Gary Harrison: Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life, and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you’re so high and mighty you couldn’t look past my religion and just be my friend back. You’ve got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. S*** my b****.
South Park All about Mormons 2003
Capt. Picard: Q. End this.
Q: Moi? What makes you think I am either inclined or capable to terminate this encounter?
Capt. Picard: If we all die, here, now, you will not be able to gloat. You wanted to frighten us. We’re frightened. You wanted to show us that we were inadequate. For the moment, I grant that. You wanted me to say I need you. I need you!
Cmdr Riker: [after Q snaps his fingers ] Position.
Wesley Crusher: Zero seven zero, mark six three, sir. Back where we started.
Q: [ To Picard] That was a difficult admission. Another man would have been humiliated to say those words. Another man would have rather died than ask for help.
Star Trek, The Next Generation Q who? 1989
One of the least quoted but most interesting stories of the Bible concerning the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines.
After God revealed to Samuel that he would punish the priestly family of Eli for their unfaithfulness (1 Samuel 3:11-18) Israel fought against the Philistines. Eli’s sons were killed and the Ark captured. (1 Sam 4:10-11) and the 98 year old Eli when hearing the ark was captured fell back out of his chair & broke his neck (verse 18).
What is more interesting is what happens next in Chapter 5 starting with verse 1
The Philistines, having captured the ark of God, transferred it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. They then took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, placing it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next morning, Dagon was lying prone on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they picked Dagon up and replaced him.
The Philistines see this as just a coincidence, after all while they worship “Dagon” they seem to understand it’s just a hunk of rock. There are a million reasons why it could have fallen down so they just pick it up again and consider it just a coincidence… until verse 4
But the next morning early, when they arose, Dagon lay prone on the ground before the ark of the LORD, his head and hands broken off and lying on the threshold, his trunk alone intact.
and verse 6
Now the LORD dealt severely with the people of Ashdod. He ravaged and afflicted the city and its vicinity with hemorrhoids; he brought upon the city a great and deadly plague of mice that swarmed in their ships and overran their fields.
Even more interesting is how they react (verse 7)
On seeing how matters stood, the men of Ashdod decided, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for he is handling us and our god Dagon severely.”
And while the people of Ashdod have had enough the Philistines of Gath are made of sterner stuff (verse 8)
So they summoned all the Philistine lords and inquired of them, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” The men of Gath replied, “Let them move the ark of the God of Israel on to us.”
and pretty soon that sterner stuff is coming out of their backsides(verse 9)
So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath! But after it had been brought there, the LORD threw the city into utter turmoil: he afflicted its inhabitants, young and old, and hemorrhoids broke out on them.
This kind of stuff continues to happen until in verse 11 & 12 they’ve had enough:
Then they, too, sent a summons to all the Philistine lords and pleaded: “Send away the ark of the God of Israel. Let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our kindred.” A deadly panic had seized the whole city, since the hand of God had been very heavy upon it.
Those who escaped death were afflicted with hemorrhoids, and the outcry from the city went up to the heavens.
By chapter six they are not only preparing to return the Ark but are including gold offerings symbolizing the disasters they have endured (verses 3-5) but the crowning and key statement comes in verse six:
Why should you become stubborn, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh were stubborn? Was it not after he had dealt ruthlessly with them that the Israelites were released and departed?
Now there are two obvious takeaways from this story:
1. If the Nazi’s from Raiders of the Lost Ark had bothered to read Samuel they would have left the Ark where it was.
2. One does not have to believe or worship God to understand what works and what doesn’t in life.
Consider the teenage suicide situation, the single parent situation, the drug and violence situation in school requiring police on the premises where actual education is takes a back seat to being “correct” , a society full of litigation, culture unable to save, highly medicated and constantly blaming each others for their problems.
The difference between those times and these, a culture that embraced Judeo-Christian values and a culture that is split.
This is the ultimate fruit of the 60’s and a generation that never grew out of the idea that they were smarter and better than their parents as Stacy McCain put it:
The great idol of modernity is Progress. Everything that happened prior to today is “old-fashioned” and obsolete, and nothing is more obsolete than yesterday’s ideas. Whatever your parents or grandparents believed in 1980 or 1950 or 1920 is presumed to be wrong. Your ancestors were all racist sexist homophobes enslaved by patriarchal religious bigotry. Never mind that their beliefs enabled your ancestors to survive hardship that would be unimaginable for most Americans in the 21st century. In a remarkable span of six decades, America survived the Great Depression, triumphed in World War II and destroyed the Evil Empire of Soviet tyranny. Yet the American child today is taught to despise the values of the people who accomplished all that. The child cannot cherish his own inherited tradition or respect his own ancestors, and is instead commanded to bow down at the altar of Progress.
Think of the Philistines, they didn’t embrace Judaism after this encounter, they didn’t bow down and worship the Lord. All of this took place before the kingship of either Saul or David, but they were smart enough to recognize what they did didn’t work and change course.
Are modern liberals willing to recognize what hasn’t worked and even if they don’t embrace the Lord, change their path to what worked for 200 years in this country? Are they as smart as a bunch of bronze age folk from the middle east?
I’m betting not.