by Jonathan - to return to my main home page click here
|Where I am now: Concern about Islam
and other thoughts
|Links of interest|
|My history with Mormonism
(I'm now no longer one)
Where I am now:
Concerned about Islam - The path I took out of Mormonsim has made me more aware of abuse and dishonesty in all contexts. Watch the video here (especially starting at about the 8:00 mark). Recently I created a couple of bumper stickers in response:
Multiculturalism that appeases oppression is morally bankrupt
Islam keeps women under wraps - literally
In America there is a growing Islamic community and they appear to be keeping their women "under wraps" so to speak without being culturally challenged. And their female kids are kept this way as well. It's not just a scarf. The whole deal runs deeper with them. It's about fear and control. And my reference for this is not mere observation - it's also from online research and personal talks with a guy who grew up in Jordan who I met with several times in Utah.
Women in Islam will sometimes have a scarf and yet also a tight pair of jeans. Then a few weeks later they'll add a pillow thing off their belts to hide their rear ends. Also sometimes women will have a liberal looking scarf. And then later their head covering will be much more close in and conservative. Who is telling these women to cover up even more? And where's the women's groups? Why aren't they up in arms?
It seems to me that multiculturalism is a partial moral failure because it assumes that everything is relative. It doesn't stand up against oppression. It has no cajones when it comes to calling out abuse that comes in the guise of religion - at least not in the guise of Islamic religion.
In other words I think there's limits to how much a free society can condone in a polite politically correct way. Sometimes in my view it's more important to be honest than nice - when it comes to matters of systematic oppression and abuse.
Let's have Monty Python Life of Brian style movies about all conservative religion. Google Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Theo Van Gogh, & Richard Dawkins for more info. Some not so nice things are going on in the world relative to the freedom of expression and the freedom to critique. And all this doesn't condone war. But it should condone being willing to offend some people if it means standing up for the right to fight against oppression using rhetoric and humor.
The images I put up in connection with my stickers came from the film Submission - the film Theo Van Gogh was killed for.
Over on Richard Dawkins' web site in the forum section a couple of people from the UK responded to my sticker info as follows:
I agree with you and good for you for making the bumper stickers. There are places in Europe you could get yourself onto a hit list for having one on your car, sad to say!
I agree with what you say, and also the response from Rumertron. I used to live right near to an area of Manchester where you would most likely be pulled from your car and stabbed for displaying one of those bumper stickers.
Here's some of my other thoughts as posted in my usual rhetorical form... :-)
Naturalism - We should seek to be as as true to who we are deep down at our core. However I'm opposed to social Darwinism (or social Spencerism). "There is no inconsistency in favouring Darwinism as an academic scientist while opposing it as a human being; any more than there is inconsistency in explaining cancer as an academic doctor while fighting it as a practicing one." as from Richard Dawkins.
Atheism - there are many wonderful aspects about life worth celebrating but there's no need to ascribe to any of them to the term god. If there are more powerful aliens we should not kiss up to them. They could be just as fallible and evil as any of us - and that of course includes the Abrahamic god(s) AKA Elohim, Jehovah, and Allah. Conservative religion is particularly evil, but even liberal religion can serve as an enabling force for the abuses of fundamentalism. More information can be found on my book list. Here's some related sites: Richard Dawkins' official web site; A related unofficial one: World of Dawkins; Dawkins multimedia list; BBC program Atheism Tapes - transcripts - and the program may be available via torrent search engines. I've also been enjoying talks by Steven Pinker, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris, and some of Hitchens (the stuff where he manages to make cogent arguments without name calling - which isn't always - the others do a better job at such things. However at least he's anti-circumcision). Also of note is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who's also anti-circumcision.
On the brighter side of things it's worth noting that humans may well become gods (in the technological & science sense).
An appreciator of Bonobos - we'd be a lot happier in my view if we learned to be more like Bonobos and less like regular chimps. Related info is on this wiki site or on my little book list. I'm not personally inclined to "swing" per se. I'm more of a one person at a time type guy and my preference is for a life long arrangement than you very much. But the nature of these animals so closely related to us shows the absurd dishonesty & fallacies found in cultures like Puritanism and Victorianism. If you grew up in an ultra conservative sexually repressive religion I do have a page with links which should serve as an antidote.
A left leaning anti-authoritarian - social and political liberal. According to politicalcompass.org I'm a left leaning anti-authoritarian. Most common libertarians are right leaning socially. But I lean far to the left socially. Anyway according to politicalcompass.org the Dalai Llama and Gandhi had or have similar proclivities, and does the UK Green Party.
Seeking out freedom loving free minded people. I do this by socializing with freedom loving people and free thinkers and rebels when I can.
My history in Mormonism & related links - Where I have been:
1. My Mormon exit journal: HTML version; and a PDF version - which was updated in November of 2005. Normally people do not go about discussing with strangers the matters discussed in my exit journal. But since I left Mormonism part of my life has been devoted to sharing why I left it and why I think others should leave it also. More recently I'm focused on just having a life. But my journal will remain online for others to find. Subsequent to my departure from Mormonism I've learned about far worse abuse being done in other religions & cultures. I think it all needs to be explicitly & loudly called out and labeled for what it is.
2. Joseph Smith was a psychotic nut who may have actually believed his own lies, in part so that he could sleep with the wives & young daughters of other men freely. How did he keep his followers inline? One way was to put in his story an anecdote about how skepticism is bad. The devils of Mormonism advocate skepticism. Related sites: by Bryce Anderson; by American Atheists - LDS Bigotry againsts atheists; a relevant section from the Skeptics Annotated Book of Mormon - and a key to the icons used. On a related note Mohammed slept with a 6 year old. Joseph Smith & Brigham Young only slept with girls young as 14.
3. My protests at the Mormon Temple Square: October of 1999, and February of 2002. I'm a straight guy but on one of the days I did join in with a group of gay protestors. My path out of Mormonism has felt like having to "come out" as a straight man.
Some of my other past writings & pages:
4. Mormon Doctrine: Indians are Lamanites, period, full stop.
5. Where is the Lamanite DNA - I need to update my page even though it does have some interesting info. But a newer page can be found here, and a directly related book can be found here.
6. The Secret Mormon General Handbook of Instructions - excerpts therefrom. The full version can be viewed here.
The kooky crazy nature of Mormonism from nowscape
Latter Day Lampoon - a parody site which was censored by the National Lampoon. However you can view an archived historical version of the site here, and the new modified site here.
A song parody about the Mormon view of heaven.
a funeral account
Last updated: September 15, 2008