Posted by: brian | November 10, 2008

Church? Lies? No way!

Church told ‘obvious lies,’ gay activists allege.

This story deals with the Mormon Church’s support of California’s Prop 8, which banned gay marriage. I think they provided something like 70% of the funds to promote the proposition leading up to the election, so I think it’s fair to say that the Mormon Church, as an organization, had a large part in ensuring its passage.

What I don’t get is why it would be surprising that a church would tell “obvious lies.” Isn’t that basically what churches are all about? There’s an invisible magic man in the sky, and he is omnipotent, but never intervenes in our daily lives. And he took the form of a swan and impregnated the wife of the King of Sparta. And there was something about aliens coming to Earth millions (or billions?) of years ago to trap our souls in volcanoes or some crap?

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Responses

  1. Say for the sake of argument that there is no God. It would still not be a lie for someone who believes in God to say there is one, anymore than it would be a lie for a baby having trouble learning their alphabet to say that F comes after D. It is malicious misrepresentation to say that it’s a “lie”.

    Perhaps Leo Strauss can be accused of such lying, but I suspect most people who represent Churches probably do still believe in God.
    I say most, because there are undoubtedly some that don’t (not all of whom even lie about it, those crazy Anglicans!).

  2. For now I’ll set aside reactions to your conflation of a system that began as a notion that people should be nice to each other with a scam that has its source in a megalomaniacal sci-fi drug freakout, and just point out this article:
    Holocaust survivors to Mormons: Stop baptisms of dead Jews

  3. First: Call it what you will – lies, willful ignorance, the gullible leading the stupid. A rose by any other name would something something.
    Second: It’s my blog, and I’ll conflate if I want to, conflate if I want to, conflate if I want to… You would conflate too if it happened to you!
    Third: I enjoy an irrational rant as much as I enjoy anything, so while I recognize that the argument doesn’t stand up to logic, I insist on my right to maliciously misrepresent any organization that maliciously misrepresents me (either directly or implicitly).

    Religion had its place in our social evolution, but it’s time to set aside silly notions about magic and be nice to each other because it’s the right thing to do, not because some invisible dude is going to punish you (but only after you’re dead, so nobody can really provide concrete evidence to his existence or the punishment/reward).

  4. Actually, come to think of it, that whole “be nice to each other” bit doesn’t seem to play much of a role in the large-scale practice of religion these days either. Sure, most individuals are nice to each other, but that part of the doctrine seems to have gotten lost, or else is heavily qualified.

  5. DEAR UTAH

    My dear brothers and sisters of Utah, my name is Eric. I live in SLC and would like to ask you a favor. I grew up and was raised as a faithful member of the LDS church. I attended nursery, primary, served several leadership position in young mens, and was eventually married in the Salt Lake Temple. I’m struggling with an adjustable mortgage and the economy’s toll on my job. I am also bisexual.

    Many of my neighbors, and I’m sure many of you, felt confusion, and perhaps misapprehension at the massive protest around Temple Square pushing for “Gay Rights.” Please, I ask that you try to understand what’s going on, and why feelings and emotions are so high on this topic. What we are asking for is not a lessening of the value of traditional marriage. We are not asking for you to change your beliefs. We are not asking the LDS or any other church to change its doctrine. We are not even asking you to agree with our beliefs. What we are asking for, is the possibility of being equal citizens, of enjoying the same privileges and civil rights that everyone else has. We are asking that you believe with us that “We the people” means all of us.

    There has been a lot of discussion that if same sex marriage was legalized, a church could be sued if it refuses to perform the marriages, but that same concern existed during the civil rights movement, and that never happened.

    We don’t hate any church, and we love each and every one of our neighbors here in this great state. Please, recognize that we have the same feelings that you do. We want to be able to express our love for each other in the same way that husbands and wives everywhere do. America has come a long way in such a short time. We recognized that women are equal to men, that people of color are in no way lesser citizens. We recognized that there is nothing wrong with interracial marriage. But there are still steps to take, we haven’t perfected it yet!

    We have to come together, right now, as a common people; and say once and for all that we are all equal, that every human being in this beautiful world should enjoy the same rights as everyone else. That no one is better than his neighbors. Please, stand with us. Our rights are your rights.

    With all my love,
    Eric E.

    **Copies of this letter have been sent to all local SLC news outlets, as well as to President Monson of the LDS church. PLEASE!! Copy the link to this page down and share it with EVERYONE that you can think of. Together, we can work for a better tomorrow! The link is: http://ethingtoneric.wordpress.com/2008/11/08/dear-utah/

  6. I SAID, I’m setting aside my reactions re: the conflation for now.

    “…doesn’t seem to play much of a role in the large-scale practice of religion these days either.”

    Didn’t say it did! I said that *a* system had its *start* there. I paraphrase Douglas Adams.

    Hey Brain — Arbitrary’s cancelled….

  7. Hey now, I wasn’t putting words in your mouth. I was just going on the premise that defenders of religion often pull out the “Without religion we would all be savages, killing and raping each other and stuff.”

    And why did they have to cancel Arbitrary!? I was just about to get to it, and I’ve already paid the fees, and there’s a no-refund policy!

  8. Where is this idea that religion is supposed to teach people to “be nice to each other” coming from? Even Machievelli and his modern day immitators who recognise the socio-political value of religion regardless of it’s truth content never presumed the value of it was due to it making people “nice”.

  9. Go ask a random churchgoer to name one important aspect of religion and its function in society. Actually, go ask a hundred of them. Let me know how many do NOT assert some variation of the civilizing/morality-imposing role of religion (aka “do unto others”).

  10. Religion’s function is to provide a framework within which man communes with God.
    If all we wanted was civilisation and morality then philosophy would do ok (although it does have some serious limitations, but the common people wouldn’t worry themselves about that).


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