Compare Mormons v.Mainstream Xianity
Love the site, & am encouraged to see a collection of folks, like yourselves, doing such a good job in defending rationality.
Here's a point that may have already been addressed, but I'm struck by the similarities between the Mormon's advance from a whacked out persecuted cult to a mainstream, and admired Christian sect. All this was done within well recorded modern history.
Joseph Smith had all the trappings of a charlatan. His ridiculous storyabout digging up golden plates with the story of an ancient migration from Isreal to the America's is total comic book.
The Smith fairy tale appealed to the fringe elements. Their belief outraged their neighbors, created a martyr with the murder of Smith & made them to flee to Utah. Nevertheless, in 2007 Mitt Romney, a committed Mormon, the Governor of Massachusets, is a serious candidate for the presidency.
How did they do this?
They did it like the early Christian Church slowly became the dominant religous/political force in its day, They seperated themselves from their contemporaries, the Christians in the catacombs, the Mormans in Salt Lake City. They both survived persecution, took care of each other, dropped
practices that seriously clashed with society (polygamy, overt racism?), became model citizens, & EVANGELIZED.
The Mormon history presents a well documented model of how an irrational set of beliefs can gain currency in the face of facts, There is no archeological, anthropological, or biological trace of an ancient Jewish incursion into the Americas. It's all hogwash, & the Mormon Church will go to extraordinary means to hide/downplay it's fairy tale origin. & silence any internal disension. Sound familar?
I think that drawing such a comparison can point out to today's Christians, who claim that the success of Christianity proves that it is directed by a living, active god, the gullability of people for a good if ridiculous story.