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View Diary: "White Horse Prophecy" and The Revelation of St. John the Divine, Chapter 6 (47 comments)

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  •  They are people first and crazy second. (1+ / 0-)
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    bontemps2012

    As an outsider looking in: all religious groups seem crazy to me.

    I'm not really qualified to talk about how the communities behave other than the vile behavior I can see from their leaders from outside looking in, or the flat out awful advice some of their 'spiritual advisers' give.  I do not belong to any such group and I can pretty safely say I never will.

    But asserting that they aren't like others is exactly what bigotry is.  Not that I'm saying there aren't legitimate reasons to critique Mormonism in particular, there are.  (According to my limited knowledge of the ideology, as a community they are especially aggressive in targeting people who commit apostacy.  They just draw the line at murdering them, unlike say, Muslims.)

    But there are many things that Mormons do that aren't any different from other religious communities.  To religious groups, outside opinions (and people) are often regarded as being the dangerous influence of evil outside forces.  Sometimes, this even translates into justifications that it is okay to lie, cheat, or murder people who don't belong to one's group.  This isn't in all religious communities, but this kind of philosophy does exist in all of them to varying degrees based on how extremist they are.

    I generally don't like religious organizations because they promote extremist thinking, and in fact, often generate it quite rampantly.  There are a few that don't do this, but there's a general pressure to drive the adherents to extremism in all of them.

    I've seen no evidence to suggest that Mormons are susceptible to extremist ideology at a rate significantly higher than non-Mormons, though.  That being said, Christianity in general has been INUNDATED with extremist political ideology lately.  I wouldn't be too surprised if the politically active religious community (the ironically named 'Moral Majority') became full-fledged fascists soon.

    I don't like religion, and some groups are more dangerous than others, but they only differ from one another by the harmfulness of their bullshit.  Religion may justify the murder of abortion doctors as a necessary evil to stop the greater evil of dead babies.  This can make a murderer somewhat of a hero in those communities, but it doesn't mean that everyone in that community would've murdered the doctor.  Only one person actually did.

    But despite this, many people who belong to religious groups are fine people.  Just like slavery, every person who is involved in an evil practice is not evil.  I generally don't have a problem with individuals in a religion.  I just try to take exception to the religion itself.

    It's hard to draw a distinction sometimes, but it's important to remember that they are a person first, and a they second.

    •  I'm not an outsider. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 10:30:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant that I was an outsider, not you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bontemps2012

        I understand that you have a background in it.  I meant to say that I am an outsider, and explain my perspective on such groups from looking in.

        I don't doubt that you have particular distaste for Mormonism (especially so if you've committed apostacy).  As far as I understand it, Mormonism fits into the definition of a 'cult' more than most religions.  Apart from Scientology.  That's why I compared the two.

        I just meant to say that the line distinguishing between a cult and a religion is kind of blurry in the first place.  From my perspective as an outsider, there's not much a difference between those things, apart from degree of severity.  I don't know if there's any 'moderate' Mormons out there and I wouldn't be in a position to know that.  But I am open to the idea that there might be some.

        Apart from that, I'm just a bit uncomfortable classing people as a 'them'.  It makes the group seem monolithic and unreachable to reason or thought.  It seems to me that few people are prone to lock-step obedience and rigid thinking.

        •  There are "moderate" Mormons (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul Rogers, iburl

          but if they are not totally observant they are shunned by those that do everything the Bishop asks of them. Including in some communities marrying off thirteen year old daughters to Forty year old men as extra wives. The Church disavows it but it shows the level of corruption their theology will tolerate and in fact is designed to do. Moderate Mormons are not allowed in the Temple where all the interesting rituals go on.

          It is just not structured for people to be moderate. Rigid hierarchy is how it is set up. Every decision is made and everything you do from the moment you get out of bed to the second it hits the pillow is either school, family, or church. There is not time for you to get new ideas and critical thinking is actively discouraged.

          This is part of the reason Romney comes off so cold everyone except a select few are totally indebted to him and must stay in his good graces. Since he became a Bishop people never question him. Ever. He literally has no experience being answerable to anyone.

          Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 11:00:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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