Monday, September 28, 2009

Of Golden Plates and Lynchings

UPDATE 4:50PM: Because I've somehow developed the ability to see into the future (cue mystic shaman music), I can tell you that this entry will be cross-posted on Godless Fellowship soon! Oooo, cryptic and heretical! Welcome to readers who may yet visit from there! Also, there's more commentary on the whole thing in this New Post...

So today, while cruising Fark looking for goofy news (what else do you find on Fark?), I saw that Drew had sold ad space to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, AKA the Mormons. The link in question was to a chat where you could talk to a real live Mormon missionary. Of course, the Godless heathen in me (wait, the godless heathen IS me, not just IN me...) couldn't resist an oppertunity like this!

And so, knowing that clicking the link would bring revenue to my favorite news site, I proceeded without too much guilt (or disdain) and awaited the arrival of my own personal Mormon Missionary - An apparently Black gentleman named Christopher. What follows is the full transcript of the chat, edited only to make dialogue line up properly, and a few italics where I've inserted commentary after the fact. Otherwise, each and every word is the same:

Christopher: Hi! This is Chris from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How can I help you today?

Lost Boy: Explain to me the logic behind the Golden Tablets, please.

(Apparently, the Golden Tablets were given to Native Americans by Jesus not long after his ascension. Then these native Americans kept them around just long enough for Joseph Smith (an exciting name to be sure) to find and translate them (somehow), after which they disappeared forever. Convenient...)

Christopher: Well, what do you want to know about the Gold Plates?

Lost Boy: For starters, how you could possibly believe a fantastic fable like that. Usually, when someone says something to the effect of "I found this, but only I can see it," that person would be locked away.

Lost Boy: The way I see it, without the "God" excuse, it's all just mental illness...

(I welcome any chance to paraphrase Russel Brand...)

Christopher: Well, Joseph Smith was not the only one who saw them; there were at least 11 witnesses of the Plates.

Lost Boy: Ahhh, at least. So you're not sure of the number.

Lost Boy: So, when I sign up for the LDS church, do I get three wives straight off? Or do I have to work at that...

(Admittedly, this is harsh and uncool on my part. But hot damn, is it funny...)

Christopher: Well, there's a testimony of the Three Witnesses and the Eight Witnesses.

Lost Boy: But no pictures, right?

(As we say on Fark: PICS! Or it didn't happen!)

Christopher: And then there were a select few who also were allowed to see the plates.

Christopher: The Church does not practice polygamy.

(Yes, it does, but only the nutter fringe sects. Otherwise, you're just denying your church's history, much as you deny the history of the planet Earth...)

Lost Boy: Photography did exist in a rudementary form back then. You'd think that something that important would be photographed...

Christopher: There's not even photos of Joseph Smith...

Lost Boy: But you'd think things and people of such importance would be photographed and preserved for History...

Lost Boy: It's not like a church doesn't have the money to afford such high technology back then...

(Joseph Smith, Jr. - December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844. (on Wikipedia) -- Photography - Described as early as the 5th Century BCE, developed as usable in the 1820s, (on Wikipedia) extant to Smith's time and supposed discovery of the plates, so photographs were possible.)

Lost Boy: I mean, you do get donations week in and week out, and have never paid a dime in taxes, even though you should.

Lost Boy: You'd think you can afford to back up your nonsense with evidence...

Christopher: Well, the Church started from the ground up and didn't have a lot of resources and if they did, they wouldn't have photographed the plates anyway.

Lost Boy: OK, how about this.

Lost Boy: Is God above his own laws? Because he violated several, blatantly.

Christopher: The Book of Mormon is evidence enough of the Plates. If we had the plates in front of us you wouldn't know it's any more true than the Book of Mormon is.

(A typical response from any religion, that their holy book is evidence enough. Nothing new here, and I call him on it straight off.)

Lost Boy: The Book of Mormon is one book. Where are your other sources of Evidence?

Lost Boy: And in case you haven't noticed, even the Bible isn't keen on having the book of Mormon as part of it...

(I have yet to see a version of the mainstream Bible that includes the Book of Mormon, and although I'm sure copies exist as such, they're rare compared to, say, the KJV...)

Lost Boy: Do ya think that maybe, just maybe, it's all nuttery and lunacy?

Christopher: How has God violated His own laws?

Lost Boy: The supposed creation of Jesus violated two commandments.

Lost Boy: Thal shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, and thou shalt not commit adultry: Both violated.

(Mary was Joseph's "companion." In those times, the word "companion" was taken to mean, literally, spouse or betrothed. So yes, God coveted Joseph's wife, and got her preggers, which means some form of fucking was going on, AKA Adultry. And he's lucky I didn't get started on "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and the results of the supposed worldwide flood...)

Christopher: Well. There's one way you can find out for yourself, and that is to read the Book of Mormon.

(Actually, by this reasoning, I'm being told that there's only one factual source. Narrow-sighted much?)

Lost Boy: I've read the Book of Mormon, Christopher.

Lost Boy: As I've read the rest of the Bible.

(Both true claims: One of the first rules of any war is to Know Thy Enemy.)

Lost Boy: And you know what?

Lost Boy: I find it no different than a Mother Goose or Brothers Grimm tome.

Christopher: Alright. Did you pray about it with faith and with real intent?

Lost Boy: I've read your so-called "evidence," and find it to be absolute rubbish.

Lost Boy: You haven't figured it out yet?

(Time to drop the A-Bomb!)

Lost Boy: I'm an Atheist, Christopher. A godless heathen, as you like to put it.

Christopher: Or did you simply read it to contradict it as best you can?

Lost Boy: No, I read it simply to read it.

Lost Boy: The bible itself showed me that it's nothing but garbage.

Christopher: Because you can't receive your witness if you read it without the intent of finding Truth.

(If there were more than just vague moral truths in the Bible, maybe. But sadly for you...)

Lost Boy: It contradicts itself.

Lost Boy: And your precious book of Mormon just adds to the lunacy.

Lost Boy: Try this, Christopher: Ask your Vicar or Priest or Reverend or whatever you call him one question, and see if he can come up with a good answer.

Christopher: Alright then. So... why are you bothering to get on this chat?

Lost Boy: Ask him "WHY?"

Lost Boy: And do not accept "God's word" as an infallible answer.

(Well, he wanted to know why I was bothering, he just had to wait for me to make my "Ask Why" point first.)

Lost Boy: Because I'm doing the same thing you're trying to do: Evangelize. Only the thing I'm preaching is Logic and Reason, not fallacy and fairy tales.

Lost Boy: Free country, we can both do this, right?

Christopher: Eh, I'm not too keen on calling people heathen.

(Wow, that took a while to answer. I'm amazed he even remembered that I said it.)

Lost Boy: Well then, you're falling away from your faith. Because those of your faith LOVE to call us heathens, even though we're just as human as you are.\

(Oh yes, we're called heathens everyday. Just turn on the 700 Club.)

Christopher: Mhm. Again, you can't find the truthfulness in it unless you have faith that God will show it to you.

Christopher: Where?

Lost Boy: Oh yes, but you can find Truth without God. I have.

(What I can't seem to find is this "God" entity. Everyone says they know him personally, yet I have yet to see, meet, or talk to this entity.)

Lost Boy: Turn on the 700 club if you want to see people of your faith being idiots and calling us heathens.

Lost Boy: It's right there on your TV. You don't even have to read!

Lost Boy: Imagine that!

Lost Boy: Remember this truth, Christopher: "Where there is doubt, there is freedom."

(Truer words...)

Christopher: Well, the purpose of the chat here is for people to find out about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I invite you to learn about it.

Lost Boy: You're not the first to invite me to that, and you won't be the last. But the answer is always the same: Sorry, but I'll pass.

Christopher: Why? Why what? Why we have the Book of Mormon? Why we proclaim to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth in its entirety as revealed to Joseph Smith?

Lost Boy: Why would I want to become a hateful biggot?

(Joining a Christian faith would probably mean having to denounce homosexuality, and thus become a bigot. I'll pass, since I have plenty of LGBT friends, and you know what? They're pretty fucking cool people! I couldn't hate them!)

Lost Boy: Just "Why," Christopher. And don't stop asking it, even after they've exhausted of telling you "God, that's why."

Lost Boy: You might find more enlightenment than your silly Magic Sky Pixie could ever grant you.

(Christian arrogance in 3... 2... 1...)

Christopher: Pretty much. We claim the privilege of worshipping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all others to worship how, where, or what they may.

(Atheist Shinanigans Calling in 3... 2... 1...)

Lost Boy: Ahhh, the arrogance of religion. What if you're wrong, Christopher?

(Bill Maher FTW!)

Christopher: Perhaps for some things in this life but only through the Gospel can we find the fulness of the truth as to where we came from, why we are here, and where we're going.

Lost Boy: What if you're wrong, Christopher?

Lost Boy: Have you ever considered that?

Lost Boy: What if everything you've been taught as fact is just plain wrong?

Christopher: Well. I'd love to share the Gospel with you. If you're willing to listen.

Christopher: Are you?

(The problem here is, I HAVE listened. I was forced to listen from Birth to age 13, and you know what I heard? Just like any grown-up in a Charlie Brown Cartoon: WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAAAAAAAAH.)

Lost Boy: You see, that which I have been taught as fact has evidence and proof. All you have are a couple of story books.

Lost Boy: So, what if you're wrong?

Christopher: Haha, alright. well. I hope you have a nice day.

Lost Boy: Question, and they run.

Lost Boy: Way to keep that stereotype going, Christopher.

Lost Boy: Remember: WHY?

Christopher: I'm not sure. I'm fairly certain I'm not.

Lost Boy: See? God doesn't give you the 100% assurance!

Lost Boy: Where there is doubt, my boy, there is freedom.

Christopher: It's kind of hard to be a biggot when you're a minority race and everyone jokes about lynching you. :)

(Here's where I figured out he is Black. People make jokes about lynching this poor guy? Bad form! A God of love wouldn't allow that, would it? Christopher has problems: the first of which is being a Black man in what is arguably the Whitest state in the Union. He needs to get out and go where people accept him for who he is and can refrain from making stupid, racist jokes at his expense. Which pretty much rules out the Southern US...)

Lost Boy: Freedom of mind, of body, and yes, of spirit.

Lost Boy:That's just wrong, Christopher.

Lost Boy: Noone should make jokes about who or what you are.

Christopher: Good day.

Christopher: Good day.
Wow. The minute I got him to express doubt, and by extension his own admission of how they treat him as a minority, he cut the chat off.

Maybe I struck a nerve...

1 comment:

TheGuy said...

AH! I so wish you would have called him out on the whole find out for yourself by reading and praying with real intent bullshit. Granted, you probably don't have 20 years of training in Mormon tactics under your belt. They always say the same crap whenever backed into a corner.

"Again, you can't find the truthfulness in it unless you have faith that God will show it to you."

It's so absurd. He's basically saying you have to believe something is true BEFORE you can find out if it's true. If someone told him to do that with ANY other aspect of life he would call them crazy. And this "reasoning" only applies with the Book of Mormon. I'll bet anything he hasn't done that with the Koran.

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