Baby Gods: How Mormon Doctrine Leads to Abuse

I was raised in the Mormon church. I attended services weekly until I was fifteen. Generations of my family on both sides were LDS. So I know their rules and beliefs. Aside from Scientology, they are the most messed-up and dangerous mainstream cult in America. Probably the worst thing about it is the way in which it shapes young men into abusers, rapists, and child molesters, because it encourages treating people as things. Like all monotheistic religious traditions (particularly Catholicism and all of its bastard children), LDS doctrine is all about male exceptionalism; Mormon men are told that when they die, they will become gods. That is their destiny. Mormon women are told that their entire existence must revolve around giving her husband anything he wants and obeying his every command, and then bearing his “spirit children” for all eternity. (Why would any woman want to be a part of a church that relegates her to being a celestial brood mare for all eternity?) Young Mormon women

The War on Drugs

  Topic: The War on Drugs In America, the war on drugs was lost before it even began; they tried to keep people from drinking during Prohibition, which -as we all know- did not work. The simple fact is that people are going to get high, legal or otherwise. Also, most of the social harm done by illicit substances is because they are illegal, not because of the substances themselves. Used Mindfully, almost every street drug can be used for either medicinal or spiritual purposes. About the only exception is crystal meth. Most drugs are derived from plants. Cocaine comes from the coca plant, heroin and other opiates come from poppies, and of course mushrooms and cannabis are consumed in their raw, unprocessed state. LSD is actually made from a chemical derived from fungus that grows on rye bread. So most of these drugs are made using a plant that evolved alongside humanity. Cannabis is non-toxic because it is intended to be consumed. That is how it propagates: Seeds eaten by animals an

The Path Doesn't Care

 Here is a list of all the things that the Path does not care about: What you wear. The other consending adults you have sex with. How long your hair/beard is. If you get an abortion. Who or what you choose to worship, if at all. Who you pray to, or if you pray. How great you think it is.  Which bits of it you agree with. Here is a list of things that the Path does care about: How kind you are. If you are willing to grow and seek Enlightenment. Providing practical advice on how to be a better person. That's pretty much it. I feel like being kind is enough of an emotional burden (if you're doing it right), and seeking Enlightenment is a full-time job. As discussed before, your treatment of your  mortal vessel is of no consequence to the practice of the Path. There is a prayer, about being open to blessings with a grateful heart, but it is kind of addressed to the Universe rather than some creepy all-seeing father figure, and anyway it is more of an optional extra than a mandator

Sex (Core Tenet #5)

  Topic: Sex (Core Tenet #5) (Full disclosure: I have taken a vow of celibacy, for personal rather than spiritual reasons. I have not been in any kind of sexual relationship in five years, and the last one I was in was highly toxic.) Most monotheistic belief systems are obsessed with sex. Specifically, forbidding certain sexual acts. In some cases, everything but the missionary position (after dark, with the lights out and trying not to look at each other) is prohibited. Some religions don’t let you have sex until you’re married, at which point you’re expected to go at it like bunnies to breed up the next generation of obedient little sheep. According to Core Tenet #5, the Path teaches us that we are free to have sex with as many other people as we want. We don’t have to be married, our partners can be any sex or gender, and we aren’t limited to one at a time. This is because your body belongs to you, and the Path is more interested in the development and eventual Enlightenment o

Caring What Others Think

  Topic: Caring What Others Think Much like “Never back down,” which we have discussed previously, there is another popular sentiment that bears close examination: That you should always do your own thing and not to care what anyone thinks about it. Now, if what you are doing is truly benevolent, but maybe a little bit weird, like building models of human organs out of toothpicks, that is one thing. But if your “thing” is smothering babies or kicking puppies, maybe you ought to care what people think about it. Caring what others think is how we can distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Humans are social animals, and we establish behavioral guidelines as a group. We have to care about what our society thinks of us, to make sure we are not hurting anyone. Of course, some people just kind of suck and you should not care much about what they think of you. So it is a delicate Balance, and you have to be judicious about whose opinions you value. It is also importan

In Which the Pastor Takes Down God

  In Which the Pastor Takes Down God No idea is above dissection. While we have touched on a few of the ways in which the god character in monotheistic mythology is deeply flawed, I have yet to do a full-on takedown of the character himself. In this sermon, we will be going back over some ground we have covered before, but this time we are compiling all the most compelling evidence against the entity that monotheistic mythology claims controls the Universe. First, let us enumerate the characteristics of the god character: He is claimed to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere, but also lives in big, expensive buildings that only certain people are allowed to enter. He loves everyone, except those he hates, a list that varies from sect to sect. He created the Universe and everything in it, but somehow nobody blames him for mosquitoes. Everything that happens is according to god’s plan, but also bad things happen because of the Devil, a being with his own questionable

A link to my latest book

 My latest book, which is a collection of essays and sermons, is available in paperback and Kindle. Please note that my sermons are all on secular topics. If you read my weblog, you know I am an atheist with some pretty clear opinions on monotheism, and some of those takedowns are in this book:   40 Years in the Desert: Carlin, CJ: 9798323532636: Books