Someone wrote a "retaliation" blog to me basically about how true mormonism is and how fantastic it's view of religion and science is. So I retaliated. I've never really said anything like this to a mormon before ( because I'm surrounded by them ) and I never thought I would to this person (because I know her...) but I did. I guess I'm just up to my eyes with being quiet about stupidity. So, here's my middle finger directed at silence.
As for what I said....:
This is stupid. There are so many things I want to say but I'm not sure how to say any of it. I, first and quite honestly, can't believe that someone as intelligent as you actually believes this fairy tale bullshit that is being fed to you. What have people throughout the ages said? Religion is one of the best ways to control people, religion is a tool used for gain. Joseph Smith was sent to jail with his father for being a fraud before he 'founded' the book of mormon. There is NO historical proof that says that the book of mormon comes anywhere close to being true. Let's forget, for a moment, that it was supposedly "founded" during a huge religious reformation of sorts in New York which didn't actually happen until about 7 years AFTER the book of mormon was "founded". Let's also forget for a moment that the story of how the church started was re-written TWICE by Joseph Smith, and both stories conflicted, and both have also been found. Let's also set aside the fact that good ol' Joe's family contradicted him on MAJOR facts of the times, as well as historians from both then and now. Let's forget all that. Oh, and how about those "plates" that were discovered in the 1900's which actually turned out to be the Egyptian Book of the Dead? Oh, and how about all the third parties that did evaluations on Smith and found him to be mentally questionable. No, none of that is important in the least.
I am sick of religious fads. Seriously. It's not cool to be Christian anymore so now everyone is following Kabala and Buddhism. If you're rich you're into scientology which is basically L. Ron Hubbard's drunken rebuttal to the bible.
It's all some trend. Next year it might be cool to be a Satanist, then kids everywhere will be "Satanists" and reading all their texts and "cool" for it. It's like the latest shirt. You have to wear the trendy clothes and act the trendy way so of course you put on the trendy religion.
Buddhism is what is bothering me right now. Almost everyone I know is "looking" into it or has looked into it at one point in time and every damn one of them says one day or another that they are Buddhist. I can guarantee you that most of the self-proclaimed religious trendy's don't have a clue what they are talking about or what they are claiming they believe in. It's a joke. Madonna is into Kabala so I have to be too because after all that is the cool thing. Who cares if I don't know anything about it! I'm into Kabala! Yay me!
I was asked in an email why I left the church. She asked why I was apostate and how I could live with myself and my decision. She continued by asking what made me that way. We had gone to church together when I was younger and she just couldn't understand how someone who was as good as me could be that person. With the accusations of my devoutly Mormon older brother echoing in my mind ("You think you are so much better than me because you were MORMON once but your not. I know more than you will ever know. I know I'm right and I know you are wrong and any time you ever want to debate that let me know because in one hour I can smash everything you ever thought into a pulp. I know exactly how people like you think.) And my other brother telling me "when mom found out you had your records removed and left the church she told everyone and it sounded like she was telling everyone that you had had an abortion or something."
I have never really thought about it until I really read and heard a lot of what Richard Dawkins has to say. Crazy how that happens... it takes someone else to make me see things a different way.
I was watching a video of a question-answer session he had on Youtube the other day which really got me thinking. He stated in there (somewhere) that atheists are really one of the last major groups in the United States still facing serious discrimination and degradation due to their beliefs or lack thereof. The really sad part of that sentence is that to be an atheist in this country means that you must be "in the closet" in a lot of respects.
Superman is Immoral.
At least, that's what they said. They say a lot of things... those drooling, duped fools who sit in the center of the classroom. They come in every day, and sit together, and gossip about church, and trade experiences from their missions. Today, they talked about how immoral Superman is and how they will never watch that movie again, because that is not something the prophet would be happy seeing.
I listen to this three days a week for at least 10 minutes each time. I listen to how blessed they are, how much they love God, what the prophet said, how they love their religion, how true their church is among other things. I listen, and I listen and I listen. I sit about as far away from them as I can get.. but I can still hear them. there are five of them, their voices raise in pitch as they get more and more excited...
It was a replay in a lot of ways, a replay of the conversation that happened years ago, when I was 15 years old. My parents had cornered me, and my mother with a quivering voice and tear filled eyes, holding before her a book I had hidden in my room asked me "Sarah, do you believe in God?" At the time I was afraid, I was afraid of the consequences of my answer so I lied, "of course I do" I answered, "I'm just angry".
This time, when my mother asked if I believed in God I answered without pausing "Who's definition of God are you asking me about?" She didn't answer, so I pressed further "The traditional judeo christian version? Hell no. Not a chance."
My mother says I'm a Radical.
I say I'm my own flavor of realist.
One thing is for sure: I am my own species in Utah.
I just finished a book today called "The Untied States of America". I'm pretty sure it will piss as many people off as it informs positively. He wrote the book to start a debate, and sounds like a man, who believes much like me, that when people are angry enough, they tend to challenge more, learn more, intake more. Discussion is not a bad thing.
The discussion tonight with my mother was about God and science. I stated that I thought God had no room in a science classroom, and she stated God had everything to do with science. I thereby said if we are going to teach one religions view of creation, then we need to teach all of them, as Genesis isn't the end all be all of creation myths (erm, sorry replace myth with "factual accounts"). Every religion has a story, and if we are going to teach one of them we need to teach all of them. Not all students in America are christian, after all. So if that happens, then we will be taking up quite some time teaching creation... uh... stories so we should have an optional "world religions class" you can take or not. It will never happen, but that seems logical to me. Of course, we live in a completely illogical society where pro life people blow up buildings and kill those housed in them all the time... my idea has no hope.
[i] (Excerpt from Boccaccio's book: Decameron written about 1353 as cited in The Creators, A History of Heros of the Imagination)
One of the most popular stories on the day devoted to people attaining their desires was how the innocent maiden Alibech was taught by the monk Rustico to put the Devil back into Hell. To prepare her for the lesson, he stripped himself naked and instructed her to do the same, when she asked:
"Rustico, what is that thing I see sticking out in front of you and which I do not have?"
"Oh, my child, replied Rstico, " that is the Devil, about which I told you. Now you can see him for yourself. He is inflicting such pain in me that I can hardly bear it."
What is hell? What is suffering? Is there such a thing as evil? Or are these just things born in ones mind? Furthermore, how can we as people possibly be able to tell what is borne in ones mind and what isn't? Perhaps our whole world, what we perceive of it, what we consider our homes, etc are just figments of our imagination.
Look at the schizophrenic person, the person who actually believes that those people that he hears are actually around them. The person you see aimlessly wandering the streets of your home town, seeing castles and dragons around him. How is what he sees any more or less real than anything either of us see? And how do we know, actually know and are any more sure or unsure whether or not what we see is any less more or real than what he sees.
I had never thought of it in the way that it was presented last night, and I must say, when I heard this man speak of this issue in this way, it made me step back a moment, think, and then smile. I wanted to run to him, and kiss him, thank him so much for pushing my views, my reality, my perspective in a way it hasn't been for a long time.
I was becoming sedentary, my thoughts lagging, nothing really left for me to expand and try to understand, so last night was like a holy gift.
Richard Dawkins was the man, and what he said that shook me so deeply was (and this is generalized) that he thinks that believing in a deity undermines human intelligence, and the beauty of our lives here and now. Basically, he said, it undermines our own humanity, intelligence, rationality and whatever else to put credit to how everything is currently to a figment of our imaginations.