The Eternal Fire


I was raised contrary to many children raised within religion in that my parents would discuss sex openly.  We would discuss how good sex felt, in fact, a comparison that stands out from the discussion was to a much better feeling of releasing a sneeze.

We would talk about contraception.  We would talk about vaginas and penises.  We would talk about physical attraction, including no preconceived notion that we would be attracted to the opposite sex.

They weren’t gross or damaging to us.  They wouldn’t discuss their particular sex life, and perform acts in front of us, other than kissing, which let’s face it folks, isn’t a vulgar sex act.

Because of this normalization of sex in my thoughts, I also don’t get grossed out at the thought of parents having sex.

We were also taught that masturbation was great.  It was necessary.  It provided a healthy ‘out’ for our urges.

Along with all of that, we were also taught that the best prevention of disease or pregnancy was abstinence.  Now, this is important though… it was simply taught as the best not the only.

All that said, I did not wait until I was married.  My first intercourse experience was at 17 years of age.  Sure enough, it felt really good.  I guess you could say it was a hell of a thing.

So, to the meat and potatoes of this post, sorry for the long intro…

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. – Jude 1:7

If you desire to wait for marriage before having intercourse, that’s fine.  When you decide to judge others for premarital sex, that’s when it’s an issue.

Let me ask all the married religious people a question.  Was it really worth the wait?  Or perhaps it was painful, uncomfortable, and messy (as first time sex is for many)?

Let me ask the religious people that have been married more than once another question.  Was sex with the second partner worse?  Better?  Same?  Honestly, I would likely guess it was better, but I’m sure that’s up for debate and not the point of this dissertation.  I’d bet that just because you’d had sex before, it wasn’t worse.

My point is that the sex drive is necessary for the survival of a species and, with small percentage of exception (asexuals), we all experience it.  It’s really interesting that it sets in at its most powerful level during puberty.  A time when most of the religious would push the hardest to prevent an individual from having sex.  Don’t take my point as I support underage sex, I really don’t.  I have 2 children, both below the age of consent, and in the full throws of puberty, and we teach similarly to my parents.  Abstinence is best, but condoms and other protections if the urge is too great.

Why, if we are created by a deity, would we have such a powerful drive to create new life before we were married?  I know some will say “mysterious ways”, and others will say “we are being tested”.  I just don’t buy those answers.  Perhaps, just perhaps, we evolved to procreate at the most likely to be successful point in our short lives.  It fits.  Evolution has no real care for ’emotional maturity’.

Perhaps it’s time for people to view sex with a healthier attitude.  The bible certainly doesn’t provide a healthy attitude, as seen in the quote above, or the following:

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. – Ephesians 5:5

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:27-28

And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. – Exodus 22:16-17

These seem pretty dire.  No heaven, mental adultery, buying your way out of premarital sex?  This is an unhealthy look at sex.  This creates paranoia.  Teaching these things to children is abuse.

Let’s get past this.  Let’s start a healthy dialog about sex.  Let’s help prevent disease and teen pregnancy.  Hammering your children with abstinence only sexual education has demonstrably the opposite result.

The Lost Gospel According to Avarice

(This text has been translated from the previously sealed portions of The Book of Mormon)

Chapter 1

1. And it came to pass that Jesus did gather His prophet and his twelve apostles unto His embrace and He did look upon them and did see they were exceeding sad.

2. And it came to pass that Jesus did ask His prophet, “Wherefore art thou sad?”

3. And it came to pass that His prophet replied, “LORD, we have a mighty surplus of gold given into our care by the faithful disciples. It is exceedingly beautiful! But, yea, the gold sits in the dark vaults of various off-shore banks where the multitudes cannot enjoy its mighty splendor.”

4. And it came to pass that The Savior did look upon all of His church and saw many buildings of exquisite design, and meeting-houses most numerous.

5. And it came to pass that Jesus did dwell mightily upon using the gold in the sending of more missionaries to spread The Gospel unto the gentiles, but nay, He chose it not.

6. And it came to pass that Jesus did dwell mightily upon using the gold in the building of more temples and meeting-houses, but nay, He chose it not.

7. And it came to pass that Jesus did dwell mightily upon sending the ample surplus among those with disease in Liberia, or who lost all in Nepal, or Haiti, or the multitude of hungry children the world over, but nay, He chose it not.

8. And it came to pass that Jesus commanded His prophet, “Go! Takest thou a large portion of gold to King Becker, that he may have joy of it, and, with him, buildest thou a mighty shopping mall in the heart of Zarahemla! And, yay, ye are commanded to make a bridge across the sky, and a shop that contains over-priced devices of fruity disposition.”

9. And it came to pass that The Prophet did question The LORD saying, “My LORD, such a shopping mall shall not survive without fine establishments of gluttony, but such heathens will not enter into The Mall unless they be allowed to serve wine and strong drink.”

10. And it came to pass that Jesus said unto his apostles, “Fear not, for I am well learned in the matter of accounting. Taketh thou the lands devoted to gluttony and leaseth thou the land to a third-party holding company, who then, shall lease the land to the purveyors of sinful beverage, and thus thy hands have been washed as Pilate of old, and are stained with no sin.”

11. And it came to pass that The Prophet and his apostles did go to King Becker, and King Becker saw the gold, that it was good. And, yea, they did build up a shopping mall, even as The LORD hath commanded, and buildest a bridge across the sky, and an Apple Store, and even many restaurants that did serve many strong drinks, but via technicality, did not giveth money directly to The Prophet nor his apostles.

23. And it came to pass that many faithful disciples of The LORD did come unto The Prophet and question this use of their tithes. And one faithful servant did say, “Did not we give unto you this money to spread the gospel?”

24. And it came to pass that The Prophet answered him, “APOSTATE! Get thee behind me! Thou shalt not question The Prophets of God!” And the servant was cast among the gentiles.

25. And it came to pass that another faithful servant came unto The Prophet and asketh, “Would not it be more Christ-like to give any surplus tithes to the poor, needy, and sick?”

26. And it came to pass that The Prophet also named this servant an apostate, and did cast her from The Church, and into the wilderness of disbelief.

27. And it came to pass that the multitude of other faithful servants, who also did question the actions of The Prophet, grew exceeding fearful, for to commit apostasy was to journey into a hell of coffee, tea, wine, and blasphemous words.

Chapter 2

1. And it came to pass that The Prophet and apostles came unto The LORD, Jesus, with countenence exceeding sad.

2. And it came to pass that Jesus did say unto his servants, “Wherefore art thou sad? Hath thou not brought forth thy gold into the public so that they may gaze upon it with exceeding joy?”

3. And it came to pass that the servants of The LORD did speak, “Yea, but, verily, the shopping mall maketh a mighty profit, and thus our surplus gains more gold, which is hiddeth amongst the vaults of off-shore banks.”

4. And it came to pass that Jesus did dwell mightily upon using the vast surplus of gold to heal the sick and the weary, but nay, He chose it not.

5. And it came to pass that Jesus did dwell mightily upon using the massive quantities of gold to lessen the burden amongst the poorest of his faithful disciples, but nay, He chose it not.

6. And it came to pass that Jesus did call together his prophet and apostles and did command them, “Takest thou the grand surpluses even unto Flordia. And there thou shalt buy much cheap land in the central area, which is too far from Disneyworld to be valuable, but not to far as to be useless. There, thou shalt build a mighty cattle ranch.”

7. And it came to pass that The Prophet and the apostles looked on in awe.

8. And it came to pass that The Prophet and the apostles responded, “Yea! Even unto thy word! For, though the land be of little value now, in many years time, it shall maketh a mighty profit!”

9. And it came to pass that The LORD, Jesus, did nod and confirm their feelings, for, though The LORD did once give a commandment against, alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and the consumption of meat in non-famine times, Jesus knew that The LORD only meant the first four, and that the “meat thing” was merely suggestive.

10. And it came to pass that The Church did use the tithes of the faithful to buy up the land in the central of Florida, and they did create a great and spacious ranch in the raising of cattle.

Chapter 3

1. And it came to pass that The Prophet and the apostles did approach The LORD and they did hold upon their countenence exceeding sadness.

2. And it came to pass that Jesus did ask, “Wherefore art thou sad? Hath thou not brought forth thy gold into the public in the form of a shopping mall and also an enormous cattle ranch?”

3. And it came to pass that The Prophet did say unto The LORD, “Yea, but the cattle, much like unto the shopping mall, hath brough forth a greater surplus of gold.”

4. And it came to pass that Jesus did say unto his prophet and his apostles, “Thou hath given great effort unto the gospel. Giveth thyselves a raise in stipend and in living quarters.”

5. And it came to pass that The Prophet and the apostles replied, “Lo, we have done that already, a great many times. We dare not more glamorous decoration, lest the faithful disciples present questions and dissatisfaction.”

6. And it came to pass that The Savior, being wise in his thoughts and accounting, did council The Prophet and the apostles, “Fear not, for the mightly lands thou hast purchased for thy cattle are exceeding valuable. Taketh thy gold and visit The Government of Florida. Council the advisors therein that much of thy land may be developed into a city of glamor and of opportunity. Yea, it mayest be a beacon to our use of over-ample contributions given by faithful members, even unto their detriment, but that we may looketh awesome in the eyes of Our LORD, The Capitalist.”

A Quicksand of Deceit

“They are as sick that surfiet with too much as they that starve with nothing.” – William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

My wife and I have been known to give amounts of our income to charity.  When we do, we always attempt due diligence to ensure that they money we give is not being squandered. We visit Charity Navigator, and other websites in an attempt to learn how much of our money actually gets to the intended recipient. Some charities are just terrible; with overpaid CEOs and staff, extravagant management costs, buildings, fundraising costs, etc. As we want to help as many people as we can with our donation, we avoid those. Others, like The Road Home, do so much with so little, it’s hard not to want to give them more and more so that they can help everyone in need.

This is probably why I gasp in awe, wonder, and justifiable rage at the singular audacity of The LDS Church.

We’ve known for years that they hold profit making companies and corporations – largely renamed or built into a tangled web of corporations and holding companies in attempt to conceal direct involvement (Bonneville Communications, Property Reserve Inc, Deseret Ranches, etc.) For some reason, The LDS Church owning broadcast stations never bothered me. I thought it funny that they often aired the most euphemistic and humorously filthy shows on television (Will & Grace, Friends), but it didn’t really bother me. It seemed largely out in the open – everyone knew that KSL meant “LDS News”.

City Creek, on the other hand. That bothers me. That bothers me a lot. The LDS Church used tithed money – money they require from their parishioners in order to remain in Temple Worthy standing – to buy and build a giant for-profit shopping center. Not a church. Not a Temple. Not a meetinghouse. Not a humanitarian aid station. Rather, a glorious monument to excess, gluttony, and opulence.

But, the restaurants there will not sell alcohol, because Mormons consider drinking alcohol a vicious sin.

Oh. Well, rather than scare off all those exceedingly profitable eating establishments, who won’t come near a location upon which they cannot sell booze, The LDS Church chooses to manipulate their leasing and perceived ownership through a third party to make sure they can say, “We don’t profit from the selling of demon alcohol,” while profiting from the selling of demon alcohol.

I’ve seen it argued on LDS apologist websites that no tithed money was used. Nonsense. Accounting tricks may, apparently, fool God, but they do not fool me. The apologists claim that only dividends from previously invested tithed money was used to pay for the $1.5 billion shopping atrocity. Why was that money invested in dividend-providing accounts in the first place? Why does any tithed money go unused? Why is it not, instead, used to invest in future tithers – er – members? Why was that money not used to build more churches? Open more missions? Recruit more missionaries? Lower the financial burden for faithful missionary families. Increase humanitarian aid? Or – ha ha ha – reduce the amount of tithing that members are required to pay? I feel that at least one of those alternative investments might be something a certain Nazarene might feel comfortable in endorsing.

Not content with the success of its lecherous City Creek experiment, The LDS Church is seeking to build another monument to its seemingly true focus of worship; currency.

Under the name of ‘Deseret Ranches’ in Florida, The LDS Church is planning, along with other organizations, “a decades-long rise of a Central Florida metropolis of a half-million residents within a 133,000-acre corner of the county.


Mormon families are often counseled to pay their tithing first. A whopping 10% straight off the gross amount of their income. Before shelter. Before food. Before medical expenses. The Church needs have the first taste.

From the December 2012 issue of the church owned magazine, The Ensign:

If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.”

In my godless opinion, it is of the utmost immorality to ask this massive sacrifice of church members whilst The Twelve Apostles and other General Authorities are given generous stipends, who then use the monumental excess of tithed money (and their dividends), not to spread The Word of God into “Every corner of the Earth”, not to feed the starving, nor clothe the need, nor heal the sick and suffering, but rather to ensure that their coffers continue to overflow with glorious abundance.

But my God says….

Now that the SCOTUS has decided that marriage, no matter genders involved, is protected nation wide, I’ve been watching the mayhem from those that disagree.

There are many gems, but this one in particular has stood out: Texas clerk won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

In the name of truth and honesty in disclosure I’ve followed it through, and apparently her office will now issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but that’s not the point, this discussion is about ‘religious freedom’.

The first amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It seems pretty clear from the text that the government can’t establish religion (you know, like “In God we Trust”, er wait….), or prohibit the free exercise of a persons religious beliefs (of course, there are limits, if your religion teaches that say women who are raped should be married to their rapists, the government really doesn’t allow someone to force that).

The issue at hand here is that a governmental employee, while functioning as a representative of the government really can’t establish religious reasons for providing government services.  In the case of Hood County Clerk Katie Lang (referenced in the link above), she isn’t issuing the license, the government is.  She’s simply the individual that handles the paperwork, as it were.

In the Quran it states “Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…” This is often used as the basis for Islamic women covering themselves.  What if someone working in the drivers license division stopped giving drivers licenses to women because they weren’t covered from head to toe?  Would that be exercising freedom of religion?

In the bible it states “A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.”  What if the same clerk that is refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples required that women provide irrefutable proof of virginity before marriage in a mixed gender marriage?  Would that be exercising religious freedom?

Freedom requires that the government, not individuals, protect rights, that way everyone has a greater chance at being treated equally.

If you’re a representative of the government, then you must leave your personal views at the door, and pick them back up on the way out.