Monday, April 30, 2007

Mormonism -- are you serious?

There's a good mini-series (two shows?) on PBS tonight and tomorrow... the story of Mormonism.

As I write this I'm "learning" (if you can cal it that) about the history of this religion. Fascinating from a historical perspective.

As most know, the foundation of Mormonism is based on the visions of Joseph Smith. His history is interesting -- and to anyone who's sane, enough to explain the lunacy that goes by the initials LDS.

Born in an era of religious fervor -- and to a family that was itself searching for "the truth" about god -- young Joseph decided to solve the question casing strife in his home by declaring he was the recipient of the answer -- directly from god. He had the truth -- and therefore the foundation of the true church.

At least that's what he told his parents when he was about 14.

What I didn't know, was that his "revelation story" evolved over the years: It started as merely a trip to the woods to seek solace for sins... to the visitation of god the father with a message that he was the "new prophet".

Although his claims are as silly as the central tenants of christianity, many of them are (or should be) much easier to dispel: for instance, the idea that jews migrated to America is so preposterous it would seem to be dismissable out of hand -- if there wasn't a large group of people who actually believe it.

Never mind that there's no trace of such a civilization on the N. American continent... Never let evidence -- or the lack of it -- get in the way of a belief.

I love that Jackson Country, Missouri, was the place Joseph said was the ancient location of the Garden of Eden and would one day be the future Zion. The local folks didn't like it when the Mormons started moving in however...

Imagine, a Missouri pissed off about a group of religious folks moving in! Of course, Joe Smith said god was gonna give them the land... I guess even if Jesus himself came to confirm it would piss off the red-state, NRA members down south -- especially today...

Anyway, if you get a chance, tune in. A fascinating study in the human psyche -- and the need to believe we'll somehow survive death. People will swallow almost anything, as long as there's eternal happiness with all your friends and family promised at the end.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cheney -- why?

I've been pretty busy with work and other commitments lately... but I did catch Cheney giving a rebuttal to Senator Reid's comments the other day. Reid's response was a weak as Cheney's comments were vacuous.

I only have one question: why does ANYONE listen to anything Cheney has to say? Everything he's ever uttered has turned out to be a lie or completely wrong... If he told me he knew the sun was going to rise tomorrow I'd begin to harbor serious doubts (that's something coming from an orbit analyst).

Is it 2008 yet?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The apology of tomorrow

I listened to part of fearless leader's speech the other day: the one in which he praised the Tuskegee Airmen and awarded them the Congressional Gold Medal.

The president rightly pointed out that

They were fighting two wars. One was in Europe and the other took place in the hearts and minds of our citizens,

 Yet this president, along with his predecessors, are setting the stage for the same injustice with "don't ask don't tell".

How long will it be before a president apologizes to all of the brave gay men and women who serve – only to be treated as second-class citizens because of the person they choose to love.

Bigotry is indeed truly blind.