Test Your Knowledge of Wild, Weird, and Outright Wacky American Religious Beliefs

En Español.

Americans in past generations lived in a sea of religion inherited largely from the Middle East by way of Europe, with home grown refinements. Most still do. When Americans venture off the continent, one of the things many find fascinating is the religious  beliefs they encounter. Some people worship flying monkeys, or magical big breasted dancers, or Prince Phillip.

From the outside, beliefs like these seem fantastical and unlikely. They played a key role in evoking such ethnocentric ideas as noblesse oblige and manifest destiny and white man’s burden.  But if we could see our own culture from an outside vantage point, as if we were travelers, the world might look a little different. Even one of the Bible writers pointed out that self-examination is the first order of business.  Why are you looking at the speck in your brother’s eye, he asked (to paraphrase), when you have a plank in your own?

So, how well do you know what your neighbors believe? How about the church to which your parents are quietly tithing away your inheritance? For that matter, how about the actual details of the creed to which you yourself give a nod?

All of the following beliefs can be found in your own back yard, still today. They have been long taught by religions that either are considered part of the Abrahamic mainstream or are home grown, made in the U.S.A., produced here and exported. Some of these beliefs are ensconced in sacred texts. Others are simply traditional. All, at one time or another, have had the sanction of the highest church authorities, and most still do.

How many of them can you match up with a familiar religious tradition? (The answers are at the bottom.)

  1. The foreskin of [a holy one] may lie safeguarded in reliquaries made of gold and crystal and inlayed with gems–or it may have ascended into the heavens all by itself. (2)
  2. A race of giants once roamed the earth, the result of women and demi-gods interbreeding. (1). They lived at the same time as fire breathing dragons. (1)
  3. Evil spirits can take control of pigs. (1)
  4. A talking donkey scolded a prophet. (1, 3)
  5. A righteous man can control his wife’s access to eternal paradise. (6)
  6. Brown skin is a punishment for disobeying God. (6)
  7. A prophet once traveled between two cities on a miniature flying horse with the face of a woman and the tail of a peacock. (4)
  8. [The Holy One] forbids a cat or dog receiving a blood transfusion and forbids blood meal being used as garden fertilizer. (7)
  9. Sacred underwear protects believers from spiritual contamination and, according to some adherents, from fire and speeding bullets (6)
  10. When certain rites are performed beforehand, bread turns into human flesh after it is  swallowed. (2)
  11. Invisible supernatural beings reveal themselves in mundane objects like oozing paint or cooking food. (2)
  12. In the end times, [the Holy One’s] chosen people will be gathered together in Jackson County, Missouri. (6)
  13. Believers can drink poison or get bit by snakes without being harmed. (1)
  14. Sprinkling water on a newborn, if done correctly, can keep the baby from eons of suffering should he or she die prematurely. (2)
  15. Waving a chicken over your head can take away your sins. (3)
  16. [A holy one] climbed a mountain and could see the whole earth from the mountain peak. (1, 2)
  17. Putting a dirty milk glass and a plate from a roast beef sandwich in the same dishwasher can contaminate your soul. (3)
  18. There will be an afterlife in which exactly 144,000 people get to live eternally in Paradise. (8)
  19. Each human being contains many alien spirits that were trapped in volcanos by hydrogen bombs. (5)
  20. [A supernatural being] cares tremendously what you do with your penis or vagina. 1,2,3,4,6,7,8.

Key:  1-Evangelical or “Bible Believing” Christianity, 2-Catholic Christianity, 3-Judaism, 4-Islam, 5-Scientology, 6-Mormonism 7-Christian Science 8-Jehovah’s Witness

Each of these beliefs is remarkable in its own way. But the composite goes beyond remarkable to revealing.  We humans are astoundingly susceptible to handed down nonsense. Human children are dependent on their parents for a decade or even two, which is why nature made children credulous. When parents say, eat your peas, they’re good for you, kids may argue about the eat your peas part but they don’t usually question the factual assertion about nutrition. When parents say Noah put all of the animals into the ark, it is the rare child who asks, Why didn’t the lion eat the guinea pigs?

Even as adults, we simply can’t afford to research everything we hear and read, and so, unless something isn’t working for us, we tend to accept what we are told by trusted authority figures. We go with the flow. Religion exploits this tendency by, among other things, establishing hierarchy and by ensuring that believers are in a certain mindset when they encounter religious ideas. A friend once gave me a button that said, Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church. I didn’t really want to wear a button that said “I’m an arrogant jerk,” but the reality is that even the best of churches aren’t optimized for critical thinking. Quite the opposite. The pacing, the music, the lighting—all are designed for assent and emotion, for a right brain aesthetic experience, for the dominance of what Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has called System 1 thinking, meaning intuition and gut feel rather than rational, slow, linear analysis.

Some of our ancestors were doing the best they could to understand the world around them but had a very limited set of tools at their disposal. It would appear that others were simply making stuff up. Mormonism and Scientology appear to fall in the latter camp.  But when it comes to religious credulity, the difference matters surprisingly little. For example, Mormonism is more easily debunked than many other religions, because it makes so many  historically wild claims, and yet it is also one of the fastest growing religions in the world proportional to its membership. Wild claims matter less than whether a religion has viral characteristics like promises, threats, funding structures, and copy-me commands and a certain kind of cognitive structure.

But apart from those viral characteristics, the thing that makes fantastical claims believable is plain old familiarity. We find it easy to dismiss the wild beliefs of people in other times and places and even startling claims made by our neighbors, but those that  we’ve been exposed to since childhood seem not so far out. Virgin birth? Water turning into wine? A fig tree shriveling on the spot? Dead people getting up out of their graves and walking around?  Beware of the plank in your own eye.
An earlier version of this article appeared at Alternet under the title, The 20 Wierdest Religious Beliefs, October 15, 2012. 

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington.  She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org.  Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com

Read more:
Ten Proofs That There Is No God
Are Mormon Underwear Magic Between the Sheets
If the Bible Were Law, Would You Qualify For the Death Penalty?
Is Praying Before Football Games Cheating?
Captive Virgins, Polygamy, Sex Slaves:  What Marriage Would Look Like if We Actually Followed the Bible

About Valerie Tarico

Seattle psychologist and writer. Author - Trusting Doubt; Deas and Other Imaginings.
This entry was posted in Musings & Rants: Christianity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Test Your Knowledge of Wild, Weird, and Outright Wacky American Religious Beliefs

  1. Julie W says:

    Thank you. All that’s missing are New Age pseudo-scientific assertions!


    • Thanks! I probably should have swapped that in for the one from Islam. Of course when you’re creating a list of wild and wacky mainstream American beliefs you can insult people by including them (wild and wacky) or leaving them out (not mainstream). :)


  2. Perry Bulwer says:

    You have focused on beliefs considered part of the American mainstream and sanctioned by church authorities. Imagine if you had also included the beliefs of sects within those religions you mention. You would have hundreds of more bizarre beliefs.

    Here’s a couple examples, from two sects in your #1 category, evangelical bible-believing Christianity, the Seventh-day Adventists founded by Ellen White, and the Children of God/Family International, founded by former Methodist and Christian & Missionary Alliance pastor, David Berg, both of whom were obsessed with sexual matters, but from opposite points of view.

    White and Berg’s religious delusions did not stop at sexual matters. White claimed to have had a vision of visiting Jupiter and seeing inhabitants who were free from sin. Berg, on the other hand, not only claimed he had been to heaven ‘in the spirit’, but that heaven is inside the Moon! In a series of letters to his followers he claimed that the heavenly city described in the final chapters of the book of Revelation was a giant “space city” that was both on its way to our Moon from outer space, and was already inside it. Never mind that the dimensions of the city given in Revelation mean that it is physically impossible for it to fit inside the Moon, the current leader of The Family International, Karen Zerby, still believes it is true, based on an account in a Russian Christian newspaper:

    “You don’t have to believe that NASA scientists got a glimpse of the Heavenly City [by photographing it with the Hubble Space Telescope], nor that it’s located in the moon, if you don’t want to–it’s not one of our fundamental beliefs—but I believe it, because the Lord said it, and I have faith in that!”

    After stating that, Zerby continues on in that publication to claim that she received a prophecy from Jesus confirming the newspaper article and that heaven is indeed in the moon.

    For more insanity see: http://chainthedogma.blogspot.ca/2011/05/folie-deux-insane-prophets-of-seventh.html and http://www.ellenwhiteexposed.com/criticb.htm


  3. How is it that Scientology has the fewest crazy beliefs?! Listed here, at least. I mean, WOW.


  4. Peter says:

    I’m Canadian and our Prime Minister belongs to the Christian & Missionary Alliance. They’re Dominionists who believe we are in the “end times.” As such they believe Jesus will return soon and clean up all the mess. This helps explain some the Conservative policies especially our dismal record on climate change. They’re in deep denial. I’m a Trudeau Liberal and never thought in my wildest dreams this would ever happen in my country. What a legacy we’re passing on to my grandkids.


  5. The Truth Seeker says:

    There is no end apparently to people’s gullibility. Remember those who thought the first landing on the moon was done in a stage set here in the states? Remember the space alien that the US government found and hid in New Mexico? Remember all the people here in this world who have been picked up by space aliens and returned or not. And there are many, many more events that are not even religious that people believe. But when it comes to religion it appears the sky (or heaven) is the limit. I wonder sometimes what possesses people to have such weird beliefs? Are there that many nut jobs all around us? The strange thing is that many of these people who believe these things are pretty intelligent. Maybe you know the answer Valerie, but it beats me.


    • I have a little sticky on my desk that says, simply: patternicity, agenticity, confirmation bias, childhood credulity. I think that broad brush these distortions in human information processing account for a lot.


    • rickray1 says:

      George Carlin once said that half the people you know are not very smart and the other half are dumber than you think. George has a really good you tube video about religion. Everyone should check it out if you haven’t already seen it.


  6. Munroe Scott says:

    Valerie, I follow your blog with a great deal of interest. I almost said “enjoyment” but that calls for definition. The link below might be of some interest to anyone interested in my view from within Canada where the largest Protestant denomination has been so-called progressive.


  7. John Smith says:

    Would I be Wild, Weird, and Outright Wacky if I believe that either party (Or both together) are going to balance the national budget? How come when some hard believer try to sell me his/her beliefs, and I answer that I can’t believe what they tell me, they call me atheist? I’m not an atheist, I just don’t believe in any kind of gods or religion, otherwise, I’m full of faith.


  8. veraersilia says:

    oooppsss… I agree with you, except for one thing ( which might have changed since I was brought up Catholic so long ago in Italy…! ) the bread of communion is NOT to be chewed – ever – but allowed to melt and then carefully swallowed: it’s the actual body of Christ for goodness sake, a little respect! even as a child I did not understand this affair, but a loving and otherwise dependable grandmother had told me so. I remember trying to chew a little to see if anything would happen. Naught! … I was already courageous at 8 years old.
    I also agree with John Smith, I am full of faith too but I do not believe in god or religion – why equate them with faith anyway, it’s myopic. And why is ‘atheist’ used as an insult but ‘vegetarian’ is not ?? ….
    PS: the faith that some people band about reminds of P.T. Barnum.


    • thank you. I will correct that.


      • veraersilia says:

        Nice of you to see my comment. Thank you. Yesterday I spoke with a friend in France, who also remembers her fears as a child when first taking communion. HOWEVER, she told me that now (at least in France) it is permitted to chew the host! I do not know what there really is to chew because the host is such a slight thin wafer, but it goes to show that even the grand art-house in Rome feels the frisson of modernity running thru its mummified potentates.
        PS: I have many religion-inspired memories of what we now call superstition which my grandmother (1878-1960) firmly believed all her life. If you ever do a collection of church inspired superstitions in the western world please let me know! Regards, Vera


  9. przxqgl says:

    your picture of an “exotic god” is actually a picture of Nṛsimha who is an incarnation of Viṣṇu.


    • veraersilia says:

      regardless, it looks quite “exotic” to me…. and the idea itself is “exotic” too… it all depends on the point of view.


  10. i j swamy says:

    Psychology does not call anything weird . Psychology does not explain worship .. Psychologyis not American /British/Animal /Bird .


  11. Julia says:

    A couple of years ago I had a friend who was an elder at the local Apostolic “Bible is literal claptrap” church
    At the time there was a spate of headlice going through the schools and her 8 yo daughter caught them. While having her hair treated she was reading up on the parasites & discovered headlice can only survive on a human host.
    So she asked her mother (my friend) if this was right
    “Yes. That’s right. Head lice can only feed on human blood” her mum answered as she put more nit lotion into her daughter’s hair..
    “So…” the bright 8 yo asked. “Does that mean Adam & Eve had headlice in the Garden of Eden.”

    My friend was suddenly faced with a paradox.
    Almost dropped the bottle of nitshit.
    You see….
    Adam & Eve were perfect beings in the Garden of Eden.
    If she answered her daughter “Yes.” then they weren’t perfect,
    but the Bible-is-literal belief says they were.
    If she answered “No.” then headlice evolved after the Expulsion
    and Charles Darwin was right!
    And the Bible isn’t so literal after all.
    My friend spent weeks trying to find “Right” answer to her daughter’s innocent question.
    She asked of the church hierarchy,
    read dozens of fundie books
    went to great lengths,
    and never did find the “Right” answer.
    I don’t think I helped resolve her dilemma by pointing out that Adam & Eve must have also had Smallpox,
    as that too could only survive in human hosts
    (this was the key to its elimination)
    and dozen of other illnesses and parasites as well.
    Eventually she shelved the question with a “When we get to heaven then we’ll have all our questions answered”. And salvaged her crisis of faith.
    Her daughter, though, now in her early 20’s, is less convinced of the literalness of the Bible, and is more inclined to think for herself.


    • Ed Suominen says:

      What a great story! Out of the mouths of babes, as the Bible says.

      It’s interesting now kids, in their wide-eyed honest innocence, can so readily pull aside the bullshit curtain in which adults wrap their pious myths.


  12. Nelson Petrie says:

    Why only American religious beliefs? The Hindus believe in milk-giving stones, multiple-headed giants (Ravan or the Evil One), a huge monkey who fought in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) with its enemies for Rama and saved his wife Sita, Durga (now is the season) who has many hands and rides on a lion and vanquishes her enemies, the Buddhists too have many beliefs, the Chinese and the Japaneses…


    • Good point. There are practitioners of dharmic traditions here in the U.S. here who have been here for generations and are proudly American. Some of them have very abstract beliefs focused primarily on ethics and mindfulness and some have beliefs that are as quirky as these. But I try to keep focused on the religions that I know best and those that are causing the most trouble–and, especially, on familiar hypocrisies.


  13. Robster says:

    Yeh, these are a strange selection of nuttiness. The whole religion/faith/fantasy show is just all so nonsensical, the hardest part is deciding just which nonsense deserves to be on the list.


    • Yes. It was surprisingly hard to draw a boundary around this list and this article. When the editor at Alternet suggested that I write it, I thought it would be easy, and then I found myself floundering for precisely the reason you mention.


  14. i j swamy says:

    God created man with absolute freedom of faith . Sex is right as long as you don`t harm others . Bible is not an authority on sex .


      • Moses said there was no sin in the marriage bed.
        i think it was earlier he said that every coupling is a marriage. it is the sex act itself…the more you screw around the more mothers-in-laws you end up with
        Plumbers & electricians have male and femal plugs/pipe couplings and when they join them together they call it married.
        If an invisible supreme being doesn’t like sex then she has a funny way of showing it…what with all those fornicating mice n ants n flies n sparrows cows sheep apes every other living organsim…they’re all at it! all the time!
        Poor God must be in totally mental melt-down…


  15. cherishtheday says:

    God created man with absolute freedom of free will. The practice of sex is specifically for a husband and wife. The Holy Bible instructs us on godly principles on sexual matters. God is the author of the bible. The simple truth is – man has a free will to believe in the word of God or not. But there is a day coming when the lies and deceptions posted on this site, and posted in the heart and mind of man shall end.


    • The Truth Seeker says:

      Oh no, another end of the world coming. It must be tiring for those of you who believe that nonsense to find that it never comes. For 2000 years we have had predictions of the end, but nary a one was right.

      It would be interesting to know what lies and deceptions you are talking about. Perhaps you can enlighten us rather than make vague statements.


    • maroz2020 says:

      It sounds to me like people who talk about me going to hell for not BELIEVING (with no interest in my actions) can hardly wait for it to happen. Aquinas suggested that part of the joy of being in heaven is watching relatives and others writhe in the flames of hell. That being the case, and since I do not wish to see believers in eternal pain, I hereby declare my own ethics to be superior. Far superior.


  16. if we exercise our “free will” to not believe poorly translated claptrap, then by your godly logica we are quite free to do so…FREE… not paying 30 pieces of silver.
    and there’s no hang-ups in my bedroom.


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  21. Erik Harris says:

    Great post. As has been said many times before, if you truly want to objectively exercise skepticism, you need to exert the most effort on applying it to your own beliefs. It’s the hardest area to apply it, but it’s also the area where extra scrutiny is most needed.

    One small part of your post really jumped out at me and stuck with me, though. “How about the church to which your parents are quietly tithing away your inheritance?”

    I fully agree that if my parents were tithing, they’d be squandering their retirement, and I’m all for being upset about my own parents being taken advantage of, but my inheritance? You probably don’t actually feel this way, but that wording reads as, “Mom, Dad, don’t spend your money on things you enjoy, because I want to profit as much as possible from your deaths.” Again, I don’t think that was your intended implication, but that’s the inference I get when reading it.

    We all have our areas of irrational belief. For some, it’s about holy foreskins and waving chickens around to cure the ailment of sin… For others, it’s the belief that they’re entitled to whatever their still-living parents own, and that their parents owe it to them to be as miserly as possible to build up an inheritance.


  22. Petia says:

    I think Jesus himself said that one should not worry about the spec in another person’s eye before removing the plank in his own eye. And Matthew, one of his disciples, wrote this down.

    Good post for the questions which it raises! It’s something I’ve been wondering a lot about lately. I agree that some claims sound pretty strange, to say the least. But I have to admit I am surprised that some passages in sacred texts sound pretty reasonable and even wise (as the one quoted about the spec and the plank), while others seem outright ridiculous. Should we accept, and even take to heart, only that which makes sense to us, and yet discard another thing standing right next to it which may sound nothing short of implausible? I used to have an easy answer to this which went something along the lines of, well this is why I have a head on my shoulders, I’m an intelligent human being and I am able to tell right from wrong, and believable from not-so-believable.

    In Christianity, if one sees truth in what Jesus says in Scripture, what are we to think about the fact that he “endorsed” the Old Testament to a pretty extreme degree? That is, if this man whose insight we admire (and I am guessing this can be said about Mohammed, Buddha, etc.) believes in some pretty “wacky” ideas, then what are we to think about the man himself? Why do we accept as wise the words of a person who in some ways may seem laughable?

    If we are to look at a sacred text, should we extract from it only that which seems logical, easy, and practical to believe, and only that which fits a puzzle constructed based on our current understanding of the world? Again, I would have had an easy answer not long ago: Yes, I AM wise enough – my contemporaries and I are at the cusp of human understanding of nature, people, the Universe, technology, medicine, etc! But if we move to science and look at Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin, for example, their discoveries teach us something unexpected – they changed our understanding precisely because they looked at the world in a way that was totally unfathomable at the time. People who we consider prophets, spiritual teachers, and revolutionaries often believed in ideas which seemed radical, difficult to believe and impractical. We are celebrating one of these people today (MLK).
    These questions are partly why I am looking forward to an event this week in Seattle in which Valerie will be one of the panelists – it is called “The Bible is NOT the word of God” as a part of the Common Good Cafe series.

    So I am personally not sure what to think of all this. But one thing I do know – present-day scientists have no problem admitting that we don’t have the answers to everything that *could* possible take place. It’d be foolish to deny this. Scientists usually say, “If I don’t see it, I can’t believe it”, which is totally necessary to assume because otherwise we’d be constantly walking with our hands outstretched so as not to bump into invisible walls. And I DON’T mean to get metaphysical and quantum-mechanically confusical here at all. But sometimes a “wall” that we thought was there turns into something totally unexpected. I am not trying to say that spirituality can be explained through science either. No. I just would like to note that in my experience things are not always as black and white as they may seem on the surface. And this is why they may be worth looking into a little more deeply. (No, I don’t think I’ll go look for sacred underwear).

    Having said all this, it is hard to not acknowledge that a lot of the beliefs you’ve compiled do sound pretty crazy! It’s entertaining to read them. But this is why your post is so great – it raises, at least in me, these totally contradictory feelings at the beginning of my comments!


    • JC didn’t endorse the Old Testement. If he existed at all …he was a Jew raised on Torah & Talmud … not at all the same as your OT…
      he also didn’t say not to worry about the speck…he said first fix your own eyesight then offer to fix someone else’s better sight


      • Erik Harris says:

        M.E. – if you believe in the Bible, then Jesus DID endorse the Old Testament and say that every commandment, no matter how minor, from the Old Testament is binding forever (Matthew 5:17-19).

        If you don’t believe the Bible to be an accurate reflection of what Jesus said, or don’t believe Jesus existed, then arguing over whether he endorsed the Old Testament or not becomes pretty much meaningless. Since the Bible is pretty much the only source we have for his existence and his ideas, all we can say is that according to The Bible, Jesus Christ endorsed even the Old Testament’s “least commandments.”


      • Erik. I think your Matt 15:17-19 may be the wrong reference. Also to isolate one or two verses from an entire paragraph (Matt15: 1-20) is a device propagandists use to mislead.
        In this case I recommend you read the entire paragraph (better to read the entire chapter & preceeding chapters). I direct your attention to 15:7-9
        ‘Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, “This people honours me with the lips, but their hearts are remote from me; and they adore me vainly, inculcating teachings that are commands of men.”‘ then JC goes on to tell the crowd it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles, not commands such as hand washing.
        So your hero demonstrates he was selective about which of the 613 mitzvot to obey.
        This heresy is repeated several times in the gospels. Also in ä couple of the translations from which the present day NT was cobbled together Jesus commits a BIG heresy. Luke 6: 5 (or variations place it after verse 10) but certainly too inconvenient for NIV editors.
        ‘…the same day he viewed someone working on the sabbath, & said to him “Man, if you know what you are doing happy are you,…’
        Yet keeping the sabbath is up there at the top of the list of must-do laws, even more important than “Do not murder”. In other words JC didn’t see the 613 mitzvot as hard and fast binding forever Laws but as guidelines only.
        I do not believe in the Bible…nor any of the various versions (which of them is the RIGHT one? any of them?) The OT in the Christian Bible is not the same as the Jewish Bible. Mis-translations, words added in, other words taken out, misplace emphasis…these abound in the Christian versions. Plus the idea of literal word of God is an anathema to the Jewish traditon of teaching stories…more akin to Aesop’s Fables than actual literal history.
        My take is…if your relationship with your Creator depends on what is written on a piece of paper then it is no relationship at all.
        There are at least four different myths/legends surrounding JC with your Bible only relating one. These tell that he survived the cross or didn’t get crucified at all. They claim he lived to a ripe old age…in Europe, Japan or in northern India (where his grave still). What also comes across in these stories is JC (and later Mohommet) were actually Buddhist teachers/missionaries. His teachings certainly reflect the Buddhist philosophy of that time. Nor a god figure but a mortal human fallible sage.
        Can you tell me why I should believe the known tampered with Christian versions over all other centuries old traditional stories? Or why I should not believe any of them…christian or non?


      • Erik Harris says:

        M.E. – I pointed to Matthew 5, not 15. I’d also point out that selective verse reading is exactly how Christians demonstrate the “goodness” of the Bible as a source of morality (and also to explain away inconsistencies so extreme that they have mutually exclusive messages). If you read it as a book (or multi-book series) from beginning to end in its own context (whether taken as historical or allegorical), the story of morality told by the entire work is not a kind of morality that any but the most extreme Christian or Jew would endorse. Nor is it an internally consistent system of morality. It’s only through very selective reading that you arrive at modern mainstream Christian or Jewish values. By your definition, Christians are misleading propagandists, but I choose a more charitable view that they want to hold on to their traditions without having to embrace bronze-age morality.

        I’m not telling you what to believe or not to believe – I’m only pointing out that the Bible is the only (almost-)contemporary source we have for what Jesus said (or even to support the claim that he existed as a single person – the Gospels may be four sources, but there’s good reason to believe that they’re based on each other, and are not independent accounts despite their significant points of disagreement), and that it says he endorsed the Old Testament, contrary to your comment. It also says he cast aside the Old Testament laws, but that considerable inconsistency only says that, if he existed, he didn’t consistently endorse them.


  23. I rather like fire-breathing dragons :)


  24. I can only judge what you have written by your summary of Mormon beliefs. I believe none of the things you assigned to the Mormons with the exception of number 12. (In the end times, [the Holy One’s] chosen people will be gathered together in Jackson County, Missouri.) That’s a pretty wacky belief alright. The other beliefs represent charactures and misunderstanding by our critics. I’ll use the forst two as examples: 5.A righteous man can control his wife’s access to eternal paradise. Not true. We believe all men and women will be judged individually by Jesus Christ. Men have no say. 6. Brown skin is a punishment for disobeying God. Not true. A darker skin was apparently used by God to minimize intermixing of his followers with those that were not. By the way, I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and am still an active member. I also am a retired engineer and find Mormon beliefs to be the most reasonable of all religions I know. Anti-Mormon critics fear losing their own members and thus justify spreading lies like the ones Valerie is repeating here.


    • A darker skin was used by God to minimize intermixing of his followers with those that were not.
      er….so people with higher melatonin levels are NOT followers of God??? brown skinned people are expendable by-blows … not proper humans at all?
      What of people with freckles?…logically they must be intermittent followers; those with lots of freckles being closer to eternal damnation while those with just a few freckles closer to being proper followers. How much melatonin is required to be classified as non child of god?


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  26. M.E. In The 21st Century said:
    “er….so people with higher melatonin levels are NOT followers of God??? brown skinned people are expendable by-blows … not proper humans at all?”
    The darker skin coloring was most likely the result of intermixing with the existing populations in the Western Hemisphere and not a change in melatonin. The darker skinned people in the Book of Mormon (called Lamanites) later became followers of God for several hundred years after Jesus Christ appeared to them after his resurrection. The Lamanites ultimately survived as our modern American Indians whereas the light-skinned people (called Nephites) ultimately stopped following God and were exterminated in later wars. It’s not a simple black and white (no pun intended) story as many assume. I personnally wish I had higher melatonin levels. Getting skin cancer is no blessing. I see a dermatologist regularly.
    The rest of your comments were not serious so I’ll ignore them.


  27. Theodore Unrein says:

    Recent research coming out of the National Anemia Action Council (NAAC) has found that the common practice of administering blood transfusion to traumatic brain injury patients may actually be increasing the risk of mortality as well as “composite complication including multi-organ failure.”The study, which lasted over a seven-year period, found that of the 1,150 TBI patients, approximately 76 percent were found to be anemic at some time period during their first week after administration to the hospital because of their TBI incident. The anemic group was said to have increased complications compared to non-anemic patients and of the “anemic group, 76 percent received blood transfusions during their first week and the transfusion in this group was associated with more complications and a higher mortality rate than patients who were not transfused.”‘

    My favorite internet page


  28. Pingback: Por las siguientes razones, es muy probable que la religión no sobreviva al Internet | Pijamasurf

  29. Pingback: Por las siguientes razones, es muy probable que la religión no sobreviva al Internet | Logic News

  30. stina says:

    As someone who was raised JW, just a correction: the 144,000 will go to heaven, it’s the rest of the faithful (including the resurrected dead) who get to live in Paradise Earth.


  31. Pingback: Religion in the Internet Age - OMGWTFBible

  32. R. Green says:

    I recognize that this is an old post, but it was recently reprinted over on Raw Story… https://www.rawstory.com/2018/08/test-knowledge-wild-weird-outright-wacky-american-religious-beliefs/

    The comment made above by ‘stina’ on 3/6/2014 at 5:25 pm corrects a factual error. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe “exactly 144,000 people get to live eternally in Paradise.” The reprint on rawstory.com also contains the error.

    In Revelation chapter 7, the Bible says – and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe – that 144,000 individuals are ‘marked’ (sealed) for a special purpose. Other places in the Revelation explain that purpose – they are taken to heaven to rule as kings and to serve as priests over the ‘New Earth’. Right after the verses delineating the ‘sealing’ of the holy ones, in that same chapter, a ‘great crowd’ “WHICH NO MAN CAN NUMBER” is described. These ‘owe their salvation’ to God, and to the Lamb’ (Jesus Christ.)

    The 144,000 are the saints, or… holy ones. As mentioned, the Bible says that these are resurrected to Heaven. The great crowd (again… “which no man can count…” Rev. 7: 9 NIV,) on the other hand, are resurrected to live on Earth and given the task to complete God’s original purpose for the Earth that Adam and Eve were supposed to undertake… expanding the Garden of Eden and fulfilling God’s initial intention for humans – living forever in paradise and having stewardship over the Earth (including the animals.)

    I understand that many doubt the Bible, but for the record, that is what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe.

    If you would like the scriptural references for any of these beliefs please feel free to reply.

    Thank you, RG


    • R. Green says:

      Whoops… I made an error and don’t see an edit option for my comment.

      Not all of the ‘great crowd’ mentioned in Rev. chapter 7 need be resurrected. Rev. 7: 14 says: “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation…” While other scriptures explain that both the ‘righteous and unrighteous’ who are resurrected will join the great crowd in a paradise Earth, the scripture there in Rev. 7 is fairly specific. Sorry about the mistake, and thank you in advance.


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