This song is... beautiful... Tragically so... It's like someone took some of the sequences here and made a checklist of everything that's wrong with religion, and why it still works and why it can stir the heart of noble, brave, generous people... The main character is a Mormon missionary, he was always groomed to be a believer, and his cheering and professing was rewarded, and he was happy. Then he was sent to some warzone in Africa, to convert people there to his faith (And I believe that in 1978, God changed his mind about black people! You can be a Mormon!). Except the people really aren't interested in what he preaches, and might easily shoot him in the head for it (But "What's so scary about that?", when you have an immortal soul and know you are doing the right thing? Whatever the outcome, you win!). But, see, that's okay, as long as he believes wholeheartedly and without a shred of doubt, everything will be fine... (You cannot just believe part way, you have to believe in it all. My problem was doubting the Lord's will, instead of standing tall!). Of course, if it does not turn out fine, that's all your fault for not believing enough...
You know, I'd like to say something smart to start the discussion over, but right now I'm just feeling too emotional... You know what, I'll just post the lyrics for the song, and let you guys suggest the adequate potholes for every instance of... blatant, obvious, categorized
insanitiy irrationality that this song demonstrates...
Ever since I was a child I tried to be the best
So, what happened?
My family and friends all said I was blessed
So, what happened?
It was supposed to be all so exciting to be teaching of Christ 'cross the sea,
But, I allowed my faith to be shaken.
Oh, what's the matter with me?
I've always longed to help the needy
To do the things I never dared.
This was the time for me to step up
So, then, why was I so scared?
A warlord who shoots people in the face.
What's so scary about that?
I must trust that my Lord is mightier
And always has my back.
Now I must be completely devout
I can't have even one shred of doubt...
I believe that the Lord, God, created the universe.
I believe that He sent His only Son to die for my sins.
And I believe that ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America
I am a Mormon,
And a Mormon just believes.
You cannot just believe part way,
You have to believe in it all.
My problem was doubting the Lord's will
Instead of standing tall.
I can't allow myself to have any doubt.
It's time to set my worries free.
Time to show the world what Elder Price is about!
And share the power inside of me...
I believe that God has a plan for all of us.
I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet.
And I believe; that the current President of The Church, Thomas Monson, speaks directly to God.
I am A Mormon,
And, dang it! a Mormon just believes!
I know that I must go and do
The things my God commands.
I realize now why He sent me here.
If You ask the Lord in faith,
He will always answer you.
Just believe in Him
And have no fear!
I believe that Satan has a hold of you
I believe that the Lord, God, has sent me here
And I believe that in 1978, God changed his mind about black people!
You can be a Mormon..
A Mormon who just believes!
And now I can feel the excitement.
This is the moment I was born to do.
And I feel so incredible
To be sharing my faith with you.
The Scriptures say that if you ask in faith,
If you ask God Himself he'll know.
But you must ask Him without any doubt
And let your spirit grow...
I believe that God lives on a planet called Kolob.
I believe that Jesus has his own planet as well.
And I believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri.
If you believe, the Lord will reveal it.
And you'll know it's all true. You'll just feel it.
You'll be a Mormon
And, by gosh!
A Mormon just believes!
Oh, I believe.
Okay, now with the actual performance. Try not to laugh, and fail...
But this kinda raises an interesting question. Why is it, in fact, so thrilling, to share a faith that one actually doubts, with other people? Is it some sort of resonance? Like, "whew, he believes too, that's evidence towards me being right and this being true, right?". What's that, Affective Death Spiral, Uncritical Supercriticality, or not exactly either but something related? And why is it that it does not happen with certain other faiths, such as, say, the Church of England, or Judaism?
Also, a guy with the sheer agape of Elder Price could easily work for some other humanistic enterprise, such as an NGO... But why is it that I just can't imagine someone singing
"I belieeeeve, into the UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948!
I beliieeeeeeve that every man has a right to live,
And I beliieeeeeve that every person was born equal before the law!
Just belieeeeeve that every man should be able to travel freely (within their country)!
I do belieeeeeve that every person has a right to property!
I am a (???????), and I've got reasons why I believe!"
No, seriously, why is it that non-religious movements seem to lack this oomph, this particular eagerness, that the religious are often portrayed bearing? There's untapped human potential, here, friends, and we're letting it go to waste. Reversed stupidity is not intelligence. So, how do we infuse this kind of zeal, of enthusiasm, into, say, the Less Wrong brand of Secular Humanism? Here's a challenge for ya: edit "I Believe" to fit your actual creed (no need for it to be consensual here). Don't be afraid to sound silly, what you're supposed to carry carry across is emotional passion that compels people to follow you.