In yesterday’s blog, I covered the lunacy of Utah’s anti-porn decree.
Brigham Young University (BYU) should have known better.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to all institutes of higher learning who receive federal funding which advises:
Since BYU’s unusually strict Honor Code prohibits pre-marital sex, and even fraternizing with someone of the opposite sex in private, there are probably countless infractions a victim of rape might incur while being attacked. If BYU administration spent more time reading their bibles, they would know that even Jesus taught us to forgive sinners and to not judge others.
I have also discussed a similar culture of dangerous nonsense at Stupidparty’s favorite educational establishment—Liberty University, but we need to confront something much much sillier, even it it far less odious.
I must own up to having a bit of a pet peeve about Mormonism
—in that, with one exception, I have never heard a debate or read an article on the subject that has not left me feeling “Are you kidding? Is that it?”
I seem to remember Time magazine doing an “in depth” exposé a few years ago, and I was just left scratching my head in bemused confusion. The one exception to this debate vacuum being rather oddly an episode by the ever-so-creative South Park cartoon series on Comedy TV. South Park Studios later went on to create the Broadway sensation Book of Mormon, a kindly crafted musical tale—considering the source material.
Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Romney is actually no average Mormon; he was a Mormon priest, and his family line is akin to Mormon royalty. As such, for Mitt Romney, his go-to prophet would be Joseph Smith. Unfortunately for such proudly Christian supporters of Mitt Romney, Joseph Smith is not quite in the same league as Jesus. It should be noted that Mormons also believe that the Bible is the word of God, but when they do their outreach (missionary work), they place greater emphasis on the Book of Mormon. It would seem to me that by apparently being so easily taken in by Joseph Smith, this would undermine their credibility when evangelizing about Jesus.
Mormons believe in the Book of Mormon. They believe that in around 1826, Joseph Smith received a vision and visitation from two angels, who left him golden tablets, which Joseph Smith translated—directly from God’s words. Later these angels came back to repossess the tablets. Well, the translation made some interesting reading—the core contention being that Holy Land prophets came to the USA around 500 BC and started a massive civilization that was destroyed around 400 AD.
Well, there are some problems with this whole history:
1) Joseph Smith had a number of visions between 1820 and 1830. But in 1826 Joseph Smith was convicted of fraud. Fraudulently getting money by claiming that he could find hidden treasures, lost goods, etc., by using a seer’s stone.
2) This Book of Mormon civilization used Steel, Chariots, Horses, pigs, sheep, Ox, Goats, Cattle, Barley, figs, grapes, Wheat, Swords, Engravings, Glass, Carriages, Wheels, etc. Well, none of this existed in the New World until after being introduced by Europeans. Some items were used by the Mayan civilization—but that all occurred after 400 AD.
3) 2,000,000 die in the battle of Cumorah in 500 BC. in New York. There is no archeological evidence of such a battle. Another 230,000 die in 400 AD. Not one item has ever been dug up.
4) Joseph Smith (and his followers), in their endless futile efforts to discover architectural support for his nonsense, quickly began to realize that there were perhaps no appropriate ruins in North America. So they were forced to reach ever further afield at a time when archaeologists were unearthing Mayan ruins. They glob onto the ruins at Palenque, stating that Palenque, not far from Belize, was a Nephite city. But today it is apparent that Palenque was a Mayan city, only becoming impressive when it was rebuilt around 600 AD (200 years after the Nephites were destroyed). Of course, nobody would have known this in 1820.
5) Joseph Smith claimed that the great Guatemalan ruins tied in with the Book of Mormon, but these ruins were built after the end of the Book of Mormon.
6) According to Smith, papyri he translated were of the Book of Abraham. These papyri were lost and later rediscovered, in November 1967—and by this time scholars knew how to translate hieroglyphics. The papyri had absolutely no connection to Abraham but were about Osiris and Isis.
7) Joseph Smith incorrectly pointed out that Mayan tablets read left to right like ancient Hebrew.
8) There is now also strong evidence that the Book of Mormon was not simply inspired nonsense but that there was plagiarism involved. In 1823 a book, View of the Hebrews, had similar themes. It was written by Ethan Smith, a congregational minister in Vermont. Joseph Smith’s assistant (scriber), Mr. Chowdrey, attended these services, and his family had close ties with Ethan Smith (no relation to Joseph Smith).
9) DNA analysis proves there is no connection between the Jewish people and the various Indian tribes in the Americas.
10) If the Book of Mormon is the word of God, why would it need around 4000 corrections?
Sample of Items that the Book of Mormon describes in the narrative, but that we now know did not exist in North America at that time:
Oh, yes, and let’s not forget that stunning sex drive and that whole “lost tribe of Israel, king of your own planet” stuff. Let’s not forget the need for those massive buildings, housing such an impressive civilization, and the huge battles that took place in North America at a time when America was actually inhabited by a few horseless hunter gatherers. Archaeologists would have no trouble unearthing some of this vivid history, if any of it had actually happened.