Mormonism is More Similar to Islam Than to ChristianityPosted by Jim Newman on August 1st, 2012 – Comments Off – Posted in religion
Yes, folks, it’s true that seemingly benign American home grown Christian sect, the LDS, is more like Islam than Christianity. While some issues can be generalized to be true of almost all religions, such as scripture and the sacred-profane dichotomy, the Church of LDS and Islam have much more in common than you might think and both have many differences with Christianity and Judaism.
Both were started by Charlatans. While both claim desecendence from Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets, the actual founding of the church and receipt of the word was through, for mormons, a traveling “money-digger” who was convicted of cheating people. The so called scrolls he translated, found with an Egyptian mummy, claiming to be the Book of Abraham, with his magic stone were nothing more than standard Egyptian text often buried with the dead. He supposedly had second sight which was not unusual at the time.
Indeed the Irish often refer to this gift to this day–Smith was not even Irish. He was a confidence man, a trickster, and seller of snake oil both materially and spiritually. He received the word in isolation and there was no proof of document other than his assertion that he’d been visited by angels. Mohammed was a merchant and shepherd who disappeared into a cave and came back with the word. It doesn’t seem like he was a cheat in his work as merchant but all of his proof was gained in secrecy. There was no evidence of any document or experience other than his assertion that he had been visited by angels.
Both believe their books, bibles, to be scripture and unlike The Bible, to be the pure word of god.
Both Smith and Mohammed were persecuted as hostiles in their life time.
Both Smith and Mohammed established theocratic city-states.
Both religions were began by prophets and both believe in modern prophets and both believe that Jesus was just another prophet and not the Messiah, who is yet to come. Indeed both believe in the inviability of prophets and a false prophet is any prophet who has one false prediction, so to speak. Because they define who a prophet is no prophesy can be false as that would make the prophet a false prophet. This circular reasoning ensures that every prophet is a true prophet regardless.
Both believe that Jesus and Mohammed, respectively, were restorative prophets of ancient semitism.
Both religions claim descendence from jewry, Mormons claim to be the lost tribe of Israel. Islam claims to be the restoration of the lost faith of Abraham.
Both involve secret rites. Mormons have secret handshakes, temple clothes, rites, vocalizations, colors, and food. Islam has the Mystic Shrine, passwords, tokens, and signs. Interestingly enough. Freemasonry rituals are very similar to Islamic rituals.
Both involve ritual cleansing. Either by washing or washing and anointing.
Both deny the trinity and consider Christians to be polytheistic. Mormons differ in that they believe god was once a man with emotions etc–offensive to Muslims and alien to Christians. This allows them to believe every person can also ascend to godbeing. Mormons thus believe in multiple gods but not the polytheistic godhead.
Both employ the color green as a sacred color.
Both reject the cross as a symbol. Both use the eye symbolically. For Muslim households, the eye is ubiquitous to ward off evil.
Both believe in Polygamy. While Mormons have had to deny material polygamy they still believe in spiritual polygamy. Islam allows multiple wives here on earth and many more later–what the hell are the women supposed to do?
Mormons believe their clothes will physically protect them from evil. This is denied by more now in the press but most mormons voice its protective qualities. Islam does not. However. Muslims believe their faith protects them from evil and the more faith or submission they have the more protected they are. In this sense they both share the “vending machine philosophy” of theology. If you put a dime in you get a candy bar but if you put a quarter in you get a bigger candy bar. Good deeds not only gain salvation but a better place there. There are also varying degrees of punishment in the next life.
Both believe it is their duty to convert the entire world, every person, to their religion. Proselytizing is essential for both. Each is the true complete and only possible religion.
Both believe that there is no original sin. Neither do both believe the children bear the brunt of their parents, beginning with Adam and Eve.
Both believe that religion, ceremony, and faith should be constant in one’s life–the complete way of life. Whether call to prayer five times a day or daily church activities, a mecca pilgrimage or a Mormon mission, or constant use of religious language and observance.
Both believe in the prohibition of alcohol, gambling, homosexuality, and bisexuality. Mormons also do not like strong stimulants, including historically coffee, tea, and cold water.
Both believe in ritual fasting.
Both believe that marriage continues into the next life.
Both believe in chastity and modesty of dress.
Both believe in the central aspect of the family. No celibacy, social separation, etc. But both are highly patriarchal and hierarchical within the family.
Both believe in marrying young wives. Mohammad married Aisha his child wife and as my Mormon teacher said “teenage pregnancy isn’t a problem here, they just get married.” Joseph Smith married Helen Mar Kimball at 14.
Both believe in the laity. No education is necessary to be a religious leader though both emphasize education.
Both believe in charity. But both see it as a means of restoring faith, empathizing with the poor, and an opportunity for proselytizing.
Finally, both believe in the impossibility of doubt. ”asking God for a confirmation as to whether or not something is true, without first believing, is tantamount to asking for a sign. God does not often give signs”. Both require an unquestioning submission involving circular reasoning. However, this is common to most religions. But many JC sects do encourage questioning, doubt, and uncertainty as a means to receiving sacred wisdom.
Jim Newman, bright and well