Religion: A Glossary

Agnostic – Someone who is an atheist but is too chicken to admit it to themselves or others.

Allah – The world’s second most popular imaginary friend. Hobbies include Arab linguistic and ethnic supremacy, vengeance and mercy, and inspiring middle-aged failures to develop malignant late-blooming megalomania.

Apologetics – A misleading term which sounds as if it consists of a person apologising for the negative aspects of a faith system, when in fact it is quite the opposite.

Atheist – A person whose life decisions and moral compass are not assisted by an imaginary friend, and thus exhibits a better grasp on reality than a Believer.

Believer – A person who has been deluded by themselves and authority figures into denying reality in favour of a softer, gentler fantasy in which death is not real and the injustices of life will be corrected in the afterlife with lavish rewards for themselves and heavy punishment for their enemies.

Bible – A collection of pro-imaginary-friend propaganda assembled by a collection of politicians in the third century to encourage more efficient administration of the dwindling Roman Empire via arbitrary social controls (see: Church).

Church – 1. A building used for the purpose of collective communication with an imaginary friend. 2. The broader affiliation of people with the same imaginary friend.

Cult – 1. A faith-based organisation with unusually deceptive recruiting techniques and prohibitively difficult barriers to disaffiliation. 2. The term used to describe a Church you do not like.

Faith – The wilfully ignorant position that things which do not exist do, in fact, exist.

God – The most popular generic name of an imaginary friend utilised by adults for the purposes of self-justification. Individuals engage in imaginary conversation (see “prayer”) with this fanciful character to avoid thinking about how death gives them the willies, how insignificant we really all are in the universe, and the responsibilities that go with being a sentient species.

Holiday – A calendar event which, deep in the mists of history, was a cause for extra devotion to some aspect of faith but is now an excuse to sell mattresses at 40% off.

Prayer – Talking to an imaginary friend in order to visualise the magical materialisation of one’s wishes. Used as an alternative to getting up off of one’s arse and actually doing something to cause those wishes to become reality.

Prayer Breakfast – A gathering of fat middle class people for the purpose of stuffing their faces with refined carbohydrates and smugly congratulating themselves for their sincere belief that their actions are magically making the world a better place.

Qu’ran – The ramblings of an epileptic in the throes of a mid-life crisis, passed off as the teachings of the world’s second most popular imaginary friend.

Torah – A bizarre collection of rules that make no sense whatsoever, such as bans on consumption of bacon and the prohibition of the wearing of polyester, which have led inevitably to such psychotic regulations such as the proper disposal of nail clippings to prevent miscarriage by any pregnant women that may be nearby. Also includes stories glorifying rape, murder, ethnic cleansing, and the neurotic foot-stamping jealousy of Yahweh when it comes to inviting other imaginary friends to join a party.

Unbeliever – A perjorative term used by Believers to describe people who don’t talk to their imaginary friend. Sub-terms include Kuffar, Infidel, Apikoros, and Apostate.

Yahweh – The world’s most popular imaginary friend. Hobbies include genocide, the ethnic supremacy of Hebrews, and creating detailed lists of justifications for capital punishment. Enjoys sexually assaulting underage girls and executing the first born offspring of his prophets, enemies, and himself.

There’s a lot more terms we can collect here. Add your own definitions below!

Which is better: Gay or Dead?

Horrified but unsurprised by The Gay Dot’s report of an LDS bishop saying suicide is preferable to being gay, I retweeted the link to the post. xJane sparked the following train of thought yesterday:

NotSoPoetic: (link) #mormon bishop says suicide is preferable to being gay
xJane: @NotSoPoetic Does suicide send you to hell in Mormonism (as it does in Catholicism)?
NotSoPoetic: @xJane It sends you to the lowest heaven with Hitler and serial killers. Only high-up priesthood holders who defect can go to mormon hell.
xJane: @NotSoPoetic wait, Hitler’s in heaven? I’m SET!
xJane: @NotSoPoetic but still, weighing theological probabilities, wouldn’t it be better just to be gay?
NotSoPoetic: @xJane From mormon perspective, yes, as sexual sin is second to killing. Gay mormons may possibly be able to get into second highest heaven.
xJane: @NotSoPoetic So, he was homophobic and wrong!

And suddenly Twitter is no longer sufficient for the magnitude of this conversation. xJane is correct; this LDS bishop, who abused the trust of a gay Mormon coming out to him by responding that it was “best to follow through the suicide than to give into men,” was wrong. First, because he’s a bigot. Second, because what he’s said is theologically incorrect from an LDS perspective.

Mormons have a much more complicated and forgiving scheme of salvation and damnation than your garden variety Christianity. The traditional view is as follows:

Baptism -> Death -> Go to Heaven

Really that’s supposed to be it. There’s a Heaven and a Hell, and if you become a Christian you get to go to heaven. It’s gotten much more complex over the years, with niggling arguments over who can perform the baptism and how much water to use, and then the Catholics had to go and add bleeding Limbo to the mix. But I think we can agree that the traditional concept of Christian salvation involves acknowledging the sacrifice of Christ through the act of baptism, which then places your name on St. Peter’s VIP list.

Mormons, being the pyramid-scheme loving, wacky new business model enthusiasts that they are, had to go and muck up the works by injecting a fat load of second chances, bootstrapping and free will into the equation:

pre-existence -> earth life -> death -> bonus round -> final judgement -> go to one of three levels of heaven

Mormons teach that prior to this life they voted on participating in God’s plan for humanity, choosing to go through with an earthly life. They were given bodies, sent to earth and view this life as a trial. Jesus dying for all mankind gets nearly everybody out of Hell. In fact, the only way to get into Mormon Hell is through deliberate rejection of entering any kind of heaven. Only “Sons of Perdition” or priesthood-holding men in leadership positions allowing them a “sure knowledge” of God and His PlanTM can be damned to join Lucifer and his rebellious angels in Hell. In a way this really marginalises the function of Jesus in humanity’s salvation. Even serial killers get to go to some kind of Heaven. Your religious affiliation plays no part in your pretty much guaranteed pass out of Hell.

Mormons believe that after we all die we go to a holding tank until the Final Judgement Day that accompanies Christ’s Second Coming. Good Mormons go to Paradise, where they are called upon to minister to those who chose not to become Mormons or didn’t have the chance to hear about Mormonism. Back on earth, the living perform the necessary rituals for dead people so that they can become Mormons posthumously and have a shot at one of the higher kingdoms of heaven.

After the Final Judgement, Human beings, based on their Mormonliness, are sorted into three kingdoms not unlike the various houses at Hogwarts. Everyone is guaranteed to at least find a home in the Telestial Kingdom, the Slytherin of the Mormon afterlife. Suicides, murderers, and the scum of all mankind will be found in this kingdom. And apparently it’s not too bad! Wilford Woodruff (allegedly) once said that if human beings knew how lovely it was in this lowliest of heavens, they’d be killing themselves to get there, and the general understanding among Mormons is that Telestial Slytherin House is pretty nice.

In the middle is the Terrestrial Kingdom for spiritual Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, where decent non-Mormon people and backslidden Mormons will go. These are folks who never became Mormon or didn’t accept posthumous Mormonisation.

The Gryffindor of the afterlife is the Celestial Kingdom, which is for good Mormons. The top tier of Celestial glory is reserved for Mormons who are heterosexually married in the temple. (You can see how this makes being gay a problem.) For years it was also taught that a man needed at least three wives to achieve this highest level of glory, something that Fundamentalist Mormons and traditionalist LDS still believe in. Good Mormons who have done everything right, received their temple ordinances, but never got married, will serve as “ministering angels,” a bit like personal assistants to the glorified married folks birthing new spirit babies and creating new worlds to set up yet another deified Ponzi scheme.

These ministering angels in the Celestial Kingdom should, doctrinally speaking, include gay Mormons who remained faithful to their covenants. Gay Mormons who killed themselves, regardless of other issues of worthiness, would end up in the Telestial Kingdom. It’s hard to say where a sexually active gay Mormon would end up. I want to say that if the person had ethical sexual relationships, they’d likely end up in the Terrestrial Kingdom. So if the Mormons are right, repression or living a gay lifestyle seems like it leads to a better situation than suicide.

So not only was that worthless git of a bishop abusing his parishioner by telling him suicide was better than being gay, he was wrong according to his own doctrine.

And, since I believe Mormon teachings are a load of rubbish, I’ll add that he was just plain wrong.