Criticism of a Critic
I’ve gotta fight today
To live another day
Speakin’ my mind today
(My voice will be heard today)
I’ve gotta make a stand
But I am just a man
(I’m not superhuman)
My voice will be heard today
It’s just another war
Just another family torn
(My voice will be heard today)
-Hero by Skillet
I have, since my very first post, been told that my posts were harsh and biased. Though, I don’t view anything I have posted as particularly attacking I can understand the position. I am speaking out about a part of the lives of some people which they hold most dear. I have been told that I have my right to free speech and to speak against whatever I would like, but feelings have been hurt because I have based the majority of the criticism on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been asked to, at the very least, broaden the scope of my comments.
“Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all.”
–Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991), television writer and producer, creator of ‘Star Trek’
This post too may be taken as an attack but I sincerely ask you to read and understand my position. I accepted the invitation to the church and the entire process was rushed and pressure filled. I accepted the church and its teachings and even lied to many people who asked my feelings on it all. I am sorry that I lied but I am not sorry to have met all of the people that without this experience I likely wouldn’t have encountered. You may feel it was wrong to lie but I am confident that most of the people who go through the process have the same feelings of pressure. The process is designed at its very core to pressure new ‘investigators’ into accepting the faith quickly; I was asked to make a decision about baptism on the very first discussion with the missionaries.
Religion is, at its very core, an opinion on how the world works. Historically “God” has been attributed the power over what we could not understand. Every civilization in history has claimed the existence, supremacy, and ‘true-ness’ of their god. If god claims were never challenged we would still be worshiping as the Greeks and Romans.
Thor, Indra, Zeus, Raijin, and many others were the God of Thunder and/or Lightning. Because someone challenged those beliefs we now know that thunder is simply the sound of the super heating of the air surrounding an electric discharge we call lightning. Ra is said to have pulled the sun across the sky with his chariot, but we know now that the movement of the Sun is actually the movement of the Earth on both our polar axis and in orbit around the sun.
“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”
–J. Reuben Clark, D. Michael Quinn (1983). The Church Years, p 24. Provo (UT): Brigham Young University Press
Every opinion deserves criticism and if it can not withstand it, that position or idea should be abandoned. Science (and our world in general) is based on someone saying ‘this is how this works’ and other people trying to disprove that hypothesis. The majority of the prizes in the scientific communities are awarded to ideas that disprove conventional thought with a more rational and descriptive theory.
I will freely admit that the majority of my remarks have focused on the LDS and I can justify my doing so; some of the claims made by the church are finite, specific, and verifiable claims. I am not speaking of the three kingdoms or degrees of glory, that God lives on/near Kolob, that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County Missouri, et al. I have and will continue to focus on the claims that, if true, could and should be verified by physical evidence.
“If a faith will not bear to be investigated; if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.”
–George Albert Smith, 1st Counselor to Brigham Young
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that a group of Hebrew travelers made their way to the American continent and, as such, are the ancestors of the Native American Indians. The church teaches that there were massive civilizations and wars on the American continent. Members are taught that the series of events in the formative years of the church happened in a certain way with very specific details.
“Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing.”
–Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS General Conference, April 2003.
Being of the scientific background that I am I am aware of the use and importance of sources. The largest source of information for the refutation of the above claims, is in fact church history and church resources. To this point I have repeatedly responded to my critics that if there is a factual inaccuracy they believe exists in my posts to inform me and I will give the source for that claim. Also because of the majority of source information coming from Church sponsored or friendly places I cannot understand the utter disregard for the information they contain.
To this day I have not received a single response concerning the facts contained in my posts. I have only been given comments about ‘think what you want but don’t put it on Facebook’ or ‘why do you only talk about the LDS’. I am sorry that I have hurt anyone’s feelings and for those who feel as though I have only posted concerning the LDS I can confidently say that you haven’t seen the rest of my blog.
“Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.”
I am currently reading the Bible and taking its words as literally as they were written to be read. The stories contained in the Bible were not meant to be allegory or figurative tales, similarly the Book of Mormon was written to be a literal historical account of the history of the Americas. Just like the stories of the Greek gods of Mt. Olympus and the tales of Asgard the narratives of the Bible and Book of Mormon were written as literal, factual, and completely true accounts.
I wonder if my remarks on the Bible count as something that isn’t LDS-centric. I understand that the Mormons claim the use of the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon but in my experience it is not considered an equal and is not equally quoted or referenced in the church. It is remarkable that the membership spends so much time reading and ‘studying’ the scriptures but haven’t actually studied the claims made by the scriptures or the problems with them.
The very worst attitude that I encounter and that gets the worst response out of me is that of the person who acts like a child in their reasoning and argumentation. Fingers in the ears, saying ‘LA LA LA LA’, not actually being part of an adult, reasoned argument. ‘I’ll never change my position, NEVER’ is one of the worst claims I’ve encountered. I know that when someone says that, they have lost more than just the current argument. They have lost my respect.
Please if you are reading this, be open minded. At the very least let your imagination wander. Let it think about the possibility that there is no god. I tell you now mine goes the possibility that there is a god daily.
I don’t know if this post has rambled beyond control but I will end here. Thanks for going on that tangent-filled ride with me, come back soon.