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D I S C U S S I O N   O N   F A I T H ,      T R U T H ,   a n d   E V I D E N C E

LDS FAITHFUL: Now I know we have been through all this before, but would you honestly do some proper research? Yeah, much of what you say does tell of many of the views that the church has. So what?

FORMER LDS: “So what?” I thought this was my objective.

LDS FAITHFUL: You are just getting this information from another source and moving it along; moving along what somebody else researched.

FORMER LDS: Some of what I present is original; I’m also not opposed to moving along other data, especially since many people have never seen nor heard about the information.

Why would I pass it along if it was discredited, proven false, or given any more attention than the zigzags of apologists?

LDS FAITHFUL: Now as far as knowing if Mormonism is ordained of God or if God even exists there is plenty of PROOF to verify the truth of them both; but it takes careful research which includes having faith, humility, etc. But oh, wait, you spent years as a Mormon and found them to be false through your non-judgmental research.

FORMER LDS: The definition of PROOF has never been based on “faith” or “humility.”  I spent more than 21 years as a faithful Mormon, researching the religion. I might have seen its falsehoods quicker had I not been instructed that proof was based on faith and/or humility. It takes determination to say you’re wrong after many years of mind manipulation and living under the pretenses of falsified histories and intentionally deceptive campaigns of “Official Church” books & study guides which only offer trendy Mormon advice.

LDS FAITHFUL: Now it’s a shame that you have forfeited a belief in those principals previously mentioned, because that is the way a person finds out for them self the truth. Now in court, the way to prove a person’s case is by witnesses and evidence. Now I have plenty of witnesses, and in a court setting I really only need two. As for evidence, that’s up for you to see. If the jury chooses to close their eyes when the evidence is presented, that is their own dilemma, but it does not take away that fact that the thing being presented is true. You have been taught how to see, so don’t blind yourself with pride.

FORMER LDS: I wish you were actually challenging me to a court trial based on the historical facts!

Witnesses are not essential to a court case. Plenty of judicial decisions are made on evidence alone. If witnesses meant the difference between proving there is or is not a God, then the Mormons are at an extreme disadvantage. There are no less than one-hundred non-LDS witnesses to God to every one LDS witness; and you only need two?

You attempt to make the argument that a jury can close their eyes to the evidence. This is not so. Juries are under very strict rules to examine ALL evidence and are instructed to keep personal bias out of the equation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, especially if all of the jurors share the same bias.

I have now been exposed to the ideas of Mormonism for more than 35 years. I’ve run across many witnesses for God who are in and out of the LDS Church. The evidence I’ve discovered over that time has established that the Mormon Church is unequivocally a false religion, and the Church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was an impostor.

At one point in my life, I believed the LDS Church was God’s true religion. I was even as convinced as others in Testimony Meeting to stand up and say I knew it was true. I was led into thinking the doctored doctrines, false histories, and tales of faith were true. It wasn’t very difficult once I began reading unbiased, unedited, and well documented history about the blanket of deception the Mormon faith covers its people with. Am I blind with pride? No. Am I “open eyed” proud about what I’ve discovered in my 35 year adventure? Without question.

Can we both agree the Book of Mormon was not, or IS, 100% correct?

LDS FAITHFUL: I do have issue with this. You accuse me of generalizing. The Book of Mormon either is or is not correct. I agree that the Book of Mormon is true, now you can either agree with that or not. If you agree then we are still on the same page.

FORMER LDS: The question was if it was correct not true. This is certainly a moot point since there is plenty of historical proof it was not correct as Joseph Smith received it. Why do you consistently make unfounded statements with the notion of absolute authority? I guess it’s a good technique for a defendant to employ, and a typical example of your condescension. The opinions you’re offering are not only untrue, they do not support the general populous of the world. I’ve learned the Book of Mormon is false. So why are you only willing to allow a discussion if I “agree” with you? As (fictitious) lawyers we should have our cases well thought out. Would you go into court and tell the judge: “I will not continue this case until the plaintiff agrees I’m right!”

Lest you forget, the burden of proof is on you.

The best version of any religious artifact is the original source. Although it may be riddled with inaccuracies, it is still the “real deal” as the author intended it to be.

LDS FAITHFUL: I agree (in part), however, I believe that the way to truly research a religion is to put its teachings into practice in their entirety. That’s not just reading about it, but applying it, is the way to truly learn for one’s self of the truthfulness of any given principle of religion.          

FORMER LDS: Are you telling me the Truth is based on applying the principle and not in indisputable evidence? You seem to be dismissing the very basic idea I was relating. Are you suggesting if I incorporate the edited versions with the original versions that this is the only way I will have the “entirety?”

Why is it you discount my service in the Church? Tell me this, just for the record: Did you teach the Elders quorum regularly as a teen? Have you been in the Bishopric? Have you ever had to sit through a high-council court with a couple on the charge of infidelity and also negotiate a way to keep them together? Have you been an Elder’s Quorum President twice and a councilor on two other occasions? I have. I cannot allow you to dismiss my dedication to the LDS Church (when I believed in it).

Can you please disable your pride here and allow the people I taught and served with to give you an accurate idea of what I was like? They would do it without personal judgment and with only the facts.

You can have your say, but not in sweeping generalizations and unfounded judgments about my character. Please try to stay focused as I want to have you correct me on every error I’ve made, while avoiding personal attacks (as well as your disregard for the judicial system).

LDS FAITHFUL: My judgments about your character are not unfounded…My personal attacks on you, is to let you know of my interpretation of you by personal observation that you may either confirm or refute by the answers and remarks I receive from you. For instance you said “as well as your disregard for the judicial system.” So, really, what do you know about the judicial system that I don’t?

FORMER LDS: I had to teach you that witnesses were not essential to a case. This was such a basic idea, I can only imagine there must be other things about the system you know nothing about. I didn’t say I knew more than you about the judicial system (but since you brought it up…I’m fairly confident I do), I used the term “disregard.” This is because you continue to think justice and the law can have something to do with faith or feelings, and somehow if you combine these two things with prayer you can either Change God’s Mind or Change a falsehood into truth.

To the beginning part of your last comment: You said “My judgments about your character are not unfounded.” Joseph Smith said, “Such characters God hates; we cannot love them.”  It’s not a biblical (or LDS) point of view. The Mormon idea of personal judgment is one that is limited to either Christ or a bishop. Since you’re not my bishop (my bishop was a fair enough man; he’d never judge me the way you have; but I don’t grant him that authority any more) then you’d better be Jesus if you’re judging my character.

Too many times the lay member of the LDS Church assumes they are able to arbitrarily place judgment on a person, without having the proper authority. Have you been given authority over me?

I’m guessing your second sentence was given less thought than the first. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

LDS FAITHFUL: Remember, you don’t believe in government. Not to mention, most of the modern legal system comes from Rome, and Judeo-Christian theology.

FORMER LDS: I don’t believe in anything (for being a member of a religion which claims to know everything, you sure seem to toss around the believe word a lot. This shows a lack of conviction to your faith-and-not-fact-based ideas). I base my life around knowledge. We need ‘A’ government, but I’m not convinced we need ‘the’ government in its current form. There’s a big difference. We certainly don’t need the war criminals of the previous administrations.

Law is mostly developed in spite of religious opinion, not because of it. Religion might give a broad basis for ideology, but it is (almost) always ‘voted’ on in the best interest of society.

Rome and Judeo Christianity are mutually exclusive when it comes to law. The ancient Jews and Christians would not want their names to be linked together with a hyphen.

This idea is just riddled with questions: Where do you find REAL law? Rome? The Vatican (post-Christ)? Judaism? Christianity? The answer for the average Mormon is none of the above. In their own minds Mormons have always acted as if they are above the law, especially if it was not something designed by their prophets. Brigham Young was a perfect example of this.

LDS FAITHFUL: There are many places that we can find common ground. But these issues you’ve presented, to state existing common ground, are not my direction of focus (although it is good to have things in common). Where I am focusing is where there should be common ground, but isn’t. If you would have stayed close to the church we would have that common ground, but you left.          

FORMER LDS: Your direction of focus is firmly established in a conversion process. Your goal is to shift the attention away from difficult issues which Mormons cannot possibly justify onto a straight and narrow path. Your “common ground” is located where all the answers can be found by turning a blind eye, praying, and practicing obedience to the current teachings of the church. If a tangent appears you’re not comfortable with (leading you down an unknown abyss), you revert to the normal LDS mind games to get back to the safe zone. Life is a series of adventures which requires us to think before we obey.

This is supposed to be a mutual discussion, not one where I am told to automatically become resigned to your ideas.

One of the more damning statements you’ve made about your inability to look at issues with an open mind is this one: “If you would have stayed close to the church we would have that common ground, but you left.” This appears to be the main reason why you prefer to spend your time discussing the various ways I am unqualified on the topic rather than attempting to discredit my issues.

The abyss is a daunting prospect to those who are comfortable where they are; it’s frightening. But once you dive in and discover the lies and deceptions you can leave behind, you can then live life to its fullest, on your own terms. You are able to cast away the pettiness and discrimination about others who are not of your faith and abandon the thoughts of judgment in exchange for real happiness and peace of mind.

LDS FAITHFUL: That doesn’t mean that I have anything against you for not being a member of my faith.

FORMER LDS: This is another condescending statement. Remember this: I was a member of your faith before you were. I learned and experienced Mormonism many years before you did.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this kind of lip-service paid to those of us Fockers outside of ‘The Circle of Trust.’ Within the faith you’re taught to be presentable in every way: tactful, nice, and squeaky-clean. Perhaps you wonder why I would pick on these virtues. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with living those attributes in your life, but they quickly become visible as contrived (driven by religious ideas rather than purely natural intentions) when you find members are also out of touch with what most of us know as The Real World. An over-the-top example of this is the ‘The Stepford Wives.’  A strict diet of sugar will kill you.

It’s clever to smother investigators with a glimpse of a life which seems too good to be true, which in fact it is.

According to Mormons, we are the NONs. This gives me a good idea of what you really feel about me, and as to why there is such a campaign in the LDS Church and missionary work. In the eyes of the Mormons, people like me are on the outside; unenlightened, uninspired, and untrustworthy. But we’re also targets to be brought into the fold and trained to be enlightened, inspired, and trustworthy. Those of us on the outside fall into two categories: 1) Potential Members, or 2) Those who must be avoided at all costs, or only tolerated until you can get away from us.

Don’t fool yourself; your words prove unequivocally you have plenty against me.

LDS FAITHFUL: What I do have a problem with is that you deliberately attack the LDS Church without cause.

FORMER LDS: The evidence I present point to reasons which qualify as with cause.  Have you looked at it carefully?

LDS FAITHFUL: You may think you have every cause to attack it. Let me tell you; we have both made promises (called covenants) and you have broken some of those.

FORMER LDS: I not only have every right to attack the LDS Church, I have every reason to attack it. I show LDS folk and others what the leaders have taught for years and in many cases (with good reason) are embarrassed about. I feel an obligation to present these facts since the leaders have been only too willing to hide this information, alter it, and most certainly avoid (and sometimes deny) it.

In your second sentence you’re making reference to the covenants in the Temple, and yes, I do understand the meaning of the word. You’re presenting this in a typically ‘make them feel guilty’ fashion. You’ll make a perfect Bishop one day!

You’re not allowed to tell me a thing unless you’re willing to engage me in a simple conversation which doesn’t involve admitting the LDS Church is true beforehand.

You seem oblivious to the fact that you are passing judgment on me, which you’re bound by Christian law not to do. You do this effortlessly in part because of years of concentrated youthful programming and two years of missionary service.

Unfortunately, you can only accuse me of breaking my covenants. You’re not allowed to elaborate because of your vow of secrecy; if you did then you (incorrectly) assume you’d be breaking them. This is a perfect example of how the LDS Church uses a Catch-22 to keep the faithful in line.

If you think I’ve broken a covenant because I revealed it, then you’re in error. The temple ceremony is no more a secret than the Colonel’s Secret Recipe is. If you tell someone: ‘The twin towers were destroyed on 11 Sept. 2001,’ you’re not revealing anything. It’s already been revealed. All you’re doing is passing on information. This sort of restrictive verbiage cannot be found anywhere in the temple ceremony.

I started out on the Protestant/Christian side of the fence (years 1-15), I then became a Mormon (years 15-37) and was admittedly more devout than most of my fellow saints (nothing I’m proud of, but then again, it’s nothing I’m ashamed to admit either). I voluntarily left the LDS faith because I proved it was false. I was never disfellowshipped or excommunicated, and did nothing to warrant any punishment from the Church; in fact, just the opposite was true.

I want to make this clear: A bicycle with two square wheels will not get you very far. My intention is to expose the corrupt beginnings of Mormonism, not to debate if the current ideas have validity. The root of where the church comes from, and a discussion of why it’s changed its history, temple ceremony, scriptures, and doctrines so dramatically (with or without general consent) are the intent of my writings. I have lived, practiced, and preached the issues you falsely accusing me of NOT doing. The problem isn’t that you can’t find an occasional piece of seemingly good fruit on the LDS Church tree of life, but that because the roots are corrupted the fruit is laced with poison.

What’s the purpose of enjoying a piece of fruit if it means certain death in the end?

LDS FAITHFUL: Now, you may not agree with the teachings of the LDS Church; but that doesn’t give you reason to break promises.

FORMER LDS: I wish to make this very clear: I do NOT agree with the teachings of the LDS Church. In my opinion religion poisons everything.  There are some good “common sense” principles practiced within the faith which are not exclusive to any particular group of people within or without the religious world.

Which promises are you talking about? 1842? 1906? 1931? 1990? 2011? The promises keep changing as well as the covenants. With the way the Church is modifying the temple ceremony to fit in with the world, I think I might just about be ready to keep the covenants they change in, let’s say, 2075?

LDS FAITHFUL: So, with that, how can I believe anything you have to say? The Church didn’t do anything to you to deserve you slandering them.

FORMER LDS: There’s that word believe again. I’ve never asked you to believe one thing I’ve said. Yet you expect me to believe everything you say. The idea is to discuss possibilities. You don’t need to trust what I’ve presented; you can buy the books and look them up as I did. I have not “slandered” the LDS Church. Since you’re convinced of this, please present one instance where my words are slanderous.

LDS FAITHFUL: If you didn’t feel you were prepared or knew all that you felt you should, you should never have made those covenants; but since you did you should have enough dignity as a human to keep those covenants.

FORMER LDS: Promises made under duress, without any chance to review them prior to a commitment, which are based on false foundations should ALWAYS be re-evaluated, tested, and at times broken, regardless of who made them. Is there any virtue in keeping a promise which is wrong?

Why would you try to manipulate me by saying “you should have enough dignity as a human to keep those covenants,” when it’s obvious there is nothing sacred or respectable about those oaths? Would you care to elaborate as to why I should?

In poker, when a player reveals an unintentional signal as to the power of his hand it is called a ‘tell.’ Call me hypersensitive, but there are certain words you use which are tells about your lack of respect. Why would you use the words “as a human” unless you equated my actions as less than human?

LDS FAITHFUL: Yes, the temple may seem strange.

FORMER LDS: There is no doubt. It doesn’t just seem strange; it’s abominable.

LDS FAITHFUL: The covenants are made of your own free will and choice if I remember correctly.

FORMER LDS: Allow me to unabashedly remind you of the wording that could possibly have my throat slit, tongue removed, breast slit, heart removed, abdomen cut, have my bowels gush out, or any other sacred idea you can think of.

This is a choice?

You go through all of the effort to get there. You’re under pressure to go on a mission, or to get married. You have been baptized, confirmed, ordained, lived worthy, and have passed the recommend interview(s). You’ve been washed, anointed, had the garment placed on you, and entered the creation room. Then they ask you, while seated in front of usually about 100 people: “If you proceed and receive your full endowments, you will be required to take upon yourselves sacred obligations, the violation of which will bring upon you the judgment of God, for God will not be mocked. If any of you desire to withdraw rather than accept these obligations, of your own free will and choice, you may now make it known by raising your hands.”

This is akin to asking you to raise your hand if you support President Obama during a Glenn Beck rally!

There is absolutely no attempt by the church leaders to prepare you (in any practical way) to make the spilt second decisions you’re required to make. Why not? There are two very good reasons:

The first has to do with proper LDS advertising. The church is very careful to present everything in a beautifully wrapped package. This is how it’s done in the missionary program and in every other aspect of the church; the temple is no exception. It is simply bad P.R. to tell a candidate for the temple that as they go through the ceremony they will be required to make oaths to God which include the punishments of throat slitting, vivisection, disembowelment and tongue extraction. Can you see the motivational problem in getting people into the building that way? Therefore they cannot be honest about it. In order to make the whole experience more digestible they have eliminated any of the references to these penalties altogether; yet they didn’t renounce it. Faithful Mormons who went through the temple for the first time prior to 1990 (like me) are fully aware of these penalties, of which the younger generation is oblivious too. In like manner, the degree of penalty intensity was heavier in the 1800s than it was in the 1900s. Thus, the Mormon making commitments in the 19th century had more fear heaped upon them than those in the 20th century. If a person living in 1850 could see how the ceremony has changed in 2017 (to make it more palatable), they would think the church has fallen into absolute apostasy, which isn’t possible, since there was never any real sacredness or truth in it from the beginning.

The second reason is that it’s a well thought out tactic to trap you into obedience. This is profound evidence the Mormon Church is actually a cult. One of the dictionary definitions of a cult is: “A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.”

Mormons might feel this description doesn’t apply to them, but even a casual glance through these writings will confirm it’s true. Read the following quote from the temple ceremony, in case you have your doubts about the Mormon Church being a cult:

“You and each of you do covenant and promise before God… that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents and everything with which the Lord has blessed you with or with which he may bless you to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion. Each of you bow your head and say yes.” (Note: you are not given a choice here; you’re simply told to “bow your head and say yes”).

Church leaders are technically not allowed to speak about the details of the temple so they cannot even warn a candidate of the decisions they will face or the severity of death they might incur should they turn away from the split-second commitments (of their own free will and choice?) they will be required to make. I’m certain that in many cases the new bishops and stake presidents are not even aware of the gruesome penalties (which have never been rescinded) that they’re all under obligation to live (or die) by.

LDS FAITHFUL: Now, if you want proof that God exists, research the topic properly.

FORMER LDS: I was a convert to the Church. I researched this topic properly (to LDS standards; perhaps exceeding the standard) and with sincerity. If I didn’t, then please explain why I decided to join? Do you feel you have a leg up in research because you were born into the Church? What about overall exposure? This is a given. What about proper research? No.

Having lived on both sides of the fence accounts for more than research/study.

LDS FAITHFUL: Just because you can prove a topic one way doesn’t mean that method will work for all topics. That is why there are different sciences, to prove different topics. In its own right, theology can be classified as its own science. Religion outlines exactly how it is to be researched, that’s the beauty of it. It gives you the blueprint to follow to learn religious principles for a fact. You obviously have been doing the wrong type of research. So, my suggestion would be to put the EVIDENCE into practice and “live the principles” of theology rather than just reading about them. I suggest the first place to start would be to READ The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball. And secondly, PUT THOSE PRINCIPLES INTO PRACTICE! [Note: In 2015 Deseret Book decided to stop publishing and discontinued carrying this book, because of pressures related to homosexuality, and the antiquated perspective of the writings].

FORMER LDS: It’s funny you tell me to “live the principles of theology rather than just reading about them.” Then in the next sentence you tell me to read first and then practice the principles. This is a typical missionary technique. First, fill the persons head with religious ideas. It’s best to read a book filled with fear mongering which spreads plenty of guilt (There are few to match The Miracle of Forgiveness this way! The title would make you think it was just the opposite, wouldn’t it?). Once you’ve done this, THEN start living the ideas you’ve learned in this false instruction manual.

LDS FAITHFUL: From what I have observed of your character I don’t believe you will read it because of pride. Or you may say “I have read it.” If so, read it again and “LIVE IT.” I could give you hard evidence that God exists, but you need to do your part in understanding what is being presented. Just like with me. I don’t know the first thing about physics, even if someone spelled it out for me, I still may not know anything about it, unless I apply myself to understand what is being taught.

FORMER LDS: You’re correct, I have read it… several times. I lived it too and am still living by the valuable parts of the book. While I was a manager at Deseret Book I made it a point to sell this book to investigators and missionaries alike. I’m sure I sold hundreds of copies. I know this book very well. In fact it’s on my Kindle right now.

In his preface, President Kimball states: “There may be nothing new or arresting here.”

I agree. As I’m re-reading it, I find a lot of old, dated information. Some of which not even the Mormons themselves believe in any more.

LDS president Thomas S. Monson said: “As one reads the book, particularly the first portion, one wonders if anyone will make it to the Celestial Kingdom.”

If you ever thought, there were only 10 commandments then take a look at President Kimball’s list of sins:

“Murder, adultery, theft, cursing, unholiness in masters, disobedience in servants, unfaithfulness, improvidence, hatred of God, disobedience to husbands, lack of natural affection, high-mindedness, flattery, lustfulness, infidelity, indiscretion, backbiting, whispering, lack of truth, striking, brawling, quarrelsomeness, unthankfulness, inhospitality, deceitfulness, irreverence, boasting, arrogance, pride, double-tongued talk, profanity, slander, corruptness, thievery, embezzlement, despoiling, covenant-breaking, incontinence, filthiness, ignobleness, filthy communications, impurity, foolishness, slothfulness, impatience, lack of understanding, unmercifulness, idolatry, blasphemy, denial of the Holy Ghost, Sabbath breaking, envy, jealousy, malice, maligning, vengefulness, implacability, bitterness, clamor, spite, defiling, reviling, evil speaking, provoking, greediness for filthy lucre, disobedience to parents, anger, hate, covetousness, bearing false witness, inventing evil things, fleshliness, heresy, presumptuousness, abomination, insatiable appetite, instability, ignorance, self-will, speaking evil of dignitaries, becoming a stumbling block; and in our modern language, masturbation, petting, fornication, adultery, homosexuality; and every sex perversion, every hidden and secret sin and all unholy and impure practices.”

A few of these have always struck me as humorous. “Lack of Understanding” is a sin? What about “Instability?” “Speaking evil of dignitaries” is a double standard when viewed in the light of the words of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in regard to United States authorities.

This list could be condensed. There are several words which mean essentially the same thing, but he likes the effect of pounding the reader with so many ideas of sin. He liked adultery so much he included it twice!

Hearing you say “I could give you hard evidence that God exists but you need to do your part in understanding what is being presented” brings a few thoughts to mind. First; you really have NO evidence (let alone hard evidence) whatsoever. Only a fool would do the tap dance you do around all of these issues if they could simply produce the “hard evidence” immediately. Second; the sentence is just as arrogant as it is condescending. Finally, you use the old standby LDS chess move from one of Spencer W. Kimball’s other books Faith Precedes the Miracle in order to make me understand God doesn’t simply give you what you ask for…you need to work hard at it first!

LDS FAITHFUL: So, those are my thoughts, you can either believe what I have to say or not; but belief or the lack thereof is not KNOWLEDGE, so if you want to KNOW what I have said is true you might do what I suggest. Otherwise, stop slandering my faith until you can PROVE that God truly doesn’t exist.

FORMER LDS: I know you’re lying when you say “belief…is not knowledge” since the LDS faithful maintain that a testimony is received through “feelings” and not evidence. What other way is there to know the LDS Church is true?

You also said, “If you want to KNOW what I have said is true you might do what I suggest.” This sounds dictatorial, doesn’t it?

You and I are in the same boat when it comes to God. I cannot prove there isn’t a God any more than you can prove there is one. The issue isn’t a debate about what either of us can’t prove; it’s what we CAN prove. I have been able to present hard evidence that Mormonism is false.

LDS FAITHFUL: Just a note, the lack of evidence is not evidence.

FORMER LDS: Christopher Hitchens said: “The ‘evidence’ for faith, then, seems to leave faith looking even weaker than it would if it stood, alone and unsupported, all by itself. What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. This is even more true when the ‘evidence’ eventually offered is shoddy and self-interested.”

The facts I present are a case against the LDS Church, not against any other religion, or group of people. They are not intended to be the views of an atheist either. These are evidences against the Mormons, to which most religious minded (or non-religious minded) people would find incredulous.

Although most people belong to a religion because they feel it’s true, the LDS faithful claim that they KNOW it is true. Not only that, but they tell you your system of belief is WRONG. Such bold claims simply fail with the fact that religions are faith based. This is not to say that religious ideas are false, but they need to be handled with more maturity, flexibility, and humility, because they are built on belief and faith. You refuse to concede this point and so it “seems to leave (the) faith looking even weaker than it would if it stood, alone and unsupported, all by itself.”