Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The LDS Church Excommunicates Galileo

While browsing FLAK this morning, something I haven't done in months, I came across a reference comparing the September 6 to Galileo Galilei. I knew that Galileo Galilei was imprisoned by the Catholic church due to his views on how the Earth revolves around the earth, but I had not thought about how the current LDS church deals with heretics and its similarities with the Catholic church.

As a refresher course, Galileo Galilei had the view that the Earth revolves around the Sun. This was considered heretic due to the fact that several bible scriptures reference the Earth as being stationary. Reference = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei#Church_controversy

The September Six are a group of LDS church members who had differing view's and idea's concerning church doctrine, theocracy and history that the LDS church does not advocate. They were considered intellectuals and the church didn't like where their ideas where going. The church excommunicated five and disfellowshipped one in hopes of squashing the movement of those who might find problems with church history and want to reconcile them within mainstream Mormonism. Reference = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_Six

As I've commented before in previous posts, I have a huge problem with how the church knowingly omits its own history in hopes of perpetuating a grand idea of who the church is. When looking at church history, its very difficult to read church history and reconcile it with all of the education handed down by your church leaders. A little thing called cognitive dissonance steps in and your mind wrestles with all of the new information, which is not refuted by church leadership, and the journey begins.

I find it difficult to to understand how the LDS church, which is supposed to be the source of truth for the world, can excommunicate members who look at church history, which can be done reading official church books, and decide that what the church teaches in Sunday school lessons are not the entire story. I know there is more to it than that, but the fact of the matter is that we are taught in church meetings the things that church leaders think will instill more faith in us. They don't think that the facts are important. Church leaders have even told us to ignore the things that dont make the church look good.

I know I'm not the only one who thinks this, but the church is becoming more mainstream in an effort to bolster church membership. What they don't understand is that the differences where exactly what kept a lot of people in the church. The church needs to take back its identity and become the church that it was intended to be, not the vanilla flavor church that has a rocky beginning. It's as if the church today thinks that using PR spin will make them look good. They shoot themselves in the foot because anyone who is really interested can google anything the church claims and find that its contradicting itself, or at the least, leaving our the unsavory parts in an effort to put their best foot forward. The church needs to explain how the church really came to be. Their members need to be told the truth so that they can deal with sincere questions from non-members who have heard about many of the contradictory aspects of church history.

2 comments:

Brother of PF said...

I agree brother, it is quite interesting that the church does not want us diving into history that they don't like.

On my mission it was extremely stressed that we don't even begin to consider thinking about possibly maybe taking a peek at anything that may remotely raise questions about the church. We were basically given tunnel vision as far as church history goes. If anything deterred us from what was said to be the only facts that matter, then we were not looked well upon. This not only applies to missionaries, but members in general. The church basically teaches that good members need to keep away from the questions that doubting members have. I see why though, because the things they don't want you to find out are really disturbing facts that will easily raise some pretty important questions. However, they don't consider those questions important. They consider what THEY are telling us to be the only things that are important.

It's really troubling to me. Now I understand why so many non-members are critical of the church and it's history, because what they know is exactly what we don't know, but that those of us who are questioning things are starting to find out. I don't blame non-members at all anymore for their view of the church. I still think members are decent, good hearted people. Just that they're being kept blind to what's real. It's not their fault, just like it wasn't our fault when we were blind to these things. I do, however, believe that many leaders in the church, the people teaching lessons on Sunday included, put emphasis on too many of the wrong things. For a while I attended church for the simple reason that I wanted to try and correct the way things were being emphasized in whatever class I was in at church. I wanted to be able to raise my hand and question what the teacher was telling all of us what was important and how we needed to treat certain situations, because I knew that they were completely wrong in how they were telling us to act. I could go on and on about priesthood lessons and new member classes, but anyone who has served a mission knows how ridiculous members can be in new member classes.

Anyways, my point is that the church is telling the members to behave in ways that totally contradict was is taught by Christ in the scriptures. At this point I'm not sure if I believe in Christ, but because the church does, shouldn't they be teaching what Christ taught? Shouldn't they be telling members to behave the way Christ did? I know they have the whole WWJD saying, but the fact is they don't follow it in their teachings at all from the classes I witnessed as an active member. Many times the member teaching the lesson would say things like don't surround yourself with non-members or inactive members. Doesn't the contradict the whole point of visiting teaching and fellowshipping, as well as missionary work? I know the saying is that members aren't perfect, but the church is, but the fact is that the church isn't either. If the church is going to teach the gospel properly, they need to do it they way their Savior would, and that's by being welcoming of all walks of life and just trying to do good for everyone, not just the active members.

Anyways, there's a lot more that can go into this, but that's just what I felt like rambling off.

I love the blog brother. Even if we don't figure things out, it is much nicer having you to go through this with. Here's to following the golden rule and thinking for ourselves.

-Brother of PF

paranoidfr33k said...

Thanks for the nice comments, bro.

The part that bugs me the most is that you are made out to be disloyal if you read their own history and have questions. Ask anyone who has read church history and they will tell you that it begs a lot of questions to be asked. The church doesn't want you to have questions, they want you to blindly beleive them when they tell you it doesn't matter. I don't agree with that mentality. If there are no problems with the history of the church, then teach it like it happened and we will all know the truth. Hide from it and we will think you have something to hide from. Thats how it works and they don't understand.

I've often asked myself why the church leadership is so worried about members learning about their past. I think the answer is quite clear to me now, but I was ignorant to the point of blind faith just years ago.

/paranoidfr33k