Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
Of the top twenty craziest bullshit religions, the Church Of Latter Day Saints has got to be in at least the top ten. They wear holy underwear: they baptize the dead; they think that each and every one of them is going to inherit their very own planet and become some sort of deity (of course none of them ever inquire whose deity they’re going to be. That’s rather implied, right?).
One of the more loathsome anachronisms that religion has perpetrated, is the lie of racial inequality. In the Western world, this concept of a ‘holy race’ can be traced directly to the ancient Israelites and their penchant for narcissistic self-loathing. The ‘mark of Cain’ has directly contributed more to racism than any other Occidental ideology to date.
And of course, the top craziest of the crazy cults that old whore Christianity has spewed out into our world, Mormonism, was right up there throwing gasoline on the brushfire of xenophobia:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced the publication of a new edition of the scriptures on 1 March. What matters here are the changes made to several headings introducing the text. The changes to Official Declaration 2 – the section lifting the priesthood ban for black men – have implications that are staggering.
Chapter headings are considered to be a study guide rather than sacred, canonised text, so there are no concerns about alterations changing holy writ. But included alongside the scriptures and produced by the leaders of the church, they still carry the unmistakable imprimatur of authority. Many of these changed chapter headings, a side-by-side comparison of which can be seen here, bring the historical context included more in line with current understanding of questions such as where Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, lived when he wrote one section or another, or the year certain revelations were received.
What is extraordinary is the admission that in the earliest days of the church, black men were ordained to the priesthood just as white men were. Elijah Abel, a black man, even served in some of the highest governing bodies of the church. Over the years that practice not only ceased, but the history of it was largely forgotten. It wasn't until 1978 that black men were again allowed to receive the priesthood and black women were allowed to attend the temple. Most members were unaware that there was ever a time when black people were allowed equal participation in the gospel. Trying to explain or defend the racist practice introduced toxic folk doctrines that perpetuated racism into our present day, more than 30 years after the ban was lifted. Even the recent Broadway musical Book of Mormon alludes to this with the statement that "In 1978 God changed his mind about black people"."
Some famous commentary from a historically famous Mormon, old ‘Brigand’ Young:
"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).
"In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).
"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).
There’s plenty more to back that up, here.
The truth of the matter isn’t that their religion is better or worse than others (they’re all bad) – it’s that religious leaders take advantage of their cultic status to pass along their own ignorant opinions, and this just ends up polluting the meme stream.
When religion is laid to its final dusty rest, we will al be the better for it – it perpetuates ignorance and rewards stubborn stupidity.
And just like all the other crazies, these nut jobs make me tres nervous.
Till the next post, then.