This couldn’t be any richer, or any more demonstrative of what a phenomenal range of crippled and crazy ideas theology manages to pull into its tired old tent in an age where people pop newly-released, ultra-refined antibiotics as they type away on brand-new laptops containing state-of-the-art microprocessors, squinting at their screens with recently LASIK-improved eyesight as they tap out angry sentences about how scientists are not to be trusted as experts in their fields and a book thousands of years old holds the answers to everything.
I did not know that Glenn Beck was a Mormon, as this introduces an extra “m” to his description I was unaware was necessary. I also do not care. But James Dobson and his charmingly name-challenged troupe of donkeys, Focus on the Family, certainly do. After publishing an interview with Beck concerning his new book on its CitizenLink.com subsidiary, the head donkeys elected to pull the interview after others began braying about Mormonism being nothing more than a cult.
Forget the various ironies here; I prefer to leap straight to analogies. For Mormons (who from where I sit are Christians of some sort, as Jesus is the central figure of worship) to be written off as cultists by “real” Christians, or for any bickering to occur about the particulars of batcrap insane concepts, calls to mind–and I’m stealing this from one of my own comments to another post–a couple of ten-year-old Star Wars aficionados getting into a fistfight over whether Greedo was a superior bounty hunter to Boba Fett. Sure, each side has its arguments, but when the entire shooting match is rooted squarely in someone’s imagination, both combatants quickly reveal themselves as engaging in a battle that is unwinnable, hilarious, and pathetic all at once.
Yes, the tenets of Mormonism are overtly insane, although I enjoy the part about requiring huge magical sunglasses or something in order to properly decipher the tablets discovered by a horse thief on the run in Upstate New York less than two centuries ago. But the only defense Biblical Christianity has against identical charges of irredeemable nuttiness is the mitigating–if not truly comfortable–haze of a couple of thousand years, during which time Christianity’s chief pimps have learned to build epistemologically corrupt but stubborn and superficially plausible answers to every rightful question a skeptic could ask, Meanwhile, as humankind passes into and through eras of evolutionary biology, molecular genetics, and modern astronomy, geology, and cosmology, the stench of manure becomes ever harder to ignore, and jocularity becomes the order of the day.
I encourage people to do two things: Read the comments under the Christian Post article, and generate your own analogies in the comments below–mine shouldn’t be too hard to beat, although “Godzilla vs. King Kong” is, I should warn, trite in advance.