Friday, June 29, 2012

Jackson Hole Here I come

This post has nothing to do with religion or politics.

I am FINALLY going on VACATION! I need the freakin' time off! WooHoo!!

I am of course going with my in-laws so I will probably have some great stories to share when I get back.

White Water for me!!!

I can't wait

Monday, June 25, 2012

Typical Mormon Jibber Jab

Have you noticed how Mormon "defenders" always twist logic and fact to meet their twisted view of reality?

I read an article in The Salt Lake Tribune where the author goes out of her way to defend the Mormon Church from accusations that Joseph Smith was a fraud. It's almost humorous.

In one sentence she says:"I have to disagree with the article’s implicit conclusion that leaving Mormonism — or indeed any religious tradition — is the only logical choice for a rational, educated person."

But it is! If you are logical and look at things from a point of view of reality and reason, you would choose to leave.

She then says "The logic behind this loss of faith — Joseph Smith was a fraud, therefore the religion that he founded is phony, and one’s entire experience as a Mormon is bogus — is actually just the reverse of how many Mormons approach their faith. If the Book of Mormon is true, the thinking goes, then everything Joseph Smith did or said was divinely inspired. And if Joseph Smith was divinely inspired in everything, then everything about the church is just how God wants it."

As you can see from the above quote, she specifically and pointedly lets you know that Mormons live in delusion. They ignore fact and reality and instead live in a fantasy world where they can twist the truth and the facts to fit their warped sense of truth.

She then goes on to say "I am an active Mormon and I love my church. At the same time, I can empathize with the disillusionment felt by those who investigate LDS history for the first time after having been exposed only to sanitized versions of church history."

That's funny considering that the 'sanitized' version is what is TAUGHT in church to all the faithful. The ONLY way that a member of the LDS Church learns anything other than that is if they look outside the faith and see what is there.

Here's what I see; Much like a True/False test in school, if ANY part of the question is false, the entire question is false. If  I extrapolate it out, if any part of the faith is false the entire faith is false. How can a faith be true and correct if it is founded on falsehoods? Logically, it cannot be. Therefore it MUST be false and incorrect.

Since there is a myriad of evidence proving that many of the principles and foundations of the LDS church are false, the entire faith must then be false.

I am going to list just a couple of the falsehoods of the church. You tell me, how can it be true if these falsehoods exist?

1 - The Book of Abraham (the scrolls that JS "translated" from were Egyptian Funerary scrolls. nothing special at all and definitely NOT the story of Abraham)

2 - The blatant plagiarism of the Book of Mormon from the Bible. (I realize that the Bible is fiction too, it's just sad that Joseph Smith stole from such obvious fiction)

As I said earlier. It's a lie. Open your eyes and see it for what it is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to tell if your religion is bad? 5 signs!

According to Shayne Looper of the GateHouse News Service, there are 5 signs that your religion may be bad. I am going to take it a bit further and say 5 signs that ALL religion is bad.

1 - It makes people servants of an ideology rather than of the common good or their fellow man. These are people that value the differences in their belief structure more than they value their friends, family or fellow man. Every religion suffers from this malady.

2 - Religion makes people unhappy. Religion promises joy and happiness BUT ONLY after ALL other preconditions are met.

3 - Religion is founded on excluding others. Religion in any form is an alienating force, it pushes non-believers away and believers together, alienating anyone with differing beliefs from the group. The leaders of religions spend a large amount of their time speaking almost happily of others failures and how wrong other groups are for believing in their own way.

4 - Religion uses the Us/Them rhetoric to justify classifying non-believers as "the enemy". A prime example is "the war on religion". There isn't a war on religion, just folks trying to not be force-fed some superstitious beliefs that we ALL know are garbage.

5 - Religion is compassionless. Religion is self-centered. It is all about finding self-fulfillment, rather than truth. Being right rather than being fair and gaining success instead of offering kindness. This leaves little to no room for compassion.

I am not sure exactly how people continue to stay in groups that encourage this behavior. As a parent I always tried to teach my son to be compassionate, caring and kind to others. This is WHY I didn't indoctrinate him with religion.

I find the superiority complex that many religious folks have offensive and abusive. My own nephew goes out of his way to tell all the 'non-member' (not LDS) cousins in the family how "It must suck to not be Mormon."  His arrogance is appalling. I have brought it up to his parents to no avail. It's just sad. On a bright note, my son did kick his butt for it once, that was good times.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Defending Mormonism?!?

I was on the website reading some rather bland but somewhat interesting articles and came across this defense of Mormonism not being a cult. I thought I would share it here since my responses will never see the light of day on their site. My responses will be in bold italics  inside their responses.

First here is their defense/ statement regarding being labeled a cult:

One definition listed for ‘cult’ in Webster’s Dictionary is “a religion regarded as unorthodox.” Since the roots of Mormonism are not a break off from the Catholic or Protestant churches, it is seen by some as “unorthodox.” No, it is seen as unorthodox because it was made up out of thin air by Joseph Smith. For example, the LDS definition of the Godhead differs from the Nicene Creed accepted by most Catholic or Protestant churches. The “cult” label is usually applied by Church opponents attempting to criticize or discredit the Church. Again, incorrect. The cult label is applied to the LDS Church because it behaves like a cult. (see my previous post on this for more evidence)However, sometimes it’s simply a matter of characterization that has grown up over time by the lack of understanding. Such misunderstandings often vanish when people begin to realize the commonality of what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really teaches and believes. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world whom we love and worship. Along with Joseph Smith right? When people begin to see and recognize these things about Mormons, then their opinion of the Church usually changes, and old beliefs are replaced with new understanding.

What I really see when I read this is the following: LDS inc. does NOT address any of the issues behind WHY people label them as a cult. They don't deal with the facts that their BOM was plagiarized from the bible, that the Book of Abraham was a complete FRAUD. Nor, do they address any of the charges surrounding their being a cult and false doctrine to say the least.

Here are some of the comments defending Mormonism on the site:

Mormon's are viewed as a cult by some because we do not adhere to the fundamental creeds established by the other Christian churches, such as the Nicene or Athenian Creeds, and their view of the Godhead. Latter-day Saints are viewed by other Christians just like the early Christians were viewed by the Jews and Romans of the time, which was as a cult, because they strayed from what seemed to them orthodox Judaism. AND much like the early Christians and any other religion on the planet, IT IS A CULT. Much like the Pharisees and Sadducee's, who viewed orthodoxy through the lens of the rules laid out in the rabbinical law and their interpretation of the Law of Moses, the Christians of today view orthodoxy through the lens of the creeds that were established hundreds of years after the death of Christ under the opinion and counsels of men. Oh, and Mormons don't? Really? What about the "earring revelation" at General Conference a few years ago? What about all the ramblings of Brigham Young? What about the B.S that Joseph Smith spouted? All the "counsels of men" right?

I think some call Mormonism a cult mainly because they don't understand what it's about. Before I was a Mormon, I used to believe that Mormons did not believe in the Bible, in Jesus Christ and a good deal of other things. I didn't realize how incorrect I was. There have been some pretty amazing things that have happened in conjunction with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and if you don't get the whole picture, then some of the stuff can sound pretty odd, and I think that's where I was before. Some of the stuff can sound ODD? No, it is WEIRD to the maximum degree. Let me guess, you think all the throat cutting motions and talking to the 'devil' in the temple is normal right?

An example I sometimes use is: if someone told you that he had cut a man with a knife, from that limited piece of information, you'd probably report him for stabbing someone. But if you found out that this someone was a Doctor, and that he was preforming a surgery to save a man's life, having the full story completely changes your perspective on the situation. In that analogy possibly. What doctor in his right mind would just say "I cut someone with a knife"? NONE! Doctors wouldn't say that, only someone uneducated and not a doctor would say that. It's a ridiculous position.

In regards to the church I belong to, once I did have the whole story,  You don't have the whole story. If you did, you would leave. Much like the 70% of converts do. I could see that Mormons were not cultish, but that they really are in fact Christians. Which by the way are a cult too. I've even found that I have a stronger love of the the core things I believed before I was a Mormon, like the Bible and Jesus Christ Good for you! You love your imaginary friends and fictional novels. Good for you.

To sum things up:

Mormonism like all religion is a cult. A cult designed to take your money, your time and your energy and in return give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. Not much of a trade off.

I cannot think of a single religion that doesn't display cultic behavior. If you can, please let me know.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mormon411: My Conversion - From Mormonism to Atheism

Mormon411: My Conversion - From Mormonism to Atheism: Last week I published the testimony of the person who authors . This LDS blogger has a few other Mormon re...

I read this on my Bro-inlaws blog and wanted to share it here. It's very poignant and makes some very valid points.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fake Bill Collector Scam!

There I was on my day off, relaxing and enjoying some time with my wife. Catching up on The Hatfields & McCoys that we DVR'd, when I get a text message.

The message read: "You've had ample notice & ignored your obligation. You have 4 hrs to call 888-699-9726 to pay or it goes out for legal/civil action. A14214."

I was surprised to say the least. I don't have any obligations that I correspond with via text messaging. The last time I had an account that would text me was my car note, which by the way, I paid off and have the title for the car OVER A YEAR AGO. They would only text me to remind me of my due date each month, which I actually appreciated.

This brings up a couple of issues:

1 - They didn't put my name or any other identifying information in the text message. How do they know if it's even the RIGHT PERSON they are texting with this information?

2 - It is a violation of the FDCPA for a collection agency to reveal information of that nature via text messaging, especially when they don't have permission (I didn't sign up for it) to send the information.

3 - Threatening legal action is illegal according to the FDCPA.

4 - No listing of the original creditor or the name of their company? Illegal as well.

I Googled the phone number and what do you know? Nothing but complaints from people that got the same text messages. Some of those poor people actually called the number and made arrangements to pay this supposed debt. These poor people actually allowed a company that violated their rights access to their accounts to debit the funds this 'company' says they owe.

I read of several instances where this 'company' told people that they couldn't pay via money order but that they had to pay via CC or bank account. FRAUD. Anyone knows that collection agencies MUST accept payment for a debt in whatever form you choose to send it. This same company also refused to give these people their address or contact information, stating that: " If you don't make arrangements now, we will file suit and you will have to pay back 10x the amount." So, a "debt" of say $300 now becomes $3000? NOT LEGAL.

Several things you should look out for when dealing with anyone that says you owe them money:

1 - In writing, send them a Validation of Debt letter. You can find many examples of this just by googling it.

2 - Demand that they give you their address, registered agent and the original creditor when you speak with them.

3 - Do NOT make any arrangements to pay anything UNTIL they have validated the debt to YOUR satisfaction.

4 - Understand your rights: Read the FDCPA (Fair debt collection practices act)

5 - It is ILLEGAL for a collector to call you before 8am and after 9pm.

6 - It is ILLEGAL for a collector to threaten you in any way.

7 - It is ILLEGAL for a collector to call you and harass you.

8 - It is ILLEGAL for a collector to divulge ANY information about the debt to anyone but the debtor.

9 - When asked, the collector MUST give you their address and all contact information.

10 - Collectors MUST accept payment from you in whatever form you choose to send it. They cannot demand any specific type of payment.

If you ever have questions or feel that you are being abused by a collector, contact your local Attorney Generals office and let them know what is happening. As an added bonus, any time they violate the FDCPA, it's $1500 to YOU!

Document when they violate your rights, keep track and you can beat back the cheats!