Follow-up to yesterday’s post
But that’s not what people are howling about. They’re howling about letting religious leaders determine how politicians view issues and vote. When that happens, it crosses a dangerous line. It is, after all, how you get Iraq.
A glimpse into Mormon machinations,
meddling, and thinking at the top
The Salt Lake Tribune’s quick-read summary
Yesterday, a group calling itself “Mormon Leaks” uploaded to YouTube videos of private meetings of the Mormon Church’s apostles, who with its First Presidency are its ruling body. The conversations most likely took place between 2008 and 2011.
Some disturbing highlights:
• A United States Senator grovels before the apostles, says his temple recommend means more to him than his duties as a senator, and that if you want to know his policy on social issues, consult the LDS Church’s Bishop’s handbook.
• Never mind the implications of actions by Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning; Dallin Oaks and other Mormon apostles want to know if they’re gay. As if that would explain sooooo much?
• Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks suggests collusion between the media and the so-called “gay agenda.” Paranoid a little?
• Church leaders views world events through the lens of plans for church expansion.
ABOVE: Burning questions about the gay agenda and whether Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are gay
Don’t want to sit through the videos? Click here for The Salt Lake Tribune’s quick-read summary
BELOW: A U.S. Senator grovels, makes clear that as a senator he works to serve the church more than to serve the country.
Problems for “Sister Wives”
Kody Brown, polygamist patriarch of “Sister Wives” fame, takes, dismisses, and replaces multiple wives on a whim.
What could possibly go wrong?
TLC, the network that produces and distributes the show, is threatening cancelation if Brown doesn’t shape up.
According to a lengthy post on masterherald.com,
... [Brown] doesn’t share a good relationship with the family ...
Gee. A polygamist man who isn’t all that great of a guy and fancies new, young wives over his aging stable. Who’d a thunk?
Farewell, religious freedom: Now you can be fired just for anointing the office with oil
It turns out that not just nutty religious polygamists know of the protective properties of olive oil. One fine morning in Florida, Miami City Capital Improvements Department employees arrived at work to find olive-oil crosses smeared on desks, walls, office equipment, and more.
It was the handiwork of fellow employee Eric Cheely, a Pentecostal church member who maintains he did not mistake the office for a salad. As reported in Miami New Times, Cheely said, “[I] was sitting in my cubicle crying; I thought I heard what, in my opinion, God telling me: ‘Look, just bless the department... and go on about your business.’”
The story might have ended there if the City of Miami hadn’t decided to interfere with Cheely’s sincerely religious belief that the safety of the office and his coworkers hinged on his endowing them with divine lubrication. But interfere the city did, so Cheely sued.
The case dragged on for two years until, earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola Jr. ruled that Cheely wasn’t fired because of his religious beliefs, but for damaging his employer’s property and disrupting business.
There goes one more vestige of your religious freedom. Matters can only get worse. Don’t be surprised if Bible literalists can no longer use the office to sacrifice and eat unblemished lambs.
Shout-out to Hemant Mehta, whose blog post brought the Cheely story to our attention
*If you haven’t read “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass, why the hell not? Pause where you are in this post, click here, and order your copy now. We promise the post will still be here when you get back.
This Joseph Smith parody exaggerates
Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith indeed relieved trusting people of their cash in return for divining for buried treasure by means of a magic rock. But this parody from an episode of Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy,” wherein Smith unearths "an old Con Ed bill,” exaggerates unfairly. In fact, there is no solid evidence to suggest that Smith ever unearthed anything at all. Oh, and far from banning it, Mormons are all for dancing.
Mormon Church performs Turkey trot
The LDS Church, aka the Mormon Church, aka “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased,” has transferred its missionaries serving in Turkey to Germany. Here is the church’s statement:
The Church has transferred 15 young volunteers serving in Turkey to Germany, where they will continue their service among the Turkish-speaking population of Berlin. We anticipate these volunteers will return when conditions in Turkey normalize. Our prayers are with the people of Turkey and with our Church members who live there.
We wish to clarify that by “young volunteers” the church means “proselytizing missionaries likely to get their heads blown off for annoying people about religion at the worst possible time and place.”
So, kudos to the church for getting the kids the hell out of there.
It seems we live in an age when an all-powerful, all-knowing god of miracles buys his missionaries plane tickets instead of showing the world what’s what by protecting them where they stand. He seems to have had a policy change since that little matter involving the 2,000 stripling warriors.
Now you can meet even MORE Mormons
Better yet, you can take in three, all-new, 20-minute sequels with the highly compelling title, Meet the Mormons: New Faces/New Stories. Unlike the original, these shorts won’t be shown in theaters, but for free in Mormon visitors centers around the world. On a positive note, you won’t have to pay for a ticket.
We can only assume that, since the release of the 2014 film, the public has been crying out to meet even more Mormons. A church press release reports that the original film “... was one of the top 35 highest-earning documentary films of all time.” This is less surprising when you consider that rank-and-file Mormons are an obedient lot, and that Church leaders encouraged the faithful to fill theater seats with themselves, their families, and their friends. Of the last, it’s quite possible that a significant number no longer consider themselves “friends.”
According to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune, producer-director Blair Treu said the purpose of the films “... was not to proselytize or explain church beliefs.” Of course. The only conceivable reason a famously proselytizing church would make a movie about itself is, per Treu, “... to offer a glimpse of who [Mormons] are.” The Mormon Church hoping their films will make converts? Perish the thought.
Never Argue with a Donkey
No fool, that donkey. She stopped right in her tracks. As for Balaam, he was oblivious to the angel and sword, so he began beating her. So God permitted the donkey to speak, and she used her gift to ask Balaam why he was beating her. There is no record that she asked him to stop; only that she asked why. Balaam explained that he was beating her because she was uncooperative. He added that if he had a sword he’d go one better and kill her.
Funny he should bring up swords. At that moment, God revealed the angel, sword and all, to Balaam. Whereupon Balaam did the honorable thing. He groveled before the angel.
Here’s the confusing part. If your donkey started arguing with you, do you suppose you would argue back as Balaam did? Or would you say “Holy crap, a talking donkey,” put together an act, take it on the road, and make a fortune?
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