Monday, April 20, 2009

In defense of the Mormons (it’s not what you think)

Minor religions don’t have an easy time of it, especially the ones whose tenets really get the imagination going. I should know. I run one. Mormons in particular are often unfairly singled out, frequently by this website, as deserving of extra ridicule. But just how crazy are they? Words like “batshit insane” and “theological asshattery” are thrown around a lot these days, to the extent that no one stops to ask what’s so truly nuts about bat droppings. We religious minorities need to stick together, and it’s my purpose here to defend the Mormons and show that they haven’t completely lost it.


Land of the free

Mormons view the Bible as divinely inspired but maintain that they’re privy to some juicy extras ignored by Catholics and Protestants. As such, it’s sort of like Christianity Plus. That sounds like fun, right?

All of this was recorded on some nifty brass plates originally in the possession of Laban, a Biblical character the anagram of whose name is unfortunately ‘Banal’, and perhaps worse, ‘Anal B’, though historians still dispute the meaning of the ‘B’. These plates were stolen by Nephi along with Laban's steel sword, the possession of which was a considerable metallurgical accomplishment for the Bronze Age.

The plates describe the flight of a group of people, one Lehi and his family (including son Nephi) from Jerusalem to the New World around 600 BC, which is about 2,100 years before transatlantic travel even became possible. That’s no mean feat, and I’m starting to see why Jesus liked these guys! Historians are unclear as to why Lehi et al abandoned the Jews, but as a sort of ancient bad shit magnet, the decision is understandable, especially when viewed in the context of the customary 19th Century anti-Semitic milieu in which this whole thing was concocted.


Home of the braves?

The descendants of Lehi, who later split into the Lamanites and Nephites (over artistic differences as to where art stopped and porn began) flourished in Mesoamerica, augmenting a pre-existing Semitic group who'd been there for several thousand years already. One can only admire their accomplishments, because according to Mel Gibson, there were a lot of hearts being cut out in the vicinity, so good for them.

Unfortunately, they’re chiefly considered by Mormons as an unsuccessful civilization for failing to leave behind archeological evidence to attest to their existence. Some detractors note alleged anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, such as the mention of chariots. They argue that Mesoamerican roads were extremely narrow and difficult to traverse, with rope bridges only two to three feet wide, all of which makes chariot usage quite difficult. Um, hello? Ever heard of a bicycle?

Mormons maintain that Nephite culture eventually gave away to the Olmecs and the Mayans, who specialized in mathematics and science, a tradition presumably embraced by modern Mormons, because they’re not too good at history. Their enemies the Lamanites, on the other hand, turned into the type of saggy-breasted dart-blowing specimens you see in off peak hours on National Geographic. You know, between the good stuff. With guns and shit.

Linguistic critics of the Book of Mormon argue that no Native American language is even remotely related to Hebrew, which the Levites allegedly spoke. But Mormon apologists rightly point out that the Levites weren’t the sole ancestors of Mesoamericans, leaving plenty of room for the Atlanteans, Cthulhu, and talking rabbits to further influence indigenous languages.

Chosen folk

According to Mormons, Jesus visited America shortly after his death and ascension into Heaven. While mainstream Christians might laugh, they should remember that Mormons still nodding along to this narrative are likely capable of believing absolutely anything. While there, Jesus finally settled the ancient art-porn debate with his inspired ruling that pornography begins at five articles of clothing or fewer, a definition Mormons keep to this day.

Many Christians ask, “but why would God have come to Joseph Smith, revealing this secret history and giving him the divine gift of translation?” Others wonder “is this article really defending Mormons?” And still others yearn to know, “are you even going to answer any of these questions?”


The burden of belief

The life of a modern Mormon is not an easy one, what with the public ridicule, perpetual threat of attack from Skeletor, and having to spend huge amounts of time with other Mormons, often family members. More conservative Mormons must also wear the near-legendary Mormon underwear, a garment rivaled only by the snood as able to inflict humiliation on the wearer.


How do they cope?

The decision to wear Mormon underwear is the end result of a lengthy cost-benefit evaluation. "Do I look hilarious?" Yes. "Is it a good kind of hilarious?" No. "Does everyone else look hilarious?" Yes. "Will demons consume my genitals otherwise?" Yes. And maybe even inspite of.

In terms of their beliefs in general, most Mormons probably try not to think about the historical inconsistencies, parceling them off in an area of their brain and repressing them so that they never need be confronted. Sort of like the way Kevin Spacey’s character suppressed his homosexuality in American Beauty so that he could live according to society’s expectations of normality. 

The analogy is actually quite telling. Mormonism and American Beauty are both absolutely terrible.

Quick Mormon FAQ

"With polygamy and all those kids, Mormons must get to have a lot of sex, right?"

By Protestant standards, yes. The average Mormon parents have four children over the course of twenty years, which means they have sexual intercourse an average of 0.2 times per annum, and 0.1 times per vaginum.

"What goes on inside the Temple?"

Some believe the Mormons have Elvis, still alive, kept in chains in the innermost sanctum, so that they may use his fat guy sweat to teach cabbages to dance the tango. Most however reject this theory in the face of overwhelming evidence that tango dancing is an innate trait of cabbages which does not need to be taught.

"Is there such thing as a gay Mormon?"

Not once the desert is finished with them!

"What should I say to Mormons who knock on my door?"

It shouldn't concern you, provided you've kept the door padlocked and soundproofed from your neighbors. Knocking is also a sign that they've exhausted themselves from screaming, meaning that they will probably try to reason with you for their release. Ignore it. Experience shows that captured Mormons imprisoned in basements eventually succumb to their incarceration after three weeks, and become willing participants in fertility experiments until rickets inevitably overwhelms their fragile immune systems.

"Where can I get a copy of the Book of Mormon?"

Once they eventually expire, don't feel bad about simply looting them. In fact, don't feel bad at all. In the service of the Lord and all that, eh? If the copy you retrieve has already started to rot, just ask me, I have plenty of spares.


Dani' El said...

Jews like to say that God made Mormons, to show Christians how it feels.

I like 'em as they make me look sane.

Eternal Critic said...

Absolutely awesomely done.

I remember how hard it was avoiding Skeletor back when I was a member. Prince Adam was never there for us.

PersonalFailure said...


yunshui said...

Well, this has certainly opened my eyes to the Mormon faith. Previously I considered them to be a bunch of loonies following the teachings of a con-artist with delusuions of grandeur, but now, praise Frodo, I have discovered a newfound sense of love and tolerance for our Mormon bothers. As a result of reading this post, i now view the Mormons as a bunch of loonies following the teachings of a con-artist with delusions of grandeur who wear magic pants.

ImtheRabbit said...

The Great Bunny would like to clear something up...

He never sent talking bunnies to the mormons.

That is all.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

El Dani said:

I like 'em as they make me look sane. (emphasis El Dani's)

...sort of like sitting next to a woman to make oneself appear intelligent? Playing scrabble with a dyslexic to seem skilled? Picking on Michael Jackson to appear principled? Arguing politics with a tree to demonstrate a non-zero IQ..?


yunshui said:

Previously I considered them to be a bunch of loonies following the teachings of a con-artist with delusuions of grandeur, but now, praise Frodo, I have discovered a newfound sense of love and tolerance for our Mormon bothers. 

Curiously, I had always envisioned Mormons much as Frodo has revealed -- that is, I was under the impression that they were directly analogous to both Christians and Jews, separated only by a few millennia: the introduction of doctrine in each case occurs at randomly spaced intervals, under equally implausible circumstances. The only measurable difference in each case is the relative level of human technology at inception, which naturally and directly affects skepticism levels at the corresponding time (as an inverse square law, with current technology normalizing at 1). With the increased skepticism, the claims became more portentous (linear, with the proportionality constant based on the current technological "age").

Of course, human technology does not increase in a continuous manner. Bits of technology come in quanta, at the introduction of which human credulity exhibits a local maximum. The damped-sinusoidal nature of human credulity has, in the field of quantum techno-mechanics (it's not a club), is the problem in the sub-specialty praedictus wederus, and its solution -- the decay constant -- would allow for predictive policy regarding projected new technologies.

Thus and again, Mormons, as per both Frodo's revelation above, and my own intrinsic mormo-sense, are equivalent religions in all but the most superficial respects, with Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and every other religion with a recorded history -- they each appeared immediately following a peak in human credulity.

The data indicate that these religions were each introduced within (and after) 10^-9 of the preceding technology quantum level change. While the magnitude of the technology level increases (with an exponentially decaying period, and an exponentially increasing amplitude), the amplitude of the Fourier series representing the credulity also increases exponentially, while its phase shift decreases exponentially. This means that to maintain the 10^-9 separation, the actual separation in time is tending toward zero -- that is, with each successive technological jump, human credulity increases such that the difference between a credulous hoax and an actual technological advance is vanishing. At that point, people are liable to believe anything.

As you may have imagined, much of quantum techno-mechanics is controversial. A shining example is the "imaginary pi-shift," whose proponents claim offsets the credulity sinusoid to correspond with local minimums in the technological jumps' Fourier series approximation. Advocates of the phase constant (the descriptor "imaginary" is derogatory, but it nonetheless stuck as promoters embraced the term) dispute the measurement methods of human credulity, in that they take a smaller, and exclusive to the former, set of the population as the normalizing group. It turns out that their data collection is more difficult and the results harbor wide margins of error, as the subjects under consideration are cainophobes, and are generally technically inept.

If anyone is more interested in techno-mechanics, the studies and data I've referenced can all be found here, on page fnord.


Dani' El said...


Or debating with Stan to show that nobody reads a post over 4 paragraphs long?


ImtheRabbit said...

I like the way that unlike Christianity, you can actually prove that Native Americans are not from Israel :) DNA at it's finest.

Vitamin R said...

"Theological asshattery" is possibly the coolest thing I've ever read, and this article is definitely one of your best.

People like to laugh at Mormons, but maybe a third of the world believes their souls were saved from eternal roasting by a zombie carpenter. Do magical underwear really make that any crazier?

Survey says . . . yes, a little bit.

Hah! Good ol' Anal B. . . .

I can totally think of some things that "B" might stand for.

FrodoSaves said...

It's times like this that make me think Stan is a devious stay-at-home scientist who creates fabulous machines the likes of which the world has never seen. I imagine he then disassembles them without ever showing a single soul, cackling delightedly all the while having proved to no one in particular the extent of his mad genius.

I would especially like to thank Eternal Critic, whose Mormon past made all this possible; and PersonalFailure, who is responsible for writing 96% of the "asshats" and "asshattery" I have so far read.

It is ironic isn't it? The stuff that Mormons get raked over the proverbial coals for is pretty weak in comparison to much of what Christianity would have you believe. Crossing the Atlantic and inscribing some brass plates doesn't stretch the imagination too much, the only problem is it never happened!

And then there's the magic pants.

ExPatMatt said...

"The average Mormon parents have four children over the course of twenty years, which means they have sexual intercourse an average of 0.2 times per annum, and 0.1 times per vaginum."Ok, that got me some funny looks at work as I attempted to contain the lols.

Brilliant stuff, as always.

FrodoSaves said...

Thanks ExPatt.

It's always my goal to make as many office workers as possible around the world think there's something wrong with their colleagues who read my blog. Somewhere between choking and constipation, as they try to keep the moment to themselves.

Yeah, that's the stuff!

piggymceatsalot said...


I'm very confused. Could you please make a series of comparison charts:

Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Mormons

Also I'd really like, perhaps, something like an MTV Celebrity Death Match between these farcical "belief" sets. Understand if claymation is out of your budget, but see what you can do.

FrodoSaves said...

What does sadden me is that I completely forgot to include the Mormon Threshold in this article. Oh well, something tells me there'll be another opportunity...

Thanks for the idea Piggy. Mormons fighting JWs is like atheist porn.

Anonymous said...

Could Anal-B be related to the inventor of the toothbrush, the revered Oral-B? Is this a coded message, a window into the private life of the ancient Mormons?

Kerri Love said...

LOL @ Anon!

that's not a pretty image..

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Charles Rovey said...

I just read your post and it just made me laugh uncontrollably until I got to the part about American Beauty...

You obviously didn't GET the movie. -_-;

Kevin Spacey was not a homosexual pretending to be straight. He was an extremely straight and extremely sexually frustrated man that had a thing for younger girls. The next door neighbor is homophobic and the only reason he kills Spacey in the end is because he THINKS he sees his son Ricky giving Spacey a blowjob through a garage window when in actuality Spacey was just working out to look good for his daughter's friend while his son was kneeling down to roll him a fatty joint and weigh the man's weed. So when Ricky gets home his father is all "I saw you with him! What did he make you do!?" and that's when Ricky thinks to himself "Well I guess it's better that he thinks I'm a gay prostitute because if he finds out I'm actually dealing drugs again he's going to kick my ass out." Little did he know that his father would have preferred the weed smoking to the pole smoking. Not only does he still get kicked out but he also gets his ass kicked and his girlfriend's Dad murdered. Also, as far as Spacey having the chance to finally do his daughter's friend and not taking it, it's because he didn't love her, he just wanted to use her as a hole and right when he was about to do just that she laid the bombshell that she was a virgin on him and made him feel guilty for wanting to use her for her body. Basically he was a good guy that thought her first time should be with somebody she loves. Not some ass from the Jersey Shore that brings a girl home, does her, and says "Here's your cab money. I'm finished with you so get the hell out!" Also one other thing that might confuse you is when Ricky’s dad comes over and asks Spacey about his Wife and Spacey tells him that they just stay together to look normal for society but in reality they are anything but normal. Ricky’s father took that as he was a closet homo but Spacey actually just meant that they stayed together to look happy and normal when in actuality they were miserable together, his wife was cheating on him, and he was trying to do his daughter’s girlfriend who’s still in high school. The whole movie is about miscommunication and what can happen as a result of it not somebody trying to look straight. I mean this post was amazing and you seem intelligent which leads me to the conclusion that maybe you never even watched American Beauty (or at least not the entire movie) and just looked up the Wikipedia summary on it… Cause if you had watched the entire movie I have a hard time believing somebody intelligent enough to write an article like this didn’t understand the plot of a movie like American Beauty. It’s one of my favorite movies which is why I’m defending it.

Bash on the crazy Mormons all you want but leave American Beauty out of it! lol