« on: May 30, 2006, 11:15:41 AM »
For the purposes of this thread, does Vanderbilt count as an SEC school?
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Anyone want to discuss the Book of Abraham, specifically the criticism of it?
Well everyone else is doing it, so why not us? lol. I didn't see any other 09 Vandy threads, so don't flame me.
Anyways, I just moved to Nashville, lovin it... live withing walking distance to the school, and can't wait to get started.
I'm a theology major at Georgetown (it's Catholic, but I'm Jewish, for the record) and have had a chance to study Mormonism academically a bit in the past few years. I have to say I find it intriguing, and also would say that learning about Mormonism has reshaped my own thoughts/beliefs on religion more than my encounters with any other religion.
I think a large part of it comes down to the fact that we are so close to the source for Mormonism. This was started by an American, hardly 200 years ago. Judaism, Christianity, Islam - these were all begun in a different part of the world, 2,000 years ago - it is much easier to say either, well sure, God used to talk to people, but he doesn't anymore (or some variation thereof), OR to say I don't believe those things really happened, but back then people believed in that sort of thing so it wasn't so crazy.
Because look at the stories, is a man reading tablets out of a hat any more ridiculous than a guy who walks on water and whose body and blood we consume every Sunday? How about another guy who brings plagues with him, but you can protect yourself by painting your door with lambs blood? Or my personal favorite, God told another guy to cut off part of his male private part as a sign of his covenant?
The point is, the stories in Mormonism, while they seem "out there," are really no crazier than what anyone else believes, it's just easier to attack because we know so much about the source of these stories, and we can't say the same for most other religions.
Additionally, all the bad things in their past - well all I have to do is say look at the things Christians have done in the name of religion over the past 2000 years and you each have a number of examples pop into your heads (Crusades, inquisition, witch trials, etc). There is a decent degree of sexism written into the Old Testament, which most people now simply choose to ignore. Women still can't be Catholic priests. And on and on.
I'm not saying Mormonism is right - to be honest, it's made me believe more than anything that we are all equally ridiculous. But so what? These institutions are starting to correct some of their past mistakes, in my experience Mormons are nice, good people - at the very least on average with the general population...
So I see that this doesn't really have a clear point or conclusion, just some things to chew on...