Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lambs to the Slaughter

OK, let's get the livestock folks involved here. I don't have a great deal of experience slaughtering lambs, but my experience watching it on TV is that if a lamb had digits and an opposable thumb, they would pull out a gun and fight, as they do struggle when they are confined preparatory to being killed.

The idea of going off "like a lamb to the slaughter" comes from their complete lack of fighting as they are taken to their final doom. Just another walk. They don't scream for a ram to come head butt someone.

Now this may seem silly, but it actually goes to the heart of the concept of trying to defend loved ones yet surrendering your own life. Joseph Smith was free, but surrendered himself to a highly biased, antagonistic representative of the Law who took him to a place known to be hostile to Joseph. He carried no weapon, put up no fight. In fact, he restrained the saints from trying to protect him.

That he was handed a gun, which he did fire and apparently wounded several of the attackers, who killed his brother. His brother had a gun in his pocket, which he did not use, nor did Joseph grab it and attempt to fire it. Apparently in the midst of the assault, he realized sacrificing his life, by going to the window, would draw the fire away from his two surviving friends.

Hmm, sacrificing oneself, without a weapon when one is loaded and available...

This was a martyrdom. He did fight to defend his friends, and then gave up when he realized his continued efforts would simply lead to the same fate as his brother. They would be killed too, and the story would not be accurately told about the death of the two leaders of the Church.

John Taylor did get the details about the death of some of the attackers at the hands of Joseph Smith, but he reports that it was something he was told, not had first hand knowledge.

I always find it amazing that the Mormons are accused of things like blood atonement and taking revenge, having Danites, etc. But what happens when their leader is killed? Nothing. Less than nothing. They don't even fight for their own homes. Within a year they would be driven out of the town they paid for with cash and blood, the sweat of many, the death of not a few in creating Nauvoo. Hundreds then die out on the plains in Winter Quarters (estimated at 500 people), and still the Mormons don't attack.

Joseph Smith, as a leader, was never known to attack those who attacked him. When Mormon leaders marched from Ohio to Missouri in 1834 because of abuses of members in Missouri, Joseph dissolved the troop before engaging in any contact or trouble. The lesson was not lost on the future leaders in the company of the Camp.

So remember, a lamb goes to the slaughter without a fight. But try to grab it and hold it to put a bullet in its head, and its going to put up a ruckus as best it can. It is the going part which is described in the phrase. We know that some of the early Christians allowed themselves to be arrested and fed to the lines because of their faith. But to say they didn't slap the lions on the nose as they ate them is just a fantasy. Those Christians are martyrs, even if they fought the moment of death with their hands. I suppose the occasional lucky gouge to the eye of a lion or working in groups to fight for as much life extension as possible or to protect loved ones does, by the standards of anti-Mormons, also disqualify those martyrs.

Seriously, was there any possibility at the time of the assault on Carthage Jail that Joseph and his comrades had any possibility they would survive? No, none. How did that come about?

The surrender by Joseph Smith to authorities whom he knew were going to kill him. We don't have any other statement of Joseph Smith saying he was going like a lamb to the slaughter. Just this time. And when he surrendered, he was unarmed, able to run, but resigned to his fate. So he surrendered to certain death without so much as raising his hand in defense.

Tell me again why this is not a martyrdom?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cowardly Liars

Those good Christians who write into my blog and call me or other folks names have finally helped me to see the light. Those assaults on my character and the characters of others have no place in Christian dialog. So as of right this moment, any person posting a comment on my blog who in any way says disparaging things about someone else under a guise of anonymity will not have their information posted.

I realize they may have other things to do, and I am not saying they cannot speak their mind, or be insulting, if that makes them grow as a Christian. I just won't let anyone do their own version of Shawn McCraney's School of Strawman Boxing any longer.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Lies, Darn Lies and Shawn McCraney

Little things make life worthwhile. I noticed this week that Heart of the Matter did not post last weeks show, despite folks I know who called the station and were told it would be out in 48 hours or less. Before tonight's show I sort of laughed and joked to myself that it was because of what a jerk Shawn was towards me and other LDS callers last week.

And then I tuned in for his monologue tonight. He started by defending what a jerk he had been, noting the folks he was rude to deserved it.

Then he launched on me. I literally started laughing, and then arguing, and then contemplating legal action. I will keep my options open on that. But here is something without dispute:

Shawn McCraney is a liar.

Shawn accused me of lying to his call screener last week. Not true. I told her exactly who I was. She did not ask me if I had ever called before. But that is a "he said, she said" thing, and unless we locate her notes, it would be impossible to prove.

But he then said I called evangelical Christians "God's broken toys." He said look it up, I had said it, or something to that effect. I never have used that phrase at any time in my life, let alone in an argument with Evangelicals.

Now, with all due respect to Shawn's feeble, childish and one-sided attack, he then out did his childish fit-of-an-attack with a transparently self-aggrandizing mini-sermon wherein he said I was from Fruit Heights, UT. Of course, I am not. I don't live in that county. In fact, had he actually spoken with his call screener and looked at her notes, he would have seen my phone number and a note that I live in South Jordan, UT.

Like it said on his TV monitor and the television screen during the call.

"What a maroon."

He also repeated his erroneous statement that Israel was not allowed under the Law to own Israelite slaves. His says it with such conviction. Good liars are like that.
2 If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
3 If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he be married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master give him a wife, and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
5 But if the servant shall plainly say: I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free;
6 then his master shall bring him unto G-d, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.
7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do.
8 If she please not her master, who hath espoused her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a foreign people he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.
9 And if he espouse her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10 If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her conjugal rights, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out for nothing, without money. (Jewish Bible, Exodus 21:2-11)

For lots of reading on the subject, see H. L. Elleson, “The Hebrew Slave: A Study in Early Israelite Society,” EvQ 45 (1973): 30-35; N. P. Lemche, “The Manumission of Slaves – The Fallow Year – The Sabbatical Year – The Jobel Year,” VT 26 (1976): 38-59, and “The ‘Hebrew Slave,’ Comments on the Slave Law – Ex. 21:2-11,” VT 25 (1975): 129-44. These came from the entry for Ex 21:2 at the website. An Evangelical source. Not LDS. So they are not trying to make Shawn look bad. He does that on his own.

I suppose it is true I am boring to Shawn, since he can't effectively argue with me. Also, I do have a few videos out there.

Did anyone else notice that after he got done running me down, he tried to make it sound like he was going to address the issue of Elijah Abel's ordination being revoked by Joseph Smith, as asserted by Harold B. Lee. I may have missed the General Conference session where LDS apostles were decreed infallible in matters of historic LDS trivia. Still, he avoided actually providing any support of his assertion, since he asserts that Joseph Smith was a racist. Read his statements around his presidential campaign. Read the editorials. Read his statement about blacks and all people worshiping together in the temple.

Elijah Abel's grave stone is here, and was dedicated by an LDS apostle. And given we have the ordination statements for Elder Abel, we know it is correct.

Making Shawn not just mistaken, but ignorant.

I think Shawn is a lying, deceptive and self-aggrandizing peacock. But he does provide good material.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Are Mormons Christians? Nearly Everyone Says Yes

This is a survey found in Christianity Today. Please go there to read the entire article.

Are Mormons Christian? How Christian groups answer the question?

All Americans
No 31%
Don't know 17%
Yes 52%

Evangelical Protestants
No 45%
Don't know 15%
Yes 40%

Mainline Protestants
No 23%
Don't know 15%
Yes 62%

Black Protestants
No 30%
Don't know 27%
Yes 43%

No 29%
Don't know 19%
Yes 52%
Copyright © 2009 Christianity Today.

Interesting that the only group who has a majority saying "No, Mormons are not Christian" are Evangelicals, and even there it is 45% say no and 40% say yes. To use their analysis about LDS beliefs, I guess their little group has a corner on truth the other 210 million Americans have missed.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Quack, Quack, Duck, Duck. What's That? Shawn McCraney Not Engaging Again

I was surprised tonight to call into Shawn McCraney's show, and actually get on air. Shawn accused me of lying by saying I was a first time caller. I was never asked, and I gave the call screener my first and last name, my phone number and the city I was calling from. I just followed Shawn's model of they didn't ask if I was banned, so I didn't tell.

Anyway, Shawn proved once again how shallow and judgmental he is about issues. I seriously feel sorry for his wife, and that could explain why she has not left the LDS Church, given that he is impossible to interact with if thinks he knows something.

The subject tonight was racism in the LDS Church. He erroneously taught that Elijah Abel, the first AFrican American to hold the Melchisedek priesthood, was stripped of his priesthood. Not only was that false, but his son was ordained an elder in 1900 (I said 1905 on the air, even I make mistakes), and his grandson was ordained an elder in 1935. Shawn was oblivious, and instead re-read the 1961 statement by Harold B. Lee saying it was a mistake for Abel to have been ordained, and it was undone. Elder Lee was wrong, which is really no big deal, since we have no doctrine of infallibility. Shawn then hung up on me after yelling over the top of me that Elder Lee was a prophet, seer and revelator, as if that makes someone infallible. That is not LDS doctrine, no matter how loud Shawn yells.

Anyway, the Biblically based illiterate stated that Israel was allowed to own slaves because they had to be from outside their faith, and could not be from among the People of God. That is such beautiful doctrine. It would be better if it were true.

I suppose since he doesn't believe in keeping the commandments, he doesn't read Exodus 20 with the 10 Commandments, and therefore is unaware of Exodus 21 which outlines all the rules for owning Hebrew slaves.

I can hardly wait for next year, the brilliant exegesis ahead will be worthy of conversion. Can you just see Shawn ignoring the grammar of John 1:1 (he already did that during his other weekly show)? His inability to correctly explain the context of Isaiah 43:10, or the historical and theological context of Ps 82 or Ps 110 or Deut 32:8-9.

I just laugh to think Shawn characterizes me as "deceptive" when he goes on TV with less than half the truth every week. Mormonism may be false, but if the yardstick is the Bible, then Shawn is 'falser', given the non-stop contradictions of the Bible.