Good morning, y’all. Well the world is going nuts, and I’m absolutely sure that electing a nutty president will not be the solution. French officials are saying that their truck assassin must have radicalized “quickly”. Let’s just go ahead and call B.S. on that one and move on the next big story, a semi-coup in Turkey. I have a neutral position on coups, I figure some are good, and some are bad. I do find this attempt amusing since it was a military coup and was so poorly planned. At one point the president’s jet was in the air and the military had two F16’s in the area. Seems like taking out the president should be objective number one of a coup. Maybe not for the Turks.
Speaking of missed objectives brings us back to the retelling of the history of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Elder Cheatum was the last to sit down at the table for the Wednesday morning breakfast meeting at the IHOP in Blairsville.
“Sorry, I had to get a copy of the paper to see if we made the front page or not”, the Elder said as he slid into the booth.
“Well?”, asked Wiley as he refilled his cup from the little pot of coffee left behind by the waitress.
“Nope, not on the front page,” said Elder Cheatum, “Let’s see if we made it to the religion column.” The Elder was quiet for a couple of minutes while he read the religion column of the North Georgia Gazette. “Nope, not a mention, but a pretty good piece”, he said as he passed the paper to Elder Wiley. Elder Wiley folded the paper to his liking and read this week’s offering by Howard Doohan. It read:
This week I’d like to talk about a church that goes by many names. It seems that the Mormon Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have decided to exclude children of same-sex couples from receiving the church’s blessings. What a bunch of mean spirited wacky doodles is my immediate response.
As always, my thoughts go first to the child. Imagine attending church with your parents, believing whatever dogma that religion churns out with regard to their heavenly standards, and then being told that because your parents don’t measure up, you’re going to be denied heaven. How cruel is that? And what is the child supposed to do, go home and kill their parents so they can receive God’s love? Clearly the Mormon’s homophobia doesn’t go any further than sending a message to the gay community that the gays are not welcome, and to prove it, the Mormons will deny your children any thoughts of Heaven.
Hypocrisy is an easy topic when discussing religion, and I usually like to use the Bible to give an example of where practice varies from preaching. Luke 18:16 says, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.‘” Now, I know not every Bible scholar knows every verse, and every verse is open to interpretation, apparently, but this one looks pretty clear to me. It’s also not the only time in the Bible that the phrase, “don’t prevent children from seeking my love”, appears. So, to see a policy put in place that directly contradicts the teachings of Jesus, one questions the validity of the religion to make any interpretations.
It’s not like the Mormons are without their other peculiarities. Multiple wives and overloading the welfare roles with children supported by the state are a couple of the traits that have dogged the Mormons for years. While the “official” church has tried to calm the public opinion towards the church in the last few decades, there are still many outliers that give rise to the public questioning whether Mormonism is a religion or a cult.
One of the more famous cases of “extreme Mormonism” is Warren Jeffs. Could anyone ever imagine that a religious leader would be placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List?
Warren Jeffs gained worldwide attention in May 2006 when he made the list. He made the Top Ten list for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in Utah. The charges in Utah related to his taking underage girls and “marrying” them to his favored male followers. He was also charged with incest and sexual conduct with minors. Jeffs was found guilty of sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault of children, some as young as twelve. When an investigation was led into Jeff’s FLDS Church’s YFZ Ranch, it was revealed to be nothing more than a breeding ground for child brides for the elder loyal followers. Young males were routinely forced out of the compound, eliminating competition for the elder males. It is hard to imagine a more sick, perverted situation.
My religious philosophy is a simple one, it has but one dictum, “Do unto others as you would have done to you”. It’s easy to see how if the Mormon church could apply the Golden Rule first, they’d avoid a lot of the other notoriety and controversy. Just saying.
“Well, like I said, better somebody else, than us,” Elder Wiley said as he handed the paper back. “I’m surprised no one has called, or asked a question, or anything, about what happened Sunday.” “It’s like the congregation is just sitting back and watching things play out.” “That’s pretty unusual for our folks.”
“Well, I guess we’ve thrown a lot of changes at them in the last few months,” Elder Cheatum answered, “maybe they’re shell-shocked.”
“Oh, before I forget, Ben Weinberg called to say that Dale is not pursuing his suit for damages anymore.” Elder Wiley related.
“What reason did he give?” Elder Diggum inquired.
“None, but I suspect he’s spent all of the money that Ophelia was willing to advance him.” Elder Wiley he responded. “Maybe the fact that his kids have turned against him has effected his worldview.”
“Yeah, that’d do it”, Elder Cheatum responded, “I’d sure like to know if Dale’s kid came up with the rattle trick on his own, or if Alva put him up to it.” “Let’s be sure to ask Mulva what she knows tonight at the board meeting.” “Women have a way of knowing everything without being obvious about it.”
“Good thought”, said Elder Wiley. “Here Barry, it’s your turn”, he said as he slid the check to his partner.
“Sure, sure, pick on the fat kid, that’s the way you guys do.” Elder Diggum said as he paid the check. The partners walked out of the restaurant into the cold.
“I guess we’ll see how well the heaters in the additions are working tonight”, said Elder Cheatum.
“I reckon”, said Elder Wiley.
“See you later”, called Elder Diggum, and the three went about their daily tasks.