Business -and- Faith of Religion
(Mormon Example)

(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 110600)

It's not too often that the secular aspect of
religions are discussed, that being religions
as business -and- faith, with the business
feeding the faith and the faith feeding the
business.

For a clear example of how this works in the
modern age, take an up-close look at one of
the newer faiths, the Mormon faith (started
~170 years ago), based on a recent article
in U.S. News. By the way, this is really a
detailed article on the Mormon faith, so if
you find the discussion of business -and-
faiths of religions, when viewed in a secular
light, to be outside your area of interest,
skip this article.

I, a disbeliever in imaginary beings who was
not all that familiar with the Mormon faith,
found the article fascinating and illuminating.

It seems so very clear that the preeminent
focus of religions is financial enrichment
and expansion of influence, with search for
truth and faith mere adjuncts to the primary
goals. The faith feeds the business and the
business feeds the faith. Concern for verity
varies, greatly, based on the needs of the
business of faith.

When in doubt, just believe and don't forget
to tithe, so the foundational philosophy of
religions goes. In Mormon-dominated parts of
the country, per the following report, it's
not enough to merely be christian, to be
socially 'in' you must be Mormon or else
risk exclusion from both social and business
opportunities. Typical pressure technique
used by religions to pressure folks to feed
the faith which feeds the business which feeds
the faith ... and so on and so forth.

By the way, if you think the Mormon faith is
just a modernized version of christianity,
think again as there are profound differences
(especially when it comes to the heaven/hell
view, the residual interest in polygamy, and
the institutionalized proselytization 'army',
among others) that clearly differentiate the
Mormon views from the traditional christian
faiths.

The Mormon Moment -111300-
(link no longer available)

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/001113/mormons.htm

Excerpt:

"The gleaming white spire of luna pearl rises
high above the tree line, topped by a golden
angel that glitters in the hot Texas sun. Deep
inside the air-conditioned chambers below,
white-clothed Mormons pad about in luxuriously
decorated rooms, performing secret rituals aimed
at securing eternal rewards for themselves, their
families, and their ancestors.

To the casual observer, this new temple of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may
seem strangely out of place in a Texas bastion
of Baptists and Big Oil. But the recent dedication
of the massive $17 million edifice in a northwest
Houston suburb, like the 31 other Mormon temples
that have opened so far this year (bringing to
100 the number of Mormon temples worldwide), is
a tangible sign of the rising fortunes of this
unique American religious movement.

... By almost any measure, the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the world's
richest and fastest-growing religious movements.
In the 170 years since its founding in upstate
New York, the LDS church has sustained the most
rapid growth rate of any new faith group in
American history. Since World War II, its ranks
have expanded more than 10-fold, with a worldwide
membership today of 11 million–more than half
outside the United States.

In North America, Mormons already outnumber
Presbyterians and Episcopalians combined. If
current trends hold, experts say Latter-day
Saints could number 265 million worldwide by
2080, second only to Roman Catholics among
Christian bodies.

Mormonism, says Rodney Stark, professor of
sociology and religion at the University of
Washington, 'stands on the threshold of becoming
the first major faith to appear on Earth since
the prophet Mohammed rode out of the desert.' ..."

- - -