The Religious Antagonist Goes Mormon March 14, 2011

The Religious Antagonist Goes Mormon

My old nickname for Mike Lee, the religiousantagonist, was “Dammit Mike.”

My new one is “The Johnny Knoxville of atheism.”

That’ll make more sense after you see this video, featuring the aftermath of his “conversion” to Mormonism.

There’s the part where he apologizes to people on behalf of the Mormon church for offending them (I love the reaction from the anonymous guy at the 1:37 mark when Mike explains that the Mormon church didn’t allow black people to become priests until 1978).

There’s the part where Mike pours water on graves in a cemetery because Mormons believe you can baptize the dead.

And there’s the part where he sets up shop in front of a Mormon temple and tries to sell underwear with a picture of Brigham Young on it.

Is it Jackass-y? Dickish? Offensive? All of the above?

Probably. But, at the same time, he’s simply stating the facts about the Mormon faith and some of its beliefs. And it’s hard not to watch the video… so he succeeds in a “Blasphemy Challenge” sort of way.

Side note: I’m really curious if pouring water on a grave constitutes vandalism since… you know… it’s just water.

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  • TheBlackCat

    I’m really curious if pouring water on a grave constitutes vandalism since… you know… it’s just water.

    Only to homeopaths

  • SeanL

    Don’t forget that Mormons were also against interracial marriage (some still are). Not that that has any relevance to today (ahem gay marriage ahem).

    “What chance is there for the redemption of the Negro?” Young responded, “The Lord had cursed Cain’s seed with blackness and prohibited them the Priesthood.”

  • Rich Wilson

    Only to homeopaths


  • Wouldn’t diluting the dead make them stronger? Laugh now but come the zombie apocalypse you won’t be laughing. No, you’ll be zombie food.

  • Aimee

    I loled though I didn’t particularly appreciate the beginning bit. The rest was chucklesome.

    I love reading art of trolling mormon chat posts. Those mormons are getting pretty sharp. Seem good humored about it over all. Kill you with kindness they will (unless you are/ were one – they can be awful to apostates).

  • Danielle

    It’s hard to troll the Mormons on the chat now, one sign of trolling and they say “come back when you have serious questions” and they disconnect.

    But there are some good ones.

  • I have mormon family. They’re still against interracial marriage. Strongly. They are some wild and wacky people.

    I just interviewed one of them for my documentary on the religious argument against tattoos, and she identifies as Xtian at the opening scenes, then describes later how she has a prophet in her church that she must obey. Haha.

  • JD

    I guess it comes down to who you’re trying to persuade. I doubt deliberately offending people is the best way to do that, put them on the defensive and they’re not going to hear you out. Even if you do convince one of them, you probably turned off a dozen others to what you have to say.

  • Richard Wade

    And it’s hard not to watch the video…

    No, it’s hard to watch it, but I did.

    At 5:42 he said,

    “I’m not trying to offend anybody. That’s not my intent.”


    he’s simply stating the facts about the Mormon faith and some of its beliefs.

    But then he spoiled his consistently unclever satire by lying about his motive.

  • Claudia

    From your description of the video I will elect not to watch it. I hate Borat-style jackassery. Taking advantage of the trust of others who have nothing to do with you pisses me off, even when I disagree with those on the other side.
    The only time I can stand that kind of puerile, bullying bullshit is when it’s done to the truly vile, like KKK members. And no, merely being a Mormon does not make you a candidate in my book, just like being a Catholic does not make you eligible for trolling about pedophilia as you leave church on Sunday.

  • bigjohn756

    Baptizing the dead is simply a way to add to the church rolls.

  • I have to agree with Claudia and Richard, this is just general jackassery. It isn’t particularly funny or clever.

  • Lizzy

    This guy is still not funny. I’m not sure that intentionally misinterpreting a religion is the best way to point out its flaws. Especially when the truth about their beliefs is completely ridiculous. On the bright side at least he’s not being cruel in this video.

  • Lynn

    Ha! 😀 I liked it 😉

  • heebs

    Smirked a couple of times, but not too funny overall. Obvious jackass humor isn’t my style, regardless of what you believe.

  • Ibis

    The only real highlight was when the young Mormon guy laughed at the “gold plate replicas”.

  • Is it Jackass-y? Dickish? Offensive? All of the above?

    All of the above.

    And I like Borat.

  • AxeGrrl

    Claudia simply nailed it for me. Especially with the phrase “Borat-style jackassery” 🙂 perfect description.

  • Lana

    Yeah, nah. I’m not a huge fan of mormonism, as an ex-mo myself. But I don’t see the point of this. Mormons won’t be inspired to examine the flaws in their religion when he’s so obviously ignorant and misrepresenting it; non-mormons are already biased against the church; and mormon investigators will cast him in a negative light once they realize he’s vastly misrepresenting things like baptism for the dead.

    Also, baptism for the dead is weird enough on its own. There’s no need to pretend that pouring water on graves is what baptism for the dead is. The truth is much funnier/ weirder/ sadder.

    In fact, pretty much every “point” he brought up can be spun by mormons, and without a basis of factual evidence and truth, he’s not doing anyone questioning the church any favors.

    In fact, he’s pretty much the epitome/ caricature of the hateful “anti-mormon” all mormons are worried about and warn their children about. I swear, this video is the type of thing sunday school teachers and bishops would play in sunday school to illustrate how ignorant non-mormons are about the faith and why mormons should never go outside the church for information. It’s ridiculous, insulting, and frothing with ignorance — somehow even more so than the actual mormon faith, which is pretty damn ignorant itself.

    If you want an unbiased, honest, and truthful account of mormonism and their beliefs, check out Ted Cox.

  • Tizzle

    I could only watch part (about 90 sec) of it before the lack of humor bored me. Mild misogyny in the first bit: boring. Repetitively asking people if they were black: boring. Knowing I thought his first videos lacked humor didn’t help either.

  • Tom


    This isn’t about persuasion as some think. It’s about ridiculing a group out of being considered seriously. Well, if that’s what you’re good at, go ahead.

    Makes for a blog post at least…

  • Liz

    I thought it was pretty funny. That’s my only comment.

  • ff42

    Yes, indeed it is Borat-style jackassery, which I not only detest, but is anti anti-mormonism once the mormon investigation learns that this is not how mormons do things they will realize that this buffoon was lying and more likely dismiss all counter (but true) information about the mormon church.

    As an ex-mo I have no love for the corruption and obfuscation that is inherit within it (past and current) but all we really need to do is tell the truth.

  • Michelle

    I did like the one guy “Why are you assuming my friends are black?” (not an exact quote, but close) He was funny.

  • @porlob

    *rolls eyes*

    His reshelving-the-Bible video was extremely rude to the librarians who had to clean up his mess. But this is just… lame.

    Oh so lame.

    And I’ll mirror ff42 that for a church obsessed with dismissing anything “anti,” that this makes a wonderful strawman for them to beat of what criticism of their chruch (and religion in general) looks like.

  • I’m the editor of Secular Homeschooling Magazine (and, yes, a big fat atheist). Lee has repeatedly posted links to his videos on the mag’s FB page in spite of requests that he not do so. Today he posted a link to this one. I couldn’t find any way of contacting him unless I agreed to “like” his FB page, and unlike Lee, I’m not a liar or a sneak. So I’ll say it here in case he sees it: I banned you from the page; I’d appreciate it if you’d piss off, already; and I married Sicilian, so don’t get any cute ideas about allegedly non-vandalous “I’m not here to offend anybody” pranks on the graves of any of my nearest and dearest.

  • El Bastardo

    Not like Jackass, as Jackass was actually funny, this guy is just being a dick.

    My father is dead, he’s gone, I know this, yet if I saw some prat dancing around on or around his grave pouring water around the place cause he thought he was funny, or he was trying to make a point about religion then I’d beat him onto a pulp.

    He’s just not smart enough to be effective satire. His overwhelming dickishness outweighs any point he may have.

  • if water on a grave is vandalism then g-d commits vandalism every time it rains.

  • Uncle Bob

    as far as these things go, I think John Safron did a far better job antagonizing Mormons by proselytizing atheism/darwinism in Salt Lake city.

  • I could only watch about 2 minutes of it. It was that bad. I just don’t find humor in his videos. I find childishness and contempt-neither of which I enjoy watching.

  • GaR

    I liked it.

    Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke 😀

  • billybee

    I liked it…good production, entertaining and I can’t stand Mormons.

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