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Make the Valleys Smoke

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Comments : 5

  1. anonymous

    11 years ago

    I just want to make this clear. Those are NOT mormons. They are the FLDS church and are not in any way connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Yes, they broke off from the Church, but that was a hundred years ago. They are fundamentalists and don’t have anything to do with the Mormon church. We don’t practice polygamy and don’t teach the same doctrines. I’m not trying to be mean, I just want to clear that up, because I have heard people calling them mormons, or the fundamentalist mormons, and it is not so.
    Thank You!

  2. 11 years ago

    YEAH! The FLDS are totaly differant form us Mormons. Don’t feel bad, its a common mistake.

  3. []

    11 years ago

    Oh, I know the difference between LDS and FLDS. “Mormons” is just short hand.

    Once in a discussion about Protestantism, my grandmother, who was Southern Baptist claimed the Baptists are not Protestant. From my point of view, they’re not Roman Catholic, and they’re not Orthodox, so they’re Protestant. The differences she’d cite between the Southern Baptists and the Methodists, to them, are very important, and I wouldn’t minimize them in that context. But from an external view, they’re arguments among Protestants – internal disputes. In fact, the same can be said for the entire Protestant Reformation. The argument is among two parties that are essentially the same, but arguing over dialectical differences that underscore the fact that they share the same underlying presuppositions.

    Ordained Priesthood / Priesthood of all Believers
    Canonized Saints / Every Believer a Saint
    Salvation by Works / Salvation by Faith
    Visible Church / Invisible Church
    Communion as Sacrament / Communion as Symbol
    Faith as the Doctrine of the Church / Faith as a Change of the Heart

    These are internal disputes. From an Orthodox view, they have little to do with us, and so it is just as easy to consider them arguments among “Protestants” as arguments among “Roman Catholics” or “Latins” as arguments among the heterodox.

    Indeed, the Roman Catholics have been called the first Protestants, and Protestant thinking is essentially Roman Catholic (Latin in its origins and presuppositions – always it begins within that religious-philosophical millieu). These have far more in common with each other, and indeed with Jews (of which there are many types who would vie for further distinctions – Orthodox Jew, Reformed Jew, etc.) and Muslims (same thing there – Sunni, Shiite, etc).

    In fact, one might call the very impulse to fragmentation and multiplication of distinctive factions the very Protestant Impulse itself. In that light, by the very fact of the various parties arguing that they’re distinct, they are more alike than dissimilar – because they are arguing *about* the same things. They are disagreeing about the particulars, but accepting the general – the set of questions that are presumably important in the first place. The ground is the same.

    It’s often thought that the Orthodox are part of these discussions but, really, we aren’t. We never had a Reformation – those are someone else’s issues. Perpetual debates over free will vs. predestination were never part of our thinking, because we started from a different place, and we think differently. Those are Protestant questions. Or Roman Catholic questions. Same thing, if you will.

    So for me, looking at “Mormons” – I mean the term only in the most general sense w/o choosing sides in a debate over who are the ‘authentic’ Mormons. I understand this can be disconcerting, when there are distinctions that are very important to you, even if they don’t have much bearing on us – we’re not part of those debates. It’s disconcerting, too, to the Evangelicals, who, often hear Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses lumped in with them as Protestants or Fundamentalists (not to mention the Mainline Protestant reaction to all this), or the Unitarians (who no one wants to claim, either). But, from an external point of view, these distinctions depend on what questions you consider *Defining* in the first place. The question of which questions are important is itself precisely the point. And to people who don’t consider the distinctions between these various groups to be nearly as defining as their similarities, you’re basically speaking a foreign language.

    I can name a dozen differences between a Mormon and an Evangelical Fundamentalist off the top of my head. But from my perspective, they’re more similar to each other than either of them are like my people.

    The easiest illustration I know (when I’m *not* talking to Mormons) is Monotheism. Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, and Muslims are Monotheists. And, similarly and because of this, they’re “people of the book”. But I’m not a Monotheist at all. Nor a person of the book. I see that as their thing.

    A lot of Mormons would say “Amen”. But we don’t mean the same thing there, either, after all. 🙂 You see my point, though. Most Evangelicals would flip if you told them you basically considered them barely dissimilar to Muslims. Kind of like Muslims with a sprinkle of Judaism and Roman Catholicism thrown in. They wouldn’t like it at all, and people tend to get very touchy and emotional about these things. But it’s true, that’s how a whole lot of us see them. Averroes, Avicenna, Aquinas — good Protestants, those. 🙂

    But nobody likes it when you Max Weber them. And I entirely understand. It’s painful, and it can feel insulting. It’s a rocky road, and one tries to speak the truth peaceably and clearly a the same time, and often our frailty, because of Death, makes it impossible to do both.

    Anyway, no harm was meant. At the same time, I’m sure if some FLDS folks were around, they wouldn’t appreciate it if we said, “we know they’re not real Mormons”. We try to stay out of these internal debates.

  4. MARIO

    11 years ago

    I THINK YOU THINK TOO MUCH , about so many things that you’ve forget to feel, put your hart in your service and be happy.
    In your conversation you never speak about Holly Spirit, why?
    what’s your relation with GOD?

  5. []

    11 years ago

    lol. Well thanks for contributing to my vice, or not, depending on your point of view. Kind of a catch-22, don’t you think? 🙂

    I’m not aware, also, that you and I are acquainted, and so it would be just silly to presume to speak about what the other person feels. That would be reserved for people who are so intimate with us, that they can intimate such things. In my life, there’s no such Mario. Besides, by what rule does one have to cease feeling because one is thinking? Frankly, I can do both quite easily, and in proper relation to one another.

    Anyway, while I appreciate your willingness to give advice, for what it is, it’s a little like a mechanic advising a bellhop, or vice versa. Or for that matter a Jew advising a Jain. We don’t share the same religious tradition, or so it would seem from the assumptions in your post, so I can’t fathom why we would presume to give each other any advice at all. I’m not able to advise you from the standpoint of your Faith, and you’re not able to advise me from the standpoint of mine. So how about we keep our advice to ourselves where, if it does no good, at least it isn’t a waste of breath?

    As far as thinking, I don’t find it a burden, nor do I find it too much for me in any way. You, of course, may have a preference for reading about feelings, and may believe that that’s feeling and not thinking – you may find the writing here too much for your liking, but I’m really not trying to please you or anyone else with it and, of course you’re free to find things elsewhere that you prefer to read – or whatever. So thanks, but I’m not looking for a lobotomy, even in principle, much less a gnostic subordination of thought to emotion. That’s not our tradition.

    On your theological question, I would reply that what you would seem to mean by God and Holy Spirit are not things I believe exist. It’s sort of like going to a blog run by a Buddhist and asking why he doesn’t talk about “the rapture”. Or here, for that matter. I’d be more likely to talk about elves.

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