From Netflix, I just watched 8: The Mormon Proposition and was outraged at what these pompous fuddy-duddies are getting away with. They are causing needless suffering and even death, all in the name of their whacky religion.

The documentary starts with the marriage of a truly in-love, young gay couple. You can see they weren't faking it; they were practically crying that they finally had their chance to be happy. What proceeds is the work of an grotesque ogre in a medieval fairy tale.

Since the early '90s the Mormon Church was working silently and secretly to prevent gay marriage from becoming legal. In emails the church elders worked like Mafia dons pulling strings to form a “coalition” so no one would suspect it was the Church of Ladder-day Saints manipulating public opinion. They approached the Catholics and formed a formidable political bloc.

Next the film shows how they raised eleven-million dollars to give to lobbyists. Church officials actually visited member houses and told the flock how much money the pigeon family should give! Outrageous. “That's right, Mr. and Mrs. Do-right. You tithed nearly five thousand last year with a hundred dollar check every Sunday. Very commendable. But now it's time to get real. Write out a check for 20 large right now, made out to the CLS.” Hundreds of righteous families obeyed; it's in their programming to be obedient. One upright family with five young kids cashed in their college savings and handed over 50 dollar thousand to fight the gay menace.

The pro Proposition-8 protesters were surreal. What hatred, what vehemence. One “street preacher” screamed his opinion that gays are undermining the moral fabric of the country and he feared everyone might turn gay. Another scowling and fist-shaking membot claimed the gays were out to proselytize and subvert children to their bare-faced (and bare-ass) debauchery.

Utah has the most suicides of any state in the union—by far. The hatred, rumors and in-your-face scorn are enough to drive many young gays to suicide. The film actually shows clips of a gay couple being dreadfully beaten up by a mob because the young lovers touched lips near a Mormon church.

Other teens were forced to leave their homes and wind up living on the streets of San Francisco and other cities. What a brutal existence for a child and it's prevalent and a national disgrace. Three adolescents were trying to grind out an existence in the basement of a slum derelict building, sleeping on discarded filthy mattresses. One pathetic kid said, “Yeh, it's tough trying to sleep with cockroaches crawling all over you.”

(Does this piss you off? For humanity's sake! This is America.)

The church might have used the money to help these kids and countless other homeless. Instead, the money found its way to the bank accounts of already rich lawyers. The events surrounding Proposition 8 show clearly what religion does to people. Tax the fucks.

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Comment by Rich Goss on October 20, 2010 at 11:30pm
If anybody can explain, why are gays anathema to the Mormons? I heard Mormons believe they will become God of their own little universe in the afterlife. Isn't that convenient?

But I don't understand how gays in this life can screw it up for them in next. The film touches on it, but I didn't understand it all.

Brian, post info on how to order the "Religion or Peace" shirt.

I just finished a great book that touches on this, Genome by Matt Ridley. There's no such thing as the gay gene; it's a combination of factors—like having older male siblings. But there definitely is a gene on the X chromosome, which everyone inherits from the mother, which makes men sexually attractive. That is, everyone inherits an X chromosome, not the gene. There is no option or conscious choice about it. It's all a matter of Mendelian probability.

Persecuting gays is very analogous to tyrannizing people with green eyes or that can curl the tongue. I wonder if the Elders ever took any bio courses in high school.
Comment by Frankie Dapper on October 20, 2010 at 10:27pm
I aree with you guys completely. I think it is almost impossible to fathom the tentacles and suction cups of the giant squid. The greatest lie in the history of mankind is not the fairy tale that the squid inks regarding the path and the afterlife; it is the equation of religion and morality. The theists are utterly fooled. Atheists only know part of the story.
We need Sam Harris and company to compile an encyclopedia of religion-research and analysis category by category. In this way we can raise consciousness and get atheism off of the taboo rack.
Comment by Brian Dalton on October 20, 2010 at 9:24pm
Hey Richard, I've had the movie on my Netflix queue forever!!!! It has always been and the top and has always said, "long wait" until today. It's finally available!! So, send yours back immediately!

I too am bothered by the lack of reaction to all the bigotry the LGBT community suffers on a regular basis. And I'm horrified that so much of it is caused by these terrible books which people in the 21st century still take seriously. I sometimes feel like I'm one of the few who can see that the emperor has no clothes or that those books are nonsense. It's infuriating!

But what's most infuriating is that because these groups are religious, people defer to them because ethics and morality have been attached to religion for so long. Religious morality is an oxymoron, like "religion of peace." BTW, we're going to be making up shirts at the Mr. Deity Cafe Press store with one letter of that saying changed -- "Religion or Peace." Sorry for the shameless plug, but I've been really digging that saying since I thought it up -- it encapsulates everything I feel.

I'm so glad D.R. and you are with me on this. I read your piece and was told about another on CNN this morning regarding a decorated military veteran who is fighting the Pentagon for his pension. Why? Because he's gay and wasn't supposed to be serving or got kicked out for being gay. I'm still trying to find the details. But how disgusting is that? And apparently, the Pentagon is going to pursue the case even after DADT has been lifted!!!! I told Amy this morning, "I'm about to go on the war path." It's almost more than I can take. So glad I'm not alone.

One final thing in reference to my second paragraph above: I think Sam Harris is engaged in one of the most important endeavors we, as Atheists, can engage in -- resting ethics and morality from the religious. If you haven't read Sam's new book, "The Moral Landscape," please go out and buy it immediately -- if for no other reason than supporting him. I'm going to be meeting him Sunday at CalTech and I'm going to get him on the show for a discussion between him and Mr. Deity about morality and what it should be based on. (I was not paid to make this plea.)
Comment by Rich Goss on October 20, 2010 at 7:55pm
Thanks Brian and D.R. I'm surprised at the tepid reaction to this important topic. When I saw the documentary I was outraged, went right to my computer to alert friends on A/N of this hateful and underhanded conspiracy. To think these (I don't want to dehumanize these lizards) righteous, sacrosanct religious leaders are ruining lives over nothing but their stupid ideologies, is too much to take. I was especially taken aback by the teenager living in the basement of the slum building.

Do try to watch the film, if only to see the reptilian faces of the Elders.

But I think it's the flock that's really to blame. They're the ones who made the suffering happen. I'm reminded of 1984, when Winston told O'Brien, it's the proles who will overthrow the system. The ladder answered that they have as much chance as barn animals overthrowing the farmer. They just don't have the will.

But we're human beings, and this is the 21th century, not 1948, the original title of the book.
Comment by Brian Dalton on October 20, 2010 at 11:37am
It is truly one of the great ironies of recent history that the only people in U.S. history to take a serious swing at changing the definition of marriage (from one wife to many) is now fighting to keep others from changing the definition of marriage. As a Formon (former Mormon), I watched my ex-in-laws proudly campaign for Prop. 8 with absolute horror. They had no sense of the irony, and even less sense of the evil they were encouraging. But remember, this is a religion whose central tenet is that God punishes people by darkening their skin. Moral behavior should not be expected.
Whenever I speak, I use homosexuality to draw attention to the fact that Western religion has run counter to every value we now cherish in the Western world. People in this country (Christians and Mormons included) were freaked out several months ago by the violent reaction of Muslims to "Draw Muhammad Day." We all thought it silly that people would respond so strongly to a cartoon solely because such cartooning is forbidden in some ancient book. But the same can be said for homosexuality. There is no other reason to deny our fellow citizens the equal protection guaranteed to them by the 14th amendment other than the fact that it is forbidden in some ancient book.
What people need to understand is that the only difference between The People of the Book in this part of the world and The People of the Book in the Islamic world is several centuries of secular competition. Prop. 8 was a wake-up call for me, and it should be a wake-up call for every Atheist. It's now clear that if these people ever get power again, they will lead us right back into the Dark Ages. Human Rights, equality, Freedom of Religion (e.g.: the NYC mosque), the right to privacy, etc... these are not the values of the Bible, Quran, or the Book of Mormon.
Comment by D R Hosie on October 17, 2010 at 2:43pm
Good report, and let me say thank you for the effort. I've been knocking heads with these assholes for years.



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