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Religion is Fine Unless You Take it Too Seriously and if Also You Are Crazy

My roommate is from Iran. There the authorities enforce Ramadan. If they catch you eating in a restaurant or on the street during daylight hours they will kill/fine you. Women must wear hijabs. No drinking is allowed. They do not separate church and state.

I'd like to get married one day, but have difficulty with the thought of staying with the same woman for so long. Solution: More than one wife. Wife #1 gets boring, move on to #2, and then 3 until #1 is no longer boring. To study this theory I turned to the Mormons, who, if anything know persecution, bloody violence and polygamy. By reading Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer I learned that polygamy works best when belief in an Old Testament God is learnt in the little ones, so that when the girls go through puberty the man can tell them they'll go to hell if she chooses not to marry him (if they are given a choice). Polygamy quickly forms bonds of incest where a girl can become her own stepmother.

I read about the Mormon trail in National Geographic, and met a Mormon man on a plane who was nice enough. I knew vaguely about Joseph Smith and how he started his own goddamned religion in 19th century America, and was impressed. It's not easy starting religions. His was based on personal direct communication with god, a revelation god later told him to revoke on the account of power troubles it was causing him. Another revelation, #132 in the Doctrine and Covenants, espouses the spiritual prowess of polygamy. This revelation was probably made to Joseph's penis. He didn't know that polygamy leads to incest and abuse and women often giving birth to piles of protoplasm.

Comparisons have been drawn to the prophet Mohammed and the prophet Joseph Smith. Both used violence to establish their religions. Joseph Smith built from scratch the city of Nauvoo on the swampy Iowa/Illinois border. He became a religious dictator which annoyed those lovely, gun happy Illinoisans, who would eventually kill him after making a jail raid. From Illinois the Mormons, under Brigham Young, moved to Utah territory to set up another Israel on the banks of the Great Salt Lake. Polygamy remained rampant much to the annoyance of a string of U.S. presidents who would not leave them alone. Polygamy was eventually banned and enforced and now Mormonism is the fastest growing religion. Mainstream Mormons, also referred to as Latter Day Saints, do not associate themselves with Mormon fundamentalists who still practice polygamy in Colorado City in northern Arizona and Bountiful in British Columbia.

Separation of Church and State is good. Real good. As is the freedom to practice any religion you like.


Choirchick22 said...

This is my favorite post of yours so far! Religion is so god damn annoying when people are raping you in the face with it.

Separation of Church and everything is the best thing. If only it truly existed.

JMH said...

Ah, yes, the fine citizens of Carthage, IL. Rule of law does not apply if you're a weirdo.

For those who don't want to read the Under the Banner of Heaven, I would recommend South Park Season 7, Episode 3, "All About Mormons."

sybil law said...

Yeah, polygamy sounds decent until you realize women tend to menstruate at the same time when they're close, so that would REALLY suck.
Plus, I don't really want to share my man with anyone.

John Dantzer said...

Vicki - Thanks! Being raped in the face with anything is always kind of a downer.

JMH - I'll have to see that one. You're from Illinois, aren't you...?

sybil - Haha! Group menstruation. Scary. Scarier than almost anything. I'd have nice place for them all in the forest for that time of month.

dogimo said...

I do love me a little theology, from time to time! Nice post.

You know what, man? You have a great way of packing in these thought-provocative asides without letting them run away as tangents. I could really try working at that a bit.

Thought-provoking. Provocative of thoughts.

John Dantzer said...

Thanks, Dogimo! There is nothing quite like provocative thoughts, or something like that.

JMH said...

Ah, yes, but I'm not really sure how to pronounce Illinoisan, so I go with Chicagoan. Our relationship with the rest of Illinois is a bit like Paris's relationship with the rest of France, except less nasal.

John Dantzer said...

I hear Chicago is the Paris of the American Mid-West. Winnipeg is the Paris of the Prairies.