Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The International Society of Master Debaters has released two new logical fallacies. Here is the press release.
“Recent media attention to the polygamy of Mormon founder Joseph Smith and the LDS church essay on his plural marriages has spawned voluminous debate in commentary on dozens of news articles and countless replies on hundreds of forum threads. The debate has developed two new logical fallacies which are not quite like any others already in definition.
Devil’s Ventriloquist Fallacy: an appeal to dismiss the opponent's argument by appealing to a third being in the discussion.
Not to be confused with playing Devil’s Advocate in debate, a master debater will sometimes fall into using this fallacy when his opponent uses a large number of facts which contradict the debater’s traditionally held beliefs. Examples of Devil’s Ventriloquist often uses phrases such as those found in Mormon scripture: “The spirit of contention is of the devil.” (see 3 Nephi 11:29). Here the fallacious master debater will dismiss his opponent and leave the debate with an apparent win by claiming his opponent’s facts are contentious and of the devil, implying the opponent speaks vicariously through or for the devil.
The implied ventriloquism also comes in words such as “You carry an evil spirit about you” or “This discussion offends the spirit.” Upon using the DV fallacy, the master debater will leave the argument and declare a holier-than-thou victory. Meeting in the upper debate rooms of Constitutional Hall, the International Society of Master Debaters considered that this fallacy is already covered by the “Appeal to Motive” red herring fallacy, by the “Ad Hominem” fallacy, or by the “Appeal to Emotion” fallacy. However, by calling on a supernatural being and dismissing the opponent’s argument on the basis of a third party (spirit) it appears to be a new fallacy not hitherto seen.
From now on, a call to Devil’s Ventriloquist in debate will be assessed by both those who fear oppressive spirits and by those who know the devil as just a regular (albeit misjudged) guy with great bar conversation game.
A second fallacy which is very similar, was also newly defined.
Gesundheit Fallacy: dismissing an argument by invoking a positive affirmation or apparent blessing on an opponent in a backhanded manner.
Like Devil’s Ventriloquist, the master debater calls on a third being to “bless” the opponent when he sneezes a stream of facts, spewed out in an unanswerable blast. The master debater apparently having no argument or understanding of the factual sneeze invokes a positive affirmation or blessing in the form of “Well, God bless you and good luck!” just before leaving the argument. Upon using the Gesundheit Fallacy, the master debater will imply a holier-than-thou victory and even appear magnanimous in blessing his opponent, while seemingly grabbing the upper hand as he exits the discussion.
From now on, a call to the Gesundheit Fallacy in debate will be assessed by a tribunal of a medical general practitioner, a shaman and a representative of the Kleenex corporation.”
PS- In case you missed it: the above is satire.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
This is my 100th post on this blog, and I've written over 100,000 words--a good size novel (oh, and I completed a novel that size early this year too).
Two years ago, I began in September 2012, when I wanted to document my attending the Mormon church as the managing editor of Mormonthink. That was short lived, and the story is familiar to most of my readers. (You can google it if you want to read the news-stories. It's in the Daily Beast, NY Times and more.)
For this centennial blog post, I thought I would change it up.
What would my readers think if I told them:
Joseph Smith did something invaluable for human kind.
Yes, I would like to praise the man in a specific way. I'm serious. What he did might just change the world, and we might see that happen soon. Perhaps we are seeing it.
To explain, I want to show you a children's book, which was inspired by Carl Sagan for the original idea.
Some tell me, the gold plates were real, angel Moroni visited Joseph Smith, and God appeared to him and then helped him translate ancient records.
Here is a little tale for you. (Here is the art source, by J. M. Oudesluys, which makes a great children's story book.)
"A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage," I tell you.
"Show me," you say.
I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle--but no dragon. But I know without a shadow of a doubt I can see it and the fiery breath.
"Where's the dragon?" you ask.
"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving.
"But I can't see her!" you cry.
I reply, "I forgot to tell you that she's an invisible dragon."
"Can I hear her?" you ask.
"You have to learn dragon whispers to hear her. She is silent to all others," I tell you.
"Can I touch her?" you ask.
"You can try, but she can only be felt by those who truly know dragons," I say.
You reach out, but feel nothing. "I can't see where she is. Perhaps we can spread flour on the floor of the garage and see where she walks."
"Now there's an idea!" I say. Thinking, I add: "But this dragon floats in the air. Flour won't show the dragon's footprints. Only those who truly love dragons can find her."
"Invisible or not, a dragon has fire!" you exclaim. "Perhaps we can get a infrared sensing, thermal camera and see her fiery breath!"
"You think a lot," I reply. "Unfortunately, the invisible fire is also heat-less."
"Hmm." You think and think some more. "Let's spray paint everywhere in the garage, and see if we can make her appear!"
"Perhaps you are over-thinking this. Clearly, being invisible, heat-less and floating everywhere, you must realize she's an incorporeal dragon. Without a body the paint won't stick."
"How big is your dragon?" you ask.
"She can be very very big, or very very small," I explain. "She can change into anything she wants at any size she desires. She's very magical." I smile proudly and take a deep satisfying breath.
"Can't be seen or heard?"
"Not unless you are a superior lover of dragons."
"Can't be detected with sensors?"
"Can't be painted and won't leave footprints?"
You sigh and ask, "What's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who breathes heat-less fire...and no dragon at all?"
"Your problem," I tell you, "is that you don't have enough faith."
"I find your dragon non-sensed, and un-real."
Now, compare this story to another story on the history on religion.
Social anthropologists find the earliest signs of religion in cave dwellings.
The hypothesis is that in the cave tribe leaders received visual and auditory hallucinations feeding words and vision, like one sees in sensory deprivation chambers. The "invisible entities" of hallucination were revered, and perhaps offerings were made to appease it for more revelation and protection. A further hypothesis is that the leaders took the offerings and became wealthy; perhaps they grew lazy and even cruel. Eventually followers went into the cave and found the leaders had lied.
The leaders eventually moved their spirits and gods to man-made, above ground and guarded lairs.
Great expense went into building them and the leaders ruled and lived lavishly, as if gods themselves. The pinnacles of these temples pointed up, while the gods were buried inside. The guards and others did know the truth, and eventually the leaders' cruel reigns ended.
The end of that epoch seems to have brought humility to religious leaders. The people couldn't build temples big enough, but they moved god to the highest points, even further away, out of reach for most people.
Ancient Hindu and Jewish texts speak of prophets going to mountains and finding inspiration or bringing down commandments. The Old Testament never mentions heaven as a place in outer space, just that god is in a lofty place such as the mountain of the Lord.
For a long time, the New Testament moved god beyond human reach, into space above the sky, or heaven. Only god could reach the people when he wanted,to reassure chosen leaders that he is real and miraculously powerful.
Then science with telescopes peers into the skies and beyond. And as science found no heaven, and pushed at religion's claims,they have moved god beyond space-time, outside of the measurable universe. Beyond science even.
Each time the goal posts of god are moved, he becomes less personable. Non-corporeal, non human. An indiscernible force everywhere. Invisible, non-sensed, not-detected or found by any means except through faith and the feelings the religions tell you to have.
What did Joseph Smith do?
Smith brought god back to human form, residing within the universe at Kolob and revealing artifacts to back his claims. People loved the more tangible, personable, approachable god.
Joseph Smith did this in the golden era after the printing press and before the internet. Documentation exists, actually abounds, but was hard to access in his era and subsequent times. If one could collect all the old documents, newspapers, court proceedings, journal entries and more, one could piece it all together to see almost precisely how Joseph Smith created his scam.
Now that the LDS church has grown large enough to merit attention, we can scrutinize it as a model for how religions form and can be easily discredited. It is large enough, and the internet is now bringing back all the old documents, newspapers and more. Soon enough, we will have the jigsaw picture complete and it will serve as a model for how older religions, whose records are lost, also started from lies by charismatic leaders.
PS- I'll be taking a break for a while.
I'm writing the sequel to Second Anointing, to be called Next Eyes.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Do you know Joseph Smith's opening pickup lines that netted him 33 wives and far more one-nighters? Read on...
The LDS church topic essay on Joseph Smith's attempts to excuse his immorality with this claim:
“Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens.”
I already reported on how Elder Neil Andersen used the same tactic in his general conference talk. Here are the details of this legalistic defense, straight from the page at FAIR Mormon, an apologetic LDS group who spend a lot of time getting down and dirty with Joseph Smith's philandering ways.
"...vocal atheist Christopher Hitchens savages Joseph as a "serial practitioner of statutory rape." ..."
"Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a victim that is deemed too young to provide legal consent ..."
"The very concept of a fifteen- or seventeen-year-old suffering statutory rape in the 1840s is flagrant presentism. The age of consent under English common law was ten. American law did not raise the age of consent until the late nineteenth century, and in Joseph Smith's day only a few states had raised it to twelve. Delaware, meanwhile, lowered the age of consent to seven.
"In our time, legal minors can often be married before the age of consent with parental approval. Joseph certainly sought and received the approval of parents or male guardians for his marriages to Fanny Alger, Sarah Ann Whitney, Lucy Walker, and Helen Kimball. His habit of approaching male relatives on this issue might suggest that permission was gained for other marriages about which we know less.
"Clearly, then, Hitchens' attack is hopelessly presentist. None of Joseph's brides was near ten or twelve. And even if his wives' ages had presented legal risks, he often had parental sanction for the match. "
Let me bulletize FAIR's legalese:
- Joseph Smith was involved with young teens
- Age of consent laws didn't apply in his era
- The age of Joseph Smith's "partners" were above the 10-12 year range of consent laws
- Besides, Joseph got permission from the parents of the teen girls
- Joseph may or may not have had sex anyway, even if the girls were unable to ever marry any other man while Joseph lived
- Technically Hitchen's argument is presentist.
So...it was technically legal for Joseph Smith to have sexual relations with a girl as "old" as 14. However, a little moment of thought will tell you that clearly it wasn't acceptable in 19th century America, even on the frontier to have sex with teen girls especially when you were already married. That's why Joseph Smith hid polygamy. It may be why there were attempts to castrate Joseph (when he was tarred and feathered) according to both Fawn Brodie and Todd Compton. And polygamy seems likely part of the reason he was killed and his followers were driven west.
- Polygamy was illegal in the mid 19th century
- Joseph was having sex with multiple young girls and other married women
- Coercion was used to get agreement from the girls and their parents
- Joseph was already married, and his wife often didn't know of his philandering
- Hitchens--the atheist--was far more morally correct than the religious apologists
- Statutory Rape is a legal term, but immorality is what the LDS Church often preaches, except when it needs to excuse its prophets.
"Personally appeared before me, Abraham Fulkerson, one of the Justices of the Peace in and for said county, Melissa Schindle, who, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that in the fall of 1841, she was staying one night with the widow Fuller, who has recently been married to a Mr. Warren, in the city of Nauvoo, and that Joseph Smith came into the room where she was sleeping about 10 o'clock at night, and after making a few remarks came to her bed-side, and asked her if he could have the privilege of sleeping with her. She immediately replied NO. He, on the receipt of the above answer told her it was the will of the Lord that he should have illicit intercourse with her, and that he never proceeded to do any thing of that kind with any woman without first having the will of the Lord on the subject; and further he told her that if she would consent to let him have such intercourse with her, she could make his house her home as long as she wished to do so, and that she should never want for anything it was in his power to assist her to -- but she would not consent to it. He then told her that if she would let him sleep with her that night he would give her five dollars -- but she refused all his propositions. He then told her that she must never tell of his propositions to her, for he had ALL influence in that place, and if she told he would ruin her character, and she would be under the necessity of leaving. He then went to an adjoining bed where the Widow ____ was sleeping -- got into bed with her and laid there until about 1 o'clock, when he got up, bid them good night, and left them, and further this deponent saith not.
"MELISSA (her X mark) SCHINDLE. Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 2d day July, 1842. A. FULKERSON, J. P. (seal)."
Remember, she made a legal statement to a justice of the peace. FAIR and LDS essay writers want to excuse Joseph on technical, legal grounds for his dalliances with young teen girls. Their reliance on legal arguments should be good enough to accept Melissa Schindle's legal case.
We also know the LDS Church hid these facts for decades, more than half a century after historians dug them up. The leaders only now disclose them in essays because they're so painfully available online and their dishonesty was far more troubling than Joseph's 170 year old philandering.
So who do you trust, the apologists or the young Melissa?
The church intentionally lied to you for years.
M. Schindle had nothing to gain and much to lose by coming forward.
There's a trend that Joseph used to encourage women into bed. Notice how Joseph tried to wear down Mrs. Schindle (mrs.--she was apparently married). This is how he operated. He tried a direct approach, then coercion using his religious status and that didn't work. Offer her a place in his house, and if that failed he'd toss some money in and see if she can be bought. Then if she refused all his attempts, he threatened her with ruin of her reputation.
If she's young enough and Smith was friends with the parents, he enlisted them as co-conspirators in his underaged debauchery, making them immoral as well.
The bottom line is, the LDS church wants to defend Smith, a serial underage rapist (if not statutory) using legalese, but they want members to adhere to a stricter moral code, not to date before 16, not to marry too young or too old, to have children and remain monogamous.
The church bias shows up in the essays by trying to enlist sympathy for Joseph Smith and not much for his victims (teen girls, married women and their spurned husbands). For example, the husband of Joseph's fifth (or sixth by some lists) wife (who was Zina Huntington Jacobs). Her husband, Henry Jacobs, knew of her marriage to Joseph and continued to live with her afterward. Soon however, Henry was sent on several missions by Joseph Smith to Chicago, upstate NY, and Tennessee. He rarely saw his wife and the two children she raised singly. After Joseph died, Brigham Young took Zina for a wife (since B. Young took almost all of Joseph's wives), and once again Henry was sent on a mission to England. Zina moved in with Brigham and Henry never got to be with her again. He lamented in letters to her: "...the same affection is there...but I feel alone.." He died without his wife. There are many tales like this where families and couples are hurt by leaders taking and exchanging wives.
(Ref. "In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith" Todd M. Compton, pp. 81-82; 84,88, 90-94)
Similarly, the young bride Helen Mar Kimball who was kept locked away from young men and alone for Joseph cried, "I longed for the freedom that was denied me; and thought myself an abused child.."
(Ref. In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, T. Compton, p. 502)
The fact that the LDS Essay enlisted your sympathy for that man and not for his victims shows the bias and removes your objectivity on this subject.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Why do corruption and immorality from 175 years ago matter today? Because it has continued in a new form.
The latest essays (1 & 2) from the LDS Church admit to a lot. They've not admitted everything that so-called anti-mormon (but thoroughly accurate) historians have dug up about Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and more. But it is enough.
The few confessions about Joseph Smith's sexual immorality affect the plan of salvation preached by the LDS Church. It claims to be led by prophets who are inspired by an all knowing God that leads us morally. God knows truth, and teaches it to the prophets, goes the claim. But the people he supposedly chose to lead were and are hugely immoral. The plural marriage law God sent down, thrice from an angel with a drawn sword, is corrupt. That revelation told Joseph Smith to conduct illicit sexual harassment and have multiple simultaneous sexual relationships with married women, with young teen girls and often in secret behind Emma's, the legal wife's, back.
God's angel told Joseph to do these things or else be destroyed. Either that, or Joseph made it all up.
If God did it, then the Mormon version of god is an unethical, immoral being--the way he treats women (and blacks, and gays and ex-mormons and...) is sickening. If the imperfect Joseph made it up to get his horny on, then how can you trust such a pervert who would destroy marriages and young teens in his lustful pursuits? How do you know his other so-called revelations from angels weren't just made up likewise?
We know he was sexually corrupt. We know he couldn't translate regular Egyptian (so the Book of Abraham came from "revelation" akin to an angel with drawn sword). We know he fictionalized bits of history on ancient America that are completely overthrown by modern science. We know he was involved in a Kirtland banking scandal and had short-lived plots to overthrow the U.S. government.
Joseph Smith knew his actions were viewed by his 19th century peers as immoral and scandalous. He tried to hide his dalliances and even his "revelations". Joseph Smith used code names in the original Doctrine and Covenants to keep the latter-day saints activities secret from non-Mormons. The revelation on plural marriage was kept very secretive, and (according the LDS essay on the topic) the controversy caused "leaders to issue carefully worded denials that denounced spiritual wifery and polygamy but were silent about what Joseph Smith and others saw as divinely mandated “celestial” plural marriage."
Joseph's church lied even to their own members--that, "the Church practiced no marital law other than monogamy while implicitly leaving open the possibility that individuals, under direction of God’s living prophet, might do so." When the essay says, "implicitly leaving open the possibility" it means that the secrets were known to some, but not all.
Joseph Smith lied about his ability to translate, hid his immoral "wifery", surreptitiously plotted to increase his power with an elite Council of Fifty, and so forth.
With full disclosures on these, you can't actually expect non-Mormons to buy that this man or his god are worth following. Why are modern LDS defending Joseph Smith? Don't they know better now that their own church was practically forced to confess Smith's sins? They couldn't hide it any longer, half a century after the meticulous record produced by a woman, Fawn Brodie, in No Man Knows My History, and the several other fantastic books since.
Historically, it was the secrecy of polygamy that troubled Mormons and their investigators. Members sigh with relief it's no longer practiced. Today it's the financial secrecy that should keep LDS awake at night.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
So LDS Church, how do you really feel about pedophilia*? Apparently, it's excusable.
Last year the LDS Church Newsroom and History Dept released press statements and an essay, both declaring that it doesn't matter what times were like in the 1800s, racism is wrong! They offered meek excuses about the culture and times, but courageously, the LDS church used the words "disavow" and "unequivocally condemn".
“Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.” (LDS Topic on Race and Priesthood)In the past couple of days, we saw the release of another topic essay on Joseph Smith's polygamy. In it, the church admits "Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates" including with:
“[T]he youngest was Helen Mar Kimball…who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday.”That is, when she was 14 years old, and Joseph Smith was 37 years old! (23 years her senior!)
Joseph Smith used coercive tactics to get young (and little) Helen's hand in marriage, saying to the teen girl, “it will ensure your eternal salvation & exaltation and that of your father’s household & all of your kindred.”
Helen felt that “this promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward. None but God & his angels could see my mother’s bleeding heart-when Joseph asked her if she was willing…”
After her marriage to Joseph, Helen, still a young teen, lamented that, “like a wild bird I longed for the freedom that was denied me; and thought myself an abused child, and that it was pardonable if I did murmur.”
Regardless of whether Joseph had sex with Helen (the essay writers suggest it was for "eternity-only"), she felt "abused" and she felt a loss of freedom. She "willingly gave" herself so that she could "purchase" a reward. Perhaps Helen initially thought she had married Smith "for eternity alone" but soon found out differently. She said Joseph protected her from the attention of young men, and that her marriage was "more than ceremony," suggesting that she did have or would have a sexual relationship with Smith. (See this reference, pp. 499-501.) It sure sounds like she traded a lot for her "spiritual" virtue.
This form of child abuse and "spiritual" (if not literal) pedophilia* is very disgusting.
Yet, the essay writers attempt to excuse it with this claim:
“Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens.”
As if pedophilia was in style in Smith's time, therefore, it's just fine to dismiss. Further, young marriage practices or not, polygamy to teen brides was not normal in that era!
Apostle Neil Andersen tried this same excuse at the October 2014 general conference:
“We might remind the inquirer that some information about Joseph, while true, may be presented completely out of context to his own day and situation.”
But then later in his talk, Andersen said:
“The negative commentary about the prophet Joseph Smith will increase as we move toward the second coming of the savior. The half-truths and subtle deceptions will not diminish. There will be family members and friends who need your help.”On the one hand Andersen wants to excuse Joseph Smith by using the context of his day and situation, so that we don’t scrutinize him by our higher standards on a 37 year old Joseph Smith, the prophet, marrying a 14 year old teen girl. On the other hand Andersen, knowing the Internet is revealing the true character of Joseph Smith that they could formerly hide, calls on the idea that immorality increases and is more rampant in the latter days as we move toward the end-times.
Andersen wants Joseph to eat his teen cake and have his slice of latter-day wickedness too.
Sorry, Mr. Andersen, you can’t have it both ways. Either we excuse the unacceptable dalliances by our more modern strict views on pedophilia, or dismiss your view that modern culture is more sexually perverse than Smith was. To cherry-pick your moral codes by era and give Joseph a pass while condemning those who view pedophilia as evil is just plain irrational and backwards. Give credit to critics who decry pedophilia no matter where they see it--whether in Warren Jeffs or in Joseph Smith. Be honest and willing to admit your leader had some sick behaviors.
I challenge the LDS church to finally disavow and unequivocally condemn underage marriages and pedophilia, whether past, present or future. The emotional, psychological and even spiritual abuse perpetuated on young girls by its leaders sickens the world.
Furthermore, as Grant Palmer recently pointed out "it is generally unknown that he was accused of illicit sexual conduct with a number of women from 1827 on, until his death in 1844." Many of these women were not his so-called wives, but others that spurned his advances of spiritual wifery and swinging playfulness. That list included Miriam and Rhoda Stowell, Eliza Winters, Marinda Nancy Johnson, Vienna Jacques and several more.
This kind of abuse extended from Joseph to Brigham (married a 16 year old at 45!) to Woodruff (15 year old girl), Snow (15 year old girl) and Joseph F. Smith (17 year old girl). They all need to be condemned and disavowed like the pedophiles they are.
Stand up LDS essay writers and condemn this behavior! It's sure the LDS apostles won't.
In hindsight, Andersen's pre-emptive promotion of Joseph Smith just weeks ahead of the polygamy essay and confessions of Smith's teen girl dalliances--well, it appears Andersen craftily and calculatingly gave that speech to head off calls to the church for condemning Smith's untoward behavior.
They're going to have to craft speeches on the other prophets with teen brides soon enough, if they choose to defend the polygamous teen-marriage practice of their leaders.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
For the impatient, with LDS friendly links.
(click here to get larger version)
TL;DR summary: The essay admits--
1) Joseph Smith married girls, one as young as 14-years-old.
2) Joseph married women who were already married to other living men (polyandry).
3) Joseph likely had sex with some (or many) of the women he married.
4) An angel with a drawn sword threatened Joseph into practicing polygamy.
5) Excuses Joseph by claiming that many (but not all) of the marriages were sexless (eternity-only).
6) Excuses Joseph by telling us not to use modern cultural standards to judge the appropriateness of his marriages.
7) Claims that much of polygamy isn't fully understood because of the secrecy behind it.
First of all, I want to give the LDS History Department kudos for this admission.
Admission: "Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully."
Because of rumors of Joseph Smith’s dalliances in the mid 1830s, the LDS church quickly adopted a “Chapter of Rules for Marriage among the Saints”, which declared, “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with...polygamy; we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife...” This “Article on Marriage” was canonized and published in the Doctrine & Covenants from 1835 for about 40 years. (See Joseph Smith Papers, D&C 1835 edition.)
- marry only virgins
- the first wife (virgin) has to give consent
- women are not to be with other men
- multiple wives are given to a man to multiply and replenish the earth (by sex)
Truth: If we are to judge Joseph Smith as having a lesser ("inappropriate") standard of moral character than we expect in "today's standards" then I hereby declare the LDS prophets, apostles and seventy members can no longer preach that people of modern times are a more wicked generation, running head-long into evil end-of-days destruction.
No, Mr. Monson and Mr. Oaks, you can't have a double standard. Either Joseph gets a pass because today's standards know and view his inappropriateness and that means we are more righteous, or we're all evil and the Angel made us do it!
Monday, October 13, 2014
Interestingly, there is more reference in their scripture about certain races or people being denied the priesthood (in the book of Abraham, Book of Mormon) than there is about denying women the priesthood.
The LDS church's late 2013 essay on Race and the Priesthood tried to exempt Joseph Smith from the lineage of racist prophets by claiming, "there is no evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime."
It sounds to me as if the LDS church is proud of those leaders who were ahead of their time in ordaining minority males to the priesthood when they say the world view was against it.
Why wouldn't they say the same thing about Joseph Smith ordaining women? I won't expound on the events surrounding the history of Joseph Smith ordaining women, but D. Michael Quinn showed plenty on it. There are many saying the LDS church is wrong to discriminate: You should have a look at the Ordainwomen website to get more information.
What I want to challenge here is, why aren't there more active men who stand up and step forward for women, and Ordain Women Now? Your prophet is a sexist, so stand up and go forward by ordaining Kate Kelly or any other Mormon woman who asks to be ordained. Don't be ashamed of your small support for females. Be a large man and stand tall for women. Lay your hands on them, give them the priesthood and report it to the world.
If and when the LDS church leaders come after you with a disciplinary court, stand tall and lead. Let the chips fall where they may. You'll make history when the future church proclaims that it doesn't know how or when the ban on women started but is against all forms of sexism, past, present or future. And you can be listed among those brave LDS saints that stood for priesthood equality.
Ordain Women Now doesn't have to be a movement waiting for change. Just ordain women and make the change immediately.
Sit high, look forward to a bright, if uncertain future.