Pharyngula

Mormon prophecy

It’s a little known disturbing fact that the Mormons have a set of prophecies that foretell that the Mormons will take over the leadership of the US. A candidate for the governor of Idaho has brought this out into the open — he’s having meetings to talk about saving America by having the Mormon leadership intervene.

i-4bbd7bd82a31aa68f22c9bb1ab2c5a89-Rammell.jpeg

I’ve had a few conversations with crazy Mormons who actually take this nonsense very, very seriously. They don’t seem to understand that having the country taken over by a freakish cult with dreams of theocracy would be a way to destroy the constitution.

Comments

  1. #1 Abdul Alhazred
    December 22, 2009

    Oooh! Like Islam, right? :)

  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Good thing the Hampton Inn was available.

  3. #3 mattincinci
    December 22, 2009

    wow.,
    well..how many ways can you spell crazy, krazy hmm?

  4. #4 Steven Dunlap
    December 22, 2009

    When you and especially your followers never actually read the Constitution (and certainly not The Federalist Papers – sheesh that’s like, a whole book you know and not a holy one) it’s easy to read into it whatever you like. Think of it like the Catholic Church’s medieval practice of selling indulgences. Nothing even remotely justifying that in the bible but when the congregation can’t read, how could they tell?

  5. #5 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    Dammit, Rev. BDC…

    Good thing the Hampton Inn was available.

    Thanks for making everyone in my office pop up from their cubicles like prairie dogs because you made me guffaw so friggin loudly.

  6. #6 thinkerspodium.wordpress.com
    December 22, 2009

    I wonder when “barefoot in the kitchen” becomes a constitutional obligation right for the “muffins”, like in the calendar.

  7. #7 Cappy
    December 22, 2009

    God, save us from your followers.

  8. #8 Steven Dunlap
    December 22, 2009

    On a vaguely related note, I stumbled upon a movie in Netflix about Mountain Meadows Massacre. Mormon militiamen and their allied Paiutes killed over a hundred settlers in 1857.

    Any commenters here know any good non-fiction history works about this they can recommend?

  9. #9 Mr T
    December 22, 2009

    Rammel’s speech on “The Battle to Save the Constitution” is only 7-8pm? You’d think it’d take more than an hour to talk about something of such vast significance. I suppose there are only so many permutations of “goddidit” and “the U.S. is will be a Christian Mormon Nation”.

    Afterward, there will be punch and pie, a circle jerk, and ritual sacrifice of GOATS ON FIRE!

  10. #10 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    There is too many fucking prophecies, there is the mormons setting up their theocracy, the dominionists setting up their competing theocracy and the apocalyptic befriending Israel so that the Jews will convert to christianity or die and bring back Jesus. To the Thunderdome for all of the fuckers. Two combatants walk in, one walk out is not good enough.

  11. #11 Pinkydead
    December 22, 2009

    I had a conversation with two Mormon elders during the summer – neither of them looked more than 15 years old.

  12. #12 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    Steven Dunlap (#4) wrote,

    When you and especially your followers never actually read the Constitution (and certainly not The Federalist Papers – sheesh that’s like, a whole book you know and not a holy one) it’s easy to read into it whatever you like.

    Especially as the body of the federal Constitution is simply a set of directions on who gets what powers and how those powers function within the structure of the federal government.

    Aside from some flower words in the preamble, all the contentious stuff about the rights of citizens and states is in the amendments.

  13. #13 Zabinatrix
    December 22, 2009

    It feels to me like Mormons always correspond well to the very stereotyped image one might have of American religious conservatives. Here is the whole “My religion is the right one so it should rule to country” theocracy wish that we often expect in those people, and then there’s the whole deal with the book of Mormon…

    To me it just feels like some American Christians were very, very uncomfortable with the fact that their holy texts comes from some foreign country far away, filled with people of a different color and everything. How could red-blooded Americans like something so dogdangit foreign? So the clever Joseph Smith comes up with the idea to “find” some holy texts in New York.

    Brilliant solution. Suddenly there are Real American holy books, and Real American (and white!) prophets. Awesome, finally something for the patriotic believer!

    … At least that’s the feeling I get when Mormons come to speak to me about their beliefs – it just feels like they are struggling to conform to a negative stereotype about xenophobic Americans.

  14. #14 Abdul Alhazred
    December 22, 2009

    The Bill of Rights are amendments in the sense of not being part of the original document, but they were added before the constitution was adopted. For some states that was a pre-condition.

  15. #15 Somnolent Aphid
    December 22, 2009

    Every religion needs a bunch of prophecies, best that there are lots of them and they are all over the map in terms of likelihood. That way when one of them does occur the believers can say, “It was foretold!”

  16. #16 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Steve Dunlap, American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 by Sally Denton is a good place to start. Or what for Lynna to pop in, I am sure she has a whole lot more to add.

  17. #17 hyperdeath
    December 22, 2009

    They don’t seem to understand that having the country taken over by a freakish cult with dreams of theocracy would be a way to destroy the constitution.

    No, no, no…

    The Constitution only counts when the matter involves something that the religious right doesn’t like. Using the constitution to defend liberty, free speech and religion freedom… well… that’s just Communism.

  18. #18 Sili
    December 22, 2009

    Overthrown through corruption?

    Methinks someone has gotten the cause and effect mixed up in this matter.

  19. #19 Whore of All the Earth
    December 22, 2009

    Oh, those crazy Mormons take all their prophecies very seriously. I got so many emails from my mother during last year’s election. “If you vote for Obama, America won’t be God’s favorite anymore!” Along with testimonies: “Come back to the One True Church! It’s the Only Way to Happiness!” And my mother is so intelligent. It just astounds me that she can believe so much baloney.

  20. #20 PZ Myers
    December 22, 2009

    A good book about the general derangement of Mormon ideology is Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven.

  21. #21 Somnolent Aphid
    December 22, 2009

    See, and the problem with atheists, and the UU’s for that matter, is that we don’t have any good prophecies. Prophecies are what separate the “real” from the “made up” religions.

  22. #22 Mr T
    December 22, 2009

    The Bill of Rights are amendments in the sense of not being part of the original document, but they were added before the constitution was adopted. For some states that was a pre-condition.

    Yes, on this we can agree. It does not seem correct to dissociate the Bill of Rights from the original document.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_bor.html

  23. #23 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkL6rop7ope6a9ysVWsdSU1FNTAQmmW9gw
    December 22, 2009

    I guess the mormons will have to prove their case to the Democrats as the Republicans rejected them last year for not being TRUE Christians.

  24. #24 shiftysquid
    December 22, 2009

    @#15

    Not only that, Aphid, but those “prophecies” are almost invariably entirely open-ended, making them useless for any practical purpose. For any “prophecy” to be taken seriously at all, it should have some sort of drop-dead date. Otherwise, it can’t be falsified until, perhaps, humans become extinct. Of course, at that point, it’s somewhat of a moot point. Don’t ya think?

  25. #25 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    Three reasons while America will never convert en mass to the Mormon faith:

    1. Mormon proselytes use bicycles to get from door to door. This screams of liberalism and ecowarmista hegemonic concern. Fuck that bullshit.

    2. Mormons actually enforce caffeine/alcohol proscriptions. Non-mormons could easily retake control of the federal government by skipping a night* of drinking and then rising early (aided by consumption of coffee), and giving wedgies to the sleepy elders.

    3. The ritual undergarment might work in the dry mountain air surrounding SLC and Provo, but in most parts of the inhabited US, summers are hot and humid. No one wants another layer of underclothing. Further, the Jesus Jammies interfere with the hottest summer fashions.

    *Just one night. C’mon. Its for freedom!

  26. #26 Hamid Chowdhury
    December 22, 2009

    Very much like the Conservative Right Wing in this country. Domination seems to be a common thread in these belief systems, they all claim to be the saviors of America …

  27. #27 Red John
    December 22, 2009

    I was raised Mormon, but even back before I became a godless heathen I though this was weird. Brigham Young said that the country would call on the Mormon ‘elders’ to save the Constitution. I don’t know what reality he lived in, but I don’t think that will ever happen: “Oh crap, the country’s in trouble. What will we do? Oh, I know, call the Mormons.”

  28. #28 gman
    December 22, 2009

    I’ll endorse PZ’s recommendation: If you haven’t read “Under The Banner of Heaven”, do so. It’s a riveting read, even if you have no particular interest in Mormon history or theology.

    I love how they describe themselves as not just “Elders” or “Elders of Idaho” but “Elders of Israel.”

    Sheesh. What chutzpah. Wonder if the chief rabbis in Jerusalem got the memo that their work has been outsourced to American guys in funny underwear.

  29. #29 raven
    December 22, 2009

    They don’t seem to understand that having the country taken over by a freakish cult with dreams of theocracy would be a way to destroy the constitution.

    You say that like it is a bad thing. They understand alright. They just don’t care. When god is on your side, anything seems normal. Destroying a country, no big deal.

    The fundies dream and hope is much bigger. God is going to destroy the entire planet and 6.7 billion people any minute.

    The Mormons all know about those prophecies about taking over the USA. They are all waiting.

    For a preview of what a LDS theocracy would look like check out Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Texas, or Utah. The last two states are held in check by the power of the federal government and they still oppress nonmembers, known as “gentiles” in Utah and by a variety of terms in Texas.

  30. #30 Rey Fox
    December 22, 2009

    Ah, Rex Rammell. Real winner, that one. Last time he was in the news before his gubernatorial run was when a bunch of elk escaped his canned hunt elk ranch. Canned hunts being something that even the redneck states next to Idaho think are barbaric and have outlawed.

    Rammell is also well-known for his little crack about issuing Obama hunting tags:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/27/rex-rammell-idaho-goper-j_n_270751.html

    But don’t worry, he’s a fringe candidate. I think.

    “I love how they describe themselves as not just “Elders” or “Elders of Idaho” but “Elders of Israel.” ”

    Only one step away from the Elders of Zion. Just saying.

  31. #31 James
    December 22, 2009

    As a Mormon who has researched the “White Horse” prophecy, I call on fellow Mormons to reject this rumor and nonsense and stop promoting it. If you’re in Eastern Idaho, do not attend Rammell’s meeting, as you’ll be playing into a psychological trap.

    I can predict what will happen in the meeting. Rammell will tell everyone that Joseph Smith said that the “elders of Israel” (namely , the Mormon Elders) will have to rush in and save the Constitution. He’ll look into their eyes and tell them that they are individually “called” to “save” the Constitution, simply because they were baptized Mormon and were ordained to the priesthood. LDS members will leave the meeting feeling better than everyone else – more special – more patriotic, just because they showed up and are breathing air! Baloney!

    Mormons generally do not believe that THEY have a monopoly on patriotism or constitutional loyalty. We “the people” save the Constitution by exercising our franchise (right to vote) for men and women who believe in and claim allegiance to the Constitution and its principles.

    Rammell is completely loony. Your average LDS member hasn’t ever read the Constitution and doesn’t know Constitutional issues. So, in that vein, how could THEY alone be the standard bearers? How could THEY alone rush in to save anything “Constitutional?” Rubbish!

    If the Constitution hangs by a thread and someone is going to save it, then those good men and women will come from varied religious or non-religious backgrounds who have studied the Constitution and will uphold it defiantly.

    Rammell is no different than an Evangelical Christian extremist who holds the Bible in one hand and proclaims divine sovereignty above everyone else, and that he “alone” possess some innate character or calling that no one else can obtain, simply because the words are coming out of his mouth. Bull!

    Atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims or Mormons are all qualified to “save” the Constitution if it needs saving.

    If you’re not a Mormon, know that millions of Mormons do NOT believe the “White Horse” prophecy and it is not a part of Mormon canonical doctrine.

    Please make the distinction between a Mormon zealot who is a loon (Rammell), and between patriotic Mormons who love the country and who save it by laboring for it like good citizens.

  32. #32 raven
    December 22, 2009

    I guess the mormons will have to prove their case to the Democrats as the Republicans rejected them last year for not being TRUE Christians.

    Historically the LDS and the Catholics hated each other. They both have popes and Vaticans. They both can’t be right.

    The fundies didn’t much like the LDS on dogmatic grounds. The LDS believe there are a huge number of gods. Our god is married to an unknown and nameless but large number of goddesses. They spend all their time, well, ummmm, hmmmm, “procreating”. Making spirit babies which become humans. Jesus is just a guy and satan’s brother, another guy. They both are your brothers too.

    None of this is in the bible of course.

    These days that might be changing. Religions are on the skids in the USA and losing members and power. They might not like each other but they like losing power less.

    If they ever got power, watch out. After they finished with the reeducation camps, the mass deportations, and turning the USA into a banana republic, they would fight among themselves like Shiites and Sunnis until only one survived.

  33. #33 Rey Fox
    December 22, 2009

    “There is too many fucking prophecies”

    I wholeheartedly agree. Every wannabe dictator claims to have some damn prophesy or other and it’s also a super-tired fictional trope. I say we declare a worldwide moratorium on prophesies for, oh, at least twenty years or so.

  34. #34 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Seems Joseph Smith was as knowledgeable about the constitution as he was about egyptian.

  35. #35 David Marjanovi?
    December 22, 2009

    Oooh! Like Islam, right? :)

    Huh? Islam utterly lacks any prophecies about saving the godless Constitution…

  36. #36 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Please make the distinction between a Mormon zealot who is a loon (Rammell), and between patriotic Mormons who love the country and who save it by laboring for it like good citizens.

    Yeah regular mormons aren’t loons in anyway.

  37. #37 Abdul Alhazred
    December 22, 2009

    I mean about “taking over” in a more general way. ;)

  38. #38 David Marjanovi?
    December 22, 2009

    Only one step away from the Elders of Zion. Just saying.

    Naturally there is a Zion in Utah. Just saying.

  39. #39 James
    December 22, 2009

    Raven:

    The LDS leadership has no interest in taking over the country. The most fundamental principle in Mormonism is inherent personal liberty or what is called “moral agency” – that everyone has the freedom to choose.

    The Mormon Church is about “saving souls” who want to be saved. Salvation through coercion is not salvation, and therfore, a powerful militant LDS theocracy wouldn’t do the LDS Church any eternal good and would be contrary to its fundamental axioms and principles.

    If you ever talk to a Mormon who believes in this nonsense, ask them why anyone would attend a Rammell meeting or any other meeting when the “prophecy” alledgedly says that the “U.S Government” will “call upon” the Mormon Elders for assistance.

    As you can see, the only way Mormon Elders could “rush to save it” is when the U.S Government invites them.

    Nevertheless, the “prophecy” has been researched and no canonical document has ever been found and it is not part of the Mormon scriptures.

    The only good that the myth can do is teach all people to read the Constitution. But we don’t need a myth to encourage that.

  40. #40 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Naturally there is a Zion in Utah. Just saying.

    Beautiful place. Part of it is called Kolob canyon, named after a mormon place/planet/star near god in their mythology.

  41. #41 David Marjanovi?
    December 22, 2009

    I mean about “taking over” in a more general way. ;)

    How many crazed Muslims are there in the USA, and how many crazed Mormons? How many of each are there in the USA in positions of power?

    Then come all the other differences. The Mormons have a hierarchy that culminates in the President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator™. In Sunni Islam, there’s not even such a thing as priesthood, let alone a central authority.

  42. #42 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    The LDS leadership has no interest in taking over the country. The most fundamental principle in Mormonism is inherent personal liberty or what is called “moral agency” – that everyone has the freedom to choose.

    Then as a gay man I choose to get married.

    Oh, no…wait…

  43. #43 Abdul Alhazred
    December 22, 2009

    Crazed? Not many of either, though any number is too many I suppose.

    I guess I was a bit too subtle.

    As others have pointed out, these guys are not “typical” Mormons.

  44. #44 James
    December 22, 2009

    Richard:

    Yes, and I choose to vote against gay marriage in my State. No offense.

  45. #45 Knockgoats
    December 22, 2009

    Yes, and I choose to vote against gay marriage in my State. No offense. – James

    You’re wrong: your bigotry is indeed offensive.

  46. #46 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    James, you’re not making a very good case for you not being a “loony” Mormon.

  47. #47 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Yes, and I choose to vote against gay marriage in my State. No offense.

    It was a deep and nasty slap in the face. Epecially given “previous” views on mormon marriage. Quite insulting.

    You also tramped all over the constitution to do it. Which is why I chose to point it out in this thread.

  48. #48 Electric Monk's Horse
    December 22, 2009

    In all the pictures I’ve seen, the Constitution is laying in a case. Considering how old and delicate the parchment is, it would seem to be very foolish for the National Archives to hang it up somewhere, no matter how many threads they use. I hereby prophesy that the Mormon prophesy will never come true.

  49. #49 David Marjanovi?
    December 22, 2009

    You choose to vote for a law respecting an establishment of religion in your big-S state?

    Notice something?

  50. #50 James
    December 22, 2009

    On the record:

    PZ Meyers wrote:
    “It is a little known disturbing fact that the Mormons have a set of prophecies that foretell that the Mormons will take over the eladership of the U.S.”

    Facts:

    1. There is no canonical Mormon prophecy regarding the alleged statment of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s response to it.

    2. Within the alleged prophecy, there is no prediction that the Mormons will “take over the leadership” of the U.S.

    3. Within the alleged prophecy, the Mormons would have to be invited to act by the U.S. Government.

    PZ Meyers has essentially done what he claims Mormons shouldn’t do: promote a false rumor.

  51. #51 truthspeaker
    December 22, 2009

    So children of Mormon parents can freely choose to leave the church, with no social repercussions?

  52. #52 David Marjanovi?
    December 22, 2009

    James, learn to spell Myers.

    Considering how old and delicate the parchment is

    Parchment? Isn’t it long-fibered, impractical hemp paper?

  53. #53 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    PZ Meyers wrote:

    who?

  54. #54 James
    December 22, 2009

    David:

    Is Maine dominated by a particular religion? If not, why didn’t they vote against gay marriage?

    While there are many who vote against gay marriage on religious grounds, like they vote murder shouldn’t be punished on religious grounds, I personally vote against gay marriage because the relationship between two men and the relationship between a man and a woman is different.

    A single institution, designed for one relationship doesn’t fit all relationships.

    I am not against civil unions or even “garriage” for homosexual men and women, but marriage is between a man and a woman.

    The relationships (homosexual and heterosexual) are not equivalent. If they are not equivalent then a single institution will not suffice.

  55. #55 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    I am actually going to feel a little sorry for James. He sounds like a minor foot soldier in the church. without a clue about half the stuff thats gone on.

    He doesn’t probably realise the slapdown he’s about to get either.

    Sigh…and now i have to go…and miss all the popcorn.

  56. #56 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James the Mormonofascist creep:

    Richard:

    Yes, and I choose to vote against gay marriage in my State. No offense.

    Well, that didn’t take long. James is a typical Mormon lying fascist bigot.

    My relatives live in Utah and I’ve been there many times. I love the state. The LDS are not the best part.

    Gentiles are definitely second class citizens and heavily discriminated against. What makes it tolerable is that they have nothing in common and no interest in the Mormons either.

    And this is in the face of the fact that religious discrimination always has been and is illegal in the USA.

    The LDS church is an extreme hierarchial, dictatorial cult that practices pervasive mind control. They even have their own notorious Mormon gulag for wayward kids.

    An LDS controlled country would make Somalia or Iran look like amateur dictatorships.

    James you fascist bigot. Guess what? I have no interest or intention of joining your weird cult. Stop sending those missionaries down my driveway.

  57. #57 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    The relationships (homosexual and heterosexual)

    are not equivalent

    . If they are not equivalent then a single institution will not suffice.

    In what way (other than the fact they aren’t given the same rights at the moment).

  58. #58 co
    December 22, 2009

    The relationships (homosexual and heterosexual) are not equivalent. If they are not equivalent then a single institution will not suffice.

    Because you decide to *define* marriage as “something that doesn’t apply to homosexuals”. Bierce’s definition is:

    MARRIAGE, n.
    The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

    Sounds comprehensive enough to me.

  59. #59 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    So James will be able to tell us exactly why a marriage has to be only one man and one woman then.

    Especially since the world hasn’t ended when same sex marriage (and “shock” adoption) have been allowed elsewhere.

    and does that mean that your leaders’ marriages to multiple wives were invalid then?

    Or is this a special american marriage…where certain people “just shouldn’t mix”…(but they are allowed to use the same bathroom so its not bigotry…hehe).

  60. #60 James
    December 22, 2009

    Truth:

    You’re confusing love and justice. Choices have consequences. If a child chooses to disobey his parents rules (in their home) then there will be consequences.

    The parents certainly have the right to say, “while living in my home, these are the rules…”

    If the child chooses to “LEAVE” the Church then the child has already chosen a set of social consequences by leaving his congregational family.

    However, once a child becomes an adult or moves out, parents should not shun their child because the child doesn’t accept a religious belief. However, home rules should always be respected.

    The same phenomenon happens when a non-religious person joins a Church. His/her non-religious friends no longer see that friend as a part of their “group” since they no longer hold a homogeneous world view.

  61. #61 co
    December 22, 2009

    they no longer hold a homogeneous world view.

    Er…. Please explain.

  62. #62 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    It really annoys me when Mormons troll the internet trying to put off an air of respectability while totally misrepresenting and fudging the facts about the church. What’s even sadder is when they actually believe what they’re saying and have no idea of the real history of the church – Mormons are taught perhaps 10% (a guess) of the actual history, and the rest is suppressed and labelled as anti-Mormon propaganda, when in fact much of what the hierarchy suppresses are teachings and histories by its own predecessors.

    @James
    Your church is full of hypocrisy, not least of which is it’s fight to keep gay people as second-class citizens. Taking away others’ rights is always wrong and always offensive. You’re forcing your religious beliefs onto secular society, which not only is unconstitutional, but a clear violation of your own professed beliefs (article of faith 11 for example).

    You’re grossly under-representing how many Mormons are exactly the kind of crazy to believe the bullshit this guy is spouting. It is a fact that the first two prophets/presidents said those prophesies. There is no real difference between “official” doctrines and folk-doctrines. The doctrine is whatever the individual or group believes, regardless of whether it’s officially sanctioned. By not specifically discounting those doctrines, the hierarchy does in fact support them.

  63. #63 AJ Milne
    December 22, 2009

    Oooo… prophecy’s such fun… Let me try…

    (Eyes closed, fingers wiggling dramatically)…

    Oooohhh…. Wooooo…. Ooooooo… I’m getting somethin’ right noooooow from the beyooooond…

    … Specifically from Rammel’s ex-lover ‘Fluffy’ in dog heaven:

    (Eyes open dramatically…)

    Rowlf! In a time of great economic upheaval… Growwwwl… Unscrupulous, power hungry asshats will attempt to capitalize on anxiety by stirring discontent and wedging their way beyond their pathetic little inbred enclaves of browbeaten and bribed followers, slaves, and retainers into positions of ever greater power… Grrr…. And Rammel will still be indescribably awful in bed… Bark!

    (/Hey, listen, there’s no need to thank me… Me ‘n my seer stones are just the humble conduit here…)

  64. #64 James
    December 22, 2009

    Raven:

    You wrote:
    “The LDS church is an extreme hierarchial, dictatorial cult that practices pervasive mind control. They even have their own notorious Mormon gulag for wayward kids.

    An LDS controlled country would make Somalia or Iran look like amateur dictatorships.”

    In the LDS Church, every congregation is led by a lay pastor called a Bishop who has been chosen out of the congregation to lead the group for 5-8 years.

    There is no pervasive mind control practice in the LDS Church doctrine.

    The LDS Church teaches that its leaders and its members live by these practices:

    ” 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
    42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile?
    43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
    44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
    45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
    46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.” Doctrine and Covenants 121

    Every Church member knows that if he/she doesn’t try to live up to Church laws, that the member can either lose his/her membership or Church standing.

    It’s that simple. No coercion. Either choose to obey or not. If a member chooses to not live by the standards of the gospel, then THAT member has made his/her choice.

    No mind control – just choice and consequences.

  65. #65 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    The parents certainly have the right to say, “while living in my home, these are the rules…”

    So parents should have control over what their kids think so long as the kids live with them? That’s pretty damn evil.

  66. #66 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James the creepy kook:

    The same phenomenon happens when a non-religious person joins a Church. His/her non-religious friends no longer see that friend as a part of their “group” since they no longer hold a homogeneous world view.

    Oh gee. You aren’t from this planet are you. Kolob maybe?

    My extended family is Protestant, Catholic, and various shades of anti-Xian and non believer. No one pays much attention or cares. Same thing with my friends. Few are xians, but some are various New Agers. No one pays much attention or cares either.

    It takes a religious fanatic to define friendship or family on the basis of religion. One of my minor complaints about religion is that it is an excellent way to artificially divide people into us versus them and create conflicts.

    One of my major complaints is that whenever religion gets power, the bodies piles up, the blood flows, and everything goes to hell.

    And the James of the world are right there to hold the axe, gun, and noose.

  67. #67 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    @James

    “The relationships (homosexual and heterosexual) are not equivalent.”

    Any more unsubstantiated claims you wish to make?

    Marriage is a secular, social contract which has nothing to do with yours or any church. Your personal or group definition is immaterial. The constitution guarantees equal protection under the law to all people. Even blacks and gays. There is no one “real” definition of marriage. It, like all social concepts, has evolved drastically over time, and will continue to do so. You may live in reality or not, it’s your choice, but you haven’t the right to force your beliefs on me. Not any more – that’s why I left your church to get away from bigotry and ridiculous magical thinking like this.

  68. #68 ellipticcurve
    December 22, 2009

    James: “Is Maine dominated by a particular religion? If not, why didn’t they vote against gay marriage?”

    At a guess, because of a well-funded anti-gay campaign? Funded by Mormons? That’s what happened in MY state (California), anyway.

    “I personally vote against gay marriage because the relationship between two men and the relationship between a man and a woman is different.”

    You, personally, can certainly feel that way. It’s when you start claiming that your religious belief is a good basis for public policy that the rest of us get annoyed.

    Do you see the difference?

  69. #69 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    Every Church member knows that if he/she doesn’t try to live up to Church laws, that the member can either lose his/her membership or Church standing.

    It’s that simple. No coercion. Either choose to obey or not. If a member chooses to not live by the standards of the gospel, then THAT member has made his/her choice.

    The very real threat of ostracism not just from family, but from the community as a whole is a form of coercion. This is particularly severe in Utah where the LDS church controls much of economic scene.

  70. #70 Red John
    December 22, 2009

    James -

    1. There is no canonical Mormon prophecy regarding the alleged statment of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s response to it.

    Then kindly explain why I was taught this in church for 23 years, starting when I was a child.

  71. #71 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Answer this James

    The relationships (homosexual and heterosexual) are not equivalent. If they are not equivalent then a single institution will not suffice.

    How?

  72. #72 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James the fascist bigot:

    “I personally vote against gay marriage because the relationship between two men and the relationship between a man and a woman is different.”

    You can believe what you want, free country.

    That isn’t the issue. What gives you the right to impose your beliefs on anyone else? Nothing except the power to do so.

  73. #73 James
    December 22, 2009

    JC:

    You wrote:
    “Your church is full of hypocrisy, not least of which is it’s fight to keep gay people as second-class citizens. Taking away others’ rights is always wrong and always offensive. You’re forcing your religious beliefs onto secular society, which not only is unconstitutional, but a clear violation of your own professed beliefs (article of faith 11 for example).”

    Yes, we understand that this is your view of what it means to be a citizen. But Mormons didn’t take away your “declared” rights.

    Citizens across the nation have chosen to not legalize gay marriage.

    It is not a religious belief that a homosexual relationship is different than a heterosexual relationship. This is a matter of natural identity.

    You say that if homosexual women and men don’t have access to “heterosexual marriage” then they are 2nd class citizens.

    I say that marriage is not for homosexual relationships because they are not equivalent to heterosexual relationships.

    If men are not equivalent to women to be mothers and wives and women are not equivalent to be fathers and husbands, then why should U.S. citizens vote to legalize gay marriage? (Notice the absence of a religious argument.)

    Why should Americans vote to institutionalize attraction that is contrary to human gender? Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Why should rational Americans be asked to vote to create a new kind of marriage for adults whose attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

  74. #74 James
    December 22, 2009

    Red:

    Because your local leaders didn’t follow the handbook of instructions that clearly states that non canonical beliefs and views should not be taught in Church meetings.

    I grew up in wards where Bishops were adamant about canonical sources, not speculative nonsense like Rammell has promoted.

  75. #75 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    If men are not equivalent to women to be mothers and wives and women are not equivalent to be fathers and husbands, then why should U.S. citizens vote to legalize gay marriage? (Notice the absence of a religious argument.)

    You’re conflating husband with father and wife with mother. One does not have to be a husband or wife to be a father or mother, conversely one does not have to be a mother or father to be a wife or husband. Your strict, gendered definitions of these two roles demonstrate a deep lack of cross-cultural knowledge and a misunderstanding of how cultures construct relationships. Your ideas about marital relationships come from your religion. They have nothing to do with the secular, legal construct called marriage.

  76. #76 Anri
    December 22, 2009

    Our squidly overlord beat me to it, but:

    A good book about the general derangement of Mormon ideology is Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    In fact, I’d highly suggest pretty much anything Krakauer has written. Although if you’ve tackled Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, then most of Eiger Dreams (but not all) will be redundant.

    Just wanted to second the reccomendation.

  77. #77 co
    December 22, 2009

    If men are not equivalent to women to be mothers and wives and women are not equivalent to be fathers and husbands, then why should U.S. citizens vote to legalize gay marriage? (Notice the absence of a religious argument.)

    You’re conflating presence/absence of uteruses and penises with equivalency? The question I would like answered (as would everyone else, I think) is: Why?

    Should a man who is shorter than his potential wife be barred from marrying her, because they aren’t “equivalent”?

  78. #78 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    Oh yeah, Under the Banner of Heaven is a fantastic book!

  79. #79 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    The amount of controlling behaviour, lying, brainwashing, emotional manipulation, guilt, censorship of outside ideas, and fear that goes on inside the church and in most Mormon homes is really just astounding. The problem with James’ claims is that he’s stuck in the same paradigm and doesn’t see that he’s been brainwashed out of reality too. There absolutely is coercion in keeping people in the church and submissive and unquestioning – do this or you’ll go to hell/outer-darkness/telestial kingdom for ever, be separated from your family and friends for ever, blah blah blah. There is no real choice in that kind of black/white good/evil world-view. If you don’t give 10% of your income you can’t get to heaven. It doesn’t get more obviously more coercive than that.

    The social consequences when a person leaves the church are usually very extreme, resulting in ostracism, extreme judgementalism, and constant recrimination. Especially those who leave because they’re gay and/or atheists, one can expect to never have their right to believe differently respected (as Raven pointed out), to be expected to conform if ever they’re allowed to visit their family (as James so ironically pointed out), and to effectively have it made impossible to have relationships with anyone still in the church because of how those who leave are daemonised. It’s commonly taught that those who leave are led away by the devil, were offended, or sinned. Those are the only reasons Mormons are given for leaving the church. Mormonism is a cult, even more so that most Christian churches, as evidenced by not only its extreme beliefs, but the censorship of information, repression of history, and treatment of those who leave.

    Believe me, I’ve lived it, and so have most of my friends.

    @James

    You can quote all the scriptures and teachings of the prophets you like, but it doesn’t erase the reality of what Mormonism (and religion in general) is. A coercive, manipulative scheme to control and get money from the gullible and ignorant and the bigoted.

  80. #80 Red John
    December 22, 2009

    James:

    I think that the Ensign would

    December 22, 2009

    James:

    What do you have to say about this?

    Speaking of this prophecy, Elder Ezra Taft Benson said: “I have heard our present Prophet leader [President David O. McKay] say we are very near to that time. It is my solemn conviction we are near the time which the Prophet saw. What are we going to do about it? Will we, as Latter-day Saints, favored of the Lord, ‘arise and shine forth,’ as the Lord has commanded, ‘that thy light may be a standard for the nations’ (D&C 115:5)?”

    It seems clear that while you consider this to be from ‘noncanonical’ sources, your church and its leaders do not.

  81. #82 James
    December 22, 2009

    Raven:

    You wrote:
    “That isn’t the issue. What gives you the right to impose your beliefs on anyone else? Nothing except the power to do so.”

    The right of free speech allows me to speak what I believe. The speaking out is not an imposition of my belief on anyone. You have the freedom to accept, reject, or ignore my belief.

    But this isn’t about an “imposition” of belief but of democratic vote.

    The gay lobby for gay marriage lost. Their arguments weren’t compelling enough. The other side convinced more people to vote against gay marriage.

    And, I happen to agree. There is no compelling argument for legalizing gay marriage.

    What is the basis for gay marriage? Homosexual attraction.

    Homosexual attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    Why should any rational citizen vote to institutionalize an attraction that is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Simply saying that “you want gay marriage” or that because “two men who have same sex attraction are breathing air”, is not a compelling argument.

  82. #83 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, our visiting mormon, made a point @39 about “moral agency” and claimed that the LDS Church is not about coercion. If I may quote ex-mormon Stray Mutt, “Pray, pay, obey ? that?s the way. Don?t stray from the straight and narrow path, don?t let go of the iron rod, follow the prophet. OK, but then what? A spiritual life is far more than not committing any fouls.”

    I’ve been told by mormons trying to get me to join the church about “free agency” and “moral agency.” So I looked into how this actually works. It’s a scam. The words are repeated, but are honored only in the breach. Here are a few more comments from ex-mormons and mormons who know whereof they speak:

         …the D&C [Doctrine & Covenants] teaches that the glory of god is in Intelligence, or in other words, light and truth. JS [Joseph Smith] taught that obedience is the first law of heaven. TBM’s see no paradox there, assuming that the only way to Intelligence is obedience – even if it’s blind. – butch cassidy
         I remember as a youth being encouraged to learn and explore. I remember being encouraged to develop talents and was given opportunities to share those talents. There is still some of that in the church, but the focus is different. The Glory of God is no longer intelligence, but compliance.
         In a real sense, the organization no longer exists for the members, but the members now exist for the organization. Blind obedience to leaders (disciplitis) has replaced personal growth as the hallmark of a good Mormon. Isn’t it wonderful. Isn’t it marvelous. – activejackmormon

    And here is what a church leader says about questioning the leadership, or exercising one’s moral right to criticize:

    “It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, ‘when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.’ … The Holy Ghost will not guide or confirm criticism of the Lord’s anointed, or of Church leaders, local or general. This reality should be part of the spiritual evaluation that LDS readers and viewers apply to those things written about our history and those who made it.”
    - Dallin H. Oaks, “Reading Church History,” CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, Brigham Young University, 16 Aug. 1985, page 25. also see Dallin H. Oaks, “Elder Decries Criticism of LDS Leaders,” quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday August 18, 1985, p. 2B

    Up-thread someone asked about info on the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Here is an online source:Mountain Meadow Massacre: The Untold Story

  83. #84 AJ Milne
    December 22, 2009

    Should a man who is shorter than his potential wife be barred from marrying her, because they aren’t “equivalent”?

    Hee hee…

    The larger question, of course, is why ‘sane Americans’ should even waste any time listening to bullshitting, pathologically deceptive weasels like ‘James’ on subjects such as these.

    I mean, fuck, aren’t there any unmedicated mental patients available? I figure they’d have roughly as good points to make, here…

    Speaking of, my general reaction to this thread is: I honestly never really had a lot of passion about gay marriage, previously…

    I mean, abstractly, it only seems fair. And I know a few gays, figure if they really want that, sure, that’s only right…

    But honestly, it’s not somethin’ I would have put at the head of my list of causes or nothin’…

    But now, shit, seriously, seeing lying weasels like the Mormons getting into it, with their scummy little plausible deniability schemes, and vile little toads like ‘James’ here with his pathetically transparent excuse for an argument (no ‘religious’ argument? How ’bout ‘no discernibly sane argument that rises above the level of idiotically silly distraction and excuse’, ya windy fucking asshat), that’s enough to get me thinkin’, yeah, I’ll be adding that to my list of stuff I do really want to see happen all right…

    (/It’s the principle of the thing, and not just a matter of the justice said couples deserve… It’s also that jerks like James richly deserve to suffer frustration.)

  84. #85 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    @James

    Your antiquated, narrow ideas about gender roles are absurdly ridiculous. You’ve created a false dichotomy which has everything to do with the discriminatory and made-up beliefs of your religion, and nothing to do with reality.

    What about trans-people? What about “effiminate” men and “masculine” women, what about intersexed people? What about cultures who define gender roles completely different from yours?

    Are you so ignorant of history and sociology that you don’t realise that your religion’s gender roles are a product of thousands of years of competing ideas in western culture? Do you realise that the “institution of marriage” as it exists today is less than a century old?

    With each reply you reveal more of your ignorance, stupidity and bigotry.

    You make claims, but have nothing to back them up with. No statistics, no science, nothing. Just your claims which are not only laughable, but have been thoroughly discredited by modern genetics, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, – you know, science and reality.

  85. #86 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Why should any rational citizen vote to institutionalize an attraction that is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    CITATION PLEASE

  86. #87 Red John
    December 22, 2009

    …effectively have it made impossible to have relationships with anyone still in the church because of how those who leave are daemonised. It’s commonly taught that those who leave are led away by the devil, were offended, or sinned. Those are the only reasons Mormons are given for leaving the church.

    This has been my experience exactly.

  87. #88 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Why should Americans vote to institutionalize attraction that is contrary to human gender? Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Why should rational Americans be asked to vote to create a new kind of marriage for adults whose attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    I know that James thinks that this paragraph is meaningful. But damn that is empty of all content. What is human gender?

  88. #89 beelzebuddha
    December 22, 2009

    Makes you wonder what the mormons would have done if Mitt Romney won the 2008 Presidential election… bet they were having mormgasms over that, eh? I guess they still have 2012 to stroke themselves over…

  89. #90 raven
    December 22, 2009

    wikipedia List of Prophecies of Joseph Smith, Jr.:

    Government Overthrown – “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left for their wickedness.” History of the Church, v5, p 394 1843
    May 18

    The government did not redress the wrongs, and it was not overthrown,[12]. Some Mormons believe that the prophecy may have been referring to the Whig political party[citation needed], which did dissolve soon thereafter.

    Government broken up – “While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government, and god shall damn them. And there shall nothing be left of them – not even a grease spot.” Millennial Star, v.22, p. 455
    History of the Church, v.6 p. 116
    1843
    Dec. 16

    When this was reprinted in The History of the Church (v. 6, p. 116) the final 18 words were deleted, so it ended with “… as a government.” (comma changed to a period) and thus became more defensible.[15]

    James is Making Stuff Up.

    Joseph Smith made dozens of prophecies in his life. Most didn’t happen. He wasn’t very good at it. Wikipedia has a list in the article quoted above.

    Several forecast the destruction of the US government. Fortunately for us, they didn’t come true. What the James of the world don’t understand. We like living in free, open secular democracies.

    James, you creep. Go find a theocracy and join it. Don’t force us to join it. And if you are in Utah, you are already there. Stay there.

  90. #91 James
    December 22, 2009

    Lynna:

    This is not complicated at all. When a person joins the Mormon Church, they make a covenant with God to strive to keep his commandments which can be summed up in “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.”

    It is no secret that Mormon religious observances are not for the faint of heart: tithing, no premarital sex, no alcohol, marriage is strongly encouraged, and family life is strongly advocated, Church and community service, etc.

    Now, what if a person joins the Church but doesn’t want to “live up” to those promises or covenants?

    Here’s what they do:

    1. They don’t go to Church.
    2. They don’t do the commandments anymore.

    How does the Church respond?

    1. Local members visit the member to see if they can encourage the member to live up to those promises or simply be a friend.

    2. In some cases, if the member has openly committed sins or committed crimes, their Church membership could be annulled (excommunicated.)

    That’s it.

    The LDS Church is not a democracy. The First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 apostles are serious about their charge of maintaining correct doctrine, practice and policy in the Church. As well they should be.

    If a member doesn’t like those doctrines, practices, and policies, then they can either remain silent in the Church, or leave the Church.

    However, there is no “right” within the Church for the Church member to begin teaching their OWN version of Church doctrine WITHIN the Church.

    Outside the Church, they can teach their own views to their heart’s content.

  91. #92 raven
    December 22, 2009

    Makes you wonder what the mormons would have done if Mitt Romney won the 2008 Presidential election… bet they were having mormgasms over that, eh? I guess they still have 2012 to stroke themselves over…

    They were. Despite what James is Making UP, Mormons all know the prophecy that they will rule the USA.

    They all hoped Romney was going to be it.

    They all hope and expect it to happen some day.

  92. #93 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    Why should Americans vote to institutionalize attraction that is contrary to human gender?

    It is not the role of government to legislate what is or isn’t “contrary” to human gender.

    Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Why should rational Americans be asked to vote to create a new kind of marriage for adults whose attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Because it is not a new kind of marriage. It is exactly the same kind, just where any two legal adults can enter into it. Marriage is a binding contract between two people, protected by the governement that imposes certain responsibilities and provides certain privileges to those entering into it. None of those responsibilities nor privileges really depend on the genders of the married, so it is unreasonable and irrational (and unconstitutional) to restrict that contract to only heterosexual pairs of individuals. The sex of the individuals entering into a contract should be irrelevant.

  93. #94 Red John
    December 22, 2009

    James:

    marriage is strongly encouraged

    Try replacing ‘strongly encouraged’ with required (well, at least if you’re male).

  94. #95 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.
    Why should any rational citizen vote to institutionalize an attraction that is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Awww. What a cute little ignorant hate-monger.

  95. #96 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, that system sucks for those people who were born and raised with those beliefs. They did not get to choose to be brought up in it. And they are not going to be taught the ways of the non believers. So if they so break some commands, they are cast into the wilderness, what else do they know?

    Usually I think raven goes over the line with the names but in this case, I think she has your number. You are a fascist creep.

  96. #97 dali_70
    December 22, 2009

    Morons is a more fitting title.

  97. #98 James
    December 22, 2009

    Janine:

    What is human gender?

    Human gender is anything the gay lobby wishes it to be regardless of its biological identity.

    However, fundamentally speaking, there are two human genders: male and female.

    Same sex attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

  98. #99 v.rosenzweig
    December 22, 2009

    No two relationships are equivalent, because no two relationships involve the same people.

    That said, I have relationships with people of both sexes, and the differences aren’t much to do with gender. They are also much smaller than the differences between my heterosexual relationship and some other heterosexual relationships I’ve seen. I’m not talking about abusive situations, here: I’m talking about things like the difference between a couple in which both partners work for money and one that includes a stay-at-home parent. Or gender roles that say that all decisions on a given topic will be made by one person, whether that’s “he’s in charge of the money” or “she decides how to decorate the house.” Then throw in personality differences: I’m happy to stay home most evenings with someone I love. A marriage in which a typical Friday evening is a game of Scrabble and a pizza is different from one in which it involves dinner out and a trip to a club, movie, or play.

    None of those differences is a good reason for an outsider to tell some couples they can’t be married.

  99. #100 Red John
    December 22, 2009

    Janine:

    that system sucks for those people who were born and raised with those beliefs. They did not get to choose to be brought up in it.

    You nailed it on the head. And it’s actually worse than that, because they baptize you when you’re 8, and then hold that over your head to try to keep you in: “You’ve been baptized, so the Lord expects more of you”, or “You’ve been baptized, so if you stop believing things will be worse for you than people who never believed because you have been given more.” Like any of those children were ever given a fucking choice.

  100. #101 librarygeek
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    Why should any rational citizen vote to institutionalize an attraction that is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    then I suppose men and women who are unable to have children should be barred from marriage as well? The ability to make a secular contract is not predicated by the ability to bear children.
    You can define things however you like within your church. It is not right for you to impose those beliefs upon secular laws. The reason the US does not practice a simple majority-controls-all democracy is to avoid the tyranny of the majority. Do you think that racial equality would have been achieved had we waited for all of the good (bigoted) men and women to vote for equality. Do you really think that the majority likes to give up any superiority?

  101. #102 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Regarding the requirement of obedience to the LDS Church, our recent discussions on Pharyngula about the anti-gay campaigns brought up a video of a gay mormon pleading with the Church to respect him. In his testimony, given during a sacrament meeting, the Bishop turned off his microphone. But not before this brave man read from a letter a close relative sent him. In the letter, his relative said she loved him dearly and respected him, but that she had been “taught to obey the prophets at my grandmother’s knee”, and she would therefore be voting as the church commanded on Prop 8.

    For more info on how obedience and covert coercion actually works, and for references to canonical pronouncements, see http://www.i4m.com/think/leaders/mormon_loyalty.htm Excerpt below:

    “Now may I say a word concerning loyalty to the Church. We see much indifference. There are those who say, ‘The Church won’t dictate to me how to think about this, that, or the other, or how to live my life.’”
         ”No, I reply, the Church will not dictate to any man how he should think or what he should do. The Church will point out the way and invite every member to live the gospel and enjoy the blessings that come of such living. The Church will not dictate to any man, but it will counsel, it will persuade, it will urge, and it will expect loyalty from those who profess membership therein.”…
         ”I make you a promise, my dear brethren, that while I am serving in my present responsibility I will never consent to nor advocate any policy, any program, any doctrine which will be otherwise than beneficial to the membership of this, the Lord’s Church.”…
         ”Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.” – President Gordon B. Hinckley. “Loyalty,” April Conference, 2003.

    Unquestioning Obedience a Virtue
         ”For us, to ‘believe all things’ means to believe the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the words of the Latterday prophets. It means to successfully erase our doubts and reservations. It means that in making spiritual commitments, we are prepared to hold nothing back. It means we are ready to consecrate our lives to the work of the kingdom.”
         ”The more we believe, the easier faith-based obedience becomes. Hence the value of ‘believing all things.’”
    “We are instructed to be like children, who are willing to be taught and then to act without first demanding full knowledge.”
         …”Obedience is a fundamental law of the gospel. It is not only the demonstration of our faith but also the foundation of our faith. But the philosophical standard of the world holds that unquestioning obedience equals blind obedience, and blind obedience is mindless obedience. This is simply not true. – Elder Robert Oaks, “Believe All Things,” Ensign, July 2005, page 30

    On a personal note, I know mormon men who accept “callings” for which they do not have a vocation, nor the time, but who say, “If I don’t, I’ll lose business.” I know a woman who asked to be relieved of a calling, but the Bishop told her that he and God would decide when her calling ended, that it was not her place to decide. Doesn’t sound like free agency to me.

  102. #103 James
    December 22, 2009

    Raven:

    In the LDS Church, prophecy becomes canon when it is approved unanimously by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.

    This law was instituted in 1832 in Doctrine and Covenants 107.

    So, authorities of the Church can conjecture all they please, but until it is accepted unanimously by those two governing bodies, it is not scripture and it is not canon.

    Mormonism as a religious philosophy, does not teach or believe in INFALLIBLE prophets like Christians believe in an INFALLIBLE Bible.

    The two references you gave are up for debate which tells you that because there is ambiguity they are not sources of doctrine.

    Therefore, there is no LDS Church conspiracy to take over the government. The LDS Church would never want such a responsibility.

  103. #104 PZ Myers
    December 22, 2009

    James: look up the naturalistic fallacy.

    Also note that your impressions of how nature works are also fallacious, so you are also committing a fallacious naturalistic fallacy. And a double negative doesn’t make it right.

  104. #105 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Same sex attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    Do you want to know what is not natural about me, the titanium plate and seven screws that is in my right wrist as of the result of being hit by a van. My attraction to other women is as natural as any attraction that you have for anyone. You and your church do not get to dictate this for me. The only way to get me to act against my nature is for your church to set up their beloved theocracy.

    And one more thing, you do not win any points by comparing homosexuality to murder. Fuck you, you fascist creep.

  105. #106 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    Mr. T. wrote, Yes, on this we can agree. It does not seem correct to dissociate the Bill of Rights from the original document.

    Yes. Reading over what I wrote I realize I was a bit unclear about what I was saying. I was not trying to suggest that the Bill of Rights is not part of the original document, or that it would have been adopted without the guarantees and protections in the Bill of Rights.

    What I was attempting to get at was that the federal Constitution is focuses on the distribution of power at the federal level in some detail. Then appends the Bill of Rights, which are not as clearly defined as other parts of the document.

    I think the ambiguity inherent in the Bill of Rights is good, whether it’s accidental or deliberate I’m not sure, but it is good. For it allows each generation to define those ambiguous rights in the fashion which best suits the society they dream of. With the provision that a minority can request help from the judicial system to prevent oppression (this hasn’t always worked, but the possibility is there).

    James, who has really stepped in the cacky on this thread, appears to be operating under the impression that his personal definition of the word ‘marriage’, which excludes same-sex partnerships, isn’t enshrined in law to the extent that a minority is unable to exercise the same rights a majority enjoys.

    Sorry James, the word ‘marriage’ is changing its meaning to include same-sex partnerships. I had a discussion about this with my father this morning, he feels the same way you appear to, that the word ‘marriage’ excludes same-sex partnerships. His opinion is that civil unions should be acceptable and that a law should be passed in each state to make all laws which include the word ‘marriage’ or similar terms will legally include the term civil union as well.

    While this would possibly work, I suggested to my father that it would be easier to simply let an updated definition of ‘marriage’ apply, one which includes same-sex couples.

    My father’s only response was to suggest that he wants to avoid embarrassment. He mentioned that it would be socially awkward to invite a co-worker to dinner and to ‘bring along his wife’ without knowing whether the co-worker had a wife or a husband. But knowing it was a civil union would prevent that embarrassment.

    That was a lame response, and I told him so. In the end he acknowledged that the definition of the word ‘marriage’ is changing, and that society will survive that change.

  106. #107 James
    December 22, 2009

    PZ:

    This is not my impression of how nature works. Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Every entity does, so this is not a fallacious statement.

    Same sex attraction is a condition that is contrary or in disagreement with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    The problem comes when gender is made to be abstract or so vague that it can include anything or nothing.

  107. #108 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Great, now the dumbass is trying to tell the biologist how biology works.

  108. #109 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    @James

    Like most Mormons, you conflate sex and gender and gender expression and sexual orientation. They’re completely different things.

  109. #110 James
    December 22, 2009

    Lynna:

    When the Church read the letter in my ward, I thought that it made a lot of sense.

    The LDS Church should not rationally be a party to institutionalizing same sex attraction which is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    We know that those with same-sex attraction want gay marriage but this is not a compelling argument.

  110. #111 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    …contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender…

    James has his mormon duckspeak nailed.

  111. #112 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, our visiting mormon commenter, has brought up the issue several times that people across the nation have voted against gay marriage. This argument is supposed to validate the LDS Church’s campaigns against gay marriage.

    In the Prop 8 campaign, then later through the National Organization for Marriage, mormon leaders funneled money, the time of members, phone bank activities, mailings, radio ads, and TV ads to California, Washington State, Maine, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Iowa — and the information they dispensed was full of lies, half truths, and misleading “facts” that tricked gullible people into voting against gay rights. A copy of the misleading ad used in the Prop 8 campaign was also used in the Maine Campaign There were lies about children being taught to be gay in school, lies about the laws of Maine, and on and on. Watch both videos at the link above. Read the facts about the teacher from Calvary Chapel Christian School.

    For a more objective look at the doctrines of the church, (complete with comments from mormon leaders), and the effect of those doctrines on gays, on gay mormons, and on “recovering mormons”, see the coverage by ABC News.

  112. #113 co
    December 22, 2009

    This is not my impression of how nature works. Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Every entity does, so this is not a fallacious statement.

    Oh noes! What *is* your impression of “how nature works”?

    The problem comes when gender is made to be abstract or so vague that it can include anything or nothing.

    Bingo.

  113. #114 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Every entity does, so this is not a fallacious statement.

    1. There is no empirical justification for this position, nor can there be. How does one test a hypothesis of “purpose”?
    2. Even if there were an empirical justification, by denying rights to homosexuals based on empirical reasoning, you have made the naturalistic fallacy*

    You lose. However, this presents an opportunity for self-improvement. Quit being a fascist dickwad, James, and the common good will be served by your loss.

    *What is natural is morally right. There. I looked it up for you.

  114. #115 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    You keep saying this. What is the natural purpose of human gender? Also, what is gender?

  115. #116 raven
    December 22, 2009

    This is not my impression of how nature works. Human gender has a purpose and an identity. Every entity does, so this is not a fallacious statement.

    This is an assertion without proof.

    And what does it have to do with gay marriage, a human institution and human laws. Gravity makes things fall down. We don’t go around pushing people down stairs and out of windows.

  116. #117 James
    December 22, 2009

    PZ:

    There is a distinction between a “natural” feeling and whether that “feeling” is consistent with the biological identity and sex of a particular gender.

    All feelings are “natural” in that such originate in the human body.

    However, whether those “feelings” are consistent with the purpose and identity of the entity is a different matter altogether.

  117. #118 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    My father’s only response was to suggest that he wants to avoid embarrassment. He mentioned that it would be socially awkward to invite a co-worker to dinner and to ‘bring along his wife’ without knowing whether the co-worker had a wife or a husband.

    Anyone remember the ’80s, when the term “significant other” (S.O.) was invented to deal with such a situation of ignorance about someone’s relationships? What the heck is wrong with the word “spouse”? And besides, if you don’t know whether someone’s spouse is a man or a woman, how will you know whther it is a civil union or a marriage? Are you going to require wedding rings to have “civil union” engraved on them? And what about all those forms that ask whether you are married or single. The IRS alone should have an interest in not having to include “or civil union” everywhere they use the word “married”.

    What exactly is the point of creating a “civil union” that is exactly the same as marriage except for homosexuals? The point is to segregate and marginalize. The same as seperate but equal universities for blacks. “Seperate” is inherently unequal.

  118. #119 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    And James started out talking about those “other” Mormons that were loons.

    hilarious

  119. #120 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmPojiPj_6QUUtOAa6wOTqV1CWA7N6X1n0
    December 22, 2009

    Rammell is a known psycho idiot. he’s been the subject of much discussion at Ralph Maughham’s excellent wildlife blog- http://wolves.wordpress.com – for his rabidly anti-wolf platform. He has gone as far as riding in parades fondling and waving the skin of a dead wolf!

  120. #121 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    However, whether those “feelings” are consistent with the purpose and identity of the entity is a different matter altogether.

    What purpose would that be?

  121. #122 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James @98

    Human gender is anything the gay lobby wishes it to be regardless of its biological identity.
    However, fundamentally speaking, there are two human genders: male and female.

    James, you just wrong here, and it’s not a matter of opinion, it is, as PZ pointed out, a matter of being wrong about the facts.

    I posted the info below earlier on this thread, a thread which contains info that would do James a world of good.

    This is what the Sutherland Institute (über mormon “think tank) has to say about homosexuality:

    We are born male and female with moral agency to choose our behaviors at any given time. The way humans reproduce is through opposite-sex sexual relations. There is certainly, within each of us, a natural heterosexual bias ? that?s the way we are built. But with whom and how we go about engaging in sex is a choice we make. No existing replicable scientific or medical studies prove that people are born homosexual. In fact, homosexuality is a behavior, not a ?thing,? or a ?way,? or something innate. It is only human action…

    It’s a very basic mistake to assume that everyone is born either male or female. In an article titled “Either/Or”, journalist Ariel Levy describes just some of the variations in gender and appearance:

         In normal human development, when a zygote has XY, or male, chromosomes, the SRY?sex-determining region Y?gene on the Y chromosome ?instructs? the zygote?s protogonads to develop as testes, rather than as ovaries. The testes then produce testosterone, which issues a second set of developmental instructions: for a scrotal sac to develop and for the testes to descend into it, for a penis to grow, and so on. But the process can get derailed. A person can be born with one ovary and one testicle. The SRY gene can end up on an X chromosome. A person with a penis who thinks he is male can one day find out that he has a uterus and ovaries. ?Then, there is chromosomal variability that is invisible,? Anne Fausto-Sterling, the author of ?Sexing the Body,? told me. ?You could go your whole life and never know.?
          All sorts of things can happen, and do. An embryo that is chromosomally male but suffers from an enzyme deficiency that partially prevents it from ?reading? testosterone can develop into a baby who appears female. Then, at puberty, the person?s testes will produce a rush of hormones and this time the body won?t need the enzyme (called 5-alpha-reductase) to successfully read the testosterone. The little girl will start to become hairier and more muscular. Her voice may deepen, and her testes may descend into what she thought were her labia. Her clitoris will grow into something like a penis. Is she still a girl? Was she ever?
         If a chromosomally male embryo has androgen-insensitivity syndrome, or A.I.S., the cells? receptors for testosterone, an androgen, are deaf to the testosterone?s instructions, and will thus develop the default external sexual characteristics of a female. An individual with androgen-insensitivity syndrome has XY chromosomes, a vagina, and undescended testes, but her body develops without the ability to respond to the testosterone it produces. In fact, people with complete A.I.S. are less able to process testosterone than average women. Consequently, they tend to have exceptionally ?smooth-skinned bodies with rounded hips and breasts and long limbs,? Dreger writes in ?Hermaphrodites.?
         People with incomplete A.I.S., on the other hand, could end up looking and sounding like Caster Semenya. Their bodies hear some of the instructions that the testosterone inside them is issuing.

  122. #123 Knockgoats
    December 22, 2009

    However, whether those “feelings” are consistent with the purpose and identity of the entity is a different matter altogether. – James

    Teach us, O supreme master, ye who know the purpose and identity of every entity. Whence cometh this great wisdom? Is the purpose and identity of each entity tattooed on the back of its neck, perhaps?

  123. #124 Anri
    December 22, 2009

    James sez:

    The LDS Church is not a democracy. The First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 apostles are serious about their charge of maintaining correct doctrine, practice and policy in the Church. As well they should be.

    Well, thank goodness. ‘Cause democracies are bad. Unless they vote against recognizing that gay people are full citizens. Then they’re good.

    On a more serious note, James, if your church is in fact guided by the word of god, wouldn’t it be better for the US to be in turn guided by your church?
    And if it isn’t, by what authority do your church leaders lead?

    Also, you are misunderstanding the naturalistic fallacy. Even if humans ‘by nature’ are set up to pair-bond for life (and I’d be very curious to see your peer-reviewed papers that suggest that to be the case, across the board.), it doesn’t matter. We call ourselves civilized, and that means that we have the option to live as we wish, rather than as we evolved to do so.

    This is a good thing. We didn’t evolve to live anywhere other than the savanna. We didn’t evolve to limit the number of children we have. We didn’t evolve to work towards an understanding of tribes with different customs than ours. We didn’t evolve to get off of this little mudball of a world and explore the vast deep of space.

    Frankly, you still haven’t explained why you feel you have the right to poke around in someone else’s pants simply because I have said I would like to marry them.

  124. #125 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, you are trying to answer my questions, not PZ’s questions. There is not need to address him.

    So feeling are “nateral” and are alright until the point where it goes against how your church defines gender. I feel sorry for all of the people who, for what ever reason, are not physically able to carry out procreation. Those people have no true meaning in life.

    James, I am grateful I was never raised under the restrictive regime of your church. I would not have a purpose except to be servile to some man that I am not attracted towards. And I admire the personal strength of people like Lynna, Red John, Pixelfish and the other former mormons who post here. I do not know if I am as strong as they are.

  125. #126 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    Fuck, James, just say it, stop trying to couch it in pseudo-scientific “natural identity” crap. The “purpose” of two sexes is to have sex and make babies. Yes, so what? That has nothing to do with marriage. There is nothing in the marriage contract that requires the parters to produce children. There is nothing that invalidates a marriage if it never produces children. If you deny gays marriage because they cannot “naturally” have children, then you should also deny it to anyone who is infertile. What about post-menopausal women or men with vasectomies or low motile sperm? At one time marriage was about encouraging and protecting the production of children, before that it was about protecting property. The definition of marriage adapts to the times. Welcome to the 21st century.

  126. #127 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlw4oH0l6k2YD0NCQUeu7nC2owgujUl77U
    December 22, 2009

    James: Your arguments – fallacious and contrary to what is known of reality – were used to justify miscegenation laws. It wasn’t that long ago; I remember them, and as kid I found them unpersuasive and stupid. Right and wrong is not determined by what kind of sex makes you feel yucky, and reality especially is not.

    You are a bigot and can’t even consider the possibility that you are, because the brainwashing of your church prevents you from doing so. If you want to be free, you have to decide that you want to know the truth – not be right. You have to want to do the right thing, not be righteous. And unfortunately for you sociable types, you have to give up family and friends. You will get new ones, but it will take a long time.

    Kermit

  127. #128 James
    December 22, 2009

    Anri:

    You wrote:
    “On a more serious note, James, if your church is in fact guided by the word of god, wouldn’t it be better for the US to be in turn guided by your church? And if it isn’t, by what authority do your church leaders lead?”

    If a majority of people could be influenced to obey laws, love other people and serve them, I would argue that such influence is a good thing.

    But we must distinguish between “guide” and “rule.” Mormons affirm U.S. Constitutional rule through elective government.

    The purpose of the Church is to teach true doctrine and provide the authorized sacraments which represents the covenants people make with God.

    Covenants teach a person how to have a voluntary lasting relationship with God for this life and the next.

    There is no predestination or involuntary will in Mormonism.

  128. #129 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    The purpose of the Church is to teach true doctrine and provide the authorized sacraments which represents the covenants people make with God.

    Funny how that doctrine based on “Truth” can be changed at any time by revelation.

    Doesn’t sound much like truth. Sounds more like convenience.

  129. #130 James
    December 22, 2009

    Kermit:

    You wrote:
    “Your arguments – fallacious and contrary to what is known of reality – were used to justify miscegenation laws”

    No reality is that same sex attraction is inconsistent to and with the natural purpose and identity of human gender (male or female).

    Want it to be consistent is not the same with the condition of its inconsistency.

    Steve, you’re welcome to try and argue how same-sex attraction is consistent with human gender and tell us how it evolved as a integral and necessary part of the human species.

    The hard truth is that homosexual attraction is not necessary within the human species – it serves no purpose.

    Why should Americans institutionalize the “feelings” that are inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Make a compelling argument… go ahead.

  130. #131 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    But we must distinguish between “guide” and “rule.” Mormons affirm U.S. Constitutional rule through elective government.

    Your church dropped polygamy as a condition of joining the federal government. Will one of your elders have a divine revelation if LGBT marriage becomes legal?

  131. #132 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    The hard truth is that homosexual attraction is not necessary within the human species – it serves no purpose.

    Explain to me how marriage in “natural” in the way you are framing it.

  132. #133 James
    December 22, 2009

    Rev:

    You wrote:
    “Funny how that doctrine based on “Truth” can be changed at any time by revelation. ”

    Practices can be changed in the LDS faith (such as polygamy).

    However, apart from these practices, Mormonism is consistent in its revealed doctrines.

    If you’d like to name a more consistent faith, be my guest.

  133. #134 co
    December 22, 2009

    Why should Americans institutionalize the “feelings” that are inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Will you just answer the question, put to you in almost every response to you: WHAT is the “natural purpose” of “human gender”. What *is* “gender”?

  134. #135 Anri
    December 22, 2009

    James sez

    If a majority of people could be influenced to obey laws, love other people and serve them, I would argue that such influence is a good thing.

    Yep. And how does the track record of authritative religion stack up against secular democracies in this regard?

    But we must distinguish between “guide” and “rule.” Mormons affirm U.S. Constitutional rule through elective government.

    I get that they do, I was asking why. Either rule of people by the church is a good thing, and should presumably be extended, or it is not, and should presumably be reduced.

    The purpose of the Church is to teach true doctrine and provide the authorized sacraments which represents the covenants people make with God.

    And this true doctrine teaches that authority to rule people comes from people, right? Because that’s what the Constitution says.
    Most Christians I have encountered seem to believe that humans shoud obey the dictates of non-human agency: god.

    Covenants teach a person how to have a voluntary lasting relationship with God for this life and the next.

    I am assuming you have evidence for both of these positions – that the religious live better than the non-religious, and that there is an afterlife… right?

    There is no predestination or involuntary will in Mormonism

    Interesting.
    So, if I understand you correctly, god does not know the future, according to your doctrine?

  135. #136 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Practices can be changed in the LDS faith (such as polygamy).

    However, apart from these practices, Mormonism is consistent in its revealed doctrines.

    My fucking head just exploded!

    Please explain how people with dark skin got their soul. Or was you big sky daddy jerking your chain?

  136. #137 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James wrote

    It is not a religious belief that a homosexual relationship is different than a heterosexual relationship. This is a matter of natural identity.

    This idea of “Natural Identity” is the latest iteration of the pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-scientific approach to stripping gays of their rights and of the respect due to them as human beings.

    James is repeating the lies of Robert P. George and of the Sutherland Institute (among others). George has degrees in law and theology from Harvard; a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford; a Supreme Court fellowship; and the endowed chair at Princeton that Woodrow Wilson once held… and he still thinks (or fails to think) along some pretty odd lines:

    Unloving sex between married partners does not perform the same multilevel function, he argues, nor does oral or anal sex ? even between loving spouses….Last spring, he joined a group of undergraduates in their call for a new university Center for Chastity and Abstinence. (He suggested they might have better luck with the name ?Center for Love and Fidelity.?)

    George advised former President Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Republicans currently working on Health Care Reform. The guy is an endless source of justification for intolerance towards gays, on the issue of abortions, etc. — and all of his justifications are nicely wrapped in the pseudo-science of “Natural Identity.”

    The National Organization for Marriage, the advocacy group fighting same-sex marriage in Albany and Trenton, Maine and California, has made him its chairman. Before the 2004 election, he helped a coalition of Christian conservative groups write their proposed amendment to the federal Constitution defining marriage as heterosexual. More than any other scholar, George has staked his reputation on the claim that same-sex marriage violates not only tradition but also human reason.

    Robert P. George in an interview at the Witherspoon Institute:

    Their goal was to win official approbation for sodomy and other forms of sexual conduct that historically have been condemned as immoral and discouraged or even banned as a matter of law and public policy. …So, it is not really about benefits. It is about sex. The idea that is antithetical to those who are seeking to redefine marriage is that there is something uniquely good and morally upright about the chaste sexual union of husband and wife?something that is absent in sodomitical acts and in other forms sexual behavior that have been traditionally?and in my view correctly?regarded as intrinsically non-marital and, as such, immoral.

    Some of the material quoted above was previously posted on the endless thread. (See comments from about 860 to 866).

  137. #138 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James is making the christofascist fallacy.

    1. He thinks he knows what the laws of nature are because his cult leaders told him.

    2. He thinks he is in charge of enforcing the laws of nature. Because his cult leaders told him.

    Never mind that the Laws of Nature are just something made up or that no one put the LDS church in charge of enforcing them.

    He is entitled to his delusions and beliefs, it is a free country.

    He is not entitled to force them on the rest of us. Not in a democracy. It doesn’t always stop them though. Women, non-Mormons, and non-whites are free and equal in the USA, not because of the Mormons but despite them. Don’t forget they fought the Equal Rights for Women amendment bitterly decades ago. It failed, but didn’t make any difference. Women are considered citizens under the US constitution no matter what the LDS church thinks. The gays haven’t fared as well.

    Really, we just have to keep saying no, keep pointing out that Christofascist or Mormonofascist aren’t just words but political ideologies that are bad news for freedom and democracy.

    You will never convince the James that they aren’t allowed to be dictatorial bigots. But you can stop them by just saying “NO!!!”.

    No James, you can’t tell me how to live my life or what to do. I’m not a member of your cult, have no interest in it whatsoever, and don’t live in Utah. Tough being a theocratic bigot in the USA but that is the way it is.

  138. #139 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    If you’d like to name a more consistent faith, be my guest.

    Mary Baker Eddy’s cult has always been more consistent than Joseph Smith’s cult, and in terms of raw bullshit, Eddy shoveled a smaller pile.

    James, why do you hate gay people?

  139. #140 v.rosenzweig
    December 22, 2009

    James–That doesn’t answer the question.

    If I ask a mathematician “what is a prime number?” they aren’t going to just say “there are two kinds of number, prime and composite” because that doesn’t answer my question.

    If you were talking about the “natural purpose of water,” you’d still get a lot of argument about “nature” and your assumptions of intention, but I daresay you could explain that water is a chemical, give its chemical formula, and even say a bit about its properties.

    So: what is gender? What are its properties? How can it be identified?

  140. #141 ankhank
    December 22, 2009

    Perhaps this is what was prophecied by Kurt Gödel?:
    http://morgenstern.jeffreykegler.com/

    Heinlein had it the other way ’round, the Mormons were supposed to help save the US after the Christian fundamentalist coup in 2012:
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/robert-heinlein/revolt-in-2100.htm

  141. #142 MaikUniversum
    December 22, 2009

    Well, constitution is religious document itself, so I don’t see anything tragical here or strange. Just one gang want to take over other gang.

  142. #143 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Practices can be changed in the LDS faith (such as polygamy).

    However, apart from these practices, Mormonism is consistent in its revealed doctrines.

    If you’d like to name a more consistent faith, be my guest.

    Tell me how you separate practices and doctrine when it is practiced by the church and the leaders who have the direct line to god on these things?

    Remember the pre 1978 and African Americans?

    And Mormons are just as loony-toons as any other religion (and arguably more). Based on irrational behavior and beliefs.

    Tell us about your boy Smith and him being a known criminal fraud? He just carried his skills at defrauding people into creating this cult you belong to.

  143. #144 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Lynna, you are aware that Woodrow Wilson resegregated the federal government. I would say that Robert P. George is walking in a fine tradition.

  144. #145 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Typed that out rather quickly. Obligatory typos included.

    You are welcome.

  145. #146 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Well, constitution is religious document itself

    Utah’s constitution?

    Not the USA’s.

  146. #147 James
    December 22, 2009

    Janine:

    You wrote
    “I feel sorry for all of the people who, for what ever reason, are not physically able to carry out procreation. Those people have no true meaning in life.”

    The people you’re referring to are heterosexual couples, who, because of disability cannot have children naturally.

    Homosexual couples by nature are naturally incapable of passing on their genetic code with one another. This is a clear message “from nature” concerning the necessity of homosexual couples within the human species.

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    Now, if the species does not need homosexual couples, why do children, adults or governments need homosexual couples?

    The hard truth is, we don’t.

    But, we understand that you WANT a government contract to recognize your “togetherness” IN THE SAME WAY that we recognize the natural togetherness of heterosexual couples, natural construct that the is NECESSARY to the species.

    Since homosexual couples and heterosexual couples are not equivalently necessary to the species, their “unions” cannot be designated with the same legal construct or social construct.

    When homosexual unions are not necessary to the species, either for adults, children or governments, why should rational thinking Americans vote to institutionalize an attraction that is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

  147. #148 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009
  148. #149 co
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual couples by nature are naturally incapable of passing on their genetic code with one another. This is a clear message “from nature” concerning the necessity of homosexual couples within the human species.

    And blue eyes were a point mutation about 10k years ago. Obviously, blue-eyed people are against nature.
    Man couldn’t fly until about 100 years ago. Obviously, airplanes are an abomination.
    The effects of plagues are massively amplified by the conditions of cities. This is a clear message that humans were never meant to socialize.

  149. #150 MaikUniversum
    December 22, 2009

    TO #146 “Not the USA’s.”

    Why USA’s is different? Enlighten me.

  150. #151 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    The problem comes when gender is made to be abstract or so vague that it can include anything or nothing.

    You mean like all those people born with both private parts. Damn them for being so inconsiderate and vague eh James…

    Oh by the way, how many creatures was it that showed homosexuality in the wild again? I forget how HUGE the number really was…

    James, you want to know how coersive your religion is. Talk to people that have tried to leave it. You will be suitably sickened im sure. The internet is full of horror stories from the castoffs of your mormonism. They are really easy to find.

    In America the majority should never tell the minority what rights they can have. You should know that, yet you chose to ignore it. You didn’t block our rights. You plain and simply took them away because you were bigger than us. Like the bullies that you are.

  151. #152 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    The Human race doesn’t need people with blond hair or black skin or short people.

  152. #153 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Why USA’s is different? Enlighten me.

    Because it specifically is not a religious doctrine. Not more more complicated than that.

  153. #154 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    The human race doesn’t need the institution of heterosexual marriage either. Before civilization people screwed and produced kids just fine.

    Therefore, Heterosexual Marriage is wrong.

    I’m only pretending to be stupid. What’s your excuse, James?

    Also, regarding PZ Meyers’ stuff:
    Mormons are insane. Stop the presses! :P

  154. #155 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    The hard truth is that homosexual attraction is not necessary within the human species – it serves no purpose.

    OMFG go read some goddamned SCIENCE and stop parroting the bullshit your church teaches you. It’s false.

    While it’s true we don’t yet know exactly why homosexuality happens (in thousands of species, including humans), there are some really good theories and research being done which show not only very strong genetic/pre-birth determination of sexual orientation, but the fact that a trait exists which would seem to decrease fertility but hasn’t yet been bred out (of thousands of species) points to rather firm evidence that it not only probably serves some purpose, but doesn’t have a strong effect on the fecundity of the human species.

    Homosexuality is natural, and is completely morally-neutral. Discriminating against those who are gay is morally wrong for exactly the same reason it is wrong to discriminate against women, Blacks, the handicapped, Jews, Irish, Italians, Japanese, atheists, Mormons or any other group which has been historically discriminated against in this country.

    The compelling argument has already been given, over and over, you’re just ignoring it because you have nothing to argue against it. You keep parroting the exact same thing over and over and over, despite the fact that it’s been rejected as fallacious and unsupported and unsupportable.

    You’ve picked the wrong bunch of non-believers to debate with.

    If you’d like to name a more consistent faith, be my guest.

    Ridiculous – they’re all equally inconsistent and based on the ridiculous ideas of people who ignore reality. In your case, your religion is based on a hybrid of the superstitions of bronze-aged goat-herders, and the insane rantings of a philandering con-man and his brainwashed followers. The only way Mormonism is consistent in in its crazy.

  155. #156 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Now, if the species does not need homosexual couples, why do children, adults or governments need homosexual couples?

    The hard truth is, we don’t.

    The hard fucking truth is this; I do not need your fucking approval for living my life. You do not need me, fine; I do not fucking need you. Take your hard truth and shove it up your fucking ass.

    The hard truth is this, humans have not always lived with nuclear families nor your church’s original vision of polygamy. Human families lived in extended families. LGBT people played their part in human survival in helping their group survive.

    James, just fade back into your all white world where your womenfolk are servile to your whims. I have no need for it.

  156. #157 Andreas Johansson
    December 22, 2009

    If you’d like to name a more consistent faith, be my guest.

    The argument here seems to be that James’s shit doesn’t stink because everyone else’s does.

  157. #158 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Red John, your link @80 doesn’t work.

  158. #159 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    ok, Multitaking is a failure for me today.

    Doctrine should be document in my #153

  159. #160 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    Steve, you’re welcome to try and argue how same-sex attraction is consistent with human gender and tell us how it evolved as a integral and necessary part of the human species.

    I don’t care whether it did or not. It has no bearing on whether a marriage contract should be restricted to only heterosexual couples.

  160. #161 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    How about taking in the unwanted children from your crappy, broken and abusive hetero marriages?

    Remember also that the human species does not need YOU. It will continue, a little better probably if you ceased to exist. Something to bear in mind.

  161. #162 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Multitaking

    oh good grief

  162. #163 KOPD42
    December 22, 2009

    The human species doesn’t need the wacky superstitions and prejudices of Bronze Age goat herders.

    That is the hard truth.

  163. #164 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    Oh, regarding mormonism, it is in fact no more consistent. Whenever they happen to be wrong as the rest of us judge it, God rings up their version of the pope to let him know that the other people are right, and they change policy. See: Polygamy, ‘Lamanites’.

    It’s the same as Catholicism in that regard, but their pope gets the strongerest hat.

    Buddhism has Skillful Means, which means “You can drop aspects if it helps get other aspects across”, but at least it’s honest about that.

    Modernized Islamic folks disregard their text as law just as quickly as Protestants do.

    Hinduism /isn’t/ a distinct set of doctrines, so it’s consistently inconsistent.

    Need anyone go on?

    Oh, and on a personal level: Screw you and the horse you came in on. Some of us like our own gender, and want to be able to live with them. If hetero marriage is that important to you, fine, but leave the rest of us be.

  164. #165 DJSutton
    December 22, 2009

    I don’t understand what is meant by “not necessary to the species”. Certainly marriage itself is not necessary. We can certainly get by without any marriage contracts at all, or even monogamous pairings. Something not being necessary does not in any way imply that is inappropriate. It’s not necessary to have freedoms or rights at all. However, legal protections are useful, and help us live in a happier, healthier society. Furthermore, bans on homosexual marriage (you’d think) clearly violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The whole “not necessary” thing strikes me as complete non sequitur (along with pretty much every other argument James has used).

    (Just to be clear here, I’m not advocating abolishing marriage like sometimes gets suggested.)

  165. #166 raven
    December 22, 2009

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    It doesn’t need religious kooks, religious bigots, or discrimination either.

    It definitely doesn’t need Mormons. The LDS church is a recent invention and there are only 12 million worldwide.

    We got along just fine for 3.6 billion years and the vast majority of the world’s 6.7 billion people don’t live in Utah and are better off for it.

    That is the cold, hard fact of reality.

    James’ Mormon fangs and claw are coming out again. The LDS are bigots and authoritarian kooks who would create a hell on earth for the rest of us if they could. They can’t hide that for long.

  166. #167 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    James…Still with the naturalistic fallacy. Whatever. You are not much of a reader, I guess.

    However, I think that your original goal of asserting that not all Mormons are as batshit insane as Rex Rammell has been undermined by your own comments on this thread. If this is the best rhetoric Mormon’s have to offer, yawn…are there any scientologists who would like to doff a foil hat and weigh in on the grim situation facing the Microdons of the Omega-8 system?

    A funny story that I think you will appreciate…one saturday afternoon, my wife’s uncle was rotating the tires on his car in his driveway, when two Moromon missionaries approached with literature. He offered to listen to their (do you call it testimony or something?), if only they could lend a hand with the tire rotation. They agreed, and soon their white shirts were smudged with grease as they finished rotating the tires, changed the oil, and flushed and refilled the radiator, all the while doing their proselytic best. When they were finished, uncle (let’s call hom Chronos?) offered the missionaries a beer, then a soda, then a cup of water, thanked them for the literature and assured them that he would read it carefully.

    Now if there were only something useful we could find for you to do around here…

  167. #168 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    But Rutee, you are denying your nature human gender by not submitting to some man and pumping out a lot of white children that you can then teach how to obey.

    And am sounding like raven here but James is a fascist creep. What does James want done to those people that are not fucking needed by the likes of him?

  168. #169 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    The Human race doesn’t need people with blond hair or black skin or short people.

    Amen, brother. Short people got no reason to live.

  169. #170 James
    December 22, 2009

    Rev DumbChimp:

    In 1836, Joseph Smith became the first white leader of an all white Church to ordain a black man to the priesthood (Elijah Abel). This was 25+ years before the civil war.

    He also appointed him to be a member of one of the Church’s governing bodies called the “Seventy.” Between 1830 and 1948, six black men were ordained in the LDS Church during those pre-Emancipation Proclamation years.

    In 1848, Brigham Young instituted a practice of delaying some black men to the priesthood.

    Elijah Abel continued to serve in the Quorum of Seventy until his death in 1878. Elijah Abel’s sons and grandsons were ordained to the priesthood up through 1931.

    As for your characterization of Joseph Smith, your comments are absurd.

    Mormons do not claim that Joseph Smith was a perfect human being, but he certainly wasn’t a criminal or a fraud in any significant sense.

    By the way RevDumbChimp, did you know that credible archeological evidence or the Book of Mormon was recently found in the Southern Arabia?

  170. #171 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    By the way RevDumbChimp, did you know that credible archeological evidence or the Book of Mormon was recently found in the Southern Arabia?

    That sounds very interesting. I hope you will tell us all about it when you get bored of telling us why you hate gay people.

  171. #172 davem
    December 22, 2009

    The human species does not need Mormons. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    Now, if the species does not need Mormons, why do children, adults or governments need Mormons?

    The hard truth is, we don’t.

    There, fixed it for you, James. we don’t need you. If all the Mormons in the World died overnight, we wouldn’t miss you one iota.

    So, following your own fallacious reasoning, it’s time to pass a law disallowing Mormon marriage, since it serves no purpose to us whatsoever – all it does is create more Mormons, which, we’ve established, we don’t need.

    That sounds fair enough to me James, how about you?

  172. #173 James
    December 22, 2009

    Anti:

    You wrote:
    “James…Still with the naturalistic fallacy. Whatever. You are not much of a reader, I guess.”

    Look, I know that you’d love to argue that my argument is an “is-ought” problem but you’ve failed to incorporate that genders are entities with identities and purpose.

    We’re not taking about abstractions – we’re talking about measurable entities, albeit complex.

  173. #174 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James opined,

    When homosexual unions are not necessary to the species, either for adults, children or governments, why should rational thinking Americans vote to institutionalize an attraction that is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Okay, this is even a more idiotic argument than the “homosexuality is icky” one.

    Let me re-use your words in another area to see if the idiocy becomes clear to you…

    When business contracts are not necessary to the species, either for adults, children or governments, why should rational thinking Americans vote to institutionalize business contracts which are inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of the human species?

    James, legal systems, including governments, are not restricted to what is ‘necessary to the species’. They are, hopefully, created and evolve to promote equality between citizens of a state and provide protections to non-citizen, other life, and property.

    Denying some citizens the right to marriage is failing to promote equality between citizens.

    The ability for individuals to choose to become married should not be restricted by the state because of differences in traits that the state recognizes as equal in other areas of the law. The state does not prevent homosexuals from making business contracts. The state does not prevent homosexuals from buying property. The state does not prevent homosexuals from teaching school-children.

    In all other areas of society gender is a trait which, legally, is not discriminated against.

    Why should the state maintain the discrimination in the institution of marriage? Your insane concept of ‘natural purpose’ or ‘identity of human gender’ notwithstanding?

  174. #175 AJ Milne
    December 22, 2009

    Remember also that the human species does not need YOU. It will continue, a little better probably if you ceased to exist. Something to bear in mind.

    Oh no… See, ‘James’ is capable of squirting, presumably… even willing, presumably, to squirt sperm into vaginas… This makes him rare and essential… and… umm…

    See, that’s what he’s for. That’s his purpose. And without him doing that… Umm…

    Yeah… And, okay… I guess you do have a point, there, actually…

    I mean, seein’ as we’re not exactly hard up for sperm, after all. Nor men averse to placing it in such locations…

    And let’s face it, from his performance here, we’ve no particular reason to assume his contribution is going to be particularly top shelf material, either, for that matter…

    ‘Kay. So you’ve a point. ‘James’ is superfluous, after all…

    And so, his having failed to justify his existence, the ‘hard truth’ is we should probably put together a nice little ballot measure on James…

    (/Vote no on James. Seriously: what the fuck is that loser for, anyway?)

  175. #176 Anomic Entropy
    December 22, 2009

    Uh, James… given the circumstances for your take on “credible evidence,” pardon the chuckle. How ’bout a link for that?

  176. #177 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, please be explain to us what a man is supposed to be and what a woman is supposed to be. Do not hide behind duckspeak terms like human gender. Explain to me how I am supposed to live my life according to the dictates of your non democratic church.

  177. #178 Epikt
    December 22, 2009

    raven:

    James is making the christofascist fallacy.

    1. He thinks he knows what the laws of nature are because his cult leaders told him.

    2. He thinks he is in charge of enforcing the laws of nature. Because his cult leaders told him.

    “Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”

  178. #179 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    In 1836, Joseph Smith became the first white leader of an all white Church to ordain a black man to the priesthood (Elijah Abel). This was 25+ years before the civil war.

    He also appointed him to be a member of one of the Church’s governing bodies called the “Seventy.” Between 1830 and 1948, six black men were ordained in the LDS Church during those pre-Emancipation Proclamation years.

    In 1848, Brigham Young instituted a practice of delaying some black men to the priesthood.

    Elijah Abel continued to serve in the Quorum of Seventy until his death in 1878. Elijah Abel’s sons and grandsons were ordained to the priesthood up through 1931.

    Then what happened? How did it become institutionalized by the very people who have the direct line to god? Would it have anything to do with 2 Nephi 5:21-23, 2 Nephi 30:6 and 3 Nephi 2:15?

    By the way RevDumbChimp, did you know that credible archeological evidence or the Book of Mormon was recently found in the Southern Arabia?

    Oh this should be good. Please point it out to us

  179. #180 Legion
    December 22, 2009

    Sutherland Institute:

    We are born male and female with moral agency to choose our behaviors at any given time. The way humans reproduce is through opposite-sex sexual relations. There is certainly, within each of us, a natural heterosexual bias ? that?s the way we are built.

    Thanks Lynna at #122

    This doesn’t make sense. If we can choose our sexuality “at any given time” then how can there be a bias toward heterosexuality? A bias implies that one option is weighted more than the other, thereby diminishing, if not eliminating, the desire for the opposite choice. If there is no desire for any other option, then no choice exists.

    We’ll bet that James will argue that he was born heterosexual, but if gender preference really is a choice, then James would have to have been born bi-sexual at best, which means that he was or is attracted to other men, but has made a choice to remain heterosexual.

    How about it James? Have you ever been or are you now, sexually attracted to men? Think before you answer. If you say no, then you are implying that your sexuality is not a choice, but a natural result of your biological/psychological makeup when you were born.

    If that’s true for you, wouldn’t it also be true for a gay man?

  180. #181 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    The human species would certainly be better off without you and your merry band of religiwhackos. That is a cold hard fact of reality. You happily follow the ravings of a third rate nutcase who couldn’t get one woman, so all of a sudden he popped up with a convenient polygamy based belief. Uh huh. And don’t attempt to school me, you nasty homophobe – my husband grew up mormon and many of my relatives by marriage are still deluded. Although, I’m happy to say, more than a few have seen the light over the years and left that foul institution.

  181. #182 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Look, I know that you’d love to argue that my argument is an “is-ought” problem but you’ve failed to incorporate that genders are entities with identities and purpose.

    Janine is going to clean your clock, but I will note that there is no “Purpose” to gender, nor to life itself, except what purpose we decide to assign.

  182. #183 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    What about this quote from your cult Leader during the early 70s??

    “There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less…. There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits.”

    -Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, pages 66-67

  183. #184 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Janine @144

    Lynna, you are aware that Woodrow Wilson resegregated the federal government. I would say that Robert P. George is walking in a fine tradition.

    LOL. Good point. Still smiling over than one as I go back to work.

  184. #185 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    By the way RevDumbChimp, did you know that credible archeological evidence or the Book of Mormon was recently found in the Southern Arabia?

    Ummm… vague descriptive coincidence does not equal evidence, you fruitbat…

  185. #186 KOPD42
    December 22, 2009

    I believe James may be talking about this. It’s hard to find information about it from a site that doesn’t have “mormon” or “lds” or “byu” in the domain name.

  186. #187 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    How can there possibly be credible evidence for the Book of Mormon.. in Saudi Arabia? Its a book that details Jesus visitting Merika, because Jesus HAS to visit Merika or it isn’t special. Saudia Arabia sounds like a bad place to go to study the past of the continental USA.

  187. #188 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    TO #146 “Not the USA’s.”

    Why USA’s is different? Enlighten me.

    Individual states within the USA have their own state constitutions. These days they generally can not override the federal constitution, but prior to the incorporation doctrine, they could. Anyway, some of those state constitutions do use religious language. The federal constitution of the USA does not.

  188. #189 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    I believe James may be talking about this. It’s hard to find information about it from a site that doesn’t have “mormon” or “lds” or “byu” in the domain name.

    hahahaha.

    Oh wait he’s serious.

  189. #190 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Mormons do not claim that Joseph Smith was a perfect human being, but he certainly wasn’t a criminal or a fraud in any significant sense.

    Except for the fraud about knowing egyptian and getting totally exposed over the fact he made the whole thing up when the egyptian language was finally worked out…

  190. #191 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    SO I’m going to take a guess, if James thinks this “find” [snicker] in Saudi Arabia is some sort of evidence than I’m wagering that James might also subscribe to the Native American DNA silliness I’ve seen put forth by other Mormon “scholars”.

  191. #192 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    I’m wagering that James might also subscribe to the Native American DNA silliness I’ve seen put forth by other Mormon “scholars”.

    Good bet. When James said it was “consistent,” he didn’t say “with reality.”

  192. #193 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    re: “regular Mormons” – When I was a kid in Utah, and Bill Clinton was voted into office, a tonne of my neighbours started getting into militias and whatnot. My best friend’s dad was in a group that met once a month and the password was “Ruby Ridge”. (Google that if you don’t know what it refers to, and you’ll have an idea about the paranoid nutbaggery that was going on.) I remember going over to people’s houses to babysit their kids and finding and reading a copy of Bo Gritz’s manifesto on the “Hanging By A Thread” prophecy. People made up crazy theories about Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton. She was pretty much the anti-Christ as far as folks seemed to be concerned. Anyway, the atmosphere was downright paranoid, and everybody kept freaking out about the Constitution.

    Enter Bush.

    Suddenly all those folks freaking out about Constitutional rights? Nowhere to be found. I kept asking my family and older acquaintances if they thought Bush should be running roughshod with his free-speech zones and his signing statements that undermine the other branches of the government and the oh-so-wonderful Patriot Act. I asked if they’d like a Democrat president to have these exact powers. (Of course not, but Bush was called of God, doncha know.)

    Anyway, all of these people….regular Mormons. Not crazies off in compounds, but living in the suburbs of Orem, Utah, and regularly attending church.

    re: Gay Marriage and civil rights – Let’s not forget that the LDS church, while pretending to allow people to vote their conscience, has a history of hamstringing the votes on civil rights. The Prop 8 stuff gives me flashbacks to my childhood, when I was reading Fencin’ With Benson (the collection of Pulitzer Prize winning cartoons by Steve Benson, the now-apostate grandson of Ezra T. Benson, late prophet of the LDS church). Anyway, I come across a cartoon involving the ERA and Mormons. I ask my parents to explain it, and they explain that the ERA was designed to give special rights to minorities, and that the church had to organise to oppose it. For years I had no idea what the ERA actually was, but I figured it must be no good, because the LDS church opposed it. They’d gotten groups of Relief Society women together to go pose on the steps of their state capitals whenever the votes were coming up, much in the same way that they got call centers together to drum up support on Prop 8. They misrepresented their interference then, and they misrepresented it now.

    (Incidentally, when I finally looked up the ERA–which has still never passed to this day–the Amendment consisted of three sentences, two regarding implementation of the first, which merely stated that you couldn’t abridge rights on the basis of gender or race. Nothing about minority rights or granting anything to any one group but not others.)

    One of James’ statements above needs to be clarified. When the question of mind control was first addressed, and the LDS church was called out as a strictly hierarchical controlling church, he popped out this bit about Bishops:

    In the LDS Church, every congregation is led by a lay pastor called a Bishop who has been chosen out of the congregation to lead the group for 5-8 years.

    The way James phrases this makes it seems as if the congregation chooses the bishops, and that the church is a bottom-up organisation instead of a top-down one. In reality, the bishop is chosen by the stake president, who is chosen by the district president (I forget the exact title) who is chosen by a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, who are chosen by the Council of the Twelve.

    It is true that from the stake presidency down, the church operates with lay clergy who are unpaid. (I do not know if the district level guys are paid or not, but I’m fairly certain the two Quorums of the Seventy get stipends, and I’m damn certain that the Council of the Twelve is taken care of by the church.)

    In fact, the church does their best to make sure almost every member has a calling (a position of some responsibility) inside the church. This can be as minor as calling somebody to lock up the meeting house after church activities, or teaching primary lessons to children, or being an activity co-ordinator. Furthermore, every member gets assigned somebody else to “teach” during the month. Nevermind that you are ALL teaching from the same correlated lesson plan that was developed in SLC–the real point is that you are developing a sunk cost in terms of time, effort, and friendships. Because of how much time you have to spend preparing for your calling during the week, you may find that your entire social network is dependent on the LDS church if you live in Utah, and even outside of Utah. You are discouraged from saying no to a calling. (After all, Heavenly Father wouldn’t test you beyond your abilities, goes the reasoning.)

    What is taught in church is not left up to the individual bishops or the lay clergy, but sent down from Salt Lake City via the Correlation Program. This is how they make sure that all messages are consistent with what the Council of the Twelve and the First Presidency want. Occasionally, letters are issued to every church and bishops MUST read them to their congregations. These are the letters that dictated the votes on the ERA and Prop 8, although sometimes they can be soul-crushingly mundane. (When I was a kid, the church presidency issued a letter telling people not to bake treats to share at church. I was crushed, as I was about to enter the Young Women’s auxiliary program, which was known for its treat-making enthusiasm.)

    Anyway, the statement that the LDS church is a hierarchical and controlling institution is perfectly accurate in all respects.

    There is no pervasive mind control practice in the LDS Church doctrine.

    I think it would be more accurate if we talked about the systemic indoctrination that goes on in the church as a system, rather than an overt practice. When framed as a practise, most people tend to think of things like the Manchurian Candidate, and many Mormons, filled with cog dis, will reject these claims straight out.

    However, I outlined above how the Mormon church decides what information is going to be disseminated to church members. The Correlation Program makes sure that every branch and ward in the world, everywhere, are on the same page. While this makes sense on an institutional level, it does little to address individual spirituality, and indeed, spontaneous displays of worship that do not jibe with SLC’s vision, are dictated to. (Another one of those little letters from the Presidency ordered the cessation of the practise of “Temple/Tunnel Singing” wherein teens and young adults would gather at the Marriot Center tunnel or the gates of the temple and sing hymns. This spontaneous practise was squelched after a few years, for reasons I was never sure about.) Individual questioning and individual interpretation of the doctrine as it applies in one’s own life is not really encouraged. Your bishop or seminary teacher or gospel doctrine leader will over-ride you and explain where you have gone wrong. If you share your non-approved ideas, you can find yourself being restricted from callings, taking the sacrament, or going to the temple.

    Every active Mormon attends three hours of church meetings every Sunday. Two auxiliary meetings, and eighty minutes for sacrament meeting, where the bishopric and pre-determined members of the congregation share gospel lessons with intermediate hymns being sung. The sacrament (bread and water, not wine and wafers) is passed, and once a month, the podium will be opened for fast-and-testimony meeting. (Once a month fasts are accompanied by a period of donating the money you would have spent on food to the church.) It’s hard not to note that high-social-pressure situation of being expected to bear your testimony in combination with 24 hours of no food can create in people the physiological and mental sensations that people are speaking with “the spirit”.

    During the week, the family is encouraged to participate in activities the church deems appropriate. Monday is Family Home Evening, wherein the family unit prepares a lesson and activity about the church and its doctrine.

    On Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, you may find yourself meeting for an auxiliary meeting if you are a teenager. Adults have a once-a-month meeting in their appropriate auxiliary: Priesthood activity for men and Relief Society for women. Small children had an auxiliary meeting when I was VERY small–Primary used to be on Wednesdays–but about the time I was three, they switched out that program.

    Friday night is supposed to be date-night for the Mormon couple.

    And once a month, if you are an “endowed” adult, you should attend the temple and do ordinance work. Teens will on a quarterly basis go and participate in baptisms for the dead, a proxy ordinance which can be fulfilled before full temple initiation. I don’t know much about the adult ordinances, since I left before getting endowed, but from what I’ve read, there’s a ritual where you change into white clothes with aprons and funny hats/veils, and chant as you watch either a movie or a play. (The play dates from before we had recordable media.) You’ve been given a special name and password and signs to show that you are one of the faithful. (This is the root of the deep and abiding irony of the Book of Mormon’s consistent railing against “secret combinations”.) The repetition of phrases sure doesn’t sound like brainwashing, does it? (She said sarcastically.) The special name isn’t designed to make you feel extra warm and fuzzy. And the funny clothes certainly weren’t going to erode any sense of self or personality upon repeated visits. Nope, not at all.

    As for baptisms for the dead, you stand in as a proxy for those who have already died. You are dunked repeated in a pool, and because they have a lot of names to go through, you are given hardly any time to catch your breath between dunkings. The physical act of getting baptised for an entire European village from the time of Martin Luther will take your breath away–literally. If you are light-headed and breathless, that can be explain as the Holy Ghost and those ancestors approving your actions.

    Let’s not forget seminary class. Of course, I belong to a spoiled generation in the heart of Utah who actually had released-time seminary. So I got to go to a building just off my high school campus and be taught on a daily basis about the scriptures. (I totally ruled in scripture chases, having been a voracious reader since I was about three years of age.) However, many Mormon students don’t have the same facilities or the release-time from school, so the prevailing form of seminary classes is early morning seminary class. Whee for sleep dep. Again we find that doctrine may be taught under circumstances where the body and mind may not be performing at 100%.

    The active LDS person has the church woven through-out their daily and weekly life. The church makes decisions about what they can wear and when they can wear it. The church makes decisions about what they can eat and when they should fast. (You ARE allowed exemptions for medical reasons–they’re not completely insane.) The church makes decisions about what sort of media is appropriate to consume. (Nevermind that scripture about how it is a poor servant who requires guidance in all things.) The church takes ten percent of your money. (You volunteer it in theory, but you can’t attend the temple if you don’t pay a full tithe and in a close-knit community, it becomes obvious who falls into the faithful and non-faithful categories.) The church will also demand a few hours several days a week for further meetings and preparation for your Sunday duties. The church teaches your children on a near daily basis from the time they turn 15 and enter seminary. This is the system by which they control your behaviour and thoughts. Yes, it’s theoretically voluntary, but if you live in most of Utah, and parts of Idaho or Arizona, you may find that your social capital and job opportunities will depend on how well you fit into this system. And while James notes that people who choose to join the church are voluntarily taking this on, he conveniently ignores the people who were born into this system who are ground under its wheels: the spiritual non-conformists, gays, many women, and prior to 1978, those of other races. I DID NOT have a choice about entering this system, and to this day I am working on rooting out much of the psychological damage it did to me in terms of abiding by the authority of men, expectations for marriage and relationships, and my own self-worth as a creative woman. (And I’m one of the less-damaged as far as I can tell.)

    This system encourages little individuality. This system teaches you to obey authority, even when it’s making irrational demands. This system demands loyalty to the system over one’s personal problems. And as far as their vaunted claims about being about family, this system does not hesitate to exclude or run rough-shod over family members who view things differently. It’s a recipe-driven life, spirituality by rote, and ultimately unfulfilling for many people.

    Sorry this is so long, but the system is so pervasive at every level of the devout Mormon’s life, it’s hard to describe the full extent of it. It’s not just one “brainwashing practice” — it’s an entire culture, and as such, it’s practically invisible to the people who live and breathe it. A total case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

  193. #194 James
    December 22, 2009

    Flex:

    Nature discriminates against homosexual couples in that they cannot pass on their genetic code together.

    Homosexual men are not equivalent to women to be wives and mothers, lesbian women are not equivalent to men to be husbands and fathers.

    In-equivalence and inequality are already built into the nature of homosexual attraction and unions.

    Seeing this in-equivalency in nature, why should Americans vote to institutionalize attraction that is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    We understand that you WANT gay marriage, but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.

  194. #195 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    Look, I know that you’d love to argue that my argument is an “is-ought” problem but you’ve failed to incorporate that genders are entities with identities and purpose.

    Isn’t your argument “Genders have natural identities and purposes. The purpose of gender is procreation. Therefore, we ought not sanction marriage between two people of the same gender because they cannot procreate.”

    This is an example of the naturalistic fallacy.

    Am I misunderstanding you here?

  195. #196 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    We understand that you WANT gay marriage, but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.

    Again, you hateful bigot, heterosexual marriage is not necessary for children, adults, or governments.

  196. #197 AJ Milne
    December 22, 2009

    Good bet. When James said it was “consistent,” he didn’t say “with reality.”

    Except for the fraud about knowing Egyptian and getting totally exposed over the fact he made the whole thing up when the Egyptian language was finally worked out…

    (/From the Yes campaign: ‘Vote Yes on James… ‘Cos let’s face it, he does bring the laughs…’)

  197. #198 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    yknow, James and his running around with the goal posts reminds me of the last mormon on here. Mind you when you have all been taught to think exactly the same way, it must be difficult without a face to tell them apart.

    James representing mormonism is not exactly selling it right now, though i give him kudos for trying to go up against a load of ex-mormons, gays and other bemused atheists.

  198. #199 James
    December 22, 2009

    RevDumbChimp:

    I would say that the quote was an expression of a personal opinion of one of many of the Mormon authorities out there in the 70s and is not “Mormon doctrine.”

    It is meaningless, especially in light of what Joseph Smith did in 1836, by being the first white Christian leader to ordain a black man into an all white Church in 1836, 25+ years before Lincoln freed the salves.

  199. #200 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    did you know that credible archeological evidence or the Book of Mormon was recently found in the Southern Arabia?

    That last piece by James was classic… almost directly lifted, it seems, out of the South Park “Mormon” episode…

    “You haven’t heard the BEST part… the part that PROVES that Joseph Smith was telling the truth”

    Heh heh…

    They really believe this shit… it’s just mind-numbing.

  200. #201 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James sounds like Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute:

    As drafted by the Sutherland Institute, the natural family resolution reads,
         Whereas, the natural family is the fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection in Utah by local and state governments; and…
         We envision a local culture that upholds the marriage of a woman to a man, and a man to a woman, as ordained of God. This culture affirms marriage as the best path to health, security, fulfillment, and joy. It casts the home built on marriage as the source of true political sovereignty and ordered liberty. … It celebrates the marital sexual union as the unique source of new human life….
         We envision young women growing into wives, homemakers, and mothers; and we see young men growing into husbands, home-builders, and fathers. … And we look to local government that holds the protection of the natural family to be their first responsibility.
    [and from a different text by Paul Mero] The arguments in favor of gay rights and gay marriage are as vacuous today as they were during the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Bar in New York City. Even their best minds still cannot explain how gay sex or gay marriage, or anything beyond gay fashion sense, benefits society.

  201. #202 blf
    December 22, 2009

    By the way RevDumbChimp, did you know that credible archeological evidence or [sic ?for??] the Book of Mormon was recently found in the Southern Arabia?

    I cannot speak for Rev. BigDumbChimp, but I certainly haven’t heard of any such thing. References, please?

    And just where is ?the Southern Arabia?? I assume ?the southern Arabian Peninsula? is meant, albeit I expect the references you’ll kindly be providing will clear up (with a great deal more precision) this point.

  202. #203 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    Statements about “natural purpose” are not secular: they are teleological, based on the idea that there is a “right” way to behave, and a “wrong” way to behave, as dictated by nature — and people might choose the wrong way. But you can’t work morality into nature. Someone who chooses to diet so strictly that they end up starving themselves to death has not gone against the “natural purpose” of the stomach, and thus sinned. They made a choice which had physical consequences they didn’t want.

    When you conflate teleology with human concepts of right and wrong, you can end up with people claiming that all diets, or any diet, is going against the “natural purpose” of the stomach. There are no ways to limit what nature “intends.” A secular science would only describe what will happen. It doesn’t deal with what’s supposed to happen, as planned by nature, evolution, or god of choice.

    There are no negative consequences to gay marriage. And, if you are going to argue that marriage provides benefits to society, then gay marriage provides the same benefits.

  203. #204 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Nature discriminates against homosexual couples in that they cannot pass on their genetic code together.

    Homosexual men are not equivalent to women to be wives and mothers, lesbian women are not equivalent to men to be husbands and fathers.

    That’s bull. You are aware that with modern medical science Gay men can pass on their own genetic code and have their “own” children. The idea that men can not replace the mother role or women can’t replace the father role is absurd as we do have evidence, both in nature and human society, that they can.

  204. #205 James
    December 22, 2009

    Celtic:

    I am sure you wish it were crappola but it isn’t.

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

  205. #206 natural cynic
    December 22, 2009

    @ Antiochus Epiphanes #25

    Three reasons while America will never convert en mass to the Mormon faith:

    1. Mormon proselytes use bicycles to get from door to door. This screams of liberalism and ecowarmista hegemonic concern. Fuck that bullshit.

    Too bad they don’t keep up with the bicycle use. Look at the parking lot at a ward [church] on sunday morning and see the wall of Suburbans, Explorers etc in the parking lot.

    2. Mormons actually enforce caffeine/alcohol proscriptions…

    You should qualify that by as internally enforcing the prohibition.
    Standard Mormon joke: How do you make sure that all the beer gets consumed on a fishing trip?
    Bring a Mormon.
    How do make sure that you get to have all the beer on a fishing trip?
    Bring two Mormons.
    This was borne out to me with a conversation I had with my Mormon boss when I worked in the securities industry about the seeming contradiction between Mormon prohibitions on alcohol, tobacco, caffeine etc. He stated that he had no moral reservations about making a profit from wherever it could be made.
    Another Mormon joke:
    What’s the third most important holiday for Mormons?
    The anniversary of the introduction of caffeine-free Coke.

  206. #207 James
    December 22, 2009

    Richard:

    I find your personal criticisms meaningless but your lack of coherent argumentation to refute my assertions and arguments very meaningful.

  207. #208 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    I would say that the quote was an expression of a personal opinion of one of many of the Mormon authorities out there in the 70s and is not “Mormon doctrine.”

    Except he was the man who was the church leader and had a direct line to god. Do church leaders have the ability to receive divine revelation about church doctrine or not? What about the passages in Nephi I pointed to?

    It is meaningless, especially in light of what Joseph Smith did in 1836, by being the first white Christian leader to ordain a black man into an all white Church in 1836, 25+ years before Lincoln freed the salves.

    Except the church and its leaders who supposedly can alter doctrine by divine revelation practiced institutionalized racism until they magically decided to change their mind in 1978,under pressure of the IRS removing their tax exempt status. Funny that.

    Do you church leaders govern doctrinal changes by divine revelation or not?

    It is so transparently about convenience. Just like when they got rid of Polygamy in the 1890′s that saved the church from having assets siezed and allowed Utah to become the 45th state.

    Convenient how that worked out huh?

    You’re a piece of work. Do you do yoga to allow such flexibility when twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to defend your cult?

  208. #209 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    You complain that Richard isn’t addressing your fallacious arguments, even while you pointedly ignore the people who are.

    Were you always a dishonest shit, James, or did Mormonism make you that way?

    Try #195.

  209. #210 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

    Only in your mind. There is tons of archaeological and historical evidence to show that the stories in the BoM is nothing but bullshit pulled up from Joey Smith’s ass.

  210. #211 blf
    December 22, 2009

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

    And this ?credible evidence? is what?

  211. #212 natural cynic
    December 22, 2009

    James #147

    When homosexual unions are not necessary to the species, either for adults, children or governments, why should rational thinking Americans vote to institutionalize an attraction that is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    LOVE

  212. #213 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    Nature discriminates against homosexual couples in that they cannot pass on their genetic code together.

    They can’t? Well… not with each other, but if they felt so compelled, they could just have sex with a willing female to “pass on their seed”… the sperm doesn’t dry up and disappear because you’re attracted to men…

    So what the fuck does that have to do with affording gays the right to marry, exactly?

  213. #214 timothy.green.name
    December 22, 2009

    James merrily argues that there is no coercion in religion. One presumes he has not heard of the Mormon Gulag.

    *spit*

    TRiG.

  214. #215 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    James #205 wrote:

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

    Before we get into specific details on this, could you please clarify what you mean by your statement:

    Do you mean that there is credible evidence which is convincing to objective historians and archeologists, and this will pass rigorous peer review to be included in neutral, secular sources?

    Or do you mean that, if you are already Mormon, and looking for some small sign that your religious history is true in fact (and not just ‘true for you’), this will suffice as good enough for the purpose?

    Those are different standards, you know.

  215. #216 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.

    The social construct already exists and it is already unnecessary for children, adults or government. People will pair and procreate whether the institution of marriage exists or not. And today even among heterosexuals, the “purpose” of marriage is more than just to support their fertility.

    And being consistent with some “natural purpose” is not required by the Constitution. That the laws be applied uniformly is.

  216. #217 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    I find your personal criticisms meaningless but your lack of coherent argumentation to refute my assertions and arguments very meaningful.

    Personal criticisms? Basic history on Joseph Smith and eqyptian writings. Unless you’re on about something else. Your being incredibly vague is very telling when it comes to your criticism of me.

    Also since I have made several points that others have made your argument fails on both logic and comprehension. As you have been quite happy to argue with them. Or, as a 2nd class citizen in your eyes, not being natural and all…is this my being told to be quiet and sent to the back of the bus?

  217. #218 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James Making Stuff Up:

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

    There is none. The South Arabian stuff is just grasping at straws and doesn’t even really hint at it.

    I actually tried to read the Book of Mormon a few times. The first few pages had American Indians riding around on horses and waving iron swords around.

    Horses died out in NA at the end of the last ice age. The Amerindians never had horses until the Europeans brought them over. And they didn’t have iron swords or any iron metallurgy until the Europeans either. And they aren’t Jewish, no semitic languages, no DNA.

    James is a classic example of what Pixelfish is talking about. A brainwashed robot going through life controlled by a malevolent cult. Never going to get anything intelligent out of a robot. But he is a great example of just what persistent early brainwashing can do to a potential thinking human being.

    A meat robot, how pathetic is that?

  218. #219 James
    December 22, 2009

    Sastra:

    You’ve made a categorical error. Teleological- “is-ought” philosophies or arguments have to do with whether a particular “behavior” is morally right based on whether it is naturally right to do so.

    My argument is altogether different. You begin by identifying what homosexuality is. It is a kind of attraction. In the case of males, it is an attraction for members of one’s own sex.

    Now, the question is whether homosexual attraction is consistent with the natural purpose and identity of a human male? The answer is no.

    No teleological argumentation employed or needed.

    Homosexual attraction IS by nature and by identity, inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    Why should Americans vote to institutionalize “feelings” that are incompatible with and inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender and which are not necessary for the human species?

  219. #220 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    a bit late but….

    James said:

    Yes, and I choose to vote against gay marriage in my State. No offense.

    then you are lying to yourself about personal liberty, and living in an obvious state of denial.

    Moreover, the institution of Mormon spent tens of millions to get prop 8 passed IN A DIFFERENT STATE.

    how is that NOT trying to fuck with other people’s liberties? How is that not a violation of separation of church and state? How is that not a violation of Federal Nonprofit regulations even!

    you’re delusional on the face of it.

    no offense.
    :P

  220. #221 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Now, the question is whether homosexual attraction is consistent with the natural purpose and identity of a human male?

    There is no natural purpose of a human male. I’m sure you can’t explain what you mean by identity either.

  221. #222 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Why should Americans vote to institutionalize “feelings” that are incompatible with and inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender and which are not necessary for the human species

    Marriage itself is not necessarily compatible with natural process nor is monogamy. Stop falling for the naturalist fallacies dipshit. In this modern society, Gays can equally fill the roles that straights fill. You?re arguing from nothing more than bigotry.

  222. #223 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    … thank you, James for proving conclusively that while not all Mormons believe in Mormon dominionism via prophecy, they DO all believe in using the state to dictate their loony beliefs to others.

    You really aren’t any different from Rammell, you just don’t appear to realize it.

  223. #224 AJ Milne
    December 22, 2009

    It is so transparently about convenience. Just like when they got rid of Polygamy in the 1890′s that saved the church from having assets siezed and allowed Utah to become the 45th state.

    … true fact: Woodruff’s 1890 ‘revelation’ that they should now cool it with the marrying ‘em by the dozens thing went roughly as follows… In the precise words of the angel involved:

    ‘No no no… what we said was ‘Mo’ hoes fo’ Joe’…

    (/’See… It was supposed to be a commandment in which his neighbours were ordered to lend him their lawncare stuff when he asked… The randy ole’ bastard had a way of hearing what he wanted to, tho’, so… well… here we are, Woody… We trust you’ll clear all this up with the flock, now…’)

  224. #225 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Also, James, why do you hate gay people so much?

    Did you always hate gay people, or did Mormonism make you that way?

  225. #226 James
    December 22, 2009

    Raven:

    You wrote:
    “There is none. The South Arabian stuff is just grasping at straws and doesn’t even really hint at it.”

    The Book of Mormon predicts specific geographical features, cultural features, settlement names, geography at a specific time and place. There are over 16 separate predictions that there is direct evidence for in south Arabia including specific flora and fauna of a particular century.

    Your lack of knowledge concerning recent archeological data about MesoAmerica or the evidences in that region are evident. I find most anti-mormons rely on archeological date from the late 70s for their “iron clad” evidences against the Book of Mormon.

  226. #227 Zabinatrix
    December 22, 2009

    James said:

    Now, if the species does not need homosexual couples, why do children, adults or governments need homosexual couples?

    The hard truth is, we don’t.

    But, we understand that you WANT a government contract to recognize your “togetherness” IN THE SAME WAY that we recognize the natural togetherness of heterosexual couples, natural construct that the is NECESSARY to the species.

    Now, James, I realize that every single one of your points have been addressed several times, since you just ignore every valid argument and keep re-iterating the exact same points… But I wanted to take a small stab at this anyway.

    You must live in a very sad world indeed if only those things that are strictly necessary should be allowed to exist.

    As a rationalist I know that we have a long and beautiful life on this earth, and I suspect that we have no afterlife to look forward to, so I think that we should make the most of the life that we know that we have. Part of that is finding enjoyment in the many wonderful things in life, and one of the most wonderful of those is love.

    Now, love is not something that requires marriage. People have loved each other in all times and all cultures, with or without social contracts. But in our particular, modern culture we have decided that the deepest and most meaningful relationships are best if they are formalized.

    That is what marriage is about, essentially. People are fully able to have kids, raise kids, live together and have fulfilled lives without marriage. But we have decided, as a culture, that marriage is still something to strive for. Not out of necessity for the species or the country, but just as a celebration of one of the most wonderful things in the world.

    This celebration is, for practically everyone, seen as a bond between two adults who love each other. It’s not a contract to procreate, it’s not a contract to have straight sex, it’s not a contract to live together – it is a bond of deep and mature love.

    As we well know, not all marriages turn out to be that deep and mature love that we should be, but that doesn’t change the fact that society sees marriage as a bond of love between two adults.

    That is where the bigotry comes in. The people opposed to gay marriage are often people who think that the love (not the “usefulness” of a relationship) between two people is less beautiful, less valuable if they are of the same gender. And even if they aren’t bigots, this is still what it amounts to.

    Because the “usefulness” or “necessity” of straight marriage, or the historical reasons for it, really don’t play into it much. What really matters is how people feel about it in the here and now, and people seem to generally think that marriage is about love and commitment, nothing else. So every law that says that gay relationships aren’t the same as straight relationships is a law that tells people that gay people don’t love the same way (or as much) as straight people do.

    Who are you, James, to tell people what worth their love has? I have felt the same love for a man that I’ve felt for a woman, and there aren’t any qualitative differences that I can see.

  227. #228 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Teleological- “is-ought” philosophies or arguments have to do with whether a particular “behavior” is morally right based on whether it is naturally right to do so.

    And you are arguing that being straight is morally right, and being gay is morally wrong.

    Even though both are natural.

  228. #229 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Now, the question is whether homosexual attraction is consistent with the natural purpose and identity of a human male? The answer is no.

    No teleological argumentation employed or needed.

    you idiot, every time you use the word “purpose” when describing nature, you’re using a teleological argument. things in nature don’t have purposes. they have uses.

  229. #230 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    the question is whether homosexual attraction is consistent with the natural purpose and identity of a human male? The answer is no.
    No teleological argumentation employed or needed.

    WTF? There was no argumentation involved there at all, just an assertion tied directly to a couple of presuppositions.

    Yes, I noticed that, you sly ol’ fox of an apologist, you! You have to get up pret-ty early in the morning to get us with that one! Har har!

  230. #231 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    Now, the question is whether homosexual attraction is consistent with the natural purpose and identity of a human male?

    what about a female?

    if a population of cockroaches has no males, females will become parthenogenic.

    is that natural, or not?

    in hymenopterans, (bees and wasps), many species have most individuals forgo reproduction altogether, to contribute to the queen’s reproductive success instead.

    Is that not natural?

    hmm, maybe you’ve just never bothered to think about how it might maintain itself in populations beyond the simplistic “males that boff each other can’t make babies – and they make me sick because I was told it’s wrong”

    why not expand your mind a bit?

    http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-06/960498851.Ev.r.html

  231. #232 James
    December 22, 2009

    Jadehawk:

    There is no such neccessary nomenclature or restriction when using the term “purpose.”

    Entities indeed have purposes and uses.

    Look, I know and you know that same sex attraction neither has a ulitarian purpose or a neccesary use within the human species.

  232. #233 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    James is now running in circles. This is fun. See James, See James run. Run James run.

    James, why do you own a computer when they are clearly unnatural devices? Man wasn’t meant to send messages at the speed of light.

    and anyway, who says we aren’t necessary for the species. I can think of quite a few uses for gender mixed humans within society. I can name at least 2 reasons why DNA would be more successfully passed on within a group containing gays.

    ah, but James is still looking down his nose at me. I’m not natural, and the fact that i’m half female (no its not just about sex, anything can be switched) means I have lower status in his cult.

  233. #234 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    I find most anti-mormons rely on archeological date from the late 70s for their “iron clad” evidences against the Book of Mormon.

    Nope. Current evidence still shows the BoM is bullshit.

  234. #235 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    More writing from LDS past leaders supporting the church’s racism. This letter from LDS First Presidency including George Albert Smith, J. Reuben Clark, Jr. and David O. McKay in 1947 responding to criticism.

    Dear Brother Nelson:

    As you have been advised, your letter of June 16 was received in due course . . . We have carefully considered [its] content; and are glad to advise you as follows:

    We make this initial remark: the social side of the Restored Gospel is only an incident of it; it is not the end thereof.

    The basic element of your ideas and concepts seems to be that all God’s children stand in equal positions before Him in all things. Your knowledge of the Gospel will indicate to you that this is contrary to the very fundamentals of God’s dealings with Israel dating from the time of His promise to Abraham regarding Abraham’s seed and their position vis-a-vis God Himself. Indeed, some of God’s children were assinged to superior positions before the world was formed.

    We are aware that some Higher Critics do not accept this, but the Church does. Your position seems to lose sight of the revelations of the Lord touching the pre-existence of our spirits, the rebellion in heaven, and the doctrines that our birth into this life and the advantages under which we may be born, have a religionship in the life heretofore.

    From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.

    Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God’s rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous [meaning 'marriage within a specific tribe or similar social unit']. Modern Israel has been similarly directed.

    We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this are, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.

    Faithfully yours,

    [signed]

    George Albert Smith
    J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
    David O. McKay

    The First Presidency

    the reply

    The attitude of the Church in regard to the Negro makes me very sad. I do not believe God is a racist.

    And the First Presidency’s response to the reply

    We feel very sure that you are aware of the doctrines of the Church. They are either true or not true. Our testimony is that they are true. Under these circumstances we may not permit ourselves to be too much impressed by the reasonings of men, however well founded they may seem to be. We should like to say this to you in all sincerity, that you are too fine a man to permit yourself to be led off from the principles of the Gospel by worldly learning.
    You have too much of a potentiality for doing good and we therefore prayerfully hope that you can re-orient your thinking and bring it in line with the revealed Word of God.

    Yep the Church of LDS has not been racist at all.

    Open your eyes James.

  235. #236 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

    No… it doesn’t…

  236. #237 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    I find most anti-mormons rely on archeological date from the late 70s for their “iron clad” evidences against the Book of Mormon.

    There must be a massive scientific conspiracy silencing the truth about the Book of Mormon. If you’ve had evidence for decades that demonstrates its empirical validity, then the whole world should have acknowledged it by now. After all, we hear about the discovery of various proteins and genes all the time, and they are reported in mainstream news. There must be active suppression of the Book of Mormon, by scientists, journalists, and politicians. I’m sure you’ll overcome that conspiracy of censorship real soon now.

  237. #238 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James @194,

    We understand that you WANT gay inter-racial marriage, but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.

    There, fixed for you.

    James. Your inability to see a compelling reason to expand marriage laws to treat all members of society equally doesn’t mean that reasons don’t exist.

    And what the hell is this new social construct you’re talking about? Marriage is a social construct already. No one is talking about creating a new ‘social construct’ for homosexuals, all that is being asked is to allow an existing social construct to be expanded to include people who are currently excluded.

    The social construct of marriage, as enshrined in current law, creates an elaborate network of rights, responsibilities, duties and restrictions. All the people who are in favor of same-sex marriage are asking is to allow citizens who are homosexual to be able to enjoy the same rights, responsibilities, duties, and restrictions as other citizens of the United States.

    There is no new social construct required. All that is required is permission, and you and your Church are the ones screaming, “NO!”

  238. #239 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    Your lack of knowledge concerning recent archeological data about MesoAmerica or the evidences in that region are evident.

    “Your lack of faith disturbs me.”

    -DV

  239. #240 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Parchment? Isn’t it long-fibered, impractical hemp paper?

    the final draft was on parchment, apparently. and i imagine that’s the aforementioned version

  240. #241 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Look, I know and you know that same sex attraction neither has a ulitarian purpose or a neccesary use within the human species.

    Utilitarian? Fucking feels good, and a healthy sex life contributes to happiness.

    Necessary? Nothing is necessary. Heterosexual marriage is not necessary.

    Did you look up kin selection yet?

    Are you going to explain why you hate gay people, or do you think it should go without saying?

  241. #242 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    More

    August 17, 1949
    The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: ?Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.?
    President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: ?The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.?
    The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.
    The First Presidency

    Official statement of the First Presidency to BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson, dated August 17, 1951, quoted in Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrinal Commentary on the Pearl of Great Price, 1967, pp.406- 407

  242. #243 blf
    December 22, 2009

    raven@218 commented ?The South Arabian stuff is just grasping at straws and doesn’t even really hint at it.?

    It sounds like you have some idea what he’s going on about. Could you elucidate? James has, sofar, completely ignored the requests from different people saying, basically, WTF? I’m aware ldsers tend to think their holy book is factually and/or historically accurate, and have in the past offered amusingly spurious archaeological evidence as evidence, but it’s usually been in Mesoamerica. That there supposedly evidence from what I assume is the southern Arabian Peninsula is a new one on me.

  243. #244 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    The Book of Mormon predicts specific geographical features, cultural features, settlement names, geography at a specific time and place. There are over 16 separate predictions that there is direct evidence for in south Arabia including specific flora and fauna of a particular century.
    Your lack of knowledge concerning recent archeological data about MesoAmerica or the evidences in that region are evident. I find most anti-mormons rely on archeological date from the late 70s for their “iron clad” evidences against the Book of Mormon.

    Fucking CITATION, James…

    That’s how it works around here… you don’t get to express shit as fact without backing it up with a link to PEER-REVIEWED, scientific evidence.

    Since you are not going to find any such thing, you are going to have to accept that this is just more bullshit lies propagated by your carnie-created goofy religion.

  244. #245 raven
    December 22, 2009

    The antidepressant Prozac (and similar drugs) has the highest number of prescriptions in Utah, per capita, of any state in the USA: …

    James, the meat robot is just going to repeat himself ad infinitum, not having any thoughts of his own.

    Boring, and I’m out.

    But being a meat robot isn’t all that it is claimed to be. Utah is the leading per capita consumer of antidepressants. And even in that state, Mormons are only 65% of the population.

    Every form of refuge has its price. I’d rather be an autonomous functioning normal human, but that is just me.

  245. #246 sparky-ca
    December 22, 2009

    James said:

    My argument is altogether different. You begin by identifying what homosexuality is. It is a kind of attraction. In the case of males, it is an attraction for members of one’s own sex.

    Then WTF is MY kind of homosexuality since I’m a lesbian?

  246. #247 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    James #219:

    No, your argument is not ‘altogether different’ — you’re still working morality into nature by introducing the concept of “purpose.

    Is homosexual attraction consistent with the purpose and identity of the human male? The answer is yes, it is. The male sex organ was shaped by natural evolution to provide pleasure, and to enhance emotional bonds with a partner. It works with men as partner, or woman as partner, and in both cases the human male is still human, and still male.

    That is how the question is answered if one does not invoke teleology, and tries to deal only with a secular understanding of “purpose and identity.”

    You’re not really talking about what identifies a “man.” You’re trying to sneak in what makes a “real man.”

  247. #248 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James @170, I’ll see your offerings of crumbs for blacks with these:

    “Negroes IN THIS LIFE are denied the priesthood; UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.” LDS “Apostle” Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 527, 1966 edition, emphasis added. (See also LDS Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 1:20-27)
         ”Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became THE FATHER OF AN INFERIOR RACE. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so WHILE TIME ENDURES. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a BLACK SKIN and have been DENIED THE PRIVILEGE OF PRIESTHOOD and the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to FEEL THEIR INFERIORITY and have been SEPARATED from the rest of mankind from the beginning. Enoch saw the people of Canaan, descendants of Cain, and he says, ‘and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were DESPISED AMONG ALL PEOPLE.’” LDS “Prophet” Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pp. 101-102, 1931, emphasis added.
         ”I tell you, this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain. I know they are, I know that THEY CANNOT BEAR RULE IN THE PRIESTHOOD, for the curse on them was to REMAIN upon them, until the resedue (sic) of the posterity of Michal (sic) and his wife receive the blessings…and hold the keys of the priesthood…. In the kingdom of God ON THE EARTH THE AFFRICANS (sic) CANNOT HOLD ONE PARTICAL (sic) OF POWER IN GOVERNMENT [within the LDS church].” LDS “Prophet” Brigham Young, Brigham Young Addresses, Ms d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, Feb. 5, 1852
         ”How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will REMAIN UPON THEM, and THEY NEVER CAN HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favourable position, THE CHILDREN OF CAIN CANNOT RECEIVE THE FIRST ORDINANCES OF THE PRIESTHOOD. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.” LDS “Prophet” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, pp. 290-291, 1859, emphasis added.

    And then there was the little matter of Brigham Young sealing a black woman to a man so that the man would have a servant in heaven.

    And James, please explain this photo/chart. [1.7 MB PDF] It shows all of the General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Scroll down to see one black face. This a photo that lives up to the cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

  248. #249 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Nature discriminates against homosexual couples in that they cannot pass on their genetic code together.

    Wrong. LGBT people always have been in a position to help the group they are in to survive, be it farming, hunting, gathering and child care. While they may not pass on their genes, they help their relatives to do so.

    Also, sexulity is not either/or. Gay men and lesbian women have had offspring period.

    Homosexual men are not equivalent to women to be wives and mothers, lesbian women are not equivalent to men to be husbands and fathers.

    Except for the actual acts of giving birth and breast feeding, what is it the a man can do that a woman cannot and vice versa? Or are you going to ignore all of the gay and lesbian couples who have successfully raised children?

    In-equivalence and inequality are already built into the nature of homosexual attraction and unions.

    Humans have over come much more worrisome burdens then this.

    Seeing this in-equivalency in nature, why should Americans vote to institutionalize attraction that is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender?

    Explain what you think what the genders should act like? The statement of human gender is meaningless until you fill in what you mean. No one should agree with anything you have said until you spell this out.

    (I already know what you think men and women should be. I want you to say it.)

    We understand that you WANT gay marriage, but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.

    Rights are not given to people, they are taken. So what if you do not approve, your approval it not needed. It is my right because I claim and you cannot give a coherent reason why I should deny myself.

    James, I am not sorry that the existence of people like me causes you discomfort. But any one who claims that what I do is morally wrong, like murder, deserves nothing but scorn. What I am harms no one. What you wants harms multitudes.

    Fuck you, James, you fascist creep.

  249. #250 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    @235 RevBigDumbChimp: This isn’t an example of the Church’s institutional racism, but does illustrate the type of men who rose to the top. Ezra Taft Benson, thirteenth president of the LDS church, wrote the forward to a little racist pamphlet called The Black Hammer: A Study of Black Power.

    Cover is here: http://www.affirmation.org/images/covers/the_black_hammer.gif

    Further information Ezra T’s racebaiting is here: http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon409.htm

    And other info on the tacitly-condoned oepn racism by church members:
    http://usu-shaft.com/2009/why-i-dont-believe-racism-in-mormon-history-and-doctrine/

  250. #251 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    I’d rather be an autonomous functioning normal human, but that is just me.

    not so fast, kimosabe :)

  251. #252 James
    December 22, 2009

    Zab:

    You wrote:
    “I realize that every single one of your points have been addressed several times, since you just ignore every valid argument and keep re-iterating the exact same points… But I wanted to take a small stab at this anyway.”

    No valid or compelling arguments have been made to refute or address how same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender.

    Instead, opposing bloggers have attempted to deconstruct the words “purpose”, “identity”, “attraction” and “gender”.

    Deconstruction detaches meanings from realities. We can clearly see why someone of the same sex attraction type would want to detach these meanings: to create new ones which are consistent with a particular view of same sex attraction.

    But these deconstructions do not change the nature of reality:

    1. Same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    2. Nature has discriminated against same sex unions by naturally preventing homosexual men or lesbian from procreating together.

    Why is this so? Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.

  252. #253 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Credible evidence now exists that supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon as true history, in part.

    No… it doesn’t…

    I love the way you cleverly used James’ whole range of evidence against him there Celtic.

  253. #254 raven
    December 22, 2009

    raven@218 commented ?The South Arabian stuff is just grasping at straws and doesn’t even really hint at it.?

    It sounds like you have some idea what he’s going on about. Could you elucidate? James has, sofar, completely ignored the requests from different people saying, basically, WTF?

    I googled it and found something about a word on an inscription that might be the same as a word in the BofM but probably isn’t.

    Those 10 seconds were enough, not going to spend any more time on modern day mythology. If you care, put Mormon South Arabia and similar key words in google and read.

  254. #255 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    This isn’t an example of the Church’s institutional racism,

    Except it is. No blacks could be ordained. The church leaders said this to be the commandment of God. These are the people who should receive divine revelation. That is about as institutionalized as it gets. No?

    Is god a racist or is the Mormon church full of shit?

  255. #256 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    I know and you know

    anyone that assumes without evidence knowledge of others’ thoughts is clinically delusional.

    better get yourself checked out there, Jimmy boy.

  256. #257 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Jadehawk:

    There is no such neccessary nomenclature or restriction when using the term “purpose.”

    Entities indeed have purposes and uses.

    Look, I know and you know that same sex attraction neither has a ulitarian purpose or a neccesary use within the human species.

    and you clearly don’t understand that nothing in biology has a purpose. that’s teleological thinking. not my fault you’re too blind to realize your religious biases, and that they don’t reflect the real world at all.
    there is no purpose in heterosexual relationships either. that’s because “purpose” is not present in nature. it’s as simple as that.

    not too mention that your claim that only that which is natural and “purposeful” should be practiced is contrary to your very own religion’s claim that abstinence from sex is a good thing. now THAT is unnatural and has no natural “purpose”, as you have used the word in this thread.

    if you want to insist that gays shouldn’t marry because it’s “unnatural”, you’re going to have to say that no one should marry, because monogamy and abstinence are even less natural than homosexuality. and religious worship is the least natural thing of all. are you going to argue against that, too?

  257. #258 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Why is this so? Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.

    Nor is heterosexual union. Stop using the same fallacy over and over and over. You’re being insipid.

    human male gender

    Which is a cultural contruct. Did you know some indigenous American’s believes that there are as many as 5 different gender identity?

  258. #259 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009

    No valid or compelling arguments have been made to refute or address how same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender.

    Denial: Not just a river in Egypt.

    James has his head firmly wedged. He is unable to see anything but the interior of his colon.

    done.

  259. #260 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    Entities indeed have purposes and uses.

    Cause you said so? Citation, please…

    Look, I know and you know that same sex attraction neither has a ulitarian purpose or a neccesary use within the human species.

    Don’t you fucking tell me what I know… What I know is that you know nothing that you ever took the trouble to actually learn, research or investigate yourself. What you know begins and ends with what you’ve been told by people with an agenda to use you for their own purposes…

    I think you need to take a good, long, deep look inside yourself and actually try to understand exactly “what you know”…

  260. #261 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    “We understand that you WANT gay marriage, but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.”
    That’s fantastic for you and all, but the only reason that creating this social construct is remotely difficult is because you’ve parked your ass, sitting on its stupid book, in the way. Get out of it and I will gladly do all the work without any interference from you, and almost without taxing existing social structures. Quickly changing one definition in a book is almost effortless, so even if you /didn’t/ see a reason

    And you know what? There is a reason. Not only does the government have a vested interest in allowing long term couples to have some special benefits to encourage that state, but the government has a vested interest in DECREASING population growth, because we’re already taxing our water supplies. Therefore, Homosexual Marriage stands at 2-0, and Heterosexual Marriage stands at 1-1. Well, guess that means that Homosexual marriage wins, and heterosexual marriage is abolished with a new thing to take its place.

    Wait, what do you mean that would an inhuman denial of rights?

  261. #262 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James @194,

    We understand that you WANT gay marriage, but see no compelling reason to create a social construct that is unnecessary for children, adults or governments.

    One more thing.

    Your language (‘no compelling reason’) suggests that you would change your mind should a ‘compelling’ reason present itself.

    Which suggests two questions.

    1. Could you enlighten us as to what would be a compelling reason for you to support same-sex marriage?

    2. Could you please enlighten us as to what are the compelling reasons to oppose those who are asking for same-sex marriage rights?

  262. #263 Ichthyic
    December 22, 2009
  263. #264 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    1. Same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Since you won’t explain why you hate gay people, there’s no point in discussing this with you. But, SIWOTI. There is no natural purpose of human male gender. I don’t think you can define what you mean by identity, either.

    2. Nature has discriminated against same sex unions by naturally preventing homosexual men or lesbian from procreating together.

    Did you read about kin selection yet?

    Nature has discriminated against human flight by not giving us wings.

    Why should Americans allow airplanes that are incompatible with and inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human appendages and which are not necessary for the human species?

  264. #265 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    I love the way you cleverly used James’ whole range of evidence against him there Celtic.

    Seemed like argument from personal assertion was the only one he might listen to… ;^)

  265. #266 James
    December 22, 2009

    Lynna:

    In the LDS Church, Mormon authorities can be wrong.

    They can make mistakes and still be chosen by God. Why? Because human beings are fallible.

    You haven’t address how Joseph Smith was the first white leader of an all white Church to ordain a black man to the priesthood in 1836.

    Mormons do not claim that prejudice didn’t exist in amongst Mormons during that time.

    It took the United States over 100 years after the “Emancipation Proclamation” for blacks to receive their civil rights in 1964.

    Prejudice was interwoven into the fabric of every society which Joseph Smith tried to deinstitutionalize by recognizing black men and women as “alike unto God.”

    However, the gay movement for civil rights cannot be accurately compared to the civil righs movement.

    In the civil rights movement, blacks could accurately and reasonably argue that black men were equivalent to white men and black women were equilavent to white women.

    However, homosexual men cannot argue that they are equivalent to women to be wives and husbands, and lesbian women cannot argue that they are equivalent to men to be husbands and fathers.

    It can also be argued that homosexual unions are not equivalent to heterosexual unions.

    There are no real equivalencies in these arguments and therefore, it is not a case of civil rights.

  266. #267 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Instead, opposing bloggers have attempted to deconstruct the words “purpose”, “identity”, “attraction” and “gender”.

    Deconstruction detaches meanings from realities. We can clearly see why someone of the same sex attraction type would want to detach these meanings: to create new ones which are consistent with a particular view of same sex attraction.

    surprise, surprise, another godbot who doesn’t understand how language works.

    Just because you think the words mean what you think they mean doesn’t actually make it so. there is no “natural gender”; there is a natural sex, but gender is a social construct. that’s a fact, whether you like it or not.

    “purpose” is also a human construct. it doesn’t exist in nature. in nature, things are used for anything and everything they can be used for, but they do no have a pre-determined purpose. that’s teleology, and doesn’t actually exist in nature.

    I don’t even know WTF you think the words “identity” and “attraction” mean, that you believe the people here have been using them wrong

  267. #268 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Or are you going to ignore all of the gay and lesbian couples who have successfully raised children?

    Now don’t bring evidence into the picture….especially since the research seems to FAVOR same-sex couples.

  268. #269 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    For James, the real lives of real LGBT people is not proof enough. James is content to tell us all that our lives have no purpose and meaning. At the risk of pulling a Godwin, just how far is this from being life unworthy of life?

  269. #270 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    They can make mistakes and still be chosen by God. Why? Because human beings are fallible.

    Thank you for that admission.

    How do you decide which divine revelation is actually divine revelation and which is someone being wrong?

    Is that a crack I see?

  270. #271 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    However, homosexual men cannot argue that they are equivalent to women to be wives and husbands, and lesbian women cannot argue that they are equivalent to men to be husbands and fathers

    We’ve already have and were doing a pretty good job of it too. Gosh you’re so fucking insipid.

  271. #272 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    1. Same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    2. Nature has discriminated against same sex unions by naturally preventing homosexual men or lesbian from procreating together.

    Why is this so? Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.

    And what has THAT got to do with the completely man-made institutional idea of marriage. Or will we be seeing baboons and giraffes walking down the isle any time soon (as long as they are male and female of course)

  272. #273 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    I love how James is switching to using nature as an authority even though that should undermine his earlier arguments about choice. He’s also got this species-ego thing going on, wherein everything is all about the species, and the purpose of procreating THAT species.

    @RevBigDumbChimp: Sorry, I should have been more clear when constructing my post. I wasn’t meaning to say that all your prior examples of church doctrine weren’t. The “this” in:

    This isn’t an example of the Church’s institutional racism…

    …was meant to refer to Benson’s prologue to The Black Hammer, which was written before he became President of the church, and which is not part of official church teachings. ie. This example I am about to provide is the private views of a man who later rose to power inside the church. Hope that clarifies, and sorry for any confusion. I’m not trying to argue against any of your prior points, which are all accurate AFAIK.

  273. #274 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    However, homosexual men cannot argue that they are equivalent to women to be wives and husbands, and lesbian women cannot argue that they are equivalent to men to be husbands and fathers.

    No, they are all partners and potential parents.

    James, go read the research. In particular, read the research comparing children raised by same-sex couple and those raised by different-sex couples. Here’s a place for you to start:

    http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318061.aspx

    Until you’ve reviewed the research, stop talking smack. Your ignorance is showing.

  274. #275 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    James #253 wrote:

    No valid or compelling arguments have been made to refute or address how same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender. Instead, opposing bloggers have attempted to deconstruct the words “purpose”, “identity”, “attraction” and “gender”.

    This is not a diversion; this is the main crux of the argument. You are using a specifically religious, teleological understanding of “the natural purpose of the male” and pretending that you are saying nothing more controversial than “men have testes and sperm which can result in offspring.”

    But you can’t get from “men can procreate with women” to “men are naturally sexually attracted to women” to “men who are not sexually attracted to women are going against the natural way the male gender is identified.” There are huge, unwarranted leaps in there: they do not naturally follow. Men are also naturally sexually attracted to men. Men are also naturally indifferent to sex, interested in families, not interested in families, and every other permutation found in nature. And we identify all of them as “men.”

    We’re not contorting anything in order to get round the obvious. You’re contorting the obvious existence of natural human variety in order to select one particular preference as not just “natural,” but the best. The end purpose.

  275. #276 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    And James can you please address the timing of the divine revelations of 1890′s and the late 1970s that conveniently coincided with the Federal government threatening to seize assets, deny statehood and remove the Church’s tax-exempt status.

    Or will you ignore this as well?

  276. #277 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkL6rop7ope6a9ysVWsdSU1FNTAQmmW9gw
    December 22, 2009

    (sigh)

    James, I’ve heard the same kind of bigoted crap from Jews, Muslims and loads of different flavored Christian sects. Just change a few code words and it could come from any theocratic zealot.

    What it comes down to is that theocratic believers all want their beliefs & only their beliefs to be law. Reality has no place in their systems.

    Basically James, you & your ilk are fascist fucktards at best.

  277. #278 blf
    December 22, 2009

    The Book of Mormon predicts specific geographical features, cultural features, settlement names, geography at a specific time and place. There are over 16 separate predictions that there is direct evidence for in south Arabia including specific flora and fauna of a particular century.

    How precise are these predictions? (Translation: Can they be falsified?)

    And how many predictions are not true? (Translation: How many have been falsified?)

    Why does the bom refer to animals, plants, technologies, and cites/places which did not exist in Mesoamerica at the time? Like horses, which were brought by the Spanish conquistadors? Well after the bom’s ending in c.400CE.

    And as others (and myself) have repeatedly asked, please provide references. At the moment, there is absolutely no reason to think you aren’t either making stuff up, or (more likely) vomiting up what has been force-fed you.

  278. #279 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    How do you decide which divine revelation is actually divine revelation and which is someone being wrong?

    Too easy. When they’re saying something that James wants to hear, it’s divine revelation.

  279. #280 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    Has he defined “The role of the male” yet?

    Because if not, I’m putting 10 bucks on “Breadwinner and Deciderer”. Any takers? I’ll give great odds.

  280. #281 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    @RevBigDumbChimp: Sorry, I should have been more clear when constructing my post. I wasn’t meaning to say that all your prior examples of church doctrine weren’t. The “this” in:

    ooops, my bad.

  281. #282 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, the racism of the government of the United States and it’s citizens is no excuse for the racism of your church. And mewing about human’s imperfect nature is not a good enough excuse. If your big sky daddy was that upset about your church’s racism, he could have revealed it to fucking Smith, Young and every other bloated bastard that followed in their wake.

    Please address the evidence that Lynna and Chimpy has given you. And do not fucking say; But the United States was also racist.

    Fucking weasel.

  282. #283 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Too easy. When they’re saying something that James wants to hear, it’s divine revelation.

    “You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do.”

  283. #284 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    It can also be argued that homosexual unions are not equivalent to heterosexual unions.

    Since you hate gay people, I’m sure you think it can be argued. Why don’t you try? I’ve been waiting for you to explain where your hatred comes from.

  284. #285 James
    December 22, 2009

    Jade:

    You wrote:
    “if you want to insist that gays shouldn’t marry because it’s “unnatural”, you’re going to have to say that no one should marry.”

    I am not insisting that gays and lesbians should do this or that.

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    Gays and lesbians WANT gay marriage but there is no social necessity for it. There is no scientific basis for it. And, it is not consistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    In the beginning of this argument I said I would continue to vote against gay marriage and persuade others to vote against it because it is not necessary for children, adults, or government.

    Furthermore, the fascist lobby to make gay marriage EQUIVALENT to the societal value of heterosexual marriage is a fraud. The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    As an American citizen, I don’t see any reason to indulge homosexual men or women further in this pursuit.

    However, I do strongly favor protections for homosexual men and women concerning access to housing, benefits, and employment.

  285. #286 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    and excuse me but who exactly decided that rights should be taken away if they aren’t necessary at the time? Is this a normal feature of american liberty? Doesn’t sound very constitutional to me.

    Who decides when people should lose their rights? Do they have expiry dates perhaps?

    And exactly when were one peoples rights allowed to be taken away by majority voting again? Is this also a normal feature of american liberty?

  286. #287 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Please address the evidence that Lynna and Chimpy has given you. And do not fucking say; But the United States was also racist.

    Fucking weasel.

    Besides, you’d expect God’s people to figure out ten years sooner than everyone else, not ten years later.

  287. #288 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Furthermore, the fascist lobby to make gay marriage EQUIVALENT to the societal value of heterosexual marriage is a fraud. The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    And, we’ve got one of the more unhinged types of Mormo-bigot.

  288. #289 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Furthermore, the fascist lobby to make gay marriage EQUIVALENT to the societal value of heterosexual marriage is a fraud. The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    Fascist?

  289. #290 Andrew Brown
    December 22, 2009

    Amazed no-one’s linked to this yet!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U58wgn-9Y3c

  290. #291 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    MAJeff, I was just going to say; Fuck but that dumbfuck is dumb.

    James, have you heard of pink triangles? Have you heard of black triangles? Look both of them up and learn what fascist did with gays and lesbians.

  291. #292 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    HEy, James. I just gave you an ironclad societal reason to promote Homosexual Marriage and abolish Heterosexual Marriage. An ironclad societal reason clad in actual facts. Care to address it?

    Note: I don’t actually believe in abolishing heterosexual marriage. It’s inhuman. But if we’re going strictly by utility, then away it goes for a long while.

  292. #293 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Gays and lesbians WANT gay marriage but there is no social necessity for it. There is no scientific basis for it. And, it is not consistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    In the beginning of this argument I said I would continue to vote against gay marriage and persuade others to vote against it because it is not necessary for children, adults, or government.

    GET IT IN YOUR FUCKING HEAD! There is no purpose to either heterosexual or homosexual union in nature. You don’t need either for the “naturalistic processes.” Furthermore you are committing a naturalistic fallacy. (which is interesting since your religion isn’t need for the survival of the species either. See what I did there.)Heterosexual marriage is also not necessary for children, adults, or the government. (does that make it wrong?). And gender is a cultural construct.

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    We have. You’re ignoring them.

  293. #294 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: “Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.”

    Lets “deconstruct” this —
    1) Homosexual sex is not strictly necessary for the propagation of the human species, but heterosexual sex is. True enough.
    2) Homosexual sex can be called homosexual union. Well, if you say so.
    3) Homosexual union means homosexual marriage. What???
    4) Propagation of the human species is necessary — as distinct from the original statement, what is necessary for the human species is it’s propagation, therefore whatever is necessary for propagation is necessary for the species. What?? The species isn’t an organism with needs.

    Now, all these steps are logic, if and only if, you believe in a theology like Mormonism, where the “goal” of the human species — not its form, but it’s conscious goal — is it’s propagation; where sex is only for propagation; and where sex == union == marriage.

    So, James can’t tell that everyone isn’t a Mormon. He’s like a tone-deaf musician — we’d really prefer that he play his instrument silently. He assumes Mormon theology, then rationalizes it, without EVER realizing that he’s incapable of not assuming it — and he apparently REALLY THINKS that we all are secret Mormons.

    And this is why you can’t talk to folks trapped in a circle of insanity.

  294. #295 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James @285,

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    What would be a compelling or valid reason?

    I asked this question before, but maybe it was lost in the chaff.

    If your answer is that there isn’t one, and couldn’t ever be one, then you had better examine your prejudices more closely.

  295. #296 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Has he defined “The role of the male” yet?

    Because if not, I’m putting 10 bucks on “Breadwinner and Deciderer”. Any takers? I’ll give great odds.

    I’m betting on “the one what tells the woman what to do”. After all with two men, that can’t happen. Perhaps thats the problem. Theres no heirarchy…leading to anarchy…and feminism…ooo emancipation is scary.

    Furthermore, the fascist lobby to make gay marriage EQUIVALENT to the societal value of heterosexual marriage is a fraud. The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    and James reveals his true colours. That took much longer than I thought. Teh ebil gays and their secret ebil agenda. Focus on the family. Protect the children!!! Don’t let them know that life isn’t black and white. They might learn about other people and cultures…the horror.

  296. #297 KOPD42
    December 22, 2009

    What exactly is the “natural purpose and identity of human male gender” and how do you know?

  297. #298 sparky-ca
    December 22, 2009

    Actually, going on James’s own argument, males have ‘no social necessity’, now that we have sperm banks. Women are safe until the artificial womb is invented.

  298. #299 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    I am not insisting that gays and lesbians should do this or that.

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    do you even uderstand the words you’re using?

    voting on constitutional rights of others IS insisting on others “doing this or that”

    Gays and lesbians WANT gay marriage but there is no social necessity for it.

    the right to marry whom you want has been declared a constitutional right by the U.s. supreme court. your voting against it is unconstitutional. that’s all the social necessity that is required, and it’s the same “social necessity” that ended anti-miscegenation laws, which were argued with the same idiotic arguments of “unnaturalness”.

    There is no scientific basis for it.

    there is no scientific basis for monogamy and heterosexual marriage either

    And, it is not consistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    there is no such thing as “natural purpose and identity of human gender”. human gender is a social construct, human identity is a matter of individuals, not biology, and natural things don’t have purpose. just because your religion tells you otherwise doesn’t actually make it so.

  299. #300 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    Jamesd #285 wrote:

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    The burden is not on the citizen to demonstrate they have a right, but on the government to demonstrate that they do not. The government has failed to make a compelling case that being of opposite genders is necessary for marriage. What the majority thinks is irrelevant: we do not vote on rights. “Natural purpose” is simply the naturalistic fallacy pretending to be neutral.

    The “social necessity” for gay marriage is the same as for straight marriage. Neither the legal needs, nor the personal benefits, change when the sex changes.

    Social justice therefore leads to the recognition of gay marriage as legitimate contract, from a secular, civil stance. Religions are, of course, allowed to sanctify whatever they choose to sanctify, and refuse to sanctify whatever they refuse to sanctify.

    There is a great need for civil liberties. Your arguments that we don’t “need” gay marriage all return to this point. You need gay marriage as much, as gay people need your ability to worship as you choose, and consider being gay a sin. Both sides can argue over what is “best” — but neither side can demand that the government step in and rule.

    Nor should they want to do this.

  300. #301 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    OK… simple question: What are the compelling reasons for Americans to institutionalize infertile different-sex couples?

  301. #302 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    You have repeatedly ignored what I have asked of you. Read up.

    The Book of Mormon predicts specific geographical features, cultural features, settlement names, geography at a specific time and place. There are over 16 separate predictions that there is direct evidence for in south Arabia including specific flora and fauna of a particular century.

    Your lack of knowledge concerning recent archeological data about MesoAmerica or the evidences in that region are evident. I find most anti-mormons rely on archeological date from the late 70s for their “iron clad” evidences against the Book of Mormon.

    emphasis mine

    Mesoamerica is an area extending south from central Mexico, through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and parts of Nicaragua. Perhaps you meant Mesopotamia, which covers Iraq and parts of Syria. Arabia (by which I assume you mean the Arabia Peninsula) does not share it’s geographic location with either of the above mentioned places.

    Experts in Middle Eastern and North American archaeology and biological anthropologists and geneticists have conclusively shown the Book of Mormon to be a complete fabrication.

    Your church intentionally hides these facts from its members. It does not surprise me to know that you accept church doctrine on this, but you and the church are wrong. It’s unfortunate that your innate human ability to think critically has atrophied so severely under the guidance of the LDS church.

  302. #303 blf
    December 22, 2009

    I googled it and found something about a word on an inscription that might be the same as a word in the BofM but probably isn’t.

    Ah. The old linguistics game. The ldsers keep trying this one, without success (albeit the southern Arabian angle is a new one to me). The words used were either known to Smith from other sources, are incorrectly translated, are used in an impossible context, or so on. Exactly zlitch evidence that Smith didn’t make it up.

  303. #304 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Is music necessary for the propogation of the species? James is turning into the crabby old man telling the young kids to turn their evil devil music down…and get off his lawn.

    It doesn’t sound like much fun being a mormon. Even if you are a round peg in a round hole…

    Are lawns necessary for the propagation of the species?

  304. #305 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    It’s hard to believe that a just and righteous god would be a decade behind the civil rights curve, even if you want to use some weaselly argument about the nation not being prepared to accept a greater law yet. Why did it take the LDS church until 1978 to give blacks the priesthood? Why not declare it when the nation desegregated? And knowing that, why should I think they are any more accurate as to any theoretical god’s demands re: glbt rights?

    James sez:

    I am saying that as an American citizen, gays and lesbians have presented no compelling or valid reasons why Americans should institutionalize same sex attraction.

    If by institutionalise you mean,t hey are treating gay folks as equal members of the society which said gay folks ALREADY contribute to.

    Gays and lesbians WANT gay marriage but there is no social necessity for it.

    No? When studies show that partners in healthy communicating marriages live longer healthier lives? When it provides gay people with a legally recognised support structure? When gay folks prove more than willing to adopt children nobody else will take on?

    If we grant marriage as a legal construct, then we have to grant it to all people equally.

    If we grant marriage as a religious construct, then why can’t religions (like the UUs) that allow gay marriage be allowed to perform it?

    There is no scientific basis for it.

    There’s no scientific basis for hetero marriage either. You can produce offspring just fine outside of it. In fact, men could produce more offspring outside of marriage if they didn’t have pesky laws about child-support.

    And, it is not consistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    Natural purpose again? Man, you are really really stuck on this species propagation thing, aren’t you?

    And what weird cocktail of human traits do you actually guarantee by having exactly one woman and one man in the unit raising children? I can guarantee that the only thing I could provide a female child that a man can’t provide is empathy about the period–and it’s not like there’s a shortage of that empathy to go around.

    In the beginning of this argument I said I would continue to vote against gay marriage and persuade others to vote against it because it is not necessary for children, adults, or government.

    Neither is hetero-marriage. AGAIN.

    However, we have granted a legal set of rights to a class of citizens and it is appropriate and humane to give those rights to gay couples as well.

    Furthermore, the fascist lobby to make gay marriage EQUIVALENT to the societal value of heterosexual marriage is a fraud. The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    Did you pay attention in high school history class? Or to quote Inigo Montoya, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

    Look up the word “fascist” and learn how to use it properly.

    Also, what hoax? Gay people exist. Treating them like human beings with dignity and lives and goals and aspirations is not a hoax.

    As an American citizen, I don’t see any reason to indulge homosexual men or women further in this pursuit.

    However, I do strongly favor protections for homosexual men and women concerning access to housing, benefits, and employment.

    Wow, gracious of you. Did you want a cookie for stretching your empathy so far?

  305. #306 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Richard Eis, a man maintaining a perfect green lawn shows that he is a responsible family man, either a damn good future husband or a damn good father.

    I’d like to see a pansy like you put that kind of effort on humble plants.

    ‘snort’

  306. #307 James
    December 22, 2009

    Pygmy Loris:

    You wrote:
    “Experts in Middle Eastern and North American archaeology and biological anthropologists and geneticists have conclusively shown the Book of Mormon to be a complete fabrication.”

    You just made that up.

    You can’t list a single expert in any of those fields who have “CONCLUSIVELY” (based on their research and evidence” shown that the Book of Mormon is a complete fabrication.

    And here’s how we can test it:

    Name the conclusive evidence that conclusively shows the Book of Mormon to be a completely fabrication in each of those areas.

    The Book of Mormon certainly has its critics but there are not experts that have conclusively demonstrated its fabrication.

  307. #308 blf
    December 22, 2009

    James might actually mean Mesoamerica since that’s the area where the people from Mesopotamia somehow migrated, according to the bom and/or lds mythology. There is no at all evidence for this; the Mesoamerican cities the bom says exist don’t, there is no connection between the languages of the two regions, and so on.

  308. #309 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Furthermore, the fascist lobby to make gay marriage EQUIVALENT to the societal value of heterosexual marriage is a fraud.

    The fascist lobby? You really are a nutter, James.

    Thank you for reminding everyone that Mormons are still bad people.

    The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    How? By informing them of the empirical fact that gay and bi orientations are natural, observable in nature, and driven in part by our genetics?

  309. #310 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    Whoops, messed up one of my italics tags. This sentence from comment 305 is James’ and not mine:

    As an American citizen, I don’t see any reason to indulge homosexual men or women further in this pursuit.

    Please take note.

  310. #311 James
    December 22, 2009

    Jade/Pixel:

    What is the purpose of sexual attraction in human males?

  311. #312 Celtic_Evolution
    December 22, 2009

    Name the conclusive evidence that conclusively shows the Book of Mormon to be a completely fabrication in each of those areas.

    Wait… didn’t we ask you for your citation for your “proof of the bom”? I think you should go first, since we asked first… it’s only polite…

    Then you can sit back and gleefully dismiss and / or ignore all the links we will send you…

    You first…

  312. #313 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    You can’t list a single expert in any of those fields who have “CONCLUSIVELY” (based on their research and evidence” shown that the Book of Mormon The Wheels Of Time is a complete fabrication.

  313. #314 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    You can’t list a single expert in any of those fields who have “CONCLUSIVELY” (based on their research and evidence) shown that Operating Thetan III is a complete fabrication.

  314. #315 v.rosenzweig
    December 22, 2009

    Here’s an interesting phrasing: James keeps boasting that Young was the “first white leader of an all-white church” to ordain a black man. That strongly suggests that he is aware of Christian churches that were not racially segregated, and that had ordained black people as ministers earlier.

    It seems likely that “earlier” was many centuries earlier, in fact. I’m not an expert on church history, but the Assyrian Catholic church, the Nestorians among Genghis Khan’s followers, and Indian, Chinese, and Japanese people converted by Jesuits might be places to look. (No, you don’t get to move the goalposts and add “American” now.)

  315. #316 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    You just made that up.

    I read that in the voice of a petulant child stomping that made me laugh, because i so read that in the voice of a snotty child about to throw a tantrum :-p

    seriously, it’s been known for a long time that genetics have conclusively shown that Native Americans are not descended from Hebrews. Of course, the Mormons have been retconning their scriptures to align them with reality, but that’s just another proof that none of them are reliable in the first place.

  316. #317 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Uh oh, it’ll be a flogging for me.

  317. #318 blf
    December 22, 2009

    James fails again.

    http://packham.n4m.org/linguist.htm

    A LINGUIST LOOKS AT MORMONISM
    Notes on linguistics problems in Mormonism
    By Richard Packham

    First published: April 20, 2003
    Last revised: October 20, 2009


    Conclusion

    In light of the many linguistic blunders and erroneous translations made by this man who claimed to be a divinely inspired “translator,” it is difficult to see why anyone with any understanding of linguistic phenomena would accept his claims. Joseph Smith was quite ignorant of languages, in spite of his boasting of his abilities and divine inspiration, and when one examines his linguistic claims and his supposedly divine linguistic accomplishments, one must conclude that if his god inspired him, his god was as poor a linguist as he was.

    Mormonism’s claims fail on many other fronts besides linguistics. But even a few of the gross linguistic errors as discussed here should be sufficient to show that Smith’s claims are no more than the boastings of an ignorant (although charismatic) human being.

  318. #319 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Strange Gods, that was just a little odd.

    ‘giggle’

  319. #320 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009
    The great homosexual hoax is now being perpetrated against children.

    How? By informing them of the empirical fact that gay and bi orientations are natural, observable in nature, and driven in part by our genetics?

    Recruitment, don’t ya know. We’re obviously predators bent on enticing children into the *ominous voice*HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE*

  320. #321 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    James #311 wrote:

    What is the purpose of sexual attraction in human males?

    Whose purpose?

    In most cases, to find a sexual partner — or, perhaps, in some cases, for its own sake, or to act as something to resist.

    It evolved due to selection for various reasons — procreation is one reason. But it’s not the only one. If it was, there wouldn’t be attraction between people who can’t procreate.

  321. #322 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Just how are the children going to obey their ordained gender roles if they know that teh gayz can get married.

  322. #323 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    What is the purpose of sexual attraction in human males?

    none. for the xth time, there is no purpose in nature.

    OTOH, sex is used in many different ways by different animals, including humans: pleasure, reproduction, social bonding, conflict resolution, establishing hierarchies, etc. and most of it doesn’t happen within marriage, either. matter of fact, marriage is irrelevant to sex.

    what is your point again?

  323. #324 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    Biologically, sexual attraction in members of a species serves as a mechanism to propagate the species. Species survive because there is a mechanism for passing on genes and evolutionarily, species that find the process of genetic material swapping pleasureable will probably find an advantage.

    However, it’s not necessary for all members of a species to carry this sexual attraction for the species to propagate, and many species still utilize the nurturing aspects of those who do not end up mating. And nature makes no rules about what one does with the equipment one has at their disposal. Nature especially doesn’t say, “Hey, get hitched before going into heat!” Nature does not give a flying fuck about what any individual member of a species does, so trying to use it as an authority in an argument about a human construct is pretty idiotic.

  324. #325 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James, when a lesbian and a gay man independently and simultaneously think “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve read in the last ten minutes,” you should probably take this as a sign from God.

  325. #326 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    What is the purpose of sexual attraction in human males?

    oh, and also, what’s your obsession with human males?

    you do realize that human females also have sexual attractions, right?

  326. #327 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    It evolved due to selection for various reasons — procreation is one reason. But it’s not the only one. If it was, there wouldn’t be attraction between people who can’t procreate.

    Nah, that doesn’t follow.

  327. #328 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    you do realize that human females also have sexual attractions, right?

    James has never seen any evidence of this alleged phenomenon.

  328. #329 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    What is the purpose of sexual attraction in human males?

    You’ve yet to establish purpose in any meaningful way.

  329. #330 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Jadehawk, hush. We do not feel sexual attraction. We just want to serve a man.

    ‘snicker’

  330. #331 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    There is no “conclusive” evidence about the mythological creation of the Korean civilization being wrong. There are a lot evidence to show that it’s not right, but by James standard these are not conclusive. So by James logic I am a bear.

  331. #332 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    oh, and also, what’s your obsession with human males?

    Sperm magic.

    That, and male homosexuality is a more severe violation of the gender order–in anal sex, a man is intentionally taking the role of a woman and getting fucked. It tends to be an obsession of patriarchal types of folks.

  332. #333 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    “What is the purpose of attraction in males”

    None. There’s no ‘naturalistic purpose’ in anything. But guys feeling it want sex with whoever they find attractive.

  333. #334 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James has never seen any evidence of this alleged phenomenon.

    hah, too true

  334. #335 sparky-ca
    December 22, 2009

    @Jadehawk

    noooo, women are brood mares and domestic servants. We aren’t supposed to get pleasure from sex.

    /snark off

  335. #336 JohnnieCanuck
    December 22, 2009

    With 6 billion people on this planet and rising, I think we should be doing everything we can to encourage people to recognise and embrace any same sex attraction they might have. Even if it didn’t reduce the birth rate by much, it would still be a step in the right direction for many reasons.

    All this fascination with what others are doing with their genitalia traces back to warrior-priest kings trying to maximise the production rate of their future warriors. Empty wombs were the ultimate disloyalty to the tribal leaders. Too bad that their encoding these rules in religious texts was so effective and long lasting.

    It is ‘natural’ for any species to reproduce at levels that are not sustainable and to eventually exceed the capacity of the environment. This is a fundamental aspect of evolution. That does not mean that the effects of over-population are good for the species or the individuals in it. It is clearly not good for all the other species that have been or are being driven to extinction.

    Stop giving tax breaks to people who breed and make sex education and contraceptives readily available. This is not a point in history where ‘we’ need to out-compete the ‘other’ in the bedroom.

  336. #337 greenishblue
    December 22, 2009

    Wow. I just dug through this entire thread in one sitting. For anyone else joining late, here’s a summary:

    James: “[Unsubstantiated claim], [unsubstantiated claim], [naturalistic fallacy], and also [unsubstantiated claim]. Therefore, [unwarranted conclusion].”

    Everyone else: “Please substantiate your claim. Also, you committed the naturalistic fallacy.”

    James: “Look, it’s very simple: [Repeated unsubstantiated claim], [repeated unwarranted conclusion], due to [another naturalistic fallacy]

    Repeat

  337. #338 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    @ 326 Jadehawk: He may not have really considered the implications of female sexual attraction. After all, the lessons I got from the LDS church about human sexuality was that boys had to worry about dirty thoughts and masturbation and girls had to worry about modesty so we didn’t give the boys dirty thoughts and give them cause to sully their purity. While both sexes were told to not have sex, it was almost always in the framework of guys having the power and inclination and women resisting their blandishments.

    For entertaining reading on human sexuality, Mormon style, consider Boyd K. Packer’s infamous “little factory” speech which was actually titled, “To Young Men Only.”
    http://www.lds-mormon.com/only.shtml

    (Incidentally, this is one of those areas where the church did me a lot of psychological damage, by first insisting that masturbation was evil, instead of a natural impulse, and further implying that it was a male-only problem. I thought I was the only girl with the issue, and given the other rhetoric you’ve seen about gender roles and sexuality, you can imagine the damage that did to me in terms of self-esteem.)

  338. #339 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    We just want to serve a man…’snicker’

    Sure, I’ll take a Snickers.

  339. #340 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    James I’m still waiting for you to address the points I’ve brought up. it’s very convenient that you’re ignoring them. Almost as convenient as how “divine revelation” works in your cult.

  340. #341 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    Thanks blf!

    James,

    Ask any North American archaeologist about the claims of the book of mormon. They will tell you the claims are false. My expertise lies more in the origin and distribution of modern human populations. Linguistic, archaeological, and genetic, and morphological evidence indicates that modern Native Americans are descended from the people who lived in northeastern Asia approximately 20,000-15,000 years ago. However, modern Inuit have their origin in Asia much more recently, circa 5,000-7,000 years ago. It is the falsehood that Native Americans are descended from the Hebrews that underlies the entire Book of Mormon.

  341. #342 Lee
    December 22, 2009

    Hi All, I?m Lynna?s brother. I?m jumping in here with a few comments related to earlier parts of this thread but do relate to the subject at hand. I dated a Mormon for over a year. It?s a long story that involves a desire to gain a greater understanding of human nature, a desire to help an obviously psychologically damaged person (largely because of her belief construct) and affection. Anyway, I succeeded in gaining much more than I supposed possible regarding understanding human nature, especially in the realm of superstitions but not surprisingly failed in the rest.

    Don?t worry; I don?t intend to bore with a story. What I believe I may be able to offer is a unique perspective. Not as a so-called insider or ex-mormon but simply as an individual that had a desire to learn.

    Mormons are a fascinating lot ? an exquisite example of the brains capability to create delusion that can be believed with heart and soul to the point of ?I would die for my religion?. This type of belief of course has similarities to other religious groups across the world but the Mormon current day twists derive from what I believe is the need to function in society as a whole while maintaining a spiritual superiority. That last line ?maintaining a spiritual superiority? most mormons would irritably deny. That?s just one example of numerous mind-boggling split-brain feats I witnessed.

    Yes, it can be described as a cult but this a unique memetic virus perhaps because of adaptability. By this I mean the ability to exist as a group in a functioning society while adhering to a complete nonsensical belief system. Various control methods are used to maintain this system and there seems to be an ever-tightening grip seeking to control every aspect of their lives. It?s a very difficult balance because it seems to be of utmost importance to also maintain a facade of societal normality often represented by statements of respect and even admiration for groups or individuals not within ?the church?. One eventually begins to recognize the falsehoods behind such exuberance.
    There are of course many different levels of adherence and belief regarding the ?restored gospel? among members and like all human societies they vary greatly in every day discourse. But some of the trends are an over enthusiastic patriotism, (hence the constitution hanging by a thread syndrome) a tendency to believe in almost magical cures for obesity or illness and a feeling of heartfelt trust towards other members and the opposite to non members.

    Overall is it dangerous? Ask a mormon and you can imagine the answer, my conclusion is yes, it is. Mormons look at me with such disgust, as if they have laid eyes upon the ?adversary? (the devil) himself when I say this. However, I have witnessed so much absurdity with regard to this construct, to conclude otherwise would be a delusion. It?s dangerous because it?s stifling to education, society, human rights (privileges) and the cognitive evolution of man and womankind.

  342. #343 blf
    December 22, 2009

    [Teh Gayz a]re obviously predators bent on enticing children into the *ominous voice*HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE*

    Do the kids taste better that way? Any recipe hints? (Seems like a lot of work for a bit of fresh meat.)

  343. #344 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    We just want to serve a man.

    preferably with mole poblano

  344. #345 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Richard Eis, a man maintaining a perfect green lawn shows that he is a responsible family man, either a damn good future husband or a damn good father.

    I’d like to see a pansy like you put that kind of effort on humble plants.

    ‘snort’

    My garden would be a wild place with butterflies, ponds, gravel and foreign plants. Chaotic but with a light touch of control. I can think of nothing more tortured or less interesting than a perfect lawn.

    and lets face it, going up and down your lawn on a rideable mower is no ones idea of a hunky hunter gatherer type. It shows only that he is boring and likes dull routine.

    Hey, we should do a survey on lawn maintenance based on church attendance. I bet theres a correlation.

  345. #346 AJ Milne
    December 22, 2009

    Do the kids taste better that way? Any recipe hints? (Seems like a lot of work for a bit of fresh meat.)

    Honestly, that whole crazy scene is just a fad, all about status… With proper marinating and basting, vastly less expensive cuts of child will do just as well.

    (/Martha Stewart: ‘It’s a goood thing.’)

  346. #347 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Do the kids taste better that way? Any recipe hints? (Seems like a lot of work for a bit of fresh meat.)

    Depends on the age. I prefer fetus sliced very thin and raw, like sashimi. After they pop out, they’ve got bones and stuff, so you need to start looking at roasting. They get stringier as they age, so longer cooking times become necessary. Once they’re eight or so, they’re no longer worth eating. Then we turn them over to the Catholic priests.

  347. #348 Zabinatrix
    December 22, 2009

    James wrote:

    No valid or compelling arguments have been made to refute or address how same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender.

    Maybe the arguments presented haven’t seemed compelling or valid to you, but the point is that you do not even address them. Every time you’ve repeated your fallacies about natural purpose and whatnot you have gotten refutations. But you do not reply to them other than repeat the exact same arguments you made before, as if no counter-arguments had been made.

    You don’t have to find the arguments against you compelling, but if you want to be involved in a rational discussion you do have to address them before repeating the same arguments again.

    Instead, opposing bloggers have attempted to deconstruct the words “purpose”, “identity”, “attraction” and “gender”.

    I have seen no deconstruction – I’ve only seen attempts to explain these words to you.

    For instance, “purpose.” You see purpose in nature, but I do not. What is the purpose of tides? Eclipses? Earthquakes? Oceanic currents? Or indeed, what is the purpose of sexual procreation? All those things have causes and effects, but do you think that they have a purpose? If so, why? Without bringing religion into it, nothing like that has a purpose – it just is.

    1. Same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Why do you only talk about the male gender? Are women not important in your world? Or do you just not want to be mean to lesbians, because lesbian sex is oh so hot? I just don’t understand why you are singling out the male gender here.

    Anyway, I see that you once again fail to address any points made. You wrote this as a response to my comment that basically said that it doesn’t matter if a homosexual relationship is “useful” or not – love is still love. So what I’m saying is that your talk about the “natural purpose” doesn’t matter even if there is such a thing as purpose in nature.

    You don’t have to agree with that, but again you are just reiterating the exact same thing as you said before, without addressing why you think that I’m wrong. Again: for a real, adult discussion you have to address counterarguments before reiterating your own arguments again.

    2. Nature has discriminated against same sex unions by naturally preventing homosexual men or lesbian from procreating together.

    Not everyone has to make babies. Not every marriage has to be about making babies. Not every heterosexual marriage leads to babies.

    Why is this so? Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.

    Straight marriage isn’t necessary for the human species. Football isn’t necessary for the human species. Books, television, computers, cars, airplanes, music, dancing and art are also things not necessary for the human species.

    This was again my point that you didn’t address – we don’t live solely for things that are strictly necessary. No one does.

    So why do you just talk about gay marriage in your crusade against things that are “unnatural” and “not necessary”? Do you ever speak out publicly and vote against people’s right to practice sport or listen to music?

    Why does gay marriage threaten you more than all the other activities that do not affect you in any way whatsoever? Or can you demonstrate how two dudes or two gals giving each other rings and vows affects you?

  348. #349 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Lee your photos are amazing.

  349. #350 James
    December 22, 2009

    Celtic:

    I can sit back gleefully dismissing your last post because it is not true.

    There are no such experts that have conclusive proof that the Book of Mormon is a fabrication. Furthermore, there is no conclusive proof that the Book of Mormon is “true.”

    However, there are no non-Mormon experts trying to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Presently, only Mormons are interested in finding evidence for the Book of Mormon.

    Currently what we do have is evidence that fulfills the predictions of the Book of Mormon.

    The Book of Mormon narrative begins in Jerusalem and ends somewhere in the Americas. Based on the latest research, the Book of Mormon history most likely took place in a small geographic region in southern Mexico.

    The short version is that a family left Jerusalem in 600 BC and traveled south in Arabia, taking an 8 year journey (stopping at certain locations) until they eventually launched a ship from the southern coast of Arabia and traveled to America.

    While they traveled they chronicled their journey. They described geographical features, cultural features, and specific flora and fauna specific to that area and that particular century.

    Of Arabia, the record makes 16 specific predictions about the area. These predictions are century specific, name specific, and based on a strict set of triangulations. To be significant evidence, all three requirements must be met.

    In the last decade, the evidence to corroborate the narrative was found by non-Mormon archeologists and published in peer reviewed journals.

  350. #351 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    @Richard Eis:

    My garden would be a wild place with butterflies, ponds, gravel and foreign plants. Chaotic but with a light touch of control. I can think of nothing more tortured or less interesting than a perfect lawn.

    Good point. Incidentally, monocultures like lawns are more prone to disease and rot. (And thus, we wrap around to why I fled Utah as soon as I could.)

    (I like your vision of a garden.)

  351. #352 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    To Serve Man! It’s a cookbook!

  352. #353 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    @ Rev. BigDumbChimp

    They can make mistakes and still be chosen by God. Why? Because human beings are fallible.

    Thank you for that admission.

    How do you decide which divine revelation is actually divine revelation and which is someone being wrong?

    Is that a crack I see?

    You have pointed out THE most fatal flaw of Mormonism/Mormon reasoning:

    1) Past prophets are fallible. Not everything they said is of God.
    2) They were wrong on blacks/polygamy (sorta).
    3) But they’re right NOW on gays (and women). We promise. Believe us.
    4) We know it’s true because we had a psychosomatic reaction when praying/our entire lives will be a lie if it’s wrong. (a testimony)

    Of course conveniently ignoring the FACT that the now false doctrines of yesterday were touted as true with exactly the same vocabulary as the doctrines against gay and female equality are touted today (and all current doctrines).

    This is the fact that Mormons ignore, push away, and try their hardest never to think about their entire lives because it would unravel everything they believe.

    James, your testimony is built upon very sandy ground. The foundation is not really there. Your faith in your apostles and prophets and bishops is totally unfounded. No matter what you’ve felt, what spiritual experiences you’ve had, it has been proven that those things do not indicate what is real and what is not, what is true and what is not, what is good and what is not. The same basis of faith you give for why homosexuality is wrong is the same basis that was given about the Adam-God doctrine, about polygamy, about blacks and the priesthood, about every discarded and conveniently ignored doctrine of Mormonism. The same testimony that lets you “know” that the church leaders are right on homosexuality is the same one that told your parents and grandparents that they were right on race. They were wrong then and they’re wrong now.

    I’m sorry you’ve wasted a significant part of your life believing and defending such idiocy and bigotry. It’s turned your brain to mush so that you cannot reason, cannot think, cannot argue, cannot view reality.

    But if it makes you feel better, most of the world is in the same situation. Blinded and enslaved to religion.

    Enjoy.

  353. #354 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    “We just want to serve a man.”

    If I can’t cook, does that mean I’m screwed? Or would I be the server for another wife who’s cook?

  354. #355 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    I can think of nothing more tortured or less interesting than a perfect lawn.

    An imperfect lawn, however, can be a fascinating little ecosystem in 2 1/2 dimensions. I enjoy watching the chickweed, clover, and crabgrass battle it out with the turfgrass, each gaining a small advantage in different weather conditions. I am a student of the cunning ways of dandelions, and the occasional total surprise of fruiting fungus or doughty colonizer or nice-try oak seedling brings a half-smile of delight just before I pulverize it with the mower (a plug-in electric mulching model). When you dig it up to plant a shrubbery, you can find the worms and slugs and grubs and centipedes underneath.

    All that when there isn’t a foot and a half of snow on top, of course.

  355. #356 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    James, there are no evidence for that story. (did you even read Pygmy Loris’ post?) Archaeological and genetic evidence is clear hands down that Native Americans are not descendant from Semitic people.

    Fuck cultist and their propaganda. The Korean bear in me just wants to wack them over the head

  356. #357 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    You have pointed out THE most fatal flaw of Mormonism/Mormon reasoning:

    1) Past prophets are fallible. Not everything they said is of God.
    2) They were wrong on blacks/polygamy (sorta).
    3) But they’re right NOW on gays (and women). We promise. Believe us.
    4) We know it’s true because we had a psychosomatic reaction when praying/our entire lives will be a lie if it’s wrong. (a testimony)

    Of course conveniently ignoring the FACT that the now false doctrines of yesterday were touted as true with exactly the same vocabulary as the doctrines against gay and female equality are touted today (and all current doctrines).

    This is the fact that Mormons ignore, push away, and try their hardest never to think about their entire lives because it would unravel everything they believe.

    The very point I was going for and the very reaction I knew that James would have.

  357. #358 blf
    December 22, 2009

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, just out of curiosity, what is the Korean civilisation creation myth? It’s probably more interesting and informative than James, albeit presumably less funny and much saner. I know nothing about Korea other than an acquaintance with ?Westernized? versions of some dishes. (And I realize I could look it up….)

  358. #359 waitsian
    December 22, 2009

    It’s absolutely believed. Growing up as a mormon this pathetic notion was constantly taught. I have no doubt, however, that this candidate is going to be contacted by the LDS leaders telling him to shut the fuck up… or as mormons would say: “Shut the fetch up”

  359. #360 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    “In the last decade, the evidence to corroborate the narrative was found by non-Mormon archeologists and published in peer reviewed journals.”

    PROVIDE THE RESEARCH.

    What journals? When? By whom? Who peer-reviewed the articles? What are their credentials?

    You must back up your claims.

    But you can’t, because it’s all in your head. The so-called research you talk about is completely rejected by the scientific community because it is ignoring the great body of evidence which disproves the BoM/Joseph’s claims, and hugely overemphasises the few bits which don’t blatantly contradict the plagiarised rambling weirdness that is the Book of Mormon. It’s the same “reasoning” that religionists use to try to disprove evolution through natural selection. By ignoring 99% of the body of evidence, and focussing on the 1-2% and pretending that’s all there is. You’re only fooling yourself and your children, which is the great tragedy.

  360. #361 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James @350,

    What specific facts presented in the Book of Mormon have been corroborated by articles published in peer-reviewed journals. You’re making a very specific claim, but have offered no evidence to back it up.

    Show us 1) the relevant passages of the Book of Mormon and 2) the peer-reviewed publications of archaeologists that support the aforementioned passages of the Book of Mormon.

    That is all.

  361. #362 raven
    December 22, 2009

    Overall is it dangerous? Ask a mormon and you can imagine the answer, my conclusion is yes, it is. Mormons look at me with such disgust,…

    I know some horror stories about LDS families, spousal abuse and so on. Stuff like that happens everywhere, unfortunately.

    Just going to say it. Everything I’ve seen says that religious fanatics and kooks have screwed up minds and lives.

  362. #363 James
    December 22, 2009

    Pixel:

    You wrote:
    “Biologically, sexual attraction in members of a species serves as a mechanism to propagate the species.”

    This is an accurate enough evolutionary description of the purpose of sexual attraction in the human male.

    Obviously, in human males, where sexual attraction is for the same sex, we can identify an obvious contradiction (inconsistency) between the identity of a human male (formed to pass on genetic code to a human female) and the sexual attraction that the human male feels.

    Homosexual men have feel a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

  363. #364 Kenbo
    December 22, 2009

    Wow, lotsa comments. I don’t really have much to add, but when I read the “proof of the historical accuracy of the BoM” at the BYU site, I could not help but think of “Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Holy Grail”…Alexandretta! Of course, Bountiful was in Alexandretta! That makes it ALL TRUE.

    I actually feel sorry for James…I was there once and so I feel genuine pity when I see him desperately attempting to defend his beliefs, indeed, his whole life and sense of identity.

    I grew up mormon in the bible-thumping south and remember having to defend my religion every day to the ignorant gentile masses…and trust me, it wasn’t fun. Especially when your eyes begin to open and you realize that it was all a fabrication…and some of the members seem so desperate to believe…to be a part of something that is greater than themselves…something that makes them get “noticed” or have some piece of information that gets them something special…something the rest of humanity will not be privy to.

    You are brought up believing that you are different, you are special, that you stand out because you have THE TRUTH. It is a tough pill to swallow when you realize that EVERYONE is different, EVERYONE is special, and that THE TRUTH is a man-made construct used to keep you in line.

    Some people can’t face it and choose to return to the warm, friendly sense of community that the mormon church holds out for them…as long as they are willing to sacrifice their inquisitive intellect and deny reality for the good of the church. I guess mormonism is a lot like the other religions in that respect. More so than they are willing to admit, certainly. Because that would mean that they are not special or unique.

  364. #365 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    blf, it can be found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gojoseon#Founding_legend
    Also different folks have different variations of the story depending on region and religions of course.

    But you see calling myself a bear would be false. I have to gain muscle first then get alittle fur and beard going on…

  365. #366 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    To Serve Man! It’s a cookbook!

    Served with red wine of course. He aint no chicken (or fish)

  366. #367 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James @265

    Lynna: In the LDS Church, Mormon authorities can be wrong. They can make mistakes and still be chosen by God. Why? Because human beings are fallible.
    You haven’t address how Joseph Smith was the first white leader of an all white Church to ordain a black man to the priesthood in 1836.

    Here’s some more information on this lone black man. Elijah Abel was ordained an Elder on March 3, 1836, and he moved up to become a member of the Seventy on April 4, 1841. Abel served a mission in Canada.

    Per Jame’s explanation above, we must assume that the Mormon authorities were wrong in this case. They were fallible. They made a mistake. Because the veritable mountain of evidence of racism, of church doctrine and church authorities banding together to keep blacks out of the priesthood is irrefutable. Based on their interpretations of the bible, and on their statements, Elijah Abel has to be put in the “fallible men make mistakes” column.

    There are thousands of instances of General Authorities and Presidents of the church reiterating why blacks can’t be equal to whites in the mormon world. There are millions of mormons who, up to 1978, conformed to this doctrine and helped to maintain it. And you hold up Abel as the exception — and nowhere do we find a canonical writing proclaiming Abel to be the black equal of any white priest. Hmm.

    To add to the infamy already heaped up in the racism category, here is a story related to Native Americans, and their dark skin:

    At the request of the Prophet and under the supervision of the Bishop, many families including ours were asked to take an Indian (Lamanite) student into our home, treat them as our own, take care of physical and monetary needs, but most of all teach them the Gospel. We were told that because the Indians had anciently rebelled against the truth and had not accepted the Gospel during Book of Mormon times, God had placed a two-fold curse upon them. First, they had been cut off from the presence of the Lord and had thus died spiritually, and second, they had become a dark, loathsome and filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations. (I Nephi 12:23) We were told that it was up to us to help remove the curse from our Indian daughter, Alberta, and that by our willingness to take her into our home, and teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ she would become white and delightsome (BOM 2 Nephi 30:6).
         Since it’s beginning the Mormon Church has taught that a dark skin is a sign of God’s displeasure. Alberta was a beautiful dark-skinned Navajo Indian child. She was shy, small-in-stature, and 12 years old when she came to live with us. She had beautiful long black silky hair. Alberta very seldom made eye-to-eye contact, (a Navajo tradition)…
         Here is a [deranged] quote from President Spencer W. Kimball on the program: “I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today…they are fast becoming white and delightsome people…For years they have been growing delightsome, as they were promised…The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogan’s on the reservation. Truly the scales of darkness are falling from their eyes, and they are fast becoming a white and delightsome people. …These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.” (Improvement Era, Dec. 1960, pp. 22-23)

  367. #368 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    the identity of a human male (formed to pass on genetic code to a human female)

    get some counseling, dude

  368. #369 Anri
    December 22, 2009

    James sez (and keep saying):

    No valid or compelling arguments have been made to refute or address how same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender.

    And maybe that’s so (I don’t think so, but I’ll concede the point to make a different one.).

    Yet, waaaay back up at #124, I posted:

    Also, you are misunderstanding the naturalistic fallacy. Even if humans ‘by nature’ are set up to pair-bond for life (and I’d be very curious to see your peer-reviewed papers that suggest that to be the case, across the board.), it doesn’t matter. We call ourselves civilized, and that means that we have the option to live as we wish, rather than as we evolved to do so.

    Which is an argument that slavishly obeying ‘nature’s law’ runs contrary to the entire point of civilization.

    James either didn’t see this bit (which seems odd, as he later quoted some of the post…), or utterly ignored it.

    I apologize, James, if I’m asking questions that are too difficult for you.

    Well, not really.

  369. #370 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    “delightsomeness”?
    Really?

  370. #371 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual men have feel a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

    You still need to explain why something that happens to be a majority in the animal kingdom should determine man-made laws about property rights and legal status.

    Also, you need to realise that gender has no purpose. It simply “is”. There are still plants (and probably animals) that are asexual. So what.

    You also need to tell me who a person with both gentals would be allowed to marry. since this is actually quite a common occurence in our species.

  371. #372 Jadehawk, OM
    December 22, 2009

    This is an accurate enough evolutionary description of the purpose of sexual attraction in the human male.

    your reading comprehension sucks. that’s not the purpose of sexual attraction, it’s its source and one of its primary use.

    Obviously, in human males, where sexual attraction is for the same sex, we can identify an obvious contradiction (inconsistency) between the identity of a human male (formed to pass on genetic code to a human female) and the sexual attraction that the human male feels.

    and there you are again, jumping to conclusions about about male sexuality.

    so, question: what “purpose” do you think female sexual arousal and sexual attraction serve? it’s not necessary for procreation, and yet it is natural, it has evolved, and it has uses. so what is it’s “purpose”?

    also, do you know what “kin selection is”?

    also, what does any of this have to do with marriage, which is not necessary for any sort of sex or procreation?

    Homosexual men have feel a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

    show evidence that there is such a thing as “natural identity” and “natural gender”, please. unless you can do so, you’re just talking out of your ass.

  372. #373 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    Obviously, in human males, where sexual attraction is for the same sex, we can identify an obvious contradiction (inconsistency) between the identity of a human male (formed to pass on genetic code to a human female) and the sexual attraction that the human male feels.

    And how exactly is this relevant to the issue of marriage and denying it to homosexual couples? Like trying to argue that the only people that should have a driver’s license are those who need it to get to their place of employment.

  373. #374 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    the identity of a human male (formed to pass on genetic code to a human female)

    Wrong again. Men are not “formed to” do anything. There is no intrinsic purpose to our existence.

    James, why do you hate gay people so much?

  374. #375 Sili
    December 22, 2009

    Naturally there is a Zion in Utah. Just saying.

    That explains a lot.

    Am I bad for being annoyed there wasn’t more Mormontological progroms?

  375. #376 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    I should point out at this juncture, partially in response to jcfitzner and partially in response to James’s misplaced glee, that Mormons are really fond of false dichotomies. I’m paraphrasing here, but I remember such statements like “The Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth,” and “Joseph Smith was either inspired or he was lying.”

    What this means is Mormons have confirmation bias on anything that matches up with their experience of reality being true. Therefore a “true” doctrine or something already commonly expected, like faith, hope, and charity, only proves the Book of Mormon to be more true. Having already bought into the false dichotomy, they say, “I have evidence this is true, so it can’t be false in any way, shape, or form.”

    Thus too do they resolve any display of Joseph’s fallibility. He suffered as a martyr and loved his family, ergo, he must be a true prophet.

    Anyway, the Book of Mormon was declared to be the keystone of the Mormon religion (which is really funny, since NONE of the temple ordinances are in it, but are all in the D&C). And you’re supposed to believe it is the most correct of any books on earth….

    Yet, much of it is falsifiable. The genetic claims are among the most recently debunked (see Murphy and Southerton) and while the apologists create population models, it doesn’t really synch with what the evidence that should have been left behind in the last 2600 years. Even the great battles that were said to wipe out the entire civilization leave no trace of their weapons.

    Linguistics issues abound, and indeed, are often turned about by apologists to cover OTHER gaps of knowledge. See “curelom”. The desperate clutching of chiasmus only shows that the supposed-translator/creator of the Book of Mormon relied heavily on the KJV Bible while constructing his fantasy, and much of his errors of chronology are consistent with that.

    A plentitude of European/African only animals abound, while animals of South American origin are conspicuously absent.

    Basically Joe was wrong on a number of fronts: biological, linguisitic, ethnological, geological, anthropological. (And from a strictly literary perspective, the construction of the Book of Mormon leaves much to be desired.)

    We know too that the Book of Mormon has undergone a series of changes over the last century and a half. Phrases like “white and delightsome” are replaced in newer editions with “pure and delightsome,” while early 20th century editions slowly cleaned up a number of grammatical errors and idioms that date to Joe’s level of education and time. Funny how God couldn’t translate more clearly.

    And yet, once again, we are asked to consider this the “most correct of any books.”

    The eyes, they roll.

  376. #377 Richard Eis
    December 22, 2009

    -You also need to tell me who a person with both “gentals” would be allowed to marry. since this is actually quite a common “occurence” in our species.-

    Genitals and occurrence.

    I’m going to sleep now, i clearly need it…but its been fun.

  377. #378 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual men have feel a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

    I wonder if he thinks that by repeating this disproven drivel over and over and over and over and over and over it’ll eventually start to be believed.

    It’s so reminiscent of testimony meeting:

    “I know that the church is true…”
    “I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of god…”
    “I know that Thomas Monson is a prophet of god…”
    “I know that Jesus lives…”
    “I know that [insert phrase here]…”

    The same 4-5 phrases, said by everyone, in basically the same order, over and over in droning fashion, with a few tears mixed in for variety/obvious displays of extra-super piety.

    That is what passes for “truth” in Mormonism. Just say and hear said some silly thing enough times over and over and over and over until that’s all that’s in your head and all you can think about. And that makes it suddenly true.

  378. #379 sparky-ca
    December 22, 2009

    @jcfitzner

    Just repeat the lie often enough until it becomes the truth.

  379. #380 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: “Obviously, in human males, where sexual attraction is for the same sex, we can identify an obvious contradiction (inconsistency) between the identity of a human male (formed to pass on genetic code to a human female) and the sexual attraction that the human male feels.”

    You’re doing it again. You never responded to my deconstruction — and you’re doing it all over again. You’re equating “identity”, “mechanism of reproduction”, “attraction”, and “legal structure”.

    None of which are logical without presuming a Mormon-type theology. The purpose of a human being is not to reproduce — not even with a very loose definition of “purpose”.

    Genes are biologically selected to propagate themselves (aka, their “purpose”). Now human bodies contain genes — so human bodies are selected to propagate those genes.

    That is correct. The modes of propagation are varied. Those genes can be propagated by direct reproduction (a queen bee and her drones, for example). But they can also be propagated by assisting relatives in reproducing themselves (worker bees, for example).

    There are many, many, many biological examples of modes of propagation that aren’t strictly mother-father-child. This is particularly true among our relatives, where the cost of rearing children is so high; so, for examples, bands of sisters or brothers are common, grandmothers who are no longer fertile are common, male-male and female-female consorts are common, and so forth.

    Your ignorance of what words mean is breath-taking. Your ignorance of what you mean by words is truly a lesson in what a circular argument is. Please, put that trumpet down. It’s painful.

    It’s particularly funny, given that in an inbred population like the Mormons, those “other” modes of genetic propagation would be particularly highlighted. A gay Mormon, for example, in some small Utah town would be “propagating his genes” and “asserting his human identity” simply by being a productive member of the community, probably more so than by badly rearing a litterful of young.

  380. #381 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    Human gender has a purpose and an identity.

    1. what exactly is this purpose?
    2. what exactly is this “identity”?
    3. what is your evidence for each and all of the above? how do you know this?

    human gender isn’t nearly as clear-cut as religious nitwits want to make it, nor is human attraction.

    for instance, among my social acquaintances there is a bit of an odd couple. they were married heterosexually, and remained that way — a perfectly ordinary married couple — for some years.

    then one of them transitioned gender. they remained married; the non-transitioning partner (who to this day considers themself purely heterosexual) came to realize that they were married for more than merely sex, that their partner was still the same person they had wanted to spend a lifetime with, and that there were more reasons left to remain in the partnership than this one seemingly obvious reason which had disappeared from the picture. they are, now, in a same-sex marriage which is technically illegal in their locality — yet they’ve done nothing which, in my eyes, deserves criticism.

    James — what (if any) is the mormon church’s official position on partnerships such as theirs? what is the mormon church’s official opinion on what the non-transitioning partner in such a marriage ought to do about it, if anything at all? and most importantly of all, why?

    i don’t think it’s too much to ask for an official church position on marriages of this kind. there are far more of them than the one i’m familiar with, and as gender transitioning is still increasing in frequency, the situation will tend to become more common for a while yet. this should remain so at least until the generations already old enough to have married die off, under the assumption that transfolk will eventually tend to transition before full adulthood. we’re not nearly there yet, though.

    (ten bucks says jamy boy will flatly ignore this post entirely. or if not, the bigoted liar will choose to ignore all but the insults i’ve leveled against him — even if that means having to ignore this paragraph’s insults.)

  381. #382 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    I see my brother is here (real brother, not a mormon “brother”), @342. Those of you who know me will recognize some of Lee’s (Leland’s) mormon contacts as those that also labeled me as “The Adversary” or Satan. IIRC, my brother is just influenced by the devil (that would be be me presumably), while I am the actual incarnation of The Adversary.

    Just wanted to do my sisterly job of one-up-man-ship here. :-)

  382. #383 blf
    December 22, 2009

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, thanks & cheers!

  383. #384 James
    December 22, 2009

    RevDumbChimp:

    You wrote:
    “You have pointed out THE most fatal flaw of Mormonism/Mormon reasoning:

    1) Past prophets are fallible. Not everything they said is of God.
    2) They were wrong on blacks/polygamy (sorta).
    3) But they’re right NOW on gays (and women). We promise. Believe us.
    4) We know it’s true because we had a psychosomatic reaction when praying/our entire lives will be a lie if it’s wrong. (a testimony)

    This is absurd.

    1. Prophets are humans. By definition they are fallible. In Mormonism, we don’t claim that everything they said WAS of God. We distinguish by what is said in Church law – DC 107:

    That is why IN the RESTORED Church, God instructed the Church to have canonical doctrine as approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.

    As for the LDS Church being right about gays, let’s go thruogh their logic:

    1. There is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is a third gender or a purposeful or useful condition for the human species.

    2. Homosexual attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    3. Human society doesn’t need homosexual unions, but needs heterosexual unions. Children need fathers and mothers, not two dads or two moms.

    4. Children have the birthright, whenever possible, to be born to a mother and father. Creating gay marriage institutionalizes this birth right being automatically removed.

    5. Homosexual unions are not equivalent to heterosexual unions. Men are not equal to women to be wives and mothers and women are not equal to men to be husbands and fathers.

    Mormons do not read, see, or hear ANY compelling arguments why they should vote for gay marriage.

    Science isn’t on your side. Biology isn’t on your side. And sociology is not on your side.

    Do you see a pattern here Rev? Can you see where REALITY is pointing us?

    Apart from the recent popular belief that gay couples should be married like heterosexual couples, does this idea or desire have its necessity in science, biology or sociology?

  384. #385 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    We’ve already debunked all your arguments here. Do you no read our post.

    Mormons do not read, see, or hear ANY compelling arguments why they should vote for gay marriage.

    Clearly. You don’t even bother reading the evidence that we’ve presented for you.

  385. #386 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    jcfitzner: The little kids always say, “I want to bury my testimony.”

    Ah, the unintentional irony.

    ….

    James, let me explain this to you. There is NO person or institution or guiding hand to nature. This is what people mean when they accuse you of naturalistic fallacies.

    You keep saying “purpose” but we say “evolutionary mechanism” or “byproduct” to describe sexual attraction as it occurs in nature.

    There is no invisible hand guiding this process, and if animals discover that rubbing their bits against anything is pleasurable as a byproduct of their evolutionary mechanism, nobody tells them “Hey, that’s eeeeebil.”

    And nature doesn’t care if a species dies out or not. (Witness dinosaurs.) Or evolves. (Hey, everything alive today.) If a member of a species makes a series of decisions that end up with it not passing on its genes, nature does not care.

    So it’s humans who are putting the reading and judgement value on gender roles, passing on genes, and setting up legal entities for dealing with our biological quirks.

    Anyway, you keep haring off after your red herring, when it’s already obvious that many marriages currently sanctioned by society already function outside the reproductive capabilities. There are childless couples and the elderly, and yet we continue to see benefit in them getting married or staying married. My widowed next-door neighbour back in Utah is marrying my widowed ex-hometeacher incidentally…and don’t expect to be producing children, or even raising any together as both are empty nesters. Could it be that they are marrying because they respect each other as partners and have a continued desire for sexual companionship? How is that so different than a gay couple?

  386. #387 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: “Apart from the recent popular belief that gay couples should be married like heterosexual couples, does this idea or desire have its necessity in science, biology or sociology?”

    We are starting to accumulate conclusive evidence that James is just quite stupid.

    There is no evidence in science, biology or sociology that marriage, of any type, is a necessity. None at all. Societies have survived for 40,000 years without marriage — some have reared children via brother-sister pairs, some have used sister or brother clusters, some have even raised a portion of their children in “gay unions”!

    By your logic, we should rescind marriage altogether as unnecessary. As well as contracts, churches, governments, corporations, property rights, cities…

    All that is necessary is the band and a band house.

  387. #388 Butch Pansy
    December 22, 2009

    Oh-shit-oh-dear! Once again, James is telling the scientists, including biologists and sociologists (not to mention linguists, archaeologists, and a host of other -ologists) that they’re wrong about their fields of expertise. This has been a comforting and maddening thread: comforting because of the cogent arguments brought forward on behalf of other-than-heterosexual people, and maddening due to James’ inability to see his own logical inconsistencies. Expecting otherwise is foolish, I know, because his arguments are all religious, therefore not involving logic.

  388. #389 Knockgoats
    December 22, 2009

    James, if you can spare time from your naturalistic fallacies, how about some genuine references to the research you claim supports the historicity of the Book of Mormon? Hmm?

  389. #390 skeptifem
    December 22, 2009

    James has revealed what was obvious about an anti gay marriage stance; it boils down to sexism. It is and always has been about telling men and women what they are and how they should feel, and that we aren’t at all alike. He doesn’t want to say what the essential gender means, but I know. It means men are dominant, and women submissive. God is one sick bastard if the system he prefers is one where a group of people is fucked over constantly and the other violently takes whatever they want. The existence of gay people challenges what men and women can be to each other, and how we can interact with each other. It says that there are other ways to be happy and that there are unique people out there who aren’t defined by gender alone. We don’t have to act the way that is prescribed to us based on gender. The strict policing of people in the church doesn’t make any sense without the patriarchal order where men are dominant over women and children. It is a method of social control. How can they tell people how/when/why to fuck without this system in place? Women are still very much baby making machines out here in utah; set your watch back 50 years if you ever want to visit. Oh, the stories I could tell.

  390. #391 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James, surprisingly still here, @363 opined,

    Homosexual men have feel (sic) a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

    I’ve put in bold the part you don’t appear to understand.

    There is ample evidence that homosexual men don’t feel a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

    Regardless of how you want to define ‘natural’, ‘identity’, ‘purpose’, and ‘gender’.

    However, as the only evidence you appear to accept is propaganda distributed by your church, I doubt you will ever understand this.

    Further, this sham concern for the feelings of homosexual men doesn’t fool us. Even if they do feel ‘contrary’ to their ‘natural identity and purpose’ why not let them?

  391. #392 blf
    December 22, 2009

    Science isn’t on your side. Biology isn’t on your side. And sociology is not on your side.

    That’s very possibly James’s first accurate statement—if applied to the bom.

    (This nutter really is getting quite boring now, isn’t he? The same nonsense, endlessly repeated, without an iota of evidence and ignoring the repeated requests for evidence (references), ignoring the counter-evidence presented, moving the goals, and so on. Has it done anything your typical nutter doesn’t do? Maybe a bit more persistent than many, and less illiterate, but seems just as ignorant and unwilling to challenge its own dogmatically-held positions.

    I wonder which nutter will take over from it. The lds nutters once had a tendency to work in shifts, albeit I don’t know if they still copy that co$ tactic or not?)

  392. #393 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    And sociology is not on your side.

    James,

    This sociologist has asked you to read the research about same-sex couples raising children. This sociologist knows you are completely full of shit.

  393. #394 James
    December 22, 2009

    JC:

    Read carefully.

    You wrote:
    “Homosexual men have feel a condition that is contrary to the natural identity and purpose of their gender.

    I wonder if he thinks that by repeating this disproved drivel over and over and over and over and over and over it’ll eventually start to be believed. ”

    How many genders are there JC? Two – male and female.

    The basic purpose of the male gender in the human species is specific and identifiable.

    Homosexual feelings and attractions are contrary and inconsistent with this purpose and identity in every way.

    Go ahead JC, make the case for why the human species should not look for a cause and then a universal therapy that will abate this abnormality in the male human gender.

  394. #395 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    As for James, well, we tried. He’s a ridiculously porphrytic granitoid. His brain is lithified, with bits of hard mormonism scattered throughout.

    As for James’ claims about proof from mesoamerica, and other rabbit-hole-like dives into the void of mormon apologetics. I refer anyone interested to “Mormon Apologetics: A Guide for the Perplexed” by Bob McCue (2006).

    One of the many oddities of the mesoamerican theory, sometimes called Limited Geographical Theory, is that it places wars described in the Book of Mormon in an area that is so small that it has yet to be found:

    Aside from contradicting nearly two centuries of Mormon prophetic statements, these theories would have us accept that the Book of Mormon events were played out in area of Central America that is small enough that it has not yet been discovered, and yet large and populous enough for battles that killed millions of people to have been fought there, and unusual in that it was the most scientifically and culturally advanced place in the Americas for most of about 1,000 years. And then, God moved the gold plates that told the history of this people to New York where Joseph Smith could find them without telling Joseph about on this, leaving him to believe that the epic described in the Book of Mormon was played out across the length and breadth of America and that all Amerindians as well as Polynesians were the literal descendents of the people the Book of Mormon says immigrated to the Americas from Jerusalem.

    Here’s one of many Sources (Scroll down to bob mccue, February 19, 2006)

  395. #396 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James is a hateful little monster, isn’t he.

  396. #397 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    “I wish I would have been born into a Mormon family or one with another one of those more obviously wrong religions.” (Emo Phillips)

    Poor James. He is sadly outnumbered, and he is engaged in losing arguments on not one, but two fronts (“is there a secular argument against gay marriage?” and “is there good evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon.) Plus, he is on Pharyngula.

    It is the holiday season, and we ought to be charitable. Thus, poor James should be treated gently. Please take the dismembered parts and place them carefully in their proper boxes, being sure that no blood drips unnecessarily. There is no need to make a mess. James will have to put himself back together again, later, because even Mormons need to eat and function in their daily lives.

    Can you see where REALITY is pointing us?

    Yes; it’s pointing towards our side, because your arguments don’t work. They’re weak religious apologetics dressed up to look like secular ones — and we see right through them.

    I’d say you have spunk to try them out here, but it will probably be misinterpreted.

    Maybe not.

  397. #398 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    James, as usual, is full of it. (post 384 in this case) He is either ignoring or has forgotten to address the fact that the LDS church claims to have continuing revelation. (TNT, or Today’s News Todays, as my seminary teacher’s called it.) They claim that the continuing revelation trumps prior revelation and that church members should listen to the general authorities at conference time and read their articles in the Ensign and take this as God’s word to the faithful. So, yes, there is canonical doctrine, which can be over-ridden at any time with a modern revelation.

    Which is the system RevBigDumbChimp took on, pointing out the prior results of said system.

    1. There is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is a third gender or a purposeful or useful condition for the human species.

    Also dunno where this “third gender” suddenly sprang from. Gay is not a gender. It is a sexual preference. There is male, female, and intersex people who generally present as one gender or the other, but who may not conform to the constructs defined in traditional gender roles.

    [more babbling from james about purpose--a word he has failed to define and which he uses to perpetuate his naturalistic fallacies.]

    3. Human society doesn’t need homosexual unions, but needs heterosexual unions. Children need fathers and mothers, not two dads or two moms.

    4. Children have the birthright, whenever possible, to be born to a mother and father. Creating gay marriage institutionalizes this birth right being automatically removed.

    Children need parents. While it’s preferable for the parent’s support to have more than one, it is unnecessary. Doesn’t matter what configuration they come in though. I’m still trying to figure out what you think any one female and any one male could guarantee their children that can’t be achieved through hard work, respect, and cooperation by any other grouping of responsible adults.

    (Also, technically, children are born to a mother and a father no matter what. These are not necessarily the people who raise them, nor should they be raised by their biological parents, does it guarantee that their parents will be mentally healthy, sane, able to pass on their knowledge, not abuse them, or even able to emulate a healthy communicative and responsible relationship. Hello, Britney Spears? The only thing one het couple has in common with any other het couple is their tab-A, slot-B configuration.)

  398. #399 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    The basic purpose of the male gender in the human species is specific and identifiable.

    good! then you can specifically identify it for us. with evidence, of course.

  399. #400 James
    December 22, 2009

    MAJeff:

    I happen to know the research to which you are referring from the 80s and 90s that was skewed because it drew upon the children who were born to heterosexual couples and then introduced to homosexual parenting later.

    Currently there is no conclusive and hard research that shows that homosexual parenting is the same as heterosexual parenting.

    This is yet another fantasy created by the homosexual hoax.

    Here’s a social reality for you MAJeff:

    * Men cannot be wives or mothers.
    * Women cannot be husbands or fathers.

    Children need a mom and dad and nature agrees.

  400. #401 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Science!

    The science demonstrates that there is a genetic component to homosexuality. Do you understand this, James?

    That means you are discriminating invidiously against people, deciding that they cannot marry those they love, and hurting them because of their very identity which is beyond their control.

    This is unjust, and evil.

    The rest of the world is acknowledging this. Mormons will be remembered as those who despised gay people the most vehemently, with the most consistent hatred.

  401. #402 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    “Just wanted to do my sisterly job of one-up-man-ship here. :-)”

    If you were listening to james, You’dk now that that’s just for men :|

    “Apart from the recent popular belief that gay couples should be married like heterosexual couples, does this idea or desire have its necessity in science, biology or [b]sociology[/b]?”
    Underlined for emphasis:
    OH MY GOD YES. Well, more economic then sociology, but economics is just a facet of applied sociology.

    First, we have the developing nations. These countries usually have extremely high birth rates that are being met with falling death rates due to industrialization and modernization. These high birth rates cause problems because it makes it much harder to develop and set up infrastructure for all of these new people. This is why India is still having problems. High birthrates are bad when you have lowered death rates and haven’t even set up basic infrastructure.

    So there’s good incentive in a lot of the developing world. Here’s some for the US:
    We’re alreadying problems sustaining our current population. It’s not food, and it’s not space, so it’s harder to notice. It’s water, that thing we consider infinite because as long as you flip the tap it flows out. For instance, see here:
    http://www.lakelanier.com/20090722848/news/lake-lanier-court-case-decision-disappoints-atlanta/

    This is a court case that shows thta ALREADY, water is becoming a big deal to us. Imagine what will happen if water starts to become a commodity in the US, rather then a simple necessity. We should probably not exacerbate things iwth a rising population rate! Recognizing same sex couples helps support those long term relationships that specifically can’t make an existing problem worse.

  402. #403 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James is a hateful little monster, isn’t he.

    He is serving a purpose. Most people have only a vague understanding of Mormonism or meat robots produced by cult brainwashing.

    Anyone who reads this threat now knows more than they ever wanted to.

  403. #404 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James continues, @384,

    Mormons do not read, see, or hear ANY compelling arguments why they should vote for gay marriage.

    Interesting that you should put it that way.

    It’s not that you don’t find any compelling arguments for gay marriage. It’s that your religion claims, through a series of fallacious arguments and declarations, that gay marriage is bad.

    Further, no one is really asking you to vote for gay marriage.

    Even if your silly naturalistic argument was true, why do you vote against same-sex marriages? Why not simply not vote on that issue if your church says it’s wrong? Why try to impose your beliefs on others?

    Why does the LDS spend millions to prevent same-sex marriage?

    Why did you vote against same-sex marriage when you could have not voted on that issue at all?

  404. #405 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Posted by: James | December 22, 2009 5:56 PM

    bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!

  405. #406 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: gender != sex != identity. The assumption of identity is only true for a short list of patriarchal religions, of which Mormonism is the latest (and least aesthetically competent — check out their “meditation room” in SLC — it looks like something drunk cousin Bob did in his garage!) variation.

    Wow, just one of the stupidest trolls in a long time. Do you think the inbreeding has accumulated too many recessive genes in this population?

    Does it think no one notices its non-responsiveness? My dog shows more cognitive flexibility than this “James” entity. He shows more personality than this “James”.

    I think James fails the Turing test for consciousness. Eliza is more varied. Rewrite the software — this programmer is incompetent.

  406. #407 sparky-ca
    December 22, 2009

    Does anyone else think James might be on a Mission trip and is dangerously low on his recruitment numbers so is trolling the interwebs looking for suckers?

  407. #408 James
    December 22, 2009

    Strange:

    You wrote:
    “The science demonstrates that there is a genetic component to homosexuality. Do you understand this, James?”

    Hurray! There’s a genetic component!

    Please identify the genetic component. And did you know that that many diseases or abnormalities are caused by genetic components?

  408. #409 KOPD42
    December 22, 2009

    The basic purpose of the male gender in the human species is specific and identifiable.

    Then specifically identify it and explain how you were able to identify it.

  409. #410 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James thinks that children with gay parents should be taken away from their parents.

    Why do you hate gay people, James?

    I don’t want your bigoted, hateful therapy. Will you force it upon me under your Mormon theocracy?

  410. #411 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Insipid troll is insipid.

    There is no male gender role. Nature shows that none biological parents can equally assist with reproduction of a species. Who do you think takes cares of ant larvae? It ain?t the queen its the infertile worker ants.

    And again. Naturalistic fallacy. Heterosexual union isn’t needed either. Yet you can’t seem to see where your logic fails. Would your rather we abandon marriage all together and have one massive orgy. An orgy would be very better since it provides a large gene pool for humans anyway.

    There is no need to treat homosexuality. Homosexual folks are productive members of society. The only thing abnormal about them is your cultural bias. There are culture who would disagree this “male purpose” of yours.

  411. #412 James
    December 22, 2009

    MaJeff:

    Did you put batteries in that ray gun?

  412. #413 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    Mormons do not read, see, or hear ANY compelling arguments why they should vote for gay marriage.

    That’s because when they see the compelling argument, they do what I did and leave the soul-sucking, hateful institution they’ve been propping up, and become Mormon-no-more. :)

    One reason I left was because if I had kids while still inside the church, they’d go on the rolls automatically. And I didn’t want my kids being exposed to the poor role models the church provides in terms of human equality. I wanted my kids to respect other cultures and genders. I wanted my kids to be able to think critically.

  413. #414 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Please identify the genetic component.

    Read, asshole. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_caus3.htm

    And did you know that that many diseases or abnormalities are caused by genetic components?

    Like black skin, right, you racist asshole?

    You really are a terrible person, James.

  414. #415 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    did you know that that many diseases or abnormalities are caused by genetic components?

    did you know that many cases of criminal insanity are caused by religious extremism?

    (seriously, let’s list a few things that are caused by genetic components. and let’s start with biologic sex. whoops, guess we gotta get rid of those sex chromosomes!)

  415. #416 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    And did you know that that many diseases or abnormalities are caused by genetic components?

    And did you know that that hair colour/number of limbs/ability to roll one’s tongue are specified by genetic components? o.O

    Gosh, this science! What will it discover next?

  416. #417 Sastra
    December 22, 2009

    James #394 wrote:

    The basic purpose of the male gender in the human species is specific and identifiable.

    No, it’s not: you’re confusing “male gender” with “sperm.” You’re also using the sloppy phrase “basic purpose” to mean all sorts of different things, sliding from one connotation to the next. That is why you are being asked for specific and identifiable definitions.

    Sperm fertilizes egg in human procreation. Yes. And? You simply can’t extrapolate from that to get to “natural purposes” for men, or the “real” meaning of marriage.

    People have purposes, or goals. Ironically, your argument that gay couples have to “prove” their right to marry to the government gives the State power over the rights of the individual — a position which, as a Mormon, you are probably opposed to, politically. Rethink this.

  417. #418 llewelly
    December 22, 2009

    Go ahead JC, make the case for why the human species should not look for a cause and then a universal therapy that will abate this abnormality in the male human gender.

    While we’re at it, let’s get rid of people who are left-handed, have blue eyes, or have red hair. All of these folk are clearly abnormal, so let’s figure out the cause and develop a universal therapy that will make everyone right-handed, brown-eyed, and brown-haired.

  418. #419 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    James, the homophobic twit:

    * Men cannot be wives or mothers.
    * Women cannot be husbands or fathers.

    Children need a mom and dad and nature agrees.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Men are capable of great nurturing, women are capable of great strength (oh, here’s news – they have brains too!) and children need loving, intelligent parents.

    You’re hung up on roles of a traditional nature, nothing more. Extended families with capable adults filling all manner of obligations are great environments for kids. What they don’t need are rigid, bigoted twits like yourself, who have heads stuffed with utter nonsense and talk out their asses.

  419. #420 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    And did you know that that many diseases or abnormalities are caused by genetic components?

    So you advocate eugenics. Skin color is also caused by genetic components. If we can treat and wipe out the gays we can do the same with a skin tone now couldn’t we.

    You racist turd.

  420. #421 Andreas Johansson
    December 22, 2009

    Jadehawk:

    your [=James's] reading comprehension sucks. that’s not the purpose of sexual attraction, it’s its source and one of its primary use.

    I see no reason to presuppose the problem is with his reading comprehension rather than with his honesty.

  421. #422 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James @400,

    Children need a mom and dad and nature agrees.

    So now divorce is illegal and widows and widowers with children must instantly remarry?

    James, children grow up, that happens through the passage of time. It doesn’t happen because Mr. and Mrs. Potato head swap out more adult parts.
    —–
    Mr. P, “Dear, I think junior deserves an adolescent mouth.”
    Mrs. P, “I don’t know, sweetie. The last time we let him have it, it only cursed because his willy is still a toddlers.”
    ——

    How do children grow up to be members of society? By being raised by adults who are members of society. Gender doesn’t enter into it at all.

    There are plenty of historical examples to illustrate this.

  422. #423 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    Homophobic Twit:

    And did you know that that many diseases or abnormalities are caused by genetic components?

    Ya don’t say. I have freckles and red hair. Many times throughout history, people such as yourself have considered those things abnormal a/o evil. Obviously, those people were wrong. You’re wrong right now, but don’t have the brains to realize it. Pity.

  423. #424 James
    December 22, 2009

    Llewelly:

    If scientists find a universal reparative therapy for same-sex attraction, should homosexuals 1) receive it and 2) admit that all of this nonsense was based on fantasy concocted to describe a clear inconsistency with the natural purpose and identify of human gender?

    If you want to know the truth already, just start with the two genders; Male and female.

    What is the basic purpose of the human male in the species? What is the basic purpose of sexual attraction in human males?

    Ding ding ding!

    You won’t find that the answer to either of those questions is “same sex attraction.”

    We don’t need science to identify that same sex attraction is an abnormal attraction that is inconsistent with male biology and gender. It is self-evident.

  424. #425 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James @400,

    Children need a mom and dad and nature agrees.

    Oh, and cut the ‘it’s for the children’ crap.

    You keep saying that homosexuality is wrong because they can’t have children.

    Then you can’t say that homosexuality is wrong because their children aren’t raised properly.

    By your own argument, they don’t have any.

    Contradiction.

    Choose one.

  425. #426 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    The word “purpose” wakes up in a strange room and wonders, “How the fuck did I get here? And what have I been drinking?” The words echo around the room.

    The word “natural” rolls over and says, “Buddy, I feel your pain…”

    This natural fallacy was brought you by the letters X and Y and James the Mormon Muppet!

  426. #427 James
    December 22, 2009

    Flex:

    You wrote:
    “Children need a mom and dad and nature agrees.
    So now divorce is illegal and widows and widowers with children must instantly remarry?”

    No, just not gay marriage, where government forces children to be raised without a mother or a dad on purpose. I vote no.

    Sastra:

    You wrote:
    “Poor James. He is sadly outnumbered, and he is engaged in losing arguments on not one, but two fronts (“is there a secular argument against gay marriage?” and “is there good evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon.) Plus, he is on Pharyngula. ”

    I don’t mind being outnumbered.

    I don’t think anyone has been able to argue that homosexual attraction is consistent with male human gender or that its necessary to the species.
    That is the task. Homosexual attraction by nature an attraction to one’s own sex. Get it? It’s an abnormality according to the two human genders. All of the bloggers here have yet to interact with this reality.

    Presently, there are no compelling arguments for gay marriage that I can’t refute.

    As for the Book of Mormon, there is compelling evidence that DIRECTLY supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon and indicates that Nephi was a real person in 600 BC. Unless of course, you’re claiming that Joseph Smith was also a time traveler.

    But, as I am outnumbered, and you are all very entrenched in your biases and false views of Mormonism, mostly based on flawed anti-Mormon arguments, what’s the point?

    I find that most freethinkers claim that they believe only in science and reason but when confronted with Book of Mormon evidence, quickly retreat from this hard core position and form extreme positions so that their cognizant dissonance doesn’t drive them batty.

    And, it is the holidays and I have plenty more to do today, as I sit in my home office.

    Anyway, it’s time to get ready for the bowl game.

    It’s been fun!

    Now, just imagine a million citizens asking you,

    “Why should we make gay marriage legal when homosexual attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender?”

    What evidence or proof will you propose in the national debate, next time around?

  427. #428 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    We don’t need science to identify that same sex attraction is an abnormal attraction that is inconsistent with male biology and gender. It is self-evident.

    Yes you do because it’s not self-evident. We’ve given example to state otherwise. Deluded Fool.

  428. #429 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    His last 10 posts are all exactly the same. This is getting very boring.

  429. #430 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: “If you want to know the truth already, just start with the two genders; Male and female”

    Okay, “James” is a cretin. How many times must it be said? The word you want is sex. There are two fertile sexes among mammals.

    You have to have a 400cc brain to not get this point. In English, gender applies to sociological roles — it’s made up stuff. Sexes refers to biological functions. Gender comes from grammar — it refers ultimately to a system of sound concordances and related variations on grammar that are found in Indo-European languages. That metaphorically applies to social relations (Ding! Ding! Ding! you ijit).

    It is self-evident.

    Only absolutely morons ever say that. The closest an actual logician says is “The proof is trivial” — which usually means, an exercise for the student, which takes just as long as the rest of the proof.

    Things are self-evident only to thoughtless buffoons who don’t know what a tautology is.

  430. #431 davem
    December 22, 2009

    Well, it’s bedtime this side of the pond, so this is my last effort. It’s been revealing.

    As a long time family genealogist, I find the LDS family history archives to be of tremendous value, and think it’s great that they are openly accessible to non-believers like me. …while thinking that the church members must be nuts believing that baptism of the dead stuff.

    Thanks to pixelfish, I now find that some poor sod gets nearly drowned to achieve that – I was thinking that all they did was add the stuff to a computer file.. Thanks pixelfish, for all the fish…sort of.

    And thanks to James the bigot, who has revealed all I now need to know of the LDS’s other activities.

    Anyone who hears that tale of Joseph Smith and the ‘lost book’ of Mormon, and doesn’t immediately spot a scam has to be blind to evidence, and tremendously gullible to boot. You won’t get through to him; he is blind to stuff that is self-evident to anyone outside his sect.

  431. #432 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    We don’t need science to identify that same sex attraction is an abnormal attraction that is inconsistent with male biology and gender. It is self-evident.

    All of you over educated fuckers, just give up. James knows better then any of you assholes. James has been taught by his elders that male homosexuality is inconsistent with nature. And his elders has had this revealed by god and that is infallible, except when the elders are fallible.

    Please, explain to us what female sexuality is. Or does it not matter?

  432. #433 CunningLingus
    December 22, 2009

    Occasionally I tend to feel i’ve lost out on some of the experiences Pixel, Kenbo and others have experienced on their own road to rationality. I’ve always been an atheist, in so much as having had the good fortune of being brought up without the need for religion from my parents.

    Sometimes I feel a little awestruck by how level headed and moral most ex-believers seem to be, and reading this thread today has further reinforced my awe. I can only imagine the guilt, the heartache, and the pain of leaving any institution one is brought up in from birth.

    Then along comes James, and i thank my lucky fucking stars i’ve never been that closed minded, that retarded, and that obnoxious, and especially not a stumpy fucktard mormon !

  433. #434 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    James. There is no “purpose.”

    Why do you hate gay people?

  434. #435 jcfitzner
    December 22, 2009

    @Janine

    LOL. Good question. It’s a myth. God said so. Women don’t have sexualities. Nor indeed real free-will. They’re pleasure machines for men.

  435. #436 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    As for the Book of Mormon, there is compelling evidence that DIRECTLY supports the narrative of the Book of Mormon and indicates that Nephi was a real person in 600 BC.

    There is none. Nor is there evidence of this person existance. It’s more likely that there is vague similarities between different narrative that Joey picked up when he shitted it out. We’ve given you evidence. The genetic make of Native Americans indicate that they are of east Asian descent. There is also no archeological evidence for them being Semitic people. The technology isn’t even consistent. I see now that the LDS has corrupted your mind so hard that it’s impossible for you to lot at real evidence.

  436. #437 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    Janine, She Wolf OM:

    Please, explain to us what female sexuality is. Or does it not matter?

    Apparently not. James seems to be entirely phallus-focused. Women are nothing but mobile uteri in James’ little tiny world, they certainly don’t enjoy sex, especially not any perverted (read: non-procreative) kind! Snort.

  437. #438 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Strange Gods, I think I can answer that question. Because it is inconsistent with male biology and gender.

    Funny how James says nothing about female gender. What, the womenfolk cannot feel sexual attraction?

  438. #439 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    If scientists find a universal reparative therapy for same-sex attraction, should homosexuals 1) receive it

    He’s talking about forcing gay people to undergo abusive brainwashing, and he’s accusing gay people of being fascists.

    No, just not gay marriage, where government forces children to be raised without a mother or a dad on purpose. I vote no.

    There are kids being raised by gay couples who’d be living in orphanages with zero parents otherwise, James. Why do you hate the children of gay couples?

  439. #440 MAJeff, OM
    December 22, 2009

    It’s rather ironic to read James application of “fascism” to advocates for marriage equality, and then to see him follow that up with his eugenic fantasies.

  440. #441 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    @CunningLingus: It works both ways. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost out on some of the experiences of growing up in a culture that supports rationality. (My parents were kinda sciencey for Mormons, but they had tremendous cog dis about it. One of my favourite buildings on WhyBeYou campus is the Widstoe science building and I have a lot of fond memories there, but I also can recall my dad dissing Sagan when he died. It’s weird how they could be so into science, and so irrational about their own beliefs.)

    Still, that which doesn’t kill ya, makes you stranger. :)

  441. #442 frog
    December 22, 2009

    Here’s the most interesting thing about James: he apparently started this thread to defend Mormonism from the slander that they were radical theocratic mythology obsessed nutcases bent on political domination.

    Then he went ahead and proved that Mormonism is sexist, homophobic, inconsistent, theocratic and filled with mythology obsessed nutcases bent on political domination. Beyond a doubt, he asserts that only what he finds necessary, in light of his peculiar mythos, should be legal.

    I mean, what a maroon!

    This is one of the problems of Mormonism, as opposed to the older religions: their apologetics, arts, theology and architecture absolutely suck. Unlike the Roman pedophiles, the Levantine theocrats, or the subcontinent racists, these rednecks are basically incompetent. How hard is it to hire decent architects? Painters? Theologians? The world is awash with them.

    Can’t we as Americans do better? If we’re going to make up loony shit as an excuse to dominate and exploit our neighbors — Mormonism? Scientology? Really — that’s the best? Sci-fi cover art and Federal buildings relabeled as church facilities? Crap that any meth-head living in a trailer can do with a spray can?

    It’s really worth it visiting Mormon Vatican in SLC. The building, the food, the “museum”, the “art” — it’s execrable. You shall know them by their fruits, indeed.

    The “meditation” room with spray painted walls and a Jesus with a tape-player up his ass was the high-point for me!

  442. #443 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    Presently, there are no compelling arguments for gay marriage that I can’t refute.

    okay, add “refute”.

    i’m making a list of words james uses without understanding what they mean.

    (no, it doesn’t look anything like a dictionary at all. dictionaries have definitions in them.)

  443. #444 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    James sez: If scientists find a universal reparative therapy for same-sex attraction, should homosexuals 1) receive it

    Strange Gods replies: He’s talking about forcing gay people to undergo abusive brainwashing, and he’s accusing gay people of being fascists.

    Yeah, he’s exceeded the recommended daily dose in accidental irony.

    If we wanted to really break his brain, we could explain the Deaf community to him, and point out that there are people who would say no to reparative therapy for deafness.

  444. #445 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    I don’t think anyone has been able to argue that homosexual attraction is consistent with male human gender or that its necessary to the species.
    That is the task.

    No, the task is for you to demonstrate how that is in any way relevant to the issue of marriage. It makes absolutely zero difference whether homosexuality is “necessary” to the species or not. If the state is to sanction a legal contract, it has to do so irrespective of the sexes of the people entering into that contract. Demonstrate the compelling reason why homosexual couples should be excluded from marriage.

    Presently, there are no compelling arguments for gay marriage that I can’t refute.

    So far, you haven’t refuted anybody’s arguments. You have only repeatedly made these baseless assertions as if they were universal truths. You have made no compelling arguments at all. Repeating the same assertion over and over does not make it so.

  445. #446 pixelfish
    December 22, 2009

    “….Sci-fi cover art….”

    Hey now, frog, let’s not knock sci-fi cover art. (Says the sf/f reading nut who also happens to be an artist and paints what could be called sci-fi cover art.)

    That said, my basic description of the Book of Mormon is “Biblical fan-fic”, with apologies to all other canons of fan-fic.

  446. #447 Anri
    December 22, 2009

    …he still never answered my question, why ‘nature’ is always inherently better.

    In fact, he never even got near it.

    I honestly have to wonder if it’s that he didn’t understand the point I was making, or just had no refutation at all for it.

    The World May Never Know….

    (Ask Mr. Owl!)

  447. #448 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    The basic purpose of the male gender in the human species is specific and identifiable.
    Homosexual feelings and attractions are contrary and inconsistent with this purpose and identity in every way.

    James you keep repeating this like a mantra, almost like a recovering alcoholic who needs to repeat over and over, “Alcohol is toxic and inconsistent with a healthy life in every way”. Mantras are only good for convincing oneself of something but are not very good at convincing anyone else. If you want to convince anyone else you need to add a bit more substance to the argument.

  448. #449 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 22, 2009

    There’s a church whose founder, Joseph Smith, needed 44 wives (several already married to other men), two of them 14 when Joe decided he needed a new bed warmer. After Joe was killed, his bestest buddy, Brigham Young, needed to marry 55 women to prove his masculinity. And the church run by these two men claims it’s in favor of “traditional” marriage.

  449. #450 shatfat
    December 22, 2009

    James: “Is Maine dominated by a particular religion? If not, why didn’t they vote against gay marriage?”

    Yes, the Roman Catholic Church. They aren’t the only religion, but they mess around in politics the most. They gave quite a bit of money they didn’t have in support of voting down same-sex marriage. They were probably responsible for the majority of the “yes” votes in the cities, where RCC sheeple are concentrated.

    At a guess, because of a well-funded anti-gay campaign? Funded by Mormons? That’s what happened in MY state (California), anyway.

    Well documented, yes. OMNOMNOM spent heavily in Maine, though not quite as heavily as the other side, which did a great education campaign but still lost. Maine is highly rural and a great urban ground game didn’t translate into great rural outreach. Last I heard, NOM was still fighting in court with the State of Maine over failing to disclose their donors and violating campaign finance laws.

  450. #451 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    I get it.

    James thinks he’s shot the arguments down because Gays aren’t people, therefore the many arguments he’s not addressed haven’t actually been made.

  451. #452 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    James @427,

    No, just not gay marriage, where government forces children to be raised without a mother or a dad on purpose. I vote no.

    So you are absolutely fine with same-sex marriage? Just as long as they don’t adopt?

    So why did you vote against same-sex marriage again?

  452. #453 SteveM
    December 22, 2009

    No, just not gay marriage, where government forces children to be raised without a mother or a dad on purpose. I vote no.

    Therefore you must also be against single parent adoption, and for removing children from single parent households.

  453. #454 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 22, 2009

    No valid or compelling arguments have been made to refute or address how same sex attraction is inconsistent with the natural purpose and identity of gender.

    This is a perfectly true statement. James has been given no valid or compelling arguments that are valid or compelling to James. It’s highly unlikely that no such arguments exist. James will always find each and every argument invalid and uncompelling. Bigots will always reject any argument, no matter how reasonably or logical, which goes against their bigotry.

  454. #455 natural cynic
    December 22, 2009

    James: Anyway, it’s time to get ready for the bowl game

    Go Beavers, Stomp Bring Your Underwear

  455. #456 Flex
    December 22, 2009

    Rutee @451,

    James thinks he’s shot the arguments down because Gays aren’t people, therefore the many arguments he’s not addressed haven’t actually been made.

    Well, James’ gaydar is miss-calibrated then. He hasn’t even attempted to answer my question of why he thinks he should vote against same-sex marriage instead of not voting at all, and I’m not at all inclined toward homosexuality.

    I do, however, recognize that there is no rational reason to restrict same-sex marriages, only custom. And apparently, to James’ regret, custom is changing.

  456. #457 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    The science demonstrates that there is a genetic component to homosexuality.

    ? I don’t think this has been demonstrated.

  457. #458 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Well, I am somewhat disappointed. James has taken his now assless self off to watch sporting events and has left this blood sport.

    James hounded me for a reply to his example of the black Elder of 1836, so I provided an answer @367 … and, James never replied.

    James kept fucking around with “proof” that the BoM is true, and PixelFish filleted his argument @376, and I added a blow @395 … and, James never replied.

    BTW, PixelFish, the comment @426 was priceless

    The word “purpose” wakes up in a strange room and wonders, “How the fuck did I get here? And what have I been drinking?

    I think James may have been thinking of all the spirit babies on Kolob, waiting to come to earth via man/woman intercourse, but he was afraid to bring up yet another moment of mormon madness.

  458. #459 Stu D.
    December 22, 2009

    James:

    You’re a fun one. Let’s take a look at some of the things you said and have some more fun:

    If you’d like to name a more consistent faith, be my guest.

    Yeah, the Mormons are so very consistent, especially about that tricky First Vision thing. It was two personages who forgave Joseph Smith of his sins . . . no wait, it was two personages and a host of angels who forgave Joseph of his sins and told him that Jesus is the son of god . . . no wait, it was two personages who forgave Joseph of his sins and told him that the churches are corrupt . . . no wait, it was two personages, one of whom said, “This is my beloved son, hear him” and told Joseph that the churches are corrupt . . . yeah, that’s it.

    But you want consistency, okay:

    The Mormon Church is about “saving souls” who want to be saved. Salvation through coercion is not salvation, and therfore, a powerful militant LDS theocracy wouldn’t do the LDS Church any eternal good and would be contrary to its fundamental axioms and principles.

    Then why did your founder talk about saving the Constitution? Also, why was it canonical for a long while (up until the practice was exposed to the public) for Mormons to swear in their temple oaths that they would avenge the death of Joseph Smith by bringing down the government/country that killed him? And why was it canonical to teach that African-Americans were unworthy in the pre-existence and therefore cursed all their days with dark skin and eternal servitude and strife in this life (in fact, there is still canonical scripture stating that dark skin is a curse for “iniquity” (Alma 3:6)) up until this practice was darkly (get it?) frowned upon by the general public in 1978?

    The only thing the Mormons are consistent on is their flip-flopping on issues that are absolutely god’s will up until they become unfavorable in the eyes of the public.

    And hey, speaking of, you might want to read this MormonTimes article in which the author says:

    How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

    (The author, by the way, is Orson Scott Card. Isn’t he a sweetie? It’s okay, though, he was only following in the footsteps of the Oath of Vengeance dudes.)

    Mormonism as a religious philosophy, does not teach or believe in INFALLIBLE prophets like Christians believe in an INFALLIBLE Bible.

    Don’t Mormons believe in an infallible bible?

    “Well, it’s either true or false. If it’s false, we’re engaged in a great fraud. If it’s true, it’s the most important thing in the world. Now, that’s the whole picture. It is either right or wrong, true or false, fraudulent or true. And that’s exactly where we stand, with a conviction in our hearts that it is true: that Joseph went into the [Sacred] Grove; that he saw the Father and the Son; that he talked with them; that Moroni came; that the Book of Mormon was translated from the plates; that the priesthood was restored by those who held it anciently. That’s our claim. That’s where we stand, and that’s where we fall, if we fall. But we don’t. We just stand secure in that faith.” — Gordon B. Hinckley, as quoted here.

    So the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision (which account? The one the church canonized, or the one he first recorded?), are totally infallible, or so the Mormons believe. And the Mormons believe in the Bible too, buddypal, “as long as it is translated correctly” (that’s one of your Articles of Faith! Aren’t you supposed to memorize those in primary?). Both are fallible, but at least the Bible has some actual history thrown into the mix. The Book of Mormon is just complete fantasy, and bad fantasy at that (I believe Mark Twain called it “chloroform in print” — very apt).

    So you Mormons continue to scream that you’re Christians, NO YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY WE’RE CHRISTIANS, and yet when it’s convenient, you disparage the Bible that your own founders believed in. Choice!

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    Then why does your god continue to create them? Why do they continue to crop up?

    Did you know that as recently as this past summer, scientists stated that homosexual behavior is widespread in animals (not just human animals, mind you) — and not only that, but that it might be an evolutionary response to perpetuating the species? While all the heterosexual couples are procreating, homosexual couples are seeking to adopt the unwanted and orphaned children left behind by said heterosexual couples. The Laysan albatross population was floundering thanks to a shortage of males — until females started creating pair-bonds and raising chicks. Black swans are known to engage in homosexual pair-bond/chick-raising as well. In fact, they engage in a form of surrogate parenting! Two male black swans will pair off, a female will mate with one or both of them, and after she lays the eggs, she leaves the nest to the two males, who then raise the chicks themselves.

    So tell me again about your reality.

    While they traveled they chronicled their journey. They described geographical features, cultural features, and specific flora and fauna specific to that area and that particular century.

    You are so full of shit, your eyes must be brown enough to shame dark chocolate. Educate yourself before you make a bigger ass of yourself than you already have — if that’s even possible.

  459. #460 Jordan Licht
    December 22, 2009

    Hey, James, if you ever get back from that game, you might find the following enlightening, as regards the racism of the LDS church. Not only were they openly racist in the past, they’re still openly racist!

    ?We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question? (Spencer W. Kimball, 1976).

    Before pointing out that the quote is from the 70s, note that this quote can be found in official church documents officially distributed for the purposes of “education” for youth. (See here.) If the LDS church doesn’t support the racism in this, why do they quote it in official church publications?

    Also, as for the (in)accuracy of the BoM, see this for a stylometric look into it.

  460. #461 Miki Z
    December 22, 2009

    What a discussion to wake up to. James, even as a Mormon you are not making a good argument.

    Here’s the Mormon argument:
    1) Each person on earth has an immortal soul which was theirs before they were born.
    2) The purpose of birth is
    a) To give the soul a body of flesh and bone, which cannot otherwise be obtained.
    b) To enable the person to prove themselves worthy of the responsibilities and powers that God has promised them.
    3) Souls have a gender, male or female, even before birth.
    4) The gender of the body will match the gender of the soul, because God does not make mistakes.

    Can you cite doctrine which says that the purpose of being male is to be a husband and father? And, please, “canonical” doctrine only.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong about the position that the Church expects you to hold, but you’re espousing all kinds of doctrinal fallacies to defend it, which is misrepresenting the Church.

    Flex@422: As a child, my mother died and yes, there was intense and persistent pressure for my father to remarry as soon as possible. If not, he would be removed from his leadership positions in the church, because those are reserved to married men.

  461. #462 frog
    December 22, 2009

    pixelfish: Hey now, frog, let’s not knock sci-fi cover art. (Says the sf/f reading nut who also happens to be an artist and paints what could be called sci-fi cover art.)

    Let me specify: 50′s & 60′s style sci-fi cover art with the “pneumatic” babe and The Serious Astronaut.

    You should see the crap that scientologists have hanging over their dining room tables.

    The Mormon “meditation” room, however, looks more like a cheap planetarium swivel to intro a Led Zepplin laser light show, right before Thor and the Half-Naked Valkeryie are introduced.

    It was really hard not to laugh when the poor missionary “chicks” — that’s really how it was set up! — had to explain with a straight face of how it was “symbolic” of Jesus being the center of the universe. More precisely though, I’d have to say it was “symbolic” of the tape-player up his ass being the center of the universe.

    Oh, sweet Nordic Jesus.

  462. #463 DLC
    December 22, 2009

    My first look into the Mormon Church was in Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study In Scarlet.
    There’s a section in there where some of the early doings of the LDS are detailed. If you don’t want to believe they can be as bad as the fiction depicted you can look it up. They were as bad as depicted by Doyle. It could even be one of the exit routes from Religiosity. And to think Conan Doyle was duped by the Cottingly Faeries hoax.

  463. #464 phantomreader42
    December 22, 2009

    I was looking at post 130 from James the mormon bigot, but unable to respond due to login issues. Of course, after almost 300 more posts, he has made no effort whatsoever to address the issues I would have raised, even after several people have made some of the same points. He just keeps repeating the same bullshit.

    James the mormon bigot @ #130:

    reality is that same sex attraction is inconsistent to and with the natural purpose and identity of human gender (male or female).

    Oh, really? Just what IS “the natural purpose and identity of human gender”? How do you know this? Why should we believe you? Do you have the slightest speck of evidence to support this claim? Anything that even LOOKS like evidence? Anything at all?

    You haven’t even shown that you have a coherent idea of what “the natural purpose and identity of human gender” is, much less a correct one. You won’t even say what you mean by this phrase you keep throwing around, nor will you even bother trying to support your claims no matter how many times you’re asked.

    James the confused mormon bigot, dodging the burden of proof:

    Steve, you’re welcome to try and argue how same-sex attraction is consistent with human gender and tell us how it evolved as a integral and necessary part of the human species.

    No, James, you’ve got it all backwards. YOU are the one claiming to have some special magical divine understanding of “the natural purpose and identity of human gender”, without offering the slightest speck of evidence to back up this claim. YOU are the one who claims, again without a speck of evidence, that same-sex attraction is inconsistent with this “natural purpose and identity of human gender”, which you keep babbling about but refuse to support in any way or even so much as define. So YOU, James, you are the one who is obligated to present some damn evidence to back up your claims if you expect to be taken seriously. You have utterly failed at this.

    Where do you get the idea that you’re qualified to lecture a biologist on biology, when you can’t even manage to spell his name right when it’s right there on the screen in front of you? How arrogant and stupid can you get?

    James the stupid arrogant bigoted failure:

    Make a compelling argument… go ahead.

    You first. :P

    Hell, you haven’t even managed to make an argument, much less a compelling one.

    I think greenishblue summed up the pattern nicely in post 337, and James has not deviated from it one iota in all this time:

    James: “[Unsubstantiated claim], [unsubstantiated claim], [naturalistic fallacy], and also [unsubstantiated claim]. Therefore, [unwarranted conclusion].”

    Everyone else: “Please substantiate your claim. Also, you committed the naturalistic fallacy.”

    James: “Look, it’s very simple: [Repeated unsubstantiated claim], [repeated unwarranted conclusion], due to [another naturalistic fallacy]
    Repeat

  464. #465 Stu D.
    December 22, 2009

    @SteveM

    Repeating the same assertion over and over does not make it so.

    Unfortunately, Mormons are taught that you can gain a belief in something by repeating it often. You can’t blame James for that, his social development is stunted by his religion.

  465. #466 Joffan
    December 22, 2009

    Hang on Miki Z – wasn’t your father still married to your mother (even though she had died) under Mormon thinking? Not saying there wasn’t pressure to re-marry – just that it kind of conflicts with their doctrine also, as I have understood it.

  466. #467 raven
    December 22, 2009

    Many are missing the salient point.

    1. Mormons can believe whatever fruitbat crazy nonsense they want. Free country. They aren’t alone, the scientologists believe in Xenu the Galactic overlord, the Moonies JC the second as a Korean excon etc..

    The salient point. Not belief but forcing others to follow their beliefs.

    2. That doesn’t give them the right to force us to believe their fruitbat crazy nonsense. To impose their beliefs on us.

    But they do it anyway if they can get away with it. Thanks to most of the courts and laws, in this case, they can impose the tyranny of the majority on a small minority.

    I doubt many people who learn the truth about this nasty mind control cult of fascists is going to want to join it. And turn into James, the meat robot.

    According to the stats I posted above, Utah is #1 in prozac consumption. Something wrong about a religion that requires constant psychiatric support.

  467. #468 Stu D.
    December 22, 2009

    Joffan:

    Mormons engage in “eternal” polygamy a lot. If one man has a wife who dies before he does and he remarries, he’s technically sealed to both of them; while if a widow remarries, she is sealed only to one of those men, because polyandry is wrong — just ask Joseph Smith, who would never marry other men’s wives, right? Right. Totally.

  468. #469 Miki Z
    December 22, 2009

    There’s plural marriage after death, it was removed from Church doctrine as something to be practiced on earth, but not from the doctrine about the afterlife. The doctrine itself has internal consistency, but only if you accept the basic assumptions does it make any sense in a larger (e.g. reality-based) context.

  469. #470 frog
    December 22, 2009

    Stu.D: Unfortunately, Mormons are taught that you can gain a belief in something by repeating it often.

    Isn’t that the defining characteristic of religion? That if it rhymes, it must be true?

  470. #471 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkL6rop7ope6a9ysVWsdSU1FNTAQmmW9gw
    December 22, 2009

    James is a lost cause, all he can do is regurgitate dogma. All religious dogmatics are equally blind.

    Reality has no impact on such people.

    Say, Gyeong Hwa Pak – is Yongarry part of the Korean creation story? I’d like an intelligent discussion to start here.

  471. #472 leepicton
    December 22, 2009

    It is particularly depressing to observe that James thinks he is one of the “normal” Mormons and not one of the loonies, which leads me to another interesting conclusion. You can google various algorithms of Mormon, fraud, affinity fraud, religious fraud, and discover that Mormons are even higher ranking in their susceptibility to being swindled than the Baptists. When you begin to understand the twisted Mormon mind (and I have gotten quite an education from James), this should not be surprising. These poor victims (and I have come to regard them as victims) spend their lifetimes trying to reconcile so many lies to make them resemble some kind of internal “truth,” they are truly incapable of objective critical thinking. This describes James perfectly. We see him for what he really is, a homophobic, misognystic, delusional, twisted and downright evil person. Whereas, James certainly sees himself an an upright patriot, Mormon paragon, and all around nice guy. There is a chasm here that is not going to be bridged, and one can only hope that mormonism will begin to dwindle when the children discover that they can research the true history of their bizarre beliefs (second only to Scientology in weirdness) and escape without being terminally damaged. Meanwhile, there is nothing to be done with those like James who have drunk the kool-aid.

  472. #473 Stu D.
    December 22, 2009

    @frog: Isn’t that the defining characteristic of religion? That if it rhymes, it must be true?

    Bingo.

    That, and megalomaniacs who decide one day that they’re some sort of divine prophet/savior of the world and use manipulation to garner a following of dupes.

  473. #474 skeptifem
    December 22, 2009

    James- There are more than 2 genders. There are more than 2 sexes. It is a big, complicated thing with many components. Please look into it; someone already gave you a bunch of info about this earlier in the thread. The idea that there are 2 roles for a group of people who don’t fall into 2 strict categories is hard for me to take seriously.

  474. #475 chosha
    December 22, 2009

    James wrote:
    “Because your local leaders didn’t follow the handbook of instructions that clearly states that non canonical beliefs and views should not be taught in Church meetings.”

    And when the church presidency had the bishops of CA teach their wards to support a political campaign with their time and money, was that canon they were sharing? Or were they in fact teaching in opposition to their canon (D&C134:9) which reads: ‘We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied’?

    What really floors me James is that you are arguing the official view and completely ignoring reality, despite the fact that you are not talking to non-members with no direct knowledge of these things, but to members and ex-members who have lived and are living this reality. Stop expecting people to swallow that warm and fuzzy official take on things – by their fruits we already know them.

    Actually I’d like to comment on one offical view that was quoted above – one that sounds like ‘support your leaders’ but is actually campaign for compliance over truth and respect for individuals – Dallin H Oaks saying that no member has the right to criticise a church leader, even if the criticism is true.

    Now put yourself in the place of a child being sexually abused by their bishop. Put yourself in the place of that child’s parents when they find out. What does it sound like Elder Oaks is advising them to do?

    When my friend told her stake president that her husband had started beating her as early as their honeymoon and was still doing so, his reply was that her duty was to obey her husband. She stayed in that abusive marriage two more years, based on his advice as a leader ‘called of god’, before she finally escaped for the sake of her kids. Another friend left her husband after many years of similar abuse – her bishop advised her to reconcile with her husband, not after his repentance and changed behaviour (which never came), but before he had even admitted he was beating her. When you add to this the fact that the catalyst for her finally finding the strength to leave was that he raped her daughter (a teenager he had raised since she was a young child and to whom he was the only father she’d even known) you begin to see how heinous that advice was.

    How do you think those women felt when they listened to Elder Oaks’ teachings? I think these people feel like their painful realities are being ignored for the sake of appearances. I think they feel alienated and insignificant in the face of the church’s goal to keep the church members obedient to their leaders.

    As for the original point of the post – I’m guessing that Rex Rammell is going to try to argue that the Constitution is hanging by a thread because it is threatened by same-sex marriage. This would be the climate in which to do so. I personally feel that the Constitution is far more threatened by the LDS church’s attempts (with the help of its members) to take away the religious freedom of others by legislating their religious beliefs into civil law.

  475. #476 James
    December 22, 2009

    Oh the horror! Someone dares to challenge homosexual views or claims!

    When heterosexual citizens don’t celebrate all things “homosexual” we must be bigots, homophobes, and a haters. The horror! The horror!

    Oh the emotion of the homosexual mind! It can’t bear criticism or it falls apart. Psychological fragile but, yeah! homosexual attraction is neccesary for human males. Yeah… uh huh.

    The American citizenry is now clued into these fallacious rantings using hate speech and the next election will be a love-fest where heterosexuals hold homosexual feet to the fire about their “views” and their “claims.”

    Phantom:

    So, please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the natural purpose and identify of human male gender with whatever definition you want using definites and not abstractions. (I’ll elaborate)

    Explain its evolutionary origin and utility for the human species.

    Explain in detail the necessary purpose of one male being attracted to another male.

    From an evolutionary point of view, is homosexual attraction serve a utilitarian purpose? If so, what is it? Can the human species do without it altogether?

    Leep,

    Your post almost made me cry from laughing so hard. I am sure you would have loved to have plated sinister sounding music while you narrated! It was a very humorous yet a very poor attempt at hiding the scientific facts about homosexual attraction and its inconsistency with the male gender.

    Just a paragraph or to… scientifically speaking, what is the purpose of same-sex attraction within the human species?

    And, what do you think those Mormon youth are going to do when they read about evidence for 16 predictions made about ancient Arabia that the Book of Mormon made in 1830 that we now have evidence for, 170 years later? How did Joseph Smith get 16 predictions right about 600 BC in a row?

    Do you really think those fallacious strawman anti-Mormon arguments will have much weight?

    I’ll bet that I can disprove any premise you have about Mormonism that you think undermines the faith.

    BYU Cougars are up 23 to 7

  476. #477 chosha
    December 22, 2009

    Miki Z wrote:
    “There’s plural marriage after death, it was removed from Church doctrine as something to be practiced on earth, but not from the doctrine about the afterlife.”

    Actually, I have a friend who divorced his wife, but never got a temple divorce because he didn’t want to break the seal to his kids. He then married again in the temple. Though legally married to only one women, he is (in the eyes of the church) currently married to two living women for ‘time and all eternity’. Notice, not just for the afterlife, but ‘time’ (mortality) as well.

  477. #478 plumberbob
    December 22, 2009

    @ James,

    When I and another consenting adult enter a legal and binding contract, it is none of your business.

    When I and another consenting adult decide to live together, it is none of your business.

    When I and another consenting adult decide to have sex (of any variety), it is none of your business.

    When I, as an adult see a physician for a medical procedure, it is none of your business.

    None of those activities has the least bearing on your relationships, or your eschatological fate, or your standing in the community. If you think that I err, please give me the information that I can monitor those activities in your life, and I apologize for having been so lax in my supervision of your activities for all these years.

  478. #479 James
    December 22, 2009

    Chosha:

    You wrote:
    “Dallin H Oaks saying that no member has the right to criticise a church leader, even if the criticism is true.

    Now put yourself in the place of a child being sexually abused by their bishop. Put yourself in the place of that child’s parents when they find out. What does it sound like Elder Oaks is advising them to do? ”

    This is fallcious. Elder Oaks’ direction was concerning the duties and responsibilities WITHIN A CALLING in the Church, not concerning crimes that a person had committed.

    And for the record, your lost the gay marriage vote in California because the gay lobby did not convince enough people that gay marriage should be legal. Your lobby failed in California, Arizona, Florida, and recently in Maine.

    You’ve got the national media to help you. Your arguments aren’t working.

    How could they? It is self -evident that Homosexual attraction is contrary to the natural purpose and identity of human gender.

    Claiming that the Mormons are to blame is to ignore the reality of your cause and your platforms. So be it… blame away. That won’t work either but who cares.

  479. #480 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Oh the horror! Someone dares to challenge homosexual views or claims!

    Wow, you really are speaking truth to power. Those homosexuals are just stomping on everything

    Oh the horror! Someone dares to challenge carbon based views or claims!

    You really are a fool of the lowest rank.

    Homosexual desire is natural because it exist. But you, being a dumbfuck, would stand upon dogma over real lives.

  480. #481 James
    December 22, 2009

    Plummer:

    As American citizens, we all had our say whether gay marriage is legal. Your lobby lost in California, Arizona, Florida and recently in Maine.

    We the people say no to legalized gay marriage, but don’t let that stop you from being attracted to your own sex.

  481. #482 chosha
    December 22, 2009

    “When heterosexual citizens don’t celebrate all things “homosexual” we must be bigots, homophobes, and a haters.”

    You need to reread post #468.

    You’re allowed to believe what you want. You’re even allowed to say it out loud. No-one is denying your right to be a bigot, homophobe or hater. We just don’t think you should be allowed to legislate those beliefs to the detriment of the rights and religious freedom of other citizens. As a Christian, you shouldn’t even want to.

    And it’s not just ‘the gays’ who think this way. I’m 100% straight, but I don’t feel the need to take away other people’s civil rights as a result.

  482. #483 frog
    December 22, 2009

    The American citizenry is now clued into these fallacious rantings using hate speech and the next election will be a love-fest where heterosexuals hold homosexual feet to the fire about their “views” and their “claims.”

    A love-fest of fire? The “hate-speech” projection? Homosexual feet? Ranting?

    It all pours out — you can’t help it can you, dear boy?

    Now, return to watching young men grapple with each other, pile up on each other, and pat each others’ buttocks. Go enjoy watching your Tigers penetrate the other teen-age boys, deeply into their backfield, over and over again.

  483. #484 James
    December 22, 2009

    More ponderous parallels from Janine and our Godless existence:

    Homosexual desire is natural because it exists.

    A pedophile’s desire is natural because it exists.

    A desire to murder is natural because it exists.

    A desire to rape is natural because it exists.

    A desire to eat feces is natural because it exists.

    Yeah… great argument Janine!

  484. #485 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    We the people say no to legalized gay marriage, but don’t let that stop you from being attracted to your own sex.

    And here is the translation from Smug Asshole to English.

    You fucking faggots can remain second class citizen. Be grateful for the air the we blown to you.

  485. #486 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    1. Prophets are humans. By definition they are fallible. In Mormonism, we don’t claim that everything they said WAS of God. We distinguish by what is said in Church law – DC 107:

    We no shit not everything they said is taken as directly from god, but when they Claim it is how do you then tell the difference?

    That is why IN the RESTORED Church, God instructed the Church to have canonical doctrine as approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.

    Did you even read my quotes? Namely #236

    We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this are, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.

    and

    #243

    The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord,

    From the First Presidency.

    Explain that?

    The LDS Church has a deep history of institutionalized racism based on their doctrine. Doctrine that your god could have changed according to your divine revelation had he seen fit. That or your doctrine is just whatever the leaders of your cult see fit to spread at their convenience as evidenced in the 1890′s and 1978.

    You have not put anything up that explains that. Nothing.

    Do your leaders recieve divine revelation or not?

    Have you even addressed the passages in Nephi yet?

  486. #487 James
    December 22, 2009

    Chosha:

    You wrote:
    “We just don’t think you should be allowed to legislate those beliefs to the detriment of the rights and religious freedom of other citizens. As a Christian, you shouldn’t even want to.”

    Oh don’t worry, voting against gay marriage doesn’t harm the human species. Homosexual marriage is not necessary for the human species.

  487. #488 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    A desire to eat feces is natural because it exists.

    James, do you desire to eat feces?
    Do you exist?

    If so, why not?

  488. #489 chosha
    December 22, 2009

    James
    “This is fallcious. Elder Oaks’ direction was concerning the duties and responsibilities WITHIN A CALLING in the Church, not concerning crimes that a person had committed.”

    Did you read the rest of the post, where I wrote about those advised by their leaders WITHIN THEIR CALLING?

    And Elder Oaks did not qualify his remarks the way you have.

  489. #490 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Oh don’t worry, voting against gay marriage doesn’t harm the human species. Homosexual marriage is not necessary for the human species.

    This is an insanely stupid argument and you repeating it like a brain injured parrot doesn’t really change that.

  490. #491 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual marriage is not necessary for the human species.

    nor is mormonism. hey, let’s outlaw that too!

  491. #492 articulett
    December 22, 2009

    Heterosexual marriage is not necessary for the species either.

  492. #493 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    Christ on a crutch! James is still here? I walked away from this six hours ago. Get a job, sir!

  493. #494 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    And here is the stupid asshole comparing homosexuality to murder and other assorted shit. If being good with god means that I have to be with the likes of you, I would rather be in hell.

    Fuck you and everything you stand for, you intolerant pile of walking, talking toxic sludge.

  494. #495 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    chosha referred to other citizens, not “the human species” you doofus. Or I guess you’re probably just a troll.

  495. #496 Stu D.
    December 22, 2009

    James:

    This was in a post that didn’t get posted (probably because it was too long):

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    Then why does your god continue to create them? Why do they continue to crop up?

    Did you know that as recently as this past summer, scientists stated that homosexual behavior is widespread in animals (not just human animals, mind you) — and not only that, but that it might be an evolutionary response to perpetuating the species? While all the heterosexual couples are procreating, homosexual couples are seeking to adopt the unwanted and orphaned children left behind by said heterosexual couples. The Laysan albatross population was floundering thanks to a shortage of males — until females started creating pair-bonds and raising chicks. Black swans are known to engage in homosexual pair-bond/chick-raising as well. In fact, they engage in a form of surrogate parenting! Two male black swans will pair off, a female will mate with one or both of them, and after she lays the eggs, she leaves the nest to the two males, who then raise the chicks themselves.

    So tell me again about your reality.

  496. #497 Pygmy Loris
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    You don’t seem to get the point of marriage being a right. No citizen has the authority to dictate the rights of a minority. The debate is about equal protection under the law (you know, from the 14th amendment to the US Constitution). How you or any other citizen feels is irrelevant. A majority of voters in Mississippi wanted to deny African-Americans the right to vote for decades. Those same bigots didn’t get to vote on whether or not African-Americans could vote. The Supreme Court answered all of the same arguments you put forward in Loving v. Virginia.

    Your opinion should be irrelevant. The tyranny of the majority should never be able to dictate the rights of the minority. You allies in the gay marriage debate, the Catholics and Evangelical Protestants, would outlaw your religion if they could. As far as they’re concerned you’re worse than a Muslim because your church purports to be a denomination of Christianity while turning the core ideas of the religion on their heads. Aren’t you glad that the minority (Mormons in this case) have the full protection of the first amendment and fourteenth amendment?

  497. #498 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    Homophobic Twit’s latest:

    Oh the horror! Someone dares to challenge homosexual views or claims!

    When heterosexual citizens don’t celebrate all things “homosexual” we must be bigots, homophobes, and a haters. The horror! The horror!

    *Yawn* There’s no horror. No one here is surprised by you or falling apart over your so-called “challenge”. Your “challenge” has been met at every turn – all you’re demonstrating is an inability to think. A parrot would have a better argument at this point.

    No one is asking you to celebrate, just to keep your nasty, petrified mind up your own ass where it belongs. In other words, mind your own fucking business. What other people do with their lives doesn’t affect you, no matter how much you have convinced yourself it will destroy life as you know it. Gay people (yes, that includes women!) have been around as long as people have been around. Homosexuality abounds in nature. Go back in your closet, James. You are a bigot and a homophobe. You’re also an embarrassment to anyone with a brain.

    Oh the emotion of the homosexual mind! It can’t bear criticism or it falls apart. Psychological fragile but, yeah! homosexual attraction is neccesary for human males. Yeah… uh huh.

    Who exactly is falling apart? I haven’t seen anyone “falling apart”. Unless you’re defining falling apart as demolishing my every argument bit of mindless parroting. Homosexuality is every bit as natural as heterosexuality. Being bisexual is natural and normal to me. The fact that you don’t like it simply doesn’t matter.

    The American citizenry is now clued into these fallacious rantings using hate speech and the next election will be a love-fest where heterosexuals hold homosexual feet to the fire about their “views” and their
    “claims.”

    Wrong, cupcake. Your lust to take over ‘merica and start the new inquisition is just a fantasy. One I’m sure you share with other mormons, so get back into the closet and have a nice huddle with the other good mormon men and indulge in your fantasy. Just stay the hell away from the rest of us.

  498. #499 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James the evil LDS kook:

    As American citizens, we all had our say whether gay marriage is legal. Your lobby lost in California, Arizona, Florida and recently in Maine.

    Win some, lose some.

    We Americans managed to free your slaves, promote nonwhites to free and equal status under the law to whites, promote the majority of the population that are women to free and equal status to men under the law. All of which the LDS opposed at one time.

    While doing all that we have kept the religious fanatics from taking power and destroying the USA. You and your cult have no power to tell me what to think, do, or believe.

    Given Joseph Smith’s mostly wrong track record, I doubt that Rammel and his co-religionists ever will. I don’t think I’m going to be voting for any Mormons. Why would I vote for a member of a religious group who claims it is their sacred task to take over my country?

    We win many, lose a few.

  499. #500 chosha
    December 22, 2009

    James:
    “Homosexual marriage is not necessary for the human species.”

    Neither is heterosexual marriage.

  500. #501 James
    December 22, 2009

    Janine:

    You wrote:
    “You *** faggots can remain second class citizen. Be grateful for the air the we blown to you.”

    No Janine, it’s not the citizenry that has made homosexual relationships inferior to heterosexual relationships as it relates to its value to the human species, NATURE has made homosexual couples naturally incapable of passing on their genetic code together. NATURE has determined that reality.

    We’re not going to pretend that homosexual relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships. They are not the same and they are not equivalent.

  501. #502 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    it might be an evolutionary response to perpetuating the species?

    gah; whatever it is, it ain’t that! Evolution does not work that way.

    While all the heterosexual couples are procreating, homosexual couples are seeking to adopt the unwanted and orphaned children left behind by said heterosexual couples. The Laysan albatross population was floundering thanks to a shortage of males — until females started creating pair-bonds and raising chicks.

    that’s…not the same thing at all.

  502. #503 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    Once again, I will reiterate that James initial mission was to inform us all that most Mormons were nowhere NEAR as microcephalitic as Rex Rammell. Mission accomplished! Your bike is on the porch! You may leave your literature on the mat and depart!

  503. #504 DJSutton
    December 22, 2009

    [quote]More ponderous parallels from Janine and our Godless existence:

    Homosexual desire is natural because it exists.

    A pedophile’s desire is natural because it exists.

    A desire to murder is natural because it exists.

    A desire to rape is natural because it exists.

    A desire to eat feces is natural because it exists.

    Yeah… great argument Janine![/quote]

    Non sequiter. Homosexuality is moraly neutral, and causes no harm to any individuals, or society. Everything else you listed is antisocial and causes harm. I can play this game:

    A desire to watch football is natural because it exists.
    A pedophile’s desire is natural because it exists.

    A desire to murder is natural because it exists.

    A desire to rape is natural because it exists.

    A desire to eat feces is natural because it exists.

    Down with football!!!

    You have repeatedly failed to provide any argument other than “a penis and a vagina are capable of making babies, therefore homosexuals do not deserve equal protection under the law.” Amazing that people don’t find this convincing. Purpose != is capable of performing a particular function.

  504. #505 James
    December 22, 2009

    Chosha:

    You wrote:
    “Neither is heterosexual marriage. ”

    No, you’re wrong. Heterosexual marriage is necessary for the long term foundation of civilized societies.

    Homosexual unions are not necessary but heterosexual unions are.

    Raven:

    You wrote:
    “You and your cult have no power to tell me what to think, do, or believe.”

    Yeah, but we can lobby against gay marriage.

  505. #506 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    December 22, 2009

    Yes, James, all those things you mention is natural. It doesn’t make it right or wrong. Natural is neutral. That’s a naturalistic fallacy. We as humans however have an interest to better our society and the lives of the people living it. Keeping gays second class is not bettering their lives. I can’t see why that hasn’t gone through your thick head. You keep repeating that it’s not necessary. Neither is heterosexual marriage. We can propagate the species with out any sex at all.

    over 300 post and you repeat the same thing.

  506. #507 Steven Dunlap
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.

    I know and you know that same sex attraction neither has a ulitarian purpose or a neccesary use within the human species.

    The family in recorded history is an economic unit. The word “economy” comes from the Greek for “household” the basic unit of production in ancient Greece. As a social construction, it serves purposes of increased ability to survive through improved food production and manufacture of useful products (tools, clothing, etc). The genders of the members of a household and their sexual relationships have no effect on the family as an economic unit.

    Social behaviors give primates (including humans, we are primates, James) survival advantages. Economic relationships certainly have served that purpose, although at times some economic relationships have included coercive practices (slavery comes to mind, and Walmart).

    Marriage affords very tangible legal and economic benefits, regardless of the “genders” of its participants. According to one of my college anthropology professors, in Nigeria a single woman who has a business to run can hire a “wife” to perform the tasks a wife in a marriage typically does. Looking at marriage as only a matter of sex and reproduction remains very limited and arguments excluding all other functions of the institution evade examination of everything else that a couple does aside from procreation.

  507. #508 Jordan Licht
    December 22, 2009

    Oh the emotion of the homohetreosexual mind! It can’t bear criticism or it falls apart. Psychological fragile but, yeah! homoheterosexual attraction is neccesary for human males. Yeah… uh huh.

    Hee. Hahaha. Nice job satirizing your own argument.

    Per your (James’s) comment in #485, all you are doing is finally coming around to noticing that the naturalistic fallacy is (surprise!) fallacious. Thank you for defeating your original argument!

  508. #509 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Yeah, but we can lobby against gay marriage.

    If your church is pushing and organizing it, at the risk of your 5013c status.

  509. #510 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    Homophobic Twit:

    Heterosexual marriage is necessary for the long term foundation of civilized societies.

    No it isn’t. Sweet Zoidberg Jesus, you’re an idiot.

  510. #511 Kel, OM
    December 22, 2009

    All this talk about Mormons makes me want to get drunk and watch Orgazmo. What a movie!

  511. #512 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Oh shit

    I see some new divine revelation coming!

  512. #513 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Hey, asshole, if you are going to quote me, quote everything. And fuck you very much! With a splintery broomstick! Sideways!

  513. #514 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    NATURE has made homosexual couples naturally incapable of passing on their genetic code together

    Yes they can. They’ve been doing so for a while now. Furthermore, it isn’t necessary for all the member of a species to reproduce. I’ve already discussed this.

  514. #515 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    James beter figure out whether things that are natural and right are supposed to be good for the species or for–what was it?–yeah, the long term foundation of civilized societies. Because I could imagine some situations where those interests might conflict.

  515. #516 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 22, 2009

    James,

    As the SpokesGay, it’s my contractual duty to represent The Official Viewpoint of Teh Ghey:

    1. You are a bigot.

    2. You are a deluded moron who believes in the most ridiculous, cockamamie myth, second only to Scientology in its transparently created provenance.

    3. You are actively promoting oppression and evil against your fellow citizens.

    4. Your disturbing claim that people should only have rights if said people are “necessary for the species” is not only profoundly un-American, but also betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Western conceptions of liberty and law. (Don’t bother arguing “I didn’t say that.” Yeah, you did.)

    5. You can rationalize your position by telling yourself all your critics are “homosexualists,” that they “persecute” you for your religious beliefs, or that our mothers dressed us funny (which would be rich, considering the P.S. below). But in truth, reasonable people recognize you for what you are – a brainwashed adherent to a lunatic cult, and a direct threat to the American ideal of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. People are laughing at you. Lots of them.

    P.S. – Your Magical Underwear should require a prescription – I know birth control pills less potent that.

    P.P.S. – Your day is rapidly coming to a close, and GLBT people will have equality in my lifetime, and probably yours. Suck it Moroni.

    P.P.P.S. – Fuck you.

  516. #517 raven
    December 22, 2009

    James has shown he is a meat robot with fascist tendencies. No big deal, we see Moslem and Xian extremists all the time, might as well toss a Mormon extremist in the pot as well. Religious fanatics are all about the same.

    Rumor has it that the LDS church has a hard time keeping members these days and they are voting with their feet. Not everyone wants to be right wing extremist, follow whatever hate scripts the Geriatracy dreams up, or live in an ugly theocratic dictatorship. My attempts with google to get some numbers were unsucessful. The LDS church hides those numbers and no one really believes them anyway.

    I’m not aware of any mind control cult that has lasted too long in modern times in a democratic society. Without the power of the gun, noose, and stake, they really can’t do that much damage.

    At 6 million in a country of 310 million, they have a long way to go. If history is any indication, before long they should start to shake themselves to pieces. Or maybe I’m being too optimistic.

  517. #518 James
    December 22, 2009

    Gyeong:

    No, the natualistic fallacy is a telelogical argument having to do with the “ought-is” argument.

    Gays and lesbians are not 2nd classes citizens because they can’t marry like heterosexuals. By nature, their union is not equivalent to heterosexual unions.

    Many homosexuals get confused over what is “biological” and what is an entity’s natural function, purpose, or use.

    All things are “natural” because they are composed of matter, but this does not mean that all things are functioning normally just becaues they are natural. See the point?

    Homosexual attraction is biologically inconsistent with the biological identity of a human male.

  518. #519 DJSutton
    December 22, 2009

    It occurs to me that football actually does cause harm, in the form of injuries and such, and maybe some riots, so you could even argue that it actually worse for society than homosexual marriage.

    Anyway, this seems relevant here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyOHJa5Vj5Y&feature=player_embedded

  519. #520 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Daaaammnnnn, Josh. The picture of the magic underwear is almost enough to make a person swear off sex.

    Or is that the point?

  520. #521 raven
    December 22, 2009

    Odd fact. There is an army base right above Salt Lake City. It is there just in case the Mormons try to secede and set up their own country. Again. They went there originally to set up their own country called Deseret or Zion or some such.

    It is Fort Douglas and the guns of the base point down into SLC.

    I don’t think too many people trust the Mormons very much. After reading about their “prophecies” about ruling the USA, why should we?

  521. #522 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 22, 2009

    P.S. – Your Magical Underwear should require a prescription – I know birth control pills less potent that.

    I have just begun breathing again. Funniest thing I have read all day.

  522. #523 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 22, 2009

    Gays and lesbians are not 2nd classes citizens because they can’t marry like heterosexuals. By nature, their union is not equivalent to heterosexual unions.

    Bak! Polly wanna cracker?

  523. #524 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual attraction is biologically inconsistent with the biological identity of a human male.

    What identity. The male “identity” is nothing but a deluded construct. As I’ve stated before, different cultures define gender according to their own concept. And as stated by so many others, a man + woman family is not needed. You still haven’t figure that we can have successful procreation without males.

    Many homosexuals get confused over what is “biological” and what is an entity’s natural function, purpose, or use

    They have no purpose. For all nature cares we could parish and our ecological roles be replaced.

  524. #525 James
    December 22, 2009

    Antiochus Epiphanes:

    Sarcasm aside, your last post made me laugh out loud. Point taken.

    Look, I am presenting a “secular” argument against gay marriage. With many homosexuals, if a person is anti-gay marriage then you believe they MUST be homophobic, gay hater etc.

    This isn’t the case with me. While I am very emphatic about the argument I am making, I an not unreasonable about the civil rights that all citizens have.

    Gay marriage is a new social construct and a new social experiment that is not equivalent to heterosexual marriage. Sorry, but I am not going to bend from that position.

  525. #526 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Gyeong, you should know by now; fuckface is not going to explain what his church taught him what gender roles are. It is much easier for him to quack about human gender and tell people that bthey do not know shit about the fields of knowledge that they have studied.

    No apologies to fuckface that I have no desire to life how he thinks I should.

  526. #527 Sven DiMilo
    December 22, 2009

    I am presenting a “secular” argument against gay marriage.

    I guess I missed that part where you, like, presented an argument. You just keep typing the same assertions over and over.

    It’s not working.

  527. #528 Anri
    December 22, 2009

    James sez:

    Sorry, but I am not going to bend from that position.

    So… you’re utterly close-minded about this point, then?

    I guess I should quit asking you difficult questions – you’ve made it clear you can’t, or simply won’t, answer.

  528. #529 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    Homophobic Twit:

    Many homosexuals get confused over what is “biological” and what is an entity’s natural function, purpose, or use.

    Hahahahaha. Oh, you couldn’t be more wrong, bigotbuns. Ya see, we aren’t little religioparrots running on petrified brains. We are autonomous individuals, who don’t allow a cult to define our function, purpose or use.

    Your particular cult has only one way to keep it going, breeding. Breed, breed, breed. You little idjits have that so pounded into you, you forget the rest of us haven’t signed our lives over to a whacko cult.

  529. #530 Stu D.
    December 22, 2009

    that’s…not the same thing at all.

    How so?

  530. #531 Jordan Licht
    December 22, 2009

    James, even assuming that same-sex marriage is inherently inferior to different-sex marriage, how do you get that gay marriage should be illegal? Even if people in a non female-male relationship can’t fulfil their “natural roles” due to whatever reason, why does that mean that they should be denied the legal benefits of government-sponsored marriage?

  531. #532 James
    December 22, 2009

    Raven:

    LOL

    “It is Fort Douglas and the guns of the base point down into SLC.”

    Fort Douglas has no weapons, that is why it is called “historic” Fort Douglas. It’s at the site of the University of Utah surrounded by beautiful suburbs.

    I think what you mean to say is Hill Air Force base North of SLC?

    By the way, the NSA is building a brand new center in South Salt Lake County, over the next few years.

    The trust that the U.S. Government has in the people of Utah and the LDS Church is huge.

    The Mormons aren’t worried.

  532. #533 Miki Z
    December 22, 2009

    Here is the entirety of a secular argument against gay marriage:
    [begin argument]
    Men and women have inherently different legal rights. Marriage rights arise from the differences between the legal rights of men and the legal rights of women.

    Ergo, two men cannot get married to each other, because their legal rights are the same, so they do not mesh. Similarly, two women cannot get married to each other, because their legal rights are the same, so they do not mesh.
    [end argument]

  533. #534 Steven Dunlap
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual unions are not necessary for the human species.

    I know and you know that same sex attraction neither has a ulitarian purpose or a neccesary use within the human species.

    part deux:

    Necessary and utilitarian are two words that make James scary. Here’s a short list of behaviors that do not serve any “useful” purpose as narrowly defined by James, (survival and/or procreation):

    Music
    Art
    Tourism
    Dance
    Movies
    Fiction
    Sailing (without any particular destination)
    Masturbation
    Space exploration (debatable, but I’ll chuck it in anyway)

    And I saved the best for last:
    Religion

    If a given behavior has no utilitarian purpose, is not necessary, according to James, it is therefore unnatural. If it is unnatural it is wrong.

    This is fun. It reminds me of when fundies try to use the Old Testament as a club to whack homosexuals over the head. As I like to say: abominations, you can’t eat just one. Along with stoning for gay sex we also have stoning for eating shellfish or wearing clothing with fibers of two different kinds (better get rid of those cotton/poly blend shirts if you know what’s good for you – or- just clip off the labels or get clipped!). If you use a given argument, such as the bible says so, then you have a bit of a problem reconciling everything the bible tells you is bad with the realities of modern life, like polyester. In the same manner, if you’re going to use the syllogism: if there’s no purpose to it then it’s unnatural, if it’s unnatural it’s wrong, if it’s wrong stop it; then how do you not stop practicing religion? Will giving up Mormonism kill you? If so, how? If you make arguments regarding the alleged benefits of religion, then how do you exclude arguments related to the family as an economic unit as I made in my earlier post? Why apply this syllogism only to one activity and not all human activities?

  534. #535 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual attraction is biologically inconsistent with the biological identity of a human male.

    whenever jamey doesn’t understand something, he just keeps mindlessly repeating it over and over. i wonder what he thinks this will accomplish?

  535. #536 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: Sorry, but I am not going to bend from that position.

    Snicker.

    (I’d suggest that James re-read his entire thread — if he was capable, it would blow his mind and cause him to run off and join a modern dance troupe. It’s almost like James’ worries that the entire population of SLC is going to join a White Night party and abandon all procreation without a strong hand applied to their bottom)

  536. #537 James
    December 22, 2009

    Steve:

    You wrote:
    “If a given behavior has no utilitarian purpose, is not necessary, according to James, it is therefore unnatural. If it is unnatural it is wrong. ”

    This argument is not about acting on homosexual feelings, the argument strikes at the heart of the homosexual identity.

    Homosexual ATTRACTION is not consistent with the biological purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Attraction to one’s own sex is a contradiction of function, purpose and identity of the largest proportions.

  537. #538 frog
    December 22, 2009

    James: Attraction to one’s own sex is a contradiction of function, purpose and identity of the largest proportions.

    Translation: I’m a dick, literally.

  538. #539 nomen-nescio.myopenid.com
    December 22, 2009

    Attraction to one’s own sex is a contradiction of function, purpose and identity of the largest proportions.

    no it isn’t.

    it just plain isn’t. it isn’t, because identity doesn’t work that way.

    now prove me wrong. you could start by explaining what you think “identity” means.

  539. #540 KOPD42
    December 22, 2009

    Some minds are like concrete: thoroughly mixed and permanently set.

  540. #541 Miki Z
    December 22, 2009

    Even the Mormon church doesn’t agree with James on that, though. They recently supported gay rights legislation in Utah (once their religious exemption was in it) and do not discipline members for “Homosexual ATTRACTION”, only for homosexual acts.

    “In drafting these ordinances, the city has granted common-sense rights that should be available to everyone, while safeguarding the crucial rights of religious organizations,” (Michael Otterson, the director of public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as reported by CBS news one month ago).

    The idea that religious organizations’ rights include dictating legislative policy is something else, but James, you might want to discuss your unhealthy obsession with your Bishop and ask what the current doctrinal position is.

  541. #542 PZ Myers
    December 22, 2009

    If all there is to human function is fitting Tab A into Slot B, then James would be right.

    Unfortunately for our little mormon bigot, humans are much more complex and have many other functions than simplistic reproduction. I’ve never lived my life as if my sole purpose were to find a pair of functioning ovaries that I could shower with semen, but apparently that is the LDS ideal. And they accuse scientists of being naive reductionists!

  542. #543 Caine
    December 22, 2009

    Homophobic Twit:

    Look, I am presenting a “secular” argument against gay marriage.

    You have done no such thing. All you’ve done is parrot the party line of your cult. You’ve made one fallacious “argument” after another. Person after person has shown you how you are wrong.

    I an not unreasonable about the civil rights that all citizens have.

    I have news for you – you are very unreasonable.

    Gay marriage is a new social construct and a new social experiment

    The fuck it is. You are so full of shit. Marriage is marriage. Marriage confers specific legal benefits, it isn’t magic fairy dust that gets sprinkled over your hearts. One gay couple I know, they’ve been living together 40 years. Recently, they married. Another couple I know, living together for close to 20 years. I’ll be attending their wedding next year. There’s not one damn “new social construct” thing there. Just people who love one another, and have built a life together.

    that is not equivalent to heterosexual marriage.

    Oh yes it is, it’s equivalent in every way. You’re one of the fucked up bigots that would tell me my marriage is worthless because I never wanted to breed and didn’t. You just don’t want any marriage which doesn’t follow your happy little pattern to be considered actual marriage. Tough shit, you nasty, evil-minded bigot. It’s not up to you.

    Sorry, but I am not going to bend from that position.

    This is news? We’ve all seen which way you tend to bend, bigot boy, with all that focus on phalluses.

  543. #544 WowbaggerOM
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual attraction is biologically inconsistent with the biological identity of a human male.

    Then how is it possible for the male human brain – an entirely biological organ – to allow it to happen? Is it magic? Are you saying they’ve been taken over by the demons of gayness?

    Hmm, maybe that’s what the magic underwear protects against.

  544. #545 Steven Dunlap
    December 22, 2009

    Homosexual ATTRACTION is not consistent with the biological purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Wow, it’s a game of “let’s chase the goal-posts!” By side-stepping the questions of behavior you can duck my questions entirely. Nice dancing.

    OK, so could you explain, James, why this argument pertains only to humans? How is the “biological purpose and identity of human male gender” different from the biological purpose and identity of bonobo male gender?

    Ever hear of Bonobos? The norm for them is bisexuality. Penis fencing and vaginal rubbing are common. We can’t interview the Bonobos but we can infer that there’s an attraction there.

    What’s going to happen now? Will you lead the great Mormon Bonobo hunt to rid the world of these unwholesome creatures?

    (Don’t worry folks, I’m pretty sure the Bonobos are safe. James can’t tell Arabia from Meso America so I doubt he could track down a lame duck in a shallow pond at the zoo).

  545. #546 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Men and women have inherently different legal rights

    If you pull it out of your butt, it may be a secular argument, but it isn’t rational.

  546. #547 Steven Dunlap
    December 22, 2009

    Also, a quick thank you to Janine and Lynna for the books/link about the Mormon Meadow Mountain Massacre. Interesting reading.

  547. #548 Miki Z
    December 22, 2009

    Well, here’s the rational secular argument against gay marriage:
    [begin Argument]
    [end Argument]

  548. #549 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    With many homosexuals, if a person is anti-gay marriage then you believe they MUST be homophobic, gay hater etc.

    This isn’t the case with me.

    James, you do hate gay people. You are a textbook example of a homophobe.

    If you did not hate gay people, then you would not be trying to harm them. You do not try to destroy people’s families unless you hate them.

    We can only judge you by your behaviors, by which you declare unequivocally that you despise gay people and want them to suffer.

    It is possible that you have a desire to stop hating gay people, and start living your life as a better and more decent person. But that must involve ceasing to do harm to gay people. I doubt that you want to find some semblance of human decency so badly that you are willing to work to change your prejudices.

  549. #550 chosha
    December 22, 2009

    James wrote:
    “No, you’re wrong. Heterosexual marriage is necessary for the long term foundation of civilized societies.”

    You mean the kind of civilised societies where family units (and the stabilising influence they create) are recognised? Where lines of inheritance are clear? Where a person’s next of kin can be readily recognised?

    Marriage (of some description) is necessary for that kind of thing. The legalisation of gay marriage is appropriate because their are families in our ‘civilised’ society being denied these simple rights.

    James you talk as if marriage has always had only one meaning. This isn’t so. Also, gay marriage is not a new social contruct. There is evidence that same sex marriages have been formally and socially recognised as far back as Ancient Greece, Egypt; from the 1500s in China and Europe; indigenous societies in America and Australia…and the list goes on.

    Marriage also has, for the bulk of history, been a societal phenomenon, not a religious one.
    It has been tied to procreation (in particular to ensuring that a man knows the paternity of his children – we don’t need marriage for that any more and it only ever guaranteed legal paternity, not actual paternity) but not exclusively so. We certainly don’t prevent infertile or impotent people from marrying. Even where a heterosexual couple choose not to have children, their marriage is not invalidated.

    Committed homosexual couples also help to stabalise society and their marital relationships should be recognised legally for what they are. Same sex couples who choose to adopt do a great service to society in doing so, as do those raising their own biological children wisely and compassionately.

    Your arguments are fallacious. You need to reconnect with reality. You are right that ‘it’s natural because it exists’ is a weak argument easily applied to other things, but other excellent, evidence-based arguments have been put forward and you have ignored them. Do you really want to consider the truth, or only justify your prejudice?

  550. #551 strange gods before me, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Well, here’s the rational secular argument against gay marriage:

    That made me grin.

  551. #552 plumberbob
    December 22, 2009

    @ James,

    At this point you have repeated yourself so many times that it would save much space if you just number your sentences, and just parrot back the numbers for us when you come to continue your rant.

    Minds are like parachutes; they only work when they’re open.

    I suspect that the bishop packed your ‘chute.

  552. #553 articulett
    December 22, 2009

    Given overpopulation, I think civilized societies ought to encourage pair bonds between those who are unlikely to reproduce and discourage pair bonds between religotards who plan to beget a quiverfull.

    Does anyone other than James want more people like James in society? Does anyone other than James think he’s made a valid point here? Does anyone other than James thinks he’s illustrated the notion that not all Mormons are like Rex Rammell?

    I find people like James far more detrimental to civilized society than homosexuals; People like James are too likely to breed and thus far more likely to pass on their stupidity. Where can I vote to have their rights taken away?

    Mormonism is not natural or necessary by James own arguments. Moreover, James illustrates the harm that can be done to children brainwashed into the religion.

    On the positive side, I do enjoy the way the nutters always drop by to provide an illustration of the point PZ was making. This thread has provided me with hours of amusement. I have special admiration for the honesty, wit, and wisdom of the former Mormons.

  553. #554 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 22, 2009

    Hey, James must be one hell of a Merikan football player, see how he runs those goalposts.

    First, Heterosexual Marriage was necessary for human life. At some point, he remembered tat there’s a long time prior to civilization where we have the human race.

    Now it’s necessary for long term civilization..

  554. #555 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Rumor has it that the LDS church has a hard time keeping members these days and they are voting with their feet. Not everyone wants to be right wing extremist, follow whatever hate scripts the Geriatracy dreams up, or live in an ugly theocratic dictatorship. My attempts with google to get some numbers were unsucessful. The LDS church hides those numbers and no one really believes them anyway. Raven @518

    Raven, I think I can help with the numbers. They’re hard to come by, but not impossible. Let’s start with a pro LDS blog, which despite a tendency to inflate numbers has to report a decline:
    The blogger compares church growth from this last decade, the 2000′s to the 1990′s. [kudos to an ex-mo who uses the handle "bender" for this info] clear growth is way down.
    http://ldschurchgrowth.blogspot.com/2009/12/end-of-era-church-in-2000s-and-beyond.html

    In the 1990′s 803 new stakes were created
    In the 2000′s 323 new stakes were created
    In the 1990′s 8,488 new congregations were created
    In the 2000′s 2,650 new congregations were created
    In the 1990′s the # of missionaries increased by 19,000
    In the 2000′s the # of missionaries decreased by 5,000

    And here is some information from insiders, information that shows declining activity

    Any Mormon who comes to church regularly can?t help but notice that most members are invisible. This became painfully obvious to me a few weeks after I had been called to be the ward membership clerk. One day while sitting in the clerk?s office, I decided to find out what percentage of the ward was active. I counted the names listed in the ward directory of people that I knew, or at least had seen in church. I then counted all the families, and divided those that showed up at church, at least once in a while, by the total number of families listed. Hmmm? so many people I had never met?not even once. I had attended the same ward for thirteen years, so I felt qualified to conclude that slightly over sixty percent of the ward members are ghosts, which means they are people I would never see. I later made the mistake of referring to these ghosts as the ?hard-core inactive.? This label didn?t go over well with some members of the ward family who, I guessed, were more in touch with the spirit than I was. So I was corrected, and told that we?ve been asked to refer to the lost sheep as the ?not presently participating.? Sorry, my mistake for venturing outside of the Mormon lexicon….The legion of inactive Mormons is eight million strong, and is composed of the indifferent, the enlightened, the hostile, the lazy, the disillusioned, and the offended.

    1) I was an Elders’ Quorum clerk in Spain and our activity rate was less than ten percent of the people on our list. That was in Madrid, the biggest city.
    2) I went to Portugal for a vacation in the countryside and the branch presidency (the mishies) told me their activity rate was less than three percent. There were ten people that sunday: me, the mishies, the village idiot and a family of British tourists. That was in the rural heartland.
    3) A friend went on a mission in Brazil and saw a ward with a million inhabitants, two-thousand baptized members still known to be living in the area, less than ten of them known to be active in any ward. Less than half a percent! He saw four more such wards on his mission, none had an activity rate of more than two percent.
         Thirty percent? Maybe in a state bordering Utah, but nowhere else I’d think.

  555. #556 articulett
    December 22, 2009

    I think controlling our population is more important to long term civilization than heterosexual marriage.

  556. #557 Lowell
    December 22, 2009

    Does anyone other than James want more people like James in society? Does anyone other than James think he’s made a valid point here? Does anyone other than James thinks he’s illustrated the notion that not all Mormons are like Rex Rammell?

    No. I read the whole thread, and he’s singlehandedly made me think even less of Mormons and Mormonism than I did before. He doesn’t even respond to counterarguments (and by “respond,” I don’t mean just repeating the same evidence-free assertions over and over and over).

  557. #558 Rey Fox
    December 22, 2009

    “Does anyone other than James thinks he’s illustrated the notion that not all Mormons are like Rex Rammell?”

    Who even remembers how crazy Rex Rammell is by now?

    I wonder what “non-loony” Mormons think about raising a bunch of elk in an enclosure in the woods in order to charge men with tiny penises to “hunt” them.

  558. #559 Lynna, OM
    December 22, 2009

    Raven, here are some more reality checks about the LDS Church and it’s “growing by leaps and bounds” lies.

    Mormon myth: The belief that the church is the fastest-growing faith in the world doesn’t hold upThe Salt Lake City Tribune/July 26, 2005, By Peggy Fletcher Stack
         The claim that Mormonism is the fastest-growing faith in the world has been repeated so routinely by sociologists, anthropologists, journalists and proud Latter-day Saints as to be perceived as unassailable fact.
         The trouble is, it isn’t true…
         And most telling, the number of Latter-day Saints who are considered active churchgoers is only about a third of the total, or 4 million in the pews every Sunday, researchers say….
         Russia provides a dramatic example of different religious growth rates. After more than 15 years of proselyting there, LDS membership has risen to 17,000. During the same period, Jehovah’s Witnesses membership has increased to more than 140,000, with some 300,000 individuals attending conferences.
         Graphing activity: When the Graduate Center of the City University of New York conducted an American Religious Identification Survey in 2001, it discovered that about the same number of people said they had joined the LDS Church as said they had left it. The CUNY survey reported the church’s net growth was zero percent. By contrast, the study showed both Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists with an increase of 11 percent.

  559. #560 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    Raven, here’s some more info on actual shrinkage of LDS Church membership and activity, posted today by ex-mormon Crathes:

    1. Baptisms per missionary dropped by 50% in the last 30 years. It has rebounded only a bit in the past few years, but it still down.
    2. Children of record as % is about 35% off estimated birth rate, so church is missing about 50k new members each year.

  560. #561 James
    December 23, 2009

    PZ:

    You wrote:
    “Unfortunately for our little mormon bigot, humans are much more complex and have many other functions than simplistic reproduction. I’ve never lived my life as if my sole purpose were to find a pair of functioning ovaries that I could shower with semen, but apparently that is the LDS ideal. And they accuse scientists of being naive reductionists!”

    Now watch closely gay advocates….

    Mr. Biologist, please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Explain the evolutionary purpose of same sex attraction.

    Explain the necessary utility of homosexual attraction within the human species.

    Will these questions drive you to madness too? Will you make personal attacks rather then long lists of answers?

    BYU 44, Oregon 20

  561. #562 articulett
    December 23, 2009

    I think the spread of information via the internet is the death knell for many a cult.

  562. #563 adamisafool
    December 23, 2009

    Lks lk yr wbst s ndr ttck frm sprntrl frcs?

    http://dyn.pltc.cm/mmbrs/frms/thrd.cfm?ctd=2&sbctd=7&thrdd=3449994

    y rlly nd t dd cmmnt mdrtn t yr blsphmy?

  563. #564 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    Raven, here is some insight from ex-mormon Deconstructor about the psychology behind the false number of members, numbers of baptisms per year, etc. projected by the mormons:

    Anyone who has served a mission or in church leadership recognizes the numbers game the GAs are playing.
         The numbers game is rampant in the mission field. In my mission, numbers drove everything. Each companionship had to report a slew of weekly numbers to their District Leader. All the District Leaders had to report their number to the Zone Leaders. Zone Leaders reported numbers to the Assistants to the President, who then reported them to the Mission President. Every week the MP would stew over the numbers like his life depended on it.
         I was very dissapointed to discover such obsession with numbers in the mission field. I thought it was because of my over-zealous mission president. But later when I rose in the mission ranks, I discovered that the mission president was obsessed with numbers because he was pressured on the numbers he reported. And the regional reps above him also had pressure to report impressive numbers to thier church superiors.
         The numbers game goes all the way up the pecking order, all the way to the very top of the church. Junior missionary companions feel the pressure to produce numbers and so does everyone else up the chain.
         The whole system is numbers-obsessed, which leads to a lot of lying. When people are judged by their numbers, it can often be easier to fudge the numbers to get approval, rather than stay honest and not meet the unrealistic targets.

  564. #565 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Mr. Biologist, please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Explain the evolutionary purpose of same sex attraction.

    Explain the necessary utility of homosexual attraction within the human species.

    Will these questions drive you to madness too? Will you make personal attacks rather then long lists of answers?

    You have had every single one of these questions addressed and answered. Parroting the same crap will not get you the answers you want.

  565. #566 strange gods before me, OM
    December 23, 2009

    James, you disgusting, hateful troll.

    You keep asking about purpose.

    There is no purpose.

    Did you read about kin selection yet?

  566. #567 Lowell
    December 23, 2009

    Why do the Mormon troll’s posts fixate so consistently on male gender/sex/genitalia?

    James: Is there something you’d like to tell us?

  567. #568 atheismisdead
    December 23, 2009

    Lks lk yr wbst s ndr ttck frm sprntrl frcs?

    http://dyn.pltc.cm/mmbrs/frms/thrd.cfm?ctd=2&sbctd=7&thrdd=3449994

    y rlly nd t dd cmmnt mdrtn t yr blsphmy?

  568. #569 plumberbob
    December 23, 2009

    @ James,

    Those strange feelings that you have periodically must be pretty frightening. It’s a very lonely experience that there’s nobody that you can share those intrusive thoughts with. All of your life you’ve probably had friends and relations who seemed to think just as they were trained to think. Now you have nobody that you can trust to share those scary feelings with. You know that everybody that you might talk to would get points for squeeling to the bishop about you.

    You could get some real friends, but only out in the less judgemental wings of society.

  569. #570 JimKO
    December 23, 2009

    James, you’re using your religion as an excuse to deny equal rights to same-sex couples. It’s just bigotry – same as how Mormons used to view minorities (I’m old enough to remember, in case you are not, and I live in a Mormon state.).

    You refuse to define your terms (“natural purpose”, ” identity of gender”) because you know you can only define them in terms of your belief in the supernatural.

    The contract of marriage is not defined by natural purpose with heterosexual marriage to being with, so your argument fails. There is no ONE gender identity – you are defining nature through the lens of your religion but it does NOT match what we observe. Nature provides us with straights, gays, intersex, non-gendered, etc. It’s perfectly natural to be homosexual.

    If nature doesn’t want homosexual people, then why does it keep creating them?

    Why do you keep insisting that legal contracts be defined by nature?

    Why do you keep insisting that procreation is part of the issue?

    Do you think a 3-way contract between you, your spouse, and the government is natural; that it was created by nature and not the legal system?

    Do you even understand the definition of “marriage” as defined by the law or why it was created?

    Just like the propaganda spread by LDS in Cal, Maine, and elsewhere, you’re using strawman attacks to sidestep the issue of rights by blabbing about the natural world as defined by the supernatural. Can you not see the difference?

    In no state has anyone ever asked voters to institutionalize homosexuality. You keep saying that you are voting against the existence of homosexuality itself like it would go away if s/s union contracts didn’t come to be. Not voting for gay marriage is not the same as voting against the existence of homosexuality. It is going to exist forever, just as it always has, and rights for everybody is only a matter of time. What do you think is gained/protected by refusing the marriage contract to s/s couples?

    Each of your reasons for denying gay rights are based on the supernatural but the fact that you won’t admit this, while we can all see it plainly, makes you dishonest, which in your world is against the covenant.

    BTW, in Utah there are nearly 3000 people that were born intersexed or without a clearly defined gender. Nature provided this and they stand next to you at the grocery store without your knowledge. Should I just assume that you want them excluded from equal rights as well?

    Now, go ahead, finally answer the question everybody keeps asking you:
    How do you define “natural purpose” and “identity of gender”? Bonus points for not defining the natural world by using the supernatural.

  570. #571 WowbaggerOM
    December 23, 2009

    James homophobic bigot for Mormon Jesus&trade wrote:

    Mr. Biologist, please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Please define the terms ‘natural’, ‘purpose’, ‘identity’ and ‘gender’, citing objective sources for your definitions.

  571. #572 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    December 23, 2009

    Oh good grief James. We’ve already answered those questions. Several times.

    INSIPID, INSIPID, INSIPID

  572. #573 Sven DiMilo
    December 23, 2009

    please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    As explained ad nauseum, this question makes no sense. And the way you keep repeating it verbatim, especially with the weird undefined word “identity” in there, is creepy.
    Presumably, your point, if any, is something like: biologically, there are males because there is sexual reproduction. OK.

    Explain the evolutionary purpose of same sex attraction.

    Yeah, we Mr. biologists don’t really talk about the evolutionary “purpose” of stuff, but I think I know what you think you mean here too. The genetic basis, much less the adaptive significance, if any, of homosexuality is/are far from clear. So what? It doesn’t matter for your “natural” criterion because not everything that’s natural is biological and not everything that’s biological is genetic and not everything that’s genetic is evolutionarily adaptive.

    Explain the necessary utility of homosexual attraction within the human species.

    What the fuck is that even supposed to mean, “necessary utility”? It’s just such a weird mantra to keep repeating.

    but enough of James

  573. #574 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Lowell @ 568:

    Why do the Mormon troll’s posts fixate so consistently on male gender/sex/genitalia?

    This has been noted and commented on by many. James has steadily ignored any questions about his obsession with all things penile; he’s also ignored any questions about females when it comes to his continual whinging over homosexuality. Like a good little cultist, only dicks matter in his little world.

  574. #575 James
    December 23, 2009

    Articulett:

    If the internet is the death knell for Mormonism with all of its “true answers” about the “Mormon cult” then why has the pace of building chapels and Temples remained steady or increased since the early 1990s when anti-mormonism made its leap onto the digital page?

    Why has Mormonism increased significantly in the United States in the last 20 years?

    The LDS Church continues to baptize 250,000+ converts a year, just like it has for the last 10-15 years. It adds a new congregation about every day of the year, and builds a brand new chapel about every day of the year.

    Since Pres Obama took office until the next election in 2012, there will be over one million new Mormons in added in the world, over 1000+ congregations and 1000+ new LDS Churches built.

    Shrinking we are not.

  575. #576 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 23, 2009

    Oh good grief James. We’ve already answered those questions. Several times.

    INSIPID, INSIPID, INSIPID

    Don’t get too worked up, Gyeong. James isn’t a real person – he’s a Turing Test. Easily defeated, of course, because he runs off an IBM punchcard. All very predictable.

    P.S to James – Are you wearing your Magic Underwear Temple Garment right now?

  576. #577 Pygmy Loris
    December 23, 2009

    James,

    Mr. Biologist, please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    WHAT ABOUT WOMEN!!!!!
    Women are sexual animals, you fuckwit. Every argument you have made specifically cites “human male gender.” What about lesbians? bisexuals?

    Joseph Fucking Smith, you’re a dense little bigot. Every point you have made has been refuted, repeatedly. You ignore others’ points and think your circular repetitions are somehow answers to their points.

    Address my points about the Constitution made way back in comment #498.

  577. #578 Mr T
    December 23, 2009

    The stupid, hateful, bigoted troll is stupid, hateful, bigoted and trollish.

    Reality ?, James 0

  578. #579 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 23, 2009

    Shrinking we are not.

    Mmm, yet stupid you are!

  579. #580 Rorschach
    December 23, 2009

    Late to the party,today we are discussing some fringe cult’s aspirations to world dominion, apparently.And we have a live one !

    PZ said @ 543 :

    . I’ve never lived my life as if my sole purpose were to find a pair of functioning ovaries that I could shower with semen, but apparently that is the LDS ideal

    I was under the impression the ideal of the male mormon is to find as many ideally underage ovaries as possible to shower with semen.
    That’s what mormonism has in common with Islam, it kinda rocks if you are a hetero male with defective morals.

  580. #581 Anri
    December 23, 2009

    Last try, James, then I’m done.

    Now watch closely gay advocates….

    AKA Equal Rights Activists, but that sounds too positive, so let’s move along.

    Mr. Biologist, please explain how homosexual attraction is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of human male gender.

    Mr. James, please explain why civilized people must be limited by biological imperatives.

    Explain the evolutionary purpose of same sex attraction.

    Explain why humans must always remain slaves to their evolved behaviours.

    Explain the necessary utility of homosexual attraction within the human species.

    Explain why anything humans do must be ‘necessary’ to be acceptable. Be certain to include music, art, and fine dining in your discussion.

    Will these questions drive you to madness too?

    Will these questions drive you to ignore them just as you ignored the questions I asked about your view of god too?

    Will you make personal attacks rather then long lists of answers?

    Will you be personally evasive rather than giving your own long lists of answers?

    What do you say, folks, who’ll give me odds?
    I’ll check in tomorrow to take a lil’ look see.

  581. #582 Lowell
    December 23, 2009

    Citations, James. Citations. Is Mormonism flourishing? I don’t know, but I doubt it. One thing I know for sure, though: you haven’t provided a sliver of evidence for the proposition that it is.

    Don’t you get it? This place is frequented by skeptical thinkers who expect positive claims like that to be backed up with evidence. Objective evidence that can be scrutinized by neutral parties. What is so hard about that?

  582. #583 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    @576 James says the internet is not a death knell for mormonism, and he goes on to claim that the mormonism is growing. It’s true that the LDS Church is fond of announcing new temples, etc. However, it is not true that they can fill these buildings. And certainly, the information available on the internet is filling the sails of those who want to leave the church. Here’s a post from Simon in Oz (dated February 18, 2008, and titled “Apostasy hits Australia and New Zealand”:

    I know there are several on the board that think the LDS Church is coated in Teflon® and will continue to roll on largely unaffected by the Internet?but I cannot agree with that view from my perspective down here in Australia. Besides, I love it when facts get in the way of a good story.
         The LDS church in Australia and New Zealand has made an excellent start at entering a phase of apostasy unprecedented in this part of the world. The church Downunder has always grown at respectable rates since the 60s.
         The following facts were taken from http://www.cumorah.com, a website run by TBMs.
         There are currently around 285 LDS congregations (wards and branches) in Australia. When I left the church 10 years ago the church was consistently adding around 10 congregations per year. During ALL of the last 8 years the church has added just THREE congregations. That is at least 77 congregations short of where they expected to be back in 1998 if growth had remained constant.
         It is worse in New Zealand. There are around 200 congregations in NZ. Back in the late 1990s the church was consistently adding around 8 units a year. In the last 8 years, the church has not added a single unit on balance. In fact it has lost 16 units, or 2 per year……
         The problem is retention of not only recent converts but people who have grown up in the church. People who have left recently have said that there is a big push to retain members and reach out to the less active.
         There is no doubt in my mind that the single most potent factor contributing to this apostasy is widespread access to the Internet. The abrupt stop in church growth comes immediately after the exponential rise in Internet access in Australia and NZ households.
         The Internet Apostasy is happening Downunder.

  583. #584 James
    December 23, 2009

    Sven:

    Do you believe that homosexual attraction and hetrerosexual attraction are equally neccesary for the human species? Yes or no?

    If yes, is there a neccsary purpose for the existence of homosexual attraction in human males?

    Does this compliment human male gender or detract from it?

  584. #585 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 23, 2009

    It’s true that the LDS Church is fond of announcing new temples, etc. However, it is not true that they can fill these buildings.

    How dare you bring your Imperialist Objective Western Facts into this discussion, Missy? Hmm? Ruh-spect mah ru-lig-i-ositah!

    /cartman

  585. #586 Steven Dunlap
    December 23, 2009

    One can not control one’s desires. One can only control one’s own behavior. A given desire exists, regardless of any purpose. That a desire exists contrary to some sort of perceived purpose says more about the perceived purpose than it does about the desire. Focus on “attraction” to avoid questions of behavior leads into the same trap anyway. Apply the same question to other desires/thoughts/attractions and see what you get:

    Please explain how homosexual attraction to Mormonism is consistent with the the natural purpose and identity of humans male gender.

    Explain the evolutionary purpose of same sex attraction to Mormonism.

    Explain the necessary utility of homosexual attraction to Mormonism within the human species.

    Abominations, you can’t eat just one.

  586. #587 Kel, OM
    December 23, 2009

    If all there is to human function is fitting Tab A into Slot B, then James would be right.

    Conjures up the image of the body being a Rube Goldberg machine.

  587. #588 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Bigot Boy James:

    Why has Mormonism increased significantly in the United States in the last 20 years?

    You seem to have conveniently skipped posts #560 and #565.

  588. #589 skeptifem
    December 23, 2009

    Regarding the LDS church growing- I blogged about this awhile back (in response to ksl’s claims about the church being really fast growing). It is really hard to get your name removed from the church records if you leave. Several lawsuits have been filed over that exact issue. There are plenty of people who leave and don’t try to get their names taken off the records, but are still counted as being LDS. It is safe to assume that the church’s count is inflated because of this.

    If you go to sources where populations self report their religious affiliation (like the pew center for research) you will find that LDS membership has kept about the same proportion of the population over time. So the church grew, but at the same pace as the population in general.

  589. #590 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    James, you hounded me by name, personally goading me for a reply to your example of the black Elder of 1836 as proof that the mormons are not racist, so I provided an answer in comment # 367 … and, you never replied.

    Did you just decide to drop that part of your argument, realizing that the Latter-day Saints have been overwhelmingly racist, and have treated black people and Native Americans abominably (at least up to 1978)?

  590. #591 minimalist
    December 23, 2009

    250,000 new converts baptized every year? Uh huh.

    1) Source plase.

    2) How many are left when you take away all the supposed “converts” who were baptized after death, as Mormons are wont to do?

  591. #592 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 23, 2009

    Do you believe that homosexual attraction and hetrerosexual attraction are equally neccesary for the human species? Yes or no?

    If yes, is there a neccsary purpose for the existence of homosexual attraction in human males?

    Does this compliment human male gender or detract from it?

    Are you fucking retarded, James? What is it about the idea that PEOPLE deserve autonomy, and civil rights, irrespective of whether they’re “necessary for the species” (a ridiculous concept anyway) that you don’t get? What is it?

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? I bet you’re anti-abortion, right? Well then, considering way more babies are born than the planet will be able to sustain, what’s “necessary for the species” about over-breeding? But you wouldn’t countenance abortion, even if it meant the survival of the species, would you?

    Are Down Syndrome people “necessary for the species?” You know you wouldn’t approve of their murder.

    Are nuns, who presumably don’t procreate, “necessary for the species?” You wouldn’t deny them any rights.

    Are infertile hetero couples “necessary for the species?” Something tells me you wouldn’t deny them rights.

    Once again, fuck you.

  592. #593 John Morales
    December 23, 2009

    The claims about the growth of LDS adherents are akin to the claims of the Scientologists for their cult: Grandiose, but not credible.

  593. #594 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Skeptifem @ 590:

    It is really hard to get your name removed from the church records if you leave.

    True. My husband hasn’t been able to get his removed, and he left the whole mormonism circus 39 years ago, which was the soonest he could leave home. He’d stopped believing long before that.

  594. #595 Mr T
    December 23, 2009

    Perhaps James doesn’t rail on lesbians so much because there is only one passage mentioning them in the Bible. Here is Romans 1:22-32 (KJV):

    Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. [apparently "God" just can't deal with evolution] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts [why would "God" do this?], to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 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 [See! It's totally a "secular argument"!], burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly [A.K.A. "icky"], and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate [Uh.... "debate" is evil??], deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God [nope, I can't because it's imaginary], despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things [like "debate", for example], disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death [Do you want them dead, James? Do you want to start a jihad against the Sodomites?], not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    My emphasis. Those are some insane run-on sentences, aren’t they? Paul must have eaten some of John of Patmos’ mushshrooms….

  595. #596 Gyeong Hwa Pak
    December 23, 2009

    FUCKING INSIPID!!!!!!!!!

  596. #597 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 23, 2009

    FUCKING INSIPID!!!!!!!!!

    And also stupid, don’t forget.

  597. #598 atheismisdead
    December 23, 2009

    lttl sh*t pz thnks h cn dbnk Gd..

    y r gng t b trtrd nd mrdrd wtht mrcy…

    Lks lk yr wbst s ndr ttck frm sprntrl frcs?

    http://dyn.pltc.cm/mmbrs/frms/thrd.cfm?ctd=2&sbctd=7&thrdd=3449994

    y rlly nd t dd cmmnt mdrtn t yr blsphmy?

  598. #599 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Josh @ 593:

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? I bet you’re anti-abortion, right? Well then, considering way more babies are born than the planet will be able to sustain, what’s “necessary for the species” about over-breeding? But you wouldn’t countenance abortion, even if it meant the survival of the species, would you?

    Josh, mormons believe masturbation is killing the babies; all those souls are waitin’ on bodies, ya know! When my husband (who grew up mormon) was around 12/13, he and his friends were so tired of getting lectured on the subject, on their next church camp out, they went for a hike and had a circle jerk to ‘kill’ a million souls.

  599. #600 jcfitzner
    December 23, 2009

    I do believe you mean “complement”.

  600. #601 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    December 23, 2009

    Josh, mormons believe masturbation is killing the babies; all those souls are waitin’ on bodies, ya know! When my husband (who grew up mormon) was around 12/13, he and his friends were so tired of getting lectured on the subject, on their next church camp out, they went for a hike and had a circle jerk to ‘kill’ a million souls.

    HAHAHAHAH! Hawt. Best I’ve heard all day. . still giggling.

  601. #602 atheismisdead
    December 23, 2009

    lttl sh*t pz thnks h cn dbnk Gd..

    y r gng t b trtrd nd mrdrd wtht mrcy…

    Lks lk yr wbst s ndr ttck frm sprntrl frcs?

    http://dyn.pltc.cm/mmbrs/frms/thrd.cfm?ctd=2&sbctd=7&thrdd=3449994

    y rlly nd t dd cmmnt mdrtn t yr blsphmy?

  602. #603 Rey Fox
    December 23, 2009

    Okay, it looks like James is committing the cardinal sin of Pharyngula: being boring. Time to drop the banhammer.

  603. #604 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Josh @ 602:

    HAHAHAHAH! Hawt. Best I’ve heard all day. . still giggling.

    That’s his favourite memory of his time with mormonism. :D

  604. #605 Lowell
    December 23, 2009

    Do you want them dead, James?

    Nah. Unless they’re really uppity, of course. Then it’s a matter of preserving the moral fabric of society, or some such bullshit.

  605. #606 Miki Z
    December 23, 2009

    Fair warning: the following will contain material not considered suitable for Good Mormons to view by the Mormon leadership, as it is suggestive, lewd, and immoral. You’ve been warned.

    I don’t know whether big throbbing cock in tight wet pussy to be more disturbed by James’s poor “defense” of lesbians licking each other’s cunts “traditional” marriage and the Mormon viewpoint on such homosexuals in loving and equal partnerships things or by my continued hope that he eagerly licked his cum out of his husband’s asshole not all Mormons are this hateful.

    I grew up an atheist in a Mormon household, knowing that I could not blacks have always been equal, not just since 1978 speak up about that. I told myself that women are not just cock-sheathes it might be that some Mormons took things too far, that intolerance was not deep in his ass a necessary result of the doctrine. When I finally moved out on my own and started studying philosophy and religion all people deserve equal rights I realized that Mormons did not have a monopoly (or even a very good grip) on “good” ideas. Now I just hope that the kind, loving Mormons I knew as a child will someday wake up and realize that their goodness is being used to justify hate and bigotry. But, I guess we know the tree by its fruit. And James is that fruit, which makes me sad that fruit is used to refer to homosexuals, because I’m not trying to insult them by that statement. non-reproductive non-utilitarian fucking

  606. #607 jcfitzner
    December 23, 2009

    Dammit, why didn’t I have any circle jerks or other homoerotic encounters when I was Mormon?

    Some assholes get all the fun.

  607. #608 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    Regarding Jame’s optimistic numbers of baptisms, do you see a trend here?
    1999 – 306,171
    2000 – 273,973
    2001 – 292,612
    2002 – 283,138
    2003 – 242,923
    And those are the numbers reported by the church. They do not take into account the number of people who are baptized as new converts, but never show up in church again, or who become “inactive” soon after baptism. Read the accounts of missionaries who return to their mission field a few years later, only to find that not one single person they have baptized remained active in the church — yet the church still counts them as members. Or the stories of missionaries pushed so hard to come up with numbers that they invented them. See http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon120.htm … and scroll to the bottom for more stories from missionaries.

  608. #609 Caine
    December 23, 2009

    Miki Z @ 607:

    non-reproductive non-utilitarian fucking

    Absolutely the best kind of fucking.

  609. #610 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    How dare you bring your Imperialist Objective Western Facts into this discussion, Missy?

    You’re right. I have ignored the burning in my bosom that should have corrected my Imperialist Objective Western Facts — make that should have erased my presentation of objective facts in order to allow the flowering of mormon fantasies.

    Damnit. “atheismisdead” is dropping spam/troll turds all over the thread, and when PZ disposes of them, the comment count will be screwed.

  610. #611 James
    December 23, 2009

    Lynna:

    If the exmormon site is accurate, why haven’t they shown the 2004-2009 numbers?

    In 2009, the number was back up to 279,000+ Did you figure that into your trend?

    Also,

    Australia
    LDS Membership was 73,000 in 1990, today its? over 125,000 members.

    New Zealand
    LDS Membership was 76,000 in 1990, today it?s over 100,000 members.

    So much for the internet and its impact on Mormonism which is an exmormon pipe dream.

  611. #612 Mr T
    December 23, 2009

    Well, I thought “Uppity” was pretty much a given, (at least according to King James, the Original Troll, and maybe Paul) when we’re talking about the following grievous sins worthy of death from that rambling final “sentence”:

    not convenient, debate, whisperers, backbiters, despiteful, proud, boasters, disobedient to parents, implacable, and “have pleasure in them that do them”.

  612. #613 Sean O'Doherty
    December 23, 2009

    Wow, grade-a stupid and he just keeps on digging the hole deeper.

  613. #614 SquidBrandon
    December 23, 2009

    James,

    I understand that I am coming very late into this discussion. Could you answer a few questions I have:

    1) Why does stimulation of the prostate (e.g., by my partner’s penis) lead to pleasurable sensations and orgasms of greater intensity?

    2)What is the “natural purpose” of this? And be honest, by natural purpose you do mean gOd’s purpose, right?

    3) If digital prostate stimulation by mormon females during coitus enhanced fertility through increasing orgasmic intensity and subsequent sperm deposition, should it be endorsed by the LDS as official doctrine?

    4) If homosexual attraction is against natural purpose, why is it so commonly observed in nature? Why are animals who are all natural and stuff going against their own nature? (you could start looking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals)

  614. #615 Sean O'Doherty
    December 23, 2009

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtland_Safety_Society

    It just keeps getting funnier…

  615. #616 scottb
    December 23, 2009

    James sez:

    The trust that the U.S. Government has in the people of Utah and the LDS Church is huge.
    The Mormons aren’t worried.

    Hopefully that will change once more people understand your batshit insane beliefs.

  616. #617 Miki Z
    December 23, 2009

    Here are Rammell’s “Ten Principles to Govern America”, taken straight from his website. The commentary is mine, of course.

    TEN PRINCIPLES TO GOVERN AMERICA

    * America was established by God for a righteous people. If American turns away from God she will fail. — News to the “founding fathers:, and interesting to hear that not only is God a women but needs America for her success.

    * The Constitution was inspired by God. The original principles set forth within its body are true and when strictly adhered to will keep us free. — Okay… by “original” do you mean “ignoring those annoying amendments”?

    * The proper role of government is to protect our rights to life, liberty, and property. — No argument from me, but I may have very different ideas about how that should be done.

    * Rights can only be taken away or limited when they interfere with another?s rights. Privileges on the other hand are subject to the will of the majority. — Ooh, ooh, one guess as to who decides which is which?

    * The Federal government should do only those things which the states can not do for themselves. State government should do only those things which the counties can not do for themselves. County government should do only those things which the individuals can not do for themselves. — I guess this is where you need to undo some of those amendments. Good thing you kept that option.

    * Never ask a larger group to do that which can be done by a smaller group. The smaller the unit and the closer it is to the people, the easier it is to guide, to correct, to keep it solvent, and to keep our freedom. — So… something like terrorist cells?

    * He who governs least, governs best. — I would like to help you govern best. Absolutely best. Here’s my plan: don’t run, and you won’t be governing at all. If least is best, none is bester!

    * Capitalism advocates the principles of competition and choice in a free market setting and if allowed to operate without government interference is a proven formula for prosperity. — Yes, of course. So, you believe in choice, freedom, and freedom from government interference? So you’re pro-choice and against government intrusion into private life? Oh, wait, you’re just talking about money?

    * Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life. — So… um… more fishing? What is this supposed to mean? Is it a reference to the miracle of the bakery jobs and fishing poles?

    * The key to success of a free nation is a well informed electorate. — Free campaign advice: this is probably not a good strategy for you.

  617. #618 Loki
    December 23, 2009

    wow, I have had this same discussion with my family during the Prop 8 battle here in California. Like James, they repeatedly hold the churches statements on marriage as fact rather than opinion and help it up like a shield to deflect any truth or evidence that might come their way.

    My mother at least was honest, stating it was what she believed to be true. My sister told me that she didn’t believe gay people should raise kids, and when I told her Prop 8 had nothing to do with the adoption laws, threw out the kid should have a mother and father. As a caseworker who worked with troubled teems for many years (in Utah no less), I know many kids who would have been better off without their parents in their lives.

    For me the Mormon view on homosexuality crystallized when I was younger and still in the closet, doing my best to be a good Mormon boy so I didn’t lose the love and support of everyone I knew. I had an uncle who was beat up leaving a gay hangout in Salt Lake. This bright young man was left for dead, brain damaged and in coma. My good upstanding family said simply, well, he shouldn’t have been there…

    So James can repeatedly spew the rhetoric he has been given, believing himself safe behind his walls, and you can throw fact and truth and studies and all manner of scientific information, and he will not see it. Mormons have a great capacity to ignore the world around them when it does not fit with their belief system. Furthermore, the belief that Mormons are a “peculiar” people make them feel that any persecution they feel is because others don’t see the truths that they clearly see and understand as revealed to them through the prophets.

    And yes, being out now, my family and former friends have abandoned me to my sinful “gay lifestyle” and have told me I will never find happiness. And they will never understand that on my worst days now I am happier than I ever was in that conformist hellhole known as the LDS church. When I first left I was rather apathetic towards the church, but even though I left I find them intruding again on my life and trying to force me to live according to the tenets of their belief system and frankly, that is intolerable.

  618. #619 Gary Aldridge
    December 23, 2009

    “you are going to be tortured and murdered without mercy…”

    SaIZ the guy who was found hogtied and wearing two wetsuits…what was it they found up your backside again?

    “Hammer Time!”

  619. #620 Red John
    December 23, 2009

    I’m sure no one cares, but I was in the middle of writing a response to James (which touched on some of Anomic Entropy’s points regarding baptism of 8 year olds) when some dumbass ran into a a telephone pole outside my office and killed the power. When I got home from worked and checked the thread there were 600+ comments, so I guess I’ve got some catching up to do.

  620. #621 Miki Z
    December 23, 2009

    And, lest we forget that this is a science blog, here is Rammell on global warming. The words are his, the emphasis is mine.

    “Carbon dioxide is one of the most vital gases in our environment. It feeds plant growth. If the world continues to warm (the last ten years it has cooled) and the amount of carbon dioxide rises, we will see a greener more vibrant world. Agriculture land will produce more food for man and animals and energy demand for heating during the cold months will decrease. I see no down side to a slight increase in the temperature to the globe. The catastrophic consequences predicted by the doomsayers are evidence of their lack of faith in a Supreme Being who holds the creation and the future of the world in His hands.”

    So now you know. Deny that global warming is a problem (if it even exists) or you’re denying God.

  621. #622 articulett
    December 23, 2009

    I care, Red John. Your adventures have certainly been more exciting than James’ posts on this thread. I don’t think you’ve missed much… just that James’ keeps repeating things about the purpose of male gender identity and entities (or something like that) –so much so that many have come to think that he’s a closeted homosexual trying desperately to convince himself he’s not.

  622. #623 articulett
    December 23, 2009

    (Don’t you kind of wish we could witness the cyber equivalent of “bumfights” between mabus and James? I mean I know it’s wrong to take advantage of the mentally ill, but still…)

  623. #624 Mr T
    December 23, 2009

    articulett:

    I think if Mabus and James were in a bumfight, it may never end. They would keep tickling each other in the same places without landing a single blow.

    So, to answer your question: no, I honestly do not want to witness that.

  624. #625 Red John
    December 23, 2009

    James’ keeps repeating things about the purpose of male gender identity and entities (or something like that) –so much so that many have come to think that he’s a closeted homosexual trying desperately to convince himself he’s not.

    Oh, I see. Very interesting… :)

  625. #626 Red John
    December 23, 2009

    And yes, being out now, my family and former friends have abandoned me to my sinful “gay lifestyle” and have told me I will never find happiness. And they will never understand that on my worst days now I am happier than I ever was in that conformist hellhole known as the LDS church.

    While I am not gay, this is similar to what has happened to me. My parents tell me that I’m not (and can never be) truly happy. I contend that I was never really happy until I left. Best wishes to you.

  626. #627 PixelFish
    December 23, 2009

    I see James came crawling back from his football game, only to repeat the same arguments ad nauseum. (And yet, they are getting viler and viler with every iteration. I see he’s regressed to equating homosexuality with pedophilia.) I fail to see how he has advanced a “secular” argument. I would say this shows an unexpected degree of reasoning on his part, except that he doesn’t seem to have the slightest idea of what a secular argument would actually look like. He seems to think that by omitting the word “god” he can dress up a naturalistic fallacy in secular clothing. Instead he’s merely substituted his god with an anthropomorphised view of nature and given his false idol some silly goals which he calls “purpose”. We ask him to define his terms and he fails to do so.

    …..

    Anecdotally, I’d say the Mormon church is on a slope of attrition. They’re still producing like mad, because that’s part of their modus operandi, ie get married young so you can boink. If I had to venture a guess based on my own generation and circle of friends (Gen X/Y, children of the 80s and 90s) they are losing 1 in 5. While that currently leaves 80 percent of that generation, it’s still not an insignifican number, considering that the generations before that were MUCH lower. (I mean, I didn’t know of any actual apostates until I was in my late teens and my friend’s parents left the church. Incidentally, they were among the scholars at WhyBeYou who were kicked because their own studies and research didn’t jibe with what the church wanted, a classic case of academic suppression. Google “David P. Wright Hebrew studies” or read this: http://www.lds-mormon.com/dpw.shtml )

    So growing up, I never knew any “anti-Mormons” and YET within a few years of reaching adulthood, I had not only left the church, but two of my best friends had as well–all of us coming to the decision separately. One of my cousins also left, and when I discovered on his website that he had left, I was overjoyed because here at last was family to share the journey with. Every year, one or two of my friends comes out about their non-belief. One of my friends messaged me a few months back on Facebook with the message, “Holy crap, did you know Joseph Smith was a total fraud?” Me: “Welcome to the club!” It’s long and slow, but I find it heartening whenever one more of my friends slips the bonds of irrational belief and starts eyeing everything more critically.

  627. #628 pixelfish
    December 23, 2009

    Two quick clarifications to my post at 628:

    A) “I would say this shows an unexpected degree of reasoning on his part….” should be followed with “to understand that we would not accept supernatural explanations”. But as I explain further, I’m not sure he actually does GET that, since he seems to have a nigh-cargo-cult attachment to his arguments. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    B) I first state that I didn’t really know any apostates and then I said I knew David P. Wright. This is true, even if it seems contradictory, because at the time that David P. Wright lived by my family, and at the time his daughters and I were friends, he was very devout indeed. However, he and his family moved away, following pressure from WhyBeYou to suppress his academic studies. (At the time, I was a wee kid, and all I knew was my playmates were having to move away.) Dr. Wright himself had nothing to do with my personal choices, but upon later finding out about his family’s experiences and their eventual choice to leave Mormonism, a lot of little background pieces sort of fell into place.

  628. #629 shatfat
    December 23, 2009

    @144 Janine

    Thanks for the tip. I Googled it and landed on a pbs page about Woodrow Wilson and Black leaders Garvey, du Bois, and Trotter (the last was a new one to me). I never knew that about him but it helps explain a lot. Sick. A Southerner, too? Quel choque. Oh forgive me, you know I keep trying to hold onto that talking point that Northerners are really much more vicious racists than Southerners, but reality keeps intruding and confusing me.

  629. #630 shatfat
    December 23, 2009

    James the mushy-headed Mormon blurbled:

    The human species does not need homosexual couples. This reality is beyond sentimental feelings. It is a cold hard fact of reality.

    You know what, I think I have this figured out. Mormons don’t grok any sort of population control or population stasis or anything like that. Their concept is exponential growth forever. I mean, there’s, what, 500 billion stars in this galaxy alone and maybe 500 billion galaxies? Keep pumpin’ ‘em out because all those stars need to be populated with spirit babies.

    Gays and uppity women offend them because they aren’t down with the baby-pumping-out agenda. How dare they–disbelieve? What if Mormonism isn’t true? You mean I tithed, did unpaid volunteer work 5 nights a week, and went gray and then bald raising six kids for nothing?!? When I could have been living it up with new gadgets and vacations to Aruba? Noooooo! It must be true! And it’s true for everyone else too! Because SHUT UP, that’s why!

  630. #631 sentientmeat
    December 23, 2009

    I’m an atheist, gay ex-Mormon (4th generation in every direction!). I have some good news for Caine and Skeptifem.

    First, some background. I was enrolled in doctrine classes from the age of 3 and earlier (Primary and the usual Sunday School). Their all-pervasive system of viewing the world is carefully instilled through meticulous indoctrination and powerful psychological tactics (known to many religious sects from the dawn of Humanity).

    Skeptifem @ 590 wrote:

    It is really hard to get your name removed from the church records if you leave.

    Caine @595 replied:

    True. My husband hasn’t been able to get his removed, and he left the whole mormonism circus 39 years ago, which was the soonest he could leave home. He’d stopped believing long before that.

    Resigning from the Mormon Church. Some clever Good Samaritans with legal savvy and hearts of gold have outlined some specific steps which make it easy. In the USA, you can completely sidestep getting drawn into the Church’s system (their Bishop’s Courts with the Orwellian monicker “Courts of Love”) by legally resigning from the Church and withdrawing your consent to be treated as a member of such. In the USA, you can withdraw your consent at will, and The Church is legally constrained from embroiling you in any ecclesiastical proceeding.

    I did it to protest the Church’s unforgivable support of California’s Proposition 8! (Granted, I did not believe in The LDS Church’s tenets since 1990.)

    I followed the steps published (at one time) at MormonNoMore.Org, but I see they have removed that information from their website. Still you can email info@mormonnomore.org and they will email you the steps on how to leave the Mormon Church on your own terms.

    Do it! It feels great!

  631. #632 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    What is slightly frightening about James is how he can repeat the same 2 mantras (go on guess which two) verbatim over several hours. I’ve seen circular logic and repeating (generally) the same points but he is so set in his thinking, he’s a walking coal shed.

    What is truly frightening is how he has COMPLETELY ignored the females. He even blanket ignored the matter of the beatings and rapes mentioned. Its quite clear that that sort of thing doesn’t matter to mormon males.

    What a truly horrible, relentless, crushing and oppressive religion this must be. I am so glad I was never part of it.

    Has your ward grown in numbers James?
    Are you happy?

  632. #633 raven
    December 23, 2009

    James the mentally ill creep:

    In 2009, the number was back up to 279,000+ Did you figure that into your trend?

    James is a loon obviously. And mentally crippled beyond being able to think. No one with that much hate and that little cognitive ability could be sane.

    Between 1 and 2 million people leave xianity every year in the USA. US xianity is declining at 0.5-0.9% per year.

    People are sick and tired of brain dead christofascists telling them what to do and trying to destroy the country.

    People like you are killing the religion.

    The fastest growing religions in the USA are Wicca, Islam, and No Religion. The No Religions run around 20% of the population, 60 million people. There are 6 million LDS in the USA.

    I realize Mormons are not Xians but for people sick of fundies, they are even worse.

    The USA is projected to fall below 50% Xian in a few decades. Good luck trying to take over a country that is over half ex religion and No Religion. Isn’t going to happen.

  633. #634 natural cynic
    December 23, 2009

    James @534:

    By the way, the NSA is building a brand new center in South Salt Lake County, over the next few years.

    Doesn’t surprise me. If you want something technical done, or someone to make you money, or someone to repair your knee, the a Mormon would be a good person to do the job. But if you want someone to make aesthetic or ethical choices, Mormons would be close to last on that list.

    & @526

    Look, I am presenting a “secular” argument against gay marriage. With many homosexuals, if a person is anti-gay marriage then you believe they MUST be homophobic, gay hater etc.

    Uh, no. You don’t seem to understand the concept of secular. All of your arguments have had theological suppositions. And, frankly, being against equal rights is homophobic. You, James, are just not as bad as a large proportion of the population.

    Gay marriage is a new social construct and a new social experiment that is not equivalent to heterosexual marriage. Sorry, but I am not going to bend from that position.

    Uh, no. Wrong, as usual. See
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage#History and
    Yale historian John Boswell’s books – Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century and Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
    So, spread ‘em

    And a comment on magic underwear:
    Definitely not a good birth control method – see the average family size among Mormons. More like recreational sex control.

  634. #635 raven
    December 23, 2009

    My sister told me that she didn’t believe gay people should raise kids,

    Well good luck with that. Gay women can have kids any time they want, and many do. When you possess a functioning uterus, in our society it’s yours to do what you want with. 25% of US births are to single mothers, most heterosexual.

    A lot of gay males have children as well. Karl Rove’s father was gay. They get married, find out they aren’t happy and by that time there are a few kids. Or they want kids and meet a woman who wants kids and hasn’t had much success finding a spouse. Or they go through a gay deconversion program, become straight, get married and discover it didn’t work.

    Life is much more complicated that the LDS’s simple minded views. I haven’t even got to the bisexuals.

    One of my minor complaints about the religious kooks, especially the LDS but they are all about the same. They really have this one mold that everyone is supposed to fit into. For the LDS everyone is straight, gets married (you can’t be a church official without being married), goes on a mission, pumps out as many kids as possible (homes for the spirit babies and more mormons to brainwash), becomes a right wing extremist and LDS bigot, and so on. They used to have to be white* or at least brown but turning white as they become more saved or some stupid superstition referenced above in this thread.

    Humans are far more diverse than that. IIRC, 30% of the US population these days ends up childless for a huge variety of reasons. Some people were sterile, many just decided it wasn’t what they wanted to do, many came from horrible disfunctional households and didn’t think they had the psychological stability to be good parents and so on.

    *Mormons believe that a brown or black skin is because your distant ancestors screwed up and got punished by god. Asian, Indian, African, Italian, Greek, Eskimo, Latino, Arab it’s all your ancestors damn fault that you don’t have blue eyes and blond hair. Lamanites the lot of you. They also used to believe even a few decades ago that if you had the misfortune of being brown and joined the LDS church and were a good Mormon, you would turn white. It was flat out in the Book of Mormon, straight doctrine. These days they seem to be dropping it. They even changed the phrase in their book from “turning white and delightsome” to “pure and delightsome”. You’d never know the religion was made up by white Northern Europeans.

    I’m sure most of them still look on the Chinese or whatever as people with ancestors who were cursed by god but if you join our church you too can have blond hair. Yeah, good luck with that pitch.

  635. #636 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    LDS Membership was 73,000 in 1990, today its? over 125,000 members.

    Even if that were true, that is a pathetic rise. Lets play Maths.

    So thats a rise of 52,000 in 20 years.

    Australia has increased in population from 17 to 21 million in those years. That means 20% of that growth is just due to population increase.

    That means you have grown about 41,600 people in 20 years from new converts. Although that may be lower if you have larger families than the rest of australia.

    Now thats only people that are called mormons. That doesn’t mean they participate. They do however make the numbers look good.

    Of course a nice healthy 20 year period nicely hides the fact that new converts could all have come in the first 5 years. With minimal new people. How many people in the last 5 years James?

    Oh, whats this I hear about Utah being DOUBLE the national average for anti-depressents. They even have a name for it “mother of Zion syndrome”. Women have to say yes to everything, and like good little robots do as they are told… and take their dulling pills.

  636. #637 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    James, you hounded me by name, personally goading me for a reply to your example of the black Elder of 1836 as proof that the mormons are not racist, so I provided an answer in comment # 367 … and, you never replied.

    Did you just decide to drop that part of your argument, realizing that the Latter-day Saints have been overwhelmingly racist, and have treated black people and Native Americans abominably (at least up to 1978)?

    James has stopped responding to this line of questioning because the evidence is so overwhelming he can not refute it. And the few times he’s tried he’s stumbled into the problem of which divine revelations to believe.

    He still will not answer me about whether LDS leaders receive divine revelation, the quotes from Nephi, the First Presidency’s quotes or the convenient timing of their “Divine Revelations” in the 1890′s and 1978.

  637. #638 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    When I lived in WY I heard a term about Mormons for the first time. I heard Mormons referred to as “scoops”. As in, When they joined the LDS church, they opened up their head and had a scoop taken out.

    I think this is appropriate term considering how James has performed here dancing around the answers given to his questions and the questions posed to him.

    DANCE PARROT, DANCE!

  638. #639 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    Wow. In a 1996 census. Only 45,000 people actually identified themselves as mormon. That would pretty much back up the claim that about 50% of supposed mormons don’t even bother with their religion.

    That means your total “proper” mormons in Australia is 75,000 members. So about 1000 people per year above population growth. Hardly stunning. This is before you factor in fudged numbers and the fact that mormons have larger families than the average Asutralian.

    In Australia, you are almost an endangered species. Low numbers, weak population growth and loss of habitat (we rulez the internet).

  639. #640 okbyme
    December 23, 2009

    This is science!? What a bunch of hypocritical bigots you anti-Mormons, anti-Jews, anti-religionists are!

    By the way, “Stepping up to save the constitution” which is the document that provides for freedom of religion, freedom to not believe and human rights freedoms for all no matter what they believe is a whole different thing than “Taking over the country”! For “scientists” so many of you can’t seem to get beyond reading something and then into comprehension of what you read. Very funny!

  640. #641 ChrisH
    December 23, 2009

    (Un)Holy fuck… Um, take it slowly:

    Modern society is, basically, humanity escaping from it’s evolutionary roots.

    Marriage is a social construct. God didn’t invent it, men did.

    What the fuck do most of our societies’ rules (official/law and unofficial/custom) have to do with propagation of the species? We have advanced far enough to have the luxury of promoting fairness because we – mostly – aren’t spending all our time scrabbling for food with a life expectancy of 17.

    Meeeeh. Record’s stuck with our Moron friend. Needs to fuck off back to the stone age when maybe some of his arguments might have more weight*. Although probably not.

    * I wonder if teh ghey were the ones who did the cave paintings at places like Les Eyzies** as they always seem to have the nicest homes? I’ll get my coat.

    ** If you ever get the chance to see these in person, do. They are truely unbelievable.

  641. #642 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    By the way, “Stepping up to save the constitution” which is the document that provides for freedom of religion, freedom to not believe and human rights freedoms for all no matter what they believe is a whole different thing than “Taking over the country”!

    Yes, but if you were paying attention you would have realised that none of those things mentioned (freedom of religion, human rights etc…) are supported by the LDS. Quite the opposite actually. That being the entire point of all those cogent points.

    So do please continue to tell us about how hypocritical we are…although I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  642. #643 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    This is science!? What a bunch of hypocritical bigots you anti-Mormons, anti-Jews, anti-religionists are!

    did you throw anti-jew in there because you think that has more impact. I’m not anti-jew or anti-mormon. I’m anti silly cult religious nonsense.

    By the way, “Stepping up to save the constitution” which is the document that provides for freedom of religion, freedom to not believe and human rights freedoms for all no matter what they believe is a whole different thing than “Taking over the country”! For “scientists” so many of you can’t seem to get beyond reading something and then into comprehension of what you read. Very funny!

    Stand back folks my irony meter is going thermonuclear.

  643. #644 Miki Z
    December 23, 2009

    okbyme, you might want to review the definition of the word “hypocrisy”. To quote a great movie, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    In more than 600 comments, you’re only the fifth person to mention Jews, and the other contexts are quite clear in their meaning.

    I think the problem may be that the people here can read and then infer from not just words but actions. People’s actions don’t always match their words, and people don’t always mean what they say they mean. The word “hypocrisy” might come in helpful here.

    Who said this is science? There are some explications of basic biology, but this is a blog by someone who is a scientist. Not everyone who comments is a scientist (I’m certainly not), and even scientists are allowed to have opinions (still!).

  644. #645 MAJeff, OM
    December 23, 2009

    So, if I have James figured out correctly, I would be of more value to humanity if I got a woman pregnant by raping her than I do as a gay man. After all, the only reason we men exist is to deposit sperm in women! Mormonism rocks!

  645. #646 Miki Z
    December 23, 2009

    Yes, let nothing thwart you in your natural purpose and identity!

  646. #647 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    Yes, let nothing thwart you in your natural purpose and identity!

    My purpose is clearly to be an invisible person who does not speak or matter to anyone. Like a mormon woman…without the womb. Oh, and i don’t get as many rights as everyone else. They get taken away from me because apparently I don’t need them.

  647. #648 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    You damn gays and your special treatment. Next thing your know you’ll be wanting driver’s licenses and voting rights.

  648. #649 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 23, 2009

    I understand that this is the usual response of prolonged exposure to James.

  649. #650 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    @612

    If the exmormon site is accurate, why haven’t they shown the 2004-2009 numbers?
    In 2009, the number was back up to 279,000+ Did you figure that into your trend?

    The exmormon site is accurate. I took the figures from an older post and didn’t have to time to look for a newer post, or find the the 2004-2009 figures myself. So, blame my laziness, if you like.

    The number from 2009 includes a lot of bogus baptisms from places like Brazil, where missionaries report dunking the desperately poor, the drunks, the druggies, and other vulnerable people … only to have their baptized converts never show up again.

    The number of baptisms claimed in 2009 is misleading, and yet it still does not match the earlier number from the 1990s … and that’s despite population growth. Did you even read the post where a missionary reported 3 to 4 percent retention rates of baptized persons?

    The whole missionary program seems to be effective mostly in creating aggressive salesmen for use in multilevel marketing schemes that bilk the gullible. And to think that the missionaries themselves have to pay for this dubious experience, then return home and lie about it to their congregations.

  650. #651 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    Miki @618

    He who governs least, governs best.

    Thanks for posting Rammell’s ten principles. The one about governing best if you govern least is hilarious coming from him. Apply it to his beloved LDS Church with it’s incredibly top-heavy hierarchy, and with it’s intrusion into every aspect of a person’s life, right down to the underwear.

  651. #652 articulett
    December 23, 2009

    I’ve found that you can learn much more about an organization like the Mormon church from ex-members rather than current members. Current members are still under the influence of their leaders and still lying to themselves.

    I also learn a lot from the questions the adherent avoids. Moreover, the “arguments” they use on us are, apparently, the arguments that worked on them to get them to believe whatever it is they believe. I find this revealing.

    I want to add that I thought okbyme’s interjection was silly given the Rammell invitation that started this thread. And his cry regarding our incomprehension of what we read in an incomprehensible sentence was the icing on the cake. I do so love irony.

  652. #653 Lynna, OM
    December 23, 2009

    Rev @638

    James has stopped responding to this line of questioning because the evidence is so overwhelming he can not refute it. And the few times he’s tried he’s stumbled into the problem of which divine revelations to believe.
    He still will not answer me about whether LDS leaders receive divine revelation, the quotes from Nephi, the First Presidency’s quotes or the convenient timing of their “Divine Revelations” in the 1890′s and 1978.

    Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice that James didn’t reply to you either. The quotes from Nephi were spot on, as were the racist statements from the First Presidency. When the prophet speaks, the thinking is done — until we decide that the prophet was speaking as “just a man” — what bullshit. Joe Smith was right, except when he was wrong.

  653. #654 raven
    December 23, 2009

    OKBYME the brain damaged fascist:

    By the way, “Stepping up to save the constitution” which is the document that provides for freedom of religion, freedom to not believe and human rights freedoms for all no matter what they believe is a whole different thing than “Taking over the country”!

    OOHHHH!!! Fresh troll meat.

    The LDS church is an extreme authoritarian gerontacracy. A dictatorship of old white men who practice every form of mind control and brainwashing known to humankind.

    There is no doubt what their idea of “saving the US constitution” would look like. Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan or some other well functioning theocracy.

    Religions always lie and use dog whistle code phrases and doublespeak. As a cult, the LDS church has that down.

    satan’s slave = a member who dropped out.

    US Patriot = wait till we take over

    gentile = next victim

    Saving the US = Hell on earth theocracy

    We know what an LDS takeover would look like. Wherever Mormons are a majority they discriminate pervasively and obviously against the pagans. In Utah it is minor insults like liquor stores far and few between and having seminaries right next to public schools and de facto functioning as part of the school. More ominiously, they haver mercilessly gerrymandered the state so only Mormons can be elected.

    In a state with 65% LDS, IIRC only 2 state legislators are nonLDS. Depriving nonmembers of voting privileges de facto is evil and anti-democratic. They did it anyway, it is obvious, and they don’t care who knows it.

  654. #655 jcfitzner
    December 23, 2009

    “More ominiously, they haver mercilessly gerrymandered the state so only Mormons can be elected.”

    Not just that, but there is no independent ethics commission. The legislature “investigates” its OWN ethics violations – i.e. cronyism and corruption is rampant because no one’s accountable, and they’re even worse than regular Mormons like James because they’re the power-hungry ones.

    I don’t know why I live here.

  655. #656 bravestarr
    December 23, 2009

    And to think that the missionaries themselves have to pay for this dubious experience, then return home and lie about it to their congregations.

    I mean this: go fuck yourself. I spent 2 years of my life in a third world country of desperately poor people, among the bottom three in per capita income in the world. You can either give them money, which will help them for a little while, or you can give them something else to hold on to, which will help them for as long as they hold onto it. We helped them build their houses and we taught them that their situation was temporary–that God loved them, and even though they were destitute, if they did their best and loved others and cared for their families, they would know God loved them and they would be all right in the end.

    My companion and I once came across a young woman who was dying of malaria. She couldn’t walk. She was laying on the ground outside of her one-room closet-house. Her sister ran to us and begged us to bless her. She had no idea who we were or what church we were from. We came over to her and gave her a blessing. We told her to be comforted and search for God, for his love, to know that she was not alone. Then we got up and began to walk away. The sick woman got up out of her bed and began walking to us. She and her sister sobbed and thanked us, and we left. Never saw either of them again. I’ve never breathed a word about that experience since that day, until now.

    Who are you to say I came home and lied about anything? Who are you to marginalize me and what I did? Who are you? What have you done? Who are you to criticize myself and my family for voluntarily giving time and money to something we believed in?

    You should be ashamed of yourself. YOU are the ignorant, the bigot, the close-minded and self-righteous. It’d be easy for me to hate you, but I was taught better.

  656. #657 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    I don’t know why I live here.

    Well Utah is totally fucking beautiful.

  657. #658 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    Bottom line is that the LDS church, like all other churches, is ruled by prophecy.

    If you believe that the future is seeable then religion is for you. All other physical rules can be ignored and ANYTHING is possible. Feel free to redefine any word, term or reality you wish.

    If you believe that it is logically and physically impossible to see the future then tell people like James that he is full of it.

    James – You are full of crap.

  658. #659 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    We helped them build their houses and we taught them that their situation was temporary–that God loved them, and even though they were destitute, if they did their best and loved others and cared for their families, they would know God loved them and they would be all right in the end.

    Building houses and giving aid is nice and I commend you for that., Giving them the false hope of religion in hops of building your member numbers is not nice.

    My companion and I once came across a young woman who was dying of malaria. She couldn’t walk. She was laying on the ground outside of her one-room closet-house. Her sister ran to us and begged us to bless her. She had no idea who we were or what church we were from. We came over to her and gave her a blessing. We told her to be comforted and search for God, for his love, to know that she was not alone. Then we got up and began to walk away. The sick woman got up out of her bed and began walking to us. She and her sister sobbed and thanked us, and we left. Never saw either of them again. I’ve never breathed a word about that experience since that day, until now.

    Nice that you spent time with the woman, but worthless that you gave her false hope that some imagined deity would be doing anything for her.

    Why wasn’t he there to keep her from getting malaria in the first place?

  659. #660 destlund
    December 23, 2009

    Well Utah is totally fucking beautiful.

    So’s Kentucky, but I think it’s safest to steer clear of both, for essentially the same reasons.

  660. #661 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    I spent 2 years of my life in a third world country of desperately poor people, among the bottom three in per capita income in the world.

    And did you meet your quota for the higher ups?

    Did they fund you or did you pay for it yourself?

    How were you treated while out there? Did you actually feel like you were making a difference?

  661. #662 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 23, 2009

    Your concern is noted bravestarr.

    I’ve done a lot of charity myself, I even help build a school in Uganda. But I’ve never done it with the purpose of spreading Gods word nor have spread false hope to the people about a deity. Why they hell do you need to be a missionary to do good deeds?

  662. #663 bravestarr
    December 23, 2009

    If you believe that the future is seeable then religion is for you.

    There are physical realities that allow for the “seeing” of events which, to us, have not yet occurred. That’s science, not religion.

    For the LDS everyone is straight, gets married (you can’t be a church official without being married), goes on a mission, pumps out as many kids as possible (homes for the spirit babies and more mormons to brainwash), becomes a right wing extremist and LDS bigot, and so on. They used to have to be white* or at least brown but turning white as they become more saved or some stupid superstition referenced above in this thread.

    You really do hate Mormons, don’t you? Why is it ok to hatefully, spitefully, negatively stereotype Mormons but not gays or blacks or Jews?

    I’m not brainwashed. I’d love to see you try to prove that I am. I’m not right-wing. I’m moderate, as are most of my family and friends. I know and work with gay people and I sympathize with their position. At the same time, I recognize the LDS Church’s position as one of moral imperative: they believe homosexual behavior to be immoral, and allowing gay marriage is sanctioning homosexual behavior. They oppose it on moral grounds, which they have every right to do. Just like the LDS Church believes pre- or extra-marital sexual relations of any kind to be immoral.

    I’m not married. I may never get married. What Mormon culture does and says very often has little to do with the actual doctrines that are taught. Unfortunately, people like you who hate Mormons and/or their church as well as Mormons themselves have a very hard time distinguishing between the two.

    And then there are others here who whip out utterly unsubstantiated “facts” about Mormons and Utah, just to put us down, like that we consume proportionately more anti-depressants than any other state or group.

    The insanely ironic thing is that the attitude you people have towards Mormonism, with all your enlightened, progressive intellectualism, this is the same dehumanizing attitude you rail against that you think all Mormons have. It’s the same attitude that leads to discrimination, persecution and hatred. Quite honestly, it disgusts me.

  663. #664 Celtic_Evolution
    December 23, 2009

    shorter bravestarr:

    “I’m a good person and have done good things, therefor you’re an asshole for condemning my religion or calling the stupid stuff I believe in stupid.”

    Really, you need to stop confusing one (you being a geed person) with the other (your religion)… they really have nothing to do with one another, and if you think they do, then you are not a very good person. And if you don’t know why that is, then I’m sorry… can’t help you.

  664. #665 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    bravestarr why does the LDS church also send their good little brainwashed soldiers out to my upper middle class neighborhood? Couldn’t they be doing better work elsewhere?

  665. #666 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    If you had all the mormon funding from prop 8… how many malaria tablets could you buy?

  666. #667 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 23, 2009

    the insanely ironic thing is that the attitude you people have towards Mormonism, with all your enlightened, progressive intellectualism, this is the same dehumanizing attitude you rail against that you think all Mormons have. It’s the same attitude that leads to discrimination, persecution and hatred. Quite honestly, it disgusts me.

    Ah, playing the your a bigot for calling us a bigot card. You may be moderate in social and political issues, but that is not how your church doctrines thinks. Furthermore, criticizing the foundations of your religion is not bigoted. There is legitimate concern over it and the evils that it has brought up.

  667. #668 strange gods before me, OM
    December 23, 2009

    and we taught them that their situation was temporary–that God loved them, and even though they were destitute, if they did their best and loved others and cared for their families, they would know God loved them and they would be all right in the end.

    You lied to them.

  668. #669 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    “There are physical realities that allow for the “seeing” of events which, to us, have not yet occurred. That’s science, not religion.”

    On the star Kolob possibly but not in this reality. Could you get me an example and BTW I have been a Mormon elder for about 50 Years now.

  669. #670 Celtic_Evolution
    December 23, 2009

    The insanely ironic thing is that the attitude you people have towards Mormonism, with all your enlightened, progressive intellectualism, this is the same dehumanizing attitude you rail against that you think all Mormons have. It’s the same attitude that leads to discrimination, persecution and hatred. Quite honestly, it disgusts me.

    I’m sorry, but your personal anecdotes about how you live your mormon life do not impress me as representative of mormonism as a whole. What you describe, while commendable, is not what we have seen from Mormons (see James for example), nor what we know to be the teachings of the Mormon church… and before you even think about questioning our knowledge of what is taught by the mormon church, you’d better spend several hours reading through the hundreds of comment s put forth on the subject by very knowledgeable people w.r.t. the mormon church.

    You can be offended at our perceptions of mormonism all you want, and ignore that you are the exception, not the rule… but you are blaming the wrong group for it… blame your fellow mormons like James here.

    Oh… and by the way…

    They oppose it on moral grounds, which they have every right to do.

    No they do NOT have the fucking right to try to force anything upon the rest of society based solely on their religiously derived morals… and if you were reading, you’d know that is the argument…

  670. #671 jcfitzner
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr

    No, go fuck yourself.

    I’m sure you had a great experience on your mission, blah blah blah, but guess what? It’s all a lie. Everything you taught them about the church was a whitewashed version that only vaguely resembles the truth, if at all.

    I’m not sure what happened with your little “miracle” there, but whatever it was, it wasn’t the supernatural. I know you’ll never believe that though. That you think your god is “good” because he deigned to “heal” one woman out of millions is just inane. If your god actually existed, he’d be the biggest fucking asshole ever.

    As one who went on a Mormon mission myself, let me say it was one of the most useless, pointless, soul-crushing (if such a thing existed) experiences of my life. You go door to door selling false hope at the price of 10% of their income, their social standing, their freedom of choice, their reasoning abilities, and ridiculous amounts of time. I’ll admit I was brainwashed into (mostly) believing the lies, but I, unlike you, woke up from the delusion.

    Your self-righteous outrage is just ridiculous. The Mormon inability to accept any sort of critique or less than glowing adoration is indicative of the weakness of your position.

    Why you deigned to “breathe” a word of that holy, sacred experience to a bunch of atheists and sceptics is beyond me… Have you never read Matthew 7:6?

  671. #672 strange gods before me, OM
    December 23, 2009

    Why is it ok to hatefully, spitefully, negatively stereotype Mormons but not gays or blacks or Jews?

    This is the phenomenon usually known as jihad-envy, but bravestarr is a traditionalist who still hates gays and blacks and Jews more than Muslims.

  672. #673 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    You really do hate Mormons, don’t you? Why is it ok to hatefully, spitefully, negatively stereotype Mormons but not gays or blacks or Jews?

    You chose to be Mormon.

    Black people are born black, why would i have anything against that? Maybe you should ask your church. They have a long history of racism ingrained in it.

    I don’t rail against Jews as a “race” (see above) but find their religion almost as full of nonsense as your cult.

    Just because your beliefs are sacred to you doesn’t mean I have to respect them when they are so incredibly obviously full of shit.

    I will however tolerate just fine until they start to impose themselves on others. Something the Mormons are trying damn hard to do. In fact I don’t know any atheists personally outside a few distant friends. So I do just fine respecting the person and tolerating their beliefs, but I am under no mandate to respect their beliefs. Especially ones so full of a total lack of adherence to reality.

  673. #674 strange gods before me, OM
    December 23, 2009

    I know and work with gay people and I sympathize with their position. At the same time, I recognize the LDS Church’s position as one of moral imperative: they believe homosexual behavior to be immoral, and allowing gay marriage is sanctioning homosexual behavior. They oppose it on moral grounds, which they have every right to do. Just like the LDS Church believes pre- or extra-marital sexual relations of any kind to be immoral.

    Nobody’s disputing their legal rights.

    I notice you fail to say that the LDS church is wrong about homosexual behavior being immoral.

    So are you a hateful bigot like the rest of them, or are you a moral coward who’s afraid to speak up?

  674. #675 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr
    “There are physical realities that allow for the “seeing” of events which, to us, have not yet occurred. That’s science, not religion.”

    A simple reference to such a thing would help me understand what your talking about.
    Got one?

  675. #676 jcfitzner
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr

    No, go fuck yourself.

    I’m sure you had a great experience on your mission, blah blah blah, but guess what? It’s all a lie. Everything you taught them about the church was a whitewashed version that only vaguely resembles the truth, if at all.

    I’m not sure what happened with your little “miracle” there, but whatever it was, it wasn’t the supernatural. I know you’ll never believe that though. That you think your god is “good” because he deigned to “heal” one woman out of millions is just inane. If your god actually existed, he’d be the biggest fucking asshole ever.

    As one who went on a Mormon mission myself, let me say it was one of the most useless, pointless, soul-crushing (if such a thing existed) experiences of my life. You go door to door selling false hope at the price of 10% of their income, their social standing, their freedom of choice, their reasoning abilities, and ridiculous amounts of time. I’ll admit I was brainwashed into (mostly) believing the lies, but I, unlike you, woke up from the delusion.

    Your self-righteous outrage is just ridiculous. The Mormon inability to accept any sort of critique or less than glowing adoration is indicative of the weakness of your position. Why you deigned to “breathe” a word of that holy, sacred experience to a bunch of atheists and sceptics is beyond me… Have you never read Matthew 7:6?

    We’re not stereotyping Mormons here, we’re speaking the truth. You’re so blinded by the brainwashing you can’t separate out objective reality from the fantasies in your head.

    You’re not being persecuted, you’re not being discriminated against. Your beliefs are being criticised. That’s not persecution, that’s our RIGHT.

    Oh, and there are tons of people here (including me) who are/were Mormon, who know way, way, way more about Mormonism than you ever will, live in Utah, went on missions, etc. Complaining that we don’t know what we’re talking about and are stereotyping is just a silly accusation.

  676. #677 raven
    December 23, 2009

    bravestarr the scooped brain:

    You really do hate Mormons, don’t you? Why is it ok to hatefully, spitefully, negatively stereotype Mormons but not gays or blacks or Jews?

    Another Mormonofascist troll. Damn, they are monotonous.

    Read the whole thread. Look at all the hateful nonsense James posted in dozens of posts.

    I wasn’t a Mormon bigot yesterday morning. After reading this thread I am now.

    Don’t persecute other people and then claim persecution. The fundies have that one copyrighted.

    Got it backwards scoopy do. Mormons create anti-Mormons sure as the sun rises. Don’t insult, oppress, and discriminate against pagans and they wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what your cult does to its members.

    But Mormons will never, ever do that. When god is on someone’s side, they always turn into monsters. And there are always people who just don’t much like fascist monsters. Deal with it.

  677. #678 bravestarr
    December 23, 2009

    Building houses and giving aid is nice and I commend you for that., Giving them the false hope of religion in hops of building your member numbers is not nice.

    False hope? It’s all a matter of opinion, belief and faith. You can see that, right? You’re essentially telling me that my own intuition and the way I see the world is incorrect because.. you believe it to be so. You do see total failure in your logic, right?

    Why wasn’t he there to keep her from getting malaria in the first place?

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of my point, my religion, and my God. I’d explain, but somehow I don’t think you’d listen.

    And did you meet your quota for the higher ups?

    Did they fund you or did you pay for it yourself?

    How were you treated while out there? Did you actually feel like you were making a difference?

    What quota? I had no quota to meet. I was instructed to build a foundation for the church in a country that had been ravaged by civil war and colonialism for literally hundreds of years. The church was to give hope and unity and family to people who wanted or needed those things. I suspect you don’t mean to intentionally cheapen or dismiss their CHOICE to be a part of something that makes them feel better, that lifts them out of their situation. If not, your presumption is ugly and demeaning and you should feel bad for having asked the question.

    What does money have to do with anything? Why are you asking?

    I was treated in turns wonderfully and horribly. Turns out racism does swing both ways. And yes, I did feel as if I made a difference. Without question.

    I’ve done a lot of charity myself, I even help build a school in Uganda. But I’ve never done it with the purpose of spreading Gods word nor have spread false hope to the people about a deity. Why they hell do you need to be a missionary to do good deeds?

    More with the false hope. If you can prove that negative, then I’ll gladly agree with you. You can see nothing but white geese your whole life, but you’re never safe in the assumption there are no black geese, and all it takes is seeing one black goose to prove your lifelong assumption wrong. True, you don’t need to be a missionary, but that wasn’t my point now, was it?

    shorter bravestarr:

    “I’m a good person and have done good things, therefor you’re an asshole for condemning my religion or calling the stupid stuff I believe in stupid.”

    Really, you need to stop confusing one (you being a geed person) with the other (your religion)… they really have nothing to do with one another, and if you think they do, then you are not a very good person. And if you don’t know why that is, then I’m sorry… can’t help you.

    No, you’re an asshole for calling all Mormon missionaries liars and dismissing something you don’t remotely understand, something a great many people find meaningful and imporant, as garbage. That’s practically the definition of “asshole.”

    I’m not confusing anything. You are. I am the sum total of my experiences and my environment, and my religion is a fundamental part of both. Dismissing my religion as garbage is dismissing me as garbage. Thumbing your nose at my experiences, missionary and otherwise, is thumbing your nose at who I am. I happen to like who I am.

  678. #679 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    @ bravestarr
    Again – I say you and your entire religion is based on the idea (hope) that someone in your church can see into the future.
    You cannot, Jos. Smith could not, B.Young could not not now, not ever (Sam I am).

    One example that shows me wrong (or even hints at it) and I’ll restart my 10% gross donation, and start healing by the ‘laying on of hands’ again.

  679. #680 Anri
    December 23, 2009

    bravestarr sez:

    You really do hate Mormons, don’t you?

    Nope.

    Why is it ok to hatefully, spitefully, negatively stereotype Mormons but not gays or blacks or Jews?

    Protip: If you have trouble telling the difference between religious preference and biological factors such as race or sexual orientation please don’t get involved in debates dealing with them.

    I’m not brainwashed. I’d love to see you try to prove that I am. I’m not right-wing. I’m moderate, as are most of my family and friends.

    Well, that’s something, I suppose.

    I know and work with gay people and I sympathize with their position.

    “Some of my best friends are…” “Really, they’re almost just like real people – you can’t help but feel sorry for them…”

    At the same time, I recognize the LDS Church’s position as one of moral imperative: they believe homosexual behavior to be immoral, and allowing gay marriage is sanctioning homosexual behavior. They oppose it on moral grounds, which they have every right to do. Just like the LDS Church believes pre- or extra-marital sexual relations of any kind to be immoral.

    And if I believe, on moral grounds, that women should remain silent in public, will you support my efforts at legistation?
    If I believe, on moral grounds, that children who sass their parents should be put do death, do I have your vote?
    If not, why not? Make certain to cite your source for moral decision making.

    I’m not married. I may never get married. What Mormon culture does and says very often has little to do with the actual doctrines that are taught.

    Translation: my group of people are just as hypocritical as other people – they’re no better.

    Unfortunately, people like you who hate Mormons and/or their church as well as Mormons themselves have a very hard time distinguishing between the two.

    Nope and nope. Speaking for myself, I hate beliefs that are rediculous and cause me and those I care about (and, heck, those I haven’t even met yet!) undeserved pain.

    And then there are others here who whip out utterly unsubstantiated “facts” about Mormons and Utah, just to put us down, like that we consume proportionately more anti-depressants than any other state or group.

    This could be easily investigated, I suspect.

    The insanely ironic thing is that the attitude you people have towards Mormonism, with all your enlightened, progressive intellectualism, this is the same dehumanizing attitude you rail against that you think all Mormons have. It’s the same attitude that leads to discrimination, persecution and hatred. Quite honestly, it disgusts me.

    Well, again, I can only speak for myself, but I don’t hate Mormons, nor do I consider them subhuman, inferior or dumb. I do think that they have bought into a set of silly beliefs that are deeply at variance with the real world (which they are free to do, of course) and then they insist on building voting blocks based on these silly beliefs (which I will oppose as well as I can).
    I have prejudices. I wish I didn’t. When I find myself thinking that a given group of prople is inferior due to something innate, I make an effort to bring myself up short, and feel shame at those bigoted knee-jerk reactions.
    What I do not do is pretend that those feelings come from a perfect, all-knowing worthy authority. I do not tell myself that certain people are inferior because god tells me that they are.
    People who have prejudices and are proud of them – that’s what disgusts me.

  680. #681 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    False hope? It’s all a matter of opinion, belief and faith. You can see that, right? You’re essentially telling me that my own intuition and the way I see the world is incorrect because.. you believe it to be so. You do see total failure in your logic, right?

    I’m telling you there is exactly zero evidence that god is going to do anything for these people and you telling them that he will is giving them false hope. I’m telling you they way you see the world is fine and dandy for you but there is no reason to believe that it has any basis in reality when concerning supernatural events or beings.

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of my point, my religion, and my God. I’d explain, but somehow I don’t think you’d listen.

    You have a fundamental desire to prop your religion up as truth despite there being nothing that actually does that. If you’re telling a malaria stricken woman that god will be there for her, that rings awfully hollow if you happen to join reality and realize that he has forgotten her so far. And the arrogance it takes to believe that speaking to a couple of well meaning but useful pawns for their church is going to change that for her is pretty damn astounding. You’d be doing her a world more of good if you took her to get treated for her malaria and left the proselytizing alone.

  681. #682 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 23, 2009

    Nope, Bravestarr your the one who don’t see the point. We’ve explain plenty of times up thread that spreading this God of yours is false as he doesn’t exist. It’s false hope because you are telling people to rely on something that doesn’t exist and clearly doesn’t care. The point I made was that I hate it when people claim they do charity because it’s God’s will. Basically, you’re only doing because someone is telling you to do it.

    I’m not confusing anything. You are. I am the sum total of my experiences and my environment, and my religion is a fundamental part of both. Dismissing my religion as garbage is dismissing me as garbage

    Your one anecdote doesn’t out way the info provided about the evils of your church. If you feel offended, you should it’s your belief. But that in no way means we’ll stop criticising your evil cult. Like Raven said, believe that the gays are evil all you want. But you’ve no rights to make that a law and tell the rest of us to discrimate againts gays.

  682. #683 Celtic_Evolution
    December 23, 2009

    No, you’re an asshole for calling all Mormon missionaries liars and dismissing something you don’t remotely understand, something a great many people find meaningful and imporant, as garbage. That’s practically the definition of “asshole.”

    Actually, assuming anything about what people you’ve never met and know nothing about understand makes you the bigger asshole, dude… you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. Do you have any idea how many ex-mormons and religious historians there are on this site, in this thread alone?

    I could give a rat’s ass how fucking “meaningful and important” anyone finds the bullshit you spout, a meaningful lie is still a lie. Just about everything Joseph Smith put forth was a lie… and an obvious lie now that we have the ability to actually look into the claims he made. It’s abjectly silly. Reading “The Secret” may give some a sense of comfort and meaning, it’s still fucking bullshit fiction.

    Your beliefs get no special accord…

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of my point, my religion, and my God. I’d explain, but somehow I don’t think you’d listen.

    Mysterious ways, blah blah blah… that’s a hand-waving non-answer… and you wonder why your beliefs are ridiculed. Just answer, asshole… why would your god randomly choose certain people to heal while leaving millions of others to suffer needlessly, apparently? You won’t even attempt to answer that question with any intellectual honesty and you know it.

    Dismissing my religion as garbage is dismissing me as garbage.

    If you are unable to separate the two or even contemplate how you could be as good a person without it, then yup… you got it.

    Thumbing your nose at my experiences, missionary and otherwise, is thumbing your nose at who I am. I happen to like who I am.

    Good for you… as long as you keep the religious part of it to yourself, you’ll have no problems with me… and I can’t speak for you, but your mormon religion isn’t content to do that, so fuck your religion, and fuck you for coming in here and needlessly defending it like you were being personally attacked. Fuck off already.

  683. #684 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr
    OK – Look. Most of the other posts in this thread espouse individual opinions of right and wrong and I can understand how your opinions can be so different from others. Not a problem.
    But you said that you knew of some way to see into the future. This isn’t an opinion or a belief. It either is or is not a scientific fact.

    Please help me understand what you mean.

  684. #685 bravestarr
    December 23, 2009

    bravestarr why does the LDS church also send their good little brainwashed soldiers out to my upper middle class neighborhood? Couldn’t they be doing better work elsewhere?

    If you had all the mormon funding from prop 8… how many malaria tablets could you buy?

    They do work elsewhere. They also believe that spreading their religion is of fundamental importance. Who are you to tell them otherwise?

    Ah, playing the your a bigot for calling us a bigot card. You may be moderate in social and political issues, but that is not how your church doctrines thinks. Furthermore, criticizing the foundations of your religion is not bigoted. There is legitimate concern over it and the evils that it has brought up.

    The church by and large stays out of political issues. Mormons are expressly told not to listen to anyone in the church who pushes them in a certain direction. Several Mormon leaders are Democrats.

    Who’s criticizing the foundations of my religion? I’m not seeing that. I’m seeing vitriol spewed at everything in range. I’m not seeing intelligent discussion of supposed “evils.” I’m seeing a lot of words like “brainwashing” and “bigotry” being carelessly thrown around without anything to support them. This is a large echo chamber, and it’s easy to get away with it.

    On the star Kolob possibly but not in this reality. Could you get me an example and BTW I have been a Mormon elder for about 50 Years now.

    “This” reality? I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking for. An example of physical properties that would allow for someone to “see” into the future? Um, ok: light.

    I’m sorry, but your personal anecdotes about how you live your mormon life do not impress me as representative of mormonism as a whole. What you describe, while commendable, is not what we have seen from Mormons (see James for example), nor what we know to be the teachings of the Mormon church… and before you even think about questioning our knowledge of what is taught by the mormon church, you’d better spend several hours reading through the hundreds of comment s put forth on the subject by very knowledgeable people w.r.t. the mormon church.

    Fine. Believe what you want to believe. I’ll believe what I believe based upon having been in and around the heart of Mormonism my entire life. My personal anecdotes may not be representative of the reality you inhabit in which your confirmation bias leads you to the conclusion you have, in fact, already come to. I’m not going to try to convince you of anything. It’s a waste of my time and your time.

    No they do NOT have the fucking right to try to force anything upon the rest of society based solely on their religiously derived morals… and if you were reading, you’d know that is the argument…

    Forcing what now? Mormons aren’t trying to force anything. Issue isn?t black and white. This isn?t about denying gay people anything, or forcing anything, it?s about denying couples something. The question is what is that ?something.? Is it a right guaranteed us by the Constitution, or is it a benefit extended to us by the government?

    There is no clear cut answer here, sorry to say. It depends on your interpretation of precedent court cases (Loving v. Virginia, for instance) as well as the Constitution and the relevant Amendments. Depending on how you phrase and approach the question, marriage is one or the other. If it is a benefit, then there is nothing morally, legally or Constitutionally objectionable about the refusal to extend a benefit to gay couples that has been, in our society, predicated on opposite-sex unions of two people?-same as how we don?t legally marry one man to more than one woman at a time.

    If we take marriage to be a right, then the government?s refusal to grant it to gay couples is unconstitutional on the same grounds as Loving v. Virginia (interracial couples).

    So, for example, if it?s not a right but a benefit, the government doesn?t have to deny permission for couples to get married, it simply has to refuse to recognize them because the benefits are not extended. The fact is that while the Supreme Court has upheld the right of all people to get married, there is absolutely no constitutional compulsion for the government to recognize all marriages and extend the accompanying benefits.

    At any rate, religious groups like the LDS Church have every right and reason to attempt to block the legal recognition of gay marriages?-they believe homosexual activity to be immoral, and to allow gay marriage is a blanket sanction of homosexual activity?hence, a legitimate, moral objection. whether or not it has a legal basis, again, depends on the questions above. So while you may disagree with the LDS Church’s stance on the issue, they are well within their rights. To say otherwise is to betray a total lack of understanding when it comes to how these things work in our country.

  685. #686 pixelfish
    December 23, 2009

    Bravestarr: Since you weren’t here before to share YOUR experience, maybe you could have taken two seconds to rub some braincells together to figure out that people were talking about OTHER people’s mission experiences. And many OTHER people have had the experience of going out, trying to gain a testimony while on their mission, having a horrible time, and coming home to family and social pressures that demand they put a bright shiny face on it. Just because you haven’t experienced it personally doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.


    For everyone else:
    That said, how did I leave the mission out of my post on the systemic indoctrination that pervades Mormon culture?

    Mormon youth (mainly the guys) are encouraged to serve missions from the time they turn 19. The message from the leaders of the church is that EVERY WORTHY young man should go. I say, “encouraged” but once again, this may very well determine a lot of your social capital and especially your dating life as a Mormon. I know of girls at WhyBeYou who wouldn’t date anybody but return missionaries (or RMs as we called ‘em). They developed “tests” to see if a guy was wearing Gs, a sign that he’d probably been on a mission. They’d check for the “celestial smile” –the line of the neck of the garments sometimes is visible faintly through dress shirts. Or they’d pat the guys on their upper arms, trying to unobtrusively see if they were wearing the Gs.

    The mission is the key to dating most of the girls in the culture–we’ve been trained from birth that “You marry who you date, so only date people you would marry.” And of course, we’re told to only seriously date guys who have served missions and hold the priesthood.

    On top of that, going on a mission is one of the checkmarks in the average Mormon’s recipe-driven life. Got your Eagle Scout Award? Check? Alright, young man, next up: mission! We sing songs in primary about how we want to be a missionary, when we have grown a foot or two, we hope we will be ready to preach and teach and work like missionaries do! There are big farewell parties and big homecoming parties that the entire ward (congregation) often attends, so that everybody can see the visible rewards and approbation that attend making this choice. Nevermind that if you don’t have a testimony or something holds you up from the hoop-jumping you gotta do, it’s going to be VERY visible to everybody in the ward too.

    Boys who have reached 19 but haven’t turned in their papers are subject to a lot of scrutiny. I’ve heard of parents or relatives that will try to soft-bribe their kids into going on missions to maintain the perfect Mormon family record. You can expect questions about your medical history (if people are polite and optimistic) or insinuations about your potential sexual misdemeanors (if people are cynical and snoopy).

    So you have parental pressure, family pressure, community pressure, and hormone pressure. And you’re 19. Some people may know who they are at 19 but a lot of people sure don’t. And there is a sort of attitude common to bishops and many folk where they will encourage the young man to go even if he doesn’t have a testimony, because surely this act of faith will cause one to sprout. (Usually not though. Oftentimes, it causes stress, mental breakdowns, and acting-out.) I know my brother (in a rare display of honesty for church meetings) admitted in his homecoming talk that he wasn’t always sure he was feeling the Spirit. Another friend of mine went on his mission, and then tried to run away. He was turned back at the Canadian border and returned to his mission president, who gave him a talking to and convinced him to stay–much to his detriment later. (The full story behind Bill’s mission is MUCH too extensive, but it is also kind of hilarious and sad at the same time, and well worth a listen to: http://www.shunn.net/podcast/terror.cgi He’s documented the full epic story of how he got kicked out of Canada on his mission and podcasted it. He also goes into detail about the mission experience and dubious PR practises of the LDS leaders.)

    Anyway, if and when you succumb to the indoctrination and peer pressure, you are interviewed by your bishop and stake president. You send in your papers, and eventually you get an assignment. You will go through the temple to receive your endowment and then you will be “set apart” as a missionary, from which point you must follow ALL the rules expected of missionaries. Then you report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah for your training. Domestic or English-speaking missionaries usually have about two weeks of training, while foreign-language have up to two months, while they learn all the lessons in their mission’s language.

    Missionaries are expected to rise early (usually by six or seven–I don’t know the exact rules). They can never, with the exception of using the bathroom, leave their companion alone. They can not be alone with members of the opposite sex. They have to follow all the regular rules about diet. They must wear their garments at all times. They should refrain from calling home. They aren’t supposed to masturbate–can be grounds for being sent home, although usually the mission president just rolls his eyes and counsels the young man to repent. (Sins are self-reported, but masturbation is the most common reason a missionary will be sent home from the MTC. Once they are out “in the field” rules seem to be more winked at, because the mission president doesn’t always have the logistical resources to deal with every missionary who slips up.)

    The missionary spends all his days reading the scriptures. His media access is supposed to be prohibited during this time–no movies, no TV, etc. When i left the church, missionaries weren’t supposed to use the internet either, and I don’t know if that’s changed.

    It used to be that missionaries would pound the pavement and collar people on the street, but it seems even the LDS church is getting wise to the fact that those tactics annoy more people than they get. So now many missionaries act on referrals from various church media and member campaigns. Part of their new duties include member reactivation–as I know all too well, since they kept showing up at my door until I told them my male roommate was gay. (True. Also true: Mormon missionaries are discouraged from teaching gay men, probably because they think the boys are more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks during their missions.)

    You’ll notice I’ve been using the male pronoun throughout this, and you may be wondering about the sister missionaries one occasionally bumps into. Well, the fact of the matter is that girls aren’t eligible for missions until age 21, unlike the boy’s age 19. This is ostensibly so we have time to get married off, which is our primary purpose according to the church. If for whatever reason, we haven’t snagged ourselves a man, we are reluctantly allowed to apply as missionaries. (And they STILL will try to discourage you.) Women also only serve a year and a half instead of the full two years men serve. (My mother was an exception to this, as she was a sister missionary under a short-lived program in the late 60s/early 70s where they let women serve two years.)

    Anyway, many missionaries have a hard time readjusting to “regular” society when they come back. After two years of having your every move scheduled and overseen, it’s a bit weird. Factor in the whole “fake it til you make it” mentality and some are suffering from severe cog dis, but trying to convince themselves that it was the greatest two years of their lives–two years they will certainly never get back.

    (This is not to say that some don’t have a wonderful time, but those who were sorta shoved into because of family and societal pressures rarely fall in that category.)

    If you DON’T go on a mission, and you are a guy, you can expect a lot of judgement and maybe some ostracism. Older relatives may take you aside and sternly lecture you on whatever they think is keeping you from fulfilling your duty to God. And for the rest of your mormony life, you will have well-meaning idiots ask where you went on your mission. It’s one of those icebreaker questions in Mormonland.

    And in the end, when the unbelief and evidence piles up, you may find yourself bemoaning two years spent trying to encourage other people to believe in a repressive system.

  686. #687 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr
    “This” reality? I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking for. An example of physical properties that would allow for someone to “see” into the future? Um, ok: light.

    Well in fact I do know what I’m talking about. Since light is what you sense when a photon of electromagnetic energy strikes your eye, a photon that may have been emitted by a star millions of years AGO (as in the past) how will that help you see into the FUTURE?

  687. #688 destlund
    December 23, 2009

    I know and work with gay people and I sympathize with their position. At the same time, I recognize the LDS Church’s position as one of moral imperative: they believe homosexual behavior to be immoral, and allowing gay marriage is sanctioning homosexual behavior. They oppose it on moral grounds, which they have every right to do.

    That’s a pretty astounding piece of doublethink you’ve acheived there. It often takes a great deal of institutional effort to shoehorn such beliefs into an institution’s adherents. I like how in the first sentence you accept that they are gay, that it’s a defining characteristic, and in the rest of it you (or rather your church) attack(s) their deviant “behavior.” Fuck you and the cognitive dissonance you rode in on.

    Just like the LDS Church believes pre- or extra-marital sexual relations of any kind to be immoral.

    Oh, is that why your church spent millions to revoke the right of gays to marry? To put them back in their immoral box? I refer to the comment above, substituting hypocrisy for cognitive dissonance.

  688. #689 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 23, 2009

    Who’s criticizing the foundations of my religion? I’m not seeing that. I’m seeing vitriol spewed at everything in range. I’m not seeing intelligent discussion of supposed “evils.” I’m seeing a lot of words like “brainwashing” and “bigotry” being carelessly thrown around without anything to support them. This is a large echo chamber, and it’s easy to get away with it.

    If you think we’re an ecochamber you’re sadly mistaken. Fuck hell, people on here disagree with each other all the time. Furthermore, I’ve only come to this conclusion recently, before that you were no different to me than any other denomination.

    You’re being a hypocrite calling us bigots. You clearly haven’t read any of the evidence that we supplied about the evils of your church.

    And yes, gay marriage is civil right. Every heterosexual has that right to marry but not gays. And they are only denied on the basis of religious bigotry and that’s discrimination. And yes your cult can oppose it all we want. And we’ll call them bigoted and evil. Criticism in not a stifling of free speech. However, you’re pushing that belief on other folks and that’s not cool.

  689. #690 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr
    Focus sir focus.

    Since the title of this thread is ‘Mormon Prophecies’ and I say no one can see the future and you say they can the thread can be resolved by a simple example of ‘view into the future’

  690. #691 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    They do work elsewhere. They also believe that spreading their religion is of fundamental importance. Who are you to tell them otherwise?

    Who said anything about telling, I asked you why?

    The church by and large stays out of political issues. Mormons are expressly told not to listen to anyone in the church who pushes them in a certain direction. Several Mormon leaders are Democrats.

    And?

    Who’s criticizing the foundations of my religion? I’m not seeing that. I’m seeing vitriol spewed at everything in range. I’m not seeing intelligent discussion of supposed “evils.” I’m seeing a lot of words like “brainwashing” and “bigotry” being carelessly thrown around without anything to support them. This is a large echo chamber, and it’s easy to get away with it.

    Read up thread. Pay attention to Divine Revelation.

    Forcing what now? Mormons aren’t trying to force anything. Issue isn?t black and white. This isn?t about denying gay people anything, or forcing anything,

    it?s about denying couples something.

    The question is what is that ?something.? Is it a right guaranteed us by the Constitution, or is it a benefit extended to us by the government?

    Did you really type that out, look at it, then think it was a coherent argument that makes your side look good?

    At any rate, religious groups like the LDS Church have every right and reason to attempt to block the legal recognition of gay marriages?-they believe homosexual activity to be immoral, and to allow gay marriage is a blanket sanction of homosexual activity?hence, a legitimate, moral objection

    Only if the church wants to risk their 5013c status. Something that has happened before in 1978 but suddenly by surprise a divine revelation said it was ok to allow blacks to be ordained. How convenient.

    An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

    Maybe it is YOU who are betraying a total lack of understanding when it comes to how these things work in our country.

  691. #692 Celtic_Evolution
    December 23, 2009

    At any rate, religious groups like the LDS Church have every right and reason to attempt to block the legal recognition of gay marriages?-they believe homosexual activity to be immoral, and to allow gay marriage is a blanket sanction of homosexual activity?hence, a legitimate, moral objection. whether or not it has a legal basis, again, depends on the questions above. So while you may disagree with the LDS Church’s stance on the issue, they are well within their rights. To say otherwise is to betray a total lack of understanding when it comes to how these things work in our country.

    As long as you keep insisting that religiously defined morality has anything to do with legality, you will continue to remain a birdseed-headed moron… you can have a legitimate moral objection to anything you want… it does not follow then that you have the right to legislate it as law. And that you think that is the way our country works is exactly why we hate your fucking religion and exactly why we will continue to rail against people like you, who believe that this country is, and should be, legislated according to their personal religiously-driven morality.

    It absolutely does NOT work that fucking way and I will expend my last dying breath fighting against assholes like you and the rest of the religious fuckwits in this country that think it does and are actively lobbying to turn this nation into a theocracy. So again I say to you and your religion… fuck right off.

  692. #693 articulett
    December 23, 2009

    It must suck thinking that your salvation hinges on believing a crazy story.

    Bravestarr, there is only one truth, and you don’t seem to have it any more than a Scientologist does. There is no more evidence for your magic story than there is for theirs. In fact, the evidence points to them both being equally delusional… equally on par with the myths you reject as well. So why should we treat you differently than you would treat a Scientologist inflicting themselves on you? (Say, a good clearing can get rid of those nasty engrams which are making you so bitter.)

    Reality doesn’t really care what you believe,bravestarr, though it is interesting to see the lies you tell yourself so you can feel humble and righteous and deserving of everlasting goodies– maybe even your own planet and multiple spirit wives to fuck! Yee Haw. And all you had to do was exactly what you don’t want the Scientologists, Moonies, and Jehovah Witnesses doing to you or the ones you love. No one here sees you as the hero you imagine yourself to be. It’s the honest folk that are my heroes, not the delusional, arrogant, and self-righteous. Shame on YOU for trying to manipulate the feelings of others here the way your church has manipulated you. That stuff only works on the brainwashed, you know? It’s fascinating that it’s worked so well on you, but it’s completely useless here.

    The world would be much happier if people kept their religions as private as they kept their fetishes and bowel habits. I prefer to think of people as rational,and it’s impossible when they wear their embarrassing magical thinking on their sleeve.

    Consider that do-unto-others thingie? Don’t you think the world would be a much better place if you didn’t ask for respect and privileges that you wouldn’t want to grant to Scientologists or other people of conflicting faiths? I can’t help but think that the world would be a much better place if religionists were as private with their supernatural beliefs as they want all those other wacky cults to be!

    I see no reason to give one brand of superstition any more deference than any other. There is only one truth, and so far, the scientific method is the only proven method for illuminating that truth.

  693. #694 pixelfish
    December 23, 2009

    BTW, as an ex-Mormon in this thread, many of us (I won’t speak for all of us) prefer the term ex-Mormon to the loaded anti-Mormon. Many of us have family who are still Mormon and we love them dearly and wish they could deal with their cog dis, but realise this may not occur.

    The term anti-Mormon is used by the church to divide those who don’t believe from those who do. They also tend to reinforce the “anti-Mormon” stereotypes by saying that people only leave the church because A) they have sinned and want to keep on sinning (ie, drinking, sex, whatevs) B) they were offended by a fallible mortal member of the church C) they are weak and led astray by anti-Mormon literature or D) peer pressure. (They are now including the Internet in the list of reasons, I see from a quick googling.)

    Do you see a big fat glaring omission in this list?

    ‘Cause I do.

    Belief.

    There’s no room in the Mormon cultural paradigm for a good devout Mormon to leave because they don’t believe in the church teachings, or because they believe the church is an oppressive institution. There is no room in their world for me to exist: the obedient, never-smoking, never-drinking*, abstinent, scripture-reading, church-camp-going, Young Women’s volunteering, little nerd that I was. I wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t leave the church because I wasn’t going to church or wasn’t reading the scriptures or because I wanted to sin. In fact, reading the scriptures REPEATEDLY and reading the Ensign and reading all kinds of church material kept opening up little fissures in my strata of belief.

    And when I said to my family and friends, “Hey, guys, I don’t believe,” I got all kinds of crap about how I shouldn’t be offended or how this was just a phase. I particularly loved the bit about how I must be rebelling at long last–nope, can’t give me credit for having a thought in my head, I must be reflexively rebelling against my culture.

    (Incidentally, when I did leave, I didn’t even ramp up the “sin”. I started drinking at the age of 25–approximately four years after my first statement of disbelief–and while my Mormon mother is convinced I’m an alcoholic, all my non-Mo friends laugh at the one drink or so I have every few months. Of course, they were also convinced that blue hair = slipper slope to sex and drugs. Nope, when I left the church, after my year at Ricks College, I was a non-smoking, non-drinking, speed-limit obeying virgin with scripture chase certificates in her scrapbook of doom.)

  694. #695 DJSutton
    December 23, 2009

    [quote]At any rate, religious groups like the LDS Church have every right and reason to attempt to block the legal recognition of gay marriages?-they believe homosexual activity to be immoral, and to allow gay marriage is a blanket sanction of homosexual activity?hence, a legitimate, moral objection. whether or not it has a legal basis, again, depends on the questions above. So while you may disagree with the LDS Church’s stance on the issue, they are well within their rights. To say otherwise is to betray a total lack of understanding when it comes to how these things work in our country.[/quote]

    Thank you for having the courage to admit that the belief that homosexuality is immoral lies within your religious beliefs. Fortunately, a particular religions beliefs about morality are completely irrelevant to legislation, particularly legislation about rights and privileges of a minority group. I’ll repeat that. Your religious beliefs are irrelevant. You have the right to belief them. You do not have the right to legislate them. And what about the religions that do acknowledge same sex couples? Wicca, for instance, has absolutely no qualms with this. Would you restrict their religious rights to conduct same sex marriage? Second easy mistake to make is that “Murder is illegal, and that’s based on religion.” No, it’s not actually based on religion. It’s an antisocial activity that if not regulated, causes severe harm to the society. Because of this, every society has had regulations on when you can murder and when you can’t, and this has been reflected in the various religions. Homosexuality is not antisocial. It does not cause harm to anyone. In fact, pretending to be straight when you’re not can cause severe psychological harm. So, really, oppressing homosexuality, even if it’s inspired by your religion, does cause societal harm. Furthermore, the entirely artificial, economic social construct of marriage provides very real social benefits, and extending these benefits to same sex couples provides those same benefits. And if you’re worried about teh HIV (which, if you’re not up on the memo, is in no way unique to homosexual males), consider the beneficial effects of giving these people a socially sanctioned route to monogamous life pairs.
    This is not a radical new experiment, many countries have already granted it, and with great success. Just try it, I guarantee that in a few years you won’t even notice, any more than you notice the absence of Jim Crow laws.

  695. #696 Kevin from Utah
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr
    Dismissing my religion as garbage is dismissing me as garbage.

    Ouch! Seriously, you need to be your own separate person from the LDS church. But, I understand how you’re indoctrinated to be in lockstep with the Brethren. I remember my dad being very proud of the fact that he could change his mind on a dime on any given doctrinal subject if he found out that the Prophet held a different opinion. No need to dig any deeper than the famous line, “Once the Prophet has spoken, the thinking has been done.”

    BTW, I just want to add that my mission was the worst two years of my life. Hated every moment. Funny how no missionary ever says that when he/she gets home. They all have to spout the obligatory “(choking back a sob)…It was the best two years of my life…”

    @everyone else:

    Love this thread! Very entertaining. I know that bravestarr would probably like to distance the likes of James from the so-called “mainstream” LDS culture. But, unfortunately, James IS representative of the mainstream, active LDS. Those Latter-day Saints who are more in-line with mainstream America are the ones who are completely inactive or have gotten out completely.

    @James:

    James, we need more people like you. You are the best anti-missionary any of us could hope to be. I applaud your efforts in enlightening potential converts on the realities of LDS thought and biases. I believe that much of the decline in the church’s growth can be attributed directly to people like you. Keep up the good work, my friend! :o)

  696. #697 JamesBrown
    December 23, 2009

    @bravestarr
    I hope you haven’t left the thread without telling us what you know to be true about seeing the future. Your entire religion is predicated on this ability as are all other religions. In fact the very name LATTER day saints tells us that you know when the latter days are going to start.
    So please stay with me on this one. Ignore all the other posters until we get this very important concept settled.

    How can you (or anyone else) see the future?

  697. #698 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 23, 2009

    The term anti-Mormon is used by the church to divide those who don’t believe from those who do. They also tend to reinforce the “anti-Mormon” stereotypes by saying that people only leave the church because A) they have sinned and want to keep on sinning (ie, drinking, sex, whatevs) B) they were offended by a fallible mortal member of the church C) they are weak and led astray by anti-Mormon literature or D) peer pressure. (They are now including the Internet in the list of reasons, I see from a quick googling.)

    Sounds a lot like Scientology.

  698. #699 Richard Eis
    December 23, 2009

    BraveStarr, you made at least more of an attempt than “James” to address the gay thing.

    but….

    You removed access to government and legal rights from people because you find their bedroom antics “icky”. Well, no thats not quite right. You did it because the people above you told you it was icky and you went along with it. Even though you probably don’t believe it yourself.

    That was unconstitutional. Majority should NEVER…EVER remove rights from a minority by voting. That is DEEPLY unamerican. There is also the matter of your churches involvement in government business which is not allowed because of your tax exempt status.

    It is also the height of hypocrisy to slam gay marriage by saying one man one woman when you know full well that several church leaders in the past took multiple wives.

    You are the 5th person to talk to me about their time as a missionary. The other 4 loathed it and it was a contributing factor in their leaving the church. 5/1 against is not good odds. So excuse me if i keep my opinion that missionaries don’t exactly save many souls.

  699. #700 pixelfish
    December 23, 2009

    I’m seeing a lot of words like “brainwashing” and “bigotry” being carelessly thrown around without anything to support them.

    Firstly, I have a post in this very thread detailing the control the LDS church exerts over its members in their daily lives. (194, I think it was.) This knowledge was derived from my own experiences as a wee little Mormon in Happy Valley. (Utah Valley to the outsiders) in the 80s and 90s.)

    Secondly, this is not the first such thread on Pharyngula in which Mormon culture, doctrine, and beliefs are discussed and dissected. Lynna, Red John, Kenbo and many others have contributed from their stores of knowledge and personal experience. Adding to this, each of us has spent time in ex-Mormon communities and has a fund of both anecdotal experiences, as well as numerous links and resources which we’ve shared with our curious friends here.

    Thirdly, some people here have been on the receiving end of Mormon policy when it translates to bigotry in real life. Recent LDS intervention in the Prop 8 race has actually impacted the lives of people that you don’t even think about.

  700. #701 blf
    December 23, 2009

    There are physical realities that allow for the “seeing” of events which, to us, have not yet occurred. That’s science, not religion.

    Well, if a star a million lightyears away exploded a million years ago, well, yes, we would only be seeing it now (and without the use of scary quotes). But I rather doubt that’s what’s meant; could you please elucidate?

  701. #702 bravestarr
    December 23, 2009

    It’s all a lie. Everything you taught them about the church was a whitewashed version that only vaguely resembles the truth, if at all.

    What, because you’ve done the reading into the histories and the journals and the records? Guess what? So have I.

    I’m not sure what happened with your little “miracle” there, but whatever it was, it wasn’t the supernatural. I know you’ll never believe that though. That you think your god is “good” because he deigned to “heal” one woman out of millions is just inane. If your god actually existed, he’d be the biggest fucking asshole ever.

    I never said it was a miracle. I brought it up to illustrate the genuine nature of many experiences you hear. I don’t know if she got up to walk under her own power or if it was something else. I’m inclined to believe the former. But again, that’s not the point. You can believe whatever you want about my God. I don’t really care.

    As one who went on a Mormon mission myself, let me say it was one of the most useless, pointless, soul-crushing (if such a thing existed) experiences of my life. You go door to door selling false hope at the price of 10% of their income, their social standing, their freedom of choice, their reasoning abilities, and ridiculous amounts of time. I’ll admit I was brainwashed into (mostly) believing the lies, but I, unlike you, woke up from the delusion.

    Your mission experiences were yours, not mine. Go ahead and think I have no freedom of choice, or that I’m brainwashed and that I haven’t woken up. You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know anything about my mission. I don’t mind you pretending that you know what I’m “going through” and that you’ve “been there,” as though you’ve moved onto bigger and better things. If that makes you feel good, I’m happy to let you say or think anything you want. Just remember, your perceptions aren’t any more valid than mine simply because you have them.

    Your self-righteous outrage is just ridiculous. The Mormon inability to accept any sort of critique or less than glowing adoration is indicative of the weakness of your position.

    I can field honest criticisms. That’s not where my outrage came from. My self-righteous outrage came from self-righteous hatred on the part of those here and my reaction was entirely reasonable.

    Just because your beliefs are sacred to you doesn’t mean I have to respect them when they are so incredibly obviously full of shit.

    I didn’t say you had to respect them, I said you should be ashamed for using the same tactics to denigrate them that you hulk-rage about when other people use them against groups your liberal sensibilities think need to be protected. Hypocritical, condescending and patronizing. That’s what I get tired of.

    I notice you fail to say that the LDS church is wrong about homosexual behavior being immoral.

    Wrong according to who? According to whose morals? Who’s the authority here?

    Don’t persecute other people and then claim persecution. The fundies have that one copyrighted.

    I didn’t claim persecution. I said your attitude is the type that leads to persecution. Not necessarily against Mormons, just against those who you disagree with. And then you admit to being a bigot towards those who you disagree with in this instance (Mormons). At least you’re being honest.

    Don’t insult, oppress, and discriminate against pagans and they wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what your cult does to its members.

    I’m not. Mormons aren’t. Your assertion that Mormons “create” anti-Mormons holds about as much water as saying evolutionists “create” creationists. Your prejudices are your own, and what you choose to direct them towards is your choice.

    I say you and your entire religion is based on the idea (hope) that someone in your church can see into the future.

    Not true. Anyway, I have far too much to keep up with right now to discuss this. Maybe later.

    And if I believe, on moral grounds, that women should remain silent in public, will you support my efforts at legistation?

    I’d absolutely recognize your right to think what you want to think, even if I completely disagree with it. Unfortunately, you’d get nowhere. Supporting legislation is a COMPLETELY different question from supporting someone’s right to think what they want to think. You’re all convinced the LDS Church and its members can’t think what they want to think, that they should be disbarred from having thought or opinions that differ from yours.

    Translation: my group of people are just as hypocritical as other people – they’re no better.

    Absolutely, and I agree with you. People, in general, are selfish, short-sighted and hypocritical. Mormons are certainly no exception.

    I do think that they have bought into a set of silly beliefs that are deeply at variance with the real world (which they are free to do, of course) and then they insist on building voting blocks based on these silly beliefs (which I will oppose as well as I can).

    Fair, and you have every right to do so. But to act as though there’s some issue of legality in the Church’s tactics or position is absolutely ridiculous.

    What I do not do is pretend that those feelings come from a perfect, all-knowing worthy authority. I do not tell myself that certain people are inferior because god tells me that they are.

    That’s fine. I’ve gone through hell and back from others and from myself about my beliefs in God and my religion. You can believe that I am pretending all you like, and I will continue to believe that God is there and nobody gets hurt. But to imply that I think certain people are inferior because God tells me? No. That’s not how it works.

    I’m telling you there is exactly zero evidence that god is going to do anything for these people and you telling them that he will is giving them false hope.

    You’re telling me? As though you were there and you know? And you’ve established a criteria for what constitutes “evidence?” You’re joking, right?

    I’m telling you they way you see the world is fine and dandy for you but there is no reason to believe that it has any basis in reality when concerning supernatural events or beings.

    Actually, Mormons believe God is anything but supernatural. That’s why we’re not considered Christians by other religions. Mormons also believe miracles to be simply applications of natural laws that we do not fully understand–you know, like the ones that science discovers and plays with every day.

    And the arrogance it takes to believe that speaking to a couple of well meaning but useful pawns for their church is going to change that for her is pretty damn astounding. You’d be doing her a world more of good if you took her to get treated for her malaria and left the proselytizing alone.

    You are joking! I knew it! You call me out for my arrogance for telling a woman that I believe God is there for her, with the implication being that you know better! That you’d tell her, what, that God (probably) ISN’T there? Or just stay out of it, because you don’t want to get involved? You’re making a choice! Either you’re arrogantly telling her the opposite of what I have, or you’re choosing to leave it alone. If you leave it alone, what if you turn out to be wrong? Or what if a false hope based upon your false belief gives her enough strength to make it through the day? You’re criticizing me for something you have barely even thought through.

    Oh, and since you don’t seem to have read the entire story, I didn’t attempt to convert either one of them. Like I said, they never even knew what church we were from.

  702. #703 Stu D.