I love to watch reruns of Seinfeld. So funny. And there are so many quotes and situations from that show that have made it into normal everyday conversation. The Soup Nazi. Muffin Tops. The Puffy Shirt. The Big Salad. Low talkers. J. Peterman catalog. Junior Mints ("They're so refreshing"). Art Vandelay. Toxic envelope adhesive. Yada yada yada.
Of course, the one here - "It's not a lie if you believe it" - is from an episode ("The Beard") in which Jerry Seinfeld was going to take a polygraph test as a result of a bet he made with a girl he was dating about whether or not he watched Melrose Place. Interlaced through that episode are story lines about Elaine dating a gay man and thinking she could get him to "switch teams," and George wearing a toupee as he begins dating a bald woman (and Elaine ripping the toupee of his head and throwing it out the window because she says he's acting like a jerk - after which the bald woman breaks up with George). That is one of the best things about Seinfeld episodes - the way in which so many story lines are intertwined.
That line - "It's not a lie if you believe it" - really says a lot. Many people lie to themselves all the time - and the more the lie is told, the more it seems less like a lie and more like the truth. Of course, involved in that process is a certain amount of delusion, especially when the lie starts to morph and transform into "the absolute truth" in the person's mind. And usually when that happens, they close themselves off to hearing any opposing opinions - or the actual facts.
But what is worse, at least in my opinion, is when religious organizations lie to people. After I began researching Mormon Church history, I began to realize just how many lies are present within Mormonism, not only in the telling of its history, but also in its doctrines and teachings. Things that I had been taught from childhood on turned out to be filled with lies and half-truths. Like Joseph Smith being jailed for his religious beliefs and being a religious martyr. That is simply not true. Joseph Smith was in Carthage Jail because he was a criminal, and was definitely not a martyr. He was arrested because he ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor press and the burning of the building in which it was housed after its owners dared to print the truth about his polyamous ways. I'm sorry, but those are criminal acts, and he deserved to be jailed for these actions. And to paint him as a religious martyr is beyond delusional.
And of course, there are many other examples of lying within Mormonism. The First Vision is a classic example. The fact that there are at least 9 versions of the First Vision is very telling. Joseph Smith just kept telling it and re-telling it until it morphed into the "official version" that the Mormon Church holds out today. But the fact is that until the last version, which wasn't even written down until 1838 (18 years after the fact), the First Vision didn't even speak of Joseph Smith having a visitation from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but rather said that he had been visited by "heavenly personages" and/or "an angel." It wasn't until a time when the church was losing many members due to the excommunications of Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer brothers that Joseph Smith decided to "beef up" the First Vision to say that he had been visited by none other than Eloheim and Jesus Christ, two separate heavenly individuals.
Also, claiming that the Pearl of Great Price is scripture is an enormous lie. Saying that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from Egyptian papyri is a blatant falsehood. In fact, the more research I do, the more convinced I am that the Book of Mormon is a made-up piece of fiction, and that Joseph Smith no more translated it from golden plates than I did.
Lying for the Lord. Despicable. Unconscionable. Reeling people in with lies in order to gain power over them, control them, and get them to hand over lots and lots of money. Certainly not honest - and not Christian either. But sadly, the Mormon Church is very good at reeling people it and trapping them for life. And so these duped individuals live out their lives, believing in this bogus religious organization, convincing themselves that there is an explanation for it all - which we can't understand now, but if we endure to the end, after we shed this mortal coil, the truth of all these things will be made known to us, and then we will know that it was all worth it.
Delusional? Yes. But then, "It's not a lie if you believe it," right???