Mitt Romney

I Was (Almost) a Teenage Mormon

To many Americans, Romney and Huntsman represent a faith that most of them know little about. To Chapman, it's been a trip down memory lane.


Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have brought Mormons into the spotlight, and other Americans may be a bit intimidated at what they see. Judging from these guys and their families, you might conclude that all Mormons are wealthy, upstanding, accomplished, worldly and very nice-looking.

In fact, they're enough to make you wonder why we put up with non-Mormon politicians—who often bring with them boorish behavior, sexual improprieties, financial misdeeds, heavy drinking, foul language and messy families. Not to mention that they are rarely as photogenic as the Huntsmans and the Romneys.

To many Americans, this campaign has been an introduction to a faith that most of them know little about. To me, it's been a trip down memory lane. You see, in my younger days, I almost became a Mormon.

When I was just out of high school, I was smitten with a girl. She was smart, engaging and, yes, easy on the eyes, and she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). I knew nothing about it, but I was willing to learn.

Shortly before going off to college, I spent a weekend with her handsome, high-achieving family at their house in Lubbock, Texas. It was a revelation. I learned that Mormons abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and coffee, donate 10 percent of their earnings to the church, fast one day a month, place a high priority on family, and center their lives on their religious community.

I also found that they are extremely welcoming to outsiders. This is partly because Mormons put great importance on being nice. It's also because they are keen on making converts.

Very keen. Within days of arriving on my new college campus, on the other side of the country, I got a visit from some LDS missionaries—two earnest young men who persuaded me to begin weekly private classes to learn about their creed.

They gave me a copy of The Book of Mormon and I read some of it. I went to Sunday school and church each week, and I hung out with college classmates who were LDS.

After a few weeks, my missionaries decided it was time to schedule my baptism. Taken aback, I told them I wasn't quite ready. And after much agonizing, I decided I was never going to be ready—even though it meant a certain fetching female was going to be permanently off-limits.

Why did I walk away? Some of the stories in The Book of Mormon were too hard to believe. I found the church's orthodoxy intellectually stifling. I felt I didn't know enough about my own Presbyterian faith to abandon it. I lacked the certitude for such a big step.

Mormons regard themselves as Christians, and I don't disagree. But theirs is a drastically different type of Christianity. Becoming a Mormon is not like becoming a Methodist.

If I had joined, my life might have been very different. Or maybe not. The church is proud of being one of the fastest-growing religions in the world, a credit to its tireless missionary efforts. Only later did I find out that a lot of people who convert eventually fall away.

Once I made my choice, I noticed that all my new Mormon friends were suddenly scarce. But I was glad for the experience. It gave me a view of another way of life that most people don't get. It left me feeling I had a rudimentary understanding of Latter-day Saints.

I also got one joke out of it. It seems the pope is meeting with his cardinals in the Vatican when he's called out to take a phone call. He returns to announce, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has come again to establish his kingdom on earth." The bad news? "He was calling from Salt Lake City."

And that girl? We parted on amicable but sorrowful terms, and I haven't seen her since. Twenty years later, she had a layover at O'Hare and phoned to say hello. We spent a pleasant 15 minutes catching up and promising to get together with our spouses and kids sometime.

A couple of days later, my doorbell rang. Two earnest young missionaries were standing on my doorstep.

That's one thing you should know about Mormons. They're persistent.


NEXT: We'll Show You

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  1. If only he had hung in there long enough to tell us about her underwear…..

    1. Just masturbate in the shower to that American Beauty.

    2. Morning links at 9:18AM with a 9:00AM time stamp.

        1. Maybe 10:00AM Pacific?

      1. The “with a 9:00AM time stamp” is superfluous.

        1. …and counting.

          1. Riggs must be sleeping off a bender after watching the Giants hand the Packers their asses last night.

            1. Beats getting your asses packed.

              1. I beg to differ……

          2. R E S P E C T

      2. It’s a “holiday” today, whitey.

        1. If you’re not a government drone, you still have to work today.

          1. It depends what state. I’m at work but most people here in Houston are not.

            1. Houston traffic was pretty normal on the way in to work today for me.

          2. Bankers and stockbrokers are “government drones”?
            I did not know that!

            1. Let’s be honest: Bankers are government workers in in anything but name.

        2. A good day to go to the department stores for the white sales.

  2. But, we want more….what about the magic underwear?

    1. I think every Mormon who runs for public office should have to model in the magic underwear. Lets just see what these things are.

      1. I once saw a Mormon Playboy bunnie model without her magic underwear.

      2. There’s this thing called Google if you want to see what the underwear looks like

        If you’re looking to see hot Mormon babes posing in the underwear, you’re gonna have to embrace the crazy and join the Church and marry one of them.

  3. I fail to see why the author thinks that just because he did not become a Mormon, the girl was off limits.

    A bit off topic, but why do so many Christians such as the Mormons think that drinking alcohol is bad, last time I checked they were drinking wine at the last supper, not tea.

    1. I don’t get that one either. Body temple I guess. My favorite is the wedding at Cana. I have actually had people tell me that “wine” didn’t mean wine back then but grape juice. I am not kidding.

      1. The ancient Greeks and Romans did water down their wine, almost 50/50.

        1. Yeah. But it was still wine. And they most definitely did get drunk.

          1. They drank enough to feel pretty good, but getting drunk in today’s terms was a barbaric idea to them.

            1. Source? I’m really suspicious of that one, since everything I’ve ever read suggests that the Greeks and Romans were no strangers to debauchery.

              1. There are oblique references to it in one of Aristotle’s works, where it’s termed “drinking the Scythian way.” And just because some Greeks and Romans thought it was “barbaric” doesn’t mean people didn’t do it regularly.

            2. Please. Noah got drunk. “Immorality ensued.” Then he woke and with fresh puke still in his beard he cursed his son for gossiping. Yeah, gossiping was listed under “witchcraft.” Suffer not a witch to live, right?

        2. I think it was the other way around. They made particularly strong wine and added it to water to kill off the bugs in the water.

          1. You had to drink alcohol back then. The water was often bad and you had no way of knowing if it was good. Also it was the only way to preserve fruit.

            1. Even wine spoils (turns to vinegar). So Roman soldiers drank water and vinegar (the vinegar kills bacteria too) as their primary drink.

              1. And wrapping things up…..

                When the Roman soldiers dipped a sponge in vinegar and offered to Jesus on the cross…..

                Were they being cruel or being kind?

                1. It was apparently kindness, but if you read a little of the scholarship, you’ll see that there’s a lot of debate over exactly what it was; whether it was what we’d call vinegar, or wine, or some kind of sour wine, or what. Also, it was “mixed with gall”, and people argue over what the “gall” was, with some even arguing it was opium (which is very bitter-tasting).

                  1. Vinegar doesn’t spoil. The Roman soldiers that a trekked all over the place needed something that provided wouldn’t spoil, provided nutrients (google athletes that drink pickle juice), and made water safe to drink.

                    They also saturated red wine vinegar with cane sugar and mixed the vinegar/sugar combination with water — Roman-era Gatorade.

                    1. “Vinegar doesn’t spoil. ”



                      “The surprising news is that vinegar does indeed go bad.

                      Most of the rest of what you posted is wrong too.

                  2. Wouldn’t surprise me if the vinegar had spices/herbs added to it, because they did this with wine as well.

                  3. Pamphlets, Religious: Miscellaneous: Volume 3 – Page 119

                    The drink offered to Jesus, according to Mark, was first wine mixed with myrrh, and then vinegar. The beverage made of wine and myrrh was referred to Jewish custom, to give a certain lotion to the culprit before the execution, to produce stupor.* There are, however, two mistakes in this supposition. In the first place, the Jews, according to Mark, had nothing to do with the crucifixion, and the Romans knew nothing of this custom. In the second place, myrrh is one thing, and olibanum or libanum, called by the Hebrews libanuh, is another. The myrrh makes the wine bitter,and produces no stupor; but the olibanum, of which the Jewish sources iu this case speak, produces slupor. Mark speaks of myrrh and not of olibanum; hence he thought of bitter wine and not of stupor. He thought of the twenty-first verse in the sixtyninth psalm, ” They gave me gall in my meat [refreshment]; and in my thirst they gave vinegar to drink.” Therefore, and for no other reason, the bitter wine and the vinegar were introduced. Matthew understood this well, and changed the myrrh into gall, because he thought {hebrew text} signifies gall and not myrrh. Luke and John drop both myrrh and gall, because they understood {hebrew text} literally, ” in my food,” and could not see how one could be fed on gall or myrrh. Still, out of respect for their predecessors, they retained the vinegar, because vinegar and water was a common beverage among the Roman soldiers. There is not the least cause of suspicion, that those various drinks about which there is so much coufusion in the evangelical account, are various presentations of the fact. The whole incident was simply made from those psalm passages, and introduced as an embellishment of the story. It is not history; it is legend.

                    1. Considering you were full of shit on most of your other points, I don’t really care what you have to say about this.

                      How about you just stop lying in a pathetic attempt to look like you know what the fuck you’re talking about.

              2. “So Roman soldiers drank water and vinegar (the vinegar kills bacteria too) as their primary drink.”

                Also wrong.

                1. Vinegar was used as a cheap antiseptic.

                  Tulpa – please cite a cource

        3. The 50/50 wine was people being cheap. Even the Bible makes that clear at the marriage at Cana, when Jesus changes the water to wine. “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

        4. But oh what wine!

      2. He was a Baptist, ya know. Be nice to them and pretend to not recognize them in the liquor store.

        1. I thought John was the Baptist…

      3. The temperance movement began with activist women in American Churches and became part of the fabric of those churches.

        1. Calvinism and Capitalism are nearly the same.

          1. Alcohol Gambol Lockdown means his mother spanks him for getting drunk in her basement.

      4. I treat my body like a temple too. It requires a lot of virgin sacrifices.

        1. ** rimshot **

        2. How ya doin’?

        3. You treat your body like a temple; I treat mine like a tent.

        4. Mine is more of an amusement park

      5. There were two Hebrew words that translate to wine. One means unfermented grape juice. The other means wine. You’d have to dig up the original Hebrew scriptures to see which is used in which context.

        1. The Wedding at Cana doesnt require looking up. The entire context of that bit makes it clear it was wine.

        2. THe thing about unfermented grape juice in ancient times is that without refrigeration, it doesn’t stay unfermented for long. I’m sure people who grew grapes drank unfermented juice from time to time, but it wasn’t a widely available product in ancient times.

          1. THe thing about unfermented grape juice in ancient times is that without refrigeration, it doesn’t stay unfermented for long.

            Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the Memphis Maytag? Some of the hieroglyphs look suspiciously like an Egyptian child grabbing a Sunny D from a refrigerator.

        3. Great except that the new testament where the story appears iPad written in Greek not Hebrew

          1. Oenos.

            1. Correct, Oinos is one of the Koine (Greek) words for wine.
              Yayin Either “boiled up,” (fermeted) or “pressed out” (unfermented).
              Tirosh fresh, unfermented wine.
              Shekar “Satiates, intoxicates”. Oddly, this is related to our word “cider.”
              Asis “Pressed.” Not unfermented though.
              Ashishah A cake of raisins.
              Chemer – “A thick, sticky syrup; foaming juice”. Indicates all kinds of wine (ISAIAH 27:2).
              Chamar – The Aramaic form, used in EZRA 6:9 and DANIEL 5:1-4, literally means “foaming” and denotes fermented wine.
              Sobe – “Anything sucked in or up”. Probably indicated inspissated or boiled wines. Non-intoxicating beverage. ‘Sobe-yayin’ – lit. “soakers of wine”.
              Shemer – “What is preserved; the sediment”. Rendered as “dregs”, “lees”, or “wine in the lees” (See ISAIAH 25:6).
              Nasek – “Drink offering”. Lit. “that which is poured out; a libation”.
              Mimsak – “Anything mixed”. Rendered “drink-offering”, or “mixed wine” (ISAIAH 65:11).
              Yeqeb – Originally a vat or trough; then used as a wine-press or wine-vat. Occurs 16 times (e.g. NUMBERS 18:27).
              Enab – Ripe or round grape, or grape-cake (HOSEA 3:1).
              Chomets – Vinegar, sour or unripe grapes (Greek: ‘oxos’).
              Misteh – General term for beverage, especially wine (EZRA 3:7; DANIEL 1:10).
              Oinos – Generic term (used in the LXX) for all kinds of wine except ‘shekar’. Also occurs in N.T. (Greek) 32 times.
              Sikera – Greek: “Strong drink” (See ‘shekar’).
              Gleukos – Used only once (ACTS 2:13), as “new wine”; corresponds to fermented.
              Methuo – To be “drunk”, or “filled to the full” (Greek).

        4. Answering the original question, as to why mormons don’t drink- they don’t believe that there’s anything immoral or evil about alcohol, and certailny don’t believe that Jesus didn’t drink wine. The prohibition on alcohol is based on a ‘word of wisdom’ (read: emphatic suggestion) given for ‘the weakest of saints’. In a nutshell, if nobody drinks- then nobody has an alcohol problem. Even though most people can handle their drinking, the easiest way to avoid the problems of alcohol abuse is to avoid alcohol altogether.

      6. They kept the grape juice in their refrigerators.

    2. Mormons are pretty strict about marrying within the faith. So it’s not so much him seing her as off-limits as she seeing him that way.

      Also, while Mormons are generally awful nice, there persistence in trying to convert you makes them pretty much insufferable most of the time.

      And, the “magic underwear” is only worn by those who have been through the temple rituals, which is to say only adults. Children don’t wear it.

      1. Even a lot of adults are not ‘temple mormons” and thus don’t wear the underwear.

          1. jack Mormon?

        1. And he has a perfect plan for your life:

          Mitt Romney.

          1. Sure he does. But what he knows is perfect isn’t always so clear to the rest of us.

            1. For there’s no other way.

      2. I have several close friends who are Mormon. They have each made the obligatory attempt to lead me to the light, and accepted my gentle rejection good naturedly. Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with voting for a Mormon. On the other hand, I have watched Mitt Romney and he is no Ron Paul.

    3. Mormons place alcohol off limits based on the subsequent revelations made to Joseph Smith (& others).

      1. This is what mormons actually believe!

    4. Christians such as the Mormons

      False premise.

      1. How are Mormons not Christians?

        1. They have disagreements with the fundamental tenets of christianity.

          They are as much christian as Christian Scientists. Which is, not at all.

          1. Im pretty ecumenical about this…but there are some core concepts, take “Mere Christianity” (the book or the idea…the book was by Lewis who stole the term from Chesterton?) as an example.

            Im not big on dogmatic denominational fights, whatever whacky Cathopresbyterians want to do is fine by me, they are still Christians. But there is a line.

            Mormons are not a christian denomination.

            1. Wow lots of words, but no substance. Are you in politics?

            2. I kinda always figured that if you believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world, then you were a Christian. Even if you believed it metaphorically (unlike Mormons, who believe it literally).

              Guess I was wrong.

              1. Well, apparently robc is pretty ecumenical about this, so I guess it’s settled.

                In related news global warming is man made. The science is settled by people that are pretty scientific.

              2. I kinda always figured that if you believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world, then you were a Christian.

                It’s the whole becoming a god of your own world that makes Mormons non Christian.

                1. How so?

                  It doesn’t contradict anything in the Bible.

                  In fact, I’m pretty sure that a decent Mormon preacher can quote you a good three of four biblical passages to prove it.

                2. —“It’s the whole becoming a god of your own world that makes Mormons non Christian.”—

                  When I was in High School, a Mormon girl told me that Mormons believe that Jesus was a normal human, but led such a righteous life that he was placed as the Saviour of Earth. If a Mormon were to live a righteous life, God may put them on another planet as Saviour of that planet. I don’t know if this is Morman teaching or was a misunderstanding on my (or her) part.

                  1. Mormons believe that Jesus was foreordained from before the foundations of the earth, and that he was, even during his mortal ministry, a god. Before he was born, he lived with God as one of his spirit children.

                    Also, that bit about being placed as a savior is news to me, and not doctrinal. All people will be resurrected and their bodies will be forever united with their spirit. There won’t be any getting reborn or placed amidst some people on an alien planet.

                    What a lot of people have a problem with is the idea that man can be exalted to a state in which they can have create worlds and be the fathers there of. Misunderstanding that doctrine probably led to what this girls said.

                  2. That’s pretty much correct. You could google it if you wanted to read the actual crazy ass Mormon scriptures about that. Or, invite some Mormon missionaries over to explain it — then be a real dick and tell them not to come back if you don’t want them to view you as a hot potential convert.

              3. I kinda always figured that if you believed that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world, then you were a Christian.

                It’s the whole becoming a god of your own world that makes Mormons non Christian.


                  Additionally, the ancient Catholic Church used to believe in this type of exaltation of man. The knee jerk reaction against it is a contemporary one.

                  And what does that have to do with accepting Christ a lord and savior? Are you saying that if all the ‘real’ Christians all the sudden decided they agree that Baptism was figurative and not necessary that Baptists would not longer be Christian? I think that is the major difference is that Mormons don’t believe in doctrine being determine by a popular vote.

                  1. And:


                    Also, hear is more specifically what I was talking about with the Catholic Church:


                    It was written by a Catholic monk who later (not surprisingly, given the nature of his research) became mormon.

                  2. Ask,
                    The councils of Nicea AND Constantinople affirmed/provlaimed Christs innate divinity. This is not just a modern/recent development.

                    From the Nicean Creed:
                    [We believe] in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; through him all things were made.

                    It seems that folks was hung up on the whole Jesus is God thing back in 325AD.

            3. I went to many a Mormon Sunday service (my mom’s family is LDS). I was no religious scholar, but I couldn’t tell the difference but those services and the Protestant Sunday schools my friends dragged me to.

            4. Mormons believe in Jesus Christ.
              Possibly they are not Trinitarians.

              1. They believe in the Trinity. They do not believe in the 3-in-1 trinity of the catholics, however.

                They believe they are three separate divine beings.

                1. Or, at least, that’s how I understood the explanation someone gave me once. 🙂

            5. “robc|1.16.12 @ 9:48AM|#

              Im pretty ecumenical wrong about this”



              “This page explains who the Mormons are, what Mormons believe, and why Mormons are Christians.”

              robc|1.16.12 @ 9:48AM|#

              “Mormons are not a christian denomination.”


              1. Tulpa, The LDS declaring itself Christian is not exactly a shocker. OOOPS indeed

    5. You need to remember the first rule of religion: The holy texts, when correctly interpreted, always agree completely with whatever the person interpreting them wanted to believe anyway.

      1. Confirmation bias…how does that work?

    6. Mormons believe that drinking alcohol is bad first of all because their leaders tell them to, and simply because it’s been part of their doctrine since the beginning with Joseph Smith. The church took shape during the temperance movement, so those ideals were applied to the church along with many others of the time. You have to look at the Mormon religion in the context of the early to mid 1800s, and then it all makes sense. None of their views or practices were unique for the time period.

      (Former card-carrying Mormon, here)

      1. You have to look at the Mormon religion in the context of the early to mid 1800s, and then it all makes sense.

        That’s it, in a nutshell.

        Viewed through the lens of the early 19th century religious revival, there is not much in Mormonism that was not widely believed already.

    7. I fail to see why the author thinks that just because he did not become a Mormon, the girl was off limits.

      Because a lot of Mormon women will not marry a man who won’t convert to their faith, because marrying a non-Mormon man means they think they might wind up in the second-best Mormon heaven.

      Seriously. If you want Mormon pussy, usually you have to join the Church.

      1. I taught at U of U for five years. No shortage of Mormon pussy for this Jewish gentile.

    8. A bit off topic, but why do so many Christians such as the Mormons think that drinking alcohol is bad, last time I checked they were drinking wine at the last supper, not tea.

      In the case of Mormons, it’s because they have a scripture specifically prohibiting them from drinking alcohol, Doctrine and Covenants 89, which was later amended by the Church authorities to get rid of alcohol in sacramental services too, replacing the wine with water.

      I don’t get why other Christian sects have a ‘tude toward alcohol.

    9. A key LDS doctrine is eternal marriage. LDS believe they can be married for eternity but only to other worthy Mormons and this is the only way for them to create eternal families. So it’s no surprise that the Church encourages LDS to marry other LDS few LDS marry non-LDS. Temple marraibe isn’t even available to all Mormons. Only those deemed worthy (living by certain rules) can take part.

      Also the LDS lifestyle is a family affair. It only REALLY works when all family members buy in. Mixed faiths prove tricky in the the faith.

      Even if the author wanted to try and make the mixed faith marriage work likely the LDS girl involved wouldn’t have considered it.

  4. And that girl? We parted on amicable but sorrowful terms, and I haven’t seen her since.

    Sure, it’s nice when you’re all starry-eyed and in love. But one day you find yourself in a San Diego mansion, lacing up your white Nikes, downing your phenobarbital-and-Grey Goose shot, and waiting for Hale-Bopp.

    Be glad you got out when you did, Chapman.

    1. There are few things men won’t do in pursuit of nookie.

      1. “OK, I’ve learned Hebrew, I’ve memorized the Torah and the Talmud, now what else do I…

        “Oh, hell no!”

        1. That is why they don’t care if their women marry out of the faith. They know that she who holds the nookie holds the culture and all of the power.

          1. Gave up Jesus, had to give up pussy.

          2. That is why they don’t care if their women marry out of the faith.

            Au contraire. Mormons strongly encourage their women to marry a Mormon man, preferably a returned missionary. They don’t much care about convert versus born in the faith, other than the returned missionary thing – once you’re in, you’re in.

          3. Nope. Genetic tribal affiliation is guaranteed when the mother determines membership. Without modern genetic testing, the father could be anyone.

            (I assume Eduard was referring to Judaism.)

  5. Another commenter points to some LDS people endorsing Paul:…..nt_2765275

    1. Why not? I would imagine there are LDS all over the place politically.

      1. It’s a hit against Romney and his don’t-hate-me-cause-I’m-Mormon schtick.

        OK, we don’t hate you because you’re Mormon, but like many people (including some of your coreligionists) we don’t like your policies and prefer those of Paul.

        1. Of course for Romney to claim all Mormons are voting for me is a serious insult to Mormons. What are they a cult?

          1. What if a Mormon family ran their household the way Romney wants the federal government to be run? They would trash all the Mormon virtues – they’d borrow and spend irresponsibly, go around picking fights with others, meddle in the lives of peaceful hard-working Americans, etc.

            1. Being a former Mormon, I honestly do not see how you can be a Mormon and not be a Libertarian. The basis of their religion is based on “Life is choosing God’s way, Satan wanted to force you to live a certain way.”

              BTW, I married a Mormon girl while being a non-member. You get lots of friends while they are trying to convert you but even if you join then they dump you. That is why there are so many inactives and people that leave their church after joining. IMO, Mormonism is pretty good if you don’t actually buy into it. They teach some pretty good life lessons but that whole “our leaders are guided by God” can make for some interesting actions of their members. My ex’s moral compass was based on if she was caught in a lie by the bishop. If he didn’t correct her when she stretched the truth then she was doing everything alright. Bad thing is, she wasn’t the only one like that.

      2. Voting patterns in Utah indicate that they’re pretty conservative.

        But there are still Democrats in Utah and some of them are Mormons. Outside of Salt Lake County you don’t find too many liberals in the state.

        1. All true. But they still think for themselves. It is a large group of people. All of them can’t think the same way

          1. Technically not true; they have a God to impose His morals upon them.

            1. They all still have what they think God wants. The only way for them to think in lockstep would be i they actually had God’s voice in their heads. So either you’re just trying to insult them or you actually believe that thy have a direct pipeline to God’s will. But you can’t have it both ways. Since I’m guessing you don’t believe that they have that direct line thing, then no, they don’t all think the same way.

          2. My experience with running for office in a district with a fair number of Mormons is that maybe 70% or so of Mormons are Republican, at least in Hawaii. Dunno if that holds for Utah or Idaho or the other fairly heavily Mormon states near Utah.

  6. I was hoping that the article would explain how Harry Reid fits in. Is he like their retarded ugly cousin? Or is he like most of the Christians I know who show up at church on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday?

    1. Christianity is just a pagan heresy.

      1. Progressivism – the red headed step child of communism.

        1. More like the scouts and trail blazers.

    2. Actually there are a lot of morman’s in the senate beyond Reid. Both from Utah, one from Idaho, the Udal from New Mexico, Heller from Neveda and if Flake wins, he will be too.

      1. Gordan Smith from Oregon, before he lost, is also a morman.

  7. lol, you have to admit dude thats pretty funny.

    1. .ynnuf ytterp staht edud timda ot evah uoy, lol

  8. Having grown up as a non-mormon in a small Utah town, I can attest that as a group Mormons can be just as bigoted, domineering, closed-minded, and patriarchal as any of a number of other religious sects–especially when in numbers large enough to gain political power.

    I won’t speak to some of their more interesting religious beliefs, but the notion I hear a lot of, “Well the Mormons I know are the nicest people I’ve ever met” seems to be usually in the context of the LDS members being in the minority in the sitution described. When they are in the (overwhelming) majority YMMV.

    None of this disqualifies Mittens from a run at the Presidency. He does that himself with his own douchebaggery.

    And a Mormon did give us Battlestar Galactica, so there is that.


    1. If you want to get some of the sense of life in a small Utah town watch the movie Brigham City.

      1. I should have said more especially to see how Mormons see themselves in an environment where they are dominant.

        If you have limited experience with Mormons, that flick will creep you right out.

        1. That film is meant to creep you out no matter what.

    2. Your minority/majority LDS perspective is spot on, in my experience.
      My wife grew up in the burbs south of SLC. A non-Mormon, she really, really doesn’t like Mormons now after a childhood where she experienced frequent Mormon hypocrisy and intolerance.
      I, on the other hand, grew up in Oregon, where Mormons are a fairly large minority. I have Mormon friends and acquaintances. In my experience here they are very polite, usually friendly and at times sanctimonious.

      1. Utah Mormons are a different breed. Don’t judge us by those who live in the “bubble.”

        1. Ya I second that. When I moved to Utah I hated it. And I am Mormon! I found Utah Mormons to be very clickish. People outside the church see us as all the same but in-reality we are pretty diverse.

          I found Utah Mormon culture to be very different then Mormon community I grew up in Southern California

  9. Lucy Harris smart smart smart, Martin Harris dumb.

    1. If I’m ever in NY, I’d like to see your musical “The Koran.” When is it coming out?

      1. Take a can of whoop-ass of the shelf
        ‘Cause the infidel ain’t gonna smite himself
        Take out your sword, because it’s quite a thrill
        To find pagans and Jews and Christians to kill
        When you’re out in the hot sun shedding blood
        The sheep are starting to look pretty good

        1. Not bad, but still BLASPHEMY!

          1. There’s only one God and his name is Allah
            He’s a bit stern, but he’s quite a fella
            He won’t let you eat pork or drink booze
            But he’ll let you shtup houris if you kill enough Jews.

            1. You don’t say Allah if you’re speaking in English. It’s just “God,” like Christians say. Maybe you can rework it without the slant rhyme.

              1. Arabic, or nothing.

                1. Damn Reason won’t let me post the Arabic script for, “There are three flaming dogs in my underpants.”

                  For a site called reason…

  10. My family did the whole Mormon conversion thing back in the 70s. (They got better.) It wasn’t easy being the lone heathen holdout – I was in high school at the time and the “one of us…one of us” pressure was pretty intense. But “prophet” Joseph Smith? I mean, dudes, come on.

    1. Wow. I had an aunt and uncle who went totally off the deep end and became Jehovahs. I felt so bad for my cousins. Thank God my parents never did that.

    2. Some years ago I encountered a group of Mormon missionaries on a bus in Rome. It was Thanksgiving day, they were heading to the home of some other Mormons to celebrate and they invited me along. I wanted to go but had other commitments. We talked. I told them politely that I thought that their coming to the very heart and soul of Roman Catholicism to try to convert Italian Catholics to Mormonism had to be the pinnacle of audacity. They didn’t really understand my dismay.

      1. I’m guessing most Mormon missionaries who go to poshy precincts like Rome and Paris and whatnot are from the cream of Mormon society, and aren’t really expected to do too much actual convertarating. More of their “Grand Tour”.

        1. I’m guessing most Mormon missionaries who go to poshy precincts like Rome and Paris and whatnot are from the cream of Mormon society, and aren’t really expected to do too much actual convertarating. More of their “Grand Tour”.

          You would be wrong. Every missionary is expected to put in two really intense years trying to make converts, no matter where they go.

      2. Most countries with any sort of religious feel this way. I had good friends serve in Greece where they probably have 100 members and will never have more. I went to Armenia, which was the 1st Christian country in the world. They were extremely unsatisfied by the national religion despite their historical roots. Call it audacious, but most people are looking for more than what they are finding.

      3. Just think how the Romans felt about those audacious Christians.

      4. Ice Nine: Thought the same about Mormon missionaries I encountered in Poland.

    3. I’m sure Noah’s family thought the same thing. “Prophet” Noah. “Prophet” Isaiah? It’s always easy to say you would have followed the ancient prophets because it’s commonly accepted now, but had you lived then you would have likely dismissed them as well.

      1. I have the same problem with Auntie Zeituni. And Michelle has been challenging some of my revelations lately, like the one where God told me that I can have a cheeseburger.

  11. Some of the stories in The Book of Mormon were too hard to believe.

    I’m sure The History Channel could put your mind at ease scientifically.

    1. “Some of the stories in The Book of Mormon were too hard to believe.

      I’m sure The History Channel could put your mind at ease scientifically”

      … why, is the history channel suggesting that aliens were involved in this too?

  12. I had a mormon roommate; that was fun. I think I unconverted her.

    1. By “unconverted” you mean your roommate committed suicide. I don’t blame her, who wouldn’t consider it as a viable method of ending living together with you.

    2. This story is incomplete without the graphic descriptions of the coed lesbian sex that triggered the unconversion.

  13. Was anyone else hoping that the jump over to page 2 was going to reveal that Chapman and this woman then did unspeakably dirty things to each other in an airport bathroom?

    1. Larry Craig is Mormon?

  14. “That’s one thing you should know about Mormons. They’re persistent.”

    In other news, Huntsman drops out of the race.

    1. lol

  15. Who is going to write the next in the series?

    I Was (Almost) a Teenage ________



  16. This is like the worst chat room ever.

    1. This is like the worst chat room ever.

      Yeah, well the gecko is a much better insurance spokesman than you could ever be. I mean seriously, a brick-and-mortar store where you buy insurance in boxes? Really??

    2. Auntie, why do you always get so nasty around the 16th?

  17. What about the whole black people are cursed thing? I realize they believe that the curse has been lifted, but that still means that they believe that the black skin is a result of the curse.

    So Mitt should believe that Obama was cursed up until 1978, and that his skin is leftover mark of that curse.

    Maybe I am wrong about the details of the curse. But I am sure I am not the only one with that misconception, therefore it would be nice to have him explain this in the debates, the way Ron Paul must explain his newsletters.

    1. Like, I dunno, 99% of religious followers ever, it is likely that Mormons pick and choose which beliefs they want to go with, and prevaricate or ignore the more inconvenient ones.

      1. It’s the other 1% that really fucks it up for everyone.

        Well, and the large chunks of the 99% who pick and choose the really evil aspects.

      2. I am not asking why they believe what they do, or which beliefs they chose to go with.

        I stating that it would be nice if it were an issue. His church recently believed some pretty awful stuff (more so than the newsletters). He should at least have to explain it or explain that while his church believes that, he does not.

        And again, not that blacks are currently cursed, but that they were cursed as children (depending on their age), and those physical markings remain.

        1. He should at least have to explain it or explain that while his church believes that, he does not.

          Neither Romney nor his Church’s leaders believe that any more, just like how the most anti-polygamist people you will likely ever met are Mormons.

          When they’re told to quit believing something, they conform to that command.

          1. the most anti-polygamist people you will likely ever met are Mormons

            Publically, at least. I have met some Mormons whom I am sure were practicing polygamy on the sly.

            What’s fun is to point out to a Mormon who wants to legalize polygamy that there are more gay couples who want to change the definition of marriage than polygamists who do.

      3. Wow….progressives to the same thing….amazing.

    2. The black doctrine was not part of the original teachings of Joseph Smith. Smith was a staunch abolitionist who believed, in fact, that slavery was the shame of America. He actively encouraged proselytizing, converting and ordaining blacks and tried to get white converts who owned slaves to set them free (although he didn’t require it). Much of the animosity to Mormonism that now exists in the South stems from this period and is now expressed as hostility from evangelical and fundamentlist churches.

      The sanction on blacks (which was that they could not hold the priesthood, not that they could not be members) dates from Brigham Young’s time. The first time it shows up is in Utah in the early 1850s.

      In fact there are records that suggest that one of Joseph Smith’s wives was black. She apparently moved to Utah with the rest of them and went to the Endowment House (the buoilding used for Temple ordinances until they finished buildinhg the temple) in Salt Lake regularly until her death with absolutely no interference. If it’s true, it’s likely that it was suppressed by church officials. The church hierarchy has been very careful about creating the kind of history that serves their needs.

      1. Most Mormons I knew were slightly embarassed by the black doctrine.

        In fact, some Mormon apologists today are saying that it was all a mistake. It was never formal doctrine, they say, and that in issuing the instruction Brigham Young had been mistaken and that he had misinterpretted Joseph Smith’s writings on the subject. I suppose it makes them feel better than having to admit that Young was just a nasty racist fuck.

        1. There were also black priesthood holders. Elijah Abel was ordained 1836, his son Enoch was ordained in 1900, and Enoch’s son Elijah was ordained 1935.

          1. That’s part of what I was trying to say.

            [Smith] actively encouraged proselytizing, converting and ordaining blacks…

            1. But to me the story that needs explaining is not that blacks were not allowed to hold priesthood, but the reason behind that. It’s not really a big deal that people had some club or group (like the priesthood) that they didn’t let blacks enjoy. That was pretty common in the past.

              The problem is the current belief. Does Romney believe, right now in this election, that Obama was born cursed, and that his “black skin, flat nose, and kinky hair” are the mark of cain? It would be interesting to know.

              1. Does Romney believe, right now in this election, that Obama was born cursed, and that his “black skin, flat nose, and kinky hair” are the mark of cain? It would be interesting to know.

                Romney is a Temple Recommend holding Mormon, IIRC, which means he would almost certainly fervently accept the current Church’s leaders doctrine that judging on skin color is wrong and heretical.

                1. But the question is, does he believe that black people WERE cursed. Was it a valid curse? Does he look at black people and feel sorry that they have black skin because of his God’s curse? Why does he think black people still have dark skin, since the curse was lifted?

                  There are a lot of questions raised by the evasive answer that Mormons seem to give.

                  It’s like someone saying that they no longer believe in segregation. And if you ask them if they used to believe in, they just repeat the answer, “I don’t believe in it now.” What does it mean to no longer believe? Was it right when it was legal? The answer to that, if you are a decent person is no. But if you try to answer that segregation was moral because the law allowed it, you are rightfully considered a scumbag.

                  Romney can certainly believe that judging on skin color is wrong and heretical now. I would guess that he does believe that. But, so what? That’s not the issue. Does he believe it was wrong and heretical back in 1977 before the revelation. Does he believe his god and church were wrong?

                  And what happens if there is a new revelation while he is in office and the curse returns?

            2. Smith was all across the board on what he did and said regarding race. Personally I think the far more significant period in LDS history regarding race is the 130+ years where blacks were denied the priesthood and Temple ordinances by those who were sustained as prophets, seers and revelators.

        2. If Brigham Young is the prophet; and the prophet blacks can’t hold the priesthood, it’s doctrine until some later prophet has a divine revelation.

          One would think this would lead thinking Mormon’s to question the legitimacy of the President as Prophet. After all, how could teh prophet make a mistake?

      2. @ Jack-

        You are sorely misinformed. Joseph Smith was not a “staunch abolitionist” but rather a person who made some abolitionist comments when in the North and when it served his purposes. At other times Smith was clearly not abolitionist.
        In an LDS newspaper (Messenger and Advocate) in 1836 Smith said:

        “After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt but those who have been forward in raising their voice against the South, will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling and unkind-wholly unacquainted with the gospel of Christ. It is my privilege then, to name certain passages from the bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon this nature, as the fact is incontrovertible, that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the holy bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation and walked with God. And so far from that prediction’s being averse from the mind of God it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude!

        “And he said cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem and Canaan shall be his servant.” ?Genesis 9:25-27

        “Trace the history of the world from this notable event down to this day, and you will find the fulfillment of this singular prophecy. What could have been the design of the Almighty in this wonderful occurrence is not for me to say; but I can say that the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the decrees and purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before him; and those who are determined to pursue a course which shows an opposition and a feverish restlessness against the designs of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do his own work without the aid of those who are not dictate by his counsel.” – (Joseph Smith Jr., Messenger and Advocate Vol. II, No. 7, April 1836, p. 290; History of the Church, Vol. 2, Ch. 30, pp. 436?40.)

        And I believe the woman you mistaken assume was JS’s wife was Jane Manning a black woman who lived with the Smith’s before Joseph’s death. She asked to be sealed to the Smith’s and other LDS leaders by the law of adoption? not marriage? and was only eventually allowed to be sealed to Smith as a servant in 1894. It was done by proxy because Jane was not allowed in the Temple herself.

        1. Thread probably past its “good by” date but here goes.

          No, L, I am not misinformed. You and I simply operate from a different set of premises.

          You believe that the LDS church is the one true church of Jesus Christ. I see it as one of many churches, none of which has any connection to truth.

          You believe that the church is a divine construct made imperfect only by the humans who have to administer it on earth. I see the church as a human construct inherently imperfect and especially corrupt given the con men who founded it.

          I am not especially hostile to the LDS church (no more than any other and less than some) but I recognize some rather undesirable things in it.

          I do not know for certain if Joseph Smith had a black wife (not the servan you refer to) but I do know that there are records that claim he did. For all I know they could be false but given the official church’s policy of suppressing unfavorable facts I lean in its favor.

          I don’t know if Joseph Smith was a delusional genius or a con man, or a combination of the two. One thing I am certain of is that he was not however is a prophet of God. I will admit however that if I actually believed that there was a God I could certainly entertain the notion that Joseph Smith (and the rest of them) was his prophet.

  18. A couple of days later, my doorbell rang. Two earnest young missionaries were standing on my doorstep.

    You should have invited them in for an Irish coffee.

    1. Boring!

      I always look at the ground and say “thank you master for the two virgins in white”, and smile at them; the bastards never want to come in 🙁

      1. Maybe you werent hot enough for them. A big woman can really scare a man off.

      2. That being said…a strap on can be kinda unnerving also…

        1. Score:

          Rather = 9.5
          LDS = o

          1. 9.5 is a pretty big strap on….

            1. 9.5 because one was technically a virgin when I was done with him

              1. Wow….you were so bad that he reverted to being a virgin? Thats really amazing.

              2. Did you at least give him a reach around? Come on….if your gonna revirginize him a reach around is the least you can do.

      3. That is some funny shit right there. It literally made me laugh out loud.

    2. Sounds like the start of a bad gay pron movie

  19. As far as I am concerned all religions are crocks of shit, but Mormonism strikes me as particularly imbecilic. Every bit as asinine and bizarre as scientology. And yet, ridiculously, people who adhere to this “faith” are taken seriously. No one who takes it seriously could possibly be considered a rational or sane human being. It does serve the purpose, however, of illustrating the idiocy of all religions.

    1. Kinda like progressivism eh?

    2. I don’t understand why people have this attitude. So, Mormons believe in a mixed Christian/American myth with some weird planethood stuff mixed in. Is that any weirder than all of the other physically impossible stuff that occurs in the Bible?

      1. It’s about as weird as what you get from the left.

      2. Yeah it is.

        Mormons believe that Jews from the 5th century BC migrated to the Americas and became the Amerindians. The know this because Joseph Smith in 1826 found a book made of golden plates written in hieroglyphics. A angel named Moroni then visited Joseph Smith and gave him magic glasses that enabled him to translate the golden book into English. After it was translated the angel returned to Joseph Smith, took the plates and glasses up to heaven but as a consolation prize left JS the ability to speak directly to God. Which he was able to pass onto all of his successors, to this very day. Yes, Thomas Monson the current president of the lds is a living prophet that talks directly to God.

        What other mainstream religion believes anything even close to that?

        1. Why is it weirder than reading the Bible and taking it literally?

          Why is it OK to believe that God spoke to prophets a few thousand years ago and then just quit doing it?

          Yes, I realize that most mainstream believers take that Bible stuff abot revelation etc metaphorically and all but there’s a bunch of people who don’t. In fact, literal belief in Biblical prophesy is awful common in the USA and is one the things that distinguishes the way Americans believe from the way people in other countries believe.

          1. Believing in multiple universes you haven’t seen in order to balance out physics equations without positing a Creator…that’s fully rational.

          2. The mormons read the bible and take it seriously too.

            Most people think it’s less nutty to believe that a guy 3,000 years ago was inspired by go than to believe that a guy today picks up the phone and chats with god on a regular basis.

            No mainstream religion believes anything like the JS story. Or the jews became indians sub story. Or that individual members can become gods of their own planets.

            1. The “hebrews became Indians” story did not begin with Joseph Smith.

              It was widely believed in colonial America that indians were descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes. William Penn, for one, believed it.

              You don’t seriously believe that Smith invented the whole thing himself. There is nothing in Mormonism that was not believed by one of the belief systems – Methodism, Quakerism, Jefersonianism, Platonism etc – that Smith and his collaborators so freely stole from.

              And, again, why is it rational to believe that God spoke to prophets two thousand years ago, but doesn’t now? The Quakers believe God speaks to anyone who seeks him.

              1. I’d like to know which pack of ass-hats came up with an angel named Moroni? Moroni? you have to be kidding.

                1. No pack involved. Last name Smith, first name Joseph.

              2. the quakers’ (as somebody who went to a quaker prep school btw) beliefs are actually very sympatico with the gospel of thomas. same has been accused of being gnostic, but it isn’t in the sense most people use the word

                regardless, the first thing i noticed when i read gospel of thomas was how closely it mirrored the stuff i learned in (mandatory) quakerism class

          3. What bothers me is the claim that the church leaders talk directly to God today – pretty much a license to change anything that’s written or do anything they want and claim, God told me it’s alright.

            1. The Constitution is a living document.

        2. It is silly but no more so than Transubstantiation.

          1. Any criticism of a non-mainstream religion has to be balanced by an attack on mainstream Christianity. It’s a Hit and Run rule, as sacred as any drinking game.

            1. To be fair, I consider ALL religion to be equally full of shit. Following the Bishop of Rome is just as stupid as basing one’s church on the family values of Henry VIII or the numerology of the Millerites.

              1. Which is what I think I said in my post. As far as the comment about a multiverse with no creator, for atheists like me, my atheism does not discount the possibility of some intention – call it God if you like – behind existence, only that all the claims of all religions of knowing who and what God is are false. I might add, complexity is not a indication of intelligent design. In fact, I would argue that that reality is so complex that it argues AGAINST design.

          2. That whole part of Christianity is just bizarre.

            “Let’s show are belief in Jesus and his works by cannibalism”.

            1. just a nibble, really…you dont have to swallow…

        3. A angel named Moroni

          Always gets a chuckle from me.

          1. Reminds me of a girl I knew. She was bony.

        4. Yes, Thomas Monson the current president of the lds is a living prophet that talks directly to God.

          Sounds an awful lot like the Pope speaking ex cathedra, to me.

      3. No, it isn’t.

  20. My family was Mormon in the ’70s. I was born into it. We left left when my parents got divorced. My dad later confessed he only did it to quit drinking.

    1. My dad later confessed he only did it to quit drinking.

      So, did it work? Did he quit drinking after the divorce?

      1. Did he quit drinking after the divorce?

        For about 8 hours every night.

        1. You sure. I’ve never known an alkie who could get eight hours of sleep.

          Contrary to popular belief booze is a piss-poor sedative.

          1. Alcohol depresses the Central Nervous System until the kidneys filter it out into your bladder. So you wake up after only 3 hours or so, ready to piss a river.

            1. And since you’re awake, you might as well get another drink or three, right? 🙂

  21. John check your AOL email

  22. Hey, Steve, it’s never too late to reconsider! 😉

    Seriously, though, thanks for countering the baloney that comes from so many critics of Mormonism depicting us as if we were flesh eating zombies. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is made up of people who went through the same process you did, and decided that it is the best way to express their commitment to Christ. Even those who grow up in Mormon families have to make their own personal decision whether to believe in it as the restoration of Christ’s original church. In every case it is a free choice. The Church relies on the continuing voluntary dedication of its individual members, who staff all leadership and teaching positions in every congregation without compensation.

    1. just another pack of flesh eating zombies, I dont care what they say…

    2. The leadership of cults never actually get paid or own anything – that would mean paying taxes. They do get to use all kinds of church resources, i.e. mansions and fancy cars, though.

  23. By the way, mist folks arebappallingly ignorant of Orthodox doctrines like Theosis, that salvation consists of becoming like God. It is the original Christian belief, carried on by the Orthodox, and Mormons hold to that doctrine. Those who caricatire it have.lost touch with the roots of Christianity.

  24. Are you kidding? A second page for four short sentences?

    1. Yes, and one page with 300 comments.

  25. in short it’s kind of like a cult

    I mean, it’s not a bad one, if you will. There are worse ways that a cult could be like; at least they stress things like niceness and abstinence from drugs and hard work, etc.

    but it’s still kind of cult-ish, and in that way, maybe, not real? I guess, or a sort of a farce? But it’s not a farce. I dunno, but in the end it’s weird

    With most religions handed down from parents, and not taken as seriously/literally, most of us can still keep up the whole family-man thing, but still have the choice of inter-marrying across faiths and better maintain/respect a pluralistic society. Maybe would be a bit of a problem across an entire religion, I don’t know what we’d do with the kids if I married Hindu or Jewish, but we’d come up with something before marriage/in the prenup, and I’d still celebrate Christmas regardless of religion (let’s face it, Christmas is just fuckin awesome, I don’t care about the religious aspect)

    1. a nice cult, except for that whole flesh eating zombie thing

    2. they stress things like … abstinence from … hard work

      Sign me up!

  26. I have a branch of the family that is mostly Mormon. A cousin was into drugs, and the Mormon’s fixed him up. That impressed some other cousins who converted to.

    They aren’t rich as a class. One is dirt poor, another fairly well off, but most are average middle class. They are not weird. Less proselytizing that the evangelicals in the family. They are not any more or less conservative than the rest of the clan.

    1. The Book of Mormon, however, is just too ridiculous to take seriously. I know some atheists will say the same thing about the Old Testament, but really the BoM is in an entirely different class. Amerindians are a Lost Tribe of Israel, Blacks are cursed, magic sunglasses, etc, etc. And then there is the magic underwear and other quirks.

      So yeah, in one way Mormon’s are weird. But are they really weirder than those neo-Keynesian Obama worshippers? Now there’s a wacky religion!

      1. The reason the BoM looks ridiculous to us is that it is all within our historical memory.

        Throw it back a couple thousand years, and it looks like a lot of other religious texts.

        I mean, is the whole golden tablet/magic glasses thing really more ridiculous than a talking bush that’s on fire?

        1. IOW, appeals to antiquity.

        2. Considering there are bushes near the sulfur lakes of Saudi Arabia (I just watched some documentary on it) that catch on fire but aren’t automatically consumed (instead of turning to ash it hardens or some shit) I’d say burning bushes are a little less ridiculous.

          1. I’d say burning bushes are a little less ridiculous.

            And the burning sounds like talking?

            1. Sure, especially after eating some of the wacky plants you sometimes find in the desert.

        3. Right, but that’s not an insignificant distinction. The truth is if we’re walking down the street and some guy comes up to us and tells us that he’s communicating directly with God on a daily basis and God tells him this that and the other, we’re looking for our nearest escape or a nearby cop.

          The separation of the Earthly and the Divine has _always_ been a necessity in the practice of religion, because the vast majority of people are rational and know that they don’t have conversations with God. They know that God doesn’t just start chatting people up out of the blue.

          A certain amount of small and benign irrationalities are necessary to get out of bed in the morning and almost all of us have them. But I think there’s a point where religion goes from something like that to something a little bit more weird, and I think the recentness of Mormonism causes it to skate that line. Maybe rationally it’s no different, but we’re not talking about a rational area of subject matter to begin with.

        4. Exactly. Comedy=Tragedy+Time

      2. AGE is the key factor here.

        We saw Scientology and LDS take form in front of our eyes as a society and we have the written records of the people and acts involved and can infer a lot of the bullshit that went on: Golden plates that only Smith could read? riiiiight. Multiple wives? riiight. Millions of dollars to cleanse yourself totally? Riiiight.

        But with Muhammad and Jesus and Moses you have sparser historical records and less consciousness of them as made up doctrine, so they kinda get a pass because the scam at the core is less visible.

        1. or alternatively, what RC Dean said right above me.

      3. The story of Noah alone is as dumb as anything in the Book of Mormon.

      4. The BofM doesn’t have anything about “Blacks are cursed” in it.

        And “Amerindians are a Lost Tribe of Israel” was a common belief in colonial America and the early USA.

        Likewise magic devices like translating stones etc.

        In fact, the fact that many people don’t realize how prevalent these ideas were is possibly why so many people, saints and gentiles alike think that Mormonism is so uniquely oddball.

        Young Joe Smith didn’t come up with this shit in a vacuum.

        1. The whole “Blacks are cursed” thing is something that Brigham Young came up with years after Joseph Smith was killed and they’d moved to Utah.

        2. And “Amerindians are a Lost Tribe of Israel” was a common belief in colonial America and the early USA.

          I could be wrong, but I believe the whole “is the mark of Cain” thing was a pretty common belief too.

        3. ‘a dark and loathsome people’ referred to Lamanites (or Native Americans). Skin color is such a ridiculous standard for ‘identity’. It must be hard-wired into our evolving brains.

          The Mormon leaders could get away with their simplistic explanations before because it predated modern genetic science and the concept of biogeography and plate tectonics.

          But Mormons aren’t the only ones having their foundations shaken by the robust marketplace of ideas.

          My take is that most of humanity holds severely outdated (disproven) ideas close to heart. I say why pick on Mormonism. As long as membership is voluntary, who cares?

          1. As long as membership is voluntary, who cares?

            Bingo. It’s not like no one ever left the Mormon Church. Or told the missionaries to get lost, for that matter.

          2. Skin color is such a ridiculous standard for ‘identity’.

            No it isn’t. If you need to divide yourself into a community, you need a way to identify those inside and those outside. A visual cue like skin color is a very easy way to do so. Throw in a little tribal evolutionary survivalism and it all makes sense.

        4. Young Joe Smith didn’t come up with this shit in a vacuum.

          I recall reading an account that the Book of Mormon was originally a novel, that Joe Smith stole from a publishing house and added some moral teachings too. I don’t necessarily believe that, but the Lost Tribe thing was certainly a common idea at that time.

          Heck, you can still find dudes claiming that Great Britain, and the United States by extension, are the lost 13th tribe.

          1. See British-Israel Movement.

            The British-Israel Movement seems to be a tent big enough to enclose people ranging from mostly harmless cranks to some really vicious racial identity types.

    2. do you have stats on this?

      i have heard that mormons rank well above average in the US for income.

      1. I’m pretty sure she was referring to her own family members in the LDS church, not LDS members in general.

        1. thanks.
          that seemed a possibility, but wasn’t clear to me

          sounds reasonable.

        2. I am not a she. The “-buck” part of the name should have given it away. That and the excessively hairy back.

  27. Mormons are indeed persistent but don’t mistake that for lack of sincerity. We believe it and want to share it but we don’t stop being friends with someone because of their decision not to join. Any who read this article in this light, please know we are about the most tolerant (although I don’t think that’s the best word to use–perhaps “loving” or “accepting”) people you will ever know.

    1. “tolerant” is totally the wrong word, at least as leftists define that word.

    2. I don’t know how you can consider yourself tolerant; the fact that you evangelize is dogmatism

      1. this is utter horseshit. one can evangelize one’s position (on anything, not just religion) and that is completely tangential to whether one is tolerant or not.

        1. The silly cow is using the left’s definition of tolerance.

          See protefeed’s comment.

          1. right. i would imagine many, if not most of us libertarians, as a distinct minority also evangelize our position

            doesn’t make us intolerant (although i am sure SOME libertarians ARE). it just makes us advocates for our beliefs.

            and why not?

            i don’t begrudge ANYBODY the right, if not the duty to try to spread their beliefs.

            as long as they can accept me saying “fuck you im not interested” and/or my ridiculing them

      2. Show up at my door to do so? Hell, no.

        You can mention your are a ______fill in the blank, and If I want to know the details, I’ll ask.

        Do you show up at someone’s door and ask them if they’ve excercised?

        1. Well a school in New York seems to have bracelets that are monitoring kids activity 24 hours a day and see if they are exercising….so in one regards the government doesnt even give a courtesy knock on the door.

          But if its the government I guess that makes it ok.

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  29. i have a fair # of mormon friends. some really good people, but MAN are they square (generally speaking).

    there is a joke in law enforcement that FBI agents are often Mormon Accountants from Utah. because they like em square as fuck. that’s great if you are going to pore over #’s all day long so you can finally get al capone for tax evasion, but they tend to make awful street cops.

    i really like them, on the whole. i agree with matt and trey on that. they make some of the best neighbors you could ever want

    statistically, they rate very low on social pathologies- low crime, low out of wedlock birth, etc.

    otoh, i find it ridiculous that some of them who are grossly obese, think god (if he exists) totally doesn’t want them to drink a drop of alcohol, but eating food until you are grossly obese (iow ruining one’s own temple) is a-ok. of course i could say the same thing about other teetotaler religious people

    god knows they have taken “the book of mormon” in stride, which is lot more than most others would

    1. They’re not just number crunchers in law enforcement. I knew a Mormon who was in the Secret Service presidential protection detail.

      Apparently, scrupulous honesty and a blind devotion to authority goes far in some niches of law enforcement.

      1. undoubtedly. like i said, they are good Fan Belt Inspectors, because FBI agents almost never do real street level police work.

        presidential protective detail would require obviously the kind of traits you mention, too

        1. I have an LDS friend who’s a good street cop. The FBI tried to recruit him but he failed a polygraph when then asked him if he could work in a bar to cultivate an informant and he said yes. That the FBI asks that question tells me that they are looking for people who can do more than forensic accounting. That my friend failed also tells me that Mormons do not fit the profile for vice work.

  30. in regards to religion in general, and mormonism in particular, i paraphrase matt and trey, as i often do

    the only thing more ridiculous in believing in a god etc. that made everything we see, and who sees all, etc. is NOT believing in it, and just thinking everything is here, “just because”

  31. If you’re parroting the crap about Mormons wearing “magic underwear”, then you are either a bigot, or a moron, or a bigoted moron.
    What’s next to emerge from your mighty intellect? Perhaps slurs about orthodox jews and their “magic” prayer shawls and yamulkes?

    1. yea, the magic underwear bigotry is stupid. i see that amongst progressives a lot too.

      most mormons see it as symbolic, and as a way to keep a constant reminder not to defile the body, to be sexually impure, etc.

      the idea of this sort of shield is hardly unique. the very shield that law enforcement officers wear is also symbolic, going back to the shields that ancient warriors used to fend off blows.

      the magic underwear digs are really stupid, imo.

    2. “What’s next to emerge from your mighty intellect? Perhaps slurs about orthodox jews and their “magic” prayer shawls and yamulkes?”

      Why not? And yeah a belief that wafers produced in a factory in Rhode Island are the “body of Christ” certainly qualify as “magic wafers.”

      If someone is unreligious, how do you expect them to view this kind of stuff? Sure they probably have their own non-religious irrationalities themselves, but then those should be fair game too.

      Withholding scrutiny in the sphere of public debate is rarely good.

      1. I agree that all ideas should be scrutinized….but scrutinize any progressive ideas and see what happens. Or at the very least scrutinize teh wun and see how fast the rascism card gets played.

  32. I’m sure most Mormons are affable and tolerant people. But how are they if they are suddenly in a position of power? Would they make it very difficutl to enjoy tobacco, alcohol, coffee and other things their religion forbids?

    Answer: The State of Utah

    Nuff Said

    1. Actually, while Utah’s liquor laws are highly restrictive, I’m not aware of any restrictions on smoking or drinking coffee that are any more arduous than anywhere else in the country.

      Most of Utah’s liquor laws are restriction on bars and restaurants etc. Buying a bottle of booze to take home is no worse that any other state with a state liquor monopoly.

      And unlike New Jersey you can buy beer in the grocery store.

    2. I agree. There is a strong tendancy amongst Mormons toward nannyism. Afterall God does know what is best for you. They also have a concept called the Law of Obedience and it contains the caveat that if you are asked (by your God-inspired leaders) to do something that turns out to be error (sin), then you are absolved.

      It sounds good to a lot of people, but it can’t help but encourage blind conformity. The example of Isaac’s near-sacrifice is cited often to encourage obedience.

      At the same time, I really only see the Mormon Church as zealously lording over its flock. I don’t see any desire to overtake the world. If anything there is a geeky need of acceptance that translates into things like obsession over famous Mormons (Steve Young, Merlin Olsen, remember Jimmermania last year, Donny & Marie, David Archuleta, etc.) Ironically, most Mormons are crying out for acceptance from an indifferent world.

      1. They also have a concept called the Law of Obedience and it contains the caveat that if you are asked (by your God-inspired leaders) to do something that turns out to be error (sin), then you are absolved.

        But there is also the duty in Mormonism for one to know for oneself about the truthfulness of a statement. While some Mormons may do things just because they are told to do so, many others ignore requests because they don’t feel they are inspired. There is a lot more diversity of thought in Mormon circles than outsiders might think and discussion about how to understand teachings can get pretty contentious at times.

        Yes, there are sort of outside limits of belief, like one would have a hard time believing Joseph Smith was a fraud or that Jesus wasn’t the messiah and still be Mormon, but as robc’s comment show way upstream, that hold true for any group.

    3. Just look at what Mormons have done to smoking in CA.

      1. The Mormon mayor in my small CA town prevented us from finally having a mini-mart (so I could conveniently get milk for my son’s breakfast) because they would have sold beer. Though that was her main reason, she convinced the town council that mini-marts lower a city’s property values.

    4. Now compare Utah’s liquor laws to a warm and fuzzy progressive state like Pennsylvania…

  33. I’m confused as to the purpose of this article. If you meant to educate people about Mormonism, let me say you have failed miserably. If you meant to gain readership by portraying a navel-gazing blog post by a non-mormon as an education piece, you succeeded quite well.

    1. You missed the 3rd possibility: to make us forget they didn’t do morning links

      1. Well maybe theres no morning links…but at least you can scare off Mormans when you open your front door wearing a strap on.

  34. I’ve only gotten to know one Mormon well, I guy I met at the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, NC. He was interesting, a lot of fun, and for reasons I couldn’t quite fathom, caused women to swoon over him. Save his abstinence from alcohol, he was a thoroughly enjoyable character, who thankfully didn’t try to recruit me to the cause. I’m reasonably sure he knew a hopeless case when he saw it.

  35. … donate 10 percent of their earnings to the church…
    I also found that they are extremely welcoming to outsiders.

    Gee I wonder if these two are related.

  36. For a place called “Reason” there sure are a lot of unreasonable anti-Mormon comments getting thrown around. The whole point of this article is pointless. At least the next time I come across Ron Paul supporting Mormons I can point to this place to disabuse them of that support. This is especially the case when there is supposed to be the philosophy of even more freedom without incrimination.

    You would figure a place that prides themselves on knowing facts would be more fact based in its views on a whole group of people and what they believe. Treatment of Mormons with rules given everyone else, as usual, do not apply. Don’t even think to ask a Mormon what it means to be Mormon, just have some punk who happened to know a Mormon spout off junk. At least comments here proves that Atheists cannot be trusted to have respect for anything of importance to others no matter if they are conservative or liberal. And they wonder why religious people find them undesirable for elective office.

  37. I found the article interesting and accurate from my experience with the LDS Church? specifically being 30+ years as a member. Mormons are for the most part disciplined and committed to their beliefs and way of life. Often this commitment leaves little time or desire left for engagement with non-LDS

    As an LDS teen I grew up in CA with mostly non-LDS friends and knew that at a certain point that likely our paths would diverge because I would pursue the goal of all faithful LDS males, missionary service and eventually an eternal family? and my non-LDS friends had zero interest in either of these things or Mormonism. Fact is for many LDS their faith is so all consuming that their interaction with non-LDS is limited.

    In the case of the author obviously his relationship with girlfriend was based on his potential as an LDS convert. Most LDS will not even consider getting serious with and certainly not marrying non-LDS? mostly because LDS temple marriages (marriage for eternity) can only be between 2 LDS who are deemed worthy by Church leaders. The importance marriage as part of the larger LDS idea of eternal families cannot be overstated.

    Being dropped socially after deciding to not convert is not uncommon either. LDS are encouraged by the Church to ‘fellowship’ or associate with potential converts as a way to interest them in Mormonism however often when investigators choose to not join LDS move on to other people or take the rejection of the faith personally. From my experience many LDS are quite defensive about their faith and have difficulty understanding how it can be rejected by outsiders.

    The push to commit to baptism relatively early was around when I was an LDS missionary in the late 80s as well. We were told to challenge investigators to baptism in our second meeting with them and supposed to have them baptized a member within 3 weeks of our first contact.

    As hard as LDS try they seem to have a very hard time not viewing the non-LDS world as scary, unhappy and lost and non-LDS mostly as potential converts. This is too bad because from my experience this doesn’t lend itself to LDS having really close relationships with outsiders and I think that could do them some good.

  38. Laugh all you want, but any group that

    A) evangelizes diligently and
    B) encourages large families

    will end up dominating the culture in the long run.

  39. This article and a bunch of its comments don’t really seem to have that much “reason.” They’re full of the reactionary emotion that liberals and conservatives on this site are always getting lambasted for. Broad-brushing a group of people, even “religious nuts” to be a certain way is rarely wise.

    Oh, Chapman. Seriously though, I think it’s very obnoxious of you to presume you have some hidden knowledge about a whole group of individuals who happen to have the same religion, simply because you spent some time around a small group of them.

    Yes, I do happen to be a Utah Mormon. I’m a libertarian, and my parents were far from rich. My large Mormon family is all over the place not just in its degrees of Mormonism, but in their political views, their economic levels, their diets, their family sizes, you name it.

    Living in Utah I know Mormons who are all over the place economically, who call themselves Mormon but do all kinds of things that Mormons aren’t usually presumed to do. I know Mormons who are obese, I know Mormons who are poor. I know Mormons who are all different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds (now I know that’s a huge shock.)

    The point is, I think we see what we want to see in people. We like to clump people into groups, rather than realizing that no matter what aspect of them we get stuck on, they’re complex individuals with their own set of beliefs, outside of just their religious ones.

    I know it seems easier just to presume that all Mormons are one way and be done with it, but that’s pretty narrow-minded. Individuals are too complex for that. One would think that Libertarians with their political philosophy based on individual liberty, would be better at recognizing this. Wasn’t Ayn Rand the founder of Individualism after all?

    Now look at that, I didn’t even try to convert you. Shocked?

  40. I love Mormons, but I don’t think I could eat a whole one.

  41. enough to make you wonder why we put up with non-Mormon

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