Oh My God, I’m So Offended!

One of the fundamental flaws of religion is it replaces a persons innate sense of morality with a list of rules. In doing so, it makes obedience more important than personal responsibly. How often have you seen the religious go off on someone that offended them by doing something that is forbidden by their particular list of rules? For me this happened recently, I saw a person take offense at the use of the word ‘God’ in a Disney movie, particularly the phrase ‘oh my God!’

Funny thing is they never stop to think about where their list of rules came from nor how they already pick and choose their rules. For example, the ten commandments in the bible are often touted as necessary to follow in Christianity and its various sects, but why? Why those 10 and not the other 76 from the same part of the book? When you ask a believer why they wear clothes with mixed fabrics defying their God you get a couple different reactions. Most often they have no clue what you are talking about. If they do know they will tell you that Jesus came and fulfilled the law of Moses so that doesn’t stuff doesn’t matter anymore.

But wait, aren’t the 10 commandments part of the law of Moses? It was Moses that brought them down off the mountain right? Moses that said God told him, “Thou shalt not kill!” Right before he ordered the deaths of thousands partying around a golden calf… yeah that guy.


I mean Jesus came along and when he was asked what commandments were most important he could only come up with two of them. Both positive and all about love. So why are we even considering that something like saying ‘oh my God’ is offensive? Which of the two rules of Jesus is it really breaking? The love god one or the love your neighbor one? If you insist that the original 10 that were replaced by Jesus still apply as part of the ‘love god’ stuff, then what does it mean to ‘take the lords name in vain’? Sure church leaders teach that is all about swearing. But is that really what it means? After all these guys have been wrong before. I decided to look up the word vain:

So lets try out this statement with these two definitions.

Thou shalt not take the lords God’s name in having a value of ones appearance. Hmmm seems nonsensical. It could mean you shouldn’t think you are better than anyone else when taking on God’s name. I could get behind that. But how that means you can’t ‘say oh my God’? I’m not seeing it. Let’s try the next one.

Thou shalt not take the lords God’s name producing no result. This is more interesting. You shouldn’t use the name of God without producing a result? I could see saying, ‘oh my God’ being kind of a prayer for help in a scary situation. And if God didn’t show up to help you out the prayer would certainly be ‘in vain’. But don’t a lot of payers meet that criteria? Have you ever prayed and felt it was in vain and received no help?I supposed it could also mean if you doubt God is gonna help you at all you shouldn’t be praying. Gah, it just doesn’t make sense. Maybe Jesus was right and all that law of Moses stuff was a bunch of bullshit.

I say we stick to his 2 commandments. Love the Fridge and love your neighbor. (ignore that part where Jesus says to hate your family though that’s no bueno.) Why change Fridge for God? Well, the Fridge teaches that God is really just you helping you, and we can’t have you loving who you are can we? Ok, ok if you insist, you can change it to love yourself. Loving who you are is not a bad thing, just don’t love yourself too often, you might go blind. 🙂

The moral of this rant where I’m offended at others being offended? I’m going with this:

If you are gonna ask yourself for help. Don’t do it in vain. Help yourself, love who you are. Then after you have figured that out. Help the person next door.  – Thus saith the Fridge.

Transporter Magic

I’m a nerd, particularly a scifi nerd. I think that is one reason the Mormon religion was so attractive to my soul. It taught God was a powerful alien long before Q showed up in Star Trek. That made sense to me. In Joseph Smith’s words from the King Follet sermon that launched this idea he said:

“This is good doctrine. It tastes good.”

I liked the taste of it too. But alas, like all others, my religion turned out to be fiction. Fiction however, like Star Trek isn’t without impact or substance. Take for example the transporter. It’s a device that takes you apart right down to your atoms. Then it beams your energy or matter (depending on which Star Trek tech manual you follow) to another location and rebuilds you right down to the last misplaced hair.

In short, it makes a perfect copy of you and destroys the old one in the process.

This tech alone in the Star Trek universe is pretty remarkable and pretty thought provoking if you ponder it a bit. Compare it for a moment to another movie called The Prestige. (Spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen it stop here go watch it and come back later. I promise you will be glad you did!)

In the prestige magician Rupert Angier uses some advanced technology to win a battle of amazing tricks against competitor Alfred Borden. It’s tech that makes him appear (thanks to Tesla, another hero of mine) a distance away much like the transporter. But there’s a rub. It makes a copy, so there are two Ruperts after the tech is used. For the trick to be amazing the one on the stage needs to disappear. This leads to a creepy mind bending ‘prestige’ at the end of the show where the original is killed every night under the stage as part of the act.

Just today I realized that is what the transporter on Star Trek does automatically. So why am I so willing to hop in a transporter and so dismayed by the end result of the Prestige? And I don’t think I’m alone in this dichotomy. Just something to ponder when you are rooting through the Fridge for a snack.

Till next time, live long and prosper! Or at least till Scotty beams you up. In that case may the new you live a little longer than the last copy. 😉

Abraham Was A Coward

The worlds two biggest religions celebrate the faith of the same man. A guy named Abraham. 

Abraham was so faithful that he took his own son strapped him to an altar and plunged a knife toward his chest.  

Now the believers will tell you no harm was done because an angel stopped Abraham before it was too late. 

  
I kind of doubt this is true because I can’t imagine that the kid didn’t feel traumatized after such an event, but even then. So what? 

So what if God stopped him before it was too late? How does that make what Abraham did ok?

Let’s put this story in another context to see what I mean. Suppose a powerful leader demands a person kill his kid as a sign of faith in thier leadership. Go ahead, pick one. Hitler? Obama? Al Capone? Is a faithful submission to such a demand ok in that case?

The God of Abraham is presumably a really powerful person and can kill others pretty easily.  So why does he need someone else to do it for him? And why celebrate that act as something only the most faithful person would do? Why make that a model to strive for? 

I think religion f%#ks up a person’s sense of morality and the story of Abraham is a prime example. In any other setting Abraham would be considered a coward. A man too chicken to do what is right. To concerned with saving his own eternal skin to consider the morality of tying his own son to a rock and attempting to kill him. 

This is a guy trying to ‘win favor’ with the mob boss by any means necessary. But religions call it ‘faith’ and celebrate it. The more I contemplate this the more I think deep down the religious are cowards. They seek out the biggest wolf in the pack and fight others in his name and for his protection.  

We see this all the time in the animal kingdom. I have a couple of pet dogs that are more than willing to take on others for the protection and home I give them. Given mammals share a lot of DNA I can understand the genetics that reinforce this behavior in humanity.  

But isn’t being human about going beyond our animal instincts? Shouldn’t we celebrate standing up to oppression rather that accepting it? 

I think it’s high time we celebrated people like Jack Harper more than cowards like Abraham. 

In short, we should do what is right and let the consequence follow. Even if you fear the consequence is eternal damnation. True courage is doing what is right even when you have everything to lose. 

  

The Shame of Being Good Looking

Elder Bendar of my old faith recently helped me realize why I have struggled so much with the LDS faith. He pointed out the difficulties of homosexual members that don’t actually exist in the church and compared them to something I immediately connected with. The difficulties of being ridiculously good looking! In case you missed it. This is what he said:

“Would it be a challenge to be very beautiful or very handsome, and in the world in which we live, never develop deep character because we are able to open doors and have success just because of our physical appearance? And we become shallow and superficial in many aspects of our lives.”

Knowing that my good looks have made it hard for me to look myself in the mirror every morning has really helped me a lot. I can get up now and feel completely accepted by those lucky plain people by knowing just like those with same sex attraction that I too have a place in the church!

Today I realized that just like people with different color skin, that my beautiful face doesn’t define me. In the way LDS black people of old weren’t really born that way but given a trial to overcome as they endevored to make their skins white. I only need to make continuous effort each day to overcome my tendancy to be so good looking.  

I now know if I simply endure this inborn attractiveness to the end and strive to be plain and unbecoming that I too can be worthy of all God has to offer! 

This is such a comforting thought. It reminds me of when I was young and jealous of the burden my Lamanite brethren had to bear and how prophets promised them they would be blessed for their trials:

“The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised (2 Ne. 30:6). In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.”

The prophet Kimball was so right! There were no ‘black’ people in the church! Only various shades of God’s children striving to be white!!

The truth that those that are gay will one day be made straight as modern day prophets like Bednar have so recently promised gives me hope that this difficult curse of handsomeness I have been blessed to bear in this life will be eventually removed as I find my place amongst God’s homely chosen ones. 

Thank Fridge.