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Friday, December 22, 2023

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent FaithUnder the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What should be, ostensibly, a True Crime book, actually turns into a pretty thorough explanation for what Mormonism is -- and in particular, a special fundamentalist branch of the same.

Of course, the two are obviously linked. A group of murders that were under the auspice of religious thinking were, indeed, quite the PRODUCT of the fundamentalist thought. And what is it?

All right, don't laugh. I know some of you could say that all religion is a product of wanting something pure, something true, and a willingness to just make shit up and roll with it. But in this fundamentalism, that's literally more true than anywhere else. You hear the holy spirit, you roll with the holy spirit. You read a book, you tell others you were inspired. When you need to accomplish something, you make up reasons and go with your feelings until you accomplish your task.

You know, like kidnapping, rape, and murder. And obviously it's just fine as long as you're doing God's work. Nothing else matters. And if you're a little slow on the uptake, I'll speed you along by informing you that I'm being DROLL about it. Of course, we shouldn't have to spell these things out. And worse, we shouldn't have to deal with religions that throw out even their own rule of law in the name of personal or cultural expediency. Someone else might go so far as to say NOBODY ought to have to deal with ANY religion that paves such a road for any of its members. But then, that begs the question, doesn't it? They all grabbed power in one way or another by the power of magical thinking and their vanity and their pride. It's a powerfully enticing mix for the greedy and the delusional.

As we see in this particular True Crime non-fiction.

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