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How (Not) to Understand What Mormons Believe
Religion Dispatches ^ | December 22, 2011 | Joanna Brooks

Posted on 12/25/2011 9:37:50 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Shame. Shame stinging my face and burning across my ribs. That’s what I felt when I first clicked into marginal Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger’s website Top 10 Craziest Mormon Beliefs. And that’s just what Fred Karger wanted.

Karger first took aim at Mormons during and after California’s bitter Proposition 8 campaign. He used the internet to document the extent of LDS involvement in the Yes on 8 campaign, as well as to warn against potential Mormon involvement in other state LGBT equality battles.

But his new site has nothing to do with redressing the damage from Proposition 8. It’s all about using the 2012 presidential campaign to make Mormons feel ashamed just for being Mormons.

The site itself is flat and juvenile. It’s been denounced by the Los Angeles Times. (And it’s already been infiltrated by savvy Mormon folks and their allies.) But it participates in a mode of anti-Mormon mockery shared in by Bill Maher, Maureen Dowd, Harold Bloom, and the late Christhoper Hitchens. It wouldn’t be worth addressing Karger’s site alone, were it not for the fact that—as Mitt Romney puts the Gingrich surge behind him and keeps moving towards the nomination—Mormons are expecting more of the same in the year to come.

Are there racist statements in the Mormon past and polygamist dimensions of the tradition that many Mormons would like to put far, far behind us? Absolutely. Are there esoteric elements of Mormonism? Absolutely. LDS temple ceremonies especially mobilize elements of secrecy that have disappeared from most modern mainstream religious cultures. Are there exotic elements of historical Mormonism? Absolutely. Our ancestors said some things that leave even orthodox Mormons scratching their heads.

Many of the “beliefs” Karger, Maher, and others like them set up for mockery are such headscratchers, while others are fragments and remnants of Mormonism’s nineteenth-century speculative theology.

That speculative theology was what drew many people to Mormonism in the first place. Like other early Mormons, my ancestors joined the Mormon movement to escape lives of misery, toil, death, and boredom. They were working-class spiritual seekers who wanted to know not only that redemption was possible in the next life but that this life and the world around them was alive with spiritual power and meaning. An expansive cosmology, a radical take on the eternal potential of the human soul, a literal view of the gathering of the tribes and other last days phenomena—these have all been part of the Mormon worldview.

During the middle decades of the twentieth century, LDS Church leaders attempted to discipline and systematize Mormon doctrine through a process known as “correlation” that gave contemporary Mormonism most of its curriculum. But vestiges of Mormonism’s richer speculative past are very much alive in our oral tradition. And although most of us know how to sort out the central beliefs and values of Mormonism from its fringe elements, some esoteric and exotic aspects of Mormonism maintain a distinctive familiarity and warmth: they remind us of the originality of this homegrown American faith tradition and its power to inspire imagination and devotion.

Is this something to be ashamed of?

Last week, my friend Lisa (who is gay) suggested, “You should just own the words weird or cult the way gay people have owned the word queer.” I think she’s right. In fact, I hope that everyone can own without shame whatever it is that relieves the misery, toil, death, and boredom of this life and makes it more inspired and more inspiring. I hope that everyone can live without being ashamed of what is not shameful.

In trying to use the 2012 presidential race to make Mormon people feel ashamed about our tradition, Karger is putting shame to the wrong political purposes. Shame directed at those who commit acts of hurt, wrongdoing, and exploitation for their acts of hurt, wrongdoing, and exploitation is an accepted part of the political lexicon. It is a way to hold people accountable. But shame directed at people for the way they believe or love achieves nothing. It feeds no one. It protects no one. It restores no one’s civil rights. It advances no progressive agenda.

May all of us—including Fred Karger—enjoy shame-free holidays and a shame-free 2012.


TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Other Christian; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: 50mmisasackofshit; 50mmisgay; darkwing104isapos; darkwing104isgay; homosexualagenda; lds; mormons; romney
Comments?
1 posted on 12/25/2011 9:37:56 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Attending a university in Utah for 5 years has shown me all I need to know about mormonism. I wouldn’t join it for money, fame, or threats. But everybody’s gotta do their own thing.

I don’t give a fat crap that Romney is a moe, I don’t want him as the R nominee because of his positions on issues.


2 posted on 12/25/2011 9:49:45 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

People that follow an Angel called “Moron-I” are Moronites..
Joseph Smith must’ve been mocking his new followers..


3 posted on 12/25/2011 9:50:33 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Harry Reid is a Mormon.
Nancy Polosi is a Catholic.
Religious labels mean nothing.


4 posted on 12/25/2011 9:57:01 PM PST by Red Badger (Every child should have a meadow to play in..............)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Harry Reid is a Mormon.
Nancy Polosi is a Catholic.
Religious labels mean nothing.


5 posted on 12/25/2011 9:57:16 PM PST by Red Badger (Every child should have a meadow to play in..............)
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To: Red Badger

Harry Reid is a Mormon.
Nancy Polosi is a Catholic.
Religious labels mean nothing.

:::::::::::::::

And Obama is a Muslim, by his own admission.
But THAT does mean something with him in the Oval Office.
Mormons and Catholics are not sworn enemies of the Western world and of “infidels”. Muslims are.

So a “religous label” can mean something.


6 posted on 12/25/2011 10:02:48 PM PST by EagleUSA
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To: hosepipe

I’ve had a few of them try to “educate” me on history according to the Book of Mormon. Gotta be kidding me, it is the biggest crock ever. They claim they converted all the Indians but any televised footage of Conference that I’ve ever seen before changing the channel is a sea of white people, so I gotta wonder where they all went. And, for all the credit that they take for building the pyramids in Central and South America, they sure build boring temples these days. That learning not only stopped, it took giant strides backwards.


7 posted on 12/25/2011 10:03:11 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: EagleUSA

Only if you count Islam as actually being a religion.......


8 posted on 12/25/2011 10:13:15 PM PST by Red Badger (Every child should have a meadow to play in..............)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t know what Mormons believe, but I do know that the LDS Church is now 100% behind amnesty for illegal aliens, that they are in opposition to their own precepts in doing so, but that Mormons are not permitted to express disagreement with this traitorous, immoral new mandate from on high.


9 posted on 12/25/2011 10:14:05 PM PST by montag813 (http://www.StandWithArizona.com)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The article has no substance. It’s like a person pointing to a purse and saying “There’s stuff in there”, but he doesn’t say what.


10 posted on 12/25/2011 10:27:33 PM PST by lurk
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I had Christmas dinner earlier with a Mormon family. The ham was very good.

Nice folks. Don’t want to kill me. Or you.

Conservatives? The whole group was tonight. One much more than me and that’s saying a lot.

Been around Mormons pretty constantly for awhile. They know I do not want to be one myself. No problem.


11 posted on 12/25/2011 10:57:13 PM PST by isthisnickcool (Sharia? No thanks!)
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To: isthisnickcool

Cool. And you lived to tell about it. Only the Amish are more feared.


12 posted on 12/25/2011 11:02:23 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: isthisnickcool

+1 and they are terrific people to hang out with.


13 posted on 12/26/2011 12:29:13 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Liberty Valance

Damn the Amish! /S

They are terrific people as well.


14 posted on 12/26/2011 12:30:56 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: lurk
The article has no substance. It’s like a person pointing to a purse and saying “There’s stuff in there”, but he doesn’t say what.

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winnah!

Regards,

15 posted on 12/26/2011 12:42:12 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I really don’t know much about Mormons except that they’re generally good people, family oriented and who tend to take care of their own.

I also know that they hold some very strange beliefs that very much bring into doubt the ability of any Mormon GOP candidate to achieve the backing of the Evngelical community in this country. IMHO, the Evangelicals will not turn out to vote for a Mitt Romney in the numbers that any other Republican candidate would easily achieve. And the more we learn about these odd beliefs the fewer Evangelical votes we can expect from them next November - if we nominate a Morman candidate.

Obama understands this.

The MSM understands this.

So expect the Dem/MSM Axis of Evil to support Romney until his nomination is assured, suppres any discussion of strange Mormon beliefs until that time and then go “all in” with 24/7 coverage of “What You Need to Know about Mormons” .

If you are a Dem with a disastrous record to run on, that’s not a bad strategy.


16 posted on 12/26/2011 4:36:13 AM PST by InterceptPoint (TIN)
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To: InterceptPoint

I agree that the media will come out with guns a-blazing over Romey’s faith. They can’t stand any true commitment to religious belief.

On the other hand, I think they are hedging their bets by keeping mum on Gingrich’s considerable baggages. If he gets the nomination, expect nonstop coverage of his checkered sexual history.


17 posted on 12/26/2011 5:26:28 AM PST by Burkean (.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." - 2 Timothy 4:3,4

God's Word is clear. Those who worship Joseph Smith or the Virgin Mary are believing what works for them in this world, not God's truth. They are creating their own eternal fate.

18 posted on 12/26/2011 5:34:26 AM PST by Dr. Thorne (Fall on your knees before Christ, your only salvation!)
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To: Dr. Thorne

can you name me someone who worships the Virgin Mary?

i have never met anyone who does or heard of anyone who does, yet i read the charge all the time.


19 posted on 12/26/2011 6:00:28 AM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: hosepipe

Just take the ‘m’ out of ‘Mormon’ and you get the same thing!


20 posted on 12/26/2011 6:16:15 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

You just have to ask them...

“Say, where are all of those Indian converts you mentioned? Because all of the Mormons I know are as white as sour cream!”

“You guys built the Central and South American pyramids??? Why haven’t you built any more? Do you have the architectural plans for those pyramids by any chance?”


21 posted on 12/26/2011 6:20:23 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: InterceptPoint

>>So expect the Dem/MSM Axis of Evil to support Romney until his nomination is assured, suppres any discussion of strange Mormon beliefs until that time and then go “all in” with 24/7 coverage of “What You Need to Know about Mormons” .

My liberal pastor (UMC) has already jumped the gun on citing the DNC Talking Points. He’s mentioned several times to me (in private conversation) that Mormons are a cult and are not Christian. I could accept this from him, except that he’s the same guy who says that muslims and hindus and even atheists have to be able to go to heaven because God is “fair”.

This is going to be interesting if Romney is given the nomination by the GOP Elite. Talking heads on TV who would never say an unkind word about islam will be viciously attacking American Mormons for their beliefs.


22 posted on 12/26/2011 6:36:37 AM PST by Bryanw92 (The solution to fix Congress: Nuke em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Gee, I'm still really confused about all this LDS stuff.

Perhaps if I found a magic rock, placed it in my baseball cap, and then buried my face in the hat....like Joseph Smith did in the 1800's; then maybe, just maybe, ALL would be revealed to me, too. Then I'd know how to respond to this posting.

Anyone know where I can pick up a magic rock? You know, a really good one, nothing cheap. I already have the cap...Pittsburgh Pirates. Will that do, or should I consider using another team?

23 posted on 12/26/2011 6:49:27 AM PST by Scooter100 ("Now that the fog has lifted, I still can't find my pipe". --- S. Holmes)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism; Dr. Thorne

No, he probably can’t name anyone who actually worships the Virgin Mary. And if he can name someone, I guarentee that person has no influence whatsoever over Christians to any notable extent.


24 posted on 12/26/2011 7:00:28 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: Jack Hydrazine

They also need to get their story straight on why coffee is so bad. It used to be that caffeine is evil, but they drink Mountain Dew by the gallon ever since the Mo church got stock in Pepsi. Lots of weird superstitions about water, like the devil controls the large bodies of water, that’s why you shouldn’t go swimming.

Going to a university in Utah for 5 years cured me of ever converting. Bunch of arrogant asses.


25 posted on 12/26/2011 9:15:22 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

I guess it could be renamed to The Church Of The Finger In The Wind since their doctrines and practices are constantly changing.


26 posted on 12/26/2011 9:21:57 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

[ Just take the ‘m’ out of ‘Mormon’ and you get the same thing! ]

Their called “MORMONS” because of following “Moron-i”..


27 posted on 12/26/2011 9:51:51 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: vladimir998

[ No, he probably can’t name anyone who actually worships the Virgin Mary. And if he can name someone, I guarantee that person has no influence whatsoever over Christians to any notable extent. ]

Actually it depends on what you MORPH the word “WORSHIP” to mean.. Roman Catholics morph many words to mean strange things.. Whats needed is to know the difference in the morphing..

Example: Like the word “Progressive” means one thing to a democrat and another thing to a republican.. All “progressives” are in effect “regressives” on most things..
Its easy to see by looking at the effects of “progressive” political policys.. “Progressive” politicians are “Regressive” in intent.. Thats THEY morphed the word “Conservative” to describe non progressives.. Conservative means “same old, same old” because its not “PROGRESSIVE”..

The so-called conservatives don’t even react to being “NAMED” by “the enemy”.. as a SLUR... When your enemy controls “the Language” YOUR SCREWED..


28 posted on 12/26/2011 10:09:08 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: hosepipe; Dr. Thorne; vladimir998

worship means what is owed to God alone.

now, let’s see who he or you can produce thats worships the Virgin Mary.

this is an “untruth” that the devil puts forth and many ignorant souls are more than willing to spread the “untruth” ( i have to watch my words to pass muster with the RM )

speaking as a Catholic, we know Mary is a created being, is not divine and it would be idolatry to worship her in any way. we also know knowingly spreading untruths about the Body of Christ is just as sinful as idolatry, don’t you agree?


29 posted on 12/26/2011 11:31:51 AM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Yes, their leaders have “revelations” that are consistent with tax laws. In my neighborhood, we make a lot of references to the CEO of the LDS church.


30 posted on 12/26/2011 11:45:08 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism
[ speaking as a Catholic, we know Mary is a created being, is not divine and it would be idolatry to worship her in any way. we also know knowingly spreading untruths about the Body of Christ is just as sinful as idolatry, don’t you agree? ]

Some catholics dont worship Mary.. SOME DO..
That being said.. not all catholics are catholics..

In South America many catholic districts are Cartoons.. with cartoon characters..
And in America and URP as well.. especially France..

Example: "Our Lady of the Holy Hymen".. (paraphrased)

31 posted on 12/26/2011 11:47:48 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: hosepipe

“SOME DO”

and you know this how?

btw, i define a Catholic as one that believes the Catholic Faith. since the Catholic Faith teaches it is idolatry to worship anything ( Mary, money, sex, statues, yourself, etc ) other that the One True God ( Father, Son and Holy Spirit ), by definition a “Catholic” can’t worship Mary.


32 posted on 12/26/2011 11:53:40 AM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism

Like I said.. not all catholics are catholics..

Since catholic means “universal” NO catholic is catholic..
Unless catholic means other than Roman Catholic..

The Universal Church is NOT the Roman Catholic church..
same with any Protestant church as well.. Jesus is not Roman Catholic..

Nor is Jesus a christian.. Jesus is however a JEW..


33 posted on 12/26/2011 12:25:35 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: one Lord one faith one baptism

Are you familiar with Marianism?


34 posted on 12/26/2011 7:04:41 PM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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