving orders directly from god, and if one of these guys tells you to machine-gun children, you do it. Pretty scary.
Then, like 3 days later, I'm having lunch at Arby's and two 15-16 year old boys ride up on bikes, come in, get food, sit down at the table next to me, and ask me if I have heard of the church of jesus christ of the latter day saints. Grrr -- "I'm trying to eat". "Do you work around here?" "No." Grrr.
Sending children out to prosteletyze to strangers is Wrong, and a mark of religious fanaticism. If that ever happens again, I'm going to go on and go for the mind-fuck. "Your parents were well intentioned, but they have infected you with an extremely virulent mind virus. Just remember: when you turn 18, you can tell your parents that you still love them, and you forgive them for infecting you, but you don't want your brain infested by such a parasite anymore."
Yesterday want to the memorial service for my old friend / WRA slaphead, in a babtist church. Very moving, got to sing "Morning has Broken", I had no idea it was a hymn, not too offensive. As the thing went on, and her siblings all talked about how she was now watching them, and how they would be reunited in heaven, I am feeling increasingly alienated from the people there. I understand, it's an accepted part of our culture, but, it still seems delusional to me. Dead is dead. We live on in memories, our works and our genes.
But, I found myself asking myself, "Does believing that an emotional bond is going to last for all eternity (how long is that, anyway) increase the strength of the emotional bond?" I suspect the answer to that question may be Yes.
All antitheism, all the time. My boss last weekend took his #2 son (engineering major at Ga Tech) and #3 son (computer science major at Purdue) and some of his Purdue classmates to our Kentucky pride and joy, the Creationism (anti-)Museum. The word he kept coming back to to describe it was "scary" -- very professionally done, full of children being told by their parents about how things were before/after The Fall of Adam and Noah's Ark; the parking lot packed; and Kentucky State Troopers providing traffic and security services -- that doesn't seem right. Ooh, I'm going to post something about that to the KASES forum, and maybe see if I can get the Kentucky ACLU interested -- using tax dollars for a religious program.
Finally, antitheism item #4. I got to thinking about a "Wanted Dead or Alive" poster for Jehovah, aka Yahweh, God, God the Father, Allah, Adonai. For Murder and Mass Infanticide, with the quote from Exodus where he orders the execution of every first-born child in Egypt (the Passover, or the Feast of the Murdered Children) and some other places where Jehovah personally orders the death of children. So, googling "wanted poster template" located this site, and googling "michelangelo god" gave me some nice pictures to choose from, and here's the preliminary result.