Alex Blaze

Mormons excommunicate, evangelicals fast: Religious extremists keep flocks in line

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 25, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: California, Christian beliefs, evangelical Christian, gay marriage, latter day saints, lds church, marriage, marriage equality, Mormon, Prop. 8, protestantism, same-sex marriage

In order to win this ballot initiative, Religious Righters are making sure they keep their votes parishioners disciplined. They have to know the gravity of this situation to their churches' leaders, so around a hundred evangelical pastors are calling for a fast:

The collective act of piety, starting Wednesday and culminating three days before the election in a revival for as many as 100,000 people at the San Diego Chargers' stadium, comes as church leaders across California put people, money and powerful words behind Proposition 8.

Some pastors around the state and nation are encouraging their flocks to forgo solid food for up to 40 days in the biblical tradition.

The LDS Church has similar concerns about making sure its followers follow, and it's threatening excommunication of someone withing the church who supports gay people:

A letter from Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was read from the pulpit in church congregations in June, calling on church members in California to support Proposition 8. Church members in other areas of the country were urged to send money to the effort.

The position rankled [Mormon Andrew] Callahan, who set up a Web site to voice opposition.

"Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been taught, 'We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government ...'" the Web site says.

It urges other Mormons to sign a petition opposing the church's stand on gay marriage.

This week, Callahan said he has received a letter from his bishop saying "I have participated in conduct unbecoming of a member of the church" and ordering him to a hearing on Friday.

"I believe in standing up for what I believe in and I guess, unfortunately I am not supposed to stand up for what I believe in if I disagree with them and I do," Callahan told KHAS-television.

The disciplinary hearing could result in excommunication.

While the Mormon church is targeting just one individual instead of the supposed hundreds of flocks that evangelicals are trying to get to fast (we'll see how many people do it in the end), Callahan is an example to everyone else. Shut up and follow.

Both churches' influences in politics are troubling: they're literally holding the afterlife over the heads of their followers to make sure that they vote a certain way. Sure, calling for a fast isn't directly making that statement, but the only substantive purpose of such a fast would be to impress upon followers the spiritual importance of voting a certain way.

This seems to be another twist on the adage that liberals fall in love, and conservatives fall in line.

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Theocracy lovingly brought to you by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This wouldn't be the first time the LDS Church got rid of someone for thinking...

Well, Callahn certainly won't be the last to get excommunicated for voicing opposition to the Mormon Church. Just look at what happened to Sonia Johnson when she led an exodus of women out of the Church's General Conference in the 80's to oppose the Church's stance on the ERA. There is literally no record of her existence at all in the BYU library. You can go to microfilms to look at newspapers that carried stories of the exodus and the articles will have been cut out of the films.

Okay, it's early and all, but I spent way too long trying to find the part about the Mormons excommunicating evangelicals and wondering how the Mormons could do that to start with...


Hey, if they paid taxes, they could meddle in state politics as much as they want. You can't have it both ways.