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The Expansionist
Monday, November 05, 2012
 
'No Religious Test'
There is an elephant in the room that no one in major media will talk about: Will voters ignore the religion of the candidates this November and vote only on other bases? Is the Nation really ready to elect its first non-Christian President, the Mormon Mitt Romney?
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The Constitution is clear about religious diversity in the United States. Article VI states plainly:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation [very important; never forget that the Framers of the Constitution permitted people to REFUSE a religious "oath"], to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on August 9th had as its guest a woman, Joanna Brooks, author(ess) of The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith . Stewart suggested that the Mormon "church" [actually, a cult] is evolving in its attitudes, and should be forgiven if it has not yet evolved fully, in that it is, as religions go, very 'young', only (Brooks says) 180 years old.
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Stewart offers as an example of a necessary Mormon evolution to accommodate change, a present-day 'Jew' who wants to eat a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. 'So, you're [an adherent of] Reform [Judaism].' And, so, Stewart's indulgent theory goes, Mormonism will in time adapt to the challenges posed by faithful members of the "church" (cult) who balk at various requirements they object to.
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Unfortunately, Stewart ignores the statement of his own guest that she was EXCOMMUNICATED by the Mormon "church" (cult) for not mindlessly accepting its teachings to the smallest and most particular degree. She has NOT been readmitted into the good graces of that "church" (cult), so Stewart's view of the present state of the Mormon "church" (cult) is entirely too sanguine.
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Ms. Brooks plays into that noxious, dishonest game, in stating that (some individual) Mormons participated this year in "Gay Pride" marches in 10 cities. She does not, however, admit that the "church" (cult) did not in any way APPROVE of that participation. As the man responsible for "Gay Pride" EVERYTHING, in that I'm the one who proposed that term in place of "Gay Power" for the weekend of activities around the first "Christopher Street Liberation Day" march (political parade) in 1970, I am especially offended at anyone's making excuses for the Mormon Cult's antihomosexual bigotry.
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One of the prime, and indeed unending, assaults upon Barack (Hussein) Obama from the dishonest Radical Right has always been that he is not Christian, but Moslem — or "Muslim", a foreign spelling employed to make Moslems seem un-American. Nobody knows how to say "Muslim", so the word is intrinsically uncomfortable for speakers of English. Is it said múz.lim? mús.lim? móos.lim? mue.sléem? Nobody knows. So if you use the spelling "Muslim", you automatically cause some discomfort in readers of English. "Moslem", an English word of longstanding, is simple and obvious, pronounced móz.lam. But we wouldn't want to use a word everybody knows.
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Never mind that the only reason "Muslim" has been put forward for wide adoption is that Arabic, which all true believers in Islam are required to study, has no letter O. So the traditional English spelling "Moslem" is assertedly objectionable to "Muslims", for not respecting the conventions of Arabic.
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Why WOULD English respect the conventions of Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hindi, or any other language? English is its own language, written in an altogether different way from Arabic, Greek, Russian, and Hindi. Indeed, Arabic script is so alien to our conception of an alphabet that many people don't realize, in some contexts, such as decorations on the inside walls of mosques, that it is indeed an alphabet, not just some decorative group of lines and swirls.
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It makes no more sense to insist that the English term for an adherent of Islam be written "Muslim" than it would to insist it be written in the Arabic alphabet within English text!
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Each of these two languages has its own pronunciations and alphabet. It would be insane to insist that any word from either of them has to be written in its own alphabet everywhere, such that an English word in an Arabic sentence would have to be written in the roman alphabet, surrounded by Arabic letters, and an Arabic word within an English sentence would have to be written in Arabic script within text all the rest of which is written in the roman alphabet.
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To show how absurd the insistence on "Muslim" is, we need merely offer the name "Osama bin Laden". There is no such character in the Arabic alphabet as O, remember? So why would we write "Usama", a reasonable transliteration from Arabic, as "Osama"? No reason. But how often do you see "Usama", and how often "Osama"? It has to be at least 150:1, "Osama" to Usama".
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So let us not pretend to write "Muslim" out of deference to Arabic, since we feel no such respect for Arabic as a language. And most people in the West, not just the United States, have no respect for Arab culture, history, or anything else (tho, if they knew much about history, they surely would, given the Caliphate's massive contribution to the preservation of Classical Greek and Roman culture, and addition to the mathematics and technology of the West). So let us end this dopy charade of 'respecting' Arabic too much to write "Moslem", and return to using the one word we all know how to pronounce.
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In any case, the last Presidential election proved wrong those of us who thought the United States was not ready to elect a black man President. I was highly dubious that this could happen, and was very pleasantly surprised that Obama won. Will this election prove that the United States is ready to elect a non-Christian to be President?
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Mormons love to represent themselves as Christians. They are not, at least not as ALL genuine Christian denominations regard things.
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In genuine-Christian theology, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, one-third of the tripartite "Godhead", the other parts being the Father and the Holy Ghost/Spirit.
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Mormons don't believe any such thing. As far as they are concerned, there is only one aspect of God, and Jesus is not that aspect. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are NOT the equal of "God", and not part of God. So if you accept that the Trinity is the absolute basis of Christianity, then Mormonism is not Christianity.
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ALL Christian churches, no matter if they be Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox, agree that Christianity is about a tripartite Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). Any religious group that does NOT believe in any such thing is NOT Christian. Period. It doesn't matter what they say they are. It doesn't matter what invented, faux "scripture" they claim for their beliefs. It doesn't matter whether they can or cannot (Mormons cannot) produce hardcopy original texts that set out the basis for their beliefs, on parchment or gold plates (the original of Mormon scripture was supposedly written on gold plates, in a language no one on Earth knew, but Joseph Smith somehow, miraculously, translated), for people to examine. If a religion does not accept the Trinity, it is not Christian.
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Christians can produce hardcopy versions of all of Christianity's basic scriptures, going back some 1,800 years or more. So can Judaism. So can Islam, Hinduism, etc., produce original hardcopy versions of their scriptures. Of course, none of those scriptures has an author's byline, "By God" (or, for Orthodox Jews, "By G-d"), but all assert that they are the authentic word of God, or Jesus (same thing, to Christians), as written down by people who heard the voice of God or were guided by the hand of God when they set them down in written form. Mormonism cannot. No one except Joseph Smith ever saw the golden plates he claimed to have unearthed and translated — even tho he was not a trained linguist, and the language he pretended to read was unknown to everyone on Earth except himself. Since it was not necessary for a prophet to claim to have seen and translated golden plates, but only to have heard the voice of God or been steered by the silent inspiration of God into writing down what he was told, the entire golden-plates thing marks Mormonism as made-up nonsense, just silly fiction. Smith would have been much better off if he hadn't claimed the existence of golden plates that he could not produce when doubted.
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Mormonism cannot be proven by any documentary evidence of any kind to be anything but the fiction or rantings of one person, whom no other religion has recognized as a significant teacher.
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Mormonism is not even, strictly speaking, monotheistic, but speaks of "gods" — plural. And "goddesses".
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Mormons are not willing to state publicly and unequivocally that they do NOT believe in "the Trinity" of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Ghost), each and all of whom are equal in a tripartite Godhead.
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Voters who believe that you cannot claim to be "Christian" unless you DO believe in a tripartite Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Spirit), all of them equally divine and all of them merely different aspects of the one true God (for instance, God as seen from the right side, front, and left side), are entitled to vote only for someone they feel shares their religious beliefs and ethical values. The Constitution says there cannot be a religious test by Government for holders of public office within the U.S. It does not say that individual voters cannot impose their own religious test in determining whom to vote for or against.
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True Christians believe in only ONE god, not the "gods" that Mormonism speaks of, and of which one God, Jesus is an integral part, fully as divine as the God who created the Universe and the God who permeates the present and will be with us to the end of the Universe.
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Mormons don't believe in any of that, but dare to call themselves "Christian". No, they are not Christian. They are no more Christian than are Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, or any other group that believes in other religions. Voting for a Mormon is not one whit more "Christian" than voting for a Sunni or Shia Moslem!
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Will the electorate understand that? Or will it accept the LIE that Mormonism IS Christianity, and vote for a pseudo-Christian, Mitt Romney, against a REAL Christian, Barack Obama? We shall see.
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Christians, this election year, are being asked two different things: first, to accept that Mormons are Christians; and second, to accept, in the alternative, that it is un-American to discriminate against a candidate for President on the basis that he is not Christian. Those who want to believe that Barack Hussein Obama is Moslem will find themselves in a quandary. Do we vote for the non-Christian we know, or the non-Christian we DON'T know? Of course, since the disbelief in Obama's Christianity is an excuse for simpleminded racism, most of those people will jump to credit Mormonism as Christianity so they don't have to be consistent and reject Romney because he is non-Christian, even tho they claim to reject Obama because he is non-Christian.
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If the non-Christian Republican, Mitt Romney, gets tens of millions of votes, can we assume that the Nation has broken the back of religious bigotry? Could an agnostic or — 'God forbid' — an atheist also garner tens of millions of votes for President, and even win the White House? It would be tempting to think so.
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Mush-Minded, Casual Heresy Abounding. Popular singer Josh Groban is featured in a video that will seem to most casual observers as carrying a Christian message, the song "You Raise Me Up". Groban himself is the son of a Jewish father, who married a Christian woman, and Josh was raised Christian. But that doesn't count for many Jews. Rather, as stated in one Israeli message board by "CanDo":
it doesn't matter how Josh was raised. He is still Jewish and his offspring will be Jewish. It is far more important, to me, that, for the benefit of civilization, Jews continue to survive and flourish. Because of the limited number of Jews on this planet, inter-marriage is one way to expand the Jewish race.
Of course, if any non-Jew were to call Jews a "race", all Jews everywhere would join as one to condemn him. And some Jews on that message board reject the idea that a person raised Christian, albeit of Jewish ancestry, should be considered a Jew.
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A comment on another website observes that:
Josh Groban is an interesting case. His father is Jewish, yes, but his mother had a Jewish maternal grandfather of her own. So he is "5/8ths" Jewish ancestry, as well as definitely a Christian and not Jewish by Jewish law.
In any case, Groban sings the Christian song "You Raise Me Up" in a public-service announcement for The Foundation for a Better Life. It's a beautiful song, based on the Irish tune "Danny Boy". But it contains an astonishingly heretical line in its lyrics: "You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas". What? "To walk on stormy seas"? Is Groban asserting that he, or any other ordinary mortal, can walk on water? Whoa, boy! Christian teaching/myth holds that only one person in the history of the world has ever walked on water, much less "stormy seas", and that would be Jesus of Nazareth, not Josh Groban. Indeed, Jesus is not said to have walked on stormy seas, but to have calmed stormy seas. So Josh Groban is supposed to have been empowered by some supernatural force, not Jesus Christ?, to "walk on stormy seas"? That is HERESY.
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We don't have an Inquisition in the present era to advise people as to what is permissible and impermissible stretching of Biblical "truth", so crazy things like calling Mormons "Christian" and claiming that Jesus has empowered someone "to walk on stormy seas" now occur all the time. That does not mean that all these liberties as regards Christian teachings accord with actual Christianity, only that there are an awful lot of people who have either never read the New Testament or did not understand what they were reading.
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Will Biblical ignorance enable Mitt Romney to present himself, successfully, as a "Christian", even tho the Mormon "Church" is not truly Christian at all, but only an astoundingly weird cult, in which God was only one of many 'intelligences' that resided on or near a planet or star named Kolob, closest to "the throne of God"? (Whether Kolob is, or was, a planet or a star, is unclear in the bizarre scriptures of the cult.) Mormon cosmology also holds that God did not create the Universe, but merely organized some of its aspects. Indeed, the Wikipedia article on "Mormon cosmology" says in part that "The prevailing view among Mormons is that God once lived on a planet with his own higher god." (Scientology also teaches that people originated on another planet. Do fundamentalist Christians regard Scientology as Christian? I should hope not!) Mormonism rants on, and on, and on about one nutso deviation from Christian theology after another.
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Will people dare to condemn Romney's cult as non-Christian? Or will they allow themselves to be intimidated away from pointing out the fact that Mormonism does NOT accord with the most fundamental teachings of Christianity?
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We shall see. I am an atheist, and hold all religion in contempt. Ethics do not depend upon superstition. Quite the contrary, as we have seen over and over in regard to the behavior of religious fanatics, great evil is done regularly by people who are persuaded that 'God wants them to do it'.
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What I don't know is how dishonest the fundamentalist Christians who want an ultraconservative Republican to become President, will prove. Will they vote for a HERETIC like Mitt Romney? or a mainline Protestant like Barack Obama? An awful lot of Radical Rightists say, unabashedly, that they believe no non-Christian should ever be President of the United States, and rationalize their (actually racist) hatred for Barack Obama on the basis that he is a Moslem parading as a Christian. How, then, can they justify voting for a Mormon — a non-Christian cultist who parades as a Christian? Is it enuf for Romney to claim to be Christian? It hasn't been enuf for Obama to claim to be Christian. But of course Romney is white, so racist Tea Party and Republican stalwarts will rush to believe that a Mormon is a Christian, even tho NO genuine Christian denomination accepts the Book of Mormon as a legitimate Christian Scripture. If they did, it would have to be incorporated into the Bible and taught by all denominations, but I see no movement to do that.
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Mountain Meadows Massacre. Attempts by Mormons to present Mormonism as a Christian denomination dedicated to loving piety and Jesus's teachings about peace and charity toward your fellow man run up against the ugly reality that the Mormon Establishment declared war upon the United States and exterminated a wagon train of Americans who merely wanted to pass thru Utah on their way west. These peaceful, loving, 'Christian' Mormons murdered at least 100 Americans, and maybe as many as 140! Remember Mountain Meadows! as adamantly as you Remember the Alamo!, and don't let Mormons represent themselves as patriots and Christians. They are neither.
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Voters' Religious Test. The Constitution sets no religious test for Government office. Voters, however, have the right to set any test they wish, including a religious test that rejects Mormon pretenses to be decent, exemplary Christians. They are not, and they HONOR the memory and deeds of the monsters who committed the Mountain Meadows Massacre.



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