The Mormon missionaries stopped by this weekend. I didn't give them nearly as hard of a time as I gave the last guys. The fact is that I could see the brainwashing in their eyes, and I felt sorry for them. They both told me that they felt god had personally reassured them that their faith in Mormonism was the correct path and they had chosen well.
I don't really want to belittle anyone's faith, but I don't believe I will be turning religious anytime soon. I am just too analytical for that, but I did let them give me a brochure, so I thought I might share some sweet gems from it, and my thoughts.
The pamphlet is called “The Plan of Salvation” and has a picture of white Jesus on the cover. The first page they talk of something the call “pre-earth life” the gist of this is that before you came into being you lived with god and he taught you everything you would need to know to live a happy life on earth. This is great in concept, but doesn't seem to have any evidence, and I seriously have an issue with the idea that god would teach you the meaning of life or some crap, and then send you out to the world only after he strips you of any memory of any of his teachings. It also seems weird that he would teach that Jesus is the savior, but then make you forget and expects everyone to relearn this in a world where only a tiny fraction of the worlds population believes anything like that. The picture is of a Latino couple, quite unusual in Mormon circles, in fact all of the pictures in the book are of minorities, except for Jesus which I find odd.
The pamphlet then goes on to say that god teaches us right from wrong. I don't think you really need god to teach you, there is basically one rule in life that determines right from wrong. If you hurt another person with your actions, then those actions are wrong. You don't need god to tell you that those actions are wrong, you normally get immediate feedback from the person you harmed, especially as a little kid when you are learning these things.
The rest is just a rehashing of the Jesus story, until the last page where it says that you will know that all of this is true through prayer and that Joesph Smith has added to the resurrection story. Sorry, but this whole idea of resurrection seems silly to me. The claim is that Jesus was resurrected, but the proof offered for this claim is the lack of a body, but then they say that resurrected Jesus appeared as a spirit, so why did he need his body to disappear, and is there not any other possible reasons that a body may have disappeared in the middle of the night 2000 years ago besides god incarnate deciding to resurrect his body and walk out of the tomb and into heaven?
The good news, they are coming back to see if I read their pamphlet. I think there is more of a chance of me converting them than them converting me. It would be a real win, if I could move the conversation to politics and convert them to reject the idea of coercive government.