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Skip to comments.An Ugly Attack on Mormons
Posted on 12/03/2008 8:59:31 AM PST by Publius804
An Ugly Attack on Mormons
The easiest targets for an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.
By Jonah Goldberg
Did you catch the political ad in which two Jews ring the doorbell of a nice working-class family? They barge in and rifle through the wifes purse and then the mans wallet for any cash. Cackling, they smash the daughters piggy bank and pinch every penny. We need it for the Wall Street bailout! they exclaim.
No? Maybe you saw the one with the two swarthy Muslims who knock on the door of a nice Jewish family and then blow themselves up?
No? Well, then surely you saw the TV ad in which two smarmy Mormon missionaries knock on the door of an attractive lesbian couple. Hi, were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! says the blond one with a toothy smile. Were here to take away your rights. The Mormon zealots yank the couples wedding rings from their fingers and then tear up their marriage license.
As the thugs leave, one says to the other, That was too easy. His smirking comrade replies, Yeah, what should we ban next? The voice-over implores viewers: Say no to a church taking over your government.
Obviously, the first two ads are fictional because no one would dare run such anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim attacks.
The third ad, however, was real. It was broadcast throughout California on Election Day as part of the effort to rally opposition to Proposition 8, the initiative that successfully repealed the right to same-sex marriage in the state.
What was the reaction to the ad? Widespread condemnation? Scorn? Rebuke? Tepid criticism?
The Los Angeles Times, a principled opponent of Proposition 8, ran an editorial lamenting that the hard-hitting commercial was too little, too late.
(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...
I would very much like more information on that, as it has been my understanding that Mormon’s see Jesus as a man and a brother to man, but not the same as God.
Yeah, a SWAT guy told me that just yesterday, that he would never, never shoot anyone with an orange painted pistol in his hand.
I fear you will not be, although I suspect God is more tolerant of heresies than we are here on earth.
I have not become a Christian through my own efforts and work - quite the contrary. It was God who drew me in. I do not mean that theologically, I mean that literally. I was an atheist who hated God with all my heart. But one day the spirit descended upon me. I knew I was either on drugs or God existed. Shortly after that some substantial sexual depravities that I'd had since I was 5 or 6 went away. Then shortly after that I met a wonderful woman who was an evangelical Christian. She led me to the Lord and we married. Today is our 4th anniversary. I know where the Holy Spirit has led me.
Your little digs not withstanding, that’s a great story & I appreciate you sharing it. It’s a different story when Christ is in your life. It sounds like you’re on a good track. My best wishes to you & your wife.
Thanks. :) Best wishes to you as well!
Finally Constantine, having conquered Licinius and become sole emperor, concerned himself with the re-establishment of religious peace as well as of civil order. He addressed letters to St. Alexander and to Arius depreciating these heated controversies regarding questions of no practical importance, and advising the adversaries to agree without delay.And
The Council was opened by Constantine with the greatest solemnity. The emperor waited until all the bishops had taken their seats before making his entry. He was clad in gold and covered with precious stones in the fashion of an Oriental sovereign. A chair of gold had been made ready for him, and when he had taken his place the bishops seated themselves. After he had been addressed in a hurried allocution, the emperor made an address in Latin, expressing his will that religious peace should be re-established.And
The emperor began by making the bishops understand that they had a greater and better business in hand than personal quarrels and interminable recriminations.Lastly
St. Athanasius assures us that the activities of the Council were nowise hampered by Constantine's presence.Now let's put all this in the context of the day. Constantine had just finally put down the other military leaders of a fractured empire. In spite of Christianity being illegal, it had grown in popularity (or maybe even because it was illegal) Constantine sends letters to these bishops (who are under a death sentence just for being Christians) and invites them to a conference, moreover, he puts "Public transportation" at their disposal to get to the conference with. (Public transportation means military horses and Chariots, there was no bus)
The question being responded to was if anyone had actually seen any persecution. I have. I was not and am not trying to play the victim, neither did I ask you for help. your posting of that “graphic” is a great example, thanks for illustrating.
Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12-17
Translation and Ideology
The name Lucifer has often been understood to be another name for the devil or the satan. This identification has a long history in the church, going back to at least the fourth century. Its origin is actually from a passage in the Old Testament from the book of Isaiah that, to some, speaks of a being cast out of heaven because of pride. Since some people see a reference to the devil being cast out of heaven in the New Testament (Rev 12:9-12; cf. Lk 10:18), they assumed that the Isaiah passage referred to the same thing.
The passage (NRSV): 14:12
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High. 15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. 16 Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?
In the King James translation, verse 12 reads:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Here is where we find the name Lucifer. The term Lucifer was popularized in English from this King James translation. However, the name does not come from the Hebrew or even from the Greek translation (Septuagint), but from the 4th century AD Latin translation of this verse:
quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes.
But this is not quite as obvious as it sounds even in Latin. The term Lucifer in fourth century Latin was a name for Venus, especially as the morning star. The Latin word Lucifer is composed of two words: lux, or in the genitive form used lucis, (meaning “light”) and ferre, which means “to bear” or “to bring.” So, the word Lucifer means bearer of light. The same word is used in other places in the Latin Vulgate to translate Hebrew terms that mean “bright,” especially associated with the sky:
Job 11:17: And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.
2 Peter 1:19: You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
This reflects how the Latin word Lucifer was used in classic Roman poetry, such as this passage from Virgil (Georgics, III, 324-325):
Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura
carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina canent”
Let us hasten, when first the Morning Star appears,
To the cool pastures, while the day is new, while the grass is dewy.
The term also occurs in the plural (luciferum) in Job 38:32 to refer to an astral constellation. Other forms of the word are used in similar ways to refer to light or the stars. And this reflects the Greek (Septuagint) translations use of heosphoros, “morning star” to translate the Hebrew of Isaiah 14:12.
There is some debate about the exact origin of the original Hebrew word in Isaiah 14:12 (helel). The strongest possibility is that it comes from a verbal root that means “to shine brightly,” as well as “to offer praise” (where we get the phrase hallelu yah). In any case, the noun form is the Hebrew term for the morning star, in most cases the planet Venus. Both the second century BC Greek translation in the Septuagint, and the fourth century AD Latin translation in the Latin Vulgate understand this to be the meaning of the Hebrew word helel.
So, how did we get from Venus, the morning star, to Lucifer being associated with the devil, especially since that term is used in positive ways even in the New Testament? Well, if we begin with some New Testament passages and incorrectly assume that using the New Testament along with a lot of accumulated tradition is the best way to interpret the Old Testament, then add some of our assumptions, it is not a long trip at all.
In 2 Corinthians 11:14, Paul writes about false apostles:
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
And in Luke 10:18-19, at the return of the 70 as they comment on their success, Jesus says:
And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.”
So, without ever stopping to examine either of those passages to see what was being said in them, and what was meant by the references, we could conclude that the devil/the satan is somehow associated with light and the sky.
If we then add the passage from Revelation 12 about the devil/satan/red dragon/serpent, the symbols begin to run together, again before we have done any real study on any of these passages separately to see what each of them are saying. In Revelation 12 the red dragon with seven heads appears in the sky, and his tail sweeps down a third of the stars to earth, and is then later cast down to the earth along with his angels. Of course, at this point, a great many assumptions are introduced into the reading even of the Revelation passage, even though this is obviously extremely figurative language; we just assume what it means.
By adding these three passages together without regard to context, and read them as if they were all speaking in the same way about the same thing to make the same point, we can conclude that we have here a jigsaw picture of a long ago historical event described in great detail (but of course we have to put the pieces together from various bits scattered through literature written 800 years apart!).
Then, if we take that assumption about the meaning of all these texts, and the assumption that adding texts together is the way to understand them (a drastic perversion of the “Scripture interprets Scripture” principle!), and bring that back to the Isaiah text, then it is very easy to reach the conclusion that Isaiah is also describing the same event. There are similar metaphors of light, stars, conflict, and being cast down. Earlier translations (KJV) mistakenly took the Hebrew term sheol in verse 15 as “hell” (in Hebrew it is simply the place where the dead go, a metaphor for death, specifically burial; see Sheol, Hell, and the Dead), which is another piece of the puzzle. So of course, since there is no mention of the “devil” or the “satan” in Isaiah, “Lucifer” must be the name Isaiah uses for him! So, Isaiah is talking about the devil being cast out of heaven!
This is the position that prevailed throughout much of the history of the church until the time of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, when we began asking more direct questions of the biblical text. We also gained more information in new archaeological discoveries of ancient civilizations, including thousands of tablets from Mesopotamia giving us a great deal of information about ancient Mesopotamian and Babylonian religion.
We learned that Babylonian religion was an astral religion, closely related to Canaanite practices, although more focused on the sun, moon, and stars and their motion than on the immediate cycles of nature as it was in Canaan. The Babylonians worshipped as gods the manifestations of celestial bodies. It is from Babylon that we get the signs of the Zodiac representing the constellations. We now know that the two terms used in the Hebrew text of Isaiah, Helel, morning star, and Shahar dawn, were Babylonian astral deities (which is reflected in most modern translations).
Now, if we look at the text of Isaiah 14 in context, and without the assumptions we brought to it from the New Testament, the meaning of the passage becomes more obvious and goes a radically different direction. The book of Isaiah has spent the first chapters denouncing the sins of Israel and its failure to be Gods people. There have also been expectations that God will work in new ways in the life of the nation to help them recover their mission as Gods people. One of those ways would be through a new king to replace the corrupt Ahaz. Because of his pro-Assyrian policies, the nation was teetering upon the brink of catastrophe as Assyria expanded to the West (see Assyrian Dominance).
Isaiah 13 begins a long section of the book known as “Oracles Against Foreign Nations.” This is a standardized format in the prophets for universalizing responsibility to God. Not only Israel, but all nations, were accountable to God and would fall under the same judgment Israel would. As is typical in other prophetic books (Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel) not all of these oracles come from the same time period as Isaiah of Jerusalem, but they do follow a similar pattern and serve the same function in the book.
Isaiah 13 is part of the oracle directed against Babylon, probably from a time after the Exile. In very flowery, poetic, and highly figurative language, Babylon is denounced for her arrogance and lack of concern for other nations as she built her empire. It is interesting that in 13:10, specific mention is made of the failure of the Babylonian gods (constellations, sun, moon) to help them when God calls then to accountability.
Chapter 14 then begins with the promise of Israels return from Babylonian exile, a theme that dominates the middle section of Isaiah (40-55). Part of that return would involve the downfall of the tyrant king of Babylon (v. 4; probably Nebuchadrezzer; for the same language used of a later Babylonian ruler, Belshazzar, see Dan 5:20). In that context, verses 12-21 are a poetic picture of that downfall. Helel, morning star, and Shahar, dawn, then, are references to the Babylonian gods who could not save the king, and are themselves to be cast down. In fact, there is probably a reference here to the habit of ancient Near Eastern kings proclaiming themselves incarnations of the gods; with the fall of the kings, the gods also fell, often physically as the images that represented them were pulled down and destroyed (recall the symbolism of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad).
So, the Isaiah passage does not connect, either historically or theologically, with the New Testament passages about the devil or the satan. By listening to the Old Testament passage on its own terms within its own context, we discover that Lucifer is not an Old Testament name for the devil or the satan. The passage in Isaiah 14:12-17 is directed at the downfall of the arrogant Babylonian rulers who took Israel into exile. By beginning with the New Testament, by making assumptions not supported by a closer examination of Scripture itself, and by using external theological categories as a lens through which to read Scripture, we may end up badly misreading Isaiah.
Oh yeah? Here's your whine:" I have been attacked on this forum, had my morals, intent parentage, intelligence etc. not just questioned, but been called a liar about what I believe, damned to hell, called a demon from the pit and been condemned in every way imaginable." BOO Hoo Hoo!
Neither did I ask you for help.
I'm ALWAYS happy to point out your prevarications, regardless of any invitation to do so.
Anyone that has followed your comments on this thread will see through your facade to the "mormon superiority attitude". You are extraordinarily full of it, today.
...Delphi, - you forgot the barf alert
I asked Delphi yesterday what he thought constituted “persecution.” I guess to him it means when you hurt his stupid feelings.
Courtesy ping to #532...
Hmmm....so what are all the other Churches in this country and throughout the Christian world if they are not God's church, as you imply here? Just curious.
Book of MORMON: And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. (1 Nephi 14:10)
Yes, Virginia, there really are supposedly only two churches, say the Mormons. And since we wouldn't really expect them to call their own church the "church of the devil" in their own contrived "sacred" scriptures...guess who they really reserve the not-so-sacred title of "the whore of all the earth" for...?
Well, just to show you that this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, folks/lurkers need to understand that Mormons also believe in the Divinity of men everywhere -- at least temple-worthy Mormon men, anyway.
From LDS "prophet" Spencer W. Kimball:
"Brethren, 225,000 of you are here tonight. I suppose that 225,000 of you may become gods" (from speech published in the official LDS publication, The Ensign, November 1975, 1980).
So, now T.J. is your latest spiritual giant, Delf? Tell, you what...if you're goin' to use your quote above everytime you want to continue the grand Mormon tradition of labeling us apostates (one & all), corrupt (one & all), and abominable (one creed & all)...then why don't you also keep the following T.J. quote handy as well. Then, everytime you meet a theist (vs. the polytheists that Mormons are), you can just whack them o'er the head with T.J.:
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. - Thomas Jefferson
See post 396.
No. (What part of 1 Cor. 13:9 is a mystery to you? For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.)
To hear you tell it, the LDS "prophets" have the complete divine "download"--even weather reports & all!
To hear you tell it, "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing..." [Rain, snow, hail, tornado, huricane, Mark Hofmann falsified documents, terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers & India, etc.] "but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."]
So. Are you trying to tell us, Delf, that Hinckley knew about 911 ahead of time? Or that your current "proph" has God's next storm already relayed to him? Remember, now, that your wooden, literal interpretation mandates that the Lord can't do a thing minus telling your "prophet."
Please show me where the church teaches to follow the relations of men and not revelations from God...(you can't)
Give me a break, Delf. Your god is a man! (Joseph Smith repeatedly said so!)
Example: The Scriptures inform us that Jesus said, As the Father hath power in Himself, even so hath the Son power--to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious--in a manner to lay down His body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father DID, and take it up again. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346)
Your god died! (Joseph said so!) He was physically mortal BEFORE he ever became divine! That's your revelatory god!
Besides that, look at how Joseph Smith as a mere man repeatedly contradicted God's revelations from the Bible:
Example 1: An angel of God never has wings. Some will say that they have seen a spirit; that he offered them his hand, but they did not touch it. This is a lie. First, it is contrary to the plan of God: a spirit cannot come but in glory; an angel has flesh and bones..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 162)
So, Smith called the prophet Isaiah a liar! Isaiah clearly talks about winged angels in Isaiah 6!
Example 2: Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of Days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael...Adam...the first and oldest of all, the great, grand progenitor of whom it is said in another place he is Michael. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 157, 167)
(Sorry, Joe. Adam is NOT Michael the Archangel! And, no, Adam is NOT the "ancient of days"...you'll need to study the Bible a bit more to unravel that, LDSaints)
Example 3: Now, we read that many bodies of the Saints arose at Christ's resurrection, PROBABLY all the Saints, but it seems that David did not. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 188)
[Hey wait a minute! Did the Lord raise ALL the saints or not? So now we have the "prophets" of God conjecturing on the "probability" of God's historical truth? Here, you've just lectured me, Delf, on supposedly believing only the parts of the Bible I want to, and/or having a more liberal view of the Bible as a "living document" that can be changed to fit the times? All that because I take issue with the way LDS interpret Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do NOTHING but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.]
Well, based upon Smith's teachings, I guess you can go on to interpret Amos 3:7 to read: surely the Lord Mormon God did nothing like raise all the saints, or maybe it was most of the saints, or perhaps it was some of the saints, or it could have even been multiple-choice lead pencil pick -- a few of the saints without revealething his secret unto his servant the prophet, Joey Smith? (I mean, surely you're not gonna want to back off your interpretation of Amos 3:7 now that you've walked out so far to defend it, right?)
Example 4: I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, 'My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man...I prophesy in the name of the Lord god, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 286)
So, since Joe didn't live to be 85...I guess we can conclude that...
...(a) -- He DIDN'T see the face of the Son of Man; and...
...(b) that his accompanying Jesus-returning-in-the-clouds "prophesy" was either a false prophesy (Jesus DIDN'T come in the clouds of heaven when Smith was 85, 'cause He never reached that ripe ole age) OR that it was a totally worthless, meaningless statement -- that Jesus would return sometime after Smith turned 85...I mean, he might as well have said: "I prophesy in the name of the Lord god, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am one hundred and eighty-five years old." (That would have just been as meaningful!)