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Mormons


Jun
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The last two weeks I've had a few Mormons drop by on their annual door-knock.

 

It is usually my wife who answers the door, and she makes it quite clear to them that we aren't interested in listening to their dribble.

 

But tonight, I was home and answered the door when they came around for another try at getting our money converting us.

 

I entertained the idea of inviting them in and handing them some Atheist materials, when something they said struck me.

 

"We are just passing through the neighbourhood and calling in on people to spread the word."

 

Passing through the neighbourhood.

 

Now, my family is not upper-class, nor do we live in a big house, but we aren't poor and we live in what would be considered a middle-class area with some nice houses and well-off families. The next suburb over, on the other hand, is rather run down and has a few government housing estates. The families in that area are not so well-off, it's not like the Bronx though.

 

So I asked. "Where were you passing through? I mean, do you each have a boundary that you keep within, a number of streets on a map or something?" "Yes," they replied. "We cover this suburb."

 

"And who covers through the next suburb over?" I asked. "Er, we don't go there." They replied.

 

"Why not." I asked. "That is a poorer area with drug adicts and thieves." They replied.

 

"So, all the more reason you should be spreading the word to them, isn't it." They looked perplexed. Obviously they couldn't answer, so I pushed.

 

"Why don't you send some missionaries over there and help out where you can, you might make some converts."

 

This time they tried to change the subject. So I put it to them that, "The reason you are targeting these richer areas is because you know that people here may have some money to spare for your church, and the reason you don't try over there is because they are poorer and probably can't offer you anything financially."

 

That ended their stay. Without a goodbye, they just left.

 

Ever seen a Mormon missionary or a JW walking the streets of a poorer area of town, or talking to poorer people and comforting them with the word?

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Actually, I have. My brother served a mission in south Chicago, around Watseka. I don't know exactly the prosperity of the neighborhoods he covered, but I do know they were at the bottom of lower-middle class, at best.

 

I must admit, I find it odd they wouldn't go into a disreputable area of town. Mormon missionaries are usually well-respected and enjoy an immunity not shared by others in the "dangerous" areas they may go to. There was an event several years ago that's become a Mormon legend in which a pair of elders were murdered, and shortly after the killer(s) were hunted down and killed in turn by a mob of gangsters.

 

In all fairness, those individual missionaries' intentions were probably honest. I can say from experience just how naive a young man raised in the Mormon church may be about the "outside world," especially those who come from the Mormon strongholds in the mountain west--and I was one of the lucky ones whose parents extolled the virtue of education from day one. To question the church leadership is an idea that hasn't even entered the minds of most Mormons I've known.

 

I usually treat Mormon missionaries more "gently" as a result of my experiences, but I'd probably have been just as blunt with a pair of JWs or Southern Baptists had I ever encountered them, so.. yeah. Doesn't help that many people know so little about the Mormon religion, and many of those don't let that stop them from making stuff up. It's times like that my dislike for ignorance backfires on me and I find myself defending it despite my deconversion.

 

As for the religious establishment they're serving, though; yeah. Those fuckers know exactly what they're doing, have since the beginning, and aren't about to put down the shears anytime soon. The patriarchal rich old white bastards don't deserve any of the luxury they've got.

 

............................

 

I tell you, childhood indoctrination sucks. I always have to wonder whether I'm actually correcting a falsehood or just mounting a flawed defense motivated by my upbringing.

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Woodsmoke, can I ask you - do Mormons really wear sacred secret underwear?

 

Mormon missionaries are usually well-respected and enjoy an immunity not shared by others in the "dangerous" areas they may go to.

 

Not so in Oz. Mormons and JW's are the least repsected of religious people here. They do get a beating from time to time.

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Ah, I'd forgotten you live in Australia. Makes sense it would be a different atmosphere there.

 

Yes, Mormons do have "sacred" underwear called garments. I'd honestly never realized there was anything special about them until just a year or two ago. My parents had always worn them while I was growing up; I'd just thought they were old-fashioned underwear from their upbringing as farm kids.

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Are mormons the guys that I always see riding around on bikes wearing a tie and white dress shirt? Or are those JW's? I always get them mixed up. Anyway I always thought those guys looked like dorks riding their bikes around all dressed up. Whenever i've seen them though they seem to stick within their own element, which generally seems to be upper middle class white suburbanites...

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Yeah, bicycles are a conventional means of travel for many Mormon missionary pairs. The JWs might do it as well, I don't really know.

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Whenever i've seen them though they seem to stick within their own element, which generally seems to be upper middle class white suburbanites...

 

My point.

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...So I put it to them that, "The reason you are targeting these richer areas is because you know that people here may have some money to spare for your church, and the reason you don't try over there is because they are poorer and probably can't offer you anything financially."...

Actually, it probably goes much further than simple "ability to donate to the church." Mormons believe that wealth acquired on Earth is taken with the faithful to heaven. They also run a very close-knit closed community. I've been in several business situations where they tried to create an "all Mormon shop". Indoctrinating the rich is obviously the best bang for the buck in terms of upward social mobility for the church and its members, not just a means of collecting donations. Nobody wants to hang out with losers and end up poor for eternity in heaven.

 

Also there's generally more minority races in the less prosperous neighborhoods. Remember that Mormons have only been allowing black folks into heaven since the late 70's. I suspect all the racism didn't just disappear back when God told the church President (an elected prophet) to desegregate.

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...So I put it to them that, "The reason you are targeting these richer areas is because you know that people here may have some money to spare for your church, and the reason you don't try over there is because they are poorer and probably can't offer you anything financially."...

 

Actually, it probably goes much further than simple "ability to donate to the church." Mormons believe that wealth acquired on Earth is taken with the faithful to heaven. They also run a very close-knit closed community. I've been in several business situations where they tried to create an "all Mormon shop". Indoctrinating the rich is obviously the best bang for the buck in terms of upward social mobility for the church and its members, not just a means of collecting donations. Nobody wants to hang out with losers and end up poor for eternity in heaven.

 

Also there's generally more minority races in the less prosperous neighborhoods. Remember that Mormons have only been allowing black folks into heaven since the late 70's. I suspect all the racism didn't just disappear back when God told the church President (an elected prophet) to desegregate.

 

Well, thank you for that. I've learned something new.

 

I must admit the Mormons are one of those religions that seems to be invisible to most here in Oz. It is not known to most Australians that Sanitarium Cereals is owned by the Mormons and that through sales of cereals and grains alone the Mormons raise about $108 million (AUS) a year in revenue.

 

Next to the Hillsong Church and the Christian Outreach Centre (Pentecostals) which together boast an annual revenue of more than $190 million (AUS), the Mormons are the richest of the U.S. based Christian cults churches.

 

And that is all tax free and doesn't include what is made through donations.

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[i must admit the Mormons are one of those religions that seems to be invisible to most here in Oz. It is not known to most Australians that Sanitarium Cereals is owned by the Mormons and that through sales of cereals and grains alone the Mormons raise about $108 million (AUS) a year in revenue.

 

 

Hey There,

 

I'm in Australia too, and I'm pretty sure that Sanitarium is owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. I'm pretty certain of it.

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

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I'm in Australia too, and I'm pretty sure that Sanitarium is owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. I'm pretty certain of it.

 

Ah, yes. My mistake, I stand corrected thank you Amelia. :)

 

The figures I presented were correct, but the agricultural business owned by the Mormons is AgReserves - not Sanitarium.

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Guest hickory

The Mormons do own Marriott Hotels - I'm sure they must have locations in Australia.

The Mormons are BIG business. Worth over $25 billion (US) according to Newsweek.

They "own" the state of Utah.

They have also have large influence on the Boy Scouts of America which is really sad. Another great program hi-jacked.

 

Hickory

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The Mormons do own Marriott Hotels - I'm sure they must have locations in Australia.

The Mormons are BIG business. Worth over $25 billion (US) according to Newsweek.

They "own" the state of Utah.

They have also have large influence on the Boy Scouts of America which is really sad. Another great program hi-jacked.

 

Hickory

 

Wow, I'm learning lots of new things this morning. Thanks Hickory. :)

 

There are two Marriott hotels in Sydney.

 

The Pentecostals have recently started their own brand of the Boy Scouts here in Oz called Eagle Scouts. There has been some backlash in my community against it as it is obviously American and Pentecostal.

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Guest hickory

As for the Boy Scouts a number of fundamental denominations here have started their own Scouting program in order to put more of their god stuff into the program and to make it available only to their members. Royal Rangers, Pioneer Clubs to name a couple.

 

The irony is the BSA has been in a number of court cases for discriminating against atheist/agnostics. On the BSA application is an excerpt from the BSA's Decalaration of Religious Principles that states something to the effect that "no boy can grow into the best kind of citizen without believing in god."

 

The Mormon chruch in the USA uses the BSA program (with official modifications just for them) exclusively as the youth program for Mormon boys. Men in the church are "called" by the church to be Scout leaders. They also get a few weeks each year of exclusive use of Philmont the huge (over 200,000 acres) High Adventure Base and Training facility in New Mexico.

 

Sorry - didn't mean to hi-jack the thread.

 

hickory

 

P.S. I am no longer a member of BSA by my own action due in part to their discrimintory policies against non-theists and homosexuals.

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Pardon me for a moment, my bullshit meter is going into overdrive. :Hmm:

 

Actually, it probably goes much further than simple "ability to donate to the church." Mormons believe that wealth acquired on Earth is taken with the faithful to heaven.

 

So patently and blatantly untrue it almost makes my eyes bleed just reading it. Where did you ever get this idea?

 

The Mormon philosophy of material wealth is no different than that of mainstream Christianity; succinctly, "you can't take it with you." If I had a dollar for every time I heard references to the verse stating "it is easier for a camle to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven" while growing up, I wouldn't have to wait for heaven to walk gold-brick streets.

 

They also run a very close-knit closed community. I've been in several business situations where they tried to create an "all Mormon shop".

 

The reason your average Mormon tries to establish business environments populated exclusively by other Mormons is the exact same reason we communicate here. Mormons are humans too, and humans by and large prefer the company of other humans who share their own values.

 

I'm not defending the practice--I personally think it would do those raised in the cultural homogeny of Utah and other areas in the mountain west a hell of a lot of good to have to work with a highly diverse staff--but let's not create demons where there exist none, shall we?

 

Also there's generally more minority races in the less prosperous neighborhoods. Remember that Mormons have only been allowing black folks into heaven since the late 70's. I suspect all the racism didn't just disappear back when God told the church President (an elected prophet) to desegregate.

 

We'll just gloss over the fact that the LDS church has been growing by leaps and bounds outside the U.S, to the extent that several years ago it was announced that this country is no longer home to the largest populations of Mormons (I believe that "honor" goes to Brazil). We wouldn't want to have niggly little facts like that confuse the issue, after all.

 

Also, the "revelation" received in the 70s was that black men were now elligible to receive the priesthood. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was ever taught about blacks being barred entry to heaven. Do you honestly think they would been able to build up any semblance of a membership among blacks if that had been the case?

 

Finally, while it's not exactly wrong, it's somewhat of a misnomer to say the profit of the LDS religion is elected. There have been rare exceptions, but conventionally, succession within the church leadership is simple. When the current president dies, the oldest member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is elevated to the position to replace him. It is the result of a democratic process, but this standard has only been broken once or twice in the history of the church; it's pretty well assumed and virtually always carried out according to convention.

 

 

 

You see, this is what I'm talking about. I don't want to defend the LDS church, but then someone comes along with a boatload of ignorance and misinformation, throwing out blatantly false accusations and wild stories, and my enmity for ignorance just takes over.

 

Lest you get the wrong impression, I'd like to assure you this is not meant to be an attack, CN. I understand there's a LOT of ignorance concerning the Mormon religion out there, and Mormons don't help matters any with their reclusive behavior. I don't blame a person for their individual ignorance of something with which the only "association" they've had is nth hand stories told by people just as ignorant as they, but I'm afraid I sometimes come off as more aggressive than I mean to. As I said above (and as is likely evidenced by virtually every post of mine to this site), I have little patience for ignorance--and so much of that surrounding Mormons seems to be outright intentional.

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Pardon me for a moment, my bullshit meter is going into overdrive. :Hmm:

 

Actually, it probably goes much further than simple "ability to donate to the church." Mormons believe that wealth acquired on Earth is taken with the faithful to heaven.

 

So patently and blatantly untrue it almost makes my eyes bleed just reading it. Where did you ever get this idea?

 

The Mormon philosophy of material wealth is no different than that of mainstream Christianity; succinctly, "you can't take it with you." If I had a dollar for every time I heard references to the verse stating "it is easier for a camle to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven" while growing up, I wouldn't have to wait for heaven to walk gold-brick streets.

 

They also run a very close-knit closed community. I've been in several business situations where they tried to create an "all Mormon shop".

 

The reason your average Mormon tries to establish business environments populated exclusively by other Mormons is the exact same reason we communicate here. Mormons are humans too, and humans by and large prefer the company of other humans who share their own values.

 

I'm not defending the practice--I personally think it would do those raised in the cultural homogeny of Utah and other areas in the mountain west a hell of a lot of good to have to work with a highly diverse staff--but let's not create demons where there exist none, shall we?

 

Also there's generally more minority races in the less prosperous neighborhoods. Remember that Mormons have only been allowing black folks into heaven since the late 70's. I suspect all the racism didn't just disappear back when God told the church President (an elected prophet) to desegregate.

 

We'll just gloss over the fact that the LDS church has been growing by leaps and bounds outside the U.S, to the extent that several years ago it was announced that this country is no longer home to the largest populations of Mormons (I believe that "honor" goes to Brazil). We wouldn't want to have niggly little facts like that confuse the issue, after all.

 

Also, the "revelation" received in the 70s was that black men were now elligible to receive the priesthood. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was ever taught about blacks being barred entry to heaven. Do you honestly think they would been able to build up any semblance of a membership among blacks if that had been the case?

 

Finally, while it's not exactly wrong, it's somewhat of a misnomer to say the profit of the LDS religion is elected. There have been rare exceptions, but conventionally, succession within the church leadership is simple. When the current president dies, the oldest member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is elevated to the position to replace him. It is the result of a democratic process, but this standard has only been broken once or twice in the history of the church; it's pretty well assumed and virtually always carried out according to convention.

 

 

 

You see, this is what I'm talking about. I don't want to defend the LDS church, but then someone comes along with a boatload of ignorance and misinformation, throwing out blatantly false accusations and wild stories, and my enmity for ignorance just takes over.

 

Lest you get the wrong impression, I'd like to assure you this is not meant to be an attack, CN. I understand there's a LOT of ignorance concerning the Mormon religion out there, and Mormons don't help matters any with their reclusive behavior. I don't blame a person for their individual ignorance of something with which the only "association" they've had is nth hand stories told by people just as ignorant as they, but I'm afraid I sometimes come off as more aggressive than I mean to. As I said above (and as is likely evidenced by virtually every post of mine to this site), I have little patience for ignorance--and so much of that surrounding Mormons seems to be outright intentional.

 

Woodsmoke, thank you for clarifying those issues. And I thought I had learned some new things about the Mormons.

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The irony is the BSA has been in a number of court cases for discriminating against atheist/agnostics. On the BSA application is an excerpt from the BSA's Decalaration of Religious Principles that states something to the effect that "no boy can grow into the best kind of citizen without believing in god."

 

The Mormon chruch in the USA uses the BSA program (with official modifications just for them) exclusively as the youth program for Mormon boys. Men in the church are "called" by the church to be Scout leaders. They also get a few weeks each year of exclusive use of Philmont the huge (over 200,000 acres) High Adventure Base and Training facility in New Mexico.

 

See, this I can agree to wholeheartedly. The BSA is a wonderful organization, it's just terrible that they have to kowtow to the whims of the Mormon church like they do in the U.S. in order to retain the funding to keep providing the great program they do.

 

Woodsmoke, thank you for clarifying those issues. And I thought I had learned some new things about the Mormons.

 

Heh, you probably did; just not what you had thought at first. ;)

 

You're welcome.

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