Tuesday, June 30, 2009
In John 1:1, we read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In verse 14, we read: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." We are told explicitly that Jesus Christ IS THE GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! You probably already accept this. But, by logical extension, you must also accept therefore that it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to slaughter millions of defenseless men, women and children in the conquest of Canaan; it was Jesus Christ who killed every firstborn child in Egypt; it was Jesus Christ who ordered king Saul to butcher thousands of children and babies in the genocide of the Amalakites; it was Jesus Christ who ordered the Israelites to capture and mass-rape 32,000 young girls of the Midianite tribe after killing their families; it was Jesus Christ who struck dead 50,000 innocent people at Beshemish for merely looking into the ark of the covenant; it was Jesus Christ who caused the painful asphyxiation of every man, woman, child and animal on the face of the earth during the flood of Noah (with the exception of 8); and it was Jesus Christ who condemned every person ever born to a state of eternal suffering, all because 6000 years ago a curious and naive woman ate a piece of fruit. And, of course, it was Jesus Christ who sent 2 bears to chase down 42 little kids and disembowel them for just acting like kids.
To see the entire article, please click the link above.
Monday, June 29, 2009
What a dumb thing to do! Believe in something that has absolutely no proof! But that's the whole point of religion. God, for some unknown reason, wants everyone to believe in him on complete blind faith. What a stupid god!
If you were god, and you loved everyone unconditionally, wouldn't you have a slightly better method of "saving" everyone than just blind faith? And if you were god and loved everyone and wanted to save them all, why would you create Hell and thrust everyone in who didn't blindly believe?
What a goddamn stupid god! What a shallow mother fucker!
Is that seriously the best plan that this all knowing, all powerful dude can come up with? It's so pathetic that only the pathetic believe it! And if god wants us to resist the devil, why does he allow the devil to tempt us? If god really wanted us all saved, then he would just snap his fingers and make satan disappear.
If god didn't want Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, then why the fucking hell did he put the tree in their goddamn backyard and tell them not to eat it? It's like telling a three year old to NOT eat the big chocolate cake that you just placed in his crib. Hello!!!!
God is a fucking moron!
Then this genious of a god gives 10 commandments, among which is the commandment to not kill. This hypocrite of a god then tells that very same prophet he just gave the commandments to, to kill everyone who doesn't follow them.
What the royal fuck?
But it gets better. Then god tells his prophet that in order to obtain their promised land, they have to slaughter every thing that resides there... Men, women, children, animals. If any of the Israelite soldiers even takes one thing from the spoils, then he is put to death too.
Then somehow they get the Arc of the Covenant. It's this magical powerful thingy and anyone who touches it, other than the appointed priests, will die on the spot.
And god is merciful?
The entire Old Testament is full of gods bloody vengance. Then all of a sudden, god realizes what a royal fucking jerk he has been and suddenly switches over from being jealous, vengeful, and brutal, to the New Testament where he is kind, meek, and mild.
The god of the OT: slaughters children.
The god of the NT: suffer the little children.
OT: mercilessly slaughter your enemies
NT: love your enemy
OT: an eye for an eye
NT: turn the other cheek
Are we talking about the same fucking god?
So then this brilliant god establishes his church but it falls into apostasy after just a few years. The most powerful being in the universe can't even keep a church going for a few years? If he really knew everything, then he must have known it would fail. Knowing that it would fail, why did he establish it in the first place then? A lot of people suffered and died for this true church and all for what? Nothing.
If god can't even keep a church going, how in the hell could he have possibly created the universe?
If god created the universe, where did he live before that?
Why does it take god almost 2,000 years to get his act together and get the true church back? He must have been enjoying all that heavenly sex with his countless polygamous wives. All those people who lived during that time are fucked. But wait, the temple will save them!
So if all those people who lived during the time when there was no true church can be saved, then why bother restoring the church at all? If they can all be saved even though they didn't do their home teaching, pay their tithing, attend meetings, and fulfill callings, then why not just build a temple in heaven and have all your angels start the death dunking. That way you don't have to worry about invalid ordinances because of all the people who cheated during their worthiness interview!
What's up with being "temple worthy"? If I go to the temple for say, Hitler, then WTF? That was a pretty nasty dude and without any interviews at all, that murdering dictator gets to have his temple blessings done for free! That's bullshit! I had to work and sweat and slave in order to be temple worthy and this murdering fucker skips through without a sweat? Why work so hard to be righteous and worthy when you just get to go through after you die anyway?
My god, god, can't you be more stupid and hypocritical?
So, let me get this straight... in order to do someone else's temple work, I have to be worthy so that THEY can get their blessings, even if they were murdering bastards? I have to prove myself worthy (by paying my 10%) in order for a smoking, drinking, cussing, cheating, bastard to have a free ride? That's bullshit!
WTRF (What the Royal Fuck?)
If there actually is a god who put all this together, then it's the most pathetic god in existance! The murderer gets through without a sweat and the loyal believer sweats and slaves and is still not sure if he is CK bound. The murderer is forgiven without doing anything, and the believer works his ass off, only to be told that he could be doing more.
If that god is real, than I might as well be a raping murderer. Ted Bundy is more likely to get to heaven than your average TBM. That's just bullshit!
For example: Can a person walk on water? No. So that tells you that the story where Jesus walks on water never actually happened. However, to a believer, they see it like this: Can a person walk on water? No, unless they are god.
This is why trying to debate with a believer is pointless. They use their imaginary god to backup and justify their irrational beliefs.
Belief in god is as irrational as it can possibly be, and yet it has such a strong hold on people's minds that they can't let it go. It is easier to justify and rationalize than it is to just see the writing on the wall. For the life of me, I can't figure out why.
You see, for me, it was not like that. I believed in all those irrational things until the truth was brought to my attention. Once I was made aware of the evidence against the church and religion, I accepted it. No explaining, no rationalizing, no excuses. I looked at the facts and let them determine what I believe. Why is it not so easy for everyone? I'm stumped.
Of course, as a believer, and especially as a missionary, I felt exactly the same way when people didn't fall all over us to be baptized. I was amazed that they couldn't see how true the church was.
So religious people fall back on their irrational beliefs and justify them with their imaginary god. This makes a bond that is not easily broken. "I believe because god is real" and "god is real because I believe". How can you refute that? Even though it is horribly flawed, it's all the justification they need.
There are many blogs and websites that talk about every aspect of the church that you can imagine. While I do talk about as many of them as I can, my main focus is just plain common sense. If you use common sense, and are honest with yourself, you will see the truth. Get rid of the excuses and the justification and just see things for how they are.
Next time a believer tells me that they "believe" god is real, I'll tell them that I "believe" that they have gold in their head and I need to smash it open to get the gold out. Hey, I believe it, so that must make it true, even if science says they have a brain in their head! Science is obviously wrong, so I'll go on faith and *smash their skull open. (Hey, they're a believer, right? So they won't even miss their brain!)
* I am not actually condoning violence. This is just a sarcastic statement to make a point. I just thought I'd make it clear so that no one can accuse me of promoting hate and violence.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I have a Brother-in-law who is very strategically positioned in the church (and I have to leave it at that...sorry), who told me several years ago that Temples are essentially "business centers" for the church, and they build them very strategically these days to capitalize on that.
What he went on to explain was that in areas where members had to travel more than a couple of hours to get to a temple, tithing revenues are significantly less than in areas where members have regular access. The reason was simple: You are much more inclined to maintain a current temple recommend if it is likely that you will actually be attending the temple more than on your wedding day. And you are much more susceptible to messages of guilt and coercion when your Bishop can say, "Brother so-and-so, you DO realize what a blessing it is to have a temple right here in our fair city, don't you? The sacrifices made on your behalf, so that you can enjoy the benefits, are hardly ones you should want to waste. Now, if you'll go ahead and make that check out in the amount of..."
So while on the surface, it appears that the church is doing "a favor" to the saints of a city by "bringing them a temple," the truth is, in virtually every temple location in North America, it pays for itself in the first couple of years, and then it rakes in gravy forever after, all in increased tithing revenues generated from people who are now getting temple assignments on a monthly basis at church, instead of the once-a-decade bus trip to the temple six states away.
Temples are good business for the church.
On a related note, the same BIL noted about 15 years ago a real shift in emphasis in where and how missionaries were selected for assignment. For decades, the mindset was that you sent your best and brightest missionaries on foreign missions, because they had to learn a foreign language, and you had to trust them in situations in which they were not otherwise comfortable. The result? A whole bunch of converts in poor nations where the church not only didn't INCREASE revenues...it COST them money. Their demographic studies showed them that the VAST majority of their tithes and offerings came from North America, and so there was a shift, directing more and more of their best and brightest missionaries to state-side missions, and working ever harder to keep indigenous missionaries in their native land.
Again, it was a savvy business move, not a way to actually build God's kingdom on earth (although Gordon's kingdom didn't do too shabby...)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
When the lightbulb was invented, it wasn't very long before nearly every home and building in the world was using them. Why do people use them? Simple.
Because they work.
Why are there 10 million different religions all claiming to have the truth?
Because they don't work.
If there really was one true religion that "god" favored above all others, then it, too, would "work". This one true religion would flood the world, just like the lightbulb did, and everyone would use it.
But no religion in the world has ever done that. Religions grow slowly. If there was a one, true religion, then it would fill the world. People would line up by the millions to join. Let's say that the LDS church really was true:
- Everyone who paid tithing would always and immediately have a huge increase.
- Everyone who received a priesthood blessing would be healed.
- Angel "sightings" would be commonplace.
- True miracles would be common.
- Prophets would correctly predict the future.
Mormonism claims that it has all these things, and yet it actually has none of them.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
A huge fear not only for me but for many people is the fear of what other people think. Mormonism breeds it into people and I, like so many others, am a victim of it. Overcoming the fear of what other people think has been one of the biggest challenges for me but also the most rewarding.
If you live in Utah, you'll see what I mean just by watching TV. Look at the commercials they play. There are ads everywhere (especially about smoking) that are specifically aimed at making smokers look bad to everyone else. They talk about your stinky breath, mis-colored teeth, etc. There are others as well, but I'll let you find them.
When I quit going to church, I was in a calling that was very close to the Bishopric. When I left, I am sure that people talked. The fear of what other people think is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why people stay active. If you think leaving the church is easy, maybe you should try it!
I was at a Checker Auto Parts one day and I was looking at the chrome license plate frames they have. There was one that I particularly liked... two nude girls with all the right curves in all the right places. I wanted it!
But my very next thought was, "If I put this on my car, what will people think?"
At that moment, I had an epiphany. This would be a great learning experience. It would be the perfect opportunity to learn how to not fear what other people think.
I bought it.
It has now been on my car for several years. Yes, people have commented. Yes, people have accused me of things. But it has been a monumental step in declaring my independence. I still have a long way to go, but progress is being made.
My next step towards independence was declaring my atheism on my MySpace account. It's hard because we atheists belong to the least trusted minority group in the world. But if we don't stand up for what we believe, then the misrepresentations will always be there.
I'm almost at the point where I'm ready to come out of the closet. I'm not ashamed that I am atheist. In fact, I'm proud. On my own, I have been able to figure out the truth of the biggest fraud in history... Christianity. It took a while, but I did it.
Even though it goes against popular belief, there is no shame in it. Without descenters, where would the world be? It would be a lot worse off. America wouldn't exist. If we are going to make a change, then we need to have the courage to stand up and show the world that we are not ashamed.
Hmmm. Although I didn't do it, I was VERY tempted to wait until they were out of sight and then remove the valve-stems from their bike tires. That would give them something to write home about.
Everytime I have to talk to them, they try the same old testimony and manipulation tricks.
In my family (my siblings combined with step-siblings), there is a rather large number of kids. I have recently made a list of everyone and their standing in the church. Keep in mind that everyone was born and raised in the church.
- 43% are currently active and involved with the church.
- 14% are on the fence.
- 43% have nothing to do with the church.
Isn't that an interesting statistic? The church-goers are exactly equal to the apostates. In just one generation the percentage of wayward children has gone from 8% to 43%. The Mormons will view this as Satan hard at work in the last days, deceiving as many as he can.
The people with brains will see it as the sharing of information and real church history. Us free-thinkers know that there is no Satan.
Either way, the church is losing! If such an alarming number of people are seeing the truth and leaving, how is it supposed to fill the whole earth as Joseph Smith predicted it would?
Every year the growth percentage shrinks. And as a fellow ex-Mormon/Atheist blogger pointed out to me, the office of resignations in the church office building has been swamped with name-removal requests.
I don't know if the numbers I have shared here are a true representation of what is happening church wide, but it is what is happening in my family.
Even the elite are being weeded out. Isn't it great?
Oh, by the way, the 14% of our fence sitters are only on the fence at all because of social pressure. If left to their own devices, I would bet that most of them would leave the church, or at least cease to be involved with it.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Salt Lake City Ward: Tithing donations averaged just a touch over $500,000.00 for a year. Again, on average, the various missionary, education and temple project funds garnered about $17,000.00 to 20,000.00 and Fast offering ran $25,000.00 to 30,000.00.
California: Our ward was relatively affluent in So Cal. We took in about $950,000 in total contributions. Our Ward allotment from the stake was around $8000. All the utilities are paid by the stake. The 8000 was basically to run ward programs and activities. The 950,000 included all tithing, fast offering, missionary,.. etc... [The majority of the $950,000 stayed in the Salt Lake City corporate headquarters. The Mormon church does not publish or release how these vast sums of money are spent.]
A less affluent Ward: I was in a ward that was mostly retired and blue collar members... I was involved in tithing settlement total donations were nearly 200,000. The following years tapered off a little due to economy and move outs. We would send as much as 5,000 in tithes to Salt Lake in a good week... then watch the bishop agonize over giving someone a $100 in groceries.
California affluent: I was in one of the most affluent wards in California. We took in $25-50,000 a week in tithes alone. Our annual ward budget from Salt Lake was a measly $7-8,000 a year!
Student Ward in Utah: I was the clerk of a STUDENT ward in Logan Utah during the mid 1990's. I don't remember specific numbers but we took in something like $250k in tithing in a year. I remember thinking something along the lines of: "Wow, there are six student wards in just this one building. That's significantly more than $1M per year just from this one building."
A lower income ward: We are in a lower income area and send in around 400K/year and our ward budget is around 4K/year. Nearly every week the bishop comes in to the clerk's office, anxious to find out what the fast offering total is...But it churns my gut every time, as we deposit around $10,000 every Sunday, to see how it kills the bishop to consent to pay someone's electric bill.
Another example: Seven years ago, we brought in about $15,000 per week [$750,000/yr] and our allotment back from SLC was about $7,000 for the year.
This is just an estimate as the Mormon church does not publish its finances. It appears in the US, the Mormon church takes in $5-8 billion a year in tithing alone. It gives out less than $65 million ( less than 1.3% of tithing income) in humanitarian aid. It gives back to local congregations (wards) less than 1.5% for their activities. This does not include income from the many business ventures the Mormon church owns which may well more than double what it receives in tithing.
Culled from http://www.exmormon.org/
Thursday, June 11, 2009
My first apartment didn't have any laundry facilities and so the members in the area were kind enough to let us go to their homes and wash. While clothes were washing we would usually write letters.
One member had a computer and when we were at their house, we would use the computer to write letters (it was this computer on which I made my little "sign" which my companion defaced). My "trainer" usually went first and he would take FOREVER on the computer. He would write his form letter and then would have to sit there for a half-hour dinking around with the fonts and colors. By the time it was finally my turn, we only had a few minutes and then he would hound me to hurry up.
After laundry, we would usually go shopping. I remember that he bragged about loving romaine lettuce. He would buy the lettuce and then let it rot in the fridge, never touching it. I think that he was just proud that he knew the word "romaine".
Usually at this point, all the missionaries in the district would get together at the church house and play basketball. I never played. I wasn't into that. I would find an empty room with a piano and play.
By this time, 6:00 PM was near and what little time was left was used to go home, clean up a little, take a shower, and get ready to hit the trail again. I was always amazed at how little free time the "lord" could spare to his devoted servants. We worked 6.5 days a week, 12-16 hours a day. So our "spare time" wasn't really spare time at all. It was just getting ready to do more work.
Here's a few more stories.
We were driving somewhere on a very slushy day. The roads were covered with slush and whenever we passed an oncoming vehicle, the car would be showered with slush. Well, Elder Genius, for some reason completely unknown to me, suddenly decides that he wants to roll down his window. Please keep in mind that he was driving so it was his side of the car that got all the slush.
I saw it coming five minutes away. Naturally, by this point I pretty much hated the guy and so didn't say anything. I just sat back, bit my lip, and waited. Sure enough, we pass some vehicle and Genius gets totally covered in slush. I laughed my ass off.
Did I mention that he was a dumb ass? I swear he was a dozen short of a bakers dozen.
It must have happened three or four times... the idiot would drive the car directly into a snow bank and get us stuck. Each time he did it I would just shake my head in amazement at how stupid a human being can be.
I remember that one of his pairs of garments had a huge poop stain.
We spent a lot of time tracting. When I say "a lot" mean a damn lot! Knocking on doors and trying to convince people to listen to us was not productive or fun. In fact, I was embarrassed. I knew those people didn't want us bugging them. At the same time, it was frustrating because almost everyone we talked to said that they already believed in Jesus. I couldn't understand why they professed to love Jesus and would then shut their door in our faces.
So tracting was the chosen time-killer and just like almost every aspect of my mission, I hated doing it. It was completely counter-productive. We were encouraged to work with the members in order to get referrals. Apparently, many more converts come from member referrals than they do from tracting.
Oddly, the one and only convert I had on my entire mission was found by tracting. I taught him all the discussions and then got transferred just before he was baptized. So someone else actually got the credit for his baptism. But that's another story for another time.
We had been together for two months. It was transfer-day. Naturally, I was eagerly awaiting the call telling us that someone was leaving. When I got out of the shower that morning, he told me that they had called and that I was leaving. I was so excited that I immediately began packing. Well after about an hour, he tells me that it was all a joke and that no one had called. To say the least, I was pissed.
In the MTC, there had been three of us in the same district who were all going to the same mission. Once in the field, we were all in the same district again. So we saw each other on a regular basis. Well, one day we get a call from a neighboring companionship.
One of the guys I was in the MTC with just suddenly freaked out, grabbed a taxi straight to the airport, and went home. I never did find out what exactly had happened. I suspected that he was feeling the same way I was. However, his companion was a much more laid back guy. For a few days, we were in a tri-companionship.
I was amazed. How could anyone go home? As much as I wanted to, I couldn't endure the humiliation of it. Not going on a mission would have been better than coming home early. So even though I was in hell, going home was not an option.
Most of my companions after my trainer were not so rigid and uptight. A few of them were, and a few were the total opposite. But my trainer was the worst by several times. At least I got the hell over with first.
My next companion was a good guy. I was so used to rigid rules that at first I didn't know how to act around him. He was pretty laid back. His "weakness" if you want to call it that was music. He had lots of "apostate music" as we called it. You know, stuff like Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, that type of evil stuff.
Not much to report with him. We got along well. He didn't shove the rules down my throat. We still worked, but it wasn't anything like before. And unlike my trainer, my second companion wasn't a filthy hog. He actually washed the dishes!
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I decided that I would go ahead and share more horror stories from my "trainer". After putting up with abuse and manipulation from this jerk all day, once we were both in bed he would say, "Good night. Love you."
If I didn't respond, he would repeat it again and again until I would say it back. If I would say, "Good night" then he would ask, "Don't you love me?"
First of all, if the jerk really loved me, then wouldn't he respect my desire to not be manipulated every night into saying, "I love you" to a guy I was quickly growing to very much resent?
Not only that, but how many guys do you know who go around saying "I love you" to each other? Most normal males just don't say it, even though they do care for each other.
We had a car in my first area and one of the rules was that whenever we had to drive in reverse, the non-driver had to get out of the car and "guide" the driver. This backing rule quickly got on my nerves.
Elder Dickhead even made up some of his own driving rules. He adamantly refused to drive with anything on the dashboard. I used to put stuff there just to annoy him.
Oh yea, on top of the three million prayers a day that missionaries have to say, we also had to pray for safety before using the car. Thinking back, why would we have to pray for safety? Wouldn't god want his missionaries to be safe anyway? Would he make us wreck just because we hadn't asked for safety? Anyway, like all the rules, he took this one to the extreme as well.
We were driving and for some reason which I now forget, we needed to pull over. When we were about to drive again, he wanted to say another prayer for safety? When I told him it was not necessary, he insisted, stating that each time you start the engine, you need to pray. He probably asked me to do it, just because I didn't want to.
I can't even tell you how many times, while driving, that pervert would put his hand on my knee. I don't know why. I would push his hand away and tell him to stop it. He would promise me that he would never do it again. However, like all the ways he could, he would show his disrespect for me by breaking that promise. I finally put an end to it by whacking his hand good and hard with the oil container on my keychain. He never did it again after that.
I hated his fake personality. When we were around other people, he was Mr. Happy, Cheerful, Life-Is-Great. But in real life, he was a manipulating jerk. I would watch him switch between personalities and just shake my head.
When we were visiting with members, he would often want to sing to them. I thought it was cheesy as hell. He would always ask me to sing with him, so I reluctantly did. One time, in private, I told him that I was not comfortable singing in front of people and asked that he not ask me to sing anymore.
Well, very next chance he got, he offered to sing and asked me if I would sing with him right in front of everyone. I knew he hadn't forgotten... he just didn't give a shit about anything I requested. I guess he figured that he could manipulate me because I wouldn't dare say no in front of everyone. Wrong!
I told him point blank that I didn't want to sing and that I had already asked him not to ask me. Embarrased, he sang his song alone. He never asked me to sing after that.
Talking about singing, he would constantly sing. All over the apartment he would just blare it out! He though he was such a good singer and yet he was off tune and sounded horrible. He would sing mission-approved tunes, but would often make up his own lyrics to go along with them. To say the least, they weren't funny, didn't make sense, and were often quite stupid.
If I was in the shower and happened to be humming a popular piece of classical music, he would knock on the door and "remind" me that it was not a hymn and therefore was not appropriate music for missionaries.
I hope by now that you are starting to see how living with this guy literally felt like wearing a necklace made of bricks. When I tell you that he was constantly in my face for breaking some rule, it was usually something majorly stupid like humming a classical piece of music.
One time, I checked the mail box....... alone! He almost had a fucking freak attack! Missionaries are to never be alone and like all the other rules, he took it to the extreme. He actually had to walk to the mailbox with me, which was just outside our apartment door in a common entry way. I mean, what the fuck? Do you really think that in the 30 seconds it takes to check the mail that I'm going to sneak away and commit the most horrible sins that I can think of?
To be perfectly honest, the guy really wasn't that smart and if you haven't figured it out by now, he needed someone else to do his "thinking" for him. I didn't and that meant that we didn't get along.
I never understood his or the churches logic. You see, in order to be a missionary, you have to keep yourself worthy. Well, I was alone with girls and nothing ever happened. I have this little thing called self control. So I never understood why once you were on a mission they felt the need to babysit me every second. If I had exercised self control before my mission, what makes them think that suddenly, it all went away and I would turn into a sinning freak?
What were they so afraid of that they felt they needed to watch me 24/7? I really used to wonder. Why are they so afraid that if you give a missionary 3 seconds alone with a girl that he will screw her brains out as soon as no one is looking? I figured out the answer later... because most of them would have.
So if that is the case, why does the church constantly praise the missionaries for how valiant they are? I could see some pretty obvious flaws in the system. Remember that saying Mormons love to quote, "The church is perfect but the members aren't." Well, this "perfect" church was starting to have some pretty major flaws. And the biggest (at the time) was the obvious lack of inspiration in the mission field.
I guess I should thank the guy. He opened my eyes to what Mormonism is really all about.