Thursday, March 09, 2006

Slight misrepresentation

A co-worker of mine is reading Under the Banner of Heaven and forwarded me this article. I haven't read the book, so don't really have an opinion about it. My co-worker comes in almost every day to talk about my religion and faith, which is fine becuase we are friends and it isn't in a confrontational manner at all.

From what I gather, the story is about two people (one being Dan Lafferty) who have been ex-communicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who ended up killing their sister-in-law and her baby becuase they felt they had a divine revelation from God to do so.

Crazy, I know.

I'm fine with people writing whatever they want to about my religion.

I'm really ok when people really study it and come to their own decision about its tenets, even if those ideas are completely opposite of my own.

What kind of annoys me is when people make stupid comments about people and faith like this:

"I don't believe Dan Lafferty is crazy or a psychopath," Krakauer said. "He is an example of an inevitable outcome of strong belief."

How can an educated person really only look at this one example of ardent faith/belief and use that to stereotype people who have strong beliefs.

If he is going to do that, I'd feel like it would be alright to counter with an example myself.

Ever heard of a little lady called Mother Teresa?

I'm pretty sure you could say she was a person with "strong belief" who somehow managed to avoid the "inevitable" outcome of killing a member of her family.

Jeez, some people.


Alice said...

I can't lie, I loved under the banner of heaven, but there is a great deal of information about Mormonism in Krakauer's book that is simply wrong. He seemed to do a great deal of research so it is too bad that so much of what he writes is off.

I am interested to see how the HBO viewers respond to Big Love this Sunday... People are so v. interested in Mormons.

Mrs. Architect said...

There are rotten apples in every bunch. Christians (every "denomination of christianity), Muslims, athiests, you name it. They all have wonderful people in their groups, and at the same time they all have fruit loops in there somewhere too!

Laura said...

"I don't believe Dan Lafferty is crazy or a psychopath," Krakauer said. "He is an example of an inevitable outcome of strong belief."

I can't think of a single person, religious or not, whom that wouldn't offend.

Al said...

I've read the book. I think the extremists of which he writes are to the Mormons as the snake-handlers of the Appalachians and speakers-in-tongues are to the Southern Baptists (I once was a Southern Baptist). There are people who are "examples of an inevitable outcome of strong belief" who make the newspapers several times a year, typically because they drowned their children "because God told me to." They are usually Protestant fundamentalists with a mental illness.

litespeed said...

I don't think john was saying that all people with a strong belief will kill a member of their family. He was just it is AN outcome of strong belief. Another outcome of strong belief can be great good like you mentioned with mother teresa.

What I don't understand is where they got the crazy idea that God told them to kill their sister-in-law. Something must have happened to make them think this, otherwise they are crazy.