Monday, October 3, 2011

Isn't there an app for that?

I feel cheated.  I have ever since I was a kid, but especially now that I am an adult.  This sense of unfairness that I have felt may be the over riding reason why I am no longer a believer.  It boils down to one unequivocal statement.  God is stingy.

Let me explain why I feel this way.  Growing up in a religious household, I was taught all the many stories of the Bible and (since I was raised Mormon) the Book of Mormon also.  The Bible primarily, but the Book of Mormon also, is chock full of wonderful miracles that seem to happen on a daily basis to those whom are participating in the narrative.  If you google "Bible Miracles" you will quickly be able to find thousands of web pages that list the hundreds of miracles that the bible describes.  Many of us can name dozens just off the top of our heads.  Some of them are real doozies.  Creation.  That one was huge.  The flood.  The opposite of creation, but still a major undertaking.  Sampson's strength, the vast number of plagues called down on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, being guided by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night, the survival of the three youths (no, I'm not going to spend the time trying to spell their names correctly) from the fiery furnace, turning water to wine, voices from heaven, mass hysteria.  Sorry, started quoting from Ghost Busters there for a minute.

My point is that it would seem that people back in the day were much more likely to be treated to a pretty seriously cool miracle now and again.  When some of your uppity brethren get swallowed up by the earth because they wanted the priesthood and God had already told them no, and then the prophet says the words and the ground opens up and then slams shut on them, that is some faith promoting action right there.  Not to mention entire armies being defeated by angels without the opposing side having to lift a finger.  These types of circumstances would effect entire generations.  I mean, even if you didn't see it, but instead were told by your father or grandfather, it would be something to cause you to meander towards God.

Then we fast forward in time to Christ coming and we see more cool miracles.  Not necessarily so brash as some of the earlier miracles but definitely cool and faith promoting.  Jesus never caused two she bears to come out of the woods and tear up 42 children, but he did raise the dead, cure leprosy, and cause those that were blind since childhood to see.  Pretty good stuff.  Not to mention raising himself from the dead, appearing to his apostles, and if you believe the Book of Mormon, flying across the Atlantic ocean and hanging out with the people of this continent after they have been bumping around in the dark for three days.

Even after Jesus left the scene for good, his apostles still did some pretty cool stuff.  Miracles followed them around also.  But then, nothing much.  The catholic church would sometimes report some small miracle or other, usually a statue bleeding or a person with wounds on their hands that wouldn't heal.  Even the church though, caused these to be investigated thoroughly before they would get behind it.  Then we go a couple of thousand years with not much happening.  Enter Joseph Smith.  I have hope again.  If you believe the press there was some pretty good miracles that happened around the early part of 1800s.  Of course, the best ones were only witnessed by one or two people at a time, so even though Joseph claimed to see God and Jesus, it doesn't have the same impact as a million people seeing the Red Sea part.  Still, we may be getting something going.

But then, not so much.  After Joseph was killed the miracles dried up.  Revelations stopped coming for the most part and the modern day prophets aren't even close.  Joseph supposedly received the news right from God himself, having many revelations pertaining to both weighty spiritual matters as well as when people should sell their farms.  God was active in the lives of his saints and things were going to be great (unless you count the constantly having to migrate somewhere else because you had pissed off the local population, and your leaders were constantly getting arrested, but other than that, good times.)

Today, when asked, the modern prophet, the president of the church, to whom I always knew was the man that actually talked face to face with God and Jesus, will say that they don't actually talk to God, or have even seen him face to face, but instead get feelings and impressions as to what to do.  Feelings?  Impressions?  Really?  Why is God being so stingy with his miracles and face time?  We are told over and over that these are the last days, and they are tough.  So why is it when the going gets tough, that God stops.  Wouldn't it make more sense to step up the hard sell now that there is so much that is competing for our attention.  I mean, the modern devices that we use would have been considered miraculous by ancient standards, but were created by man, not God.  If God wants to compete he needs to get his own app or something.  I mean, compared to what he has done in the past, how hard would it be for a pillar of fire to come down and shake everything up around here?  Maybe a voice from heaven saying "Knock that shit off!"  I'm just saying, that I feel cheated.  I think that God doesn't care anymore.  Maybe it's possible that we have created our own miracles so much that God doesn't want to compete.  Maybe sheep herders a few thousand years ago were easy to impress.  Is it possible that God fears that even if he were to fire up the old miracle machine again, that we would be so busy playing with our various electronic devices that we wouldn't even notice?  Or would we just say, "big deal, I've got an app for that?"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Objection! Hearsay!

Human beings are interesting creatures.  I mean, comparatively speaking they have one of the largest brains in all the animal kingdom.  It allows us to do some really remarkable things.  Our imagination has been able to get us to the moon and and we have sent probes to beyond our own solar system.  We have cured many diseases that shortened the lives of our progenitors and have come up with vaccinations against many diseases that would wipe out large numbers of our children even just a hundred years ago.  Truly, we have made and are still making huge leaps in learning and bettering our lives collectively.  

Of course, our imagination also has a downside to it.  We seem to be hard wired with the capacity to believe two completely different ideas at the same time.  People of various religions will believe in the creation story and the idea that the animals of today were created exactly as they are now, but at the same time absolutely believe in dinosaurs and that other animals have been on the Earth for hundreds of millions of years.  For some, these two opposing ideas will eventually cause too much cognitive dissonance and one idea will die an ugly death.  Usually, if an idea is to die, it will be that one which has the less physical evidence supporting it.  I don't know for sure, but I suspect that there are more atheists who were once religious than the other way around.  

It seems to me that our modern society is more cynical than the societies that came before.  You will hear children playing and one child will say, "Oh yeah, prove it!"  From prospectuses in investing to looking into a business or an idea, we constantly want the proof of what it is that we are being told.  We do our research, we talk to those who have done what it is we want to do, we look for reviews online.  Every product I buy now, will have been researched online for a week or more before I make my purchase.  Online websites will have places where people can put their opinion about a product or service.  The web site "Angie's List" is all about rating and reviewing products and service providers so that people can know what to expect before they shell out the cash.  Now, admittedly much of this relies upon listening to others experience and taking their word for it.  However, they are giving their opinion on something that they actually bought or saw occur. It is a first hand experience that meets with our expectations, and so we attempt to learn by their experience, so that if it wasn't a pleasant experience, we won't repeat it.  

Not so with religion.  For whatever reason, when it comes to religion all of our cynicism melts away.  There must be something in our collective make-up that causes us to put aside our desire for proof when it comes to religion.  Please think about the following scenario.  You meet a man at a party.  He is a really nice guy and seems to be very charismatic.  After short time he tells you that he has personally seen God and talked with him.  God told him to start a church and let everybody know that it was the true church.  He tells you that you will have to make sacrifices and people will probably hate you, but if you do what he says and follow him, the true prophet of God, then you will be saved and be happy forever.  What would you do?  Honestly?  In this modern world most people would try their best to stay polite, but would rapidly start looking for an excuse to put something solid like a kitchen table or a bowl of artichoke dip between them and this nut job.  Everybody would think he was completely nutso.  You'd look to your significant other and start doing the secret "Its Time To Go!  Get Your Shit And Meet Me By The Front Door" look.  

Now, take that same example.  Just put 190 some odd years between it and you  and have a young man tell you that this is what happened a long time ago and for some reason we as humans want to believe it.  So much so that in the last two centuries this church has baptized somewhere between 11 and 13 million people. (I say baptized, because the number of actual active members is probably much less like 4-5 million)  Of course the same could be said for any religion.  The Scriptures that the Christians rely on, the New Testament, was written approximately around 70 AD.  That was about 40 years after Jesus was to have lived and been killed.  Now, if you were to tell me to write down word for word what had occurred last month between me and my wife I wouldn't be able to do it.  So what are the chances, that four disciples of Jesus could write their gospels 40 years afterword and have the words be almost word for word?  And more importantly, Christians rely on these writings to the letter to know what it is that God wants them to do.  Muslims aren't any better, as the Quran was written much later and has the same amount of improbable occurrences that the bible does. (All the Jews being turned into apes and pigs, etc.)

That is really the problem with religion.  The entire basis of religion is hearsay.  In courts of law, hearsay is inadmissible because it is unreliable and you are testifying to what someone else said.  The basis for religion is a bunch of really cool stuff that happened a long time ago to someone else who had been dead for centuries.  No, you can't see a really cool miracle, because you must have faith and believe the hearsay that is being told to you.  Besides which, miracles were only done a long time ago before humans had the capacity to measure and study an occurrence which appears to be impossible, and possibly find out its really just a slight of hand. Yes, yes, God once spoke from the clouds so that everybody who heard it would know without a doubt what his intentions were, but that is because the people in the olden days were complete morons and needed that kind of encouragement.  I mean, the Old Testament is chock full of stories about how the people had to know who was in charge and leading them, and they rebelled anyway.  Complete imbeciles.  We of course in modern times should be able to cast our doubts aside and listen to our feelings and come to the conclusion that religion is right.  No voices or pillars of fire for us.  We have feelings.  Of course, that doesn't help when I get teary eyed at some beer commercials.  Does that mean that I should recognize the truthfulness of Budweiser?  Maybe.   


Friday, September 2, 2011

Sure they're big, but we know they are Devil Rocks.

The thing that I like best about religion and those that practice it (I say practice, because with as messed up as religion tends to be, you can never perfect it) is the fact that it is only possible to do if you have a really unique brain.  Luckily for religion's sake, humans have this type of brain.  The followers of DinoJesus never had to worry about becoming unbelievers, because they didn't have a brain that was sophisticated enough to think their way out of religion.  (If you ask me, this may have been a major design flaw from the creator of this planet.) Anyway, back to my original point.  The human brain can partition (metaphorically speaking) itself into various sections, with each section believing a different, non-compatible thing, and the two shall never mix.  If this were not possible, then humans, as they grew older would come to a time in their life when their different beliefs would meet, and like matter and anti-matter meeting the result wouldn't be good.  Somewhere around 8 to 10 years old the child would question whether Santa Claus was real, and then their head would explode and it would really be hard for the human species to propagate.

So, taking a step back from the thoughts of little kids walking around and their head suddenly blowing up, what am I trying to say?  Just that humans are made for religion.  We always are looking for the explanation.  In our youth as a modern species, it was easy to make up explanations to explain away the unknown.  What is lightening?  It is an angry god hurling bolts from his house on high.  Why does the sun go around the sky?  It is a fiery chariot that makes its daily trip across the sky before another goddess can pull her cloak over the world.  Perfectly reasonable explanations.  As long as you pay no attention to science or what we have discovered since then.

However, have we really traveled that far from our ancestors?  Approximately 50% of people in the United States believe that humans were created in their present form sometime in the last 10,000 years.  If you asked these same people if they believe that dinosaurs existed, many of them would say yes.  The fossil record is conclusive in support of evolution and that life has existed for hundreds of millions of years, and yet, a vast number of people can easily hold two diametrically opposite views in their heads with no problem.  "I believe that the story of Adam and Eve is true and that God created all the creatures of the earth at the same time and they lived in the garden with Adam and Eve."  "I love visiting the dinosaur museum and seeing all the bones and wondering at how the Earth must have been back then when the dinosaurs were roaming the planet for millions of years long before the mammals even came in to existence."  One would think that these two statements would come from two very different individuals.  But in reality, these thoughts can come from the same brain.  One side is the religious side, and the other is the science side, and we keep them compartmentalized and separate for our own sanity.  (This of course does not take in to account those people that explain the dinosaur fossils as "Devil Rocks" that were put there by Satan to confuse us in to believing in that whole "Evil lution" thing.)

Now many people will say "so what?"  As long as we can believe two different things, then who cares?  The problem is that people will often make decisions using one part of their brains that believes one thing, when the other part that believes something else would have been the more appropriate part to use.  Can you imagine the number of problems that could be wiped out if everybody would keep their religion thoughts to themselves and not allow them to make decisions in the real world?  Think about the current problems between the western world and the middle east.  If you were to take religion out of the mix, I would bet that there would be no such problems.

But even closer to home (Utah) you would see a huge change.  The people of Utah and their leaders think of themselves as Conservative and defenders of liberty.  Not so fast.  You see, they often allow the religious brain to get involved and it has a tendency to really mess things up.  Would you like a glass of wine with your dinner?  Let me go behind this curtain and pour you a glass and then bring it out to the table.  I have to have a curtain there, because the law says that people shouldn't see the evil alcohol being poured, because it might cause the youth to want to drink.  Really.  I kid you not.  So, the kid sitting across from me can see the glass of wine.  Knows what is in the glass if he has half a brain (which, since he is probably religious is true), but because he didn't see it poured he is safe from the malicious effects of the temptation to drink.  This is the type of thinking that happens when the religious side of the brain takes over for a second or two.  The leadership of the state claim to believe in freedom, but only the freedom to do those things that are in agreement with their core beliefs.  If you want to do something that they don't feel is "right" then they have no problem legislating their morals on you.  And, even more, see no problem in their doing it.

So, the problem is simple.  The answer complex.  Can we believe two things and use the right belief at the right time to act?  Can I listen to a moral story in the bible, without "not suffering a witch to live?"  Can I understand it's important to live an honest, moral life, without trying to kill with stones a person who cheated on their spouse?  Can I appreciate the simpleness of a Hobbit's life without having to live in the Shire?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Now that would be one really big rock.

Have you ever heard the philosophical questions about God?  You know, about if God is all powerful, can he make a boulder so big that even he couldn't lift it?  Or, the ever famous, is there anything that God can't do?  In the scriptures, we read that God can do anything.  That all things are possible with God.  Of course, upon further examination, this is obviously not true.  So, what is it that God can't do?  The answer to that will become apparent later.  But first, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a boy named Ever Y. Mann.  He was constantly worried.  His over riding fear was that he knew that he was going to be punished for something he had done.  He didn't know when, or whether it would be tomorrow or not for decades yet, but he knew that he was going to be punished sooner or later.  This worried him a lot because he also knew that the punishment was going to be terrible.  He wasn't exactly sure what he had done that was so terrible, but he knew that he wasn't perfect, and therefore punishment awaited him.  He had also been told by his parents that one of the main reasons he had to be punished was that his sister had done something really bad before he was even born and that his parents were super angry about it.  The only reason that they had even had children was so that the children would love them and obey them always.  But now, since Ever's older sister had messed up, punishment was going to be handed out and in abundance too.  That is why Ever was so worried.

What had Ever's older sister done that was so bad?  She had eaten a piece of fruit out of the refrigerator that her father had specifically forbidden her to eat.  I know.  A terrible transgression that deserves the ultimate price to be paid.  (DinoJesus knows that if one of my kids eats the left over pizza that I put away for lunch the next day, punishment will be swift and there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth.)

So, there Ever sits.  Waiting for the punishment to happen.  He is worried.  But then a miracle happens.  Ever's parents come to him and tell him of the actions they took to get him out of this terrible bind that his sister has caused him.  You see, because Ever's parents love him so much, they took his older brother, who was a middle child and tortured him.  This was before Ever was born also.  They took him and they tortured him with unspeakable tortures.  For three days they had him in a closet and he was made to suffer terribly.  At the end of three days, they took him out of the closet and he was never seen again.  (Although a bed sheet that may or may not have an image on it and some fluid was found and hung on a wall in Turin.)  Ever's parents told him that they had done this for him so that they wouldn't have to punish him for his sister's mistakes and any that he might have made also.  It was a big, all encompassing punishment to end all punishments.  The only thing that Ever has to do is accept this punishment that was done on his behalf and all would be as it should be.  Oh, and he had to try to be good and worth the sacrifice that his brother had paid for him and his sister.  What a great plan.

Can you imagine if we tried to emulate this type of plan in our own justice system?  Do you think anyone would find it satisfactory?  "I'm sorry sir, I understand that you are the designated driver, but since your friend there got himself intoxicated and unable to drive, we are going to take you to jail to pay for his intoxication."  "Well Ma'am, I can certainly tell that you are abused by your husband, and he admitted to us that he has beaten you tonight, so we took the dog outside and shot it.  That should pay the price for your husbands transgressions against you."  Why were we so happy when Osama Bin Ladin was finally killed?  Shouldn't we have been satisfied by any innocent civilian collateral damage that might have taken place during the almost 10 years of looking for him?  No.  Justice demanded that the person who committed the offense pay for it.  Of course, mercy can come in to play also.  If an individual is nice enough or Christian enough or Dinosaurian enough, they could forgive the person who committed a trespass against them.  In the modern day parlance, "No victim, no crime."  If someone will forgive the person who hurt them, there is no further need of retribution.

So, have you guessed the one thing that God can't do?  He can't forgive.  The Mormon Scripture of D&C 64:10 says
"I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."
This scripture is misleading.  It implies that if God wants to he will forgive you.  That is of course not true.  You see, evidently God can not simply forgive ANYONE without SOMEONE paying a price for it.  So maybe he will forgive you your sins, but only if you agree to the sacrifice that he already had done for an innocent to pay the price for your sins.  God is incapable of simple forgiveness for mercy's sake alone.  He needed blood for him to be able to do it.  I guess God isn't Omnipotent after all.  What next?  Am I going to find out that a tree falling in the forest with no witnesses really doesn't make a sound?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We are all gunna die. Or Fly. Or Maybe not

If you have not read the origins of DinoJesus this blog written by the eldest sibling may not make much sense.  Please click on February on the right and read that blog before you read this one.  Then all shall be made plain.

Those of us that are followers of the three-toed path, know that much of the myths and legends ascribed to the other Major religions are derived from the truth of DinoJesus.  However, it is rare indeed to find such blatant theft of ideas as the evangelical idea of "The Rapture."  For those that have never heard this inane idea, the scriptural reference the Evangelicals use to promote their belief is found in the "Bible."

1 Thessalonains 4
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Our evangelical friends take this passage to mean that they will be swept up to meet with the Human Jesus in the clouds, while all the sinners (people who are not evangelical) will be ...(dramatic music, Dum, Dum, Dum)..left below.

Followers of DinoJesus however, may recognize this revisionism, if not down right plagiarism.  In the one and only true scripture, the Bibliosaura, or Book of the Lizard, we can find the genesis of the idea behind "The Rapture."  I have included the original as translated into English below:

1 Theropods 4
16  For DinoJesus himself shall descend from heaven with a mighty roar, yea even with the voice of the James Earl Jones, and with much gnashing of teeth: and the dead in the natural history museum shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the DinoJesus in the air: and so shall we be, even as the Raptors.
We of course know this event is rightly called "The Raptor."  We do not have the full knowledge of whether we will be as happy as the Raptors, or literally be transformed into Raptors, to feast on the flesh of the unbelievers.  This is unimportant for our current understanding.  All we need to know is what all non flying species have always known.  You don't want to be left below a large group of flying creatures.  It will almost assuredly be a shitty time. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Redemption of tortilla chips, or the true reason for hell.

One of life's greatest pleasures, for me at least, is the ability to indulge now and again.  One of the greatest snack inventions ever created is the tortilla chip.  Give me a large bag of tortilla chips, a quality salsa, and the  possibly some cheese and I am in Hog Heaven.

Sometimes, however, the left overs in a bag of tortilla chips can become a little stale.  This is a result of moisture getting into the chip.  Any true lover of tortilla chips will be able to tell you that this is not a problem.  You simply have to throw the chips on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so and, viola, crunchy, warm chips.

Recently, I was fixing my stale chip problem when it popped in to my head that I was redeeming the chips.  They had fallen from their ideal and perfect form and had become stale and undesirable.  Circumstances had caused them to become something that they were not meant to be. (I am going to give the chips the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had no choice in the matter.  I would hate to think that they would purposely choose to fall to such a lowly state.  I mean, it's not like they are Eve or anything.)  As I popped them in the oven, I began to think that maybe this culinary trick of tortilla redemption could be applied to the reason people believe there is a Hell.

Most Christians believe in Hell, and Mormons believe in paying for ones own sins.  What about if the fires of Hell aren't just a metaphor, but are actually necessary.  I mean, the Mormons say that we had to come here to get experience, and that those types of challenges weren't available to us in the preexistence.  Like a sterile laboratory, our home in the preexistence had no sin or temptation, so we wouldn't have been able to learn about those things there.  Just like the bag of chips that keeps it's crunchy goodness while still in the bag, once the bag is open (i.e., we are born and come to this world) the chips start to get stale.  The more humidity, the staler the chip will get.  And the more sin we get into, the more "stale" we get.  And, as my lovely wife pointed out, the best sins have a tendency to be moist.

So, there it is.  We have gotten stale and moist and have got to be redeemed in the fires of Hell to get the moisture out.  Even though I am no longer a believer, I can't think of any other reason that a kind, loving, all powerful Heavenly Father would send so many of his children to suffer such unspeakable torment, unless it was to redeem us to crunchiness again.  My only fear it that upon coming out the other side, I'm going to be smothered in cheese and find myself next to a large side of Salsa.  I understand that DinoJesus likes his nachos.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What does a man have to do to be cursed around here?

I am white.  I am really white.  I am the pasty color of Elmer's Glue.  Sometimes, I would argue that not only am I white, but somewhat transparent also.  I do not tan.  I am capable of being two colors.  Red and white.  Insomuch as red is uncomfortable, I try to stay white.  I have considered buying stock in various sun screen companies as I am one of their major customers and felt it would be only right that I at least have some small say in how they do business.  I hope to have been clear in what I am trying to say.  I am white.  

I used to joke around with people when I was teased about my exceeding whiteness.  I would say it was because I was so virtuous and righteous.  I would point out that when we are all resurrected and have gone to live in heaven, we would all be whiter then I presently am.  I just wouldn't have so far to go to obtain the pearly color of a perfected immortal being.  

I used to feel that my color was one of the burdens I would have to bear.  That it was just a trial that I would have to cope with.  Now that I'm not doing the whole church thing anymore, and in fact are no longer even a believer of the divine, I'm starting to feel a little cheated.  

The Book of Mormon is quite clear about what happens to those who rebel against God and do not keep his commandments which they have been given.

In the first book of Nephi, chapter 12 verse 23 in the BOM it says:
And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.  
And in the book of Alma chapter 3 verse 6 its says:
And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
And lastly, the second book of Nephi (there are actually 4, but they are all different people at different times.  I guess the ancient people of the Americas weren't very imaginative.  Actually, now that I come to think about it, this tradition continues to this day.  Just look at the Latino American use of the name Jesus) chapter 5 verse 21:

And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
So.  There you have it.  They were exceedingly fair and delightsome (like I am now) and they rebelled against God and to prevent them from enticing his righteous people, God made them black.  Or at least a nice cocoa brown.  
WTF?  I was one of the chosen.  I have rebelled.  I am currently, even as I am writing this, enticing the people of God to other paths.  (These are wide and curvy and much easier to walk, with some pleasant scenery and hedges, as well as the occasional scantily clad jogger going by on the other side.) Where the hell is my cursing?  I want to be cursed with dark skin.  I want to be able to play in the sun and be full of idleness, as well as possibly participating in some or all manner of abominations.  I mean, am I supposed to take these "scriptures" seriously or what?  I would think that a fair God would spread his curses around in a just and even handed manner.  What more do I have to do to wake up with a nice caramel coloring to my skin?
I guess what I am trying to say is this:  Summer is right around the corner.  Being able to be out in the sun for more than 20 minutes without suffering for it would really be awesome.  I have heard that money is a curse and I have been asking to be cursed with that for decades.  So, God, I will leave it up to you.  Money or a tan.  Choose you this day whom you will curse, as for me and my household, we'll take either.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Satan needs a publicist.

This blog was contributed by my younger sibling.  It's becoming quite the family affair.
Growing up I would often hear tantalizing and horrifying stories of disobedient, prideful, and sinful people and their close encounters with “the adversary”, Satan, that old snake, even Lucifer!  Being a good LDS child I knew that the Devil was real, and that he was doing everything in his power to corrupt those people who walked too far from the light.  Stories of Ouija boards leading to Satan knocking at the door, or disobedient girls dancing with a handsome boy looking down to see cloven hoofs only cemented my already firm belief that the Devil was real and at work in our lives.  There he lurked, at the edge of the light, tempting us to step closer so he could grab us into sin and evil.
You see, to the LDS (Latter-Day Saints: Mormons) Satan is a real and ever present force.  The LDS church teaches that in the “pre-existence” our pre-mortal life, Satan was one of the good guys, a much revered older brother who was second only to Jesus when it came to the love of the Father, God.  When it came time to decide how to get this whole “life and creation” thing done, two plans were put forth, one from Jesus, one from Satan.

Satan’s plan was quite simple: knowing that god couldn’t have unclean things near him in heaven (allergies I guess), and knowing that having a body is a prime way to get dirty, Satan proposed that he would make sure that everyone played nice and got along in the earth life so that they could all return.  For his hard work, he expected to get a little love from those he saved, you know, fist bumps in the hallway, high fives from Jesus, the usual.

Jesus, on the other hand, had a plan for creation that was much different.  Jesus thought that we should all enter life with no knowledge of any kind, unaware of our pre-existence.  We would then be left adrift in a sea of competing ideas with no clear understanding of who we are and what we are doing.  While there would be no “hell” per se, the only way you could reach the highest degree of heaven, and truly fulfill your eternal potential was if you happened to find one small religion that was started in upstate New York, got married, and went through some rituals that rather resemble Masonry.  You see, you had to learn good from evil on your own.  You had to experience bad and good in order to truly reach your potential.  Oh and by the way, the Glory would go to the Father, God. Jesus, you see, has no need for high fives.

For some reason the perfect creator, the all loving father, decided that we would go with Jesus’ plan.
Then Satan and 1/3 the host of heaven were cast out for a small disagreement over this plan.
And so Satan began his career of trying to entice people into evil, to foil the plans of Celestial Daddy and Big Brother Jesus.  Thus, the stories of Satan’s appearances.

It was only when I got much older that I realized that in every story, in every example, the appearance of the devil had the same effect on the protagonist of the story.  It drove them straight to church or to God to repent of their wicked ways.  It occurred to me that Satan is not working up to his potential.  If he is trying to foil the plans of God, he needs to try some different tactics, use some brains, work smarter not harder.  The way to defeat any enemy is to look at what they are trying to accomplish and defeat their goals.  I have an idea for Satan, just to start him out.

Because you must know good from evil to pass this mortal test, stop people from knowing evil.
If Satan really wanted to foil the plans of God, he would tempt people to do good, not evil.  If every person in the world were to constantly be tempted to do good to each other as hard as we are tempted to masturbate, view pornography, and kill hookers in dark alleys, most people would go through life without ever having to experience evil.  God would be left with emotionally and ethically stunted candidates for Godhood.  Heaven would be like BYU.

If Satan were to follow the above idea, he’d just need to make sure they know it’s him who is helping them out. 

While it might be fine for Jesus to give the thanks to God (even though he did all the work) it would be dishonest for anyone whom Satan helped save to give the glory to God.  I mean, God kicked him out and he still is trying to help?  That would be no thanks to God, but in spite of him.  Everyone one who was brought before the judgment seat of God would be forced to admit that that they couldn’t have done it without Satan.  They would have no need of atonement from Christ and so would have no need to thank him.  Christ would then have no thanks to pass on to Papa.  Satan would get the Glory.

The only way for God to teach these people to know good from evil would be if he tempted them to do evil, and really, is that the kind of God you want to worship?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If any of you lack wisdom, let him eat of the fruit of that tree.

In the grand scope of things, I think we humans really are quite inquisitive.  We have gotten where we are in modern times by asking a lot of questions and exploring and researching until we get the answers.  We have traveled 250 thousand miles through space and have walked on the Moon.  We have cured diseases that killed thousands just a century ago and have made progress towards many advancements which will improve our life even more.  We have really come a long way in a relatively short period of time which has only increased exponentially in the past century or so.  However, one of the biggest questions which leads many people to religion is the question of "why are we here?"

The Mormons have an interesting answer to this question, which in many ways is similar to that of other Christian philosophies.  It's to be tested.  Not only that, but the Mormons believe that we are here to learn the difference between Good and Evil.  Many a time while I was a member of the Church (anytime a Mormon refers to "the Church" he is referring to the Mormon Church, as for a Mormon there is only one, true church) I would give a talk during a baptism and would explain that this Earth is a great laboratory, where we can learn to distinguish Good from Evil.  For, since there was no Evil in the preexistence where we lived with God, how could we know the difference.  (As an aside, I will not go into the ability of humans to learn abstract things without having to experience them ourselves.  For instance, I don't have to be eaten, or partially eaten by a lion to understand that I really have no desire to experience such an outcome.)  So, no Evil where we were, so we had to come to a place where we could get a little Evil on us so we would know the difference.

Of course, like many things in my life, this led me to a new conundrum.  (Yes, it is possible that I think too much, but that will be addressed in a future blog.)  What about the tree of knowledge?  God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and gave them some commandments.  First, take care of the garden.  God did not take all that time and energy making a fantastic paradise to live in for Adam and Eve to wreck the place.  I mean, who wants the Master of the Universe to complain about how he has never seen a more disgusting pig sty in his whole life, and why are your clothes all over the floor?  Oh, wait, sorry, no clothes yet, but you get the picture.  They were supposed to keep the place nice, so the neighbors wouldn't complain about the property values going down.  (This was most probably a gated community, as there were dinosaurs and cavemen outside the Garden, so you'd want the Covenants to be pretty strict.)  They were also supposed to be fruitful and multiply.  Now, there is a lot of argument about the ability for Adam and Eve to be able to do this.  I don't see what the problem is.  You put two naked adults together, without any television or other electronics to distract the guy, and sooner or later stuff will happen.  I mean, it's not rocket science.  Tab A, Slot B, and viola.  Lastly, they were told not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

So, pretty simple.  But the question is, do you mean to tell me that there is a fruit out there that will give me the knowledge of Good and Evil?  Just eat some fruit and one of the main reasons for being here is done?  And why would God then forbid them to eat of it?  And more importantly, if they can't have it, why put the damn tree in the garden anyway?  I mean, I don't put a bowl of rat poison on the table at dinner time and then tell my kids not to eat it, for in the day that they do they will surely die.  What's the point of that?  Here's my plan with the fruit.  You need people to have the knowledge, so you start feeding them the fruit of that tree as soon as they start eating solids.  Then all your creations have what they need to succeed and then you can test them when they know the answers.  When have you taken a test in school without learning the material first?

It was pointed out to me that the whole tree thing may be a metaphor.  The fruit wasn't what gave them knowledge of Good and Evil, it was the act of disobeying God.  Huh.  Interesting.  So, God could have just picked out a random fruit tree, say apple, and then told them that the apple tree was forbidden because it was the Tree of Knowledge and presto, it is because that is now the forbidden tree.  I like to think that the kumquat is the forbidden fruit.  I just like to say Kumquat.  Kumquat.  It has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?  The kumquat was forbidden and the serpent (probably a carryover of dinojesus.  You mess with my stuff, I mess with yours.  See the February blog for more details.) talks Eve into eating some.  It was delicious to the taste and very desirable.  That is the reason why all females from then on out had no power in the church or ability to gainsay the men.  It was obvious from the first that they couldn't be trusted and would pay too much attention to serpents and other snake like things.

Still.  Sounds like a pretty messed up plan from the get go.  I just can't see why you would start your whole creation out in such a shoddy manner.  I mean, you're God.  Make kumquats have the ability to give knowledge and let people decide for themselves.  Why does everything have to be so obscure?  Its bad enough that your gospel was taken from the earth for 1700 years or so and had to be restored.  And now, even after the fact, there are 13 million members of the "true church" out of over 7 billion people on the earth, and your baptism rate isn't even coming close to keeping up with population growth.  You also have the problem that the majority of people on the earth aren't even Christian.  And that is after 2000 years of trying to convert everybody.  The whole plan needs a major project manager.  Or, knowledge giving kumquats.

Friday, March 25, 2011

In His three-toed footsteps.

This blog was written by my older sibling, who I hope will be a guest blogger often.

I was at lunch with a co-worker who was telling me about a book that she had just finished reading. I can’t remember the name of the book but it was the story of a boy with autism told from his point of view.  Even though he would do things that didn’t make any sense to anyone else they had a certain internal logic to him.
This inevitably led to me remembering how many times parents, ecclesiastical leaders, or self-important friends have told me not to question God because it is impossible to know the mind of God.  It is all in ones points of view.  All the random, cruel things that happen to this world are the will of God.  So, as I sat pondering the imponderable I had an insight that I would like to share with the three or so followers of this blog.
If I try to see things from God’s (this is the human God, not Dino Jesus who has much more important and tasty things to worry about) point of view I realize that His (or Hers if you swing that way) point of view is eerily similar to that of a 14 year old boy.  Let me spell it out for you.  What is God most concerned about?  Sex and violence!  All the big 10 (commandments that is) have something to do with sex or violence (well except for that one that is so narcissistic that it’s not even funny).
Have you ever spent any time with a 14 year old boy? Doesn’t matter the culture, doesn’t matter the parents, doesn’t matter the religion, they are all the same.  Just like God, what are they concerned about?  SEX AND VIOLENCE! (With a healthy helping of narcissism thrown in for good measure).  And what teenager isn’t all knowing?  Intentionally cruel? Unaware of anyone else but themselves?  Quick to Wrath?  Sound like anyone else you have heard of?
I am amazed that as a race we have created deities and imbued them with the personalities of children or that the glorified, perfect, immortal being that billions worship should be sent to his room.  Either way, it makes me sad for those who do not follow in the three-toed footsteps of Dino Jesus.
                For when you saw only one set of footprints in the sand, that was where I had eaten you…”
Footprints in the Sand (Dino Jesus version)

God vs. Google. Who is really more powerful?

The other day I saw a t-shirt which I thought was pretty funny.  It read, "Google is my new god, it answers my questions."  At first glance I thought to myself, "huh, that's clever."  Then I started to give the message some more thought and have concluded that it may not be just a quick, clever, and to some people blasphemous phrase, but may be unequivocally proven correct, at least in the case of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons.  I will now explain.

Growing up in the Mormon church, it became quickly obvious that the "laying on of hands" was extremely important.  Now, don't go all perverted on me and try to make this sound like something it isn't.  I'm just saying that the Mormons believe that they have the Priesthood of God, or in other words the power to act in God's name.  The vast majority of times, this power is used in conjunction with physical touch.  When you are baptized, you are physically held by the arms and dunked under the water.  You then are confirmed a member of the church and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  This is done by a group of priesthood holders (men, sorry ladies, no priesthood for you, except for what you can access through your husband, if he is worthy.  Keep him in line ladies, it's your duty.) who place their hands upon your head.  Mormons give blessings of comfort or healing, by the hands on the head bit, and also ordain people (men) to the priesthood in the same manner.  Lots of hands on the head for the Mormons.  As an aside, there are other Christian sect that do similar things.  A slap to the forehead has healed many a southern sick person.

Mormons have built well over 100 very expensive temples all around the world with the idea to allow their members to receive ordinances that are necessary to salvation.  These ordinances are done in a very hands on manner.  (Sometimes a little too hands on.  Awkward.)  Members go to the temple to be married for all eternity, to receive the "Endowment" or given the answers and signs and tokens to be saved.  Converts can go and receive all these ordinances and be sealed together as a family forever.  The second purpose for the temples is to perform saving ordinances, from baptism to eternal marriage, for the deceased.  Mormons believe that everyone must have these ordinances or they can not be saved.  And since they must be done on Earth, in the flesh, they require the members of the church to do them as a proxy for those that are body challenged, i.e. dead.  Mormons believe in the sealing power of the priesthood, that like the scriptures say, that which is sealed on Earth will be sealed in Heaven.  All of these ordinances require a certain ceremony and manner of doing them.  They require touch, the laying on of hands to use the Priesthood of God.  And, they believe that all things are possible with this power.  Impressive huh?

So, with the Power of God so powerful, and all these things done in a special place or by the touch of a priesthood holder, what power in all of creation could possibly over come it?  Who would dare molest or make afraid?  Google.  Or, more specifically, my gmail account.  Hard to believe, but it's true.  When I decided that I no longer believed in the Mormon Church, or religion in general, I sent an e-mail to the church headquarters.  Because of my e-mail, I was informed that all the ordinances that I had received would be null and void.  That if I decided to continue with the removal of my name from the church records, and decided to come back, I would have to be baptized again and have all the other ordinances redone.  Seriously.  So, for God to do something, it requires a special person, with a special power, to touch the person to be effected and therefore achieve the desired result.  However, for Google to erase all that God has done before, it only required a few kilobytes of information to go out over a telephone line.  God requires you to live in a specific way so that you are worthy, give thousands of dollars to the church, spend hours of your time every week in service to the church, travel great distances to the nearest temple, sometimes in another country to receive the hands-on ordinances, and all of that can be erased by a free gmail account.

There you have it.  In the power struggle between God and Google, the t-shirt doesn't lie.  I'm going to go and Google that saying and see if I can buy one of those t-shirts.  Or maybe I'll just pray and see if I can feel where to buy one.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm trying to progress eternally. Will you be in my down line?

Utah has one of the highest number of Mult-Level Marketing Companies (hereafter referred to as MLM), per capita, in the country.  This leads me to wonder why that may be.  What would be so special about Utah that could allow for this type of company to flourish here?  Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the Mormon Church.  And really, upon a little thought, we don't have to go any further to find our answer.

First, let me discuss MLMs so those of you that don't have an idea of what I'm talking about will be able to grasp the concept.   MLMs are companies that are loosely related to ponzi schemes.  Let me stress that there are many fine upstanding MLM companies here in Utah that are not some kind of scheme and are not fraudulent.  The MLMs are just very reminiscent of a sophisticated con.  An MLM is designed to be like a pyramid.  Obviously the higher you are on the pyramid the more money you make.  You buy products and sell them, and then sign people up under you to buy products and sell them.  You get a portion of the revenue generated by their sells because they are in your down line.  The down line is  the term for all the people that you sponsor in who are below you on the pyramid.  Most legitimate companies will limit the amount of levels that you can go down so that a critical mass of ponziness isn't reached.  Oh, a ponzi scheme is where you invest and I pay you out at a really high percentage, so you get other people to join and they invest and everybody makes money until we can't find another larger group of suckers to invest and the whole thing come crashing down, with the last people (by far the biggest group) getting hosed, and the people at the top of the pyramid walking away with tons of cash, a la Bernie Madoff.

So, with an MLM you work hard to help out the guy above you on the pyramid, as he gets a portion of your sales.  He also mentors you and assists you in knowing what to do and growing you business.  You then turn around and try to find other people that are willing to sign up under you, so they can help your income grow, and you in turn can assist them in learning what they need to know to become a successful vulture.  I mean business man.

So how does any of this correspond in any way, shape or form to the Mormon Church?  Well, surprisingly, this MLM plan just happens to be almost identical to the Mormon Plan of Salvation.  Stay with me here, because this is going to take a little bit of explaining.  I am also going to throw up a nifty little diagram for your viewing pleasure and edification.

The Mormon Plan of Salvation is what gives the church its ability to get people to look past a number of inconsistencies and silly crap.  The Plan basically says that we lived with God before we came to this earth in a spirit form.  God made bodies for us (by telling our fore parents to get busy.  A lot.  And don't worry about that whole sleeping with your sister thing, because I'm God and can fix all the nasty genetic deformities that your inbreeding is going to net you.)  So we come here to the Earth for our trials and tribulations (mostly mosquitoes and obnoxious bosses that won't let you live the dream.)  Then we die.  If we were good, and after a whole millennium of work (please see my previous blog for an more in depth analysis of this plan) we get saved and go and live with God as a family.  The very best of the best of the best, get to become Gods and start the plan all over.  This is what is so enticing about the Mormon Church to converts.  They get in on the ground floor and if they play their cards right, they can go all the way to the owner of the company.  Power, riches and the ability of fry people in righteous holy fire.  Awesome.  So, the question pops into most members minds after a while, Is God still progressing? Which brings us to the chart.

We will start at the bottom of the chart.  Obviously, since God is eternal and all knowing, and you can neither create or destroy matter, we have always existed in some form or other.  Hence the line on the bottom of the diagram is a true line with no beginning or end.  At some point along that line, God made us spirits and gave us spirit bodies.  This was a start to our Eternal Progression.  So, we spent some time in spirit diapers and having spirit poops and then we matured and finally were ready to get a physical body, where we could have real diapers and real poops, but this was for our own good as the experience would teach us the difference between good and evil.  Having changed a few diapers in my day, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I know what true evil is.  But I digress.  So we go along and then we die.  Eventually, according to Mormon and Christian doctrine, we get resurrected and obtain a new and glorified and immortal body which will be perfect.  If it is perfect then it will have progressed as far as it is possible and we will have reached the end of our physical progression.  No eternal progression on the physical side then.  A perfect body is a perfect body.  It isn't going to get more perfect.  Perfecter?  Whatever.

Well, what about on the spiritual side.  Mormon doctrine teaches that if we are true and faithful we can become Gods and Goddesses.  ( I don't think you get a choice, I think you're stuck in the sex you started out with.  Sorry if you had plans to the contrary)  If you are a god, then you will become all powerful and all knowing.  God can't become more perfect.  So, therefore, after a while you will cease to progress Spiritually also as you will "receive all that the father has."  As you can see from the diagram above, anything in the circle has an end.  So, we have come back to the question of how does Eternal Progression work if on both a spiritual and physical level you reach the top and have no where else to go?

The Eternal MLM is the answer.  In Mormon scripture is says of God that "this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."  This is one of the most important scripture passages in all of Mormondom, because it spells out the mission statement and the compensation plan for the Eternal MLM.  God's work is to make us gods, but it's also his Glory.  Glory my friends, is the currency of the realm. This would explain why God got so ticked at Satan for proposing a different plan at the Council of Heaven.  Satan, according to Mormon teaching, wanted to force everybody to comply with the plan, and make sure they had their down lines in order.  But he wanted the Glory for himself.  He wanted to jump to the head of the pyramid.  Wrong answer snake.  Upon thy belly shalt thou go.  You don't mess with the compensation plan.  And you certainly don't mess with God, who had to work his way through his own world and all the production problems and back ordered blessings and later souls, making sure that he had a healthy down line, just to have some upstart try to take over the company.  No hostile take overs here.  I mean, he was messing with God for God's sake.

So there you have it.  Glory is the currency that is used in the eternities.  God has a bunch of children that he is trying to make Gods.  When that happens, they will still give Glory to him, and in addition, start there own down lines who will worship and give Glory to them and God (I get a little confused, so I will just call him Daddy God, or the only one we know of right now) will still get some residual glory because, as the bible says, the Glory of the Son is the Glory of the Father.  And while this is happening, after this world is done, Daddy God will go out and start another of his own down lines to increase his shares of Glory even more.  Is it any wonder that the Universe is expanding as such a great rate?  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do I really want to be saved?

A few years back I had an epiphany.  After careful consideration I decided that if I didn't make it to the Celestial Kingdom (the Mormon ultimate heaven, where one can be with God for eternity) that I would probably be OK with that outcome.  Many people will probably be mortified by that statement.  "How can you even contemplate that?", they will ask.  They will most probably be of the mind set that the alternative isn't so great.  I mean, spending all eternity in a fiery hell is not something that most folks aspire to.

That is what was great about growing up Mormon.  Mormons don't believe in a traditional Christian hell.  As an aside from my main point, hell is a concoction of first millennium Christians.  The Jews thought that you would be punished for your sins, but drew the line at the punishment being eternal.  It took the Christians to really put the nastiness in hell, for your torment enjoyment.  Anyway, back to my point, Mormons don't teach Hell.  Oh, they teach enough stuff that may be considered a candidate for an effective torture, and I don't think you would get any arguments about Fast and Testimony meeting being a similitude of what might be expected in Hell, but no actual Hell for the Mormons.  No, for the Mormons, Hell is just not being able to return to the presence of God.

To be fair, I will stipulate that for the true believer returning to the presence of your creator should be the ultimate goal.  I think the problem is that most people don't really take a good look at what the alternatives are.  They have been told that to miss the mark and not obtain "exaltation" would be a really bad thing, and that the eternal punishment would be knowing forever that you are shut off from God and not being able to do anything about it. Sounds pretty grim.   But not so fast.  We hear much about freedom of choice, but when it comes down to it, many probably are only getting the high pressure sales pitch for option one (Exaltation or Celestial Kingdom) without really knowing what other options are out there.  Therefore, I propose to explain my thinking in this matter.  It may be that after knowing all the facts, and seeing your options, you decide to shoot for the stars, but if you miss and hit the moon, that won't be so bad either.

Option 1 (Church Preferred)

You live an exceptional life.  You give of your time, talents, money and all you possess to the furthering of the Kingdom of God on earth.  This entails depriving yourself of many fun and interesting things to do here on Earth. Furthermore, you have a part time job, besides your real job that puts food on the table, for your entire life, namely whatever church calling you have.  Also as part of your time commitment you must go to meetings, home teach, help people move, put in sprinkler systems, and overall not have the ability to say no to any request that is in your earthly power to actually perform.  Then you die.

Upon your death you will spend some time in "Paradise."  This sound really great, except the work doesn't stop here.  On the other side of some kind of force field are all the souls in "Spirit Prison."  This is where people who haven't had the opportunity to hear about all the work they didn't know they had to do (ie. the Gospel) will get a chance to hear about it from you.  You will be a busy bee in the afterlife teaching these billions of poor souls and giving them the chance to accept the gospel, so that your compatriots down on Terra Firma, who are still trying to do all the things they can't/aren't allowed to say no to, can baptize the lost souls by proxy.  Settle down to the work, because this will take a few thousand years to get all cleaned up once the world finally ends.  Whenever that is.  Possibly 22 months from now if you are lucky and the Mayans are right.

So we move forward past all the tediousness and get to the good stuff.  All the people have been sorted out into one of the three kingdoms of glory that they have earned by their actions in their earthly probation.  You, being one of the hard working elect have made it to the Celestial Kingdom.  Sweet.  You are now in line to have all that the Father has.  All knowing, all powerful, and the ability to continue your progression by helping other spirits, that you will create, to get to where you are.

So you and your wife/wives get busy and start creating spirit children.  When the house gets full and you can't take the constant noise, your first born and some others help you create a world and you start putting spirits into bodies.  Because you had to go through it, you decide to stick to the plan and make it really hard for people to actually believe in you.  You do this by making your children forget all about you when they are born and then go out of your way to not really give them any concrete proof that you exist.  If they really bugged you when they were spirit children, you may even sprinkle in some "proof" that you know they will interpret incorrectly to believe that you don't exist.  Just off the top of my head, maybe some large bones and fossils that will lead them to think of evolution and that the world you made a few thousand years ago is really billions of years old.  I mean, what is the point of being a god if you can't have any fun at it?  Sorry, I digress.

Option 2 (Preferred by me)

So, I tried to be good, but I read some books and looked up some stuff on the Internet (and no, not necessarily porn, but other important stuff) and kind of went a different direction and now I'm dead and not going to the Celestial Kingdom.  What do I have to look forward to?  Well, the Mormons teach that everybody, regardless of their actions on Earth, will get a resurrected, perfect body.  Joseph Smith stated that if you could see the lowest kingdom ( the one that the really bad people will end up in, called the Telestial Kingdom) you would kill yourself to get there.  It is that beautiful.  So, I figure I'm not that bad, so I'm ending up in the second kingdom, or Terrestrial Kingdom.

Since I missed the target and won't become a god, I will no longer be married.  The marriage to my spouse is for time and all eternity, but only if I achieve salvation.  If not, no marriage for me.  I will not have the power to create new spirit children, as this is reserved to those Exalted Ones.  Also, there is no work for me to do, as all the important stuff is done in regards to my probation, and the new gods are going and doing their thing, and I'm not allowed to be in there presence.

If you haven't seen the possibilities in this scenario yet, allow me to spell them out.  I will have a perfect body, one that is incapable of producing children (can you say spiritual tube tying/vasectomy).  I like to think along the lines of a Greek Adonis.  I will be unmarried.  Half of all the billions of people, who also have perfect bodies, will be of the opposite sex.  The trial is done, I've been cut off, and there is no more sin and nothing really more to do.  I'm sure you now see the potential.

So, there you have it.  I have spelled out both options for you to make an informed decision.  You can work really hard to obtain all the power in the universe, so that you will be able to continue to work really hard.  Or, there is always the eternal orgy.  So what I'm saying is; if you so choose, go ahead and shoot for the stars, but if you miss and hit the moon, you may enjoy the ride.  Literally.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In the Beginning. Or, the origins of DinoJesus

This first blog will be the background for how I came to understand the existence of Dinosaur (Dino for short) Jesus.  I am convinced that I and the other followers of DinoJesus are on the right track, and have discovered the truth.  I will now attempt to enlighten those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, and the true believers who wish to know the mysteries of the Universe.

Growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (hereafter referred to as the Mormons) led me to believe that I understood all the important questions of life.  Who was I?  Where did I come from?  Where was I going?  When was I allowed to date?  How close could I dance to the girls at the monthly dances?  I KNEW the answer to all of these questions and was quite content to go through life knowing that God would take care of me and anything that happened in my life was part of the bigger plan and was meant to be.  

As I grew up though, I began to have questions that were not so easily answered.  Even when I would ask those persons older and wiser than me, I would only get nebulous statements about how that wasn't important to my salvation, or that all would be revealed in time, or my favorite; "Why are you bugging me with this nonsense?  Get the heck out of here."  There were many questions that I had.  Later posts to this blog will deal with some of the questions that I had and the answers I found.  However, for now, I will focus on the primary question.  What about the dinosaurs.  

In the Mormon church, and indeed in Christendom itself, it is taught that God created Adam and Eve and all the animals in a 6 day (time period) orgy of creativity.  Furthermore, Adam and Eve lived with the animals in the Garden of Eden and were given lordship and dominion over them.  There was no death in the world until the fall of Adam (brought on by Eve, but that is another topic for another day).  The lion and the lamb lived peacefully together until such time as our ultimate father and mother were given the boot.  Then of course it was on like Donkey Kong and animals started to eat each other, and weeds grew instead of fruit trees and the blasted mosquito decided it needed blood to exist while at the same time helping out God with the whole "afflict and torment man" bit.  

Hence, the problem.  Anyone who has walked through a natural history museum will come across the remains of some rather large animals that people call dinosaurs.  Where did they come from?  I mean, my bible says the earth has only been around for 6-7000 years, so where did they go?  Why didn't they eat all the other animals like elephants and such and survive.  And how come those pesky scientist say they are 65 million years old?  That is impossible, because that would mean that millions of species lived and DIED on the earth before Adam and Eve.  But I know from my teachings in church that death came into the world as a direct result of the FALL OF ADAM.  So, as you can see I had myself a pretty big question and no one to answer it for me.  

Some apologists for the Mormon church, (people who have never heard of Occam's Razor and who enjoy coming up with the most convoluted reasons possible to explain away a question) stated that it may be that the fossils of the dinosaurs found didn't come from this planet at all, but were from another planet, or planets, whose material was used to form this earth.  Do we not know that God and the Word saw that there was matter unorganized and so used that matter to create the earth?  That matter may have been where the dinosaurs lived and so their bones were in the ground when the earth was made.  

Wow.  Wow.  This led me to thoughts I had never experienced before.  I decided to overlook the obvious thought of why God/Jesus/Michael-Adam would go to all the trouble when making the world to make sure that all the fossils from the previous world were layered in such a way as to completely and totally confuse the poor humans that would dig them up.  I immediately thought of what I had been taught about this world from the Mormon Church.  We are made in God's image.  He provided a savior for us so we could return to him.  All creatures great and small will be resurrected in the last days.  This is necessary for Jesus' sacrifice to be complete.  If even one being who was alive was not resurrected, then death would still hold victory.  Therefore, everything must resurrect.  Not only that, but the Mormon Church has an article of faith that states that in the end of days the earth will be transformed to a paradise where the good will live.  The very world we are on will be resurrected and made perfect for ever and ever.  

Now you may start seeing the problem.  What about the dinosaurs?  They came from a different world.  A world that was in part or possible wholly used in the creation of this world. Were they not also created in their creator's image?  This Dino World would have a Dino God.  And, since I was taught that the Plan of Salvation (God makes you spiritually then physically, sends you to earth, perfects you if you're Mormon, you become a God, create your own children and worlds, etc, etc) is eternal and the same throughout the universe, said Dino World would also need a savior.  A DinoJesus.  But obviously things went terribly wrong.  

Hold on to your hats folks, for now we get in to the deep stuff.  Mormons and some other Christians talk about a war in heaven where Lucifer was cast out.  Maybe this is really a metaphor for something completely different.  Lucifer was known as the great serpent or dragon.  The very word dinosaur means terrible lizard.  In other words, a great dragon.  Isn't it possible that the story of the war in heaven isn't about rebellious spirits in the preexistence, but instead is about a war for possession of matter that was in the possession of DinoGod and DinoJesus, but that was needed to create this world for the humans.  Is it any surprise that we humans have always fought wars on this earth for resources?  Maybe we are only following the example of our creator.  

It becomes plain that DinoJesus would not have stood a chance against Human Jesus.  With a brain the size of a walnut, and no opposable thumbs, as well as tragically short arms, he was done before the war even began. Millions of creatures will never be resurrected because their world was taken in a hostile land grab.  Their world will not become a paradise where they can live, both plant eater and meat eater, in peace and love.  All those creatures that have died will not get perfected bodies again but will be trapped in the spirit world.  Needless to say, this does not diminish the divinity of DinoJesus.  And maybe, just maybe, some kind of arrangment can be agreed upon later.  All things will be made clear to us in the last days I'm sure.  I for one, look forward to seeing DinoJesus and feeling the teeth holes in his side.