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The Mormon Church joins Julius Baer and The Church Of Scientology in the fight to promote online censorship

Online censorship is generally condemned by the public, but some groups are hard at work trying to promote it.  The Chinese government invests massively in censoring blogs and news sites to prevent what it feels are subversive materials.  Violators are oft jailed.  Outside China, banking giant Julius Baer fought unsuccessfully to try to shut down Wikileaks when the site released documents implicating it in numerous international crimes including money laundering and tax evasion.

In the past, the Church of Scientology sued and threatened legal action against Wikileaks for publication of embarrassing church documents.  And more recently there was the famous incident where the Church of Scientology tried to censor leaked online videos of Tom Cruise explaining the religion in a humorous manner. The Church was subsequently rocked by hacker attacks and international protests from people angry at its assault on free speech.

Despite this example of the public unpopularity of such moves, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS),  appears to be following in the Church of Scientology's footsteps, attacking Wikileaks for release a handbook of secret church procedures made for its leaders.  According to a report posted on Wikileaks, LDS sued Wikileaks for copyright infringement in an attempt to silence it.

Wikileaks first received its copy of the Church Handbook of Instructions via a URL link. The two-volume work was received from an anonymous whistleblower on April 16.  Wikileaks says the leak was significant as, "The book is strictly confidential among the Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka LDS in short form) bishops and stake presidents and it reveals the procedure of handling confidential matters related to tithing payment, excommunication, baptism and doctrine teaching (indoctrination)."

Wikileaks offered the document on the document sharing website Scribd.  Scribd now offers this little tidbit on the books, which are no longer available:  "This content was removed at the request of copyright agent B. S. Broadbent of the Intellectual Property Division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

On May 5, the LDS' legal representation contacted the Wikimedia Foundation charging the site with copyright infringement and requesting that the material be removed -- the site complied with the request.  No Digital Copyright Millennium Act (DCMA) notice has been filed as of yet.

The material had been released partially online previously in 1999 when Jerald and Sandra Tanner posted part of it.  In the case Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, the Church won a controversial injunction from the U.S. court banning the Tanners from releasing the material online.  The church eventually dropped their suit when they forced the Tanners to agree to destroy the books.

The LDS has recently been increasingly in the public spotlight due to former Republican presidential candidate front-runner Mitt Romney, an LDS church member, speaking publicly about his beliefs.

Wikileaks, despite the legal action, as of May 13 has refused to remove the book, which is still available from the site.  It can be found here for those curious.



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Just an observation here.
By Misty Dingos on 5/14/2008 2:24:47 PM , Rating: 5
When your god needs a lawyer to "protect" your beliefs from public scrutiny perhaps it is time to look for a new belief system.




RE: Just an observation here.
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/14/2008 2:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
...Or the average thinking person might become alarmed that until 1978 their church claimed that god disallowed blacks to be priests and then in 1978 their church leaders claimed that "after having a conversation with god" it was revealed that it was okay to have black priests.

I can just imagine:
"GOD: YOU SHALL OBEY MY COMMANDS! We meet again...
LDS Priests: Oh, hi god, hows it going. I haven't seen you since last Saturday...
GOD: Silence mortals! I have something important to tell you. Remember what I said about African Americans and priesthood...
LDS Priests: Oh yea, you told us not to let them be priests! We would never do that your greatness.
GOD: Well... ummmmm... Actually you see I um, well kinda changed my mind...
LDS Priests: What?!?
GOD: Well yea anyways from now on they can be priests!
LDS Priests: Alright God! Your order is our command! Are we still on for dinner on Sunday?"

Sure....


RE: Just an observation here.
By dubldwn on 5/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just an observation here.
By FingerMeElmo87 on 5/14/2008 6:11:16 PM , Rating: 4
the article isnt attacking the there religious beliefs genious. they're just informing the general public how LDS is trying to censor a website which is completely retarded because wikileaks isnt doing anything wrong.

besides, when an organization starts to act in the manor in which they have, is it wrong to strongly verbally disagree with them?

quit being a pazie


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just an observation here.
By Aloonatic on 5/15/2008 4:44:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how things work in the US but in the UK I believe that journalists and the press had an exemption in copy write law and were allowed to quote texts.

Maybe they should move there severs over here, to the land of the free.

They'd be quite safe with several CCTV cameras pointing at them and police using counter terrorist laws to pursue and prosecute people for minor offences :-s


RE: Just an observation here.
By Aloonatic on 5/15/2008 4:47:56 AM , Rating: 1
in before grammar Nazis

quote:
I'm not sure how things work in the US but in the UK I believe that journalists and the press had an exemption in copy write law and were allowed to quote texts.


There's a sentence there somewhere, you're going to have to decipher it your self tho.

It's still too early in the morning for me :-s


RE: Just an observation here.
By masher2 (blog) on 5/15/2008 9:20:21 AM , Rating: 5
> "but in the UK I believe that journalists and the press had an exemption in copy write law and were allowed to quote texts."

There's a difference between quoting from a text for educational purposes, and posting the entire contents of a piece of copyrighted material.

For instance, it does not violate copyright law for a news organization (such as DT has here) to observe that, based on the contents of these 'secret' works, the Mormon Church once banned black priests. Placing the entire text online, though, does.

Mick is wrong; there is no "censorship" here. No one is being prevented from expressing their own ideas or viewpoint...they're merely being stopped from their misuse of someone else's copyrighted statements.


RE: Just an observation here.
By nstott on 5/15/2008 10:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
The text in question doesn't mention blacks in connection with the LDS Priesthood. Mick was piling on with one of the standard anti-Mormon arguments. There are many LDS publications that do discuss the issue candidly, and it is still an issue even within the LDS Church for both black and non-black Mormons.

As always, thanks for being honest, Masher. I'd be less likely to read DT if you weren't here.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Autisticgramma on 5/18/2008 3:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
You bring up an interesting point, which leads me to a quasi off topic subject.

Non-Profit groups - Tax Exempt, lets be specific.

I'm really interested in how this plays out. Do we know if this is going to litigation or did they just fold?

On to my point.

Copyright, as I understand it, gives creators the ability to be profitable, i.e. the basic ability to survive in a capitalist society. Churches are by definition not for profit ventures. I'm curious as to why they get the benefits of copyright; furthermore do church members pay for this text? Being from Utah I'd bet no. If you ask nicely a truck load of Book of Mormon will be delivered to your house, for you guessed it - Free. (By two volunteers with name tags.)

This is an image ploy, just like the allowance of blacks into the priesthood was a social necessity, and probably (I wasn't in the room) not a conversation with God. This is a misuse of copyright used to plug a potentially harmful information leak.

I would additionally call for ALL non profits to be disallowed this legal bludgeon. Copyrights are for artists who have enriched our lives through humor, song, story and visual image. Not for a powerful, rich organization to fuel public ignorance, and manipulate public opinion.

If you really believe it, you will not have a problem with me reading it.


RE: Just an observation here.
By nstott on 5/19/2008 7:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
This informative post from "hthalljr" needed to be moved closer to the top.

quote:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not making any effort to protect its "beliefs" from public scrutiny. Why else would more than 50,000 missionaries labor to share their beliefs around the world, at their own expense?

I have, at times, been authorized to consult The Handbook of Instructions. But even if it remains on line, I will not read it now, because I no longer have that authorization. But I testify that does not contain anything of a conspiratorial nature, or evil, or of any kind of threat to the public.

Unlike most religions, the Church has no paid ministry. Its local leaders (bishops, who preside over a single ward or congregation) and stake presidents (who preside over approximately 10 wards) are lay people who have families and occupations. They do not ask to serve nor even plan to serve; rather, they are called to serve by inspiration of general Church leaders. Bishops typically serve only about 5 years; stake presidents serve a few more years. The Handbook of Instructions is a guide to these leaders, who come to their positions with no prior training. It is distributed to them to ensure that Church policies and procedures are uniform around the world.

Unlike other churches, we also do not decide which congregation we attend: we attend the ward in whose boundaries we reside. This also creates a need for uniformity of policy and procedure. (You can learn the place and meeting times of your nearest congregation by selecting the link "worship with us" at mormon.org and entering your address.)

Any members of the Church who has a question about doctrine or policy can ask his bishop, who can consult the Handbook. However, leaders are encouraged to use these guidelines prayerfully and to adapt them to immediate needs and circumstances.

If the Handbook were published, it could tempt some members to take a legalistic approach to policies and procedures and try to see just how close they could come to "crossing the line." Publication could also tempt some members who have more time on their hands than their bishops to make a hobby of knowing the handbook "better" than their bishop, which could undermining his efforts to provide inspired and thoughtful leadership.

The Church has every right to control distribution of its Handbook of Instructions. Copyright protects not just the right to publish, but also the right not to publish.

Tracy Hall Jr
hthalljr'gmail'com


By martinrichards23 on 5/21/2008 10:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not sure how things work in the US but in the UK I believe that journalists and the press had an exemption in copy write law and were allowed to quote texts.


I believe there are exceptions if it is in the public interest as well (i.e. exposing an illegal activity or something like that)


RE: Just an observation here.
By dubldwn on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By winterspan on 5/16/2008 2:26:31 AM , Rating: 1
Oh get over it. Why exactly should anyone be outraged at anything? The article is about the Mormon Church using copyright law to keep weird religious doctrine secret.. That all it says. And trust me, I've had enough experience with the crazy LDS church that I'm sure they have some weird shit in those papers. If anyone is outraged, they should be outraged that they have let themselves become so deceived by such nonsense!


RE: Just an observation here.
By feraltoad on 5/14/2008 10:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
The comments are separate from the article. Maintaining that authorship strips one of the right of an opinion is as unfair as writing a biased article. Some people understand that there can be and should be a separation between subjective opinion and objective facts. The Mormon Church certainly has a right to defend their copyrights, but the fact that they feel the need to keep secret portions of their actual religious doctrine doesn't engender trust. Of course I'm always suspicious of any multilevel marketing.


RE: Just an observation here.
By dubldwn on 5/14/2008 11:03:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Maintaining that authorship strips one of the right of an opinion is as unfair as writing a biased article

Agreed, opinions are totally cool after an unbiased article – actually it adds a lot to be able to chat with the author. But that's a moot point now. This article has been changed to a blog, so it can be all be biased.
quote:
…but the fact that they feel the need to keep secret portions of their actual religious doctrine doesn't engender trust.

See, I don’t find that suspicious. What is suspicious is God using the term African-American in 1978.
quote:
GOD: Silence mortals! I have something important to tell you. Remember what I said about African Americans and priesthood...


RE: Just an observation here.
By feraltoad on 5/15/2008 3:59:09 AM , Rating: 1
lol ur right! God has gotten a lot more PC! Must be the CNN. I guess he got over the sore cursing.

Like the word delightsome below? I like to say that word with a lisp. It's sthuper! I'm delightsthome, you're cursthed! Nope, not natural sthelection, cursthed.

2 Nephi 5:21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

Oh, and being shut out from the priesthood entails more than just being denied leadership roles. It means you are prohibited from accessing the "power of God." For example, you couldn't lift ur x-wing out of a swamp.

Priesthood denotes elements of both power and authority. As a power, priesthood is said to include the power Jesus gave his apostles to perform miracles such as the casting out of devils and the healing of sick (Luke 9:1). (wikipedia)


RE: Just an observation here.
By Micronite on 5/14/2008 3:39:42 PM , Rating: 5
Wow, you clearly have a bias which is reflected both in your article and your comments.

Since I know you want to present a balanced journalistic report, it may be worth noting that this is not a censorship issue as described, it is a copyright issue. If an enterprise had internal (secret) documents leaked, don't you think they would do anything to protect their IP? I fail to see how this is much different.
I don't know why people are so anxious to learn about "secret" parts of churches. If you're really that curious about the Mormons, there are probably a couple guys in your area that can help you out.

You seem really anxious to destroy the faith of others without limited information and incomplete understanding of the principles underlying the LDS belief system.

One thing you probably didn't think about when you wrote your article is that there are a lot of Mormons that read and perhaps respect(ed) DailyTech and are probably a little disappointed by your tone in this article.


RE: Just an observation here.
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/14/2008 3:59:40 PM , Rating: 4
Censorship-
1. the act or practice of censoring.
cen·sor
(noun)
1. an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.
(verb)
6. to examine and act upon as a censor.
7. to delete (a word or passage of text) in one's capacity as a censor.

Clearly by the definition of the word censorship the actions of Julius Baer, The Church of Scientology, and the LDS church could all be considered to consitute censorship.

The article is presented in a clear manner, and leaves opinion to the reader. As far as my personal sentiments, I'm all for the freedom of religion.

However a religion that seems to have openly advocated racism until the late 70s, when it was forced to officially change its stance due to societal pressure, I do personally find troublesome.

If I have "limited information and incomplete understanding of the principles underlying the LDS belief system" please explain to me how this acceptable, or what I'm failing to grasp about this policy. This was not a few rogue members, it was a churchwide policy.

One may note that you don't attack my specific points, you just respond in vagueries saying I'm wrong. That is not how to formulate a logical argument. Please be specific.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Homerboy on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By dubldwn on 5/14/2008 4:37:40 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The article is presented in a clear manner, and leaves opinion to the reader.

First, stating the LDS are “promoting online censorship”, then the comparison to Chinese government control to stoke the fire, then the unrelated mentioning of money laundering to add a crime element, then Scientologists, complete with the mention of Tom Cruise and a South Park thumbnail to bring on ridicule. The context you put this in clearly put the LDS in a bad light.
quote:
I'm all for the freedom of religion.

You’re also for setting people’s religions up for ridicule. Why mention the tablets and the glasses? All that does is incite posting things like, “How is this any different than a talking snake in a tree? People are idiots.” You know this.
quote:
…I do personally find troublesome.

And I’m telling you your bias came out in your writing of this news article. I’m just saying.
quote:
One thing you probably didn't think about when you wrote your article is that there are a lot of Mormons that read and perhaps respect(ed) DailyTech and are probably a little disappointed by your tone in this article.

QFT


RE: Just an observation here.
By babighead on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By Homerboy on 5/14/2008 4:50:55 PM , Rating: 1
yeap very good retort.
I'm still amazed this article, in its present, misleading form was "OK'ed" to be posted.


RE: Just an observation here.
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/14/2008 5:02:17 PM , Rating: 1
Again you're deflecting the real issue of the racial stance. You in no way responded to that.

As to Baer/Scientologists, they were mentioned as they were other groups who fought with wikileaks. While you may have a negative opinion of these groups, I'm sure some individuals would make the same claims about them being unfairly attacked as you're making in this instance.

As far as the stones, etc. that was included to illustrate one thing that was considered controversial about the religion. It is generally considered more controversial than say talking snakes in trees as it was made in the modern era. But take it as you will. It is what the LDS states correct? Why not state it? If you aren't ashamed of your religions statements, you would have no problem with its inclusion.

I'm not stating inaccuracies, just widely known church beliefs.

Again, I'd like to see a logical counter argument to my ORIGINAL point, as opposed to more vague deflections. Your entire argument is emotional with almost no logic/facts. Simply raising a bunch of issues and discussing them emotionally does not make your argument logical. Present some facts, please.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 5:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh get over yourself, Mick. You're a lazy ass journalist who had no way to fill up your article with anything other than half-truths and anti-Mormon propaganda. The LDS church doesn't often take legal action, when it does, it usually has a good reason to. The LDS church could very easily sue every single company that has ever published anti-Mormon literature for libel and slander, but they haven't because it really doesn't matter.

And your major hang up with the LDS Church isn't that they didn't allow blacks to have the priesthood for over a hundred years, but rather that they don't conform to your view of things. It doesn't matter if I give you every single fact and point out the number of unbelievably good things the LDS church did for blacks (Particularly those in Africa today) in the 19th, 20th, and current centuries, but you would still think what you want because you're an egotistical jackass who is always right no matter what anyone else says. But hey, good luck with the writing career. Needless to say, I won't be following it.


RE: Just an observation here.
By babighead on 5/14/2008 5:56:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Again you're deflecting the real issue of the racial stance. You in no way responded to that.

Did I miss something? When did "the real issue" become racial stance? If I'm not mistaken this issue only became an issue when a sad blogger felt the need to write comments on his own wall to support his own ego.

What you did succeed was turning a very boring manual into quite a scandal. Congratulations. I hear they are looking for people over at the national enquirer or the weekly world news.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Xtremist on 5/14/2008 4:47:53 PM , Rating: 4
How is it censorship if the publisher/author of a book sues to prevent that book from being distributed against copyright laws?

I'm all for Wikileaks, but this is a copyrighted document, the same as a car repair manual, or Harry Potter. It's not some public (but secret) document. The fact that the LDS Church doesn't want it publically distributed indicates nothing about censorship.

I can't imagine if you were the author of some work you'd want it distributed without your permission?


RE: Just an observation here.
By Xtremist on 5/14/2008 4:51:39 PM , Rating: 1
Someone needs to start a website that copies all of the content here. Then we'll see what DT/AT truly feels censorship is :-)


RE: Just an observation here.
By dwalton on 5/14/2008 6:16:15 PM , Rating: 1
Copyrights by nature are in place to protect the ability of the copyright owner to profit or not from the copyrighted material as an indirect effort to promote the creation of new works. Copyrights aren't in place to protect the privacy of the copywriter.

The LDS using copyrights laws has nothing to do with disallowing some internet websites from profiting off their works but to ensure that the general internet goer doesn't have access to the works, which makes it an act of censorship.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 7:33:06 PM , Rating: 3
Copyrights by nature (and as shown by the words Copy and Right) protect against the distribution of unauthorized copies, and gives the copyright holder the authority to determine the proper use and distribution of copies of the original work (They have rights over all copies of the work. See, copy right. Get it? Cool, huh?). Therefor, the LDS church has every right to demand that Wikileaks remove the copyrighted material from the site, as its presence is a violation of their rights over all copies of the work that they created.


By lexluthermiester on 5/14/2008 9:13:01 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Clearly by the definition of the word censorship the actions of Julius Baer, The Church of Scientology, and the LDS church could all be considered to consitute censorship.


Mr. Mick,

The reasons about why the LDS church is taking these actions are simple, and seemed to have escaped your attention. Let's put them clearly in focus shall we?

The LDS church, having discovered that proprietary information and documents have been released to the public in an unauthorized fashion, have exercised their legal rights to remove access to such documents. This would be no different than the actions Microsoft took when the source code to Windows 2000 was leaked. While the content and format of such informations is different, both are private and not intended for public possession. The LDS church has every right under the law, and indeed an obligation, to protect such information.

This is NOT a case of censorship. And anyone who thinks it is needs to brush up on the meaning of the word, including yourself.

quote:
However a religion that seems to have openly advocated racism until the late 70s, when it was forced to officially change its stance due to societal pressure, I do personally find troublesome.


In consideration of your comments/accusations about racism on the part of the LDS church, let us examine the issue. The prohibition of folks of African decent positions of authority was an issue that stemmed from a biblical decree, banning the issuance of priesthood standings and authority to those of African ancestry. This was a mandate that came out of the bible, not an LDS decree. Many other religions practiced the same ban until they also saw the need to rightfully lift the ban. Those who were in authority in the LDS church had an obligation to obey the aforementioned decree. Only after nearly 130 years of mulling the matter over did the "revelation" come that it was acceptable to grant priesthood standings to those of African decent. It was an issue that had been on agenda within the LDS church since its inception. The issue weighed heavily on the minds of LDS leaders, including its founder Joseph Smith. Smith himself did not think it was right for any man deemed worthy of holding a standing of authority should not be granted it. However, because no "revelation" was given him at that time about the matter, no action was taken to lift the ban.

Mr. Mick, I find your bias disturbing at the very least. Perhaps you, like any good journalist, should do research into issues you write about. Your writing style comes across as informed and authoritative when it is, in fact, anything but. And before you try labeling me a Mormon defending his church, I grew up in a Catholic family. And as such I am frustrated about how people ruthlessly berate the LDS church for simply believing differently than other religions who focus on the teachings and works of the individual known as Jesus Christ. I personally know LDS folks, and with few exceptions, they are some of the most spiritual and genuinely kind people I've ever met in my life. So I short Mr. Mick, do your research[like I did] BEFORE opening your mouth or out typing your misinformed opinions.

And again, let the fanboy down-rating commence...


RE: Just an observation here.
By nstott on 5/15/2008 3:59:35 AM , Rating: 4
So if Wikileaks thought you were interesting enough to publish all of your medical records, report cards, home address, phone numbers, DOB, SS#, etc; would you also consider it to be censorship for you to fight against that? Do you also think it's censorship when someone hides their personal diary or journal?

Typically, the word "censorship" is used when a party blocks or suppresses the work that a third party is attempting to release for public consumption, not when a party attempts to conceal or exercise rights over its own work.

Thus, you are misusing the meaning of the word "censorship" here. Even the usage "self-censorship" doesn't carry the same negative connotation.

Can you present factual evidence that the LDS Church was forced to change their policy in 1978 based on societal pressure, or is that just another opinion of yours? Furthermore, your blanket statement that the LDS Church advocated racism doesn't hold water when one looks at other LDS Church positions, policies, and actions with regards to race from 1830 to 1978.

quote:
Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation.
-Joseph Smith, Jr., 1st Prophet and President of the LDS Church, statement given in 1842 (during US slavery and in response to debates in the US among whites as to whether or not black people have souls or not - there was a doubt as to blacks having soul?! ;) )


quote:
No church or other organization is more insistent than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that the Negroes should receive all the rights and privileges that can possibly be given to any other in the true sense of equality as declared in the Declaration of Independence. They should be equal to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." They should be equal in the matter of education. They should not be barred from obtaining knowledge and becoming proficient in any field of science, art or mechanical occupation. They should be free to choose any kind of employment, to go into business in any field they may choose and to make their lives as happy as it is possible without interference from white men, labor unions or from any other source. In their defense of these privileges the members of the Church will stand.
-Joseph Fielding Smith, Prophet and President of the LDS Church, statement given in 1958 (right in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement when MLK was marching and holding boycotts)


Some links on Blacks and the LDS Priesthood:
http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/qa/bla...
http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/genera...

BTW, what juicy secrets were discovered in the LDS handbook you refer to in the article? What are they hiding? I'm guessing that you would have dropped the bombshell if there would have been one. In the absence of any real facts, all you had left was insinuation, sensationalism, and then regurgitating already well-known anti-Mormon diatribe.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 5:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You seem really anxious to destroy the faith of others without limited information and incomplete understanding of the principles underlying the LDS belief system.


Yeah I'm totally sure thats what he set out to do when writing an article. Are you for real ?


RE: Just an observation here.
By ImEmmittSmith on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By Homerboy on 5/14/2008 4:33:32 PM , Rating: 3
you cant rate once you post...
His "humor" would be fine to post except he is the author of the article which detracts EVERYTHING from the article (granted there isn't much there to start with). I still do not see the connection to "censorship" at all. They are trying to protect their IP and copyrighted material.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Homerboy on 5/14/2008 4:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... that's a pretty arrogant and smart-ass thing for the author of the article to post wouldn't you say? Kinda discredits your "unbiased" journalistic approach.

LDS has all the right to stop their copyrighted material from being posted for the public to download. Just as any book publisher/writer would.


RE: Just an observation here.
By babighead on 5/14/2008 4:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm no Mormon but I am smart enough to know you don't go to the Pope for the truth on what Muslims believe.

If you want the dirty truth about Mormons then find one and ask them. They even offer that option straight on their website.

www.mormon.org

With so many web savvy people I thought someone would go to the source.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 5:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. And my favorite place to get hardware news just suddenly became a bastion of Anti-Mormon garbage. Mick, you are absolutely not a journalist, and I seriously hope you don't consider yourself to be one. Journalism requires you to actually take your personal feelings out of the picture and report on something. This is almost nothing but pure slander, my friend.

Your views of the LDS church and blacks are just as horribly skewed. The LDS church *couldn't* allow blacks to hold the priesthood in its infancy. Remember, this was 1830, when blacks were not even considered people by the US government. In addition, the Church was lambasted the entire time they were in Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio because it was the only church that would let blacks *attend* meetings with whites. It was strongly anti-slavery, and an extermination order was ordered against them in the state of Missouri which legalized looting Mormon settlements and even killing members of the church. This order stood until the 1980s. One of the main reasons for this order was the political influence the Mormons were building in a state that was teetering on the edge between slavery and emancipation.

When the members of the church were forced to leave, they settled in Utah where there were no blacks except a very few that had managed to escape slavery to join them on the trek west. Until 1978, none of the leaders of the church had even bothered to ask God about the issue. But then, I guess history and facts don't matter so much when there's someone who doesn't like bending to your will, huh Mr. Mick. Learn your trade. Report the news. Don't make it up.

As to whether or not the Church has a right to sue for this publication...Would it be legal for me to print a New York Times best seller on the Internet for everyone to read right now, with the distinct intention of preventing people from buying it themselves? It would be both illegal, and immoral for me to do so. The writer of that book has a right to protect the investment of time and energy that they made in creating it and to even profit from it if they so choose. And in fact, if they fail to protect that copyright from infringement, they will eventually lose it. This is the situation the LDS Church is in right now. They can choose to protect the investment of time spent creating this handbook and they hold a copyright that must be protected or it will cease to be enforceable. But then I guess that doesn't matter much to you, does it Jason? Anyone that tries to keep you from getting what you want when you want it is evil, and anyone who doesn't conform to your world view is just "ignorant" or they aren't a "thinking person." Well, I hope you enjoy living that way. I will make certain to avoid any articles written by you in the future.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 5:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Journalism requires you to actually take your personal feelings out of the picture and report on something.


In Mick's defense, nobody does this anymore.

And man, you guys need to lighten up. Sheeesh.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 5:20:03 PM , Rating: 1
Which is one of my biggest beefs with modern media. Just because nobody does it anymore doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. There is no such thing as a journalist anymore. They're all just bloggers with a twig up their butt.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Homerboy on 5/14/2008 5:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
As it should be nearly EVERYONE'S beef with modern "journalism"


RE: Just an observation here.
By dwalton on 5/14/2008 5:39:39 PM , Rating: 1
So the persecution due to racism of others resulted in the higher ups in the Mormon church asking God what to do and his reply was "Ye shall deny blacks priesthood"?

Or did the Mormon higher-up decide this requirement without direction from God and waited until 1978 to asked whether or not this was proper?

Does it make sense that GOD would allow political pressure of non Mormons to force a change in their basic belief of equality? Does it make sense for GOD, in the best interest of the whole church, allow for a segment of the church be sacrifice just to appease non-believers?

If Mormon was persecuted for allowing blacks to attend intergrated churches and felt the need to change their spiritual law, then why not ban black membership or create segregated churches. Why ban blacks from joining the preisthood at all?

You know there are plenty of denominations of the Christian faith that had black churches with black preachers during this time of Mormon persecution. It doesn't make sense that non Mormons who were probably Christian to accept black preachers of their own faith but persecute an outside faith for such extending priesthood to blacks.

Mormon were persecuted for not being of traditional Christian faith and intergration was probably one of many excuses for their persecution. But I highly doubt that a ban on priesthood for blacks were due to outside pressure but from the inside.

One question, how many blacks ever obtained priesthood in the Mormon church prior to the rule of exclusion?


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 5:58:47 PM , Rating: 1
Pay attention. The LDS church couldn't legally allow blacks to have any leadership role in a church that had whites in it. This is the early 1800's we're talking about here, not the 1950s. The world view of blacks in 1830 (particularly in Missouri, and in many other mid-western states) was that blacks weren't considered people. When determining state and city populations for voting districts at the time, blacks were often counted as 1/4 of a person. There were black churches with black preachers and black congregations, but they did not even remotely resemble the type of black churches that exist today. The vast majority of blacks were, get this, SLAVES!

So no, the church couldn't allow blacks to hold the priesthood when it started, and it wasn't a very big question to the few blacks who joined the LDS pioneers traveling to Salt Lake City because, well heck. They were free! Who cares about anything else? It wasn't until the mid 1970's when the LDS church began establishing itself in Africa (which currently has one of the fastest growing LDS populations in the world at present) that blacks began asking when they would be allowed to have the priesthood. There was never a reason for the church leaders to ask before this time, and when they did ask if blacks could be allowed to hold the priesthood, according to the leadership of the time, the answer was a very emphatic yes.


RE: Just an observation here.
By dwalton on 5/14/2008 6:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
You need to pay attention, because get this, slaves were allowed to attend and have churches. Slaves were probably restricted to the same religion as their owners so most of blacks that were Mormon were probably free blacks. Segregated black churches with black priest would have been a lot easier to swallow then intergrated churches. You still haven't answer my question of how many black priests existed amongst the LDS before the state law was enacted.

If there were a law disallowing the LDS from having no black priest then why write into the laws of the church when it was already state law (if that is true, have proof)? Did the state require the LDS to write a law within a document of rules and forced to produce said document as proof of abiding by that law?

Furthermore, for some odd reason the virtue of this rule was never questioned and repealed in Utah where the racist missourian laws or other midwest states had no jurisdiction and that this law never crossed anyone mind. If this was an issue of with africans how can you not expect that this was an issue with african americans who lived in Utah? You don't think there a big difference in terms of pressure to repeal in trying to go to Africa and convert new members where almost everyone is black versus a state where there are virtually no blacks.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 8:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, let me explain something. The point of my post was to point out that there are a number of reasons for this rule to have existed other than, "They're just racist bastards." People will believe what they want to believe, whether it's true or not. That's why there *are* so many religions in the world. But I'll give you a few more reasons for the church to have waited.

The blacks who joined the church were free, usually. Some were escaped slaves. The last thing escaped slaves needed was the public exposure that goes with leadership in the church. In the early days of the church, the entire community got together to worship. There was no separation into congregations. It was usually one whole town of Mormons getting together to worship. And I'm also betting, that at this time in history the church also realized that publicly calling a black person into a leadership position over whites would have gotten that particular black person killed.

In comparing it to a current church policy, how about we go here...Did you know the LDS church outright refuses to allow Muslims with living relatives in the middle east to join the church? "Well" you say, "They're being racist!" NO! They're protecting that person and their relatives' lives because it is not uncommon for Muslim extremists to torture and kill people who convert to Christianity *as well as their relatives*. There were many groups in the US, even up until the early 80s, who probably would have killed a black Mormon priesthood holder if given the chance. "I mean, it's bad enough that he's black, but he's also Mormon! And he thinks he has some authority over the white man! He's even more evil!" They would have said. The late 70's was a pretty safe time for the church to extend the priesthood to blacks (who were not allowed to have the priesthood from the creation of the church for reasons I've mentioned. The church started officially in 1830, just so you know). The racial stress brought on by the civil rights movement was gone, the organized groups of white supremacists had lost all the power they had previously and had become nothing more than fringe groups. And the church was growing rapidly in Africa. So there was absolutely no danger in extending the priesthood to blacks anymore. After hearing of the wishes of the African members of the church, the leadership got together changed the policy, because it was the right thing to do at the right time.

You can go on thinking that the LDS Church chose not to let blacks have the priesthood because of racism. But doing so does not make you a "Thinking person" as Mick believes. In fact, it means you think *less.* Because any person with a brain and an open mind can come up with a number of really good reasons for the church to have waited. But Mick, being the thickheaded arrogant fool he is, chose not to think and stuck simply with the more convenient, easier to protect his distorted world view, easier-to-hate-them-for reason.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 8:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
Further, I don't know that there ever was an actual rule in the church handbook that said, "Blacks can't have the priesthood." It could have been one of those things that just stayed the way it was in the beginning because no one thought to think about it. I mean, after all, Mormons were being raped, tortured, mugged, and killed all through the late 1830s. Once they moved to Utah the US government was still hounding them. The US government even mobilized an army division to invade the Utah territory. The treatment of the LDS church by the US government and the people of the time was one of the greatest civil rights abuses in American history. I can imagine how determining whether or not blacks should be allowed to have the priesthood now would be kind of low on the list of problems to be dealt with.


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/14/2008 6:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
One question, how many blacks ever obtained priesthood in the Mormon church prior to the rule of exclusion?

Probably two.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacks_and_The_Church...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacks_and_The_Church...


RE: Just an observation here.
By dwalton on 5/14/2008 7:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
Now is the question of what part to believe or discount?

Black priest existing in Missouri and other midwestern states or rules against black priesthood becoming formalized in Utah and not because political pressure of racist midwesterners but due to the audacity of a black priest taking on white wives.


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/14/2008 6:05:48 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Despite this example of the public unpopularity of such moves, the Church of Mormon appears to be following…

The Church of Mormon does not exist.

3 Nephi 27:5,7-8
Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

Doctrine and Covenants 115:4
For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary...
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reiterates that it has no affiliation whatsoever with any polygamous groups, including the polygamous sect in Eldorado, Texas. The Church discontinued polygamy officially in 1890, but more than a century later some news and Internet reports fail to draw clear distinctions between the Church and practicing polygamous sects.

Furthermore LDS members do not believe polygamous groups to be Mormon.

quote:
Mormon Church Attacks Wikileaks

Jason Mick used the word, "Attacks" in the headline instead of, "sued" as in the article. The word attack is not a synonym for sue.
---------
The reason I have stopped posting on Dailytech for some time is because my profile or IP seems to have been blocked. However this one (charlieee) is working again for some reason. The charliee (two e's) account is still blocked from replying however. For those of you looking forward to my posts I will probably be censored/banned/modded down again on Dailytech soon and therefore will not be able to post. An email to the Anandtech forum administrator was not returned. Note to any server administrator: the website allows for any single person to ban another user by modding down multiple posts belonging to another account in a short time.


RE: Just an observation here.
By feraltoad on 5/15/2008 5:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
Furthermore LDS members do not believe polygamous groups to be Mormon.

They sure seem to consider themselves Mormon. Just more adherent to the original teachings of the true Prophet of God that re-established God's true church on this earth. But I guess he could have been wrong about the whole thing.

Naturally, churches don't have a high opinion of other churches.
1 Nephi 14:6 "There are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil."

Although, polygamy currently might be prohibited (only after intense political/public pressure from outside the church) the church still considers the principle to be sound, and it is still published in the scriptures. Current doctrine might amend the conditions on polygamy, but the true playa Joseph Smith Jr. is still kicking it with his 30+ wives up in heaven. Also, the "sealing" ritual can be done to create valid eternal plural marriages in the "afterlife".

What is wrong with "attack"? We often see various synonyms, idioms, and metaphors as descriptors of litigation, and many pertaining to violence. "Legal battle" "Opening salvo of the prosecution" "Hamstringed the defense" "marshal a defense" "hostile witness". Even the words "prosecute" has confrontational roots: L prosecutus, ptp. of prosequi to pursue, proceed with.


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/19/2008 7:32:25 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Naturally, churches don't have a high opinion of other churches.
1 Nephi 14:6 "There are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil."

Incorrect quote.

This is the correct quote of 1 Nephi 14:6
6 Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God.

feraltoad was mostly likely attempting to refer to 1 Nephi 14:10.

1 Nephi 14:10
And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.

1 Nephi 22:23 illustrates who belongs to the church of the devil.

1 Nephi 22:23
23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.

Another name for the church of the devil is Babylon. The fate of Babylon is to be burned as stated in D&C 88:94.

D&C 88:94 (note also D&C 88:105; Rev. 14:8)
…That great church, the mother of abominations, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood—she who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea—behold, she is the tares of the earth; she is bound in bundles; her bands are made strong, no man can loose them; therefore, she is ready to be burned.…
----------
quote:
Naturally, churches don't have a high opinion of other churches. - feraltoad

D&C 18:20
Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil.

Now, if there be two churches only, why then does D&C 18:20 speak as if there were more than two churches? Unless D&C 18:20 means do not contend amongst yourselves where it states, "Contend against no church" then it implies that there are more than two churches. If there by any other church calling themselves a church who do not meet the qualifications listed in 1 Nephi 22:23 and D&C 88:94 (powertrip, popularity, lust of the flesh/porography, covetess, persecute and kill saints) can they be called the church of the devil? No. But should just be called a church as mentioned in D&C 18:20. Therefore shall a church who does none of those things of the church of the devil meet the same end? No. Therefore do LDS hold churches who do not do the works of Babylon in the same esteem as Babylon? In other words should they be burned? No.
quote:
Naturally, churches don't have a high opinion of other churches. - feraltoad

So what does 1 Nephi 14:10 mean where it says, "two churches only"? The context of 1 Nephi chapter 14 is that an angel is speaking about a future day. The context of D&C 18:20 is the Lord giving instructions (which are still vaild today) to those living at the time. Therefore in time there will be two churches only.

Furthermore I will contend that 1 Nephi 14:10 means that those who do good belong to the church of the Lamb of God and those who do evil are of the church of the devil thereby implicating even those people who do not claim to be affiliated with any church. Therefore I will say that 1 Nephi 14:10 is both literal and figurative regarding the word church.
----------
quote:
What is wrong with "attack"?

Ask what is intended with the use of the word attack. Other peoples' posts maybe helpful. When you are done asking then ask yourself is your judgement willful.
quote:
But I guess he could have been wrong about the whole thing.

There is a way to test. If you go do good according to that which is written with real sincereity at your maximum level or ability to do good then after a while you will know if he was wrong or not. But the first test you can try in your head is: Is it good to help others?


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 2:43:37 PM , Rating: 5
Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb....


RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just an observation here.
By Noya on 5/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just an observation here.
By dever on 5/14/2008 2:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of it was simply the truth
Any "true" examples you'd like to expound on? I'm sure DailyTech's reader's would have a heyday with your conspiracies.


RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:21:22 PM , Rating: 3
Yes I'd love to know what facts you have to support the claim that the US government invented the AIDs virus to kill blacks. Or any of his other rants that have come out.

If you truly believe that his rants are those of truth, you're no better than the Islamic extremists telling people that Muhammad said they should kill Americans and to blow themselves up so they can get their 15 virgins or however many it is.


RE: Just an observation here.
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give you that but I will mention that most states still have laws that make oral sex illegal.

I don't think that was just a Mormon thing. Whoever believes it though, that ain't gonna stop me from liking my girl going down on me. ;)

Oh and I left the Catholic church because I got tired of what they were saying and what I saw those who claimed to be "good Catholics" doing.


RE: Just an observation here.
By jlips6 on 5/14/2008 5:21:15 PM , Rating: 1
+1 man. There are some things in life that shouldn't be missed.


RE: Just an observation here.
By mikefarinha on 5/14/2008 4:50:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I do take issue to the latter half your statement. Should catholic church-goers be punished if their priest molests a boy? It seems like if a Church official starts doing something bad and you leave the church, thats a GOOD thing not a bad thing. I could be wrong.


This is analogous to taking a class where your history teacher molests a student then you subsequently refuse to take another history class.


RE: Just an observation here.
By jlips6 on 5/14/2008 5:19:47 PM , Rating: 1
interpreted AKA they couldn't get any.

Sheesh. Forgive me for finding religions that prohibit sex off-putting. Am I supposed to believe that sex is an evil act because your invisible best friend told me so? Get real.

(I myself am Jewish/Atheist for those who are wondering. Yes, it does work.)

If they want to practice Mormanism, that's their choice/loss. I'm tired of all the religions that say sex in all it's forms is evil.


RE: Just an observation here.
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 5:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's sex outside of Marriage that Mormons find evil. In particular, the statement above was more concerning oral sex outside of marriage. The church does not mingle in the sex lives of married people.


RE: Just an observation here.
By jlips6 on 5/14/2008 10:54:18 PM , Rating: 1
having to marry someone to have sex is still ridiculous. *sigh* Just sign me up for the church of the flying spaghetti monster.


RE: Just an observation here.
By nstott on 5/15/2008 2:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
If you're going to be a one-sourcer, how about not having it be the encyclopedia anybody can edit.

This is a reasonable essay/blog on Mormonism and sexuality (also read the comments):

http://mormonmatters.org/2008/03/17/prophetic-coun...

BTW, Mormons do not believe sex is evil.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/14/2008 3:19:58 PM , Rating: 3
The Rev. Wright issue doesn't change anything...

The Rev. Wright issue isn't going to change anyone's opinion of Obama much one way or the other. People who claim that they wouldn't vote for Obama after the Rev. Wright controversy probably wouldn't have voted for Obama BEFORE the Rev. Wright controversy anyway.

Most people are able to see beyond that crap anyway, and Obama has already denounced his comments.


RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:26:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Obama has already denounced his comments.


Simply saying you denounce them and actually doing so are two different things. If I smoke crack for 20 years and then call all drug users bad people, does that absolve me of the fact that I smoked crack for 20 years?

If he had gone to that church and left it a long time ago, I wouldn't hold it against him. But to claim he went there for 20 years and didn't know anything about it, and only now to denounce it? How big of an idiot do I have to be to believe that he's sincere?


RE: Just an observation here.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/14/2008 3:38:22 PM , Rating: 3
I'd rather not get into a political discussion, but most people have already moved past the Rev. Wright issue. There are more pressing matters facing our nation (war, the failing economy, housing slump/foreclosures, health care, America's stature with the rest of the world, etc.) than the ranting of Obama's pastor.

But like I sad, the Rev. Wright matter is just a distraction. Given your tone, and your previous comments in other articles, I have a "hunch" that you aren't voting for Obama anyway. And you probably had no intention of voting for him before the Rev. Wright comments.

So Rev. Wright changed absolutely nothing.


RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
In the beginning of all this, he actually seemed ok. But then all the real truth about him has come out. His views, his ideology. But yes, I wasn't voting for him before that anyway.

But for those who are planning to, I think dismissing it is absurd. But yes, with him supporting things like the Global Poverty fund (will cost Americans $750B a year), universal health care, a bail out for people who made bad decisions on their mortgages, granting immunity to illegal aliens, being pro-global warming, wanting to raise my taxes, etc. the Rev. Wright thing is just the tip of the iceberg.

And the sad thing is McCain isn't much better. Hopefully he'll pair with a true conservative to keep him in check.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 4:43:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
America's stature with the rest of the world


Yes because thats what made America great, being loved by the rest of the world.

/sarcasm.

quote:
There are more pressing matters facing our nation


Not really. Its " TIME FOR A CHANGE " works on the weak minded who actually think there is some huge problem with this country that needs changing. In other words, Liberals. Three of those on your " pressing matters " list are actually problems now BECAUSE of liberalism. Especially healthcare.

People made this country great. Not government or policies. And until people like you understand that, and stop trying to " fix " everything with taxpayer money and more legislation, we'll always have those problems.

quote:
So Rev. Wright changed absolutely nothing.


Not true. It opened up a great many peoples eyes about who the man trying to be our next president associates himself with. A conservative having a few friends in the NRA and the catholic church causes a huge commotion these days. But we're supposed to just gloss over Obama's friendship with a man spewing insane anti-American and pro terrorist hate speech ? The double standard is insulting.


RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/15/2008 7:44:56 AM , Rating: 1
Well said.


RE: Just an observation here.
By zinfamous on 5/14/2008 6:22:05 PM , Rating: 3
Obama never claimed he didn't know anything about it. He claimed that he always had disagreements with some of Wright's rhetoric. People choose a particular church for different reasons. His intent was one of spirituality, which, for him, was apparently fulfilled through the church parishioners and that community.

Your putting words in his mouth. Watch that speech he gave about racism. It's about as level-headed and honest a perspective you will get from any presidential candidate concerning racism and culture wars in this country


RE: Just an observation here.
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/14/2008 4:10:49 PM , Rating: 1
Most people are able to see beyond that crap anyway, and Obama has already denounced his comments.

As a person that is suffers under his rule, I mean lives in Illinois, I can tell you yes, most logical people can see through this crap. Problem is there are too many anti-logical people out there.... Here are things to think about:
First time in office 2005 (fact, not one day earlier)
He said he voted against going to war in 2001/2002. With who? his wife at the kitchen table?? He was not in office.
In the 3 years he's been in office he has written two books and now has been running for the office of president for the last 20 months...When is he going to start working for the citizens of Illinois??
In this current year our taxes are going up 67% an average $3,350.00 per person in the state of Illinois (not all on income tax, but tobacco, beer, food, air, what he could raise the tax on he did), because he thinks he knows how to spend my money better then I do.

There is one truth – a vote for Obama is a vote for less money in your pocket...again, I'm living it.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Parhel on 5/14/2008 4:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
I live in the suburbs, in Cook county, and it's truly obscene how much they are getting away with. Property taxes and sales tax specifically are becoming out of control. I even find myself driving to DuPage county to go shopping.

I don't see how what that has to do with Obama though. He's in the federal government now. Those things are decided at the county and the local level. I would have liked to see him do something to prevent it, but I don't fault him for it either.


RE: Just an observation here.
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 4:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't see how what that has to do with Obama though. He's in the federal government now.


The point is that he is from the same political machine with the same idealogy. In other words, he will implement at the federal level what the citizens of Illinois are suffering through right now.


RE: Just an observation here.
By tdawg on 5/14/2008 7:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
There's a reason we have a government structured as we do. 3 branches with checks and balances between them is designed to keep one branch of government from getting away with whatever he/she wishes, populous be damned.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/14/2008 4:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
He's in the federal government now. Those things are decided at the county and the local level.

Taxes are also done at the state level....That's his spot.
Everything level of the government effect the taxes you pay. Do not try to protect the man from what he has done...He has vote Yes over 300 times in one year on things that would/will increase your taxes as a citizen of Illinois. He is for change, he wants everyone to be poor, very, very poor.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/14/2008 4:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Everything level of the government effect the taxes you pay

my bad, should be: every level...not everything level


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 5:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
Oh man I feel for you Illinoisians ( lol is that a word? )

The only reason he even got his seat in Illinois is because Sen Ryan had a nasty divorce with Jerry Ryan ( 7 of 9 ) and had to step down because a bunch of personal stuff about him was made public. Obama was just given it. Hes never had to win anything in his life. What little track record he has isn't good.

quote:
When is he going to start working for the citizens of Illinois??


Oh but he is ! Didn't you hear ? Chicago now has the highest sales tax in the COUNTRY.


By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 5:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obama was just given it.


Don't tell Alan Keyes that.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 5/14/2008 5:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Oh man I feel for you Illinoisians ( lol is that a word? )

It is now. :)


RE: Just an observation here.
By tdawg on 5/14/2008 4:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
It shouldn't matter what a candidate's religion is, since religion should be kept separate from government. As long as they are a good leader, it doesn't matter what their personal faith is.

Barack Obama's minister shouldn't tarnish his credibility any more than Catholic priests tarnish their paritioners' beliefs.


RE: Just an observation here.
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 5:03:04 PM , Rating: 1
A person's religion reveals that person's set of beliefs. A person's beliefs guides their policy choices. Thus, religion is an extremely important indicator of the policies you will get out of a politician. If one of the most important issues for me is to legalize drugs, I'm not going to vote for a candidate whose religion vigorously opposes the use of drugs.

The Catholic priests analogy you gave was faulty. Rev. Wright was Obama's self-proclaimed spiritual adviser and long time friend. Thus, it is fair to transpose Rev. Wright's beliefs onto Obama, because Obama has been taking advice from Wright for many years. If, however, Rev. Wright had been secretly committing wrongful acts in his private life, then it would not be fair to use those acts to tarnish Obama.


RE: Just an observation here.
By tdawg on 5/14/2008 7:29:29 PM , Rating: 3
A person can have good intentions and good ideals without a religion behind them. Equally important, a person can separate his/her personal beliefs from what needs to be done for the good of the citizens. George W Bush has shown that his religious ideals did not serve the best interests of the country. A good leader should be able to separate their personal desires from decisions that could effect millions.

Regarding Rev. Wright: have you never had a friend that has ever said something you don't agree with? It's obvious listening to Obama that Rev. Wrights perceptions of America have not been transposed on Obama. Believe it or not, Obama is able to construct his own views of the world, as is McCain, Clinton, you, me, whoever. There's absolutely nothing significant to the Rev. Wright mess; it's just a distraction that Clinton has, and McCain will, use to keep our focus off the issues that actually matter this election. If you believe that Rev. Wright means anything, you probably believe that it's a significant issue that Obama doesn't wear a flag pin either.


By phattyboombatty on 5/15/2008 10:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
have you never had a friend that has ever said something you don't agree with?

Sure, but Rev Wright wasn't simply Obama's friend. Obama has specifically said Rev Wright is an advisor. In other words, Obama goes (or used to go) to Rev Wright to get advice. That means that Obama respects the opinions of Rev Wright and gives deference to them. You don't take advice from someone you disagree with.

Following Obama's rejection of Rev Wright's controversial statements, Rev Wright has stated that he thinks Obama's rejection of those statements was purely for political purposes and that he doesn't think Obama really meant what he said. Personally, I don't think Obama agrees with a lot of Rev Wright's statements. My problem with Obama in this situation is that it shows that Obama is willing to compromise his own beliefs in order to get ahead politically. I think Obama knew full well that Rev Wright had many controversial views and chose to ignore them because attending that south side church and aligning himself with Rev Wright advanced his political career.

You are not the first that has called the Rev Wright fiasco a "distraction" from the "real" issues. I respectfully disagree. The most important consideration in selecting a President should be his/her character and ideals. Everything else is simply scripted speeches and statements carefully written by professional speech writers that means absolutely nothing. We all know that a President can campaign for months that he won't raise taxes and that means nothing after he's elected. I want to know what a candidate is like when they are off the record and not simply saying something for the benefit of the cameras. The best way to do this is to look at the candidate before they were in the public spotlight.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 5:05:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Barack Obama's minister shouldn't tarnish his credibility any more than Catholic priests tarnish their paritioners' beliefs.


Uhh I have been to a few Catholic masses in the past, and I don't ever recall the priest screaming " GODDAMN America GODDAMN America !! "


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/14/2008 7:23:09 PM , Rating: 1
Deuteronomy 5:11
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Psalms 139:20
For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

Doctrine and Covenants 63:61-62
Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips—
For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.
Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Hakuryu on 5/14/2008 2:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe, I was just thinking of that South Park episode.

I can't see why anyone would join LDS knowing that the founder gave the story of an angel telling him golden tablets existed in America that he could only read with special glasses (which apparently he found or already had).

Religions are full of nonsensical things, and while the Christian Church may explain away obvious fallacies like stating rain came from flood-gates in the heavens by claiming it is etiological- ie. claiming that the message is more important than the facts of the message, I myself call Shenanigans.

It's funny that no miracles on a grand scale (parting sea's, finding golden tablets) happen in an age where we could study them and actually say "we have no idea how this happened".


RE: Just an observation here.
By Parhel on 5/14/2008 3:21:26 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Religions are full of nonsensical things, and while the Christian Church may explain away obvious fallacies like stating rain came from flood-gates in the heavens by claiming it is etiological- ie. claiming that the message is more important than the facts of the message, I myself call Shenanigans.


It's important to consider figures of speech when reading anything, the Bible included. Too many people want to hold the Bible to a totally different standard of language then they would any other literature.

I'm not a Bible scholar, and I don't know what passage you're referring to. But did the author intend for the reader to believe that rain was being physically poured down from Heaven? Or, is it possibly a figure of speech where the rain is a simile and the intention is to show that God provides for our needs? Before you say that I'm backpeddling, consider which possibility makes more sense. If, to use a modern expression, the Bible said it was "raining cats and dogs," would you point to that as an example of how nonsensical the Bible is?


RE: Just an observation here.
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:29:49 PM , Rating: 3
I don't knock religion at all (except Scientology because it ain't one). Many people need to believe in a higher power for hope and guidance. Who am I to tell them they're wrong? I only ask they not force their beliefs on me.

However I don't consider "In God We Trust" on money or "One nation, under God" in the pledge as one's religion being thrust on me. This country was founded under Christian principles and has every right to remain that way. A vast minority has no right to change it.


RE: Just an observation here.
By RogueLegend on 5/14/2008 4:17:43 PM , Rating: 3
If a "minority" is "vast," doesn't that make it a majority, or at least close to one? (just a play on words here)

Personally, I am arelgious and I don't really care what's printed on the dollar. My main beef is that the idea of God is always implicitly a Christian idea. I think it is also disputable that this country was founded on Christian principles. The foundation of this country had very little to do with faith, and some of the "Christian" principles that it was founded on (i.e. slavery) were changed as history wore on- these changes started with vast minorities.

I really don't care about where God is put as far as money. In fact, it should be considered sacriledge to put God on money- but that's a separate argument I have with religion specifically. My main issue is the idea of "Christian" principles that it is claimed this country was founded upon.

But don't mistake my position as saying this country wasn't founded on SOME noble ideas- I just contest that they were Christian in nature.


RE: Just an observation here.
By OldProgrammer on 5/14/2008 5:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
It is a widely believed myth that this country was founded by Christians. In fact most of the founding fathers, including Jefferson who authored many of the documents that that have defined this great country, were Deists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

Deists still believed in a creator, but rejected all the BS that organized religions, like Christianity, had been foisting on their flocks of sheople. (Sheep + People)

It was the Age of Enlightenment and these were enlightened men. Enlightened men recognize that religions are created by men, not God, and they suffer from the faults and foibles of men.

Religions are inherently dangerous. People who think they know what God wants are dangerous. Religions promote Beliefs based on Faith not on Facts. When you start thinking and start asking hard questions you are told “God moves in mysterious ways” which is code for “Stop thinking and asking questions, just believe”.

If you think you know what God wants, and believe things for which you have no facts, it’s only a small step to flying an airplane full of people into a building full of people. Most of the conflict in the world is the result of religion.

I think rejection of organized religion is a sign of enlightenment. I suspect Obama is an enlightened man. Unfortunately the most oppressed religious beliefs in this country now are agnosticism, and atheism. No one could be elected in this country without mouthing the words about how important their faith is. Obama needed to join a church to run for office, and that one was one of the most popular at that time. I doubt that he ever listened to the nonsense that idiot spouted. You hear nonsense at every religious gathering no matter what the religion.

The worst offenders of course are the Republicans and their hero George Bush. They love to say what good Christians they are, but they support the rich over the poor. They send the bravest and the best of our young people to die, in a war based on lies, that kills hundreds of thousands. Then they ignore and neglect our returning veterans who bear physical and emotional wounds. They promote the use of torture. How can these actions be reconciled with the teachings of Christ?


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 9:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The worst offenders of course are the Republicans and their hero George Bush. They love to say what good Christians they are, but they support the rich over the poor. They send the bravest and the best of our young people to die, in a war based on lies, that kills hundreds of thousands. Then they ignore and neglect our returning veterans who bear physical and emotional wounds. They promote the use of torture. How can these actions be reconciled with the teachings of Christ?


Ok you sort of had me until this drivel.

Obama is an " enlightened " man and George Bush and his gang of loving Christians are the " worst offenders ". Hey, is there a name for this planet you live on ?

quote:
If you think you know what God wants, and believe things for which you have no facts, it’s only a small step to flying an airplane full of people into a building full of people. Most of the conflict in the world is the result of religion.


This takes the cake. I'm not a practicing Christian, but I'm honestly having a hard time picturing my mother, who goes to church 3 times a week, flying a plane into a building in the name of Jesus Christ. Are you trying to be offensive or are just an idiot ? There is a huge difference between " religion " and radical Islam and you damn well know it. Yes hundreds of years ago the Catholic church and other religions performed horrible acts. But guess what, that was HUNDREDS ( and sometimes thousands ) of years ago. They have moved on, radical Islam has not.

There is nothing inherently evil or dangerous about people that have faith or organized religion. If you don't believe, fine, neither do I. But I'm smart enough to realize that people who do pose no threat to me. Your attempt to tear down and vilify those who, in their minds, are seeking TRUE enlightenment is frankly insulting. The excuses you make for Obama are not only unsubstantiated but pure speculation is also offensive to anyone with common sense.

And the last time I checked, Republican was a political party, not a belief system of Christians. If I said Democrats were all atheists I would be as big as a bigot and moron as you are. Because its just not true.


RE: Just an observation here.
By OldProgrammer on 5/15/2008 8:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is a huge difference between " religion " and radical Islam and you damn well know it. Yes hundreds of years ago the Catholic church and other religions performed horrible acts. But guess what, that was HUNDREDS ( and sometimes thousands ) of years ago. They have moved on, radical Islam has not.


I'm sorry you are so blinded by your stereotypes and prejudice. Christians = peaceful, good. Muslims =Violent, bad. I'm certainly glad that your mother is a peaceful soul, but if you could lose your ethnocentric blinders you'd see that violent radical Christians are not an extinct archaic species.

Protestant and Catholic radicals killed each other for most of the twentieth century in Ireland. That is only the most notable of numerous conflicts involving Christians against Christians or against other sects throughout the world in the last century.

Just limiting ourselves to the United States and the last twenty years Eric Rudolph, James Kopp, and Rev. Paul Jennings Hill are the best known of more than a dozen bombers, murders and terrorists inspired by their radical Christian philosophies that can be found with a cursory search.

Timothy McVeigh identified himself with the Christian Patriot movement.

But of course the scariest of them all is that lunatic in the White House who claims he talks to God and God told him to invade Iraq and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/sto...

Can you open your mind long enough to wonder why a neutral observer would view Bush any differently than they view the guys flying planes into buildings screaming Allah?

While I thought my musings about Obama were clearly speculative, I’m still glad you managed to figure that out.

quote:
And the last time I checked, Republican was a political party, not a belief system of Christians. If I said Democrats were all atheists I would be as big as a bigot and moron as you are. Because its just not true.


This makes no sense. I never called Republicans “a belief system of Christians” I only pointed out the indisputable fact that most if not all loudly proclaim themselves Christians, especially George Bush and his biggest supporters.

But I do have to agree that you would be a moron if you called all Democrats Atheists because few if any have ever claimed to be one.


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/14/2008 7:12:39 PM , Rating: 1
Joseph Smith Jr. got the glasses (Urim and Thummim or Seer Stone) from the same place he got the plates, from the Hill Cummorah were he was directed to by an angel.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seer_stone_(Latter_Da...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urim_and_Thummim

Also Joseph Smith Jr. got so accustomed to the principle of revelation that he did not use the Urim and Thummim in later translations and revelations.


RE: Just an observation here.
By charlieee on 5/14/2008 7:20:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's funny that no miracles on a grand scale (parting sea's, finding golden tablets) happen in an age where we could study them and actually say "we have no idea how this happened".

Doctrine and Covenants 35:11
And the time speedily cometh that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men;
But without faith shall not anything be shown forth except desolations upon Babylon…


RE: Just an observation here.
By Some1ne on 5/14/2008 5:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but is believing that the book of mormon is the word of god any more dumb than believing that the bible is? Or the torah? Or the qur'an? The only real difference is that some "dumb" things have become more widely popularized than others. It doesn't mean that they're not all equally dumb, though, when viewed in an objective way.

However, perhaps a better way of judging the worth of a belief system isn't to look at its popularity, or whether or not its origin stories are logically plausible, but instead to look at whether the social/moral beliefs it endorses are reasonable/beneficial. In this metric, the mormons score about the same as any other organized religion (maybe slightly less, since they tend to be a bit stricter about a handful of things), despite the rather stupid/implausible origin of their faith.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Noya on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Just an observation here.
By arazok on 5/14/2008 2:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno. I'm starting to feel that these people are the victims of a witch hunt. I know polygamy is illegal, and I see why most find it repugnant, but these people have been doing their thing for a long time without bothering anyone. We've let them be for so long, why are we suddenly storming their communities and taking their kids?

I'm really torn on the issue. Personally, I think marrying 16 year olds, and having 50 kids is totally wacked. However, I think the reality is that these people are trapped in the past, and this isn't abnormal by their standards. I certainly don't get the impression that anybody living in these communities feels trapped, victimized, or abused. This is just the way they live.

They are defiantly not a cult of child beating pedophiles as the media likes to paint it.


RE: Just an observation here.
By Etsp on 5/14/2008 3:01:59 PM , Rating: 3
LDS aren't polygamists anymore, FLDS are, and FLDS are the ones that have been raided. What does the F stand for? Fundementalist. You are confusing the two entities that are very similar in beliefs and origin, but very different in practice.


RE: Just an observation here.
By nbachman on 5/14/2008 3:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
The FLDS are polygamists (fundamental). The LDS is the mainstream Mormon church. The two do not get along very well and should not be lumped together.


RE: Just an observation here.
By arazok on 5/14/2008 3:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well, don't I feel dumb. I'll save that post for another article. ;)


RE: Just an observation here.
By OrSin on 5/14/2008 3:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I think the LDS are just as crazy. They changed basicly fundamentals of thier religious to fit into our already messed up system. Their is nothing wrong with poligamy. The way these Sect are doing them is whats wrong. And for the record I dont believe in an religion. But you going to have one at least stand up for it.


RE: Just an observation here.
By stonemetal on 5/14/2008 3:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
"I certainly don't get the impression that anybody living in these communities feels trapped, victimized, or abused."

Certainly not the ones calling the cops filing reports of rape and child abuse, surely they don't give the impression of being abused or victimized in any way.


By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 4:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure that was just a bored individual playing a prank. I remember reading that a lady in Colorado was being investigated for faking that call.

Seriously, how would a young girl in that backwards/isolated community have any idea how to call social services to report the conduct?


RE: Just an observation here.
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 9:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm really torn on the issue. Personally, I think marrying 16 year olds, and having 50 kids is totally wacked. However, I think the reality is that these people are trapped in the past, and this isn't abnormal by their standards. I certainly don't get the impression that anybody living in these communities feels trapped, victimized, or abused. This is just the way they live.


Thats fine, but we're a country of laws and society. You can either choose to live within the rules or get out or face " persecution " as you call it. Somewhere a line has to be drawn. And I think, legally as well as morally, impregnating minors en mass in large colonies pretty much qualifies as crossing those lines.

This reminds me of a news story I heard where Islamic grocery store workers in some city, I can't remember, were refusing to ring up pork products that customers brought to the check out line. Oh hell-no. This is America and things don't work that way. That story angered me so much. The idea that someone, because of their religious belief, was going to tell me I couldn't buy something at their very store because of their religion.... oh man, that really angers me.

quote:
I certainly don't get the impression that anybody living in these communities feels trapped, victimized, or abused.


Of course they don't. Thats why its called a cult.


Religion
By BSMonitor on 5/14/2008 4:32:31 PM , Rating: 1
Unfortunately with the evolution of self-awareness came the understanding of losing that self in death... Fear of that inevitable loss lead to the need to rationalize it, somehow.

Funny that religion and rational rarely cross paths.




RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/14/2008 4:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
An atheist is just as irrational as a theist. The only rational answer to the question of religion is - I don't know. The problem (hubris) that atheists and theists have in common is that they think they know whats going on (either there positively is no god or a god). Here is what I know - I have never seen, smelled, tasted, touched or heard god. I can think and imagine god. Now, how can I positively decided whether god exists given my limited experiences? Why are your faculties and experiences Instead in believing in a god or believing in no god, just say i do not believe either way. The word "belief" is also a horrible word. Belief implies faith. Faith implies a lack of knowledge since you wouldnt need faith if you have knowledge.


RE: Religion
By Kanti on 5/14/2008 5:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
VERY well said, couldn't agree more.

I will give atheists credit though for being less crazy than theists, they at least don't have to jump through a lot of hoops, waste a lot of money, promote any bigotries, or start any wars for their irrational belief system. It doesn't make them any more right, but it does make them less dangerous.

And you can always tell which belief system is the craziest, and falls the furthest from modern rationality, by how thin skinned it's surrogates are. Just look at this thread, and how foaming-at-the-mouth incensed the mormons are, it's clear they're over compensating for the obvious and embarrassing problems with their faiths' organized power structure. Another example that proves the point is of course scientologists, who can't take any sort of criticism at all without threatening legal action.

It's always rough for religions that start out as blatant and obvious scams, they're always fighting for credibility.


RE: Religion
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 5:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's always rough for religions that start out as blatant and obvious scams, they're always fighting for credibility.


Yeah, it's a lot easier when your leader rises from the dead. Instant credibility.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/14/2008 5:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
Does David Blaine have a religion yet? How many times has he come back from the dead?


RE: Religion
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 5:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
I was sold on Blaine as soon as he levitated, way before he ever came back from the dead.


RE: Religion
By masher2 (blog) on 5/15/2008 10:07:05 AM , Rating: 2
> "An atheist is just as irrational as a theist. The only rational answer to the question of religion is - I don't know"

Such a statement flies in the face of both logic and the modern scientific method, which tells us to believe in that only for which we have direct evidence.

If you ask a scientist if he believes in the law of gravity, he replies yes...even though that theory (and indeed all others) is not established beyond all shadow of a doubt. Likewise, if you ask him if he believes that hundreds of cloned baby Hitlers are living inside the moon, he doesn't say "well, its possible"; he says "no, because no evidence for such exists".

Atheism is merely a practical application of the scientific method to the ontology of a deity. With no evidence to support a belief, atheists quite rightly refuse to indulge.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 11:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
You prove my point.

Is there evidence that god does not exist? No. So why would I hold a belief that has no evidence? Beliefs are powerful yet stupid things. I don't have a belief period.

Atheists are indulging because they have a belief with no evidence (just like the theists).

Look - its just a kink in language here. I'm a non-theist or a non-believer - I just dont have a belief either way because there is no direct evidence either way. So why waste my time and energy and have a "belief" about it? I am happy entertaining the "idea" of god. Its less stressful - I am less invested in the topic - and I am not limited by the confines of my belief or what I think I know to be true.

Theists and atheists are like gamblers - betting on opposite outcomes. A non-theist doesn't gamble because the outcome is indeterminable. A non-theist doesn't play the game of religion - he is busy with other stuff which are determinable. Why would science waste its time on an outcome thats indeterminable - I'll tell you why. The journey teaches you plenty about the universe.

Practically speaking - there is no difference between an atheist and a non-theist. We both live in a world where the existence of god (or any "fictional" character) doesn't matter - we don't have beliefs in his existence/non-existence, while you believe in his non-existence.

Non-theism is the only solution when applying logic and the modern scientific method to the ontology of a deity. Scientific method and logic don't tell me what to believe - they tell me what works with the universe. Newtonian mechanics worked for a long time - then Einstein comes around. Then comes quantum theory. Having beliefs only hinders logic and the scientific method. Just stick to ideas.


RE: Religion
By masher2 (blog) on 5/15/2008 12:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
> "You prove my point. Is there evidence that god does not exist?"

You are mistaken. There is no such thing as a negative proof, in religion or any other subject under the sun. Under such a ludicrously meretricious belief system, we would be forced to say we cannot believe in anything whatsoever.

Is the 16-year old stockboy at my local supermarket a secret agent of the Lithuanian Government? I can never conclusively prove he is not -- but only a fool would refuse to express a belief that he is not, on such shallow grounds.

As Richard Dawkins puts it, "There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"

> "Newtonian mechanics worked for a long time - then Einstein comes around. Then comes quantum theory. Having beliefs only hinders logic and the scientific method"

Had we not believed in Newtonian mechanics, however, we would have never progressed beyond it. A man without beliefs is a man without a rational thought in his head. One cannot function without a system of beliefs.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 12:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the point. Beliefs are stupid. Your belief about the 16 year old school boy is stupid. I should define stupid. Stupid means the truth value of the thing in question is irrelevant. In my belief system, stupid questions would not be asked - its just a language game. There is no room for negative beliefs - a belief in the non-existence of something. Its not a belief worth forming or considering - because if you do believe it, then its actual truth value is irrelevant to you. Its the problem with beliefs - let's stick to exchange of ideas instead of war of beleifs - out to lunch - would like to continue discussion later.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 2:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
You are mistaken. You are making the negative proof (I think). What is the atheist's argument for god's non-existence? Wouldn't the argument be "God does not exist (the atheist's proposition) because there is no evidence that he does exist (negative proof - logical fallacy) OR there is evidence of A, B and C (false attribution - think problem of free will, evil, whatever - problems which could be explained by other forces other than the non-existence of god)." That is not what I am saying.

My argument is - The question of the existence of god as we currently understand it has no answer - to take such a strong stance (which a belief is) where we don't have good answers either way is stupid. The question itself has no answer (yet). Currently, the question is stupid. We can look for answers, but to form a belief of the outcome without experiencing/knowing it is stupid, and atheists become just as irrational as the theists.

My proposed belief system is not ludicrous - i just destroy the word "belief" and put it into two camps - either knowledge of existence or idea of existence. For example, I know "I" exist and "you" exist (I don't know what "I" or "you" are, but I know "we" exist - we could be the figments of someone's imagination, but that does not deny our existence, just type of existence).

We are talking about existence of things, not characteristics of things. The relevant question would be "Does there exist a stock boy?" That's easy enough to answer. Whether he is a secret agent of the Lithuanian government - its actually possible to find out. Is it possible to find out god's existence? No, and maybe never, or according to some religions, after we die.

Again, I would like to point out that our positions are not so different. Maybe its just cool to say you're an atheist, and not so cool to say your a non-theist.

Fools express beliefs on things they don't know. Intelligent people express ideas on things they would like to know about. Ideas can be changed a lot easier than beliefs.

A man without beliefs is an enlightened man. A man without ideas is a man without a rational thought in his head. Most of science is based on ideas on how reality is. There was an idea back then that the earth was flat - look how dangerous it was for Galileo to change that idea. Its because it wasnt an idea, but a belief. Everntually it changed, but it should not have been that difficult.


RE: Religion
By charlieee on 5/15/2008 3:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
These are sufficient evidences for believe in God and his words: prophecies coming true (John 14:29); the words or testimonies of at least two priests (Deut. 19:15; D&C 5:15,18); miracles(3 Nephi 7:18; DC 93:5; John 10:25); and the promptings of the Holy Ghost (D&C 136:33; Luke 12:10; Alma 32:35) in direct communication with the individual. After all these evidences are given, after awhile(Isa. 8:16; D&C 133:72-74), an individual will have no opportunity to enter into Heaven forever and in these last days shall know the Day of the Lord (Isa. 13:6,9; D&C 88:84).

John 14:29
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

Luke 5:24
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

John 14:10-11
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

Revelation 11:3
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
---------------
Romans 14:11
…As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 3:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
Ok. Arguments for the Christian god is not evidence that god exists. You want me to believe in the existence of god? Let one of my 5 senses tell me god exists, not the words of other people that I don't know or trust. On an issue as important as this, I would not rely on the word of anyone else. This is something I need to see for myself. I would ask no less. If some stranger told me he saw an alien, I wouldn't believe him without questioning him. If some ex from my past come with a baby and told me he was mine, I wouldn't take her word for it. And I would say that these issues, when compared to god, are smaller in importance. Why I would give lesser scrutiny to something of greater importance? Out of fear? conformity?

Just makes no sense, and I would think that god would/should make perfect sense. I'm not good enough for god to show himself to me? Nobody is? Then he is not a god worth believing (or not beleiving) in. Show us now god - why did you do it sooo long ago, but not now?


RE: Religion
By charlieee on 5/15/2008 5:19:23 PM , Rating: 2
Doctrine and Covenants 18:10
…the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

D&C 45:10,15-16,33,37-44,48-53
Wherefore, come ye unto it, and with him that cometh I will reason as with men in days of old, and I will show unto you my strong reasoning.
Wherefore, hearken and I will reason with you, and I will speak unto you and prophesy, as unto men in days of old.
And I will show it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh, and spake unto them, saying: As ye have asked of me concerning the signs of my coming, in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds of heaven, to fulfil the promises that I have made unto your fathers…
And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another….
Ye look and behold the figtrees, and ye see them with your eyes, and ye say when they begin to shoot forth, and their leaves are yet tender, that summer is now nigh at hand;
Even so it shall be in that day when they shall see all these things, then shall they know that the hour is nigh.
And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.
And they shall see signs and wonders, for they shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath.
And they shall behold blood, and fire, and vapors of smoke.
And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven.
And the remnant shall be gathered unto this place;
And then they shall look for me, and, behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels; and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.
And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake.
And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.
And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.
And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.

quote:
Astronomers announced today that there are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe, or some 70 thousand million million million.… This is not the total number of stars in the universe, but it's the number within range of our telescopes…

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/star_count_0...

D&C 76:24
That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.


RE: Religion
By OldProgrammer on 5/15/2008 4:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Is this post a joke or is it supposed to make sense? It starts:
quote:
These are sufficient evidences for believe in God and his words: prophecies coming true


I would have thought this would be followed by examples of prophecies that came true, but instead it's followed with what seem like random Bible quotes.

Come on, tell me about the prophecies that came true, I want the scales to fall from my eyes.


RE: Religion
By charlieee on 5/15/2008 7:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
I try not to sum up some scriptures at times in the hope that people will study them on their own because I consider my posts a resource tool. But to make it seem less random I will sum up only the quotes displayed.

John 14:29 shows that God considers fulfilled prophecy as evidence or a cause to believe in him.
Luke 5:24 shows Jesus performing a miracle after he forgives a person. This is what Alfred Edersheim has to say on the issue:
quote:
In this forgiveness of sins he presented his person and authority as divine and he proved it such by the miracle of healing which immediately followed. Had the two been inverted, had Christ first healed the man and afterward told him that his sins were forgiven there would have been evidence indeed of his power but not of his divine personality nor of his having authority to forgive sins and this, not the doing of miracles, was the object of his teaching and mission of which the miracles were only secondary evidence. …rise take up thy bed and walk. Yet this latter assuredly proved the former and gave it in the sight of all men unquestioned reality. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah p349.

In John 14:10-11 Christ is saying to believe in him due to the evidence of miracles and that miracles are evidence that the Father works through him.
Revelation 11:3 fulfilles God's law of two witness which is, 'In the mouth of two or three witness every word shall be established.' And shows the use of prophecy as a tool for belief at a yet future day.
Romans 14:11 says that eventually everyone will believe that Jesus is the Christ. I will add this includes the living or those who have died in earth's history.

The scriptures in brackets in my previous post above are worth reading to get a more complete picture.

You may wish to google for, "fulfilled prophecy". However I will sum up some prophecies yet to be fulfulled for you to keep an eye on: Persecution of the people of God such as there has never been in the history of the earth; sacrifices again in the temple; Plagues; hail; famine; Wormwood(99942 Asteroid Apophis NASA says unlikely) that poisons a large water supply killing lots of people; a world earthquake; false christs; a new temple in Jerusalem.

LDS specific prophecies fulfilled: Malichi 4:5 was fulfilled after the Kirtland temple was built; Joseph Smith's mission was prophesied:
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fc...


RE: Religion
By OldProgrammer on 5/15/2008 4:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are making the negative proof (I think).


You think wrong. I actually agree with part of what you say, so I'll try to help you understand your logical fallacies.

quote:
Wouldn't the argument be "God does not exist (the atheist's proposition) because there is no evidence that he does exist (negative proof - logical fallacy)


No. Theists have a proposition "God exists" which they believe and Atheists do not. You seem to think that rejecting the proposition "God exists" implies acceptance of the proposition “God does not exist” but this is a logical fallacy.

"God exists" and “God does not exist” are two separate propositions. While it is impossible to accept both propositions it is quite possible to reject both. From what you have written it appears that you yourself reject both.

While this may dismay you, if you don’t believe the proposition “God Exists” you are an Atheist.

Many if not most Atheists would be too smart to propose that “God does not exist” because it requires a negative proof, another logical fallacy.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 4:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
We are essentially saying the same thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

I am interpreting atheism to mean definition 1 - affiriming the non-existence of gods. You are interpreting atheism as to what I call nontheism (and so does the article), the absence of belief - definition 2. According to wiki - both interpretations are accurate. As you can read, I have been a proponent of your third way - rejecting both propositions. I have been attacking both defintion 1 atheists and theists. Hence, the only logical fallacy is a semantic dispute, which has been cleared up.

We both agree that atheism defintion number 1 could lead to a logical fallacy - and is therefore irrational (which is what I was pointing out from the beginning). When I typically hear the term atheist, I think of definition 1, not defintion 2.

Alas, a problem of linguistics is solved. We are both right and wrong - which is another way of saying this was not a right/wrong type of issue, but an understanding/misunderstanding type of issue.

Why would I be dismayed over a lingustic issue? I haven't done a poll on what other "atheists" think. Polls have been done according to the article - take a look.


RE: Religion
By Yossarian22 on 5/18/2008 2:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What is the atheist's argument for god's non-existence? Wouldn't the argument be "God does not exist (the atheist's proposition) because there is no evidence that he does exist (negative proof - logical fallacy) OR there is evidence of A, B and C (false attribution - think problem of free will, evil, whatever - problems which could be explained by other forces other than the non-existence of god)."

Try "There is no reason to believe in God, therefore I will not".
If God is natural, God is irrelevant to me. If God is supernatural, I still have no reason to believe in him, as I cannot differentiate between a natural event of supernatural origins and a vanilla natural event. Either way, God is irrelevant, unwarranted, and/or superfluous.
quote:
My argument is - The question of the existence of god as we currently understand it has no answer - to take such a strong stance (which a belief is) where we don't have good answers either way is stupid.

There cannot even be an answer to this question, as we cannot confirm either way. The null must be non-existence. The scientific method demands it.
quote:
Fools express beliefs on things they don't know. Intelligent people express ideas on things they would like to know about. Ideas can be changed a lot easier than beliefs.

Only a fool refuses to take his system to logical conclusion.
quote:
My proposed belief system is not ludicrous - i just destroy the word "belief" and put it into two camps - either knowledge of existence or idea of existence.

quote:
A man without beliefs is an enlightened man.

Ah, so you can make this claim only by butchering what belief means?
A man without beliefs has nothing except the ability to wallow in his own incoherence.

Under your system you must be agnostic about my existence, or the existence about anything. You have no way on confirming whether or not I or your computer exists. You are just forced to act like they do in order to retain some semblance of coherency. I would rather not butcher my belief system solely to accommodate theism.


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/20/2008 3:13:21 AM , Rating: 2
You are using a classic example of a logical fallacy - negative proof - X is false because there is no proof that X is true. This is appropriate in crim law - not in god speak. What reasons fo god's existence would be acceptable? What is supernatural? Didn't people long ago think people flying was supernatural? Choose less subjective words.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_proof

quote:
There cannot even be an answer to this question, as we cannot confirm either way. The null must be non-existence. The scientific method demands it.


I think there is an answer - we just haven't discovered it. Don't be so close minded as those who believe unequivocally of God's existence. To say there cannot be answer is to foreclose a possibility unnecessarily. You also put too much faith in the scientific method.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method#Phi...

A man with beliefs wallows in his own incoherence, insignificance, and inconsistence. Just look at how many religions we have, and how many denominations and internal contradictions. Beliefs are what causing the problem, not a lack of belief.

Under my system - I know you exist, or rather something exists, because you reponded to me. My computer exists because I interact with it directly. The only thing which forces me to acknowledge their existences is my direct experience with them. I'd be an irrational idiot to turn a blind eye to it. I am not that narrow minded.


RE: Religion
By Yossarian22 on 5/20/2008 10:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are using a classic example of a logical fallacy - negative proof - X is false because there is no proof that X is true.

The fallacy game eh?
Anyhow, I am not making a negative proof at all. I am stating that belief god is not a concept that can be justified. So no negative proof here. I am not going to bludgeon you over the head with methodological naturalism.
quote:
I think there is an answer - we just haven't discovered it.

quote:
Such a stunning refutation of my argument. Oh wait, you just said "I think otherwise". Color me unimpressed.
quote:
What reasons fo god's existence would be acceptable? What is supernatural? Didn't people long ago think people flying was supernatural? Choose less subjective words.

Look up the bloody word in the dictionary or use the bloody latin roots. Super- above. Nature- the physical world. That is not subjective at all.
quote:
You also put too much faith in the scientific method.

So? Everybody must have faith. I just have much less faith than you or a theist.

quote:
Under my system - I know you exist, or rather something exists, because you reponded to me.

Doh, You just begged the question. Do try again. You presupposed existence of the computer right there
quote:
My computer exists because I interact with it directly.

Really? And you know you are not simply dreaming how? You know that your senses are not lying to you how?
quote:
The only thing which forces me to acknowledge their existences is my direct experience with them. I'd be an irrational idiot to turn a blind eye to it. I am not that narrow minded.

Congrats. You just proved my case. The belief that reality exists is a justifiable belief. Belief in God is not.


RE: Religion
By Yossarian22 on 5/20/2008 10:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
Doh...
Didn't notice my quote screw up. I hope that is still sorta readable


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/21/2008 5:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
The belief in god is not justifiable - I agree. The belief in no god is equally unjustifiable. The only justifiable position is "I don't have a belief either way to God/Santa/Unicorn's existence." Then, you move on with your daily life with more important issues. Humans should not make beliefs on things they don't know the answer to. Beliefs influence perception, which may blind you to other answers and phenomona.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural

Supernatural pertains to entities, events or powers regarded as beyond nature, in that they cannot be explained by the laws of the natural world. To me, the "supernatural" shrinks in size as we accumulate more knowledge regarding knowledge of the natural world. The natural/supernatural distinction is really not worth talking about since it appears to be based on human's lack of knowledge of reality.

The atheist's "faith" in no god is the same amount of "faith" that the theist's have in the existence of god. You are two sides of the same coin - you both have faith (i.e. no knowledge) of god's existence/nonexistence. I have no faith (which is less faith than you have) here because I am not committed to either proposition. Also, I don't foreclose on the possibility of actually knowing the answer one day.

There is a huge difference between the question of actual existence and the question of the nature of something's existence. I know you exist because of your response to my post. I don't know the nature of your existence - where you live, your gender, whether you are just a figment in my dream. Bottom line - you exist - i just don't know how/what you are. When we talk about god's existence, we are talking about whether he exists - not what s/he is like. My senses cannot lie to me about your actual existence - but they can lie to me regarding the nature of your existence.


RE: Religion
By Yossarian22 on 5/22/2008 1:06:07 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The belief in god is not justifiable - I agree. The belief in no god is equally unjustifiable

You have failed to demonstrate this.
I showed fairly clearly that the concept of God offers us nothing regardless of its existence. So my disbelief is totally justified.
quote:
Supernatural pertains to entities, events or powers regarded as beyond nature, in that they cannot be explained by the laws of the natural world. To me, the "supernatural" shrinks in size as we accumulate more knowledge regarding knowledge of the natural world.

From here on in, we are not going to be using the terminology in its common usage. We are talking philosophy.

First off, if it happened in the natural world, it is a natural event (caused by unknown means). We cannot differentiate between a natural event caused by natural causes and a natural event caused by supernatural causes.
A supernatural event cannot be viewed by us in the natural world. So the concept of the supernatural is fundamentally incoherent.

God must either be supernatural or natural. If God is supernatural, the concept becomes incoherent. If God is natural, it is nothing more then a set of natural laws and should be treated as such. The concept of God is therefore unnecessary and superfluous.

That is the argument that justifies my disbelief. If you cannot refute it, then you have no position.
quote:
Then, you move on with your daily life with more important issues. Humans should not make beliefs on things they don't know the answer to.

What a disgusting bit of pretense. Of course we all have beliefs about things we cannot confirm. Can we confirm the existence of the universe? Can we confirm the existence of each other? Can we confirm the validity of our experience? Can we confirm the validity of our memory?
We cannot confirm the answer to any one of those questions. If you do not believe in anything that you cannot confirm, you are nothing more than an empty shell with nothing. You are obviously not this, so you do have beliefs. The fact that you just responded to me proves it.

Philosophical skepticism is worthless in the world. Nobody pauses to wonder whether their perception of oncoming traffic is correct while while at a street light.

And again, yelling "You have as much faith as a theist!" loudly and repeatedly does not make it true.
Here are my premises
1: Our experience is valid
2: The only way to reach objective reality to is seek inter-subjective verifiability.

That is it. Those two bits of information are the only two things I have faith in. Everything else I derive from those two sentences. So tell me? How do I have more faith than you? If you doubt 1: then you are incoherent. 2 is subject for debate, but it is hardly a controversial statement (objective does not mean absolute).
quote:
There is a huge difference between the question of actual existence and the question of the nature of something's existence.

That does not address my points. You don't know that I responded to your post. Your experience tells you that, but perhaps your experience is lying? You can't confirm the nature of my existence at all without presupposing the validity of something else. Be it thought, senses, experience, memory, whatever.
quote:
My senses cannot lie to me about your actual existence

That is not a fact, that is a belief. You cannot confirm the validity of your senses (as you can only test your senses by utilizing your senses, which presupposes that your senses are correct)


RE: Religion
By PICBoy on 5/16/2008 11:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
So, do you think that agnostics have the worst point of view?

What I know (and correct me if I'm wrong please) is that atheist don't BELIEVE there is a God but they can't PROVE He doesn't exist. And agnostics beleive that this knowledge inherently unknowable because of it's nature.

Agnostic can be seen as a little afraid or uncertain of taking sides with atheist or theist but in the end, they only apply this philosophy to metaphysical matters. Right?


RE: Religion
By larcen007 on 5/16/2008 1:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
There are so many definitions of atheists.

Look at this article and the article i mentioned in a previous post. Interesting read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheism

It does a good job of breaking down different types of non-theists. Strong atheists vs. weak atheists, strong agnostic vs. weak agnostic. The most rational (albeit imprecise considering the flexibility) position would be the weak agnositic - not having a belief in the existence/non-existence of god AND not necessarily impossible to know whether god exists/doesn't exist.

Atheists and agnostics agree with each other on a high level - the rejection of any organized religion which attempts to use fear/fear in love's clothing to promote a value system without appealling to reason.

The one thing I wish more religions had was polygamy - go Mormons (without the alleged child abuse). I wouldn't mind converting to Mormon, if I could be a "non-practicing" Mormon. If California's court can overturn a ban on gay marriage, then why not overturn the ban on multiple marriages? Who is the state to tell me how to organize my family?


Secret Cults
By nbachman on 5/14/2008 2:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
I remember reading in the book Freakonomics by Stephen D Levitt about the fall of the Ku Klux Klan. Stephen contributes the fall of the KKK to the release of their secret information to the public. Some radio show host had a person go undercover and would broadcast the secrets.

Whenever I read about the leaks from The Church of Scientology and the LDS this always pops into my mind. Why do these "churches" need secrets in the first place?




RE: Secret Cults
By PitViper007 on 5/14/2008 3:50:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why do these "churches" need secrets in the first place?


Why does the government keep secrets? Why do companies keep secrets? Why do you? I'm sure you have things that you'd not particularly like to have flaunted out in public, just as anyone does. If you're like most people, they probably aren't damning, but you still don't want them out there do you?

The question shouldn't be why do they need secrets, but why do people think they have a right to the secrets that others have.


RE: Secret Cults
By larcen007 on 5/14/2008 4:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
No - the question is why people think there is a right to secrets to begin with. Some easy examples to point to.

Security - I invent a new atom bomb, and i decide to patent it. I am former muslim who converted to christianity. Do we really want this information available to the general (muslim) public?

Privacy - the thorniest reason. If I can't know your dirty laundry, you can't know mine. I wouldn't mind living in a world where there were no privacy rights - i.e. everyone knows (or can know) everyone's business - what's there to protect really (other than security)?

What other reasons for secrets? Liberty? Identity? Power? Truth?

Bottom line - the question is interesting, but the possible answers are more interesting.


RE: Secret Cults
By PitViper007 on 5/15/2008 10:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm...How about the 4th amendment to the US Constitution?

quote:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


My interpretation, unless there is probable cause to think otherwise, your secrets, whether written or otherwise, are your own, unless YOU decide otherwise.

And Yes I'm well aware that many people here are not from the US, however the LDS Church is a predominantly US one. So forgive me if I apply the rule of law of my own country to this.


RE: Secret Cults
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 11:14:48 AM , Rating: 2
you missed the point. I can point to a piece of paper and say "That is why its so - because the paper says so." I am not asking whether secrets are protected - obviously they are. I am asking why they are protected - you have the attroney client privilege and doctor patient privilege. There are good reasons in those cases to keep it secret. The question is - why should the practices of a religion be kept secret? Only reason i can think of is security - people judge others too harshly at times regading their religion. Is that what the Mormons fear?


RE: Secret Cults
By masher2 (blog) on 5/15/2008 4:44:21 PM , Rating: 3
You're missing the point entirely. Whatever the motivation for the Mormon action, the legal basis for it is copyright law, not "protection of secrets". A copyrighted handbook is the property of the authors and their assigns, and theirs to control how they wish.

If another person wishes to writeup their own synopsis of these "secrets" and post them online (or in any other fashion) that is certainly within their right to do so. Copyright law doesn't protect secrets, it protects a particular expression only.


RE: Secret Cults
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 5:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wow - ok. Let's set something straight. I agree there are copyright issues here which trump any secrecy debate here. The copyright issues are not interesting here becuase it appears they copied and published without permission. Slam dunk case.

The more interesting discussion is about the right to secrets, which was the point of the originally commenter (sp?), and which i continued to explore. You and I are in agreement about the copyright issue.


RE: Secret Cults
By Xtremist on 5/14/2008 5:02:33 PM , Rating: 3
You're getting secrets confused with privacy. All of the stuff contained in that document is fairly general knowledge to most LDS members. And what isn't can easily be found out by just asking.

But you can't blame them for wanting it to remain PRIVATE with such half-brained responses as have been posted here...


RE: Secret Cults
By larcen007 on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Secret Cults
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 8:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People are giving half-brained responses because the Mormons don't educate the everday person (i.e. keeping it secret).


Aaaaand those 20 year old guys that ride around in suits on bicycles are doing what, again? The fact that so few are willing to listen to what they have to say is pretty good proof that the world doesn't *want* to know the truth about Mormons. After all, it's easier to listen to the lunatic in times square shouting out what he thinks. Particularly if that's what everyone else is doing.


RE: Secret Cults
By larcen007 on 5/15/2008 11:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
I dont think i made my point clear. I don't care about the Mormon religion - but that doesn't give me license to make half-brained responses. People make stupid remarks all the time - just don't let it bother you.

But if you expect society as whole will change and to be accepting of your values - you have to do more than give access to the information. Let's face it - people are mostly idiots and like good marketing and packagaing. Everyone (hopefully) knows. If you don't expect society to accept your values - then don't complain when they dont. And if you are like me, you don't care either way so everyone go on and be happy.

Bottom line - half-brained responses come from a miscommunication between the church and the half-wits. You cannot just blame one party or the other. To refuse responsbility is to put yourselves on the level of your enemy.


RE: Secret Cults
By chronicon on 5/14/2008 9:03:26 PM , Rating: 3
Let's see...

"Mormons don't educate the everyday person..."

Hmmm... Well, why not try some of the other "super-secret" manuals & materials under the Gospel Library section at http://lds.org

All the LDS education you could possibly want. You'll even find policy & procedure stuff all over the place in there if you look for it--you know, if that's your thing, which seems to be all the rage here at the moment.

Personally, I am much more interested in the teachings of the Church then I am about how to run meetings. But that's just me...


Offended
By MrCsharp on 5/14/2008 4:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
I am personally offended by this article trying to portray this church, with the best humanitarian aid efforts of all religions on earth, as one that is secretive and unhealthy for americans and painting in the same light as scientology.

A purely negative tone towards a very positive church.




RE: Offended
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 4:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am personally offended by this article trying to portray this church, with the best humanitarian aid efforts of all religions on earth


'Congrats. While managing to describe how offended you are, you just offended probably tens of millions of others with an outlandish statement like this one.

Man, you have a gift.


RE: Offended
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 4:39:14 PM , Rating: 4
I am so sick of people who are "personally offended" by every little thing these days. Seriously, I think the world is now composed of the greatest percentage of pussies in the history of the world. Grow a pair and stop bitching. Don't seize on the slightest negative tone to proclaim to the world that you are offended. There's got to be other people that agree with me on this, otherwise we are in worse shape than I thought.

Whatever happened to being confident in your beliefs and knowing who you are? It just seems that people used to have a lot thicker skin back in the day.

As Jason Mick stated in a post above, if you disagree with any of the points he made, point them out and explain why you think anything is incorrect.


RE: Offended
By bhieb on 5/14/2008 5:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
I find your post to be insensitive and hightly offisive that you would even suggest such a thing.

**in corner crying about how everyone is so mean**

/sarcasm


RE: Offended
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 5:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
I love sarcasm. It's one of the defining characterists of people that aren't easily offended that I complained about. However, it really bugs me when people put "/sarcastic" tags on an obviously sarcastic post. All that does is proclaim to the people with no sense of sarcasm that you are being sarcastic, to protect them from being offended and wasting time arguing with you. But, I say, screw those people that don't get it. The rest of us will appreciate your post and respect it a little bit more.


RE: Offended
By larcen007 on 5/14/2008 5:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
Now I'm offended.


RE: Offended
By Aloonatic on 5/15/2008 4:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
The /sarcasm tags do tend to save a fair bit of time and space tho.

sadly, they are a necessary evil in this and most other forums/blogs as soooo much space and time are wasted on people who can not see the sarcasm that is plainly evident but also sometimes easily missed on occasion.


RE: Offended
By Parhel on 5/16/2008 3:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
Also, sometimes people use an opening sarcasm tag and forget to close it, unintentionally making everyone else's post in the thread sarcastic as well.


RE: Offended
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 5:37:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think the world is now composed of the greatest percentage of pussies in the history of the world. Grow a pair and stop bitching.


Thats probably the greatest, and truest, statement on DT I have read in a long time. Well, except for a few of my own of course :)

Well played.


RE: Offended
By charlieee on 5/14/2008 7:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In 2007 the Church responded to major earthquakes in 5 countries, massive fires in 6 countries, hunger and famine in 18 countries, and flooding and severe storms in 34 countries. In total the Church and its members responded to 170 major events---nearly one every two days for the entire year. It was a busy year with many opportunities to serve.

Read on, "And Who Is My Neighbor?"(title):
http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1...


2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 3:07:54 PM , Rating: 3
Mormons confuse me.....




RE: 2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:54:34 PM , Rating: 5
Depends on how you look at it.

Good:
- If one isn't in the mood, the other one might be. And when both are, threesome!
- Always one around to cook and clean too.
- Always one around to take care of kids.

Bad:
- Only thing worse than once wife PMSing is two.
- Twice the nagging.
- Twice the presents.


RE: 2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 3:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't realize I was kidding there, lighten up.


RE: 2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 4:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
The bad would outweight the good fairly quickly. Clearly the optimal situation would be to have one wife and many mistresses.


RE: 2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By larcen007 on 5/14/2008 4:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
No - the optimal situation would be to have no wife and all mistresses.


RE: 2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 4:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
Who would cook and clean? Who would have your children? Who would raise your children?


RE: 2 wives good, Internet bad ?
By larcen007 on 5/14/2008 5:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's easy.

I cook and clean for myself. Or barter with one of the mistresses for exchange of services.

Anyone can have my child, if i decide to have children to begin with.

I would definitely raise my child - I helped bring my children to this world.

I don't need slaves - I am personally responsible for what I do. My mistresses would be presonally responsible for what they do.

An ideal relationship consists of 2 or more people (of any sex) who come to an agreement as to how the relationship functions. There is no room for extreme selfishness or jealousy. Anyone with a problem with the arrangement can leave. Now, if we lived in a world where I was god, the rules would be different. But I live in a world filled with potential equals, and as such I must treat them well.


I think I get it
By nvalhalla on 5/14/2008 3:04:28 PM , Rating: 3
I doesn't seem so much a "secret" to be protected, but a copyright to be protected. The book doesn't hold secret doctrine, which the church has, but is mostly an internal organizational guide.

For those unfamiliar with the LDS: The church doesn't have a full time clergy like most Christian churches do, so books like these are necessary to instruct the new bishops every few years.




RE: I think I get it
By Keeir on 5/14/2008 3:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I doesn't seem so much a "secret" to be protected, but a copyright to be protected.


Just curious, but why would a religious instruction manual need a copyright? Is LDS somehow profiting from the publication of the book? Is the book someone a public symbol of the LDS, such that someone might confused Wikileaks with LDS? Maybe it contains security data on LDS churches?

Maybe they are afraid someone can use the manual to appear to be a LDS minister/bishop?


RE: I think I get it
By donkenson on 5/14/2008 3:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
Why does any instruction book or manual need a copyright? I think if they made it, they might have the right to copyright their own material.


RE: I think I get it
By Keeir on 5/16/2008 2:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why does any instruction book or manual need a copyright? I think if they made it, they might have the right to copyright their own material.


A instruction book or manual that is used to make a profit directly or includes "secret" or "proprietary" information that would materially harm an individual or an for profit corporation (which inheritally has certain rights of a individual).

They have a right to copyright thier writing, but I also have the right to wonder why the people claiming they want to "Help me" and "guide me" don't want me to read thier manual.


RE: I think I get it
By 67STANG on 5/15/2008 3:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they make a profit off of it.... after they brainwash you with it, they then take 10% out of your paycheck automatically every month.


RE: I think I get it
By Guerreiro29 on 5/15/2008 4:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
I hadn’t heard there was an automatic withdrawal system available. How do I signup? It would sure beat writing a check every month.


RE: I think I get it
By nstott on 5/19/2008 7:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
The reason the LDS Church copyrights things like this is to prevent the many for-profit, anti-Mormon "ministry" businesses from misusing LDS materials. Before Wikileaks got a hold of this manual, an anti-Mormon business tried to publish the manual on the web. The other issue is to avoid the situation where a member might decide to consult the manual alone to resolve some problems rather than get support from their bishop.

Essentially, the copyright gives the LDS Church the right to decide who is permitted to use their materials and how those materials will be used. The manual is given to new bishops for free, so there is not any profit being made on it. In fact, all LDS bishops and other Church leaders do not get paid at all for their service at church but are "regular" lay people with their own jobs/careers. Even the missionaries pay their own way for two-year-long missionary service. Also, you can go to lds.org and order free media, such as free copies of The Book of Mormon and videos/DVDs that will introduce you to LDS Church doctrines.


By hthalljr on 5/14/2008 3:46:20 PM , Rating: 5
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not making any effort to protect its "beliefs" from public scrutiny. Why else would more than 50,000 missionaries labor to share their beliefs around the world, at their own expense?

I have, at times, been authorized to consult The Handbook of Instructions. But even if it remains on line, I will not read it now, because I no longer have that authorization. But I testify that does not contain anything of a conspiratorial nature, or evil, or of any kind of threat to the public.

Unlike most religions, the Church has no paid ministry. Its local leaders (bishops, who preside over a single ward or congregation) and stake presidents (who preside over approximately 10 wards) are lay people who have families and occupations. They do not ask to serve nor even plan to serve; rather, they are called to serve by inspiration of general Church leaders. Bishops typically serve only about 5 years; stake presidents serve a few more years. The Handbook of Instructions is a guide to these leaders, who come to their positions with no prior training. It is distributed to them to ensure that Church policies and procedures are uniform around the world.

Unlike other churches, we also do not decide which congregation we attend: we attend the ward in whose boundaries we reside. This also creates a need for uniformity of policy and procedure. (You can learn the place and meeting times of your nearest congregation by selecting the link "worship with us" at mormon.org and entering your address.)

Any members of the Church who has a question about doctrine or policy can ask his bishop, who can consult the Handbook. However, leaders are encouraged to use these guidelines prayerfully and to adapt them to immediate needs and circumstances.

If the Handbook were published, it could tempt some members to take a legalistic approach to policies and procedures and try to see just how close they could come to "crossing the line." Publication could also tempt some members who have more time on their hands than their bishops to make a hobby of knowing the handbook "better" than their bishop, which could undermining his efforts to provide inspired and thoughtful leadership.

The Church has every right to control distribution of its Handbook of Instructions. Copyright protects not just the right to publish, but also the right not to publish.

Tracy Hall Jr
hthalljr'gmail'com




By babighead on 5/14/2008 5:32:49 PM , Rating: 2
Those guys don't get paid that go around all day knocking on doors? Wow.


By borismkv on 5/14/2008 8:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no, they don't.


By nstott on 5/19/2008 7:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get paid to go around all day knocking on doors? They pay their own way to do that and more for two years (Out of bed at 6:30 AM and in bed by 10:30 PM according to their rules).


By cherrycoke on 5/14/2008 8:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for this clarification, I appreciate you being straight forward and presenting a view that finally makes a little sense to me. There are a lot of other issues being discussed in all the other thread comments, but the issue of privacy/copyright seems to be pretty well summed up here.


I read the handbook
By bobtheterrible on 5/14/2008 5:31:34 PM , Rating: 3
So I read through that whole handbook.
Actually there was nothing in there that I wouldn't disagree with. It seemed logical, and I don't understand why the Mormons are being clumped with Scientology. I also read a couple of the Scientology manuals that were leaked onto demonoid and those things were crazy. They talked about training children like dogs, and weird crap.
It seems the author here didn't actually read the manual he was linked to. If you're going to relate the Scientology cult to Mormons (because of their copyright issues) you may as well link them with every other company which has ever sued to get their copyrighted material taken off the net.




RE: I read the handbook
By Keeir on 5/16/2008 1:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
other company which has ever sued to get their copyrighted material taken off the net.


I guess that's the point. Both LDS and Scientology are being run like modern businesses rather than charitiable organizations.


RE: I read the handbook
By bobtheterrible on 5/16/2008 8:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Because some one or some organization sues to have their legally copyrighted material not spread around the internet does not make them a "modern business". Don't actors sue all the time to get their pictures taken off of the net? I mean I know Paris Hilton sued to get her "One night in Paris" movies taken down... I guess ya, she could be considered a business.
But what you're saying doesn't make sense. From reading through other posts on here the LDS church has no paid clergy, while the Scientology "church" does. Wouldn't that make them completely different?


RE: I read the handbook
By Keeir on 5/17/2008 6:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
There are 3 primary reasons why information is hidden

1. To preserve competitive advantage
- IE, Military Systems, Coorporate Training Manuals, etc

2. To make money or prevent others from making money
- IE, you actors and movies fall into this category. Paris Hilton was entitled to make a profit from the sale of her movie since she regularly sold her image for profit.

3. To control others through lack of information/PR

None of these reasons look particularly flattering to a religion/charity.

See Tithing. LDS essentially require from all members the 10% tithe.


RE: I read the handbook
By charlieee on 5/19/2008 10:23:47 AM , Rating: 2
4. to prevent misinformation through misrepresentation by misquoting.

5. to avoid persecution (John 7:10; Gal. 6:7).

6. withholding the gospel that the wicked may be rewarded for their works and lack of faith (John 9:39; Isa. 6:10; Matt. 13:14-15, 2 Sam. 3:39; Rev. 21:8).

7. read other peoples' posts concerning the topic.

Note: LDS General Conference(a meeting that is broadcast over the internet twice a year) is copyrighted (I believe). At the end of each meeting a guy says the meeting is not to be recorded or transcribed. However the official church website makes recordings and transcriptons available to the public within the week. The reason I guess is so people won't take words out of context. LDS are also told we should get permission from any member we are quoting from.
quote:
See Tithing. LDS essentially require from all members the 10% tithe.

God will require 100% of the income of all those who understand Him as well from all those who wish to enter into heaven. The heart and mind is also required. Look to the LDS missionary effort for those who attempt such an endevour and who routinely serve without income but somehow manage to fund themselves by work beforehand or parents.
----------
John 9:39
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Isaiah 6:10
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Matthew 13:14-15
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

2 Samuel 3:39
…the Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

Revelation 21:8
But the…unbelieving…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
------------
John 7:10
But when his brethren were gone up, then went he[The Lord] also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
-----------
An example of the Lord withholding information due to unbelief and stiffneckedness:

John 10:16
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

3 Nephi 15:16-18
This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them:
That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.


By aeroengineer1 on 5/14/2008 5:32:59 PM , Rating: 5
I think that this is the first time that I have really read a posting here on this site that has gone above and beyond to show its readers a lack of knowledge on the subject that it is apparently reporting on. Let's at least put the straight facts forward.

"...the Church of Mormon..." does not exist. I think that you were trying to say the Mormon church, but even this is a misnomer as it was a name given by those that were outside of the faith to those that had a belief in the Book of Mormon. It is similar to the name of Christians being applied to those that were believers in Christ, but was given as a nickname by non believers. I have heard this church called many things, but this is the first time I have heard someone make such an obvious error as this one. For the record, the church is named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for short LDS is used to represent Latter-day Saints as well as the Mormons as a friendly nickname. Nothing like taking something that was meant to put down a group and use it for a positive.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the mainstream branch of the Mormon Church..." Once again the error in this statement lies in the fact that there is a belief that there is a Mormon Church, or as previously stated, "the Church of Mormon". It also either ignores the fact that the original is not called a branch, or it highlights that the author believes that the original is "the Church of Mormon". Either error is a large one and shows a lack of research before publishing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the founding church based upon a restoration doctrine. It is not a branch of any other church, nor is it part of the Protestant movement.

The next error is the use of the term whistleblower. As defined by a search on dictionary.com, one of the better definitions is, "An employee who has inside knowledge of illegal activities occurring within his or her organization and reports these to the public." As you can see by reading the document, there are no allegations of illegal activities. This fails the definition. People have tried to expand the definition to include controversial activities, but this does not fall under national whistleblower guidelines because it fails to be done with an effort to stem illegal activities, or activities that may compromise the safety of lives. This person should be called what they are, terms such as infiltrator, hacker, and spy are more accurate descriptions.

If these items are corrected, the story might read, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has filed suit against Wikileaks for posting copyrighted material. The material published was called The Church Handbook of Instructions. It gives information regarding church governance and standards. Wikileaks has yet to remove the material and the person responsible for the infiltration has chosen to remain anonymous."

Unfortunately this revised story might not fit your bias, but at least is factually correct. Perhaps the author is only suited for more emotionally charged topics such as Global Warming. Please stick to the facts as it only serves to undermine your credibility for any other story that you may publish.




By phattyboombatty on 5/14/2008 5:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is one of the few well-reasoned responses to the article. Good job. +1


By Homerboy on 5/14/2008 5:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Unquestionably.
Even much better than the article itself!


By adiposity on 5/15/2008 12:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently the censorship is not limited to the church lawyers but also extends to those who mod on this forum. I have been modded down to 0 for no apparent reason.

quote:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the founding church based upon a restoration doctrine. It is not a branch of any other church, nor is it part of the Protestant movement.


The "mainstream branch" doesn't seem like that bad of a name for the Utah sect. In fact it's probably one of the kinder ways I've heard it described by an outsider. I don't think calling it a branch is so bad, they are all branches off the original in terms of current beliefs anyway. I mean what exactly constitutes a branch of a church that lost its founder and had no clear way of deciding the leader? Less than half the church actually followed Brigham Young to Utah.

In fact the LDS branch was not legally incorporated until after the migration to Utah, and the name you used to identify it was not formally standardized until 1851 (before this time it did not always use the dash in "Latter-day"). There was a power struggle which resulted in the forming of three groups: those led by Brigham Young (Utah sect), those led by Signey Rigdon (Pennsylvania sect eventually named "The Church of Jesus Christ"), and those led by James Strang (Beaver Island, which calls itself "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" with no dash). So the entity which now descends from that group is indeed one of three "branches" of the original Mormon group, i.e., the branch that migrated to Utah. Since that time other "branches" have broken off the Utah church, most notably the FLDS which broke off over the discontinuation of plural marriage (a hallmark of the Brigham Young led church). That it is now the largest "branch" makes it no less a "branch."

I'm guessing, from your bridling at the suggestion that it is a "branch," that you are a Mormon. Care to correct me on this? Of course the distinction is totally unimportant unless you are concerned with the legitimacy of the sect from a religious authority point of view.

In the interest of disclosure I'm an ex-member of the Utah sect of about 25 years. During that time I considered it the "real" Mormon church but I'm sure I'd have thought the same if I was raised in the RLDS or other "Mormon" church. I am now an atheist.

Dan


Ah!!! It's a blog now!!!!
By Homerboy on 5/14/2008 6:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
so its not a article now... it's a blog?




RE: Ah!!! It's a blog now!!!!
By Teancum on 5/14/2008 6:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't making an article a blog somehow be a form of "censorship"?


RE: Ah!!! It's a blog now!!!!
By dubldwn on 5/14/2008 10:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
whoa…you’re right. Maybe this blog should be frozen, because many of the comments are no longer applicable.


Comparison
By tralala on 5/14/2008 6:43:46 PM , Rating: 1
I'm so sick of Mormons comparing themselves to Catholics and Muslims, and then hide behind the name of Jesus Christ...
After skimming through the documents, this was a confirmation that indeed they are cult like...and a conviction to myself to not recognize them as Christians...
The whole cutting out symbols from your garments and burning them when they wear out is creepy to me...
I'm sure there is a lot more I could have picked out from the RESPECT MY AUTHORITY kind of language...
Thank you for the wonderful buzz and awareness...keep up the good work DAILY TECH =)
PS I don't have the time to respond to negative comments.




RE: Comparison
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 9:11:10 PM , Rating: 3
BAHAHAHAHA! Oh come on, tell the truth. You had your mind made up long ago anyway.


RE: Comparison
By Tacoloft on 5/15/2008 5:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
---but you have time to make negative comments...hmm?


So Sad
By Asmodean on 5/14/2008 5:26:46 PM , Rating: 3
I don't understand how protecting a copyright document is considered censorship? The handbook in question is copy protected. How is this an issue at all?

Also, this article is absurd to say the least. The author is obviously biased and hasn't done a speck of honest research on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In one paragraph he calls the Church three different names. It only has one, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Also the story of Joseph Smith is online for all to see. He didn't even bother to read that.

I have no problem with Freedom of Speech. However please know the facts before you spout off potentially hurtful remarks about anyone or anything. In closing, this article is a shame and a very poor example of informed Journalism.




RE: So Sad
By borismkv on 5/14/2008 9:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The author is obviously biased and hasn't done a speck of honest research on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Sure he has. He watched The God Makers.


Online Censorship... Or not.
By Tamster on 5/14/2008 3:13:35 PM , Rating: 4
The book in question is not one available for purchase. It is only distributed internally. The LDS church controls the book's distribution, the same way any company would control an internal manual or corporate policies. Those who need a copy receive one. While we'd all have a good laugh if Apple or Microsoft's internal HR policies were posted, we wouldn't cry censorship over them being removed from public access. The shouldn't have been made public in the first place. This is the same situation. Internal documents being kept internal. Every organization has material that they keep to themselves.

Tam




Surprise! Attack!
By Kishkumen on 5/14/2008 5:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
Um... Why is this a surprise or of any interest to anyone?
The LDS church runs their religion like any other big corporate business. They have retail outlets in the format of community churches. They have salesman in the form of missionaries. They have club membership fees in the form of tithing in order to enter exclusive clubs a.k.a. temples. Even the leadership hierarchy structures itself as a corporation. A president acting as CEO, apostles which each oversea different division of the church and so on. And they have an army of lawyers to manage their real estate, their proprietary, copyrighted information and various other physical assets. It only makes common sense given the overly litigious nature of American society. Any successful religion would have to be run this way in order to survive and grow in our particularly strong corporate, capitalist society. Is it the public's naiveté about American religions that makes this newsworthy? Religions are in the business of selling Kool-Aid just like politics, corporations and everybody else with an opinion. Wake up and smell the coffee substitute.




RE: Surprise! Attack!
By Asmodean on 5/14/2008 5:57:42 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL, I love the name!

Can't say that I agree with all of your statements, however you do bring up some good points. The LDS Church is ran similar to a business.


This article is crap
By Tacoloft on 5/15/2008 5:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
plain and simple




RE: This article is crap
By Teancum on 5/15/2008 6:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well now its a blog that is crap.


Laws vs Morality
By mindless1 on 5/16/2008 5:35:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'll take morality over laws given the choice. What i find utterly disturbing with this situation is that the LDS tend to *recruit* /lost/ souls into their organization but plan to manage these sheep with secret guidelines which do not appear to be handed down from God and yet that is the context within which they are represented.

Thus, I find it wrong that effort was made to secure this as IP at all, there should be no basis under which copyright restrictions are in place. This could be called a grey area, a loophole, that organizations wanting religious status should not be able to withold public examination of their practices and that other laws preventing this should yield to that examination in any form reasonably possible without undue burden on the members of that religion.

Nothing exceptional was asked of the LDS in order to provide this public access to information, it seems immoral to prevent it's dissemination when such doctrine becomes a matter of good faith between men.

If it were pushed through the courts, I for one feel this another example that should prompt the courts to further restrict copyright law. There is no clear issue here of harm to the LDS to the extent that the copyright law was meant to prevent. We always have to consider the key issues a law was made to address instead of just the black and white oversimplified interpretation to use it as a sword against some(one).

Let the document spread then if LDS can show loss from that happening then we shall be enlightened.




RE: Laws vs Morality
By charlieee on 5/19/2008 12:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll take morality over laws given the choice.

D&C 38:22
Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and what can stay my hand?

quote:
…but plan to manage these sheep with secret guidelines which do not appear to be handed down from God[bold added]

What are the secret guidelines that you question that I may find the scriptural basis for them.

quote:
…there should be no basis under which copyright restrictions are in place.

See charlieee's reply to Keeir.
quote:
… it seems immoral to prevent it's dissemination when such doctrine becomes a matter of good faith between men

See charlieee's reply to Keeir.


Soul, spirit, conscience, mind...
By PICBoy on 5/16/2008 3:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
I know this is a little of topic but if anyone of you want to answer this I would gladly appreciate it.

What's the difference between "Soul, spirit, conscience, mind", are they all the same?




By charlieee on 5/19/2008 11:52:53 AM , Rating: 2
D&C 88:15
And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.

D&C 131:7
There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;

The mind is the spirit. It is the spirit that thinks.

Spirit - Each individual is a spirit child of Heavenly Father and existed as a spirit before this life on earth. During this life, the spirit of the individual is housed in a physical body, which was born of mortal parents.
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508...

Soul - In scripture, the term soul is used as a synonym for spirit to describe a person in four different phases of his or her eternal existence. Soul is used to describe a person in premortal life—before birth (see Abraham 3:23). During earth life, the soul is joined with a physical body (see Abraham 5:7). At death, the soul leaves the body and goes to the spirit world to await resurrection (see Alma 40:11–14). In the Resurrection, the body and soul are inseparably connected, which is called "the redemption of the soul" (see Alma 40:23; D&C 88:15–16).
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508...

Conscience - All people are born with the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong. This ability, called conscience, is a manifestation of the Light of Christ (see Moroni 7:15–19). A person's conscience is a defense against situations that are spiritually harmful.
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508...

Light of Christ - The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience.
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=bbd508...

You may wish to research more topics at this link:
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=55d408...


By dragonbif on 5/14/2008 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 3
I had a look at it and I really do not see anything hiden. The only part I think they would want to keep out of peoples hands is Church Discipline and things that would need to be privet for the individual not so much the church.
It talks mostly about how buildings are to be used and what relationships should be like with other religions and political and government leaders. Not much in the way of actual teaching other then giving reference to other church books and “authorized” material.
As for the post above about a religion should not need a lawyer, I would like you to point out a religion that has never used one or any other organization for that matter, don’t be a fool.




Sacred Matters
By jcarroll on 5/15/2008 11:23:23 AM , Rating: 1
As a member of the LDS Church, I would like to say that we invite all to come unto Christ and worship with us. We wish that all would come to the temple of God and learn of Him and walk in His ways. However, some matters are sacred, not secret. Thus it is with the manuals of the church and the details of our temple ceremonies.

Read more: http://jcarroll.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/sacred-ma...

Thank you,
James Carroll




RE: Sacred Matters
By Teancum on 5/16/2008 3:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
As another member of the LDS Church I would like to invite you to STAY ON TOPIC to the thread. If you want to invite somebody to Christ why don't you invite your neighbor instead of posting on an internet blog.


Tor to fight censorship
By gigahertz20 on 5/14/2008 2:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
I just wrote a paper for a college class about Chinese censorship, many people use the Tor network software to bypass "The Great Firewall of China." I just thought I would mention it, not to many people know about it.

I've tried the software and it works pretty good, it can be slow at times so I wouldn't recommend enabling it all the time. You basically will get assigned a different IP address that can be anywhere in the world depending on where your exit node is located. So you can use the Tor network software to bypass your work/school/government firewall unless they block the list of exit nodes, which some companies now do.

Very easy to setup, download the bundle, it installs a "Tor Button" in firefox automatically, if you want to torrify other apps you have to read their guide.

http://www.torproject.org/




By Truth be told on 5/14/2008 11:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
Nice spin DT. The only items the Churches have had removed are those that violate Copyright. By calling it censorship you're advocating theft and criminal acts.




Einstein said it best
By Bioniccrackmonk on 5/16/2008 4:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."


and

quote:
"I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."


Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24668015/