Mormons vs. Ex-Mormon Atheists

So here’s the story on the forum Illusion reminded me of.

A few days ago my cousin told me about, which is apparently the online forum of the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper. They have a religious discussion forum, but what it actually consists of is about six individuals who argue with each other. Half of them are LDS and the others seem either to have formerly been LDS and are now atheist or were just atheists to begin with.

The formerly-LDS atheists are dedicated to exposing the dark history of the LDS church, ekcetra; standard anti-Mormon stuff, really. Some of their arguments may hold some merit, but the way they are presented leaves me quite unable to consider them valid. You know how you could say the sky is blue, and the sky is blue, but it comes out of your mouth, “The sky is blue, dumb***“? It’s like that, but sillier.

What I find funnier than people attacking their former church, however, are the defenders of the faith. Come on, people, your arguments are just as ridiculous as the other side’s, if not more so. Each side dodges questions, carries a self-righteous attitude, and claims to be open-minded while defining “open-minded” as “How can you possibly be right when I can prove my point by writing it on the internet?!?” (Unfortunately, it’s not a geek forum, so you don’t get to see comments punctuated with “1”s or “one”s instead of exclamation marks.)

So while I find it completely ludicrous that one of the atheists has filed a complaint with the FCC about the recent broadcast of the LDS General Conference—and apparently does so every six months, timed with each broadcast—and likened its content to child pornography, I also have to laugh at the response and overall exchange, which seemed to go something like this:

Atheist: “General Conference is evil. They may as well broadcast kiddie porn.”
Mormon: “So was it Word of Wisdom problems that started you on the path to apostasy? Tithing? A porn problem of your own?????”
Atheist: “It’s fits the FCC’s definition of obscenity: [cites definition from FCC web site and attempts to back up his claim].”
Mormon: “Seriously, did someone in Relief Society offend you or something? What’s your problem?”
Atheist: “I’m tired of paying taxes to subsidize my neighbor’s six kids’ public education and having to sidestep their strollers.”
Mormon: “You don’t just lose your testimony overnight. You really need to pray for forgiveness.”

Ad nauseum. A few things to note:

  • Yes, the guy really did liken General Conference to child pornography. Yes, he was serious, as far as I could tell.
  • Yes, he complained about his neighbors’ strollers.
  • No, he did not get all the apostrophes in the right places. That was entirely me, folks.

Now, I’m a firm believer in the LDS faith. I have read criticisms and suchlike of the history of the Church, Joseph Smith, ekcetra. If the Church ends up not being true, so be it. I believe it is, and God will smite whom He seeth fit to smite in the end. I just don’t want to be smited. Smitten. Whatever.

But do you have to feed the trolls, Mormon-guys-on-forum? Trolls come back to food. They’re like cats that way. (Cats are evil.) And do you have to be even dumber than they are?

There seemed to be a few level-headed posts on the forum scattered here and there, but the vast majority of them seemed to be just to fuel fires that were already gasoline-soaked, and the result of arson in the first place. Overall, the forum just provided comic relief for me, until I got bored, and disturbed at a few of the topics discussed.

Also, someone wrote “irregardless.” That’s always good for a laugh.

That’s my story. I’m going to bed.

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