Steve Thoreson Speaks on Mormonism to EBA

This month East Bay Atheists features Steve Thoreson, founder of SACFAN, the largest atheist group in Sacramento. He will speak about Mormonism, the religion into which he was born. Here is what he has to say about the talk:

"The Mormon lifestyle embraces healthy marriages and family values... baseball, apple pie and the American way. No cuss words. Any given Mormon and fundie Christian both hate evolution, gay rights and planned parenthood. They both believe that 2,000 years ago, a fatherless man died in order to make amends to his father for all of the evil and nasty stuff that mankind had ever done ever since a woman was convinced by a snake that she should eat an apple after she had been told not to. And yet, among most Christians, a Mormon is about as popular as a rat sandwich. What is it about Mormons that ticks these people off so much?!

"Amazingly, as Mormonism is less than two hundred years old, these answers are very knowable. Unlike historically obscure figures like Jesus or Mohammed, Joseph Smith is well documented. Who knows if there ever really was a Moses! For Joseph Smith and many early Mormons, there are newspapers, biographies and personal diaries. Mountains of first-hand accounts!

"No fool would ever try to talk about the history and beliefs of the Catholic church in a single hour. Mormon's brief history makes telling the whole story only almost possible. Today's discussion will focus on the foundation of the church, polygamy and political schisms (some branches becoming Warren Jeffs of the FLDS and others leading to Mitt Romney, a mainstream Mormon). If people want to ask about the funny underwear or God living on the planet Kolob, I will be only to happy to discuss it. Talking about Mormonism is my sweetest candy. I have given this talk many times and it is always a blast!"

Don’t miss this one, and the discussion afterwards.

Afterwards we will go to dinner at King Dong Restaurant, 2429 Shattuck Ave. (near Haste) in Berkeley. Please join us.

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When: Sunday, November 18th, 1:30 - 3:30 PM

Location: Berkeley Main Library, 3rd Floor Meeting Room, 2090 Kittredge St., One Block From Downtown Berkeley BART

BART Access: From the downtown Berkeley BART Station, walk 1.5 blocks south on Shattuck Avenue, then turn right on Kittredge. The library is a half block down the street on the left.

Parking: The city parking lot at Allston & Harold Way, a short block from the library, is $5 for the entire day on Sunday. If you don’t mind walking, take University to MLK, turn right and then instead of proceeding left on Allston to the parking lot, turn right. In several blocks you will see parking on the side streets.

Information: Larry Hicok, Coordinator:[masked]

Ski Grabowski, Treasurer:[masked]


In December we will have our annual Solstice party. Details to follow.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great talk!

    November 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Little unstructured but Steve was full of interesting information and very entertaining.

    November 18, 2012

  • David D.

    First rate review of a difficult to grasp subject, done with humor and done by someone who knows from personal experience.

    November 18, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    While the speaker was a fun guy, his talk seemed a bit random and disjointed. If I did not already know a lot about Mormon history, then I don't think I could have followed him at all.

    November 18, 2012

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