Wednesday, June 17, 2015

And I'm not even drunk

Must be Mr B's influence, since his brain --although highly functional and very fast-- has a kind of merry-go-round quality. Some fragments stitched together.

The Angel Moroni
--whose statue adorns the steeple
of every LDS temple--
who revealed the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith

Although certainly no believer in it, I am very fascinated with Mormon myth and theology.

My gay Mormon pal has assured me that the LDS church, with its doctrine of continuing revelation, will find a way to be ok with gay unions before it ever ordains females to its priesthoods.

One can only hope. No church (or synagogue) which ordains women does anything but dismantle itself and decline. Since Mormonism is based so centrally on marriage, the male-female distinction is crucial for its identity.

My recent lament on the (Western) Christian churches' betrayal of European peoples and of males led a noble commentator or two to wonder what kind of religion in future might look like. The miscegenation of Jesus and Odin seems extremely unlikely. Contemporary Odinism and heathenism in general, as a new religion partly provoked out of reaction to Christianity, is deeply anti-Christian.

Anyhow, two merry-go-round thoughts about how Mormonism could have been a kind of Christianity --well, post-Christianity, actually-- that would support both males and the children of Europe.

And even gays.

You can see why I mention merry-go-round.

Here we go:

On male-female: Mormonism's central sacrament is marriage, the union of man and woman for the sake of creating a family. Not the union of man and woman. That's the necessary but not sufficient definition. The whole point of the union is the procreation of children. (And why plural marriage makes theological sense in Mormon mythology: the many pre-existent spirit-children of the Heavenly Father and his wife/wives need corporeal vessels in which to incarnate and continue on their progression.)

Consequently, the sexual binary is fundamental.

And the priesthoods --Aaronic and Melchizidek-- are reserved only to males. Women, in order to achieve their final exaltation to deity, must be married to a male who holds the priesthood. He needs her for the procreation essential to his exaltation and she needs him for the sanctification essential to hers.

So that traditional male-female difference is canonized, even deified.

On Euros: Next, the could have been part. Prior to 1978, the priesthood was reserved to White men.* Mormonism was clearly a religion that practices the now-famous White and male privileges! It was a form of Christianity meant for Caucasians primarily.

Now, of course, they trumpet their multicultural orthodoxy. Alas.

On homosexuals: How about gays?

The only religions that finally accept gayness and gay marriage are religions who have already accepted divorce and already ordained women, essentially announcing by that earlier practice that marriage is a matter of convenience and that men and women are interchangeable, that women can in faux-theology do what only men can actually do. Making gender difference irrelevant and masculine dominance obsolete, gay marriage is the natural outcome.

So how could the LDS, huge supporters of the male-female binary and male-only priesthood, make a place for homosexuals?

The answer would lie in the imaginative LDS doctrines of the afterlife and in their institution of the living Prophet, Seer and Revelator. As follows:

The only humans who are capable of progressing to godhood, the final stage of exaltation in the highest Mormon heaven, are married couples with children. This is the pathway by which a man on another world achieved the status of Elohim, the Heavenly Father, the God of planet Earth. But not all Mormons marry and not all married Mormons produce children. What of them?

Apparently, they may become angels. Saved and sharing a measure of glory, but not fully deified.

One form of angelic existence, mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants, consists of humans who are saved and who minister to the Divine, but who themselves will not become gods. Their performance of the tasks laid down for progression to godhood is incomplete. An example given is men and women who marry but are not sealed in the temple.

A future Mormon president-prophet might receive a new revelation, to clarify that such an afterlife condition can be expected by LDS members whose sexual condition makes celestial marriage impossible for them. He could create a divinely-sanctioned stable union for them in this life, to have a place in the community and a code of behavior, but maintain that this is not marriage and that they would not reach godhood, but would have a glorious afterlife as ministering angels.

Second-class citizenship? Yup. But it's citizenship. Could be worse.

Now it's time for me to get off the merry-go-round and go to bed.

Sometimes what comes out of my head makes me shake it.


*I am not sure if only Africans were excluded or all non-Europeans. I have asked my friend to enlighten me.


Anonymous said...

Hm. That could actually work. Mormons, as a whole, seem rather more willing to adapt cultural developments to meet their needs than Catholics do, who stubbornly- but necessarily- trod on as they always have.

If the Mormons okayed homosexuality, even in the way that you described it... I would definitely have to think about converting. The idea of becoming "angel of the Lord" doesn't sound too removed from my own musings about the ideal role of homosexual men in society- I hit upon cultural custodians, with an emphasis on the preservation of masculinity in art and culture. Converting would naturally create some awkwardness with my family, especially since, as knowledgable Catholics, they cast aspersions on the assertion that Mormons are indeed Christians, since they are not Nicean in their theology.


Anonymous said...

That is very interesting Ex Cathedra. I wish it would be enough to get me into it but, for some reason, it just does not interest me. I have also been interested Mormonism but, that is probably for the same reasons that I am still attached to, and clearly misunderstand, Catholicism.

Both you and Sean have brought aspects of Catholicism that I have not considered. I look at Catholicism from a Socio-Cultural perspective and from a Pagan perspective, in that I have always considered it to be the replacement for Paganism in the Cultures of Europe. Everyone in my family since my grandparents, at the very least, have attended Catholic school so I would say that most in my family are knowledgeable. However, there are many blowhards who do not see the beauty of it, only the means to be self righteous. That said, my family has always had Pagan views that they have not been able to identify as such and that has affected my opinions about an Odinist revision of Catholicism. I realize that I was ignorant about actual scripture. Ex Cathedra brought this to my attention by revealing my family's inherent Pantheistic views versus the strictly Deistic views of the Church and Sean has brought to my attention the reverential nature of Christ and how it is all ultimately a means of worshiping Him for being the Ultimate Mediator to God and the Bringer of Salvation. When I speak of the Theology of Catholicism, all of these things are inherently up for debate. Theology is more than Dogma and more than a guidebook to life. That, however, does not change what Catholicism is in itself. I forget that too quickly and would ultimately make something neurotic and inorganic were it left to me because of that. Live and learn.

I have always viewed the Redeemer in itself to be there only for those who need it and that such is always the unspoken agreement, especially in a hierarchical society. The Redeemer is always there to bring Self Love through Divine Love but also, to represent the Ideal to which man must strive. In the Theology of Catholicism, there is a very real and timeless series of observations about Nature in and of itself. These things are very often, if not always, true. The rub is, there is much depth to the words chosen and the contexts provided. There is also the other unspoken agreement that understanding is there for those who are able to achieve it. That is one of the foundations of the Mandate of Heaven. That is why there is hierarchy. That is also why there is education and fraternity built around the words of the Bible. It is the timeless observations of Nature and the beauty of the Ritual in Catholicism that I wanted to be taken up by as pure a form of Odinism as possible. There would be a Redeemer, a bringer of Self Love and Brotherly Love in this religion but, it would be a symbol of the Ideal of the Blood of the Soil in this entity as well. I was unclear about what I wanted and it may simply be as shallow as North Western European Paganism with the look and feel of Catholicism. I envision it as if the Claudites were able to take lead of Rome without the concern of the First Crusade and they had the opportunity to reform Catholicism before Charlemagne did. Though, when I think about it, that might not be as refined of a religion as I would think that it would.

On a final note, perhaps I conflate the Theology of Catholicism with Theology in and of itself a bit too much. Since it was indeed created by Catholics as a discipline, it is a forgivable sin. That is likely why I was off base in describing what I would view as an ideal religion of the future. I simply used the wrong words. Perhaps this would be a better way of putting it: Odinism with the discipline of Catholicism. Perhaps the inherent barbarism of Teutonic religion is incompatible but, it is an ideal for me. Like most ideals, however, it might simply be a fantasy.


OreamnosAmericanus said...

Russel's book on The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity might be of interest to you. Christianity has a always taken on much of the local culture in its various incarnations: Roman and Mediterranean, vs Northern, Irish vs English, to say nothing of the Slavs and Byzantines, etc.

It was once just as solidly aligned with monarchy and aristocracy as it now is with open borders and environmentalism. When adapting to fundamentally healthy cultures, it often proved beneficial. But now that Pajama Boy and Caitlyn Jenner and Lets Invites Mexico and the Whole Third World To Live here is the cultural norm, it has morphed into something, with rare exceptions now, that will only hasten our demise rather than restrain our worst impulses.

Deeply disappointing.

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