Heaven help the confused gay Catholic guy over at The Daily Beast! Poor Andrew Sullivan. He will probably never overcome the cult of Catholicism that infected his mind. Took him way too long to set a proper moral compass on the Bush war (he was head gay cheerleader for war back then) to be taken seriously on matters of any deep philosophy. He was at his best when he was dogging Sarah Palin for Trig’s birth certificate. Now he is trying to figure out what the differences are between a religious cult (Mormonism) and a “regular” normal religion (his Catholicism). Probably ought to be filed under category of Unintentionally Hilarious.
D.T. Bell and Ryan Bell, authors of MormonAmerican.com, were offended by my exploration of Mormonism’s cultish qualities. They argue that “calling a religion a cult is a cowardly act, because the vagueness of the word provides plausible deniability to any who use it”:
Andrew Sullivan explains that while his Catholic religion does have some aspects that resemble his definition of religious cultism, it is a kinder gentler form of religious cultism than Mormonism. Outraged Mormons claim;
Sullivan’s argument is illustrative, as it follows the approach of so many others who have pushed the “cult” line of attack. These attacks inevitably abandon any definitional rigor and load the dice to reach the desired result.
What would you expect the Mormons to say? They can’t respond with, “Well, yeah we do all this really crazy crap you accuse us of and it obviously makes us look like a cult”. The Mormon critics (like Scientology cultists) attack Andrew head-on, all without even mentioning the most contemporary horrors of modern Catholicism;
Here is another reasonable-sounding list of cultish characteristics: belief in the infallibility of a supreme leader, a system prohibiting clergy from normal family life, and a network of the especially devout who vow to totally remove themselves from society.
Sullivan’s Mormon critics, then make the following tack;
No one believes Sullivan’s own Catholic Church—a global faith that has inspired some of the world’s greatest art, thought, and philanthropy — is a cult. But using Sullivan’s tactics, it isn’t hard to cast it in a dark, suspicious light.
Hello! I am someone. I BELIEVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS A CULT! Much as I am dogging on Andrew today, I also agree that some cults are more dangerous than others, and right now the Mormon cult is a more clear and present danger to the US than the Catholics. But that is mere quibbling. All religions are cults. CULTS – Self selected groups of people who believe in things which can only be rationalized by reference materials of dubious origin and are most often started by men claiming divine inspiration. As a general rule, a cult is just a religion that hasn’t yet achieved tax free status.