Skip to comments.Planet Kolob to Mormons: Itís not our weird beliefs, itís our credibility
Posted on 12/13/2011 8:11:29 AM PST by Colofornian
We know theres a problem. Heres how the bulk of us as Mormons see the problem:
SYMPTOMS: Americans have an anti-Mormon bias which manifests itself on the right with Evangelicals who call Mormonism non-Christian (and who cost Mitt Romney the Iowa Republican Caucus) and on the left with secularists and atheists decrying Mormonisms foundational stories as an obvious fraud.
DIAGNOSIS: Mormons are persecuted by non-Mormons for their weird beliefs.
RECOMMENDED TREATMENT: De-emphasize (or eliminate) weird beliefs. Explain Mormonism using highly-nuanced language, which we (as Mormons) believe will satisfy non-Mormon ears (milk before meat).
We keep going back to the doctor because the symptoms persist. We keep refilling the prescription and we now seem addicted to the medicine.
Unfortunately, that the diagnosis is wrong. Weird beliefs are not causing the symptoms. In the past generation, America generally has become increasingly tolerant of weird beliefs. America is more broadly pluralistic because of the influx of traditional religions that were previously unrepresented in the US (and therefore are filled with unfamiliar, weird beliefs), e.g., Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, and also because the rise of indigenous weird beliefs: wicca, neo-paganism, American Buddhism and the various New Age ideas. (Is America ready for a neo-pagan president? No, because the masses of neo-pagans are college kids. Is America ready for a Sikh president? No, because most Sikhs are 1st generation immigrants. Is America ready for a Mormon president? Yes. Mo Udall would have beaten Gerald Ford, if he had bested Jimmy Carter in the 1976 Democratic primaries.) My point is that our society is prepared to be more broadly pluralistic than ever before. The primary component of pluralism is tolerance for our neighbors weird beliefs.
If its not so-called weird beliefs, whats the real cause? I believe the cause of the problem is medicine we keep taking and that the underlying and resulting problem we face is credibility. Its the milk before meat approach itself that undermines Mormon credibility. The examples of how this true problem manifests itself are so numerous even in the past year alone its hard to pick from among them. Lets consider just one of 21 Questions Answered About Mormon Faith that the Fox News prepared in conjunction wiht the LDS churchs PR folks:
Q: Does the Mormon Church believe its followers can become gods and goddesses after death?
A: We believe that the apostle Peters biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Pauls reference to being joint heirs with Christ reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.
Whachama-come again? This is a hefty dose of the medicine of de-emphasizing weird beliefs when speaking to non-Mormons. Can you argue that this bizarre answer is not false? Of course! And whenever anyone argues that any one of these medicinal answers is false, apologetic Mormons across the blogosphere will leap into heroic action in the answers defense.
And that is the problem! The problem is not whether the medicinal answers can be argued to be not-false. The problem is that these answers are not open and forthright, and that they thus lack credbility.
The real problem Mormons face is not that we have weirdness. Its that we lack credibility.
This Mormon author says that Mormons trying to avoid the "weird" tag do too many verbal and keyboard cartwheels...to the point that Mormons have lost credibility in the public square...this is especially true on the 'net...
You know, colofornian, I never paid much attention to the mormonism before I started reading your posts. But you’ve really opened my eyes with all your helpful information about mormonism. I think I’ll check them out - seems like there are some compelling ideas in the LDS church, and you really can’t argue with their results. After all, mormons as a people seem to be incredibly happy, prosperous and well-adjusted.
Thanks again for turning me on to mormonism.
Turn on to Mormonism, get your bicycle and start knocking on doors. America needs you NOW, Joseph Smith and his many wives will thank you on the planet Kolob.
Oh, but yes you can argue with their results. Their "religion" was invented by a stone-reading, bigamist (married over 40 times), adulterer, child molester (some "wives" were 12 or 13 years old), embezzler (run out of many towns for big-time theft of other peoples' money), and inventor or the most bizarre historical mistakes and history, all the while being revered as a prophet of God (or of God himself).
So, yes, you can argue with their results. Their whole religion is a house of cards with their adherents on a quick road to hell if they don't accept Jesus as their ONLY god.
Beyond that, the "weird" stuff is superfluous.
Kolob = Dog. How?
Take the consonants K-L-B and look at the Semitic languages for similarities.
Arabic has the word, ‘kalb’ which uses the same consonants, which means ‘dog.’ The worst insult you can throw at a Muzzie is to say, “Ya kalb!” which means “You dog!” because dogs are considered unclean in Islam.
Hebrew has the same word, “kelev.” The ‘b’ sound is the plosive form of the ‘v’ sound.
When dogs die they don’t go to heaven, but instead, go to Planet Kolob!
Be my guest. It's a "Free Republic." (Just watch your wallet if you join when approached on affinity investing...see below)
After all, mormons as a people seem to be incredibly happy, prosperous and well-adjusted.
Ah, yes, ye olde fruits of Mormonism argument...
Let's take your claims & start measuring them vs. reality:
Utah's sexual violence:
#1 Utah's rate of rape against women is about 10 percent higher than the national average, according to the department. Source: Utah's sexual assault rate outpaces U.S. average
Sidebar to article mentions: » In 2008, Utah's rate of rape was 63.7 for every 100,000 females; the U.S. average is 57.4. » Reported rapes decreased in Utah about 10 percent during the 10 years ending in 2008. » Carbon, Salt Lake, Tooele, Uintah and Weber counties had higher rates of rape than the state rate between 2002 and 2008. Source: Utah Department of Health, Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification
#2 This wasn't some new surge: Since 1991, Utahs rape rate has consistently inched higher than the national rate. By 2002, Utah ranked 14th in the nation for rapes. [Source url: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600125585,00.html ]
Why has Utah as of the years since 2000, consistently has ranked between 14 & 18 re: rape rate? Why as of 4 years ago, was Utah #8 in the nation for its sex offender rate per Nation Master.com?
#3 There's something about Utah itself: The Salt Lake Tribune reported Fall 2009 that in 2005, Utah ranked 16th in the nation for teacher sex offenses... Source: Sexual misconduct persistent in Utah schools
The U.S. Department of Justice reported (Fall 2001) that national domestic violence rates decreased 41 percent since 1993. But Utah officials reported a 31 percent increase in state domestic violence between 1997 and 2000. With those climbing numbers, Utah in 2001 had the second highest domestic violence rate in the nation. Source url: http://byumedia.com/story.cfm/34616
Utah's White-Collar crime reputation:
(The second note below shows this problem is endemic & specific to the Mormon church):
* Frustrated by the wave of fraud that by one estimate took $750 million out of Utahns' pocketbooks last year, regulators, law enforcement officials and attorneys are organizing a free 'Fraud College' next month in Utah County for the public to call attention to the problem and to try to combat it. Source: Preying on the faithful: Though Mormons often victims, LDS Church skips fraud-prevention event
* Lds members have fleeced over $1.4 billion from fellow Mormons the past few years alone! Guess what? They initially didn't regret "doing business" with them, either!!!
Source: Mormons Now Losing Billions to Affinity Fraud
* This isn't new...Utah has long been host to the most per-capita fraud in America: Salt Lake City, with a mere 170,000 residents, is by far the countrys smallest city where the scam-fighting U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission has an office. It has been there since the early 1950s. Why? There is a lot of fraud here per capita, says local SEC boss Kenneth Israel. There doesnt seem to be any shortage of work for us. [Source url: http://www.lds-mormon.com/6303056a.shtml ]
* Utah was #1 in mortgage fraud in America by 2001 when the FBI listed Utah as No. 1 in the country for the amount of mortgage fraud cases reported. [Source url: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,600151169,00.html ]
...and many other metrics.
(Oh, like depression and suicide?)
* See where Utah has the most anti-depressant use, especially in women: Study Finds Utah Leads Nation in Antidepressant Use. Some point to the pressures of Mormonism, especially for women, to explain the surprising findings. [Source urls:
* Utah, which a 2007 report said had the country's highest rate of nonmedical painkiller abuse. Source: Utah has new prescription for painkiller problem
* Utah leads the nation in suicides among men aged 15 to 24: As of 5 years ago: Utah leads the nation in suicides among men aged 15 to 24...Utah also has the 11th highest suicide rate 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people in the nation over all age groups, according to the most recent data from the American Association of Suicidology. Deadly taboo: Youth suicide an epidemic that many in Utah prefer to ignore
* Utah has the country's highest suicide rate for males between the ages of 14 and 25. That grim statistic is given a name and a troubled family in Carol Lynn Pearson's impassioned Facing East, now at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. Source url: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2285528/posts
* For more than 10 years, 15- to 34-year-old males in Utah have had suicide rates markedly higher than those seen nationally. In fact, in the early to mid-1990s, suicide was the number one cause of death among 25- to 44-year-old men in the state and the second-leading cause of death among men aged 15 to 24. Source url: http://www.adherents.com/largecom/lds_LowSuicideRate.html
Now, this article actually says being active Lds "helps" in comparing rates. But this and another study I saw actually says when you compare the suicide rates for active Lds, inactive or less-active Lds, and non-Lds, the middle category is by far the highest:
In addition, per this article the risk of suicide among males aged 15 to 19 was three times higher among the less active church members than among their active peers, but the rate among the active youth was comparable to the national suicide rate.
So...this article not only says suicide risk is 3x higher among less active Lds than active Lds (among 15-19 yo), but that the suicide rate for active Lds 15-19 yo is no different than the national suicide rate!!!
My point: Mormonism is no barrier to the suicide rate for teens, and in fact, jeopardizes more teens (the less active ones)!
LOL So this Mormon author believes it’s not the weird Mormon beliefs, but that Mormon’s just need to stand behind their weird beliefs and be more open and forthright about them.
Here’s a clue: It’s both!
The weird Mormon beliefs fail because Joseph Smith fails the test of a prophet that Moses laid out. And the weird Mormon beliefs are contradictory to what is in Old and New Testament scripture.
We have no more reason to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet with his condemnation of prior scripture as being “full of errors and omissions” and his new scriptures , than we have to accept Mohammad as a prophet with his similar condemnation and new scriptures.
Mormon’s do indeed lack credibility. Their “We are Christians too” is proclaimed simultaneously with Joseph Smith’s vision that all existing Christian denominations were abominations. Mormon’s careful use of “highly nuanced” language to try to trick Christians into thinking that Mormon’s really are very similar, when Mormon missionary’s know full well the difference in meaning when they use those terms, is no difference than open lying.
The Mormon star of Heaven means “Dog?” This is Sirius!
Where's Snerdley? I think he let a seminar caller through.
De-emphasize (or eliminate) weird beliefs. Explain Mormonism using highly-nuanced language, which we (as Mormons) believe will satisfy non-Mormon ears (milk before meat).
Cult, cult, cult.
Yeah, it’s the only planet that I know of that’s ‘gone to the dogs.’ I bet it does revolve around Sirius!
Darn you. You beat me to it.
“After all, mormons as a people seem to be incredibly happy, prosperous and well-adjusted.
Thanks again for turning me on to mormonism.”
Only a Mormon would say that.
Oh please share...
...circling Uranus looking for Klingons...
Weird beliefs (improbable? cultural myths) are an important ingredient of the glue that binds a society, culture, religion or nation together.