Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Old Time Religion

In every hotel—alright, just in Marriott hotels—is a Gideon Bible and a copy of the Book of Mormon. Willard Marriott was a Mormon and so the only religion I know that started from scratch in the U.S. of A. has an in with businessmen and vacationers across the motherland.

Mormons seem to be everywhere in Texas and, unlike other states, we are powerless to do anything about it because Texas has no solicitation laws. They are quite free to pester me at my front door, or in the check lane at Target, or in the library. Quickly browsing the Book of Mormon, it seems to be a lot of "So and so begot So and so, who begot So and so...." and self-referential citations. The illustrations are an odd blend of Sacred Heart style paintings with American Indians. All very odd. I gave up after a good three minutes. At least the Koran is entertainingly mad.

On the bright side, my travels yielded the opportunity for a dinner with Lord of Bollocks. On the down side, there was the horror of an unclad woman in the unlocked restroom of a gas station. Happy to be home.... (I think?)


  1. I heard recently that Mormonism's rapid expansion in recent decades has come to a grinding halt. Apparently the exposure of their insane beliefs on the internet for all the world to see is leading the young generation to abandon ship.

    Excellent blog, by the way. I came across it just yesterday and stayed up most of last night reading through your back posts. I'm looking forward to your continuing story on the pre-SSPX traditionalists. As a Long Islander, I'm especially interested in what you might have to say about Fr. Gomar De Pauw. I heard my first ever Latin Mass at his chapel in Westbury.

  2. Interesting about Mormon stagnation. I hadn't heard that. My take, gotten online (I've only known one Mormon, and he was from a not pious family and had left), is Joseph Smith was smart enough to write a King James Bible ripoff to invent a polygamous sex cult, the group's conservative '50s American image is a mask for its real radicalism (it's agnostic on abortion), it likes to misrepresent itself as just another conservative Protestant church (which as a kid I assumed it was), they know the missions don't work - that's just busywork to keep Mormons enmeshed in the cult and too tired to question it, and nobody converts to Mormonism intellectually, for the theology - it's all about the culture, people craving wholesomeness.

    The first Tridentine Mass I literally heard was Fr. Gommar De Pauw's recorded low votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary that a New York radio station would play every Sunday night. Bass voice with Flemish accent. Interesting and heroic fellow if of course fallible and a little misguided: a canonist, not a pastor, and a well-meaning Cold Warrior who seemingly never met an American war he didn't like. (Reaction against the Sixties: seeing the U.S. military as Christian knights.) That and his chapel ultimately became a cult dedicated to him. I understand they have found another priest.

  3. I always invite the Mormons and the JW's into my house to chat. Because I know so many bible verses by heart, they quickly find a reason to leave; but, at least the attempt to convert was made