Religions provide a prepackaged perspective with which to view the world. Their conception on what they think is human nature is integral to the behavior of its adherents. While this may provide a kind of intellectual and emotional security for some people, there will always be individuals who just simply disagree with the theological dogma that’s been proselytized to them by the clergy.
People should have the liberty to be potentially foolish, for without that, there can be no incentives from which to learn and to grow. If a bunch of folks choose to go dance around a tree stump in the woods, what exactly is the problem with that? I thought a free society was supposed to possess a laissez-faire attitude; absent a demonstration of harm against actual victims, it seems to me that the intrinsic lack of coercion (which governments are so infamous for) really negates any sort of secular moral indignation.
Then again, is the problem the institutionalization of organized religion, or the theology itself? I’ve posited before my firm opposition to formal religions as such, since they are typically little more than mind control cults headed by a vampiric clergy; however, it is not my place to dictate, harass, or otherwise bully other individuals regarding their own very personal beliefs concerning the metaphysical phenomenon that may or may not be impacting this realm of reality. Since we know so little of how quantum physics, multiverses, and quarks actually function, I think it is the height of arrogance to assert that other phenomenon do not exist given our ignorance; usually whatever is eventually empirically revealed is way more wild than anyone even thought (just consider how radio waves would have been considered “magical” by our ancestors).
Besides, how come the most “religious” amongst us stay home and pray instead of attending church? It may have something to do with that 501(c)3 status that makes various organized religions subject to the whims of the federales. Perhaps it could be more something more akin to the circumstances surrounding Seldom Seen Smith. As an example of yet another potential explanation, some Tridentine (traditional, pre-Vatican II) Catholic conservatives told me years ago that the Vatican has been usurped by Satan, and thus the Holy Roman See needs to be rescued from the clutches of the devil (these same folks also described to me how they believed that the Apocalypse was near since this capture of the Catholic Church was supposed to pave the way for the Antichrist). Regardless of the specific reason, once the truly faithful become fucking fed up with the clergy, you know the overall situation has just become that much more exciting.
Similar to the Tridentine Catholic admonition of “hate the sin and love the sinner,” I postulate that we “hate the clergy and love the devoted believer,” since there is nothing to gain and a hell of a lot to lose by completely alienating otherwise good people, such as the Mormons. To be fair, do they have problems of mass intergenerational indoctrination? Yes. Are there problems that certain individuals and even married couples have with the morality of the Latter-Day Saints? Absolutely. Does the Mormon clergy capitalize on these issues (and others) by manipulating the rank and file membership into doing whatever they want, especially when it comes at the expense of their family’s welfare or even their own individual happiness? No doubt in my mind about that; however, I find it unconscionably cruel for people to so publicly ridicule the Mormons for simply having a spiritual faith. It is not fair to condemn the average Mormon for something their unaccountable clergy does.
Objectivity concerning the Mormons would become a failure if analysis of them halted right there without consideration of the good that they have done. Their structure of private charity works heads and shoulders above the various government versions. I don’t think there exists a state-run welfare system that values labor, tithes, and neighborly care in any serious way that can even begin to compete with the Mormons. They are also required by their theology to materially prepare for when the physical infrastructure breaks down. While this may be exacerbated by concerns of having to eventually survive a century-long siege, at least their heart is in the right place.
Unfortunately, I do not recommend buying from Mormon canneries since their products are not cost-effective relative to other sources, and even when they are, their availability is scanty. According to this comparison shopping table that I had help with compiling, a 50lb sack of rice cost $73 on the Provident Living online shopping center whereas that same sack cost $42 at Costco, $40 on Amazon, and $18 at Sam’s Club; 10lbs of sugar cost $26 at Provident Living as opposed to $20 on both Amazon and Ebay, $16 at Costco, and $6 at Sam’s. Of course, Provident Living does not sell either garbage bags, honey, toilet paper, bleach, or buckets of any size; Costco, Sam’s, Amazon, and Ebay do sell those items and even more that would be very useful in a grid-down scenario of some kind.
Of course, the anti-Mormon bashing has been brought into the limelight due to Willard Romney’s acceptance of the GOP Presidential nomination with jokes about whether his magical underwear will be a key determining factor in foreign policy decisions. This is exacerbated by the hidden camera footage taken of some Freemasonic-esque Mormon rituals that take place within the Salt Lake Temple. While the footage (and related videos by the same uploader) show an admittedly creepy quasi-interactive film about the creation myth of the Garden of Eden (as an aside, Satan was my favorite character actor), it was disheartening for me to watch a different video blurb from this same uploader admitting that he hopes that his work will “cast Romney in a new light.” In the attempt to get el presidente reelected, an entire religious faith is going to be smeared in much the same manner than Scientology has been (in both instances without distinguishing between the devoted faithful and the duplicitous clergy).
Admittedly, while these high-level initiate Mormon rituals in some ways remind me of the Cremation of Care, I still fail to see how a subjective perception concerning the nature of this reality is in any way, shape, or form initiating coercive aggression against me or anyone else. Maybe it’s some sort of primal behavior to attack others for believing in a different sky ghost than you do. Might I be so bold as to suggest that this artificial focus upon differences in religiosity is an attempt by the Establishment to balkanize the people against each other along lines of natural prejudice, so as to prevent them from ever unifying against the enemy rebel government that equally oppresses us all? I think the best push back that can be done is for other Christians to befriend the Mormons and learn from them what they can (besides doing business together). Only through uniting disparate factions will any of us have any realistic chance of achieving victory over our common overlords who enslave the unborn with mountainous debt that is levied upon a promise of their future productivity.