F Rosa Rubicondior: More On Mormons

Tuesday 5 March 2013

More On Mormons

Religions are not sources of objective morals, they are sources of excuses for behaving immorally. This is why no one who is not indoctrinated into the abusive ways of cults like Mormonism can read accounts like the following and not recoil in horror, mystified how any rational person can behave that way towards others.

Incidentally, this is the same deranged cult thinking which was behind William Lane Craig's professed puzzlement and 'disappointment' with people who react with revulsion at his spirited defence of genocide and especially his casual declaration that there is nothing wrong with killing children because it is good for them and makes them happy. Find that hard to believe? Read it here in William Lane Craig's own words.

Cult thinking

Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.

But this blog isn't about William Lane Craig's repulsive creed or how he insults our intelligence to promote it. It's about how cults are founded by people looking for an excuse for their repugnant behaviour and how they attract other like-minded individuals, and then, when a systematic process of childhood brainwashing is in place, they gain a rationale of their own and a perverted culture is produced, inducing people to behave in ways which normal people find repulsive.

But should we really be surprised by this when a brief study of history reveals so many examples of all mainstream religious cults behaving in exactly similar ways?

This account of the behaviour in a fundamentalist Mormon cult, called, appropriately, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or FLDS was published in the Denver Post, 4 March 2001. It was related to the reporter by a woman, Laura Chapman. who had escaped from the cult.
As a little girl, Laura Chapman taped the words "Keep Sweet" on her bathroom mirror to remind herself how to get by in this remote, polygamous community. Keeping sweet, Chapman says, meant staying silent as her father molested her starting at age 3. It meant hiding her secret from her 30 brothers and sisters. It meant being lashed with a yardstick by one of her father's four wives. It meant having to quit school at age 11, then work without pay in a store owned by her church's prophet.

Keeping sweet meant being forced into marriage at age 18 to a man she didn't know, let alone love. It meant having a baby every year. It meant walking 10 paces behind her husband. And, above all, it meant smiling, sweetly through her pain.

Polygamy prevails in remote Ariz. town Slavery to some is salvation for others.
Denver Post, March 4, 2001. Article ID: 1058372
As Los Angeles Times reporters found:
Among sect members, girls as young as 13 are forced into marriage, sexual abuse is rampant, rape is covered up and child molesters are shielded by religious authorities and law enforcement.

Boys are thrown out of town, abandoned like unwanted pets by the side of the road and forcibly ostracized from their families to reduce competition among the men for multiple wives.

Children routinely leave school at age 11 or 12 to work at hazardous construction jobs. Boys can be seen piloting dump trucks, backhoes, forklifts and other heavy equipment.

Girls work at home, trying to keep order in enormous families with multiple mothers and dozens of children who often eat in shifts around picnic tables.

Wives are threatened with mental institutions if they fail to “keep sweet,” or obedient, for their husbands.

FLDS: Blind Eye to Culture of Abuse
David Kelly and Gary Cohn. Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2006
Just think: a very large number of rational Americans actually wanted a member of this cult as their President in 2012, albeit, at least officially, a member of a reformed and 'moderate' branch.

I never once considered going to the police, Going to the police would have been going against the whole town. Everyone was [molesting]. The church never said it was all right, but it was treated nonchalantly.

Sara Hammon, 30, after enduring years of sexual abuse at the hands of her [FLDS] father and brothers.
All this is very reminiscent of what was happening on Pitcairn Island where an isolated fundamentalist Seventh Day Adventist cult had been established and where a culture had developed in which systematic abuse of young girls by older men was the norm, even being defended by some older women. Strong cult leaders who manage to convince their followers that they speak to God and get instructions from him, as Mormons claim to do, can and do abuse the power this gives them.

But what is informative is the way, when the abuse becomes so widespread, and especially when they come into contact with cultures where humanism is prevalent, many cult members eventually see it as immoral and repulsive, just as many Pitcairn Islanders did, and just as former victims of Mormon cults are doing. There is an innate human morality which sees through those imposed by religious cults and even eventually by mainstream religions like Christianity and Islam. Just as nominally Christian countries have now rejected much of what Christianity's holy book, the Bible, calls for and instructs because it is frankly repugnant to innate human decency, so Muslim countries will eventually overthrow the more repulsive diktats of the Qur'an, maybe cherry-picking the few good bits, just as some Christian societies have. It is this humane rejection of so much of the Bible which was obviously concerning William Lane Craig and his fundamentalist, would-be theocrat backers.

Human beings don't get their morals from religion. Where religions are civilised and humane it's because they have been tamed by civilised human beings and have been forced to adopt our standards. The Catholic Church, for example, is just beginning to come to terms with the fact that many people, even those still professing to be Catholics, are rejecting much of what it teaches and much of what it tolerated in the form of clerical abuse of power, hence the general air of crisis and decay pervading it from the top downwards. The fall in recruitment to the priesthood is as much to do with people rejecting what the church stands for as it is to do with the thought that power without real accountability no longer offers the opportunities for abuse that it once did.

When people no longer need excuses, and when people no longer tolerate a pretence of piety as a cover-all excuse, religions cease to have any purpose.

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1 comment :

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful post about Mormonism. Unfortunately, too few people understand how much the "mainstream" Mormon church is like its fundamentalist offshoot.


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