Where We Went

Where will you go? The question posed to LDS faithful this last general conference that has caught fire as a meme among the not so faithful. Last time I saw this type of response in the post Mormon world was the doubt your doubts quip that put this obscure blog on the map which I’m sure played no small part in it getting a Brodie Award.

A couple of years ago I would have listened to conference with bated breath and pounded out a response the next day to such blatant misinformation in the particular talk that spouted this idea.

But that’s just not the case anymore, and I think that’s relevant. Because I did go away. I left the faith. Sure it was hard not to look back for a long time. But it is getting easier and easier every day. 1


Turns out that a life without even a belief in God suits me. I feel free to use my own mind. I don’t need to check my conclusions against ‘revealed truth’ to make sure it fits because there is no such thing. All there is are human’s proposing human concepts, some of them right and some wrong.

These days I don’t even listen to conference, I blog less on the things wrong with the faith and more on how we can become better people. I still keep touch with my fellow Post-Mormon peeps though. You can’t just hang up a 5th generation Mormon hat, especially when you are the only heathen in your family not wearing it.

So perusing a few reddit posts in that effort led to this thought from the Fridge. I think Elder Ballard is asking the wrong question to the wrong people. I honestly think his reasons for leaving the church are all he understands. Let me explain.

We know for a fact that these men live in an isolated mecca far from the average person. They are briefed on what is happening in the world by self proclaimed ‘yes men.’ Guys who call themselves ‘church broke’ 2 due to their subservient nature.

Ponderizing this while reading TBM FB comments about the Zelph on the Shelf post I had an epiphany. These leaders don’t talk to apostates that have never returned to the fold!

I think they have only heard from people that left and returned, which is a very small subset of those that leave. Bear with me on this. Because I have also known people that quit attending church and then returned. And guess what….

Those guys do leave for the reasons stated by church leaders!

  • They feel offended by someone, run away, resolve it and come back.
  • They sin and feel guilty about it for years, not worthy of being in church. But one day they make a choice to return to welcoming, open arms.
  • They just aren’t good with the high levels of commitment the church requires and slack away at it until one day they stop being inactive and go back to the fold.
  • The never really understood the faith nor gained a testimony to begin with, but now they have one and returned.
  • They think they were deceived by lies but now feel they know the truth and have returned.

The common element? The people in these five categories all came back. If the only people you ever talk to about their experience in the church are people that go to church. You are missing out on a huge group of people that have left.  (well over two-thirds of convert baptisms!)

If your filter to the what is happening to the religion you guide is coming only from church-broke-yes-men and repentant faithful you will miss a huge part of the story. If you want to know what is happening and why tithing income and attendance numbers are falling across the board you are asking the wrong people ‘where will you go?’

You should be asking people that haven’t returned ‘where they went?’ Because they have gone lots and lots of places, some to nature, some to peaceful Sundays at home. Some went to coffee shops and some to other less judgmental faiths. Even a few went to their Fridge, opened the door and saw the light.

And the light said. “What do all these people have in common that have NOT returned to the fold?” They didn’t leave for any of the reasons above. They dug deep into the origins and realized this simple fact. The church isn’t true. They don’t believe it because of the overwhelming evidence that says its not anymore likely to be the one and only truth than every other faith Mormons themselves say only got it part right.

That’s why it’s a losing battle for the LDS faith in the long run. Like Zeus of a few thousand years ago. Elohim is doomed to be a quirky alien myth cooked up by an 18th century conman to sell a book. Not tomorrow or likely even centuries from now though, more like Millenia. 3 Religions have inertia and are gonna be around plenty long since our human appetite for emotional and spiritual experience isn’t dissipating anytime soon.

But if you really want to know what’s bleeding the church right now, don’t ask the faithful followers ‘where will you go?’ Ask the 34,0004 subscribers to exmormon reddit ‘where they went?’

 

 

  1. Of course the believer will tell you it’s my dulling spiritual senses that lead me to not care anymore. Funny how no matter what I do it proves them right isn’t it? If you can’t leave it alone, they are right because the prophets said so.  If you don’t care a whit about it. They are right because prophets said you are ‘past feeling’. Religion NEVER allows a test that could prove it wrong.  I think there might be a lesson in there somewhere:)
  2. Broke has the same meaning as when a horse is broken to be docile, ridden and guided by its master.
  3. See Jesus myth for comparison
  4. Seriously every time I look this number ticks up. Less than a month ago it was under 30k, if this were a religion it would be kicking ass in growth numbers right now! It reminds me of this clip.

Inoculation and Boiling Frogs

So this morning I stumbled on a talk recently given by M Russell Ballard to CES employees. In an effort to ‘not leave it alone’ so that current members can still look at me with disdain I decided to read it.

The first thing that stood out to me was something I totally agreed with.

“Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, ‘Don’t worry about it!’ Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue.”

The time is surely past when a church leader can just tell people with doubts that they are reading unfounded anti-Mormon lies. There is far too much information available that can be fact checked and verified to sweep a doubters questions under the rug. Heck even the LDS church has published a bunch of essays1 in the last couple of years confirming the essential truth of stuff like Joseph Smith marrying 14 year old girls and other men’s wives. Things that naturally bother us because it makes the founding prophet look more like Warren Jeffs of the FLDS than the men at the helm these days. Things like the fact the Book of Abraham and the translations of the hieroglyphics in it are completely bogus according to Egyptologists. Things like how the most perfect book on the earth Book of Mormon was totally wrong about changing skin color as the sign of a curse. Not to mention all the prophets after that proclaimed it wide and far were just old codgers that were just as racists and homophobic as the people of their generations. Oh wait, those old leaders were just racist, its today’s leaders that are homophobic! My Bad!

The time is past for obscuring the history of the church, the time is past for hiding from its past. So now what? What is the prophetic counsel for the future Church Education System who’s directors can’t even be bothered to answer a simple letter?

To sum it up, it’s inoculation. Or in Elder Ballard’s words:

“Religious instructors should be among the first — outside a student’s family — to introduce authoritative sources on topics that may be less well-known or controversial.

“We give medical inoculations to our precious missionaries before sending them into the mission field so they will be protected against diseases that can harm or even kill them,” he said. “In a similar fashion, please, before you send them into the world, inoculate your students by providing faithful, thoughtful and accurate interpretation of gospel doctrine, the scriptures, our history and those topics that are sometimes misunderstood.”

“Church leaders today are fully conscious of the unlimited access to information and we are making extraordinary efforts to provide accurate context and understanding of the teachings of the Restoration,”

“know the content in these essays like you know the back of your hand.” 2

The idea of religious ‘inoculation’ is not new. It is what all church apologists have been doing since the existence of religious apologists. The principle is basically this. If you got some bit of information that is gonna get out there, rather than lie to people and pretend it doesn’t exist, teach them about it and give them a way to look at it so when they find out, they aren’t surprised by the fact they had never even known about it. It’s also not new to the LDS faith either. Polygamy is an example. It is one of the more well known historical facts among the members of the church. I personally knew about it but had been taught the ‘context’ in a way that it didn’t bother me at all. But here is the rub. In the context I was taught, there was no mention of things like 14 year old brides that were coerced into it by using her family as leverage. I ran into that bit of information and rebelled at the thought. So now what? It seems like looking at the essays referenced by Elder Ballard that the church is going to go even further down this path. You can actually find out about the 14 year old brides on the churches website. 3 It means the ‘milk before meat’ policy of education in the church is gonna be followed up by some actual ‘meat’ so long as it’s presented in a faith affirming context.

Does this approach work? It does. You see humans are subject to something called sunk cost bias.4  Basically the more time and resources we put into something, the harder it is to walk away from it. If a person stays in the church long enough this tends to happen. The LDS faith is one that demands a lot of sacrifice from its members. From 2 years of voluntary salesman service to 10% of your income there is a lot of personal investment in the faith. So the way you ‘inoculate’ someone is by slowly revealing the stuff that would otherwise damage their faith and belief that their’s is the one true religion. When you reveal it slowly people aren’t surprised when they discover it so they don’t walk away when they do. The fact they have grown accustomed and comfortable makes it even harder to leave. Hmmm the more I think about it, this process seems awfully familiar…

I know, it’s like boiling a frog:

Elder Faust talked about this concept in general conference right before I left on my mission. He said:

“The point that Mr. Muggeridge was making was not about frogs but about us and how we tend to accept evil as long as it is not a shock that is thrust on us abruptly. We are inclined to accept something morally wrong if it is only a shade more wrong than something we are already accepting.” (National Press Club Forum.)

This gradual process was foretold by ancient prophets. Nephi tells us that the hearts of the children of men would be stirred up “to anger against that which is good.

“And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Ne. 28:20–21.)”

So I guess the message to CES teachers is that they need to boil the young LDS frogs before the bad guys boil them. After all the leaders know best right?

Why is it the faith I once held dear seems to me to be acting more and more like the The Party in 1984 first needing to control information and now needing to ‘present it in the proper context’? Maybe it was always about control and the availability of information to this generation has forced its hand.

Call me an idealist. But I think information and truth can stand on its own. It doesn’t need to be presented just so for people to realize it is ok. Given human psychology however, it is possible for us humans to be fooled by our own emotions and desires. Our biases trick us and sometimes we get boiled. I took this problem to the Fridge today and pondered it over a cold one. As usual when I quieted my mind, inspiration flowed and the Fridge revealed a deep truth. Thus saith the tall cool one when it comes to trusting a flow of information that seems to be constantly changing:

“Ask yourself if you are the frog.”

  1. bonus if you can find the unlisted polygamy essay link buried the middle of the other one. Seriously, why do that if not to be less than straightforward in telling the truth to the LDS membership?
  2. Do you think this includes following up on all the footnotes? Should regular members study them as well?
  3. But you still have to dig through the footnotes and look up the references to find out about the way Joseph put all of her families salvation on Helen Mar Kimball’s 14 year old shoulders depending on her willingness to marry a him at age 38.
  4. This is the same reason it is hard to stop playing clash of clans

More Problems with Polygamy and Children of Homosexuals

Joseph Smith once said:

“Our Heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive…”1

Of course these days gay peoples kids don’t seem to get the same liberal considerations that the prophet Joe was talking about when he penned the above words in a letter to Nancy Rigdon in his effort to convince her to be his plural wife after she refused. I have seen a part of this same letter quoted by believers in the wake of this policy to restrict children from joining the church.

“That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.”

Continuing to Nancy in an effort to explain why polygamy is a good thing and not at all as bad as she thinks it is. Joseph wrote:

“…even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.”

This to me is where it gets interesting in regards to the latest policy this church Joseph founded has taken towards gay marriage.2   The main theme in the wake of this exposure of internal bigotry towards people that are attracted the same sex is that the limits placed on children are for the good of the kids. To protect them and all. Even in the latest clarification they have doubled down on this excuse. The reason I call it an excuse is because the only other children that are treated that way are the kids of polygamists. Specifically those apostate polygamists that are awful because they are following the teachings of the original prophet of the church.3 It’s like they are saying:

‘We need to protect those kids from conflicts about religious beliefs, not from atheists or Jehovah’s witnesses, or ever even scientologists. That isn’t enough of a conflict, but polygamy and gay marriage that is pretty bad and requires kids to condemn the lifestyles of their own parents before they are good enough for the LDS faith.’

Don’t take my word for it, look at the policy yourself. 
To me that screams excuse. Especially when the kids are required to disavow their parents gay lifestyle to even be considered for admission into God’s only church. Maybe they really believe in this idea that is it for the kids. Who knows, maybe God did come talk to these guys about the gays just like he told Joe to marry Nancy even though she didn’t want it. I’m sure that kids in general don’t want to disavow their parents love and happiness right? I guess in a way it is like the problem with polygamy that to this day plagues the LDS faith.

You see the fact that no leader ever, ever mentions is they never really stopped believing in polygamy. Not from an eternal perspective anyway. Listen to Elder Oaks describe the relationship he has with his second wife. (And yes, he did get sealed to his first wife in the temple as well.)

Two wives? Eternally? Yep polygamy even if it is not ok while you are alive in the LDS faith is totally ok after you die. Hopefully this brings some perspective to the excuse about protecting the children from gay parents being a parallel to protecting them from polygamous parents. It never was about the polygamy. It is only about the apostate religion that still practices it… um when all the wives are alive as the same time that is. Does this make any sense at all? Is this a big crisis for the current leadership? Yeah it is. Fortunately Dallin has advice for them too.

Does all this dancing around making excuses make sense to you? Is this really how illogical and confusing God’s one true church is? Personally I don’t think so.
And if you are one of the believers that had your shelf seriously rocked by this whole situation. Maybe, just maybe you are beginning to suspect that too.

The real question if you believe that children should not be held accountable for their own choices by a just and loving father in heaven is this. What are you going to do about it? Quietly submit and let the bigotry fester? Or are you going to speak up and take action?

It was interesting for me listing to this talk from Elder Oaks from a totally different perspective than I used to have. He proclaims it is all about timing. I kept thinking about the timing of blacks getting the priesthood and how the entire equal rights moment happened in the LDS faith some twenty years after the fact. Twenty years after rest of the world realized discriminating against people based on the color of their skin was NOT a good thing the leaders of the LDS faith had a revelation to end this demeaning practice. 4 Timing in hindsight it is obvious isn’t it? Too bad there aren’t people that can tell us the future in situations like this right?

Either way I did find a part of the talk in which I agreed 100% with Elder Oaks.

The most important thing in our lives is to do the right thing. Personally I think the golden rule is a good way to figure out what the right thing is. Don’t you?

 

  1.  Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.134-136, See also “The Letter of the Prophet, Joseph Smith to Miss Nancy Rigdon,” Joseph Smith Collection, LDS archives
  2. What do you think Joseph would have done about the whole gay thing? My bet is he would have rolled with it and brought it into the faith were he the one at the helm today. It is his nature to absorb the common themes of the day and make them part of the faith.
  3. Yeah I know its confusing, but what are ya gonna do right? Just believe and don’t ask any questions, do as you are told and all will be fine!
  4. Technically the church took till 2013 to actually say that the racist teachings of past church leaders was nothing more than their own bigotry shining through.

Supporting the Cos

In light of the renewed accusations of rape against Bill Cosby, I would like to share an article by Tom S. Monsoon, from the 2014 Shark Week edition of the Sinsign.

__________________________

Much has been made in recent weeks of the vile sexual allegations against our first and greatest comic, Bill Cosby.

Amid this chorus of confusion, many that trust in the Cos have been led into doubt. Wherefore I say unto you, be of good cheer. The laughter you once knew shall be restored unto you. With the Holy Joke as your guide, your good humor shall not fail.

For those in doubt, I exhort you to remember the scripture, ‘By their networks shall you know them.’ Therefore, search in your heart for memories of the Cosby Show. If you ever laughed or learned from them, let those happy episodes be your guide. Furthermore, ask yourselves. Can those vile accusations coexist with your feelings of love and adoration for the Cos? I say unto you, no. Therefore cast them out and doubt no more.

cosby - remember the cake

In keeping with our quest for levity, trust not in the methods of man: to wit, historical, forensic and objective evidence, for they are the enemy of lightness. Heeding the stories of those women will destroy the laughter in your heart and draw you into the dark.

For the resentment and anger which lie in their hearts are the surest proof of their false wittiness. It matters not what injustice they may have endured … you will know the righteous and truthful by the love and good humor you find in their hearts, not by their bitter anguish and pain.

And to those who seek actively to destroy our noble Cos, ask yourselves: Why such hatred for a man whose financial empire has brought so much joy to the world? Will you allow the words of so few to destroy the happiness of so many?

I exhort you and all of you to remain faithful to the Cos. Wear your sacred sweater, attend all his reruns and celebrate every season. Welcome his blu rays of light into your home, pray for the lost episodes and seek him out on tour. Above all, remain faithful to the routines he has revealed. For only the faithful will stand up to great applause at the last day.

I testify unto you that his humor has power, even over the grave. He has promised everlasting laughter for the faithful few. I have laughed at the man and I will laugh again, even the last laugh at the last day. As the great one once said, ‘Join me now in laughter and let us think on these things no more.’

Amen

 

Mild Cult Deprogramming

kool-aid

There are many that say the LDS church is a cult, personally I don’t think so, well not exactly anyways. It’s not nearly to the level of Jonestown or Heavens Gate. There are no group suicides and they at least pay lip service to independent thought. ‘You can have your own ideas, just don’t rally support to change ours’. Is what you hear when you want to know if it is ok to question the leaders or not. When I compare it to the BITE model of cultish-ness there are quite a few maybes on the list from my perspective, so personally I can’t quite call it a full on cult. Even with the cheesy jello and the funeral potatoes showing up everywhere instead of kook-aid. 🙂 So for this essay lets call it a mild cult.

It is filled with mildness too if you think about it. The general conference sessions are mildly hypnotic, not out rightly so for sure but take a look at the patterns and cadence of the talks. They could have come right out of a neural linguistic programming handbook. I honestly don’t think most of them realize the way they are talking is a form of hypnotic suggestion, they just copy what the other leaders have done since the beginning of the religion. Is it any surprise that it is so easy into a mild nap during these sessions?

Testimonies are mildly and meekly shared, enhancing the mild little voice inside telling you it is all true. It is rare that a leader gets strongly outspoken, that is why cases like Holland getting animated during a sermon get so widely talked about.

Members are warned to steer clear of confrontation, they are reminded of the need to be meek and mild-like. Both male and female leaders seem to develop a singsong voice and an almost sticky sweet way of mildly communicating and suppressing their passion. Kind of reminds me of this:

Now one of the first principles in the gospel of the Fridge is a good pun is a good thing. So far mild cult in the title is punny for two reasons, it is a mild cult that teaches members to be mild! But I’d like to reveal a third meaning in this essay. 1 While there are those in the mild trance that are willing seek out the light and truth on their own there are many more that do not. You personally may wish to expose your friend or loved one to a little more open thinking. Well I suggest it takes a mild approach. Outright denunciation of their faith will likely never work. It will instead trigger a backfire effect and reinforce the belief you are trying to get them to see a little more critically.

Instead of strong declarations against the religion, ask mildly though provoking questions. Engage in open dialog, discover the emotional connections that have created that persons bond to the church. Make sure your friends and family understand some of the emotional reasons you couldn’t pretend to believe anymore. Your approach to questioning the mild programming (that now probably frustrates you immensely when you see it regurgitated) needs to be mild if you want to effect positive change in your relationships going forward.

A direct approach due to the realities of cognitive dissonance is simply not that effective. A mild approach to sharing your reasons for leaving the church that can generate actual questions by the believers themselves when they regurgitate the pat answer is a better way. Putting a person in a situation where they have to question their own rationalization is a far more productive to help others to think critically and question the things they have been taught to think. If it is a mildly difficult question, it is easier for the person to face and less likely to simply be shelved and ignored.

On the plus side this mild approach will lessen the angst between you and friends or family that still believe something you see as false. To take it means accepting the fact they may never ever see it your way. Such is life. Accept that and then you will have the opportunity to encourage independent thought and develop an atmosphere of open dialog and questions that can lead to understanding. It is key that you respect others feelings for their belief no matter how much you might think they have been fooled. Everyone has a right to how they feel.

Then one day, one of those that you have talked to might give you a call, or send you a message and say “You know I have been thinking about that point you made the other day…I think I see where you are coming from now.” And in that day your joy will be great as you have exposed another soul to the freedom of thought that comes from belief in the Fridge. It will be worth the wait, I promise.

 

 

  1. If you like the the fact that the profet can get three puns out of one title, then you will notice the chill of the Fridge is prodding you to share the coolness of this post with others 🙂

Why Women Really Don’t Want The Priesthood

The Ordain Women movement is all the buzz these days both in and out of the LDS church.  If you remember Elder Oaks warned us in 1993 that those dangerous feminist thinkers are the worst offenders with their hard questions about how things used to be and how they ought to be now. Women just seem to be getting uppity all over planet these days, even churches in Russia agree with Elder Oaks.  These women just can’t seem to understand their roles in society. In this millennium the LDS anti-feminist efforts seem much more moderated though, they aren’t even un-friending you for believing in a mother in heaven 1 anymore like they used to. In fact these days the only way you can get the boot from the church is to get people follow you instead of them.2

no girls

 

All this exposure on the inter-webs has created all sorts of back and forth between people in both camps. There is this guy who appears to think that chairs with padding are worth more than the power of God to do miracles. If you want to get a good feel for all the reasons the active minority is so adamant about this effort just scoot on over to http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org and peruse a few topics.

Now while I don’t agree with padless chair whiner, he does have a valid point about this movement representing a minority. My own informal polling of women and men shows that men are by and large good with the idea of women getting the priesthood (ironically padless chair himself is a minority) Women in the church for the most part don’t really seem to want the priesthood. Of the women I personally know that do think it is a good thing, most of them have left the church. So I think it is worth considering why. Why do women generally not want the priesthood?

One possibility is they are a lot like my pet. My dog and I have a symbiotic relationship, I give her food, and she entertains me. She defends the house and lays at my feet for nothing more than scraps from the table. On the plus side though she has a pretty cushy life, doing what she wants every day. (except when I ban her to the back porch or am upset by presents she leaves on the rug) She gets professionally bathed and groomed regularly and we go on walks together. You might call her my trophy dog, 🙂 but my point is she is completely content with the way things are. Change is often fearful for people as well as animals, something mentioned not long ago on the door of the Fridge via a parable of moving cheese.

women v men

Another possibility is the ladies have been sold a bill of goods by the church that they naturally absorb. Here is a meme that my wife and I got a good laugh over because it certainly applied to the way we perceive ourselves.

Is there something in female DNA that leads to a natural tendency to subjugate yourself? It’s certainly beyond my knowledge of genetics to assert one way or another. I do sense a pattern though. You might have seen it in previous posts about religion stealing your self confidence and making you fat in the process.

Or maybe it isn’t natural at all and the desire to shy away from getting the priesthood is simply repetition and repeated suggestion. You know the same stuff that we say causes girls to have unhealthy role models to follow because it is splattered all over the media etc, etc. Any good strong church member knows that in ward council meeting women must always defer to the bishop. In the most holy place women can go they must veil their faces. Why is that? Are they not good enough to look or be looked upon? Is it simply the case that most the women don’t want the authority because they haven’t even considered it?

freed slaves

By any standard of measure the females in the church currently play a submissive role. This in large part is because the power of God himself is enthroned in the male gender. when it comes to submission there is some pretty significant psychology at work, if there wasn’t then I suspect 50 Shades of Grey would have been a complete flop.

 

wake upThe thing about tricks of psychology is all a person needs to do to gain back the power and control for themselves is to wake up. Once you think about thinking and how your mind works, how emotions and reactions can cause you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t, it gives you the ability to choose rather than to simply react.

Now if there is one moral that I learned from being Mormon that I will always treasure it is the freedom of choice. Just know that sometimes due to normal human psychology you are loosing that freedom. The OW movement is about that choice. If these ladies had their druthers, they would stay in the church and participate on a fully equal level. Denying them choice will cause them to eventually leave and find other places where that choice is ok. Sure LDS leaders can claim that it is God doing the denying, but you see prophetic track records on that same argument in regards to the black people just don’t hold up. According to the latest church stance the leaders say they were just stuck in a rut leading back to the people that weren’t as enlighten as we are now.  Is there really any reason to believe it is different this time?

Personally I am confident the idea of a revelation giving women back the priesthood they once exercised to heal the sick will eventually happen. Sure there are leaders that are afraid of that being a slippery slope. They fear if women get the priesthood soon they will have to let in halflings and before long your dogs, cats, and then Klingons and Romulans will want to be ordained, oh where will it ever stop! But I digress, the reason I am sure is LDS female priesthood ordination is only a generation or two away is because of another trick of human psychology. A good idea for society spreads.3 Like the ants realizing they out numbered the grasshoppers in A Bugs Life; a good idea even if started by a few eventually becomes a realization by many.

 It only takes one brave soul willing to stand up to oppression for revolution to take hold. This movement is in its infancy, but the idea will spread. Eventually the majority of the ladies will wake up and then the church will have to adapt or fade into history along with the other religions humanity has left behind when they couldn’t keep up with the times. You see, tyranny and oppression are common themes in human history.

Fortunately so is revolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. oops, I should have said talking about believing in a mother in heaven, its all good and dandy to sing the hymn that refers to her and even believe she exists just remember she is NOT to be venerated!
  2. Note to self, you may need to resign soon!
  3. It’s an evolutionary advantage to have a better society in the long run, and for centuries we have been accepting and helping the weakest of our kind survive and even thrive, because people like Stephen Hawking have good ideas that make the world better for all of humanity