Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fearing Fundamentalism--Frontline and the Mormons: I love Frontline and I love PBS. I must admit, however, I am undecided as to whether I want to watch its series on the Mormons. I am ardently for the separation of church and state and am an avowed skeptic of all religious and other belief systems. I find it MOST disturbing that our culture has entered a partnership with fanatical religious beliefs during the last fifty years but most especially during the last seven years. It dismays and frightens me. Mormonism and Fundamentalism walk hand in hand.

Watching this program on Mormons is not, for me, easy to do because of the political impact Mormonism has enjoyed and because it is one of the fastest growing fundamentalist-like movements in the world. Nearly 78% of Mormons in this country voted for George W. Bush, are avowed Republicans, are extraordinarily anti-homosexual and, of course, are misogynistic. In the not-too-distant past they considered blacks "children of Cain" nor could blacks or women be elders. Someone who is not Mormon could not step into a Mormon sanctuary. Someone who does not have children is not, in Mormon eyes, fulfilling his duty. In my opinion, they have held far too much sway on our political process as has all of Christian fundamentalism. It is ironic that Mormonism which suffered discrimination during its formative years in the United States has become in its recent history the most ardent advocate of the suppression of human rights, supporter of the Republican party and its casus belli.

Further, I cannot, in general, fathom the mythological belief systems people hold. It is staggering to me. The tenets of the Mormon faith are breathtakingly ridiculous. I reject all that they believe as I reject any other fundamentalist hocus pocus mythological belief. I no more could believe in Moroni the so called Mormon prophet or Christ walking on this continent as I could a messiah being born of a virgin, rising after death, walking on water or the infallibility of popes who in history often have acted so immorally. Nor could I believe in Moses parting the Red Sea or seeing burning bushes or Hebrews being spared in the killing of the first born or whether there WAS a killing of the first born or if there even were Jews enslaved by Egyptians. Other belief hierarchies raking in tons of money such Scientology are inane. The hypocrisies of Islam are legion. Parts of Hinduism want to imprison a man for planting a completely benign kiss on a woman. Many people fall hook, line and sinker for these inanities and give their hierarchies tons of money making their leaders very very rich promulgating those beliefs and in doing so gain immense power and influence.

How human beings who possess such a wonderful capacity for reason and ability for rational science could eschew that reason and the laws of physics by accepting religious phantasmagoric myths as truth, is beyond my capacity to understand. Humankind has fought long and hard to advance to the Age of the Renaissance and on to the Age of Reason. Centuries of progress could be squandered in an instant.

I believe fundamentalist religions including Mormonism is the greatest threat to mankind along side nuclear war. Fundamentalist religious beliefs, in fact, may be responsible for the very use of nuclear weaponry itself which would destroy civilization as we know it. Beliefs are about money and about power. They are about power over me.

The fact that Mormonism has donated so much money to Republican politics, supports George W. Bush and those like him, wants to deny rights to women, blacks and homosexuals, considers those who do not have children not fulfilling the law and has been for years in general against progressive politics is an anathema to me. It is their new found power I fear. If I watch Frontline's The Mormons it will, indeed, be a hard thing for me to do.