A charlatan shouting into a hat

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 · 7 Comments »

I haven’t read P.Z. in a long time, but this is wonderful:

The premise of the article is that the Book of Mormon is written as a literary homage to Bunyan — now I’m no fan of that pious nonsense Bunyan wrote, but that is perhaps the most slanderous thing I’ve seen written about him. No, Joseph Smith was not consciously emulating Bunyan; Smith was a con man with no literary skill who was mimicking the style of 17th century English to tie his phony story to the religious authority of the King James Bible and yes, other religious authors of that era. It is not an “imaginative” book — it’s pure blithering hackwork that goes on and on, and is a blighted fusion of faux KJV and glossolalia. It is the work of a charlatan shouting into a hat.

I’ve read chunks of the Book of Mormon. It is crap. It’s more poorly written than the Twilight series, or even 50 Shades of Gray. If you’re looking for the primal source of American popular hack literature, there it is in the work of Joseph Smith, and his bad fantasy novel that would have died of contempt if he hadn’t used it to tap into American religious gullibility. It is to Bunyan and the religious literature of the times as Eye of Argon is to science fiction and fantasy literature — a badly written derivative.

Most religious are stupid, but the stupidity of Mormonism is truly spectacular. Its very existence offends me; it is too stupid for this world.

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7 Responses to “A charlatan shouting into a hat”

  1. ugsome says:

    Mark Twain famously called the Book of Mormon “chloroform in print.”

  2. Branjor says:

    And it’s horrifying to think that an adherent to that stupidity might actually become the next president of the United States.

  3. Violet Socks says:

    Yeah. But I don’t think he will. I still think Obama will win.

  4. quixote says:

    “chloroform in print”

    Laughing out loud. For real. I hadn’t heard that one before.

  5. tallbacka says:

    I’m curious, why do you think mormonism is particularly stupid? Because it’s an obvious fraud? Are you more offended by mormonism than other religions?

  6. Ugsome says:

    And Stephen Colbert called the Book of Mormon ‘Jesus fan fiction.’

  7. albrt says:

    If religion is the prescription of ritual and ritual is the binding public acceptance of adaptive social convention, then it is possible that the most ridiculous religions are the most effective from an anthropological perspective because they require more complete submission.

    In fact, I would say Mormonism is an almost airtight proof of Roy Rappaport’s theory of religion and ritual as adaptive social mechanisms.