Tuesday, August 04, 2009

So close!

This posting probably belongs on my other blog, but I'm trying to get a series started over on that one to do with the financial aspects of religion.

Anyway, so I've found a new blog I like... I used to read one by a guy (or gal) who went by the name of Bishop Higgins. I don't know what happened to him, but since June, he's been really quiet. But I found another one yesterday and it might be even funnier. It's the blog for the Spanish Fork 401st Ward. You can link to it here.

So this morning, I started at the beginning of his blog, and was reading through. He referenced something in the Journal of Discourses that related back to something I've been discussing with Mrs. Koda, so I thought I would post it here. It makes a really great point up front, and then does a complete 180, and goes completely wacko at the end.

For those who don't know... The Journal of Discourses is a collection of speeches and other articles by the founder and the first couple of leaders of the LDS Church. For many years, Mormons were encouraged to have this collection in their homes, but about half a century ago, the Church asked all of these to be handed back in. Reviewing some of the topic contained there in provides both an explanation as to why they did this, and also a fair amount of entertainment.

You can find this particular quote here. You'll want to hit the next page link in the top left, and then go to page 128.

I'll break the quote into 2 parts... Oh and it's by Brigham Young - Prophet #2, Founder of Utah, and the dude who was responsible for settling Utah and establishing Salt Lake City and many of the surrounding towns.

Ladies and gentlemen, I exhort you to think for yourselves, and read your Bibles for yourselves, get the Holy Spirit for ourselves and pray for yourselves, that your minds may be divested of false traditions and early impressions that are untrue.

Thinking for yourself - hmmm. Now that's a novel concept. You may recall my account of the dipstick from my local congregation who called at 6am a couple of Sundays ago. Mrs. Koda has been defending the man by saying that it wasn't his fault, since he was asked by his leaders to call. By my opinion is that while he was asked to call, he should have paused, thought about the ramifications of calling someones home at 6 freaking am on a Sunday, and realized it was a bad idea.

Stephen R. Covey in his book, the 7 habits of highly effective people, talks about the ability that humans have to receive a stimulus and then consciously decide on the response. He maintains our response - ability is what separates us from the animals, and I tend to agree. The LDS Church would appear to have become an organization that seeks to remove this ability, rather than encourage it.

So that was the cool part of the quote... The next bit was really interesting. Mormon folklore teaches that BY taught that homosexuality caused the downfall of Rome, and in fact I had a fundamentalist type guy use that in a debate on the matter last year. Anyway, so with that in mind...

Those who are acquainted with the history of the world are not ignorant that polygamy has always been the general rule and monogamy the exception. Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively that in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of woman among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout all Christendom, and which has been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom thought all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay at the root of their institutions both national and religious.

First of all, after reading that I was rotflmao!!!

Second, did anyone pick up the logical inconsistencies?

One of the justifications taught within the LDS Church to support the notion of polygamy amongst the early members, was that there was a surplus of women who needed husbands - and generally that need was so that the women could purchase land and that kind of thing. Of course a study of history would prove that idea completely inconsistent with how the practice was implemented, but that's another topic for another day.

So... too many woman means they had to practice polygamy, and yet the argument put forth in that quote deals with the scarcity of woman, and how the notion of monogamy somehow promotes wife stealing and robbery... Interestingly enough, wife stealing occurred a great deal when the founder started practicing polygamy.

Anyway, I found the whole thing both humorous and ironic. Elsewhere I've read that at the point, the LDS Church has not outlawed the drinking of alcohol, and it is noted that BY himself was known to have a beer. Perhaps it was a quote like this that persuaded successive prophets to ban alcohol all together...

Of course the flipside might be... This whole monogamy thing might be the whole reason that the US and the World seems to be going to hell in a handbasket - at least according to the more religious and conservative individuals in the world. If that is indeed the case, perhaps the 'Conservatives' really need to take a hard line against traditional marriage!

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