Posts Tagged ‘Brigham Young’

The End of America

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

043-The-devil-created-separation-of-church-and-stateEve being created from the rib of Adam set the stage for racial, cultural, and gender based hierarchies that have stood the test of time. Men, specifically white men,  are the standard and then everyone else is in categories under them. Jerry Falwell‘s beliefs are the prime example of how religion set up this hierarchy and how it affects every aspect in our society. The man is supposed to provide and protect his wife and children while the wife is supposed to support the husband and nurture their children so that they have strong morals. Furthermore, the notion that children can grow up with strong values in anything but a “traditional” family is not a possibility. Even though children (according to Falwell) don’t have rights separate from their families, they still have the right to life.

When the Supreme Court struck down state abortion laws with it’s Roe v Wade decision, it caught many pro-life supporters off guard. Religiously, they had been taught that from conception that babies had a right to life. Protecting that right to life was imperative -children are innocent, fragile, and unable to act on its own behalf until the age of reason could be reached. These same principles are what was used as justification in the “kill the Indian, save the child” campaign of the United States in the 1860’s and 1870’s. With the Roe v Wade decision, the Supreme Court not only placed a greater value of life on the mother rather than the child, it opened the door for what many perceived as legal population control. Unlike the population control performed in the 1930’s discussed in the Instrument of Genocide reading, abortion was done with the consent of the woman because she was the one seeking the abortion. Insurance companies such as Blue Cross  as well as Medi-Cal (health insurance provided to people on welfare in California) covered abortions because that was cheaper than playing for the delivery of a baby and the medical costs the come along with raising a child. It appears that in the eyes of the State, abortion would help to alleviate not only costs, but would help to keep the cycle of poverty from expanding. The argument that abortion is a form of population control helps to justify why abortion should be illegal, especially when the “separation of church and state” shoots down the religious reasons that abortion should be illegal. If Brigham Young would have had an argument for polygamy based on something other than religious reasons, having multiple wives might still be legal in Utah. Makes one wonder what choice words Jerry Falwell would say about the fact that the “traditional family” only accounts for 7% of households in the United States.     2037

“I am the Mouthpiece. You are the Belly….

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

…Get into the harness, or get out of the way!”

Oh, what to make of this complex character, Brigham Young?!,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42965579,d.dmQ&fp=5d09ed3ab16fb5d7&biw=1047&bih=478&

(Brigham Young cracks the whip on the LDS followers.)

Here’s just a smattering of what I picked up about this great Mormon leader:

  1. He was a redhead. (I don’t know why this surprised me; probably because I’ve never met a redheaded Mormon, and I know a lot of Mormons!)
  2. He claimed that he “only swore in the pulpit,” which I thought was kind of hilarious, since usually one would associate churchgoing with using LESS profanity, out of respect for God.
  3. He didn’t grow up Mormon. In fact, he was a Methodist for a while…
  4. He didn’t know how to read.
  5. At first, he was very averse to plural marriage.

As many others have said already, if we didn’t know these aspects about him were true, Brigham Young seems akin to Paul Bunyan– that is, he sounds like the protagonist of a tall tale centered around the American west. Considering he was such a fascinating guy just in and of himself, it’s easy to ignore the spiritual “repercussions” his leadership style had on so many people. But once we do, that’s when this American western drama becomes a horror story.

The Mighty Brigham Young, folk hero?

The Mighty Brigham Young, folk hero?

How can a man so devoted to his Heavenly Father preach against one of the Ten Commandments (“Thou shalt not kill”) by justifying mob-ocracy? In fact, I believe his direct words were that if anyone else dared bother the Mormons, they [the Mormons] would be justified in “cutting their damned throats.” That’s pretty heavy stuff, though I suppose he did feel they had been boxed into a corner of some kind (that corner being Utah), and had to lash out with whatever they had against “American meddlers.” As Mr. Turner pointed out, Mormons and politics never did have a harmonious relationship, which will make Mitt Romney an interesting candidate for study in the future of LDS.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=5d09ed3ab16fb5d7&biw=1047&bih=478&

Then we have Blood-Atonement: let’s not forget about that little instance of “spiritual charity.” This scared me less than other things I have learned about the Church of LDS, but I can understand why it would horrify some people. As John Turner put it, Blood-Atonement represented a “chilling perversion of the Golden Rule” by advocating harm to others and feelings of guilt associated with the crucifixion. Now, as we all know, guilt and religion are no strangers to each other; in fact, they seem downright married in some cases. But when it is put in the following terms, one must really begin reckoning how he/she regards Jesus’ absolute sacrifice in a modern age:

“Will you love that man or woman/brother or sister enough to shed their blood? That’s what Jesus did.”

This example of fear-mongering within the Mormon community is definitely a troubling aspect in the Mormon community of Young’s time.

Not to geek out about ol’ Brigham, but I’m really fascinated by him still. He seems like (pardon my language, here) an asshole and a bully, but also a brilliant, dynamic, fervent leader who believed ardently in God and his own actions. I am doing a little bit of research on him on my own, and getting my Mormon cousins to give me their views about him as a central historical figure who shaped their faith. Therefore, I will probably be posting about him again later this semester!

Yo, let’s talk about sex (or at least blog posts)

Monday, February 11th, 2013

C’mon, folks. This is your blog. This is your grade. This is your grade on the blog. [youtube][/youtube]

But seriously, many of you did not post a blog entry about the Great Lives lecture. If you don’t start posting, I may propose we change our class format to this:


It’s your choice.

Repost: Blog posts due this week

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Here’s the blog post I added on February 7th. It got lost in the blog entry shuffle, but you might want to take a look at the video.

Blog posts for this week’s reading are due tomorrow (February 8th) at 5 p.m., now that WordPress is back up and running. If you emailed or handed in a blog post, please go ahead and post it to the blog so everyone can see it.

Blog posts for this evening’s Great Lives talk are also due tomorrow at 5 p.m.

And just for something to think about….