Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

December 30, 2011

Interplanetary Religion

Some people question Why It Is So Tempting to Make Fun of Mormons. I guess part of the answer is sacred underwear, but that’s kind of an intimate mystery I am just not willing to delve into.

I think that part of the temptation to make fun of Mormons, is that some of their story about our world sounds like science fiction. Their sacred texts write of time and space beyond the bounds of planet Earth, and unknown civilizations rising and falling. The Book of Mormon was published in 1830, almost 250 years after a Catholic monk (Giordano Bruno) suggested that other Earthlike worlds must orbit other stars besides the Sun. You could thus expect Book of Mormon to be aware of broader horizons than were known from Genesis or your average primitive mythology (which likely viewed this world as a snowglobe, with orbiting Sun and Moon.)

Check out this piece of anti-Mormon propaganda… as far as I can tell it is factual, but just horribly biased to show Mormonism’s weird face:

Banned Mormon Cartoon

Racism and polygamy in the founding texts are nothing weird. It must be the other planets with the other Gods that so alienate the narrator.

Weirder yet, consider Scientology. I had trouble believing this was real…

An Illustrated History of Scientology

In fact, Scientology tried to keep the story confidential for quite a while, claiming that it was a trade secret, and that anyone who was heard the tale with inadequate preparation would contract pneumonia and die (if this happens to you, my bad). The story was repeatedly leaked, and there is even a recording of L. Ron Hubbard telling it. There are some odd details in there… why use H-bombs and  volcanoes? Why are they using the bombs and airplanes of the 1960’s? Aside from that, the tale involves Earth in an ancient and interstellar situation, which for some reason is more unbelievable than invisible spirits and miracles.

It seems likely to me, that if humankind keeps developing in a technical direction, we may eventually master the physics and technology to travel faster than the speed of light. That means that there should be alien civilizations, thousands or millions of years older than us, who mastered interstellar flight long ago. Well, a dauntless lady named Uriel once claimed to know all about it, and got busy preparing for the inevitable contact.

Uriel on The Landing

So which is more crazy — a cosmic tale of billions of years and hundreds of worlds, or a tale in which the cosmic All-Father is mostly concerned about, for example, the triumphs and defeats of one nation of Chosen People? Or perhaps the All-Father is into pushing for every last Earthling to pledge allegience to a particular long-dead Jew whose life was in no way documented while He lived. Why stop at Earthlings? — the Galactic Christians stand ready to convert the Galaxy, as soon as technical improvements make such a mission possible. I guess they’re broadening their horizons and at least acknowledging that intelligent life must exist on other planets!

It’s fun to have a laugh at the interplanetary religions — I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just that the things people do are funny. The laughter reflects on the laugher, and not just the subject matter. I think that religions of outer space make us a little uncomfortable, because they remind us that we could be clinging on to really narrow, perhaps arbitrary beliefs, in the face of a Universe teeming with unknowns.


1 Comment »

  1. It isn’t the interplanetary stuff that makes me laugh at Mormonism–it’s the fake papyri, the golden tablets, etc etc. How anyone can swallow this stuff amazes me. But then I realize, Wait! Christianity has us believing in a talking snake and a god who makes sinful creatures who then sin and he has to incarnate himself in a man so he can die to redeem the sinful creatures he himself created! So I guess “weird” is in the eye of the beholder.

    Frankly, I think we’d all be a hell of a lot better off without all this shit. Let’s hear it for evidence!

    Comment by estraven — December 31, 2011 @ 12:55 am

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