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The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism

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I ordered a copy and I prayed about it, so I know that the promise is true. First, I felt a burning in my bosom. Ohh, how it burned. Horrible pain penetrating my very being, scarring my mind, twisting the very reality around me. Ugly, wretched, and terrible it was. Raw reality. Unadorned by the petty illusions we humans create to protect our sanity.

That was when I knew ….

So please, order your free copy today. Pray about it, and find out for yourself.

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I am sure many atheists have been accused of being angry at god. Theists refuse to accept that atheism is simply the non-belief in a deity due to a lack of evidence. Instead, they often try to find some other motive such as anger. In their view, atheists really believe in god deep down inside, but we are so angry or hurt that we advocate atheism as a way to punish god. In other words, atheists are just childish and petty.

Of course, many atheists actually are angry. Many horrible things have been done in the name of religion, and some of us have been the victims. Anger also comes from seeing the injustice and cruelty that others have suffered. In the history of religion, there is plenty to be angry about.

I was born into a fifth generation mormon family, and I left when I was eighteen. I spent a few years as a catholic, and a few years studying buddhism and practicing meditation. In each case, I can honestly say that I did not leave out of anger. I left because I learned too much to believe in it. In my case, a background in science and skepticism coupled with a strong interest in the study of religion provided the fertile ground for my non-belief.

Despite the fact that I did not leave out of anger, I am extremely angry. Of course, my anger has nothing to do with an imaginary god, and everything to do with the evil actions of various religious institutions. Even so, my anger coupled with an outspoken atheism tend to put me on the receiving end of the popular theist assumption that I am really a believer who is just angry at god. Add to these characteristics, the fact that I am queer, and all of the pieces fall into place.

I am mad at god for making me gay. Now it all makes sense, at least to the theists. At this point, though, they tend to divide into two main camps. The more conservative theists offer to cure me through all of the usual means: prayer, aversion therapy, brainwashing, and torture. The more liberal theists tell me that god loves me for who I am, and that homosexuality is not a sin. It is from the latter group, that I tend to receive articles stressing the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.

Building Bridges

Recently, I received such an article entitled Building Bridges from the Dancing With Crazy blog. I think it was sent with the intention of soothing my intense hatred of the mormon church.

Oh, well. The article actually had the opposite effect. The rest of this post is very much a rant. As such, it contains a great many angry words. Now would be a good time to stop reading if you are not comfortable with that.

The article is about an LDS stake in California that is trying to repair a rift caused by Prop 8. The author, Emily Pearson, is also an ex-mormon whose mother belongs to that very stake, and much of the post comes from stories that were related by her mother. In addition, the post also contains a link to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune which provides a somewhat different viewpoint.

For those people fortunate enough to have little contact with mormons, here are some comparisons that may help. A stake in the mormon church is roughly the equivalent of a catholic diocese, and a ward would be the equivalent of a parish. A stake is made up of multiple wards like a diocese is made up of multiple parishes. To confuse matters though, a mormon bishop presides over a ward whereas a catholic bishop presides over a diocese. The man who presides over a mormon stake is called a stake president. And, yes, only men get to be in these positions, so they do have that in common with the catholics.

Also, I should say that my anger has nothing to do with Emily Pearson’s article, and everything to do with the event she describes. With that, let the ranting begin.

Rant 1 – Shut the fuck up already

Part of my anger with this entire event may be due to some bad timing as I have spent the past few weeks listening to the various debates about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. As such, I was already in a bad mood.

I have spent my entire life listening to straight people talk about “the gays“. What makes people gay? Is it a lifestyle choice? Can they be cured? Should they be allowed to get married? Should they be allowed to raise kids? Should they be allowed to join the military? How should I act around them? What if they hit on me? If I’m nice to them, will people think I’m gay? Will they destroy my marriage? Will they molest my kids? Will they destroy the very fabric of creation? Should they be arrested? Should they be executed?

For each of these questions, I have a few of my own. What the fuck is the straight worlds utter obsession with gay people about? Straight people talk about gay people way more than gay people ever talk about gay people. Do you people not have a life of your own? Do you secretly wish you were gay? Jesus tap dancing christ, whatever it is, would you please get over it and shut the fuck up?

So, here we have yet another meeting by a group of mostly straight people to discuss “the gays“. I was annoyed before the article even started.

Rant 2 – The ugly kid at the party

The other thing that annoys me about all of this talk is the utter condescension involved. Many of these people act like a spoiled teenager who is about to throw a party, and gay people are the ugly kid who lives down the block. They don’t really want the ugly kid at their party, but they feel guilty about not inviting him.

To alleviate their guilt, they go ahead and send the invitation, and golly gee it makes them feel swell. It’s so nice that the poor ugly kid gets to hang out with all the cool kids. I bet he’s just so grateful.

Well, sorry, cool kids. I already throw much better parties with people who can actually dance. How about taking that invitation and fucking the hell off?

Which is worse, the assholes who hate you for being gay, or the people who try to stop them from being assholes by telling them how horrible it is to be gay?

Those poor gay people. They are just so sad and pathetic. How can you not feel sorry for them?

Rant 3 – We really really love you

The next person who tells me how much they love me after voting to take away my rights is liable to get smacked upside the head. This kind of drivel has been coming from various christian groups for a while now, so I’m already sick of it.

You know who I love? I love the Westboro Baptist Church because they don’t pretend to love me. They tell me right up front that they hate me, their god hates me, and the bible says to hate me. Personally, I can live with that. Hell, I can even respect it.

What I cannot respect, though, are the people who tell me how much they love me while they stab me in the back. It’s underhanded and despicable. I’ll take a few “god hates fags” signs any day of the week over the atrocities committed by the mormon church.

Rant 4 – Who cares if you’re sorry

Despite the actions of this one stake, the mormon church still continues along it’s bloody sadistic path of hatred.

But, what if that changed? If we all woke up tomorrow to find the mormon church apologizing for the harm they have caused, would it matter?

How many people were driven to an outright suicide because of the mormon church? How many others were driven to suicide indirectly through addictions to drugs, alcohol, etc. because of the mormon church?

How many lives have been utterly destroyed?

Does it matter if they’re sorry? None of those people can ever be brought back. None of the hurt can ever be repaired. There has simply been too much pain, too much death, too much sadness, and all of this blood is on their hands.

I guess some mormons want to build a bridge over the rotting corpses of the people they have destroyed. If they build it high enough, they may not have to smell the horrible stench any longer.

I don’t want an apology. I don’t want their approval, their acceptance, or their love. I want them gone.

I hate the mormon church, and I always will. My greatest desire is to see it wiped from the face of the planet. To every mormon, I have this to say:

The mormon church is my enemy. If you feel guilty for what it has done, then leave. If you want reconciliation, then leave. If you want forgiveness, then leave. As long as you remain a member of the mormon church, you are also my enemy, and I hope it brings you nothing but misery.

Did I mention I was angry?

And, that concludes the angry vitriol part of our show. How about a sprinkling of truth to round things out.

Whenever someone makes an extraordinary claim, it is perfectly reasonable to ask what evidence exists to support such a claim. In the case of Joseph Smith, there is none. There is no evidence to support any of his outlandish stories or his prophetic claims. In addition, there is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the claims made by the book of mormon.

There is, however, a great deal of evidence against him. Evidence that Joseph Smith was a liar, a swindler, a scoundrel, a child molester, a destroyer of families, a bully, and possibly an accomplice to the murder of a government official. All of these allegations are well documented in many books and countless web sites.

In addition, “the pearl of great price” which holds a place in the mormon canon of scripture is such an obvious fabrication as to eliminate any doubt that Joseph Smith was a complete and utter fraud. All of the evidence points clearly to a very obvious conclusion: mormonism is a lie.

Any person who believes in the mormon church has chosen to deliberately ignore the truth. Prefering, instead, the horrid fantasy of an evil man.

It’s time to wake up.

P.S. If any person reads this rant, and has the gall to leave a comment about how god can heal my anger, I will personally reach through this monitor and throttle you.

Here is an excellent source of information on the long history of homophobia in the mormon church.

The Abominable and Detestable Crime Against Nature

Here are some examples that demonstrate the extreme levels of assholeness to which the mormon church has descended in their dealings with gay people.

Go away, but pay your tithing

In 1975, Air Force Sgt. Leonard Phillip Matlovich Jr. appeared on the cover of Time magazine with a caption that read “I Am a Homosexual“. He also happened to be a mormon, but not for long. They threw him out, of course, with an excommunication.

He was welcome to attend public meetings as a guest but he was “not to pay tithes or other contributions, but [was] encouraged to keep them on deposit until such time as [he] might be readmitted to the Church.”

Remember, ex-mormons, just because you don’t belong to the church anymore, don’t forget about tithing. Just put it in a bank account in case you ever change your mind. I guess that is the price of re-admission?

Here is another article on Sgt. Matlovich: Sgt. Leonard P. Matlovich:
Patriot, Mormon, and Activist

Spencer W. Kimball, Apostle, Prophet, Total Fuckwad

I never knew about the massive efforts by Spencer W. Kimball to eradicate homosexuals. He was the mormon Grand Poobah when I was a kid. More than anyone, it seems like he was the major influence behind the church’s hatred of gay people that exists to this day. He also instituted “counseling” to help people overcome their sinful nature; one of the first ex-gay programs. Here is a lovely quote:

Homosexuality is an ugly sin, but because of its prevalence, the need to warn the uninitiated, and the desire to help those who may already be involved with it, it must be brought into the open. It is the sin of the ages….There is today a strong clamor to make such practices legal by passing legislation….We do not hesitate to tell the world that the cure for these evils is not in surrender….As we think back upon the experiences of Nineveh, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah, we wonder – will history repeat itself?

Kimball also participated in the gay witch hunts at BYU which contributed to the suicides of five young men who were rejected by the church.

Two of the students committed suicide by over-dosing on drugs, one hung himself, another blew his own head apart with a gun, and the last jumped seven storeys to his death.

Mormon history is certainly a sick and twisted affair. A long history of misogyny, racism, and homophobia dominates the mormon story. Connell O’Donovan has done an excellent job providing the details in the history of the mormon church’s hatred of gay people.

I found The Abominable and Detestable Crime Against Nature from a link in this post Thomas S. Monson: New President detailing Monson’s involvement with The Values Institute.

Much thanks to @Utahnite for posting this link on twitter.

The Colbert Report

The incident in Utah where two guys were harassed and arrested on mormon property made it to the Colbert Report.

It is truly excellent. Give it a watch.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nailed ‘Em – Mormon Church Trespassing
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

If you want more information about this story, go Here and Here

Howard Stern vs. Kirk Cameron

If you are an atheist, you probably already know about the kid from the TV show “Growing Pains” who became a fundamentalist christian.

Watch as Howard Stern takes him down.

Interview with Frans de Waal

And now for some reading material. American Scientist has An Interview with Frans de Waal about the evolutionary basis for empathy and collaboration.

This article is a good one to have around when you confront christians who say that we would all be murderers and rapists if god didn’t exist.

Much thanks to @CS999 for telling me about the article.

A letter from hell

Ahhh, the memories.

Here is a seriously twisted christian video. Just how anyone can show this garbage to kids and tell them it is real is beyond me.

I know from first hand experience just how badly this stuff can fuck you up when you are a kid. I spent most of my childhood living in absolute terror of satan and hell.

Suppose I told my kids that zombies are real. That the undead could show up at our house in search of brains at any time. That, if they are not careful, they too could be infected with the zombie disease, and that constant vigilance is the only solution.

Is there anyone out there who would not view this action as a truly asshole thing to do?

When religious people do this though, no one blinks an eye.

Christians have as much evidence for the existence of hell as I have for the existence of zombies, i.e. none. Yet, they have been terrorizing children with this crap for thousands of years.

Thanks to @exchristian_net for tweeting the video.

Catholic bishops in Africa are liars

Bishops to corrupt African leaders: repent or quit

Bishops in Africa have once again opposed the use of condoms to help stop the spread of HIV. You have to love this quote: the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics.

Uh, well, actually it can. There are tons of studies which show that condoms stop the spread of HIV, but the bishops really don’t care about that.

Instead they continue to spread lies and misinformation which can lead to suffering and death for the people who believe them.

Oh, that’s right though, suffering is holy.

Yes, you too can be mormonoid free

Here is a site to help people leave the mormon church. Always a good thing to encourage.

The Mormon Curtain

Yep. I just had to comment on this one. A mormon apostle complains about religious discrimination.

Thanks to @DamnedAtheists for tweeting the video.

You have to love how he specifically mentions people being fired from their job for supporting Prop 8. Almost made me want to cry.

Of course, gay or transgender people have never had to worry about losing their jobs because that never happens. Just as I am sure that gay community centers have never once been vandalized unlike all of those poor mormon churches.

Then comes the kicker. He actually has the balls to compare all of this to the civil rights movement. A movement the mormon church in no way supported back in the day.

Check out this Time Magazine article from 1959, Religion: Mormons & Civil Rights

These people are just pure evil.

Two items from Utah tonight.

Mormons are assholes? Who knew?

The first is a surveillance video of the arrest in Salt Lake City where the two guys kissed on mormonoid property.

Of course, the property only belongs to the church due to some shady Utah politics, and there is a public easement on the property. The easement means that the arrest should not have happened in the first place. The district attorney obviously agrees since he dropped the trespassing charges against the men.

Growing up in Utah, I am accustomed to the depths of assholeness to which the mormon church can descend. It is nice to see the rest of the world waking up to it as well.

Kid steals car to avoid church

And another story about a seven year old kid who stole a car to escape going to church. This one took place in the county I grew up in.

Utah boy, 7, goes for spin to avoid church and 7-Year-Old is Smartest Child in History

Keep trying kid. I got out, you can too.

The dark ages return

Christians are not known for being tolerant or accepting of anyone who is not just like they are. After two thousand years of violence, history does not tend to show them in a good light.

Now, some christians are upset about this very fact. Greek Orthodox Christians object to exposure of their past acts of vandalism.

I know. Maybe christians could use this opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

Then again. Maybe not.

Censored or Vandalized? Nude Angel Covered Up at French Cathedral

Normal is overrated, boring, and stupid

A must read article on why it’s good to be a freak. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world that isn’t chock full of conformist assholes.

Singularly Bizarre: A revelation and a manifesto

Here is a another article on the incident in Utah where the two guys were harassed and arrested for kissing on mormon church property. This one is from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Gay incident reopens Salt Lake City’s Main Street plaza wounds

This article says some things that I just had to comment on. Although, my comments here have little to do with the kissing incident. See Utah still sucks for more on that.

Here is the first quote,

Mormons don’t want to be vilified as anti-gay for “honoring” their beliefs about marriage.

I have seen a few articles since the passage of Prop 8 in California where mormons are whining about the “backlash” that has occurred, and I am tired of hearing them complain. Mormons are not being vilified for their “beliefs” about marriage.

Mormons are being vilified for systematically working to pass laws which trample on the fundamental human rights of an entire group of people. The mormon church is perfectly free to teach that it is wrong to be gay. They are also free to deny a temple marriage to a gay couple, and they are certainly free to “believe” whatever they want.

Everyone is free to decide that they do not like a group of people for whatever reason. However, there is a huge difference between disliking someone and working to strip them of basic human rights. Actively working to discriminate against someone is an act of hatred.

Mormons and other religious groups think that they can act in such a hateful way toward other people only to act surprised when they find that those people do not like them. They demonstrate intolerance on a daily basis, then act surprised when people think they are intolerant.

Religious Discrimination

There was a time in this country when it was illegal to be a member of various religions. For instance, Massachusetts banished quakers, and Virginia enacted anti-Quaker laws that could include the death penalty. Virginia also passed laws against the baptists and presbyterians.

Many christians have engaged in religious persecution against other christians because of their belief that these other christians were somehow perverting the christian religion. In America, however, people came to realize that there is a huge difference between disagreeing with another religion and actively seeking to discriminate against them by creating evil laws.

These persecutions eventually led to the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and the first amendment to the constitution as people realized the evil of religious discrimination.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

In America, religious people still disagree after two hundred years. Some christian sects still teach that other christians are going to hell, and they are perfectly free to believe it. Just as the mormons are free to believe that homosexuality is a sin.

As with religious discrimination, however, people need to keep their personal beliefs from being turned into an unjust law.

Indoctrinated to hate

Here is the other quote from the Salt Lake Tribune article that I just had to comment on.

“The LDS Church responds very effectively to very overt cases of human pain and suffering,” such as Hurricane Katrina or poverty in Africa, Goldsmith says. “For some reason, they just don’t see the pain and suffering of people right here on their very doorsteps, people who are prevented from having their civil rights honored, their human integrity honored.”

I can tell you the reason. The mormon church does not see gay people as being fully human.

Whenever you want someone to actively hate a group of people, the first thing you do is dehumanize that group. When people have been indoctrinated by an ideology that dehumanizes someone else, it becomes remarkably easy to ignore the suffering that they cause to that group of people.

However, there are many other people in this country who do know that gay people are human beings. Human beings who deserve the same basic rights as everyone else.

These people can see the hateful and discriminatory acts of the mormon church for what they are, and we will continue to call them out on it.

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