Paradigm shifts Shemaradigm shifts
I have a friend who spends most of his time in “Sin City” pinching flesh (mostly other peoples.) He is a professional massage therapist in Las Vegas, who, although he is not a subscriber to my website (he should be – AND SO SHOULD YOU) he replied to my most recent and BRILLIANTLY written article “Stand Like a Rock.” My original thought was to quickly reply to it, but I was a little long winded. I decided instead to post my reply. (Disclaimer: I wrote this really fast so I’m SURE there are going to be typos. Please forgive me.)
These are his comments to my article. Below is my reply:
Uh-hum…What about paradigm shift(s)? Ie: Polygamy is the only way to the Celestial kingdom of Heaven… wait a minute… now we condemn & shun those who continue to practice it. (Talk about compromise: 1847 statehood for Utah became more important than standing firm in one’s own Celestial matrimony beliefs & practices instructed by a Prophet of God.) By the way, It’s interesting that you brought up Thomas Jefferson. Oxymoron anyone? His party affiliation @ the time was known as DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN. He too also stood “FIRM” in his beliefs… own lots & lots of slaves (hundreds) & fathered a few with the house help of Miss Sally Heming.
Paradigm shifts Shemaradigm shifts. Polygamy Shemolygamy. Who cares? Seriously, we are talking about something that happened a hundred and twenty years ago. Let it rest. Why did the Lord have polygamy at the time? I dunno. Could it have been the fact that there were a large number of widows and families with single parents? (Due to persecutions, mob violence, and war, many children lost their fathers or mothers.) Could it be that, more than anything, this practice was to support these families giving food, shelter, and parental love and teaching? I dunno. At the time, lo those many years ago, there were no national laws prohibiting polygamy. That didn’t stop people from driving the Mormons west. When the Supreme Court ruled that later anti-polygamy laws were constitutional the Lord directed President Woodruff to issue the Manifesto (1890), and the practice ended in the Church. In the Book of Mormon Jacob 2:27-30 states, “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none… for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” All throughout the scriptures there are times the Lord commands it and times he takes the practice away. When President Gordon B. Hinckley was interviewed by Larry King he said only a small percentage of Mormons practiced polygamy in the late 1800’s. He put the number between 2-5%. Just for fun let’s say he was WAAAAAAAAAAY off and the number was 20%. According to this website there were only 250,000 Mormons in the 1890’s. So if we take President Hinckley’s high and my “lets just say” high we are talking between 12,500 – 50,000 people practicing polygamy, a HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS AGO. Does it matter to me, here, now? No. So, again, who cares? Oh, but “now we condemn & shun those who continue to practice it.” No kidding. The only freaks that are practicing it now, that make the news, are the guys who are raping 13 year old girls. They should be condemned and shunned.
As for Jefferson, he did own slaves. Lots of them. How is it shocking to anyone that in the 1700’s (over two hundred years ago) someone who was raised owning slaves, owed slaves?
I’m not justifying bad behavior with bad behavior. But just to illustrate, I have several quotes from George Bernard Shaw that I love. He said some really cool things. A few years ago I found out the guy was a total freak. He believed in and pushed for eugenics. He defended Hitler and mass killings. He PUSHED for it.
Jefferson was a brilliant, BRILLIANT man, who did a great work. Does the fact he owned slaves put a blemish on him? Yes. Does it distract from the fact he was a brilliant man who did a great work? No. He was a man, prone to make mistakes like the rest of us.
In the 1780s Jefferson supported a bill to prohibit his state (Virginia) from importing slaves. In the 1784 Congress, Jefferson proposed federal legislation banning slavery in the New Territories of the Northwest (it didn’t pass.) In 1807, as President, he signed a bill prohibiting the US from participating in the international slave trade. There is no question he was an abolitionist.
Slavery is a horrible, horrible thing, but it was part of the gig back then. In Virginia, at the time, it was illegal to free your slaves, even after your death.
As for Miss Sally Heming, there are many historians who question if Thomas Jefferson fathered children with her. Yes, there was the story in 1998 about DNA proving Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemmings, the fact that in 2001 a committee reviewed all the same data and concluded that Jefferson’s younger brother Randolph (1755-1815) was more likely the father of the children is an inconvenient footnote. But JUUUUUUUUST for fun, let’s say Thomas Jefferson DID father those children. Which aspect of the story offends you? Is it the fact he had sex outside the bonds of marriage (he was a widower,) or the fact he had inter-racial sex?
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