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Proposition 8 Aftermath: Does The Mormon Faith Court Controversy?

On one hand, the Mormon faith is known for a deep sense of family values, with a great sense of members helping each other when in need. And many Mormon members are known for their kindness as well as good works. Outgoing Oregon Senator Gordon Smith was known for his support for Food Stamps for the poor and other compassion in the U.s. Senate. And Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, is known for his support for many compassionate programs. And likely the two Udalls, both Democrats who have been elected to the Senate will continue in the same sense of compassion.

But the controversy over many Mormon conservatives supporting California's Proposition 8 with $22 million dollars in donations has shined an unwelcome spotlight on the right wing extremism of many members of the Mormon faith, as well as their controversial church teachings.


The fact of the matter is that during the early 1970's there were some experiments at Brigham Young University that sought homosexual volunteers to see if electroshock therapy could "cure" homosexuals of their sexual orientation, while others such as Kinsey and others had long accepted homosexuality as a common human sexual variation and most in the psychiatric community had abandoned beliefs that such behavior was a sign of mental illness.

There is also some criticism that the LDS faith seems to have a very repressed view of sexuality in general, that teaches among other things that normal adolescent behavior such as masturbation is sinful, and thereby may even encourage excessive guilt or even suicide among some members. Even in marriage, some LDS teachings believe that even oral sex among married persons is morally wrong, although there is no evidence from the Bible itself that married persons can sin by varied activity in their marriage bed. However there some others that will point out that the Roman Catholic faith as well as Islam, and a few other faiths often have embraced similar views on sexuality issues as well. What no doubt angered many in the Gay community was the efforts by some conservative Mormons to impose their own views on sexuality that are shaped by their religion on the general public by their support for opposition to Gay marriage, as officially the LDS church condemns all homosexual acts as sinful.

But while the Mormon faith has managed to anger those in the Gay community as well as their supporters for civil rights and civil liberties, it has most often been the strange teachings of the Mormon faith that have inspired attacks by others within the mainstream of the Christian faith.

Not everyone in the public understands that some strange and controversial teachings separate the Mormon faith from the mainstream of other Christian churches who generally share far more aspects in common. Most churches in Christendom share beliefs in a Trinity of God, or Baptism, or other aspects. However even in these areas the Mormon faiths takes on some strange departures from the mainstream of Christian beliefs.

While most Christians believe in the Bible only as the main authority for their faith, the Mormon faith believes in something known as THE BOOK OF MORMON, which it claims to be another testament of Jesus Christ. And it is here that some strange departures from mainstream Christian thought seem to develop.

The book of Mormon claims to be a history of some people from the Middle East that were of Hebrew background that emigrated to the United States region during a period of 2500BC until 600BC, despite a lack of archaeological evidence that Native American Indian tribes showed any evidence of such a Hebrew background or influence. If anything Native American religion had little in common with religion that developed in either the Mideast or Europe that believed in a God that resided from Heaven and acted as a creator. Native American religion tended to view the Earth as a creator of life, where there was a cycle of life, where even the dead complete the cycle of life because either their remains or ashes will eventually grow new life from the Earth. And there is not good evidence that Jesus Christ ever visited the Native Americans in the pre United States either as the Mormon faith also teaches.

Mormon teachings that Native american Indians were descendants of Hebrews from Jerusalem is also another unfounded Mormon belief. The fact of the matter is that the genetics of Native American Indians proves they are of an Asian background, and not Mideastern. Genetics is a definite science, and clearly disproves Mormon teachings such as this, while the Bible hasn't been proven to have scientific or archaeological mistakes by comparison. In fact the Bible gave a history of certain tribes from the Mideast that some in archaeology at one time doubted the existence of, however during Mid East excavations since the 1900's some of the most controversial histories of Mid Eastern tribes existence has been proven in the Mideast by archaeologists, while more and more evidence disproves more and more of the Mormon teachings by comparison.

Even those from the science of linguistics have discounted THE BOOK OF MORMON as merely a spiritual counterfeit document written by church founder Joseph Smith rather than being divinely inspired due to hundreds of grammatical errors that had to be corrected by later church scholars. Compared to the far better authority of the Bible which has held up to centuries of Jewish and Christian scholars scrutiny, THE BOOK OF MORMON, is a faulty document that seems to borrow heavily from two other books written by other authors in 1823 and 1925, before the 1830 publication of THE BOOK OF MORMON by Joseph Smith. Rather than being divinely inspired and copied from the Golden Plates as Joseph Smith claims, real proof is that THE BOOK OF MORMON was heavily plagiarized from the 1823 book, VIEW OF THE HEBREWS, by author Ethan Smith, and the 1825 book, THE WONDERS OF NATURE, by Josiah Priest.

There is also heavily criticism that the founder of the Mormon faith, Joesph Smith, merely invented the faith for reasons of personal enrichment or to get women. His teachings that supported polygamy are good examples of this. Further Smith was known for using his church publications to attack the character of women who refused to become one of his wives, as well allowing abortions among his multiple wives.

And unlike books of the Bible such as the Old testament prophet Ezekiel, who wrote what would become the complete and so far fully accurate history of the Jewish people of the Mideast, accurately predicting the destruction and loss of a Jewish state in the MidEast such as Judea and Samaria, and then the 1948 reestablishment of a Jewish Mideast state, the claimed prophecies of Joseph Smith simply have not turned out in most cases.

Mormonism even departs from the established mysterious Trinity of God concept that most Christians share in that Mormonism views God, the Son, and Holy Spirit as three separate persons, while mainstream Christian thought views the Trinity of God being in one personage. God is even viewed as being a former man who became God according to Mormonism, and at one time later Mormon church leader Brigham Young even taught that Adam and God were the same, however the church did not adopt this strange teaching officially.

In recent years the Jewish community has become angered at a strange Mormon ritual in which thousands of Holocaust victims were baptised in a strange ritual known as Baptism Of The Dead. As late as just this year, Jewish faith leaders were still having conflict with the LDS church for continued Baptisms Of The Dead of more Jews, despite a 1995 agreement with Jewish leaders to stop this practice. There is no sign that thousands of Jewish victims of the Holocaust wanted to convert to either Mormonism or Christian religion, yet strangely the LDS has done this against the will of the Jewish community.

There are also some strange Mormon rituals that seem to be founded in Freemasonry such as secret handshakes that must be known so that members can get into Heaven. And strangely there is a belief practiced by some Mormons that wearing a "sacred garment" that has been called Mormon underwear by critics must be worn to a temple rituals known as the Endowment Ceremony. While the Mormon faith is known to actively seek out new members, there is a high level of secrecy held by most members of the faith of their strange beliefs and rituals, as when members become fully part of the faith, then more is revealed to them.

Other strange Mormon teachings of multiple Heavens, that one will not see their Earthly parents in Heaven, or that forgiveness of sin has limits, also do not follow mainstream Christian thinking either. And some LDS legislators such as Orrin Hatch of Utah is known for writing some extreme political views on topics in the Moonie cult owned right wing WASHINGTON TIMES newspaper. Hatch has been disappointed not to be named to the U.S. Supreme Court as a justice by Republican administrations going back to Ronald Reagan.

While most Mormons are indeed very nice people and good neighbors by all means, it is the new controversy by many of them getting so actively involved in the effort to bankroll Proposition 8 in California that has only helped to focus some new attention on this church as being cultist in nature and holding some strange beliefs and rituals that are far from mainstream Christian thinking. In fact, Catholics and Protestants can find far more common ground on many issues of faith than either can with Mormons. And the very weird conduct of some breakaway Mormons such as the cult of Warren Jeffs has only recently given the public a bad taste of some religious extremism and cultist behavior among some of this controversial religious community as well.

If anything, it seems that when members of a religion that is held suspect by many in the public gets involved in controversial political matters, then it only opens up a new public critique of that faith. If anything, this might prove to be another valuable lesson why politics and religion should never meet in the public arena. The Roman Catholic church also suffered some backlash over the years for their teachings and beliefs when they entered the public arena in some attempts to force non-Catholics to abide by some of their beliefs. And likewise when some Mormons seek to impose their views on the general public, then their church teachings come into public examination as well.


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Comments (3)

The fact of the matter is that during the early 1970's there were some experiments at Brigham Young University that sought homosexual volunteers to see if electroshock therapy could "cure" homosexuals of their sexual orientation, while others such as Kinsey and others had long accepted homosexuality as a common human sexual variation and most in the psychiatric community had abandoned beliefs that such behavior was a sign of mental illness.

Surely you can't be arguing that we judge the events of the past by standards that have we adhere to today? Your own text provides evidence that the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was once mainstream. It's pretty weak tea to condemn these researchers for trying to objectively determine whether electroshock therapy would have some effect instead of just accepting a culturally driven redefinition of homosexuality. In fact, the failure of their experiment serves to bolster what we know about homosexuality today.

Look, early medical practitioners did some things that contemporary physicians would utterly reject, that however doesn't mean that modern medicine didn't learn from past practices and that it is fair to judge past practices from the evolved viewpoint of today.

What no doubt angered many in the Gay community was the efforts by some conservative Mormons to impose their own views on sexuality that are shaped by their religion on the general public by their support for opposition to Gay marriage, as officially the LDS church condemns all homosexual acts as sinful.

Au contraire, the imposition of fringe views on society is more accurately charged against those who are intent on redefining a fundamental cultural institution.

Genetics is a definite science, and clearly disproves Mormon teachings such as this, while the Bible hasn't been proven to have scientific or archaeological mistakes by comparison.

Are you on dope, man? The Bible is chock full of unscientific nonsense. That's the whole point of faith. I'm fine with people holding to faith or to skepticism, but please be consistent in your standards. If you're prepared to accept the Bible as being "scientifically" neutral then please apply the same standards to the Mormon faith, or if you're prepared to challenge the Mormon faith on scientific inaccuracies then please apply the same standards to Christianity.

There is no sign that thousands of Jewish victims of the Holocaust wanted to convert to either Mormonism or Christian religion, yet strangely the LDS has done this against the will of the Jewish community.

The Jewish Community doesn't speak for every Jew, nor for every dead Jew. Further, what the Mormons do in the execution of their religious beliefs is no one's business if those beliefs don't intersect with other people's lives. If the Mormon's want to baptize every dead person who ever lived then that ritual is no different than Christians praying for world peace. The Mormon's have every right to satisfy their religious urgings as do Christians who want to overlook the real-life basis for many personal and national conflicts and seek an imposed peace on the world. The world of make-believe rarely intersects with the world of reality, so if Jews are upset by Mormons believing that they're baptizing the long dead, then the Jews can either dismiss these actions as hokum or they can return fire with their own hokum.

There are also some strange Mormon rituals that seem . . . There are also some strange Mormon rituals that seem . . . There are also some strange Mormon rituals that seem . . . Other strange Mormon teachings of multiple Heavens . . .

I always find it enjoyable to come across close-minded bigots who are unaware of their own blindness and parochialism. Fine, if Mormon rituals and beliefs are strange, then lets apply the same standard to holy resurrection, communion wafers, the symbolism of the crucifix, etc. If you object to objective standards being applied to defining "strange" then you leave the reader to infer that your usage of the word "strange" rests on your personal subjective standards and that your unfamiliarity with Mormon practices is all that is needed to define them as strange.

While most Mormons are indeed very nice people and good neighbors by all means, it is the new controversy by many of them getting so actively involved in the effort to bankroll Proposition 8 in California that has only helped to focus some new attention on this church as being cultist in nature and holding some strange beliefs and rituals that are far from mainstream Christian thinking

Let's play a little substitution game here:

While most Jews are indeed very nice people and good neighbors by all means, it is the new controversy by many of them getting so actively involved in the effort to bankroll Immigration Amnesty in the US that has only helped to focus some new attention on this church as being cultist in nature and holding some strange beliefs and rituals that are far from mainstream Christian thinking.

What value can be gleaned from your paragraph? I can't find any. All I'm seeing is that you're castigating a group for exercising their civic rights to get involved in domestic politics because they have a viewpoint that differs from yours, and that their involvement in politics only serves to draw attention to the fact that their beliefs, which are equally as irrational as Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and Buddhist beliefs, differ from Christian beliefs.

What are your trying to say? That they should disqualify themselves from exercising their rights so that people like you won't launch irrational attacks on their religion.

If anything, this might prove to be another valuable lesson why politics and religion should never meet in the public arena.

And how are politics which are inspired by non-religious perspectives any better? It doesn't matter to me whether a voter is exercising his constitutional rights based on religious inspiration or socialist inspiration. The motivation behind a vote is immaterial. Yes, I realize that you want to rig the playing field to disqualify the motivations of your opponents while privileging your motivations, you know, you're pure of motivation and your opponents are debasing the process with their religious motivations, but one can't make a solid case for this type of argument and it's sad to see you try and fumble so badly.

And likewise when some Mormons seek to impose their views on the general public,

When did this happen? The closest action that fits this description is when the judges on the California Supreme Court conjured up out of thin air the need to redefine the age-old tradition of marriage and impose their personal viewpoints on all of the citizens of California. The Mormons did nothing close to approaching what you're charging them with, rather, they simply expressed their opinion and they found that the majority of their fellow citizens believed as they do. They didn't impose any viewpoint on anyone, they simply expressed their viewpoint. What is so hard to understand here?

Your bigotry is truly amazing. You must be a liberal.

Bot:

First, let's address your faulty views of Baptism and the Trinity. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) restores New Testament Baptism and the New Testament concept of the Trinity:

Baptism:

Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus' Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them.

The Trinity:

A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration? The Nicene Creed's definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one." Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. . Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. Harper's Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says "the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament." The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.

Now your assertion that the Book of Mormon supplants the Bible. You would be surprised to learn that Mormons spend twice as much time studying the Bible as they do the Book of Mormon. It is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ". It does not replace the Bible.

Now your assertion that people are being baptised that don't want to accept Christianity. Even in the next life, resurrected beings will retain their free agency. Mormons expect that many ancestors will reject baptism.


Lastly, you claim the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) Temple ritual is weird. You might be surprised that virtually all of the present temple ritual was practived by Early Christians. There is too much to discuss here. Please go to http://www.NewTestamentTempleRitual.blogspot.com

Tango Man and Bot, you do know I was playing a bit of the Devil's advocate here, don't you? The premise of those who oppose Gay marriage is that the lifestyle is somehow "abnormal". However homosexuality is common to every animal species including mankind since the beginning of time. So it is hardly abnormal, but a normal variant of sexual conduct. On the other hand, despite my deep respect for Mormons, which are both my friends and neighbors since I live in a neighborhood with a large LDS church, I simply used the worst possible facts available that raise doubt about the legitimacy of the Mormon faith to lay out a counter premise: If homosexuality is a normal variant of human behavior as old as time itself, then is a religion that many experts believe to be man-made in nature due to many hard and concrete facts, and only existing only since just 1825, a valid source to be attacking the legitimacy of homosexuality as illegitimate?

The fact of the matter is that much of religion in general is not rational in nature, even if it often does good for it's members. But is such often irrational beliefs any valid basis to attack normal nature? Think about it.

The fact of the matter some in the Mormon faith choose to assault homosexuality as somehow being abnormal. Yet this begs an examination of the faith of those who make such attacks and a public debate about that faith.

If faiths wish to worship in private, then maybe their religion has no place in the public debate forum then. If some church wishes to impose it's views on society, then those views maybe deserve a public debate.

However, none of this should be taken that I do not respect Mormons. I certainly do. And everyone has the right to worship as they please just as sure as Gay Americans have their own rights to self-determination as well.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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