Saturday, April 02, 2005

Instead of sleep, endowment ceremonies

I absolutely should be asleep right now. I've been sleep-deprived all week and this was my chance to get caught up. After a brief nap earlier in the evening though, I haven't felt sleepy again.

So, I've spent the last three hours reading all about Mormonism on a site for ex- and questioning Latter-Day Saints, you know, as you do. Now I know it's weirder than the Catholicism I grew up in. Seriously, read about it here. Fascinating stuff.

As an outsider, it was entertaining to work out the slang that the ex-LDS use on the bulletin boards. "Exmo" for ex-Mormon, "garmies" for temple garments (special underclothes worn by TBM or true-believing Mormons), and so on. Then the voyeuristic thrill wore off as I started to understand the toll wrought on these people by an authoritarian, insular power structure that requires unthinking fealty from its "elect".

Then there's the many (fundamentalist) Christian religions that blather on about Mormonism being satanic, when the real problem is the similarities their religion has with Mormonism: one-true-religion dogma, cherry-picking from sacred texts, historical revisionism, anti-intellectualism, reliance on authority figures, the list goes on.

Then there's my huge problem with the idea of Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious faith. Not only is this faith held despite the lack of any evidence of its objective truth, it somehow has more power because there isn't evidence of its objective truth. Further, faith in something-or-other drawn from ancient religious texts is tenaciously held to even when the basis for something-or-other is demonstratively false because of course it's all a test from a god that apparently delights in playing "Gotcha! Now You Go to Hell. Tee hee." Don't get me wrong, one can be Judeo-Christian-Islamic and logical. It's the blind faith people that get me riled.

Umm, this was supposed to be about what I did instead of sleep and now I've gone all rant-y. My apologies. Did I ever mention that I went to a Jesuit high school where they thoughtfully provided me with the critical and rhetorical ability to deconstruct and reject the very religion it was founded to promote?

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