Movie News

Quint previews the first 25 minutes of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway Musical: The Book of Mormon!!!

Published at: Feb. 1, 2011, 2:38 a.m. CST by quint

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here writing in from my warm New York hotel after a night of debauchery with some New York friends. And by “debauchery” I clearly mean eating specialty hotdogs and tater tots in the East Village. That’s how I roll.

I was out in Park City trying to keep my head above water at Sundance when I received an offer to be in the limited audience to preview a section of the Trey Parker/Matt Stone/Robert Lopez musical THE BOOK OF MORMON. I’m a massive fan of theirs, so I was definitely interested, but travel so close to Sundance had my head spinning at just the idea of back to back stressful travel.

So, I asked for a 1:1 with the boys. I’m in a win-win situation there. If they said yes then how could I pass up that opportunity? If they came back with a no, then I could just try to scramble to find someone in New York to attend the preview and get a real night’s sleep in my own bed.

As much as I didn’t need the extra trip to plan and prepare for or the 8 ½ hour turn around in traveling, I sit here very glad Parker and Stone said yes and I ended up coming out here. Not only did I get to meet two people who have made me laugh more consistently than anyone else in the last 15 years, I also got to have the very unique experience of seeing Broadway professionals work up close.

 

 

The room at The New 42nd Street Studio was small, maybe 50’ at its widest, so when the 50 or so press were let in for the big presentation we took our seats in fold out chairs that were lined up against the wall, the front row all of four feet from the performing area.

Not only did we get to preview this show, we almost literally had the cast in our face as they performed. Screw 3-D, this is the real way to feel involved in a show! I could feel the breath of the Mormons as they sang. Can you match that James Cameron?!?

Trey, Matt and their collaborator Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) came out to introduce the preview and informed us that we were going to see the first 25 minutes of the play with temporary costumes and props. The stages will be at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, with full on previews beginning three weeks from today, but we just had the actors, a live musical accompaniment and rough representations of stages.

Before the play went underway, Parker and Stone set the mood by telling us that the play opens at a kind of Mormon recital and to imagine the sets to be “big and cheesy.” They threw in “You’ll know it’s over when you hear the word “cunt” and they bow.”

And I almost don’t even need to write anything about the first act I witnessed since that above quote should tell you everything you need to know about the play. But I will because I got nowhere else to go!

The play opens with a play. The Mormons are retelling the story of Jesus, Mormon and the Golden Plates. Actors strike over-the-top poses to a pre-recorded booming narration (which sounded suspiciously like Trey Parker) describing the setting as a long time ago “in ancient upstate New York” and tells the story of Jesus in America, Mormon receiving the golden plates and his son burying them.

This leads into the first musical number of the show. I wasn’t given any information on titles of the showtunes, but I call this one The Hello Song. It begins with one young Mormon man, dressed in typical Mormon wear… black pants, black tie, short-sleeved pressed white shirt, hair perfectly combed and a wide smile plastered on his face… walking up front and center and miming pressing a doorbell and launching into a prepared speech about our Lord and Savior that, of course, begins with an enthusiastic “Hello!”

As the one Mormon is singing more and more walk up around him, making the doorbell motions (met with doorbell chimes) and joining into the song until it’s a full 9 man chorus working in tandem. They move around each other stealthily, singing in harmony, sometimes chiming in with an “Hola!” or “bonjour” or “konnichiha.”

The only interruption to this carefully choreographed and harmonious number is when Elder Cunningham (Josh Gad, the chubby brother in LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS) takes his place and begins spouting off-script lines like a giddy puppy happy to spread his love of Jesus. His Elders correct him and he joins in the strictly ordered number.

In the play universe this like the last test these men have to pass before being given their missions. As they eagerly await their pairings we meet Andrew Rannell’s Elder Price, an upstanding clean-cut Mormon boy eager to do God’s work. He prays to be sent to his most favorite place ever: Orlando. He has a slow, hopeful song as the others are paired and given their mission locations.

The first is Norway (“home of gnomes and trolls!” they sing!), the next is France (“home of crepes and berets!”), next is Japan (“home of soy sauce and Mothra!”) and then it comes time for Elder Price to get his pairing and location.

Naturally, in classic Odd Couple pairing, the straight-laced Elder Price is paired with the flabby, loud Elder Cunningham. Then they are given their location: Uganda.

The happy Mormons go into slow motion behind our lead, enthusiastically giving each other very slow high-fives and moving in what I can only describe as enthusiastic white people dancing. Cunningham isn’t all that happy, but gosh darn it! He’s still preaching the Lord’s word.

When they move out of that pretty fun number (which includes the Mormans singing in unison that they are soldiers in the army of the Church of Jesus Christ… of Latter Day Saints!) they move almost immediately into an airport setting as the two Elders are about to board their plane for Africa.

Just before they leave, a lady jumps out and does the Lion King opening music with all the gusto of the actual Broadway performer. I thought this was going to be a funny way to transition into the Uganda section, but instead she runs through the whole number and Elder Price’s dad tells him that was a going away present, getting a neighbor to sing a song “in real African!” They wish them goodbye and Elder Price then gets a duet with Cunningham, where they dream of spreading God’s word. “Heavenly father has chosen you and me… but mostly me!” is the gist of the song. After a bit of this self-centered number off they go to Africa.

I was grooving along with it so far, but this next section is what really won me over. We’re introduced to Uganda by a group of actors toiling in the background, one with a fake looking nappy-headed baby strapped to her back, another walking with a basket balanced on her head. In the foreground a man walks by our stunned missionaries dragging a punching bag with the words “Dead Donkey” behind him. Obviously, this bag will be replaced with a prop on the day, but hell… even if it wasn’t, that’s still funny as shit.

Of course these two stick out like a sore thumb, bibles in one hand and cute little roller bags in the other. They’re not on the ground more than 60 seconds before they’re robbed of all they have by AK-wielding thugs.

Our Elders are then met by their contact, a happy man who says an African phrase and makes a gesture to the sky. It is a saying in his country, we learn, whenever things don’t go quite right. This smiling man then begins a Hakuna Matata like happy song that gets the entire ensemble singing and dancing together.

What do you say when a well runs dry? What do you say when your bags get stolen? It’s not only about halfway through that Elder Price asks what this saying means. Well, the end of the phrase (which phonetically sounds like “hasa deeza ezo eye”) means “God,” and the beginning roughly translates into “Fuck you.” So, it means “Fuck you, God.”

The look of shock on Rannells’ face was just enough to send me into gut-laughter. That was pushed even further when the clueless Josh Gad kept happily singing this phrase, much to Rannells’ dismay.

The song keeps its happy tone, but becomes incredibly filthy with lyrics like “When God fucks you in the butt, fuck him back in his cunt” and an introduction to the townspeople, all who have AIDS, apparently. “Here’s the butcher. He has AIDS. Here’s the doctor. He has AIDS. Here’s my daughter, she has a… lovely personality! But if you touch her, I will give you my AIDS!”

This number ends with a good dozen people throwing up a middle finger to the sky and singing “Fuck you God in the ass, mouth and cunt!” Offensive? Perhaps, but done in such a catchy, light musical number that the contrast really can’t help but make one laugh.

Also, keep in mind that I was trying to take notes while not missing any of the fun stuff being acted out live mere feet in front of me, so I didn’t take full lyrics down. If you’re familiar at all with Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s work you know these guys can put a tune together. This stuff would easily fit alongside Cannibal: The Musical, Team America and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

After the presentation, Parker, Stone and Lopez came back out and took a few questions. I’ll bullet point some of them below:

- Parker and Stone met Lopez while they were doing Team America. They heard of this play, Avenue Q, that was doing funny stuff with puppets and thought, “Oh shit!” But they went to see it and their fears were calmed. It just so happens that Lopez was there the night they visited and they got to talking. Parker and Stone asked him what musical he’d want to do if he had the chance and he said he was fascinated by the life of Joseph Smith. Parker and Stone had been kicking around an idea to do a musical based on his life as well and figured why not do it together?

- Lopez said they were an inspiration to him and there would be no Avenue Q without the South Park movie.

- Why Uganda? They wanted to pick a place that would challenge anyone’s belief in God.

- There is a little Music Man influence in the production, some Lion King (“and some cunt,” – Trey Parker).

- They kept reiterating that the play isn’t Mormon bashing. They’re fascinated by the religion, Parker going so far as to say that he’s never met a Mormon he didn’t like. “They’re just so damn nice!”

- When pressed on his own beliefs, Stone said he’s “an Atheist that admires and likes religion.”

- They treated the Odd Couple Elders that the play centers on like a married couple, complete with the break-up musical number and the reuniting number.

After the brief Q&A they wrapped things up and I was pulled into another room to do my own sit down with the three men. I’ll post that as a separate interview, but needless to say… as someone who saw Cannibal: The Musical when it played the midnight slot at SXSW, as someone who saw The Spirit of Christmas before South Park was created… I was pretty psyched to get some time with these guys.

While I can’t vouch for the entire musical, I can say the first 25 minutes gave me the confidence that the entire thing will live up to the already high expectation I have. If I was just shown these 25 minutes blind I would have pegged it as a Parker/Stone musical in a second, which is nothing but highest of praise in my book. I can’t wait to venture back out here to see the full production! And buy a copy of the soundtrack. I want to listen to that “Fuck You, God” selection on repeat right now!

Hope you guys enjoyed the rundown. Keep an eye out for the big interview with Stone, Parker and Lopez which will be running as soon as I can get it readable!

-Quint
quint@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:41 a.m. CST

    don't answer the door

    by teddy_duchamp

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Should cause some nice healthy outrage...

    by V'Shael

    I can look forward to that at least.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:18 a.m. CST

    as the vast majority of americans

    by emeraldboy

    openly distrust mormons. this should be a smash.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:22 a.m. CST

    I'm outraged

    by Fincher Fan

    that I have to wait for the interviews. This sounds great!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:40 a.m. CST

    I've got my ticket.

    by Bungion Boy

    I was worried (especially with the casting of Gad, who I sat behind at Angels in America yesterday) but sounds like this is going to be pretty great. Thanks for the article. I was hoping to ask Gad about it yesterday but didn't get the chance. Can't wait.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Good idea but...

    by alex

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Mormon = Not a religion

    by Neilfan12

    1st, this play doesn't sound all that funny. 2nd, wanted to point out some corrections for Quint's article... What the missionaries wear (white dress shirt, tie... which isn't always black, suit pants/suit coat) isn't "typical Mormon wear". The average member of the church dresses like everyone else in the world does. Only male missionaries dress like this daily. Then "Mormon" isn't a religion, it's a church (and it's the nickname for the church, not it's actual name). It's a common occurrence interchanging the words "church" and "religion" with many people. Some say "religion" when they mean "church". This happens with Catholics too, people saying "the Catholic religion" or Catholicism (making it sound like it's own religion). About the play. You've got to wonder about it, the true quality of it. Sounds to me they're purposely trying to drum up controversy in order to sell tickets. And if the makers of "South Park" weren't attached to it, would anyone even be remotely interested in it or would it be getting as much press? I'm guessing the answer is no and no.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:54 a.m. CST

    by alex

    These guys have shown they know very little about the Mormon missionary program they seem obsessed with. A little research would make their work a lot more relevant and funny. With Orgasmo they showed they had no clue how the system worked and it sounds like they've not bothered to learn anything about it since. Pity. Because the way the Mormon missionary program works is much more ripe for lampooning than the way they perceive it works.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Bigotry + judgment = profit

    by happyboy

    at least these guys know which side of their bread is buttered. America is awesome

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:01 a.m. CST

    I was a little worried about this...

    by bubcus

    ... my being mormon and all, but it just sounds like a silly, cheese-fest (which is generally an accurate depiction of a lot of the mormon culture in Utah). I am a little surprised they're presenting correct information about mormons though, I am so used to having to correct misconceptions all the time.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Sounds Awesome!!

    by masteryoda007

    Mormons, I love those goofy little bastards

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:06 a.m. CST

    RE: emeraldboy - "The vast majority"

    by Neilfan12

    The vast majority of Americans openly distrust LDS ("Mormon") people in your opinion or whose? It's not an impression I've gotten about members of this church. What I always hear is things like the comment Parker made in the Q&A... that he's never met an LDS person he hasn't liked, that they're so nice, etc. What about outside of America? There are more LDS outside the USA than in it. Is it your opinion they're distrusted globally too? The biggest thing I've encountered is misinformation... people knowing little about the LDS Church or what they do know isn't 100% accurate.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:22 a.m. CST

    neilfan12

    by BadMrWonka

    I know a LOT about the LDS Church, and I think it's complete horseshit. Save for their belief in salvation through Jesus, it's truly much more like Scientology in its history than Christianity. I think mainstream Christianity in America is a truly terrible force, but at least the teachings of Christ are admirable (even if his followers are not). But Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard were just power hungry, pathalogically lying megalomaniacs...and we're left dealing with millions of brainwashed ding dongs because they managed to eke out a modest following of idiots a while back? blech. I don't REALLY care if people want to claim Mormonism is a branch of Christianity rather than a separate religion, or a cult, or whatever. But no matter how you slice it, it's just a power structure, pure and simple. And you need lots of little wide-eyed babies getting shielded from the world to keep it going.

  • you are from God. I'm sure the vast regular mormons are exactly as described: Very nice people. It's the ones with overly close ties to the LDS church, who have something to gain by smashing their detractors, that are the sort the average person would distrust.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Re: badmrwonka

    by bubcus

    I was told years ago that L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology as a dare and was surprised it caught on as a religion. He then tried to tell the followers it wasn't real but they wouldn't believe him. I don't know if that information is accurate. And I don't see where "power-hungry" is amongst mormons except maybe a few people here and there. The only people that get paid in the church are the custodians that clean the buildings and the DJs that get hired to do occasional dances. Everything is volunteer-based. It's probably one of the only churches whose clergy doesn't get a paycheck. And "brain-washing?" Ever meet with mormon missionaries? They're pretty much like your classmates in school minus the sex, drugs, and alcohol. Ever listen to their 20-minute or so presentation? They teach that we're all children of God, Jesus is the Savior, there's this guy named Joseph Smith who saw God, here's a Book of Mormon, read these few verses, and go pray about it and let us know what you think. Pretty serious brainwashing there. /facepalm

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:47 a.m. CST

    RE: badmrwonka

    by Neilfan12

    That's your opinion (about the LDS Church and Christianity in general), but it doesn't make it so and I disagree. I think that church and Christianity as a whole are good and admirable. What you said about the LDS Church is a common thing many non-religious people say about ANY religion (that it's just a tool to control people with, that there's nothing holy about it). And with that I disagree too (as well as your take on Joseph Smith). But we're all entitled to our opinions.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Mormons....

    by macheesmo3

    It's almost sillier than Scientology!!!! The whole getting golden plates and special goggles to read them(which why would they make special golden plates in a language you couldn't read so they would then have to make you special goggles? why not just make em readable to only you through jesus magic?) Then he miraculously doesn't actually have these plates to show anyone or prove they ever existed....(as no one is conveniently allowed to see them but him)... seriously? , I'm an atheist who respects religion and doesn't want to piss all over religious peoples cultural parade(don't care if gods on money or schools have after school prayer groups or any of that self righteous bitchy issues many atheists espouse). Sure all religions require a little faith, but to believe that just boggles the mind!!!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Avatar Breathes: in 3D SMELL-O-Vision

    by generasputinhole

    please, please, don't give Cameron any more bad ideas than he already has.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:08 a.m. CST

    The well has run dry for Matt and Trey

    by Bobo_Vision

    Milking controversy and using dirty words to make money got old a long time ago.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:18 a.m. CST

    RE: macheesmo3

    by Neilfan12

    Why would those who wrote on the Golden Plates write in English when that wasn't their personal language? One could say what you did about the Bible too (why didn't Moses, the Apostles, etc. write in English or whatever to make it easier?). And goggles?? Jesus and God don't use magic, neither one of them are magicians. The LDS believe they both accomplish all through natural means (I take that to mean through science). Also, a few other men were shown the gold plates. Joseph didn't keep them to himself entirely. There's nothing more fantastical and hard to believe in the LDS Church than there is in others. Each have something that the sceptic can scoff at in one way or another.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:22 a.m. CST

    bubcus

    by BadMrWonka

    absolutely not true about Hubbard. he was a dangerous, mentally unstable man. there is a reason Scientology tried to liken psychiatry to nazism, it's becuase their founder was bat-shit crazy. oh, and he shamed his son into committing suicide because he was gay. nice. (I'll leave out the parts about rape and pedophilia, because it's hard to know how far it went...suffice to say, all you need to do is google him, and you'll see how much of a complete nutcase he was. power hungry is a completely accurate way to describe Joseph Smith, the founder of mormonism. I didn't say it described most Mormons. any time a child is raised with no access to teachings other than the narrow ones of their parents' faith, and then as a teenager is made to wear a uniform, and go out trying to convert as many people as they can, I'd call that brainwashing. I'm certainly not implying it's unique to Mormonism, but it's still brainwashing. if kids never hear of any alternatives (or they're told any other way of thinking is the devil's work), then it's brainwashing by definition, isn't it? thanks for the "/facepalm" thing though. it's a great punctuation mark on any discussion. it's sort of like having a bumper sticker that says, "I'm not a real deep thinker, but I have a lot to say!"

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:34 a.m. CST

    to macheesmo3...

    by bubcus

    There were several witnesses that saw the plates and their testimonies are in the foreword of the book. The goggle thing is silly yes. The translation from brass and gold plates to the Book of Mormon wasn't necessarily "word for word" and likely included visions of that period of time. Critics tend to jump on some of the terms used in the Book of Mormon like "doctrine" (being a Catholic word in origin) but in many cases Smith had to use a word that closest resembled in our language what was in etchings. * * * I just want to point out one thing about mormons before I head to bed. The church is built completely around "personal revelation." The confirmation through the Holy Spirit. Throughout my upbringing I was told "go read about it, figure it out for yourself, and pray about it." No one sat me down and pressured me about anything, everything I believe in is stuff I figured out for myself. Hence I believe religion is personal. From day one of this religion to now, it's all about getting on your knees and asking God for His opinion and then listening for a warm reassurance in your heart to know if said thing is right. Nobody is perfect, we're all from different walks of life, we have our own opinions about this or that, but what is universal amongst mormons is that testimony in their hearts that came from personal prayer. And it's not exclusive, everyone is subject to or entitled to their own personal inspiration and revelation. Even Atheists. It's those little impressions you get in the back of your mind that guide you to do good in your life, or that warmth in your heart when you watch a powerful emotional scene in a movie like Speilberg's "Always." (Or how I felt at the end of the recent Narnia: Voyage of the Dawntredder film). It's kind of like a little angel on your shoulder. You're free to listen to it or ignore it. But that's basically what mormons are all about.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:36 a.m. CST

    neilfan12

    by BadMrWonka

    "That's your opinion (about the LDS Church and Christianity in general), but it doesn't make it so and I disagree. I think that church and Christianity as a whole are good and admirable." I like chocolate milk, so I think chocolate milk is good. if you're a mormon and you think mormonism is good, that is truly an exciting piece of information! saying, "that is your opinion, but it doesn't make it so," is either a very clever way to negate my opinion, or your missing a few thoughts in there. if you think Joseph Smith was really a prophet, then of course you're going to disagree with me. but if I don't, then the whole thing is a complete sham. the difference is, I am willing to acknowledge the (very) remote possibility that I am wrong. when people are so committed to their faith that they can't conceive of it being wrong, then they can't really ever discuss these things to any real level of importance. "What you said about the LDS Church is a common thing many non-religious people say about ANY religion (that it's just a tool to control people with, that there's nothing holy about it)." nice little red herring there. I didn't say anything about controlling people. I said, "power structure". a democracy is a power structure as well, but I certainly support the one I live in. children serve their parents, who serve the church elders, who serve the scripture, etc. etc. it's a power structure. "And with that I disagree too (as well as your take on Joseph Smith). But we're all entitled to our opinions." yes we are all entitled to cliched dismissals as well. Joseph Smith was just a man of above average intelligence and little scruples. he figured out that he could dupe people into thinking he was a messiah, fuck as many women as he wanted, drink and smoke as much as he wanted while telling others it was evil, and gain as much power through intimidation and violence as he wanted, as long as he led people to believe (without a shred of evidence) that god had specifically chosen HIM to speak to. man, if you told him almost a hundred years later, that millions of naive people would still buy into it, I bet that is even more than he could have hoped for. I think he just failed as a treasure hunter, and thought this would be an easier way to get rich and powerful. it's so nice to be entitled to my opinion, thank you for that!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:38 a.m. CST

    The most hilarious and ludicrous thing....

    by Splinter

    ...about the Mormon religion is the fact that Joseph Smith or whatever his name was - the dude who 'found' these miraculous gold plates which he couldn't show anyone, like, ever, was a KNOWN AND PREVIOUSLY PROSECUTED CONMAN (he claimed he could find treasure using magic stones!). Oh, Mormons. Mormons, Mormons, Mormons.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Mormonism and Scientology...recent bullshit

    by quantize

    laughable because we know the people who started them and what scam artists and liars they were..that's the only difference. Add a couple of thousand years and you've got the same kind of charlatans making shit up in the bible.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:43 a.m. CST

    My point is...

    by quantize

    it's all bullshit. But we cling to bullshit because we're afraid to believe this is all there is... Of course we can't know..but we certainly can't know in this life.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:43 a.m. CST

    RE: bobo_vision - Matt and Trey's well run dry

    by Neilfan12

    I agree, milking controversy and using dirty words to sell tickets got old long ago. Even Madonna doesn't really utilize it all that much any more. An artist needs to evolve and do something beyond that. But then again I still today laugh just as hard when Cartman gets angry and goes into one of his swearing frenzies. :-) At any rate, I don't think it was some freak accident that they chose the organization they did to skewer (though they claim it isn't to bash) with this Broadway play. As I said before, the only reason this play is getting any attention at all is the controversy and who made it... there would be zero interest otherwise. I'm also guessing the only people aware that it even exists are "South Park" fans (thus why they add the controversy.... it's so obvious).

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:46 a.m. CST

    No wonder South Park has been sucking recently...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    Matt and Trey have been working on this.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:49 a.m. CST

    Guess they're practicing...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    .. for the Mitt Romney presidency. The Repubs are gonna run on "Obama lost Egypt to the terrorists", you just know it.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:51 a.m. CST

    A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant

    by Robert

    There was no better way for me to learn about Scientology than from a singing 9-year-old playing Tom Cruise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Very_Merry_Unauthorized_Children%27s_Scientology_Pageant This should be turned into a double feature with the BoM show.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:01 a.m. CST

    RE: bubcus... power hungry leaders and brainwashed kids

    by Neilfan12

    I disagree Joseph Smith was power hungry. He was nothing like how you paint Hubbard. LDS children/teens have full access to teachings and beliefs of other people, both religious and not. They too have the internet at their fingertips and can look up anything they like. Each child and LDS member is brought up to find their OWN personal testimony about the gospel, to find out for themselves if it's true. They aren't forced to believe. The average LDS parents aren't the control freaks you make them out to be. ANY religious faith is going to have their zealots who take it too far how they live their faith, the average LDS member isn't a mega zealot. If you want an example of being obsessively religious I'd look in the direction of Born Again Christians (in my opinion they go over board). Or there are those polygamist groups (Warren Jeffs, etc.) who are often confused with the LDS/Mormon Church who behave more like you have described, now THEY do shelter and control their kids much in the fashion you spoke of. Young LDS men (at 19) and LDS women (at 21) aren't forced to go on a mission and preach about the church. They go because they choose to do so. Is there some expectation that they'll go on a mission all their life until then? Yes, but in the end it is still up to that individual to serve or not. Also, it isn't a numbers game... they're just as happy if they convert 1 or 100 during their mission.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:17 a.m. CST

    RE: badmrwonka - I'm open to it being wrong

    by Neilfan12

    Yes I'm LDS. And yes I very strongly believe it to be true, I am 100% commited to the church. BUT I also have an open mind, I am open to the possibility that my church or even religion in general/as a whole could be wrong or made up. And you're right, I was stressing that the things you stated are your opinion only. Just as nobody can prove if God exists, you can't state as fact that the LDS Church is a sham created by Smith.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Please stop

    by jameskpolk

    Suggesting that educating one's children about one's religious faith is tantamount to dangerous brainwashing. People have spiritual needs. Children more so than some adults. To ignore this leads to people growing up kind of empty (soulless?) There are a ton of people these days who would simply be better people if mommy and daddy hadn't abdicated the responsibility to teach them basic decency and a little faith. People who think "A Serbian Film" is great art, for example.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Viggeo... I don't think so

    by Neilfan12

    By being "100% commited to the church" I meant that I always intend to follow its teachings to the best of my ability, I believe it to be true very strongly, it will always be a part of my life, etc. At the same time as all that, how is me being open to the possibility it or religion as a whole isn't true or is made up (acknowledging the chance might exist) a case of "anti-logic"? Why can't I be commited to my church if I have an open mind?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Are These Guys Still Around?

    by Aquatarkusman

    And idea-less as ever?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Extraordinary claims...

    by Mr Lucas

    require extraordinary evidence. "Ahh" say the religious, "but it's all about having faith". That's basically the same as saying "yes, I know I'm a gullible fool who will believe any old crap, but I don't care. Oh yes, and I'll persuade my children to believe the same nonsense, thus perpetuating the myths which hold back the human race and lead to the divisions that justify wars around the world".

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:37 a.m. CST

    Crif Dogs

    by BlackNacht

    Hope you got the tots with cheese and jalapenos! Also, there is a bar inside the phone booth next time you hit it...

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:43 a.m. CST

    The problem with religion and religious texts

    by damned-dirty-ape

    is that if you go back far enough and do some research, any religion can pretty much be debunked or contradicts it's own teachings. I'm 28 years old and i was brought up as a Christian. Over the last ten years or so I've known that most religion was corrupt and haven't followed any particular teachings as i believe each Church interprets a text, which has been written hundreds of years after some of the events taking place, in their own way. The whole Bible is pretty much Chinese Whispers. It's only in the past couple of years that i've actually started digging and truly thinking about religion that i've found the idea of an all powerful, omnipotent being is pretty ridiculous. The more i read, the further away i go from this concept. I completely respect anyones choice to follow a religion but i beg everyone just to keep an open mind and do a little research regarding other religions and Athiesm. It certainly has given me things to think about.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Collect underpants, sh*t on religion = profit

    by tricky1090

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:10 a.m. CST

    I used to date a girl from a Jehovah's Witness family

    by deelzbub

    and while they didn't believe in angelic glasses or magic underwear, they were just as brainwashed by their "church" as the Mormons seem to be. Probably even worse.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    viggeo

    by damned-dirty-ape

    It's nice to see someone open minded. I too find Taoism a more realistic view of looking at religion. deelzub- I often get Jehovah Witnesses around my area and have found their devotion to their cause absolutely fascinating. When having a conversation with them you know you can give all the sound arguements until you are blue in the face, but you will not convince them of anything other than what they have been taught from birth. One conversation i had consisted of me asking them what made them follow their relgion so devoutly? Was there some event in their life that made them think that they were doing Gods work? Did they see something, hear or speak to something or did they just feel God. The answer i recieved was to look at a completely unrelated passage in the Bible which answered nothing and showed me that the only reason they believed the things they do is because they've been brought up to think that way and nothing else. At the end of the day it's that that terrifies me. People need to start asking questions and make their own decisions about religion. If you still believe after doing research, all credit to you. At least you've made the effort.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:40 a.m. CST

    'We are all in Gods hands'

    by SmokingRobot

    'And God is a Malign thug' - Mark Twain.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Theveryfirst

    by MajorUndeclared

    Very astute. A lot of people hate religion because it sounds strange and seems like a difficult life. Much easier for these people to watch movies all day.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    theveryfirst

    by damned-dirty-ape

    No one is saying they have figured out the universe and i don't see your problem with people having differing views of religion. Or is the real problem that someone has said they don't actually believe in a God which so offensive to you? Coming here and insulting people because they have decided to share their personal opinions shows what a closed minded prick you are. If you have been offended because other people don't share your religious views then i feel very very sorry for you. P.S i'm English and don't have a clue what cheetos are, nor am i fat or the biggest Kubrick fan out there so stop talking out of your arse.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    No Cheetos!?!

    by MajorUndeclared

    Ape, You should really open your horizons to snack foods you "close minded prick."

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Woody Allen said

    by damned-dirty-ape

    If God exists, the best thing i can say is he is an underachiever.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    majorundeclared

    by damned-dirty-ape

    I'm sure i'd open up to Cheetos if they sold them. I think we call them cheesy wotsits, which i actually love. Bugger. theveryfirst got me there

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    dirty ape

    by deelzbub

    I agree. I was deeply exposed to the JW culture for about 5 years, and I could probably rant about it for just as long. IMO, if you want a relationship w/ God, that should be between you and God, and its no one else's business. In the JW, the church (and they don't call it that) is the intermediary, and all your information comes from it, and it should be unquestioningly followed. Dont get me started on their literature, which is anonymously written by the JW elders, and is considered to be as perfect as from the mouth of God. Parker and Stone need to skewer these guys next.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Theveryfirst and majorundeclared

    by David Cloverfield

    Some people hate religion, because they think it will make people of poor character think they're better than others. (Even thinking the rest of the people deserve eternal torment of some kind.) It's nice to see it's not true and you think great all of your fellow men and refuse to make generalizations about them. Very spiritual.

  • And the scientific explanation for Jesus coming back to life three days after his death without any signs of necrosis or brain damage and without the aid of super-advanced medical assistance would be...?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST

    avenue q

    by majortom25

    IF this is anything as good as avenueqw is then it should rock!!!!!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST

    'Faith is believing in things you know ain't so' - Mark Twain

    by SmokingRobot

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Cloverfield

    by MajorUndeclared

    It's always put on the religious that they are not spiritual and not tolerant. When they are not tolerated themselves. If you really want to get into the nitty gritty, I was just shocked that someone's never had cheetos. That is a hell I do not plan on going to.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:52 a.m. CST

    scratchmonkey

    by damned-dirty-ape

    bacta tank

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST

    "I'm way more spiritual than you cheeto filled dumbfucks"

    by David Cloverfield

    Seriously some people miss the point so much, it's unreal. They're the best proof that religions are not the problem in the world, assholes like this are. Some guys would find excuse to hate others and feel themselves special if they only had a phone book to base it on.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Also: I tried Cheetos last year for the first time

    by David Cloverfield

    It tastes like insanity.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Dorritos is where it's at.

    by David Cloverfield

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Agreed

    by MajorUndeclared

    I'm in the Cool Ranch denomination myself

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Damn you guys

    by damned-dirty-ape

    I am now having to order some Cheetos from an American shop in the UK to see what the fuss is about. Holy crap, they have mountain dew too, haven't seen that in years.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:07 a.m. CST

    To be honest

    by MajorUndeclared

    You can skip the cheetos. There are better things out there. The Mountain Dew is a must. I went to Australia and the only Mtn Dew is caffeine free! Unbelievable, I could've sworn they invented caffeine.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:11 a.m. CST

    We started to get Doctor Pepper last year at some stores

    by David Cloverfield

    I think as a people we collectively gained a few trucks worth of weight since then. Can't taste the more subtle foods either since I drink this shit. Thanks to Dr. Pepper, most vegetables taste like paper. I can totally see how people get obese. It's fucking diabolical, like they want you to get fat. Now I'm eating salads two-three days a week like a pussy. Thanks corporate world, you made me into what I hate.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST

    RE: Scratchmonkey - the resurrection

    by Neilfan12

    Thanks for quoting me and spreading the message further. Keep in mind that our scientists & doctors today do not know all there is to know about their respective fields. There is always more to be learned/discovered. With God however, being God and all, He would know all there is to know with science and medicine right? So obviously God utilized something quite advanced to accomplish Christ's resurrection. How do you know there wasn't "super advanced medical assistance"? Now, before you think "wow, he's nuts"... think about it. Assuming the resurrection was real & did happen, which is more logical? That God waved a magic wand and Jesus was alive again in His body or something along the lines of my explanation/theory above?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    RE: Viggeo - Faith

    by Neilfan12

    You seem to see contradiction in me being open to the possibility my church and/or religion in general not being true/real.... yet being devoted to my church. There is no conflict. I DO have faith in my church & it's beliefs. "Faith" is different than "knowing" or having knowledge of. If you know something, that means you have proof it is true... there is no doubt it is true. But where definitive proof is absent, one can have faith that it is true (that's what faith is). I and most everyone active in their respective church have the later, they have faith... they don't KNOW it to be true. I'm not confused. And I'm happy with Christianity, thanks though.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:24 a.m. CST

    neilfan12

    by damned-dirty-ape

    Would that mean that God isn't omnipotent, but just a very intelligent being? If God uses scientific means to resurrect Jesus, isn't that what it would imply?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    neilfan

    by damned-dirty-ape

    Please don't take offense at the question. As i said earlier, i do respect peoples beliefs as i would expect people to respect mine.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    How can you be an Atheist that admires and likes religion??

    by moorE12

    Sounds like he is trying to cover his ass. I really used to like South Park and Stone and Parker, but then they really started to annoy me. For example, they go on and on about how celebrities should stay out of politics, but they have clearly become guilty of breaking their own beliefs. But then if you are going to create a political/satirical show, then do that. But now they try so hard to poke fun at "everyone" so they can claim to be neutral and laugh at everyone, even though they have a clear bias.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST

    RE: Dirty-ape

    by Neilfan12

    Many/most Christians might shrink from the very idea that God isn't omnipotent... they insist upon Him being all powerfull and can do whatever the heck He wants with no limits at all. But why would it be a bad thing if it turned out He isn't omnipotent? That He is bound by the laws of science? I would say that doesn't make Him any less special or worthy of our respect... a being (our father) who created this world and gave us all life.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Re: Viggeo_morgenstein

    by SK229

    Your statements are as presumptuous and ludicrous as anyone who claims there is a god. To say that there is no way another consciousness could have created the universe is absolutely, bugnuts, INSANE. How do you know that? Hey everyone, we can stop all scientific and spiritual inquiry, 'viggeo_morgenstein' KNOWS all there is to know about the universe. Before I go further, I will say that I agree with what you say about 'good and bad', but it is obviously a human survival concept. Saying otherwise contradicts what you're saying... yes it is cause and effect, but we can agree that there are GOOD effects for the survival of our planet/race/nation... you as an individual... and BAD effects for the same. It is a necessary human concept. Animals, while unable to put a name on it, exist on the exact same concept of 'good for my survival' and 'bad for my survival'. My friend... we have barely scratched a pimple on a pimple on a pimple on a pimple when it comes to gaining knowledge about our own galaxy (some might even go more local than that), let alone the entire universe. Even Kubrick's '2001' posits that intelligent life on earth was seeded by some god-like intelligence that continues to beckon us further and further into space, leaving markers so that it would know when we had achieved certain stages. I personally see no problem with this scenario... in fact, it seems entirely plausible. It is AS plausible as the idea that the universe was always 'just here'. What do you and I have in common? Neither of us KNOWS for sure. Nobody does and to claim otherwise is THE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE. It is JUST AS ARROGANT AS CLAIMING THERE'S A GOD IN THE SKY THAT WRITES DOWN EVERYTHING WE DO AND THEN DECIDES BASED UPON THAT WHETHER WE BURN FOR ETERNITY OR SPEND IT IN ETERNAL BLISS WITH OUR LOVED ONES. The problem with atheists is the same as the problem with religious folk... they have no imagination. Richard Dawkins himself admitted that it is possible some far higher intelligent life form could have 'set things in motion' as it were. We may be no more than an experiment to a race of intelligent beings that had a few thousand more years to evolve than we have had. Case-in-point: most of our technology, if you were to get into a time machine and take it back even 500 years, would be indistinguishable from magic to the people of that time. 500 years is NOTHING. Think about the progress we've made in the last 100 years... what progress will we make in the next 300? At some point, we will be to a future version of man as apes and our early ancestors seem to us now - totally primitive. It is possible there are other life forms out there to which we are totally primitive. How does the possibility (and that is a FACT) escape you people? Talk about close-mindedness...

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I was raised

    by ComSamVimes

    in a mormon household. I don't follow anymore (I'm impervious to brainwashing I guess), but not because I think it's a bad thing...I just don't believe it. It's pretty easy to make fun of, and there's plenty of material to go on...but they are treated unfairly. It's cool if you think it's silly (I think a lot of it is), but I think a lot of the hate is pure bigotry. It's a plenty nice church that does a lot to help a lot of people in need...there are wierd Mormons...especially in Utah where the concentration of them makes it a little strange. It doesn't matter I guess, considering where this discussion is being held, but that's my two cents (it's more fun than talking about a brit playing and "American Icon"/cartoon character)

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST

    P.S. Dirty-ape

    by Neilfan12

    You're fine. I don't think you've offended me here yet. I'm open to and respect that people have other beliefs & opinions than mine too. I might not agree with them and I'll say as much though.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:46 a.m. CST

    also...

    by ComSamVimes

    this is actually a very respectful talkback all things considered. I'm really enjoying it.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:01 a.m. CST

    When Scientology has lost it's fun to insult

    by donkingkong

    let's find the Mormons, or Jehovah's Witness. easy targets. Personally I like the carpet bombing approach of Maher's Religulous. So much fun to insult people's beliefs!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    @moore12

    by Bag_of_Hammers

    My thoughts too. It's like Republicans that are too embarrassed by their own party and call themselves "Libertarians" even though they vote "R" straight down the ticket. (That goes for you "Progressives" too, you're Democrats, just be honest.) If the musical is anything like South Park has been for the last 8 seasons, I'm assuming they shoehorn in at least a half dozen CATO institute talking points. C'mon guys, yes both sides are bad, now get back to the dick and fart jokes, leave your thinly veiled belief systems at the door.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    neilfan

    by damned-dirty-ape

    I have to say it's refreshing to see someone who has a religious belief but is open to other possibilities. In some ways the God you are quite open to who obeys scientific laws would be higly offensive to a lot of believers and I suppose it all depends on what your definition of a God is. Some people wouldn't have any other than the all mighty all knowing version, whereas you seem to be decribing a God who has a command of technology and a vast intelligence. It's all down to personal feelings. I personally wouldn't call a very powerfull person with command of an extraordinary intelligence and technology to be a god, just a powerful being. I can see where you are coming from though

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:05 a.m. CST

    I'm a Mormon

    by cyberfray

    There's an easier way to find out what Mormons believe, and it doesn't involve some talkbacker with a grudge against organized religion, or someone who thinks they're an expert because they saw that South Park episode. Just go to mormon.org. As a Latter-Day Saint myself, I can assure you that the stuff on mormon.org is really what we believe.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST

    RE: sk229 comments to Viggeo

    by Neilfan12

    You said alot of things I agree with and believe about science, some things I think quite sensible and true... but you did it a little to bluntly. Being a bit more civil is better don't you think? I especially liked your final paragraph, the one about how we would appear to be magical (I'd add "Godlike") beings to someone just 500 years ago. I'm always saying the same thing in debates like this. I believe God (if there is one) only seems magical and supernatural because we don't understand how He accomplishes things... just as someone 500 years ago would find our cell phones, TV and internet to be "magic". Take Christ's virgin birth for example. Christians see that as a miracle and a mystery of God. How so? With our medical technology today virgin births happen all the time, a woman need not ever have had sex to have a baby now. The only mystery I see about Christ's birth is exactly how God performed the artificial insemination of Mary.

  • I dunno, maybe I'm just getting cranky, but this lowest common denominator stuff's really beginning to feel old. I'm not bitching about the profanity or shock humor, but this reminds me of a cartoon I saw of a 5 year old yelling "PENIS!" in a room full of adults after learning what his plumbing was called. Maybe not, though, now that I think about it. . .at least the kid didn't know any better. I grew up in a blue collar mining town, and there were 3 faucets in every kitchen: "Hot", "Cold" and "Fuck you". Profanity was pretty much a way of life. Germanic expletives were nothing more than adjectives and adverbs. . .still are, pretty much. But stuff like this, though, just seems to come off as two kids saying "Oh boy, we're gonna say "CUNT!", it'll be GREAT!!!!!!!!" Not so much a condemnation of them as much an observation of where a laget part of our society apparently is, if what's out there these days is any indication. . .

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a lot of silly fun, not to be taken seriously.

    by Gabba-UK

    As an atheist who thinks that believing in a singular entity looking down on on high after essentially creating the universe when they were bored, is not far removed from believing in the tooth fairy, I'd be the first in the queue. As long as it's not cruel for the sake of it. Being cruel to those not sharing your beliefs is something that religions do very well, even when they preach tolerance of others. Atheism is best served when you practice the tolerance fundamentalists of all religions are completely incapable of.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Don't agree with Mormonism, but no faith deserves this

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Parker and Stone are a bunch of nihilistic atheist bullies. If I were a Mormon I wouldn't worry much, though. Exactly who is going to see this anyway? That said, I guess it's high time some other religion takes the abuse from Hollywood that is usually reserved for Catholicism.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Mormonism is easy to make fun of...

    by thot

    ...so I suppose it was only a matter of time 'til someone produced a play about it. The South Park boys seem to over-do it though. Sometimes overkill just kills the laughs. Simply relaying the actual beliefs of Mormons is hilarious enough fodder!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Bleh

    by Lord_Byron_Farthammer

    These guys were cutting edge and funny. In 1998.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    As a Mormon, laughing my head off

    by Mephisto the Great

    Personally, I applaud satires of the Church of Jesus Christ. Doesn't offend me at all. Like so many satirists before them, such sensational tripe has the exact opposite effect than possibly intended. More often than not, such things will get people interested to learn more about the church. So thank you, Parker and Stone, for being missionaries yourselves. :)

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    magic underwear

    by deelzbub

    so, do you guys wear the special Mormon undergarments? When you have sex do you have to do it with them on?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Wish Trey and Matt were going after radical Islam instead

    by FeralAngel

    Really, how much harm has Mormonism done anyway? Yeah, the Joseph Smith story is balmy, and makes you just shake your head and wonder "why the hell do people believe in such stuff?", but at least the church does do some great charity work and doesn't go around hurting anybody. In fact it's such a safe target that the show Trey and Matt have built around it lessens my respect for those two guys. There are better, more provocative targets out there guys...if you have the balls to go for them.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Joseph Smith, he is our prophet...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb-dumb!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Mormon underwear...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...during sex... better that the sheet-with-a-hole-cut-in-it that Hassidim have to deal with.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Mormonism:

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...the Steampunk Scientology.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Matt & Trey don't want any more...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...Mohammad-in-a-bearsuit moments. Or be blown up. All mormons'll do is maybe send them a cake, and not even a poison cake.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    A comedy Cunt song has never been done before

    by darthpigman

    I can't wait to see this thing. Trey and Matt are peerless when it comes to comedy.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Religion IS silly....

    by macheesmo3

    It's probably the number one thing that has held back the social and technological advancement of the human race (middle ages anybody?)... One day,( and I'm sure it's going to take a while because people are stupid and like avoiding taking responsibility for their actions) . We will be free of the shackles of religion and can focus on actually becoming a unified society (I don't mean new world order crap, I just mean we won't be worrying about what the other is up to) Sure there will still be dictators, but with no religion there won't be nearly as much ammo for these pyschopaths to use to gain power....... Religion is not just the opiate of the masses, it's worse than meth cuz you don't goto jail for gettin yer kids hooked! BTW, atheistic republican(actually more like a libertarian) here! Ponder that shit for awhile! :-)

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Macheesmo Consider it pondered

    by xevoid

    Im an Atheist too. But it turns out the Libertarians main inspiration, Ayn Rand, was a hypocrite...was revealed yesterday that while she was railing against government handouts she ended up taking and cashing her Social Security checks like everyone else...came out yesterday...google it.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    My problem with atheists...

    by SK229

    is that they are exactly the same as religious nuts... they NEED the comfort of science (indeed, it is their god) to reassure them that they know and understand the nature of our existence when nothing could be further from the truth. It shows how little they know about science. We can make predictions and formulate theories about the outcome of an experiment based upon observations and the laws of physics, but until we can venture deep into the cosmos or make heretofore unknown scientific discoveries (perhaps such a discovery is impossible to make and we'll never truly know?) we could very well be living in a relatively small bubble of matter created by a much larger entity. The NATURE of our existence, that is HOW the universe got here, what is outside the universe, whether there are multiple universes, whether it's always just been here or was set in motion by other entities or if the universe itself is an experiment and there are other realities parallel to our own that are even more foreign to us than quantum mechanics is something we remain mostly in the dark about. (I say 'mostly' because of things like the light slit experiment, Schrodinger's Cat, the Hangman's Paradox, and quantum suicide.) Atheists are as, if not MORE close-minded than a religious fanatic who KNOWS his god is the right one and all non-believers are doomed. I agree that understanding the nature of our universe or believing in a god is fairly irrelevant to our everyday existence and even science itself. Stephen Hawking says as much when he says this about the questions of "Well, if the universe is an expanding bubble, what is outside the bubble? What are we expanding into?" That information is irrelevant to understanding the physics of THIS universe. It appears, at this point in time, to be completely unknowable and thus we just ignore the question when making scientific inquiry. It currently seems as though we cannot know. Yet atheists make claims about what we know that the top physicists will not. Religion is irrelevant to understanding the universe, but when it comes to speculating on the why and how it all got here, ANY explanation takes on a religious dimension. Even the one that says it always was and always will be and nothing set it all in motion. But with our limited understanding of how this could be (really, because of the way our own universe operates, we have no ability to grasp something truly infinite), any atheist claiming to KNOW it is like this is full of shit too. And when you talk of a god concept being a much advanced species from our own that could have set intelligent life in motion or 'seeded' different planets/civilizations, there is the possibility that they may have discovered how to manipulate matter, gravity, and space-time in a way that we are, at present, totally unaware of. Even if this ISN'T the nature of our own evolution, it is possible that such a sentient life form exists. Atheists often seem to believe that physics describes what is possible, now and forever, but this is even more horse shit. It only describes what we currently know to be true based upon past observation and that could change at any moment given some new discovery about the nature of our reality. We're only feeling around in the dark, imho. It's also possible that one day WE will be a much advanced life form, capable of seeming like gods to another species... imagine Sim City, only with real-life biology and played out over many billions of years. Like I said before, my problem with atheists and religious nuts is they have no imagination. Atheists ascribe to science a role that is the OPPOSITE of what science SHOULD represent - that is, many atheists believe science is something that is all knowing, unchanging, able to explain everything for all time, more than human, infallible, irrefutable... gee, what else do these words describe?

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    xevoid that doesn't make Rand a hypocrite

    by OutsideChance

    She paid into the system. She took her money back out.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST

    What sk229 said! Word up, bro!

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    The problem with atheism is that you are closing your mind to the possibilities of the universe. Not a very scientific perspective. Agnosticism makes more sense to the Choppah.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST

    most Mormons

    by PlayerHater_of_the_year

    I've met are pretty decent people. But they do believe in magic underwear... i'm just sayin'...

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Funny...

    by Mephisto the Great

    I've been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ all my life, and there's nothing in our doctrine that teaches about "magic underwear." Is there symbolic clothing that people wear in the church? Sure--like Catholics, Muslims, Jews, and anybody who ever wore a mortarboard and robe when they graduated. Next time I see an Orthodox Jew, I'll point at their kipah and say, "Ooooh! Your maaagical little circus hat!" Let's see how far THAT gets me. :)

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:19 p.m. CST

    as an atheist

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    I have no problems with Mormons. they never done anything wrong to me or to the world at large (just like Scientology). so, I give em props. Chrisitians however, fucking suck. I can look past idiotic religions as long as theyre not fucking shit up. but if youre all up in peoples faces saying theyre sinners or going to hell, I will call you on your idiotic shit. with all that said, lets ban Christianity worldwide. youre gonna be the reason why aliens are gonna blow us up.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST

    The underwear issue

    by Ryan

    There's a lot of misconception's about the underwear. They are pretty normal looking (especially the men's), and no Mormon (except the 1% that are kinda crazy) believes they are "magical." It's connected to the temples, and it's basically just a reminder of the covenants you make with God. Every time you put them on you are supposed to remember. The rest of us take them off to do any normal activity like the rest of mankind. Compared to the rest of society, it is quite unusual, but no more so than religion as a whole, or Catholicism..

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    harryknowlesnonexistentinceptionreview

    by m2298

    The hole-in-the sheet during sex for Hasidim is a myth.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    No sk229,

    by Talandir

    Science is not God to Atheists. Science is not a religion. Science is a methodology for understanding the universe and the laws that govern it. Simply put, science is the SEARCH for truth by the use of logic and reason. Religion is the ASSUMPTION of truth based solely on faith, even when the facts contradict that faith. Science changes as new facts and observations are revealed. Religion rejects those facts that contradict it's dogma. BTW none of this has anything to do with Atheism. Atheism is a religious or philosophical belief system that rejects the existence of a God(s). It does not automatically imply any kind of absolute belief in science.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Book of Mormon?

    by Lang The Cat

    I am hoping there will be a Greek Chorus that roams the stage periodically singing "And so it came to pass". That would really be funny. <br><br>My biggest problem with the Book of Mormon is that I expected God to have a better editor.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:14 p.m. CST

    BRING BACK TEAT WILLIAMS FOR SUBSTITUTE V

    by SmokieGeezer

    2011 is time for Karl Thommson to kick ass again!

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:20 p.m. CST

    izzycapo

    by deelzbub

    good answer. respect.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 6:25 p.m. CST

    sad

    by stvnhthr

    Sounds like a hateful mockery, totally done in bad taste of a religion, while false, ain't deserving of this sort of ridicule.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Atheism is the denial of the existence of God

    by donkingkong

    Any time you totally commit yourself to having a point of view that is unflappable, it mirrors a religious zealotry equal to Athesim. Having said that I'm Atheistic about my belief that most of the world has no clue what they are talking about when it comes to God/religion/spirituality. And when I say most I mean pretty much the whole world, me included, we're all fumbling. Take it for what's it worth, as one man's opinion. I prefer to be think of myself as a "Secular Humanist". To a fundamentalist of the Christian variety they might equate that to being an "Atheist" or even... agh - a "Satanist"! But I prefer the not so subtle distinction in my own mind at least. The Mormons will take this one on the chin and go about their business of building the "Kingdom". Now can it be said that the same amount of tolerance can be applied to the Southern Baptists, Catholics, or most any other mainstream Christian flavored religion if their religion gets a bit teased? Hell a large percentage of the Muslim world would perform Jihad on Broadway if that same amount of religious ridicule was directed at their faith. Making fun of a goofy religion that's not their own, yea that's fun. It's easy especially if you can get away with it. It's all good until your own persuasion of religious quackery falls under the magnifying glass. In a way it sorta strikes me as a kind of intellectual bullying to me. Sure seems easy to pick on the idiosyncrasies of Mormons, Scientology devotees, and Jehovah Witness's if you don't buy into any of it. And those religions are still are on the outskirts of what qualifies as genuine acceptance here in "Jesus USA". Easy pickens. One last comment, out of the Mormons I met in my life most seem to be pretty decent folk, and no less crazy in their religious beliefs then any other religion out there. They actually seem to have it more together then a lot of other adherents that like to wear their religion on their sleeve. If they chose to wear their religion on their "magic underwear", more power to them. Take it for what's it worth, as one man's opinion.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:19 p.m. CST

    The Mormons are nice people but...

    by MackAndJacks

    they're not Christian. Or, at least they're not part of the same Christianity that Catholicism, Lutheranism, Methodism, Anglicanism, the Reformed and the Baptists belong to. That kind of Christianity came up with the Creeds starting in the 4th century, which became a litmus test for whether a denomination is "part of the club." The Mormons are WAY out of line with the Creeds. Since Trinitarians (Creedal Christians) account for the vast majority of "Christians" in the world, and since Trinitarianism was virtually the only surviving form of Christianity between the 4th century up until 150 years ago, it's fair to say that Trinitarianism IS Christianity. Mormons telling people that they're Christian has no theological basis, but is instead a way to make themselves feel good that they're "part of the club." This is unfortunate. I've never met a Mormon who wasn't a good person, and it's unfair to make the assumption that you have to be a Christian to be a goo person.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:27 p.m. CST

    *good person

    by MackAndJacks

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:29 p.m. CST

    yourstepdaddy

    by BadMrWonka

    if you think Scientologists are harmless, you haven't been paying attention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Lisa_McPherson

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:46 p.m. CST

    RE: mackandjacks - What is a Christian?

    by Neilfan12

    True, the LDS Church doesn't adhere to the Nicean Creed. And so what if it or another Christian church doesn't? The criteria of what constitutes a Christian need not be so complicated. For me and many other's it's as simple as this: You believe in Jesus Christ, that He is who He's claimed to be (our Saviour) and you put His teachings into action... doing your best to follow and obey the things He said we should. Not everyone holds to the mistaken notion that the LDS ("Mormon") Church isn't Christian... lots of other Christians consider us part of the fold. Also, the LDS belief about the Godhead (that they are 3 distinct individuals, not one single Being manifested as 3) is quite valid as it is backed up all through the Bible.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:48 p.m. CST

    RE: mackandjacks - What is a Christian?

    by Neilfan12

    True, the LDS Church doesn't adhere to the Nicean Creed. And so what if it or another Christian church doesn't? The criteria of what constitutes a Christian need not be so complicated. For me and many other's it's as simple as this: You believe in Jesus Christ, that He is who He's claimed to be (our Saviour) and you put His teachings into action... doing your best to follow and obey the things He said we should. Not everyone holds to the mistaken notion that the LDS ("Mormon") Church isn't Christian... lots of other Christians consider us part of the fold. Also, the LDS belief about the Godhead (that they are 3 distinct individuals, not one single Being manifested as 3) is quite valid as it is backed up all through the Bible.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 8:54 p.m. CST

    What have those poor, innocent Mormons ever done to anybody else?

    by Lesbianna_Winterlude

    If you don't count California, that is.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:05 p.m. CST

    As a ex-morman

    by edwardpenishands

    I know how truly bat shit crazy they are. They are awesome at brainwashing children. They did a great job suckering me into believing some insane shit. They beat it into your head that the best thing you could ever do is to be a missionary. My parent didn’t care if I failed all my classes or if I did anything else with my life as long as I preached the word of God to others. If you’re a girl the best thing you can do is marry a missionary. They are the borg. Listen, I’m a born again Atheist but I think you should be able believe whatever mind blowing physics defying retardation that you want to believe. Just don’t push your agenda on me.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST

    All religions are wrong, so what does it matter?

    by vorlonkosh

    Pick the one that makes you happy (if any) and go with it. Just don't force your beliefs (or lack thereof) on me...

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:30 p.m. CST

    badmrwonka

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    I didnt read the whole article, I stopped where I read she was apart of the Church. so sadly, thats her dumbass fault for being treated by their hospital I stand by what I said, Scientologists are not a danger to the world at large... well until Tom Cruise runs for President, then shit may get nasty for non-Scientologists

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 9:52 p.m. CST

    I have some acquaintance with LDSism ...

    by ReportAbuse

    (BTW, it's funny that a few years ago the church tried to dissuade people from using the term "Mormon" -- trying to get them to use LDS instead -- but now it appears to be back in vogue again, as with the new t.v. commercials) Not to get into an endless theological argument (every church has "weird" theology to outsiders), the problem with the LDS church is its clannish and highly hierarchical, corporate structure that sacrifices the interest and well being of any given member for the benefit of the whole. This is not all that different from how it's done in a lot of other churches, it's not exclusive to the LDS church, it just seems to be more blatant there. The "follow the prophet" attitude is often carried to ridiculous extremes. A few years ago, church pres. Hinckley made an off-hand comment that women ought not to wear more than one earring per ear. Somehow that got turned into a "strong counsel" and here we have a church leader encouraging young men to break off a relationship with a girl if she fails to follow this "inspired counsel" -- "Sister Bednar and I are acquainted with a returned missionary who had dated a special young woman for a period of time. This young man cared for the young woman very much and he was desirous of making his relationship with her more serious. He was considering and hoping for engagement and marriage. Now this relationship was developing during the precise time that President Hinckley counseled the Relief Society sisters and young women of the church to wear only one earring in each ear. The young man waited patiently over a period of time for the young woman to remove her extra earrings, but she did not take them out. This was a valuable piece of information for this young man and he felt unsettled about her non-responsiveness to a Prophet's pleading. For this and other reasons, he ultimately stopped dating the young woman because he was looking for an eternal companion who had the courage to promptly and quietly obey the counsel of the Prophet in all thing and at all times." http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_davidabednar.html

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Pray, pay and obey!

    by ReportAbuse

    "Apparently, word is the COB (Church Office Building) has sent a letter stressing that brothers who attend Sacrament Meeting and who could potentially be performing priesthood ordinances therein must be in white shirts, ties, and clean shaven. ... This is old news. Over the past 20 years I have been told that men MUST wear white shirts (no pastels allowed) even when home teaching. In one ward, we women were chastised if we wore denim in any form, even skirts. ... The white shirt and tie has always been referred to as the uniform of the priesthood and it has been strongly encouraged by the church for men to wear it when performing priesthood ordinances and when attending meetings. ... Growing up my stake pres. was pretty strict (but a nice guy). He always said that all priesthood holders must wear white shirts and ties. If you wore a colored shirt, you could not participate in priesthood ordinances. ... Veil workers (in the Temple) must be clean shaven. Last year, one of our high councilors gave a talk where he went into depth about cutting off a mustache to work in the temple. It was pretty traumatic for him, he'd had the mustache for 30 years. " "My cousin is pressuring her husband to have another baby right now. Her rationale, according to my grandmother, is that the Church wants us to have as many children as we can. Most of us on the board know that the CHI (Church Handbook of Instructions) was changed a few years ago to say that the number of children a couple decides to have is a private matter between them and the Lord. But how many rank-and-file members know what the little, private Church Handbook says? VERY few. Most members believe what the leaders tell them from the pulpit, and that message is loud and clear: Have more kids. Don't wait to finish your degree. Don't wait to get a better job. Don't wait, don't wait, don't wait." "For us, to 'believe all things' means to believe the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the words of the Latter day prophets. It means to successfully erase our doubts and reservations. It means that in making spiritual commitments, we are prepared to hold nothing back. It means we are ready to consecrate our lives to the work of the kingdom. The more we believe, the easier faith-based obedience becomes. Hence the value of 'believing all things.' We are instructed to be like children, who are willing to be taught and then to act without first demanding full knowledge. Some members are constantly evaluating the gospel by the standards of the world. They may think, 'That is not how I think the Lord would want it done,' or, 'Based on my understanding of the scriptures, the Church position should have been . . .' Some Church members may have reservations because of a physical appetite they are not quite willing to surrender. Other common reservations are flagged by words such as 'yes, but . . .' when scriptures or prophets are quoted. Or we may hear, 'I am not going to let the Church make my decisions for me.' Obedience is a fundamental law of the gospel. It is not only the demonstration of our faith but also the foundation of our faith. But the philosophical standard of the world holds that unquestioning obedience equals blind obedience, and blind obedience is mindless obedience. This is simply not true. Unquestioning obedience to the Lord indicates that a person has developed faith and trust in Him to the point where he or she considers all inspired instruction — whether it be recorded scripture or the words of modern prophets — to be worthy of obedience." (Dallin Oaks) http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_obedience.html

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    As someone who has actually attended an LDS

    by vorlonkosh

    Church regularly, I can tell you that no one is forced to join or stay an active member. There is encouragement to adhere to doctrine, but there isn't any brainwashing as some would suggest. There are many members with various levels of commitment, just like any other church. I consider myself lightweight. I go to church, but don't really buy into everything. There are also your hard core believers, the real self-righteous assholes. I think these are the folks who give all members the bad rep.

  • Feb. 1, 2011, 10:55 p.m. CST

    All I know is, the Mormons really fucked Spock up

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    He did a little too much LDS.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 12:37 a.m. CST

    As someone who tickles his own balls with a goose feather...

    by Rooster Rugburn

    ...every time he hears the "South Park" theme, I am really looking forward to hitchhiking all the way up to NYC and sneaking into the Eugene O'Neill theater's stage door just so I can see this show!

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 12:51 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    As I said, when you consider the historic and population significance of Trinitarianism, you find that when people throughout history and in the modern world refer to "Christian" practices, they are talking about TRINITARIANISM. I'm not saying I believe Mormons are going to hell. i'm not saying that they don't believe in Christ or that they aren't Christian in the same way. What I'm saying is that when people talk about Christianity throughout history and for the most part today, they are talking about US - Trinitarians. They are talking about Catholics, and Lutherans, and Orthodox, and Methodists, and Baptists, and Calvinists, etc. Even the Baptists can trace the development of their believe back to decisions of the 4th century and before, thought they may not want to admit it. The shadow of Nicene still plays in their theological interpretations whether they like it or not. Baptists and Catholics, etc., are all part of the same continuity, you could say, even though we all branched off. Mormonism is a total reboot of the religion, taking it back to what its followers believe are the true teachings/interpretations of Christ. Mormons have thrown out the creeds. They've thrown out St. Augustine's theology, as well as other important ancient theologians whose interpretations have shaped the direction of the religion. Mormonism is a different religion from Trinitarianism. And when you talk about Christians in the 4th century and beyond, up until really only the modern day, you're talking about Trinitarianism.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 12:53 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    And if the LDS church were to take a position of strength and faith rather than a position of defensiveness to silence its flock over questions of "Why aren't we like them?" then they wouldn't need to claim to be Christian.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 12:56 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    The second sentence in my second paragraph: I meant "Christian in a different way." Argentinians are Americans, too, but they are Americans in a different way from citizens of the United States. When people go to the Old World and speak about "Americans", though, they almost always mean "U.S. citizens."

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 1:33 a.m. CST

    RE: mackandjacks - Christianity re-booted

    by Neilfan12

    You said: "Baptists and Catholics, etc., are all part of the same continuity, you could say, even though we all branched off. Mormonism is a total reboot of the religion, taking it back to what its followers believe are the true teachings/interpretations of Christ. Mormons have thrown out the creeds. They've thrown out St. Augustine's theology, as well as other important ancient theologians whose interpretations have shaped the direction of the religion." Well put, you do understand the LDS Church it sounds like. That's correct, the LDS believe they are Christianity re-booted... we/they basically hit the reset button and returned Christianity to its roots (before all the creeds and according to us, with some missing bits restored/included). The LDS aren't "Trinitarian-Christian", they're just plain "Christian". That's true. Would be nice if more people saw there is more than one type of Christian... just like anyone in the 3 Americas are all technically "American" (like in your example). Everyone just needs to work on being more inclusive, including some LDS people. Some of us LDS shun "outsiders" just as much as our fellow Christians when we shouldn't. Focus on the good things we share rather than our differences.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 2:07 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    Absolutely we need to work on our similarities. However, to restate what I'm trying to get at: I don't have any problem with Mormons, nor would I want to disrespect Mormons by arguing with their theology. The problem I have is that when i hear Mormons call themselves "Christian", I feel as if someone is telling something that is not true. "Historic Christianity" is what people talk about when you open the average book that is talking about "Christianity." Since Mormonism is "Christianity Rebooted" why would they want to identify with "Historic Christianity" and slip in among our numbers? Wouldn't they want to completely distance themselves, or at least make a huge and public claim that they are the true Christians while Trinitarians are not, wedging the two apart in making a claim for the title? I do believe people should focus on similarities. Trinitarianism, however, does not share any closer bond to Mormonism than it does with other religions. Christianity-through-the-ages is different from Mormonism as it is from Judaism. So why, then, count Mormons among Trinitarians? It doesn't make sense. And that's why Trinitarians feel like they're smelling a rat when they hear Mormons claim to be part of the club.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 2:09 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    Add to the end of sentence 3 in paragraph 1: "[I feel as if someone is telling something that is not true] with a deceptive or conniving purpose."

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST

    sk229

    by shodan6672

    Realizing we are not able to yet discern what is outside the bubble of the universe is wholly different than than the constructivist method that religion uses to create explanations for the currently unknowable. It is simple logic. I will NEVER understand why the religious often don't undertstand that simple concept. That and the fact that atheism and it's "zealotry" can, and always will be, at a higher standard of reason, as its fervor is based upon reason. Just because atheists can be combative with the religious (though history has only recently, in a relative sense, made that a safe process) does not undermione their position in the slightest.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    shodan6672, you're argument is totally contradictory

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    You say, "Realizing we are not able to yet discern what is outside the bubble of the universe..." I would agree that this statement is true. But, then you say, "that atheism and it's "zealotry" can, and always will be, at a higher standard of reason." An atheist believes that there is no God, yet lacks the evidence to prove that there is no higher power. He closes his mind to this possibility even though "we are not able to yet discern what is outside the bubble of the universe." A person who believes in a higher power can use the proof of the existence of the universe and life as evidence that there is a higher power at work since man did not have anything to do with the creation of the universe or the emergence of life. An atheist has no answer as to how the universe was created other than THE BIG BANG, but what my friend was on the other side of the BIG BANG. All I'm suggesting is that you keep your mind open, my friend.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 1:20 p.m. CST

    "The South Park Mormon episode summed it up nicely at the end"

    by BurnHollywood

    "Maybe us Scientologists do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe L. Ron Hubbard did make it all up. But I have a great life and a great family, and I have Dianetics to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if L. Ron Hubbard made it all up, because what the group teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you're so high and mighty you couldn't look past my religion and just be my friend back. You've got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my balls."<p><p> We all owe Tom Cruise an apology. Or a ball-sucking.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    I hope this becomes a movie...

    by workshed

    ...because I doubt they'll bring it to the UK. Matt, Trey, if you get around to reading this shit... bring TBoM to the UK. Pretty please. With sugar on top.

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    RE: halfbreedqueen

    by MackAndJacks

    That's a really dumb answer. Stating your opinions without addressing people's arguments isn't debate. Doing that is just voicing them because it make you feel good and with the purpose of pissing someone off, not contributing to learning and growth. Unless you water down Christianity into something that means nothing, then no, Mormons are not Christian. Not, in the historical or population numbers sense. It's like the term "American" in the sense of peoples from North and South America... "American" means "new World", but is there anything in common that actually links the culture of U.S. citizens with Argentinians or Brazilians? Mormons maybe are Christian because they technically believe in Christ as their savior, but at the same time are so different that it would be adjective abuse to connect them to Trinitarians. Just look at your knowledge of Catholics. Both Lutherans and Anglicans are very, very similar to the Roman church, at least in outward appearance of their worship liturgies. And the Eastern Orthodox are quite similar to them in terms of theology, which is part of the reason why they might merge someday. Do you know anything about the history and comparative theology of Christianity, or are you just making base judgments without studying it first?

  • Feb. 2, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    A Mormon...

    by maxjohnson1971

    stole my wife from me. AND he was my boss AND her boss. Fuck the Mormons. Agnostic Libertarian speaking here.

  • because they knew that they couldn't commit adultery because that would be a sin, so they just decided to add a new wife every time they got a hot nut for a new piece of strange. Now that's chutzpah! You gotta give that to old Joseph Smith.

  • Feb. 3, 2011, 4:38 p.m. CST

    RE: mackandjacks

    by cyberfray

    You seem to allow only a very narrow definition of Christianity. Mormons worship Jesus Christ. They believe the Bible is the Word of God. They believe Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected, and will some day come again. Jesus Christ is central to the Mormon religion and the Church itself is named after Him. In some very fundamental ways, Mormons are very much Christian. http://mormon.org/jesus-christ/

  • Feb. 4, 2011, 2:42 a.m. CST

    RE: cyberfray

    by MackAndJacks

    First of all, again, people need to address other people's points. Follow the flo chart of what I'm writing, other than that it's not a debate. Secondly, no, I am not following a very narrow description of Christianity. All Christians between the 4th century up until the middle of the 1800s were Trinitarian, and since the middle of the 1800s, 99 percent of Christians remain Trinitarian. Mormons are a very tiny minority that is outside that 99 percent. They are outsiders. Look, the defenition of "Muslim" means "one who submits to God." I'm Lutheran, and I submit to God. Does that mean that I'm a Muslim? No. "Muslim" has historic and deeper theological implications to it. Christianity has a 2000 year history, of which the Mormons adhere to no part, because they see themselves as a reboot. In fact, official Mormon doctrine is that those who do adhere to that 2000 year history (Trinitarians) actually go to a different heaven than those who are Mormon. So no. Mormons are not Christian. That's why if you ever wanted to become a member of my church, or a Catholic church, or a Baptist chruch, or a Presbyterian church, you would have to be baptized into our faith, because we Trinitarians, Historical Christians, don't recognize your LDS baptisms as being valid to our religion. You people are outsiders to us, foreigners in faith. Deal with it.

  • Feb. 4, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Mormonism vs. Christianity

    by GigaMach

    So, a debate here is tough, but I would recommend interested parties visit http://mrm.org. Good source of info about the differences and distinctives between traditional Christianity and Mormonism, with documentation from both views to provide evidence, as opposed to opinionated posturing. Worth your time for anyone who really wants to research the history or Mormonism.

  • Feb. 4, 2011, 8:37 p.m. CST

    RE: mackandjacks - LDS/Mormons are Christian

    by Neilfan12

    That's your opinion (shared by many of course) that the LDS Church is not Christian... but that does not make it true. Not ALL Trinitarian style Christians think the same, many of them consider the LDS Church to be just as Christian as they are. They might think we're misguided and heading on the wrong path, but they still see us as Christian. As I and others have pointed out here, what constitutes being a "Christian" need not be as complicated as many make it. It's as simple as having a belief in Christ, that He's our saviour and following the Bible. The LDS fit that mold. About the creeds and long standing tradition (as you keep bringing up), forget them. Just because most believed one way for centuries doesn't mean when another sect comes along with some differing understandings of the gospel it doesn't make them non-Christian, EVERY Christian sect has their differences. Why are so many hung up on the Trinitarian part, making it the clincher/deal breaker? That is not the most important part of the gospel. About baptism, the reverse is true too. Anyone wanting to join the LDS Church needs to be baptized again even if already Christian as the LDS believe only they hold God's priesthood authority to perform this rite/ritual. And about Heaven, you're mistaken. The LDS believe everyone goes to the same Heaven... but not necessarily to the same parts of Heaven. They/we teach there are 3 Kingdoms (levels of glory) within Heaven (there is a couple references to this in the Bible). Everyone (both Christian and not) will go into one of those 3 Kingdoms. To get into the top/highest glory where God and Christ both reside (the Celestial Kingdom) one needs to be LDS and adhere to strict guidelines. But being LDS/Mormon doesn't guarantee you a ticket into this highest glory, even some LDS members will get turned away from that part of Heaven. I know you didn't say this, but I'll just point out the LDS don't believe (as many other Christians do) that a person is going to burn in Hell for eternity if they aren't a member of their church/faith. Those who were not or are not LDS in this mortal life will still have a chance to convert/change that in the next life. And even if someone at that point still rejects the gospel they won't be cast off with Satan... they just won't be able to advance to the Celestial Kingdom in Heaven. I'm thinking one reason why so many Christian sects insist upon labeling the LDS as outsiders and go to such extraordinary efforts to speak against the LDS (seemingly singling us out above all others) is they don't like continually losing many in their congregations to us. They don't like our aggressive missionary work and want to combat against it. "Don't listen to or join those Mormons! They're different and evil, they're going to Hell and you will too if you join."

  • I just learned today that actress Amy Adams (from the movie "Enchanted" and current Oscar nominee from "The Fighter" I think it is) is LDS/Mormon. Though apparently she and her family haven't been active or practicing members since she was 11. Also learned singer Christina Aguilera might be LDS (or should I say may have at one point). Her parents were LDS, but they divorced when she was 7 and it's unknown if she ever got baptized when she turned 8 or not (LDS children are baptized at age 8 rather than as an infant like in some other churches). Two I already knew about were singer Gladys Knight and actor Rick Schroder of "Silver Spoons" fame (both of whom have converted to/joined the LDS Church and are currently active members last I heard).

  • Feb. 5, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    Yeah. it is my opinion that Mormons are outsiders. It's also the opinion that is shared by the vast majority of Christians. The Roman Catholics, the Presbyterians, the Lutherans, etc. The people who actually know enough about the history of Christianity to make the policies understand that. You go ahead and keep lying to yourself that you belong to us while continuing to keep the completely illogical viewpoints that while you belong with us, we go to a "different heaven." Or that, while you still belong to us, our baptisms are considered different. Or that while you consider us all to be heretics and victims of "the great apostasy" that you still should be counted among our numbers. Or that, even though you consider us to be the same among you, that you should actively proselytize among us. Go ahead and keep telling yourself those utterly ridiculous and contradictory beliefs. Mormonism isn't exactly known for its theological depth or richness. All those secret teachings that your BYU professors keep secret from you, all the secrecy and shrouded truths that go on in your temples that the public is not allowed to see... Yeah. You know what I'm talking about. It may take brains and education to understand the history of Christian theology and how Mormons are infact their own competing Christian religion, but it doesn't take either to be a Mormon. With all the fighting and wars and angry theological divides between Luther and Calvin and the Romans back in the Reformation, the single greatest threat to Christian unity in the history of the religion, the differences they had between themselves were fucking nothing compared to what they would have had with the Mormons. Says the Mormon: "When a human baby is born, all the little spirit children of God and the mother goddess swirl around and try to enter the baby's head..." WHAT!?? What would Luther or Zwingli or Calvin or the Pope of the time respond to that? Weird shit like that is what keeps us divided, and all but either the most ignorant or ultra-liberal of Christians will continue to say that "something stinks" when a Mormon claims to be one of us.

  • Feb. 5, 2011, 2:43 p.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    That and the fact that Mormons add a whole new set of scriptures to the fray.

  • Feb. 5, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    RE: mackandjacks - The same Heaven & more

    by Neilfan12

    Opinion isn't fact though. So while it may be the opinion of many that the LDS Church isn't a Christian one, that doesn't mean they're correct (they aren't). And there's nothing illogical about my view points. Did you miss my explanation of Heaven in my last reply? In it I told you that the LDS don't believe you or anyone else is going to a different Heaven, we all go to the same one. Yes, your baptisms are different as the LDS believe other churches don't hold the priesthood authority given by God to perform them. What exactly are those "secret teachings" BYU professors keep from the members? As for the "secret" goings on in LDS temples... it isn't secret, it's sacred that's all. And because it's so sacred we naturally hold it in great reverence. It isn't just non-LDS that can't enter them even some LDS members can't if they aren't following God's teachings as well as they should. A temple is considered to be extremely holy. There's nothing shocking going on inside... just marriages, baptisms, families being sealed together as a family unit for enternity, etc. That bit you said in your last reply about when babies are born, spirit children and the babies head... that's a NEW one. I've never heard anything like that before... not in my 41 years of life or from non-LDS members such as yourself on message boards like this. That isn't LDS doctrine. The LDS Church doesn't teach that there is some sort of competition in Heaven among the unborn spirits for each new baby's body. It is believed each is assigned to go with a certain mother/family to be born. Also, the LDS Church has no official stance as to when the spirit enters the body (upon conception, while inside the mother or at the time of birth). You and many others find LDS teachings to be odd, but I think many of the things non-LDS come up with about what we supposedly believe (they're quite often mistaken) are even more "odd". Your spirits and baby thing is a good example. As for the new set of scripture (The Book of Mormon), why is it illogical or whatever to think God would also speak to other people besides those living in Israel and have them write His teachings etc.? It's not a replacement for the Bible, it's just another set of scripture to go alongside it... nor is it considered to be of greater importance than the Bible. We use both books. Why do some think revelation from God ended with the Bible? Are you, like others, thinking of that verse in the book of Revelations which says something about not adding to this book, that nothing after it should be accepted or whatnot? Well an almost identical verse can be found in the Old Testament, so if you take the verse at face value that would mean the entire New Testament with all of Christ's teachings is invalid and not scripture.

  • Feb. 5, 2011, 8:35 p.m. CST

    by MackAndJacks

    In regards to Spirit babies: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Before-Origins-Soul-Knowing-Really/dp/1573457825/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239639439&sr=1-3 http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/religion/lds/mormondoctrines.shtml http://www.christiandefense.org/mor_christians.htm http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2020107/posts I don't necessarily promote these sites; these are just some of the first ones I found. Type in "Mormon spirit babies" and all sorts of shit comes up. And yes, I have found similar information in print by reputable sources (Concordia Publishing).

  • Feb. 5, 2011, 8:49 p.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    And of course, I'm not even going to bring up the psychotic practice of baptizing dead people... I think even the Anabaptists would have joined the Lutherans and Catholics and Reformed in unity against the Mormons had the Mormons built a time machine and shown up in Reformation-era Europe. And just to clarify: my closest friends are a Buddhist and a Jain. I respect them for their religions, and we've even had pleasant discussions regarding faith and spirituality. I am open to people of other faiths and creeds, but the problem I have with the Mormons is that they claim to be part of us, which is about as factual as the claim that Obama is a Muslim. If Mormons believe themselves to be Christian, fine - just be honest and publicly claim out in the open that while you are Christian, that we are all heretics. Shout it loud and clear. Stop this pussyfooting around that we are victims of a great apostasy and yet part of your own religion. It is an insult to everyone's intelligence. John Smith decided to hold a family reunion. Susy Smith came along with her kids, as did George Smith and Adam Smith and Bob Smith and David Smith and Cindy Smith and Jaden Smith and Branden Smith and Frank Smith. They even hung a sign at the entrance to their building that said, "Smith Family Reunion." Then Joseph Smith, who wasn't related to the other Smiths at all, walked by. He looked up at the building and sign and said to himself, "Hey, I'm a Smith! I should go too!" And so Joseph Smith crashed the party. John and Susy and George and the others got angry and shouted at him, yelling, "Hey! Get lost! You're not a Smith!" Joseph Smith smiled and said sweetly, "That may be your opinion. But I am a Smith." While Joseph Smith may be correct in saying that he is a Smith, he nevertheless is not part of the family. You and all Mormons are not part of our family.

  • Feb. 6, 2011, 5:39 p.m. CST

    The LDS/Mormon Church is Christian...

    by Neilfan12

  • Feb. 6, 2011, 5:39 p.m. CST

    The LDS/Mormon Church is Christian...

    by Neilfan12

  • Feb. 6, 2011, 10:38 p.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    Agreed the LDS/Mormon Church is "Christian..." but not "Christian" Glad we finally agree :)

  • Feb. 7, 2011, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Glad we agree the LDS/Mormon Church is a Christian church

    by Neilfan12

    Just as the Catholics, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. are too. Notice how despite what many see as a superior or even arrogant attitude held by the LDS with their belief of being the one and only true church (endorsed by God) with the full gospel... you don't find them saying another church purporting to be Christian isn't. Though the LDS easily could since we believe all besides us are missing very key and important details. Would be nice if everyone could just agree to disagree and let the other church be.

  • Feb. 7, 2011, 3:22 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    I never meant to say that Mormonism isn't Christian. What I meant is that Mormon Christianity is not our Christianity (Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics). They are two different religions claiming the same name.

  • Feb. 7, 2011, 3:43 a.m. CST

    RE: neilfan12

    by MackAndJacks

    I was thinking about it today, and Trinitarianism and Mormonism can be compared to the Stargate franchise. The first movie inspired a whole spinoff franchise of SG1 and Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and made for tv movies, and so forth. It was successful for years and made a lot of money and won a lot of fans. However, that series was run by MGM, if I have the facts correct, and not the original producers. Now, Dean Devlin, the creator of the original movie, stated a few years ago that he wants to do his own series of sequels. These would bring back the original stars like Kurt Russell and conclude the story in the way he intended. SG1 and the entire continuity and universe and character list it spawned would be thrown out the window. New characters would appear and take precedent. Now if that were to happen, you could certainly say that they are both Stargate. However, it would be impossible to say that they are the same franchise, since their development and continuities are vastly different. Nor would it make sense to include both prominently on a bookshelf together. So the way it is with Mormonism and Trinitarianism. Both are competing versions of the same source material. I wouldn't say that Mormonism isn't a Christianity, but when you compare the 2000 year history of Trinitarianism plus its 95% stake in all people claiming to be Christian, versus Mormonism and its 150 year history and 10-20 million adherents worldwide, it doesn't make sense to force Trinitarianism to start having to call itself Trinitarianism to distinguish itself. Trinitarianism IS Christianity, maybe not in a universal theological sense, but certainly in cultural relevancy to the whole of the world, present and past. Therefore, Mormonism is theologically a Christianity, but for the purposes of relevant nomenclature, is not Christian.

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