Joseph Smith was a liar and a fraud

Why does it matter that the founder of the Mormon church was as much of a liar as all the other church founders? Why does it matter that Joseph Smith makes L. Ron Hubbard seem sane and credible? Well as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers once said, if you have to ask, you’ll never know. But you might want to Google ‘Proposition 8′, by way of a starter.



EDIT: Also found this, Friday, 16 January 2009…

About these ads

129 comments on “Joseph Smith was a liar and a fraud

  1. Oh yahh, Joseph Smith Jr: Leader of Prop 8…

    What other stupid things do you have to say? Maybe you will eventually say something true, but so far this is a bunch of Molarky.

    -D

  2. Ditchu:
    Assuming you have to ask, since you do not already know, Prop. 8 was defeated thanks to a huge smear campaign funded by the Mormons and evangelical Protestants. It seems they are willing to believe the patently absurd fantasies of their founder but unwilling to listen to Jesus, who said nothing about homosexuality and specifically instructed his followers to love each other.

    Mormons, as well as whichever sect of the Christian cult you’ve been hijacked by, clearly weren’t paying attention in bible class when Jesus said, “That which you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me.” And as the video, which have no doubt failed to actually watch, points out, they’ve also developed an astounding amount of collective amnesia about the actual details of their own patently made-up faith, by flat refusing to illustrate, talk about or illiterate further upon how a magic stone is supposed to have help Smith translate some golden tablets he found in New York into English.

    If they can’t even get the story straight, about what their own faith is supposed to be founded on, what on Earth gives them the right to comment how people choose to live their lives in the 21st century?

    Oh and one other thing. Having a blog that you claim to have parked because you’re too busy is all well and good—but leaving a message on it which claims it was once a popular destination, when Google’s cache says you only started it towards the end of last year, is exactly the kind of exaggeration people like you are always getting caught out for—and yet you always seem to come back for more. Funny that.

    EDIT: I don’t normally like to edit my own comments after they’re posted, because other contributors don’t have that luxury, but I just wanted to add that I am aware that, of course, Proposition 8 was “defeated” (as in the use above), in as much as that it passed. I was getting my context mixed up and seeing defeat from the point of view of the victim, as opposed to the multi-million dollar sponsored hate campaign by a church founded by polygamists.

  3. Kimberly:
    OHHH!! You can’t say that!!!!111!!ELEVEN!!! You’ll burn in a special place I’ve just thought of when you die!!!!! BURN THE WITCH!!! BLASPHEMY!!!

  4. Dear Jim,

    Jesus Christ said much about homosexuality. Perhaps our beliefs differ in the Bible, but the KJV has multiple verses where Christ and His disciples teach against homosexuality, and sexual perversion in general:

    “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” Matt. 19:5.

    “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27.

    Hope this helps to clear up where some of our beliefs stem from.

  5. Cute thing about liberals and Jesus. They bend over backwards to essentially turn him into something so unobjectionable, that he essentially becomes meaningless. A quote from a guest commentary on the Washington Times religion blog talking about the liberal argument here:

    “They’re speaking, instead, in familiar tropes and fused-phrases and easy clichés. They’re trying to convey a feeling, really, rather than an argument: Jesus loves us, love is good, homosexuals love one another, marriage is love, love is loving–a sort of warm bath of words, their meanings dissolved into a gentle goo. In their eyes, all nice things must be nice together, and Jesus comes to seem (as J.D. Salinger once mocked) something like St. Francis of Assisi and “Heidi’s grandfather” all in one.”

    No kidding.

    By the way, anyone’s beliefs look stupid when put into a low production-value Hanna Barbara-style cartoon.

    Joseph Smith didn’t say anything about homosexuality really – for the simple fact that he lived in a time period when everyone just assumed that nothing needed to be said about it. The books of Mormon scripture that he was involved in say even less about homosexuality than the Bible does. It’s easier to attack homosexuality based on the Bible than it is based on the Book of Mormon.

  6. Incidentally, it is no argument against a religion to point out that it makes for good science fiction. All powerful human themes will be used in works of fiction – redemption, betrayal, transcendence… all of these are compelling ideas that make for good reading and often have a religious root in their execution on paper.

    So when you say that Mormonism sounds like something out of science fiction, I’ll actually take that as a compliment. We must be doing something right, if we are worthy of that kind of imitation.

  7. Jesse: Your beliefs seem to stem from anything you can find in the bible that shores up your pre-existing biases and prejudices. If you’re going to get literal about it, why do you completely ignore the parts of the bible that tell you to kill your first born, or stone your sister to death for wearing garments made of two different kinds of cloth?

    If you can’t just come out and admit that you’re afraid of, or disdainful of gays for your own reasons, but you must instead hide behind what passed for logic and tolerance among pre-bronze-age goat herders, you’re doing more to undermine your own argument than I or the billions of other people like me on this rock could ever do or say about it.

  8. Comeback to what? You didn’t say anything worth coming back to. You might think you did, but trust me—you didn’t. Clacking your virtual tongue around the same verbiage which has already been said a million times before does not a point of FACT make. Opinion, maybe. Fact? No, sir. You do not know the meaning of the word.

  9. Jim,
    How do you know it was “Mormons and evangelical Protestants” that took the lead in the whole porp 8 push?

    Did they mark somewhere on the ballot what religion they practised? Did any of the propeganda you say state an accual church orgnization, or was it by some comunity group that sponcered the ads you have seen and heard? I think like many out there you have put too much on a small portion of people invloved, and looked at their Religion as a basis of their motivations to participate in the campaign. Most of the people invloved with the Prop 8 propeganda one way or the other were acting as citizens of the US and any group entity was one of community (a civic orgnization) not a religion.

    Why is it so difficult for people to understand that a Church is not responsible for the actions of Voters.

    If the LDS Church was behind the adverts people keep bring up as the cause of the Voters choices, I’d want to hire them to do all my business ads. That is some powerful marketing, that can get people to vote in mass against the choice they would have made prior to seeing/hearing the messages.

    -D

  10. Jim,
    It is a fool that thinks no-one else can possibily understant them. Often such a fool proves this point, while clammering it.

    -D

  11. Look, I’m just saying the whole idea of a planet of sky people deciding to take many wives and have ‘celestial sex’ (whatever the hell that is) to rule over worlds and dimensions is something that would ONLY pass as truth on an episode of Deep Space Nine. I am NOT knocking star trek; in fact, I really really love DS9. But if you haven’t seen DS9, I’ll sum up the 7 seasons: The captain of a star base turns out to have been conceived by alien gods, because they foresaw he would need to save another alien world in a cross-universal war against beasts and shapeshifters.

    Get my drift?

  12. Kimberly:
    Ahh, but you see no, because THAT was only a story, Kim. THIS really happened! Honest! It did. All you have to do to know it happened is read the book, written by the guys who were really there. They wouldn’t lie, would they? That’d be.. ..what’s the word? Dishonest and stupid? No, intellectually repugnant?

    Anyway, you’re missing the point, Kim. You see, it really doesn’t matter if it was made up or not. What matters is that thousands, if not millions of people believe it—so it MUST be true! Everyone knows, that if you wish hard enough for something to be true, eventually it is. And that’s all there is to say about it.

    No further enquiry, verisimilitude, moral obligation or even a passing glance at credibility required—and if you don’t stop hurting my feelings, I’ll underline my personal beliefs as if they’re objective facts over and over again, until you change your mind! OK!?

  13. Course I read it Jim. People have always written all sorts of things about Joseph Smith. Half the people who wrote about him hated his guts (and the other half worshiped the ground he walked on), so I hardly expect much objectivity in most sources about him. Joseph must have been hauled into court on false affidavits more than a dozen times during his life. So forgive me if I’m slightly less than impressed.

    And you’re kidding yourself if you think that Mormon sources don’t have a response to that kind of stuff. Just about all of it is addressed on the FAIR website. They even have a Wiki. I’d recommend it to you, if I thought you’d check it out.

    Sorry to interrupt. You can go back to telling me how I think I’m “all that,” but I’m not.

  14. And can I just ask for a point of distinction: I know blog responses meander in discussion, so if we’re talking about how logical/gullible it is to believe the Mormon story, that’s the train of thought I’m on.

    If we’re talking about the right of homosexuals to marry, that’s another train of thought. Fortunately, the Constitution makes this a simple process: there is a separation of church and state, and NO religion should have a say in how adults choose to peacefully live their life.

    I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous arguments against this simple logic, like “what if an adult wanted to marry an animal!” (changing the subject, homosexuality is not bestiality) or “what if an adult wanted to marry a kid!” (changing the subject, homosexuality is not taking child brides) or “gays will raise gay kids” (evidence proves this is not true, and doesn’t answer why heterosexual parents have children that grow up to gay) and “What if the gays divorce; we must protect the sanctity of marriage” (because that 50% divorce rate between heterosexual couples is so preserving the sanctity of marriage.)

    This is a matter of empathy and freedom. People deserve the right to be happy. Homosexual marriage doesn’t harm you, or your kids. Get over it.

  15. Off-topic: I came across in one of my school texts a recording of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I started to think about how Mormonism really is not a well-known concept in my geographical area. When I was a kid, I always thought the Mormon in Mormon Tabernacle was the name of a city or village or something.

  16. “How much, ballpark, did the Mormon Chruch file in Tax returns last year?”

    Don’t know. Don’t really care. Imagine it was a pretty penny though.

  17. Jim,
    Sorry you did not get that the first time.
    In laymen terms: you would have to be a foolish person to expect people to understand you when you keep shouting to them that they cannot possibly understand. Get it now? I hope so.

    ***

    About your question: “How much, ballpark, did the Mormon Church file in Tax returns last year?”
    I would think they do not get returns on any taxes as the LDS Organization would either file exempt under the Religious organizations Not for profit code or they would have to claim too much income to get any “Return.”

    ***

    Also, I have read some of the Crap on the rfmorg page and including the article you mentioned posted somewhere else. I find it interesting how feeble minds are beguiled in believing that “Ex-Mormon Atheist Foul Mouth” Measure76.
    He usually makes up his “Evidence” and pulls from questionable sources.

    Again I question the validity of your original claim on this page.
    Joseph Smith Jr. may not always have been correct 100% with everything he said but he was never a Liar, as far as there is no evidence to suggest such.

    Do you hold yourself up to the same standard you hold a
    Prophet of God to?

    -D

  18. I’ve never heard of Measure76, although “Ex-Mormon” tells me everything I need to know about your perspective on what he has to say.

    What would happen to you if you decided you didn’t want to pay taxes anymore?

    What evidence do you have that he was a prophet of god?

    What kind of car does the leader of the church you attend drive?

  19. Pingback: Roll up, roll up! It’s the circular reasoning show! « How good is that?

  20. I don’t really think this conversation is going anywhere. For the Mormons who are participating in this conversation, is the hanna-barbara cartoon an accurate depiction of what you believe? If not, pick the cartoon apaart.

  21. Jim,
    you asked, “What kind of car does the leader of the church you attend drive?”

    The local leader of my “Church” is called a Bishop of my Ward, he is a dear friend of mine so I happen to know that he drives one of two vehicles between him and his wife:
    1. a mini-van probably 1995 or so either dodge or maybe some GM modle.
    2. a “juncked out” blue Nessan Pickup that I think he could get about $350 if he tried to sell it.
    I’d also like to state that he holds down a “Day Job” as an owner of his small business. He works hard on Church items but harder on his Business and family stuff.

    The Leader of the Church in General, right now is Thomas Monson, he is our President and Prophet. I am not sure what he drives exactly but it is a small sudan, I think it is white but I could have mistaken another car for his. Just for your info if he receives Living quarters and a expence stipend (which I do not think he does at this time, good retirement plan from his creere and all) it is a modest house maybe tops out at 3 bedrooms and a bath (maybe a guest 1/2 bath too) and the stipend affords little more than food and household necessities.

    If you are thinking he is getting rich off the Church you are very mistaken. The Church orgnisation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints is set up to use a lay-ministery and anyone on “the Payroll” is usually Full time Administrative personel there are not too many that receive a living stipend and any who do work full time for the Church (usually in a leadership roll that is the reason they are not Paid full time for their efforts.

    Thanks for being open to the answer. I rarely get to explain this part of the Church as people usually expect see the Leaders of a church to show up in some exotic or expensive ride like the infamous Pope-mobile.

    good day,
    -D

  22. P.S. Measure76 is the author of the post you requested me to read. Maybe you should be more clear on who writes the stuff you read, before asking others to review their work.

  23. You beat me to the punch on Measure76. I realised after re-reading the article that it was him.

    As for Thomas Monson, can he see through rocks as well? Also, does he know why Joseph Smith made up a completely different story the second time he “translated” the gold tablets from a (non-existent) ancient language into English, after his wife pretended to destroy the first draft, as to provide proof, as she long suspected, that he was a fake and a bigamist?

  24. Let me help you out a little on that last post of mine. I’m not looking for your answer on this—even though you’re welcome to say whatever you want to say on the subject. What I am looking for, however, is at least some recognition that every single one of Joseph Smith’s detractors seem to not only know intimate details about his confessions of being a fraud, but LDS’ only answer to what amounts to a serious problem with the central tenets of the whole religion, is to deny there is any validity to them at all.

    You must see that? Surely, anyone with even a shred of incredulity left in them, who is within the organisation, must have, what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity, every now and then, and see what everyone outside of LDS can see plain as day? If they have no choice but to stay “in” after realising that he simply couldn’t do what he claimed to be able to do; that he was not what he claimed to be, LDS must be a truly controlling and scary cult to find yourself within. Or is that just the devil talking?

  25. And I would hope that you would be open to the possibility that a pretty good sized chunk of the people who wrote material about Joseph Smith were lying sacks of crap.

    At least open to the possibility anyway.

  26. That is always a possibility, Seth R., yes. Critical thinking is all about being open to new evidence. But dismissing out of hand anyone and everyone who has anything at all to say about Smith, which varies even very slightly from the establishment’s version of who he was, is called dogmatic apologetics—and it gets you absolutely nowhere in terms of answering the call of your detractors, far more capable than I, in picking your argument apart—in fact it clearly only adds to the ever growing list of people who leave the cult every year.

  27. In this particular case, the problem is that for every guy who testified in court or made accusations against Joseph as a fraud, there were just as many people who testified that he really could find stuff and see things.

    So, who do you believe?

    My own personal opinion is that some of Joseph’s fellow treasure hunters hauled him into court on trumped-up charges because they were bitter he didn’t cut them in on a share of the gold plates. Whether they really convinced themselves that he was a fraud, or were – as I put it – simply lying sacks of crap… Well, people will have their opinions.

  28. Yet more interesting reading:

    “Members of the Mormon church, who were strongly urged by church leaders to contribute to the Proposition 8 campaign” – http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-protest7-2008nov07,0,3827549.story

    “Based on the unique history of Mormons, there is no religious group in our country that should be more tolerant of “nontraditional” forms of marriage than those of us whose ancestors were polygamist Mormons” – http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-oe-wagenen1-2008nov01,0,593508.story

    “During the campaign, a Web site created by Proposition 8 opponents using campaign-finance data and other public records estimated that members of the LDS church had given more than $20 million” – http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008371441_protest10m.html

    “In a letter dated June 29, 2008, Mormon leaders in Salt Lake City called for church members to work hard to pass Proposition 8 in California” – http://mormonsfor8.com/

  29. This is a fascinating read, especially knowing Jim, who can debate with the best of them. In my opinion, Ditchu, Jim holds himself to a much higher standard than a prophet of [a] god, in small part because he is an atheist, and moreso because he searches for tangible truths. Some people called Jim Jones and Charles Manson, among others, prophets. To each his own. It’s all a matter of opinion.

  30. Jim, I’m not sure what I can add that you’ve already got here. Seth has a case that many who testified against Smith were or may have been lying. This is why the best thing to do is to turn to careful historians, many of them believing, who looked carefully at Smith through less questionable sources. They paint a much more complex picture than the one dimensional version members are spoon fed (milk before the meat!). Take Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy, generally ignored by the church: excellent works include Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling and Todd Compton’s In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith.

  31. Jim,
    Was it an official LDS Church act to be invloved with California’s Prop 8? No.
    Those involved acted as voters or citizens of the US and it was not a Mormon issue.

    I think you have stumbled on to the Propaganda of the misguided bandwagon that wants to group and blame.

    Who was it that voted?
    What was their votes?

    That is what is to blame for Prop 8 passing or being shot down: Democracy.

    The statments like Mormons stole the gay marrages is as absurd as me stating that my presidential vote was stolen by some demrocrat.

    …give me a break…

    -D

  32. Ditchu:
    I agree that it’s right to be weary of propaganda, but reporting that $2000 dollars was donated only to later retract that statement, is a matter of public record. The conference video showing church leaders specifically asking the congregation to “focus on proposition 8″ to “defend the Kingdom of God” is pretty damming stuff, you must agree?

  33. Actually, Ditchu, who’s spouting “propaganda” here? Propaganda implies dishonesty, and to say that Church support for Prop 8 was not official is deliberately twisting the truth. General Authorities, including Elders Whitney Clayton and Quentin Cook of the First Quorum of the Seventy, communicated directly with local Church leaders in California and coordinated strategy with other religious organizations. I went to a satellite broadcast, at an LDS Stake Center, in which three GAs in Salt Lake spoke to California members and even outlined a detailed plan, week by week, leading up to the election. In my area in Southern California, many (but not all) local bishops and stake presidents made Prop 8 fundraising and voter efforts a part of sacrament talks and ES/RS lessons. If all of this is not “official,” then I don’t know what is. If you have any problems with these facts, I’ll post links to the articles in the Church-owned Deseret News that confirm these and similar facts.

    The “stealing” of marriages is more complicated. Democracy in the U.S. doesn’t mean that whenever the majority rules on something, that thing happens. It’s why we have the Bill of Rights. Many Mormons apparently don’t consider marriage a civil right, while many gays and their allies do. Mormons themselves have been in situations where they were discriminated against and deprived of basic rights because the majority ruled against them–mob rule didn’t validate those situations over time, and Mormons had every right to protest such mistreatment, as the gays are doing now.

  34. Brilliantly well said, John. I also think it’s worth underlining that this is about far more than the gay rights issue. There are plenty of reasons why heterosexual couples should be behind the campaign to expose LDS illegal campaign fund raising too.

    This is about denying basic human rights to people because of their genetically predisposed sexual orientation—but it might as well be LDS campaigning to deny human rights to ginger haired people, or black people, or albinos. The backwards looking ignorance of a group who have the effrontery to brand in legalise a whole section of society as perverted, while deifying a man who’s invisible gold tablets told him native Americans were the devil. It’s like living in Aleister Crowley’s head.

  35. I don’t think that GOVERNMENT recognition of your marriage is a basic human right.

    Gays already have the right to marry. Just not the right to a government endorsement of it.

    For the record, I don’t think that straight Mormon couples have a right to government endorsement of their marriages either.

  36. “I don’t think that GOVERNMENT recognition of your marriage is a basic human right”.

    No, but no-one should have to live in the fear that when their partner dies, the house they’ve lived in and worked for together all their tax paying lives, might be taken away from them in their old age to pay for medical bills, because their insurance policy didn’t cover non-family members. You can only be recognised as family if you’re married or blood relative. Gay people aren’t doing this because they like frosted cake and tossing bouquets of flowers over their shoulder—they’re doing it because they feel the same way about their life partner as you do about yours and I do about mine, while people with no brain and buckets of cash are telling them they’re the ones who are perverted.

    Sometimes Seth, there isn’t so much two sides to a story, as there are those who are in the right and those who are in the wrong. Examine your conscience and then tell me which camp you are in.

  37. Actually, Seth, I think Jim *did* process your post. I think that *you* did not process his answer. You were saying that you don’t think that government recognition of a marriage is a basic human right for gays or straights – religious or not. The fact is that here in the US (and most of the world), government plays a role in our lives whether we like it or not. If I were to die tomorrow with no will and without a legal (i.e. government-recognized) spouse, my posessions, retirement funds, bank accounts, etc., would go into probate – and frankly, after all was settled, most of my financial worth would end up with the government. Furthermore, with no recognized spouse or living will, who would make life and death decisions for me? And beyond that, my partner, who is not recognized by the government, would not be able to learn the details of my condition in hospital because they are not LEGALLY considered “next of kin”. Let’s be realistic here.

    In terms of “Gays have a right to marry” I have to believe that you KNOW that your statement is outrageously…vague?…idealistic?…ignorant?…arbitrary? In the US, you know the connotations of the word “marriage” are considered the actual definition as opposed to what the word actually denotes. You are using the term in your own loose way. And I can only guess you are saying the same thing about mormons in terms of plural marriages. There are many sects that have broken off from the mormon church where the man has one legitimate marriage (i.e. government-recognized marriage) and his wife has several “sister wives”. You know as well as anyone that these “sister wives” and their children feed off of our tax dollars, getting all sorts of government subsidies because they do not work, they are not “married” and therefore have no other means of support, and have as many children as “God will give them.” So absolutely Seth – who needs government sanction when you can feed off of the government and honest taxpayers without it?

    If you just feel in an idealistic way that we should all be with whomever we want, straight or gay, without worry, then good for you. And if you find a tangible place on this earth that shares that principle – as opposed to a belief that exists in your mind -let me know. I’ll move there in two seconds.

    I am all for religious freedom. I don’t give a shit how many wives or husbands, straight or gay, that someone has. The fact that we are even writing about this shows that the separation of church and state in the United States is a farce. The opposition to gay marriage in the US – and even plural marriage – boils down to religion. “Freedom of Religion” also means a “freedom to have NO religion”. The government has no reason to invade my life on the grounds of some Yahoos who claim that their god is the only god.

  38. No Paula, I don’t think Jim did process the comment really. You did, but I don’t think he did.

    I have long argued that civil union laws ought to be comprehensively extended to cover a variety of relationships where one person places themselves in a position of vulnerability and trust to the other. So my argument is that civil unions should be all that ANYONE gets from the government.

    Honestly, I think that my Church probably could have done more to preserve marriage as a matter of personal belief by encouraging a series of lawsuits challenging government’s right to require “marriage licenses” than they did with this whole Prop 8 thing. But that’s just me.

  39. Seth is correct, Marrage is not a right of the Government. Where in the US constitution or the bill of rights (or the admendments there of) is the provision to freedom of marrage?

    No, Marrage is not a Right but a Privledge, that is why you need a license… Kind of like driving, you can do it but leagaly you need a license.

    -D

  40. Loving this comment page Jim.

    My American History teacher a few years back really did not like Wee Joe Smiddy or his religion. She made a comment about mormonism being a cult. And there was a mormon girl in the front row who got her knickers all in a twist. It was hilarious.

    I am in California, having moved from the UK. So I got to see the Prop 8 campaign up close and personal. It was ugly.

    One redeeming quality of the campaign however was some high school age people going through the conservative suburbs and setting fire to the Yes on Prop 8 lawn signs.

  41. Oh and another thing.

    The reality of the gay marriage issue in the U.S. is that this is ultimately a battle that religion cannot win. They may have won in the past, and they clearly still have some clout. But at the end of the day (what day I have no idea) homosexuals will be able to legally marry in the U.S. eventually.

    There is only so long you can keep someone down. U.S. settlers, with the help of religion succeeded in destroying the Natives, and did an exemplary job in keeping African Americans down for many years. Also the church and their texts are responsible for the mistreatment of women up to this day.

    They are just doing what they do best. Keeping people down. At least you can say they are playing to their strengths.

    Basically all a religion is to me is a hate group with a messiah.

  42. From the blog of an unnamed commenter above….

    “If you could only impart one message to someone, what would be your most important message?”

    Someone once asked me this in a church lesson. Instantly it came to mind, “Love.”

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    And that is exactly the impression I got from their comments. That they are the loving welcoming type (unless you are black (sinner), native american (demon), gay or democrat)

    Religious peeps(tones) are brilliant. Even their hatred moves with the times. Trendy bastards.

  43. Seth R. (#57) Funny, but a lot of skeptics would say the same about religion’s ambassadors. Jackasses are jackasses, no matter the creed.

  44. societyeyes: I don’t see how burning people’s property informs the debate in any constructive way—but I can see how some people felt as if there was no alternative to direct action of some kind. I wouldn’t personally have done it, but…

    As for living in California, all I can say is, ride that wave buddy, ride that wave. I’d move back to the US in a heartbeat, if only I could take my girlfriend and her dog with me.

    Seth R.:
    You should probably answer some of your critics before handing out insightful advice like that. The only comment deletion policy I have is reserved for keyboard heroes turning violent gobshite. So gan canny, bonny lad. Tell our new friend you’re sorry and we can all move on.

  45. I wouldn’t have done it either. For some, up against the all powerful church, they felt it was all they could do. I made sure to mention that it was high school age people who did it. Other, non-high school people just got caught with hundreds of them in their car. They were driving around stealing them.

    Now I wouldn’t have done either of these things. Simply because many people would just replace them. And if they cost money, by making a household buy another one (which they inevitably would), the destroyers of the sign are actually forcing said households to contribute even more to the campaign.

    That said, even if the mormons had 300million for the campaign. It would still not be enough to change my vote (If I was eligible to vote)

    I can’t stand any religion. But at the end of the day, the blame (if you can call it that) should land squarely on the shoulders of the voters. As it always should in any democracy. They voted and made the choice. It wasn’t mormon voters who decided the fate of that proposition. It was a combination of gay-hating homophobes, and silly, uninformed voters, who could be swayed with a telly advert.

    As for riding the California wave. I am a permanent resident now. But once I am done with my masters here, I am applying for universities in UK or mainland Europe to do my doctorate, and my American wife and I are out of here.

    I can only guess that SethR is not from the UK. As I am used to far harsher patter than that. In fact that insult made me feel all fuzzy inside.

    SethR:
    LOL, “It’d be easier to warm up to atheism if a lot of its ambassadors weren’t utter jackasses.”
    If it’s ambassadors were not jackasses as you say, you are telling me you would warm up to people saying your belief system is utter nonsense? You don’t sound very committed to your faith.

  46. Societeyes:
    Seth R will do that to ya, but don’t give an inch. If there’s one thing these deluded religious types are good at, it’s misinterpreting human kindredness for the sacred heart of Jesus working it’s mysterious ways. Turning right back on you as antithesis to the point about universal truths you were trying to make. In short, they’re a fairly lost and searching bunch, convinced the answers to unanswerable questions are written in a book, as opposed to in their own head.

    Reminding the religious of this makes you feel good—like you’ve made a nice little difference in their lives, like turning on a light in the dark. But they always reject you out of hand, regardless, because the atheistic world-view isn’t mired in the vocabulary of important sounding ceremonial incantations and rote glorification of the externalised ego.

    I trust you’ve laid the ground work with your good lady in preparing her for how shitty Brown’s Britain is?

  47. ..oh and I meant to ask, Societeyes. Could you please take a second to paste links to any local news media articles into this thread, which relate to the Mormon church money trail? The internet is an amazing tool, but it isn’t so-far possible to watch local affiliate news channels or read local gazettes. No worries if you’re too busy. TIA.

  48. When have I ever argued that “human kindredness” is simply Jesus at work? I never said that, for the simple reason that I don’t believe it. As a religious person, I believe that Jesus has some role to play. However, as a Mormon, I also believe that there are impulses and feelings in human beings that really have nothing to do with him, but are inherent within us.

    But I usually don’t bother coming onto an atheist forum talking about stuff I know they don’t believe in anyway. I only came here to discuss the history of Joseph Smith – separate from any faith claims. I don’t find bare assertions of religious claims (or atheist claims) to be all that convincing online. So I usually try to avoid them.

    My conviction in Mormonism has always been founded in the power and appeal of its doctrines. Not in Joseph Smith’s character or in the actions of his followers. I don’t allow other people to determine what I will or will not believe.

    In short, there are a lot of issues you have raised that are simply non-issues to me. Because I don’t ultimately care what sort of person Joseph Smith was, and I don’t ultimately care what sort of people Mormons today are. Not that I’m conceding that what you guys have argued about either is correct. I’m not. But it really doesn’t matter much to me in the end.

  49. Jim,

    Here is one from my local paper from October 2008. I live in the Capital of California so the campaign here was pretty aggressive.

    http://www.sacbee.com/391/story/1308945.html

    This relates to the mormon money trail directly. Although I think this one puts it in perspective, and makes it a bit more creepy. This is not a case of a business,or a big wealthy corporation donating money to the cause. This is a case of a married couple with 5 kids lifting out $50,000 dollars of their own savings and giving it to the campaign on the grounds that they are “scared for their children’s future”. How is gays getting married such a threat to their children’s future? This is the type of irrational religious thinking that makes my skin crawl.

    The article says that 40% of the 22.8 million raised was from church MEMBERS. So if the church gave the rest and are presumably lying about how much they gave

    Just read it, it’s creepy!

    I will post more local ones later. I just woke up and I am doing this from my scratcher.

    P.S. I don’t expect to be done with my masters for a while. I haven’t finished my bachelors yet. Who knows what the political landscape will look like then. My wife and I know in our heart of hearts that we don’t want to grow old here. I have only ever experienced America under Repub Rule. Even if Obama is the greatest president ever he still only gets maximum eight years. The American “fickle factor” suggests they will vote republican after that. Plus to be honest Jim, it isn’t so much the politics that rubs me the wrong way, it’s just the society in general. I was optimistic when I moved here, but I just don’t think its for me. It isn’t what I thought it would be. Each to his own I suppose.

    Time for a cup of Tetley me thinks. ;)

  50. Well you know who to ask if you ever need a Cadbury’s Caramac or a Walnut Whip, right?

    I’ll be back to comment once I’ve read the story and thanks for the link. ;)

  51. “Not that I’m conceding that what you guys have argued about either is correct. I’m not. But it really doesn’t matter much to me in the end.”

    I’m speaking for myself here, but unlike Seth I have never posted 13 times on a subject that “really doesn’t matter much to me in the end”

    There are many things I DON’T care about, but do I waste my time posting on them, acting like I do care, only to turn around and reveal after 13 posts in 16 days that it “really doesn’t matter much to me in the end”

    Again, each to his own.

  52. That’s the trouble with having OCD societyeyes. You don’t put things down quite so readily.

    In any case, I only said it wasn’t an issue for me PERSONALLY. I never said it doesn’t bug me when other people use these arguments.

    Just to be clear, is that 22.8 million total from Mormon sources? Or does it constitute ALL of the donations in favor of Prop 8? Because I’m pretty darn certain that Mormon sources didn’t contribute ALL the Prop 8 funds. I think it was only 40% actually – by the most inflated numbers.

  53. A) Do you realise what a colossal sum that is?
    B) Do you realise religions aren’t supposed to contribute ANYTHING directly to ANY political campaign?
    C) Did Thomas Monson, ever explain to you how Joseph Smith could see through rocks?
    D) Is any of this helping you to wake up, or merely making you more sleepy?

  54. Why are you making statements suggesting that I have some mental disorder SethR? Your maturity level is quite frankly…unsurprising.

    Why are you asking questions about a story that I provided a link for? Is it because it “really doesn’t matter much to me in the end”. And you can’t be bothered reading it. I have already read it. I also have a life away from my computer and simply don’t have the time to be producing cliff notes for articles that I am sure you are more than capable of reading for yourself.

    I don’t have all the facts because your faith is cloaking the scale of its involvement by withholding certain information.

    Let’s just clear this up so that we don’t have to waste valuable energy typing to each other. I am of the opinion that your faith and its followers (and all other faiths) are hate groups who serve no positive function on this planet. Any group that will invest millions purely to keep another group down is a hate group. The National Alliance invests money, not for their own improvement but purely to keep ethnic minorities down. For example the leader of the NA owns several apartment complexes in predominantly black neighbourhoods just so he can fuck with them and get a kick out of the fact that rent paid by black people goes directly to fund anti-ethnic rallies and such. Religions are of the same mold, in fact fascist groups like the National Alliance are often fueled by religious dogmas. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not taking the moral high ground here. I probably hate religious types as much as you hate gays and blacks. If all I had to do was donate some money knowing it was directly going to fund the oppression of religion, I would do it in a heartbeat. It would surely be the greatest Mastercard advert of them all.

  55. Jim, I apologise that the comments have strayed from the actually topic of the post. Joe being a liar. Not the rights of gays, or the protection of marriage from the abomination of humankind. I will try to stick to talking about wee Joe. I have called him Big Joe before but considering he was doing all this “seeing” beginning at the tender age of fourteen, wee Joe is more apt. Only in the imagination of a child could you attain the ability to see through matter by sticking your face in a hat. I bet this boy would be diagnosed today as being a compulsive liar.

    That’s the underlying hilarity of mormonism. A religion created by a child.

    What do you think would happen to a fourteen year old today who said he had a vision from god? Would you believe him?

  56. What the hell are you talking about?

    I was saying I have OCD. Me, myself, moi.

    Got that all straight now? Geez… It’s almost like you’re actively looking for things to nitpick. Or maybe the idea of a debate of a debate partner good-naturedly admitting a personal character flaw is just incomprehensible to you?

    Chill out dude.

    And Joseph didn’t create the religion at age fourteen. He was in his mid twenties before he actually founded a religion and started gaining followers.

    As for the whole hate group thing – nice to see that you are so willing to become what you despise. A shining example for all the kids at home, I’m sure.

    And for the record – I didn’t donate a dime to Prop 8. In fact, I voted against a similar ballot initiative here in Colorado – because frankly, I don’t think marriage is any of government’s business. But I’m sure such distinctions are lost on you. To you I suppose I’m “just another Mormon” you’d like to beat with a baseball bat if you didn’t think you’d be arrested for it.

    What’s your other hobby? Lighting hobos on fire?

  57. I really don’t want to have to close comments on this thread, guys. There are too many people following it hoping for some constructive debate.

    If I might remind everyone of the open questions which still haven’t been answered here:

    How did Joseph Smith see through rocks?
    What gives people who don’t even care if he could do this the right to tell non-Mormons what to do in their private lives?
    How much money did the Mormon church give to Yes on Proposition 8?
    Why haven’t LDS been stripped of their charitable status for violating the law on separation of church and state?
    What motivates an ostensibly ordinary working family to donate vast sums of cash to a single issue referendum, if it isn’t institutionalised hate and fear?

    The more I learn about this cult, the more stories I read that turn my stomach. The wasted lives and trapped minds of so many people, it’s enough to make you weep.

    As for Seth R. Dude. On more than one occasion on this very page you’ve contradicted yourself on so many levels all I can genuinely offer you, as an honest appeal to friendship, is my best advice. Stop letting this manipulative cult shape your world-view. You’re being played like a banjo. Leave while you still can. I genuinely look forward to reading your opinions once they are your own.

  58. How did Joseph Smith see through rocks? I don’t know. Does it matter? How do black holes work? How was the Red Sea parted? Do you know the answer to everything? Are there no mysteries left in the universe?

    What gives people who don’t even care if he could do this the right to tell non-Mormons what to do in their private lives? If you’re talking about such things as Prop 8, this is not an accurate statement. Prop 8 passing does not restrict any person’s private lives. Homosexuals can still continue to live together and do whatever they wish in private.

    How much money did the Mormon church give to Yes on Proposition 8? Don’t know. Why does it matter?

    Why haven’t LDS been stripped of their charitable status for violating the law on separation of church and state? Because they haven’t done anything wrong.

    What motivates an ostensibly ordinary working family to donate vast sums of cash to a single issue referendum, if it isn’t institutionalised hate and fear? Is fear a bad thing? Why do you vote against anything if not for fear of its outcome?

  59. Jesse:

    I’ve re-written this reply about 20 times and started over after each attempt, because I don’t want my words to scan as coming over angry or in an arrogant tone. But you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and you’re embarrassing yourself. I really don’t mean that in a small way.

    If you don’t know why it matters that people from a cult who’s founder was a proven liar, who are so devoid of common sense they’ve actually stopped caring about the truth, and not just about Joseph Smith, you’ve already said everything I could possibly say about why you should seek help as soon as possible. You could start in the non-fiction isle of your local bookstore.

    That these people have the power to literally buy laws that curtail the freedoms of people they’ll never meet, because of hatred and fear, is as sure as sign as you could wish for that LDS actively encourages people to abandon reality. It’d be a joke if it didn’t affect the lives of so many people who just want to be left alone to live in love and peace with the people they want to live in love and peace with.

    But it seems like everywhere the human rights movement makes a turn for the better, there’s always some religious imbecile with a list of made-up reasons why they’re entitled to interfere waiting around the corner; determined to drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator of backward non-thinking, fear politics and the sacrosanct intolerance of scripture.

    The fertile soil upon which the attitudes of people like you are free to weed and choke the rest of the garden, is tilled by an almost global acceptance, within even ostensibly secular society, that there are always two sides to a story, when in so many cases it is rather more about the people who get it and the people who don’t. Guess which group you’re in, Jesse? Is it the one that survives by controlling and manipulating and lying to people, or is it the one that prides freedom of choice and liberty above all things? Look at the constitution of your own country and tell me, who’s on the losing side here?

  60. Prop 8 didn’t have much at all to do with anything Joseph Smith or early Mormonism taught. It’s more of a recent thing the Church has been dealing with.

    Secondly, marriage isn’t a “right” any more than sex is a “right,” or watching the Superbowl is a “right” or merely having a hobby is a “right.” Government is not obligated to provide these extra perks to you or anyone else. If you want to enjoy all these things, nobody’s stopping you.

    Now, there is discrimination against homosexuals going on. And I want that to stop. But you don’t need to give them marriage rights for that to happen. In fact, as I’ve said, I don’t think anyone should have a government endorsement of their marriage. Because like I said – it isn’t a “human right.” It’s a religious and social practice that the government ought to stay out of.

    So while I disagree with my Church’s support of Prop 8, I don’t think they took away anyone’s “rights.”

    Secondly, as to whether the LDS Church violated campaign laws… I’m no tax expert and neither are you. But I imagine it would surprise you how much religious involvement is “legal” in America.

    No one cries about Southern black Christian congregations endorsing the latest Democratic political candidate. Hell, they actually preach SERMONS – IN CHURCH about how you need to vote for a particular candidate. Same thing with right-wing Evangelicals. Same thing with Jewish synagogues encouraging people to vote against the supposedly “anti-Israel” candidate. What about your local atheist book club who gets together and throws a house-party for the Obama campaign?

    And no one seems to give a damn what they’re doing. But the moment the “scary, freaky Mormons” do something that’s not even illegal to begin with – encouraging their members to vote on a specifically moral issue – people squeal like stuck pigs.

    What is the freaking difference between your local atheist book club getting together to endorse a candidate, and your local LDS congregation getting together to oppose a new gambling law? Because we’re “religious,” we’re not supposed to vote? Is that it?

  61. SethR:

    My mistake on the OCD. Now I am at a loss as to why you brought it up. Our respective medical conditions, if we have any, are not relevant to this discussion.

    While Wee Joe might not have started the religion at fourteen. It is important enough to your faith to give it a special name. “The First Vision”.

    Now on a fundamental level, I would not follow the word of a fourteen year old boy. Nor would I believe a fourteen year old boy if he told me he was visited by god. But that’s just me. The fact that he was able to convince people is just a sign of the times. The average person was a lot less intelligent back in Joes time and would believe many a thing that more modern man would just laugh at, so it’s hardly a surprise. Today, a fourteen year old boy saying he speaks to god would be diagnosed with mental problems. And we would probably end up with another Branch Davidian scenario.

    And all this is before we get to the absurdity of looking through matter inside of a hat, the peep stones, the golden tablets, and Jews in north America thousands of years ago. I grew up not knowing what a Mormon was (because it’s an American religion that not many people practice, something like 12million worldwide), we didn’t even cover it in school. I remember when I was 13 and opened my door to two American plonkers with shirts and ties and bikes. Then my family told me about them. Ever since, I have taken great pleasure in annoying them when they come to my door. It’s somewhat of a tradition where I am from. jehovahs witnesses and mormons get such abuse in my part of the UK. But Hey, you can’t just turn up unannounced at someone’s door, try and ram your beliefs down their throat and not expect abuse. I would expect abuse if I picked a house at random just to aggressively tell the owner their beliefs are nonsense.

    Oh and about the amount of Mormons worldwide. The majority of mormons aren’t even in the United States. Most outside the U.S. (millions in fact) are in Latin America. Coincidence? Coincidence that many Latin American countries are like little time capsules, and many haven’t advanced much since Wee Joe’s time. I don’t think that it would be a stretch to say that it would be easier to convert someone from a South American village than someone from a major European city for example. Religion tends to thrive in lawless, poverty stricken, places. Lot’s of vulnerable people.

    Jesse:

    “How did Joseph Smith see through rocks? I don’t know. Does it matter? How do black holes work?”

    Are you seriously comparing a child claiming to be able to see through an opaque, heterogenous, random mixture of elements, and a naturally occuring phenomenon?

    Credibility has to be earned. And by making the statement you made, you still have zero.

    Also:

    I am no longer responding to Prop 8 related diatribes. This thread is about Joe and his lies. I will only respond to those diatribes.

  62. I only brought up OCD because you were specifically asking why I was following this post. If you didn’t want an answer, why did you ask the question?

    As for the rest…

    Wow! Not only do you hold Mormons in contempt, but also Latinos, poor people in general, and basically anyone who lived in world history prior to your blessed and enlightened pompous little era!

    You’re a real piece of work, you know that?

  63. societeyes,

    You said: “From the blog of an unnamed commenter above…….”

    I have a name and you can use it, Ditchu. That is what ya’ll know me as. Why not credit my comment to me.

    As for your take on hate. I have no issue with people of other races than my own, I have no issue with people of other creeds than My own, I have no issue with people of other genders than my own, I have no issue with people who make differing choices than I do. What I do have issue with is people who are insulting to me or my race, religion, sex, gender, My Family, and My choices. I do not comment from a position of hate, in fact I do believe in fairness and have stated in the past on other blogs that I could care less if people are granted same sex mariage by the law or not, as long as it is the choice of the Voters and not some tyranical Politician/Legislator/Judge that deturmines marage law and any inplied rights/restrictions. After all this Country is a Decomradic Republic.
    -D

    “If you could only impart one message to someone, what would be your most important message?”

    Someone once asked me this in a church lesson. Instantly it came to mind, “Love.”

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    And that is exactly the impression I got from their comments. That they are the loving welcoming type (unless you are black (sinner), native american (demon), gay or democrat)

    Religious peeps(tones) are brilliant. Even their hatred moves with the times. Trendy bastards.

  64. Societeyes: I mentioned Prop 8 in the preamble, so it is out there for discussion.

    Seth R.: I think (one of) your biggest problems is that you seem to have half expected to lay everyone low with comments 7 and 8, but when you met resistance that actually made you think about some things you’ve probably never had to seriously think about, we eventually get to comment 78—in which you almost make some sense, except for the fact you still haven’t answered the question of why the followers of a man who could see though stones have the right to tell other human beings who they have the right to marry.

    You’re chewing more than you’ve bitten off and I think you know it. Just to add, there’s no shame in admitting you’re wrong—which is, to be fair again, what I think you’re trying to surrender to a certain degree in comment 78.

    ditchu: It’s very well getting blurry eyed and emotional about it when it’s your beliefs under attack, but by defending and supporting an organisation which actively discriminates against people for no other reason than their sexual orientation you are tacitly supporting a kind of hatred which simply has to come to an end. You can’t make special pleading for why you should be immune from criticism while you should be free to criticise everyone else. That’s like saying, “I was only a Nazi because they had a good dental plan”.

  65. Jim,
    My Religion…
    Firstly, My Church, is a Private Orgnisation not a Public one. Like the Rotaty Club they can select to be discriminatory of people’s Choices if they want to.
    Secondly, I would ask how directly has My Church, “actively discriminate{d} against people for no other reason than their sexual orientation?”
    Can you site exact cases in which this took place. And don’t give me that Prop 8 stuff, as I have yet to see how any official action of the Church attributed to a Discrimination of anyone in the Prop 8 campaign.

    -D

  66. Also, I’d like you to note that I was not suggesting I am “immune from criticism.” As you stated, but that (in all fairness) I have the same ability to retort that criticism if I find it is false.

    -D

  67. The really almost impressive thing about you, is that you have no idea how deeply wrong you are, do you? You’re completely oblivious. Just happily drifting along though life, without a care in the world for anyone other than you and yours. Ain’t life just swell?

    OPEN YOUR EYES!!

  68. Come on, please try and keep this about Wee Joe.

    I am flattered that you would rather talk about me than the creator of your faith but…….

    I really do want more information about Joe’s abilities. And I don’t want to hear “because the book of mormon tells me so”. That is not a sufficient answer. I know, as many scientists do, that it is biologically impossible to see through opaque rocks. So what I want to know is how this works from a biological point of view. Do his eyes physically change? Have you ever even thought about how these things would function on a biological level? Or do you just blindly accept it as fact and the work of god? Why do you think the angel appeared to Wee Joe? Do you think god felt it was time to create a religion more relevant to the time period? In that case, I think we are due for a new one relevant to our time.

    Wait, I just got a strange email. I think sent from god, forwarded to me by an angel. I can’t read it, its encrypted. 128 bit as well, damn. Luckily the angel instant messaged me last night. She told me about a pair of goggles buried in the PPE aisle of Home Depot. Now when I wear these goggles, the email is magically decrypted before my eyes. The email outlines the tenets of a new religion. And it states that I have been chosen by e-God to compile the holy book of this new faith. The new holy book will be available only in PDF format and only for PC’s, as we are at war with Apple (Eve’s fault again). Once I am done compiling the PDF, I know many would like to see an email from god himself. But the Angel cleared my inbox, and deleted my temporary internet files. And thus the email has been lost to time. Lucky I have faithfully translated it for the masses. Now worship e-God!

    Would this be accepted as true without proof in our modern society?

    I find this story just as childish and just as ridiculous as Wee Joe’s.

    If you were around when mormonism was invented, would you have believed Wee Joe?

  69. Say something substantive for once Jim, and I might respond to it.

    So far, all you chumps have managed to come up with is stuff like “looking in a rock sounds stupid, huh-huh, huh-huh.”

    Seriously, I feel like I’m on an episode of Beavis and Butthead or something.

  70. Handbags at twenty paces! Got the painters in Seth?

    And yet SethR still has nothing to offer up about the biology of Joe’s abilities. Can only respond with mentions of old cartoons. From Wee Joe to Beavis and Butthead. Nice transition.

    I don’t know about OCD, maybe ADD.

    Interviewer: So SethR, What do you think about the Israeli-Gaza conflict?

    SethR: I think it is a difficult situat….let’s go ride our bikes!!!!!!

    Focus

  71. The fact that you’re still bringing up the OCD thing, even though I just threw it out there as an unrelated attempt at friendly conversation, shows I was pretty much correct with the “jackass” assessment societyeyes.

    Have fun lighting homeless people on fire – when you’re not busy making racial slurs and beating up Mormon 3rd graders on the way home from school, that is.

  72. Seth,

    Ohhh My word, this isn’t Beavis and Butthead?

    Change the Channel! I hate it when you are watching something then realize it’s a 2 dimentional worse than the original spinnoff.

  73. Hey Jim, how about we all just mentally flip each other the bird, declare victory for ourselves (since we all apparently think we won this debate), and depart peace?

  74. No, Seth. YOU think you’ve won this debate. Me and the billions of other atheists like me, however, accepted long ago that it’s not a race, it’s an ongoing dialogue. Eventually, although probably not in my lifetime, people like you will understand that.

    In terms of this particular issue, I think we (I say we, I mean you) jumped the shark when you couldn’t decide if you cared or not, about basing your entire belief system around someone who no-one in any significant numbers outside of Salt Lake City thinks of as anything other than just another L. Ron Hubbard scam artist. After that, it was obvious there wasn’t really anything worth saying to you that wasn’t falling on deaf ears.

    I don’t think the OCD mix up and other side issue insults made particularly gripping reading. I rarely tune out of a debate taking place on my own blog, but you all lost me on that one.

    If anyone wants to come back to this with a) answers to any of the questions or b) yet more proof that LDS largely funded the Yes on 8 campaign, please do so. But as far as I’m concerned, until that happens, I won’t be posting any more time consuming rebuttal statements on this particular thread—that’s not to say I’m not actively looking for any new developments in this story, but anyone interested should probably subscribe the RSS feed and look out for new blog entries on this topic.

    By the way, Seth, this thread on your blog is more terrifying to me than any threat from Al Qaeda. You are brainwashing your own child and actively seeking tips on how to do it more effectively from others. Like I said, seek help.

    http://www.nine-moons.com/2008/12/04/how-much-do-we-let-them-govern-themselves/

  75. Jim,
    Not so funny but a joke none the less.
    At least that is the only logical way to take the blatant false statement you made: “about basing your entire belief system around someone who no-one in any significant numbers outside of Salt Lake City thinks of as anything other than just another L. Ron Hubbard scam artist.”

    Here are two ways of reasoning that would defeat your assumption if in fact you really think what you say is true:

    1. L. Ron Hubbard started Scientology and his great following is in California and Arizona, not Salt Lake City.

    2. The Implied Religion is “Mormonism” and has a strong following not only “outside of Salt Lake City” but in other countries as well. I can attest at this moment that there are more members of the LDS Church in Mexico than all of the inhabitance of Salt Lake City Utah, USA.

    You keep implying that you Jim are open minded and intelligent but you run with the same garbage information as most of the other sardonic Atheist out there. Why not actually study the thing you are trying to tell people you know something about, instead so far you have shown a pure lack of understanding of others and dismissed any chance of learning about other belief systems because they do not match your own… Yes Atheism is a Belief system.
    With regard to this, who is more prejudiced?

    Later days,
    -D

  76. Some religious people say that god decides when a woman has children. Many people don’t know why, some don’t care, and others will try to explain how it works. The say that contraception is useless because god opens and closes the womb when he chooses.

    Now this is something else that I don’t believe but at least a biological explanation is offered. God closes womb, sperm can’t gain access to egg, no child. It’s simple biology mixed with magic.

    The trouble with Wee Joe is that his followers can’t explain how his x-ray vision actually functions. They could say “God gave him x-ray vision that was triggered when he put his head in a hat”. But that still doesn’t explain how it works. To be able to explain it, you would need at least an elementary knowledge of basic science, a functioning knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum (if he did have x-ray vision), and knowledge of biological processes and optics. It would take years of study to acquire the knowledge requisite of explaining this. So ultimately, I am not surprised that the usual response is,

    “God did it!!”
    “God works in mysterious ways”
    “I don’t even care”
    “Do we have to know?, can’t some things just remain a mystery?”(Note: If we all went by that logic, I would be sending this by carrier pigeon, I would have some disease and my life expectancy would be 30. We would also still think the Earth is the centre of the universe while locking up or killing those who say otherwise. e.g. Galileo, Corpernicus) Damn, those pesky quizzical scientists who want to understand the world they live in.

    Regardless, all fingers point to the inability of a faith-based person to apply history, logic, and science to construct a rational reason for believing what they do.

    To that the common reply is “But it’s faith, it’s not faith if you have to prove it”

    100% Correct. Faith is Faith. Faith is NOT FACT. It is the personal BELIEF of something to be true, not EVIDENCE of it’s truth. However, the followers of religion instead choose to pass it off to others as irrefutable fact. Therein lies the trouble with only having one book that’s hundreds or thousands of years out of date.

    There is one thing that all religions share in common. None of them are based on fact.

    Much like the onus of proof is on the prosecution in a court case. The onus of proof in a religous argument rest solely on the individual/group making the outrageous claims.

    Wee zombie Jeebus coming back from the dead, among his other “miracles”.
    Wee Mo and his flying horse.
    Wee Joe and his stone goggles.

    I’ll say one thing, faith is the saviour of creative writing. You have to wonder what they were on to think this stuff up originally?

    The trouble with being an atheist is that we don’t have a magical story from hundreds or thousands of years ago that we can just point to and say
    “I don’t have to learn or think, My Holy Book has all the answers!”

    Or if they are feeling attacked they will say things like,
    “I don’t know or I didn’t write it or I don’t care, I just believe it”

    Doesn’t sound like someone with much passion for their faith does it?

  77. Ditchu:
    I’d prefer to send this as a private mail, because I don’t want to be accused of simply trying to humiliate people, but in the interest of clarity, I would very much appreciate it if you actually read what I carefully take the time to say, before replying as above.

    You’re simply not making your thoughts clear to anyone other than yourself, on any level—and I have to presume this is not intentional, otherwise you would be writing them on your own blog and not someone else’s.

    As for atheism as a belief system, I do not seek to defend myself for believing in the truth. In this case the evidential truth about Mormonism, is that it’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a liar and a fraud. If you have evidence contrary to this, present it. It really is as simple as that.

    I am not asking anyone to take my side, or approve of my opinion on these matters, because opinions are irrelevant. What can be proven to be true is the only thing which is important. If that makes atheism a belief system then it is one we all share in common with regard to hundreds of thousands of rational decisions we all make everyday.

    Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Joseph Smith’s wife didn’t pretend to destroy his original transcripts so that when he re-wrote them she could show that they bore no relationship to the still in-tact first draft? If you can’t, I can and I have.

    Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Joseph Smith didn’t break down in tears to his father-in-law and admit that he didn’t know how to stop people believing his lies? If you can’t, I can and I have.

    If you can answer yes to either of these fundamentally important problems which exist within your religion—which I have studied and do understand—let alone provide proof that LDS had no impact upon the Yes to Prop. 8 vote, please feel free to present that information at any time.

    Until then, pretty please with a cherry on top, stop regurgitating someone else’s opinion as if it is your own and expecting people with a mind of their own to take you seriously. It’s embarrassing.

  78. 1. Where have I regurgatated someone else’s opinion on this blog?
    No I am stating my views on the matter.

    2. you have not shown any proof to the validity of your opinion on the LDS Church involvement in the Prop 8 push.

    3. I do not think you ever get close to proof beyond reasonable doubt on this page.

    All in all I am calling your BS like it lies. You have made bold erronous statments, Like your statments implying the beleif of LDS membership exists mainly in Salt Lake City, this is either a statment made due to short-sightedness, and showing your lack of research and understanding of the Religion you are questioning, or an action of outright bold lie, either way it shows your bigotery against another’s orgnized religion.

    -D

    -D

  79. Hmm, this is going to sound totally disingenuous, but the “deleted” comment had loads of garbled text in it which looked like link spam, so I had to remove it. I knew it was nothing to do with you, but figured it was a wordpress error. Anyway, you’ve said your piece now.

  80. I don’t know where to post this Jim, so I thought this thread would suffice.

    Some good news!

    http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/story/1584048.html

    This is some good news. California Judge has denied a request to keep the last-minute Yes on 8 donors identities secret.

    Chuckle Chuckle!

    Some of the donors are up in arms about it. I would think they would be proud of their donation and wouldn’t care who knew. They stand behind their hate as long as it is anonymous.

  81. Alan Ashton, who served as a mission president for Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints in western Ontario from July 2004 through June 2007 and is the grandson of former LDS Church president David O. McKay was single largest individual contributor to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign, donating $1,000,000 from his vast fortune as co-founder of WordPerfect Corporation.

  82. Pingback: Scientology faces biggest test yet... - Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums

  83. Pingback: The Mormon Proposition « How good is that?

  84. isn’t it funny how much people argue about this?
    i mean look at all the responses..

    does it really upset you guys that much that the other people don’t think your way?

  85. I know I’m a year late on this, but I enjoyed the debate! I felt moved in sooo many directions. Originally I enjoyed the logic and reasoning, but quickly I got frustrated and frightened by the bashing. Why does a person originally clinging to the title of love decide to call another a liar? Are you stronger for bashing another. There’s no love there. Maybe devotion to who you cuddle up with at night, but a cold heart. Well learned, and it’s clear you think you are wise, but even you can’t stick to your guns. With all the flip flopping taking place you belong in the liberal party. It’s is your right, and everyone else’s privilege that church a d state are seperate. Anyone arguing, however must see a hard heart from a mile away. There are no Cindy Lou Whos to arise here. Only reputations to be razed. Foolish all around that this existed.
    Prop 8.. Really? It was legal to shoot Mormons on sight in Illinois for over a century. Why? Because the opinions of a great majority of people in nauvoo could influence government. That fear set a witch hunt out on anyone in that belief. Yes they have a similar opinion. So do different cultures. So if you target Mormons in the vote this direction then they have the same right to target gays the other way. Hold to your hypocritical views and you will ultimately fail in a debate.

  86. Ah, if anyone has the time and the mental clarity to handle the task, they might work on finding some HISTORICAL PROOF that ‘Jesus Christ’ ever existed in the first place. The allegations of the New Testament are just that and are not proof. You cannot ‘prove’ a document by quoting from it. No, I do not have to have ‘faith’……you, if you are a Christian, need to have PROOF. If you claim to have a rational mind, then that should make sense. If you do not, then go back to your comic book and let the rest of us continue living in the real world.

  87. There is real sickness in wanting to fellate another man in a public restroom . There is real sickness in two women doing the same, or any combo of 3 some, 4 some , gangbang, all that crap. Interesting that the Bible DOES talk of love between a man and a woman, but NOT same sex, theres a damned great reason.

  88. He is a shit faced liar. If people want peace perhaps they should’t make idiotic religions. Fuck LDS haha

  89. Pingback: scratchcards

  90. Pingback: car insurance quotes cheap rates

  91. Pingback: best landscaping

  92. Pingback: horse lovers dating

  93. Plenty of atheists (like me) know that homosexuals are sick, perverted paraphiliacs, and that homosexuality is not to be celebrated. We also know that homosexuals are about thirty times more likely to be paedophiles than heterosexuals… since around thirty percent of the victims of paedophiles are MALE, and homosexuals are less than one percent of the male population… do the math.

  94. We do not need the admonitions of religious scripture or doctrine to recognize that homosexuality is a perversion. Homosexuality, in its demand to be accepted as a normal lifestyle, is as dogmatic as the various religious dogmas which purport to condemn it. There is a third path called Reality, and THAT is ‘The One True Faith’.

  95. Lee: Unless I start hearing of homosexuals going out to actively try to convert heterosexuals to homosexuality your comparison with them being as dogmatic as religion will fall flat on its ass. Also, they’re just trying to stop the abuse that they get from people like you.

    Nothing “dogmatic” about sticking up for one’s civil liberties.

  96. Lee: Either you’re so stupid that you think that: when I said “they” (referring to homosexuals) that I meant “we” or you’re so stupid that you think that anyone who defends homosexual’s civil rights is a homosexual.

    So, which kind of stupid are you?

  97. Stupid enough to reply to you, Twinkie. Those of us living in the real world have no time for perverts; there is no such thing as ‘gay rights’. Didn’t they tell you that when you attended High School in San Fagcisco? I’d love to sit here and be bored to death, but our conversation is over. Right now.

  98. Suits me. If you still think that I’m gay you are indeed stupid. Again: Just because I believe that people of different sexual orientations don’t deserve to be treated like shit (so long as they obey the law like everyone else) does not mean that I am one myself.

    By the way, I’ve never been to SF.

    Go back to playing with your left hand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s