Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Valerie’s Review (Mike in Italics)

This book messed me up. It was hard to read because it’s so disturbing — not only the murder of children, which is horrific and far too graphic for this mother to do more than skim-read.

As the non-reader, I want to soapbox preach about skim-reading, but I get it, actually.


The background on Mormon religion was cause for a major ‘WTF’ reflection. Joseph Smith was clearly insane. A scary example of how people justify any behavior with “God told me to do it.” In this case, kill.

They were all insane. Mormons aren’t really more insane than any other religion. Certainly at their bases, all religions are pretty close. Mormons have perhaps adapted a bit less (though there’s this), but at its heart, Catholicism is at least as fuckt. It’s all a pretty good excuse to kill.


Mormonism is a misogynist religion designed to indulge power hungry crazy people. As my friend Jessica said, when you repeatedly keep getting chased out of town, maybe it’s not them, it’s you.

Lots of groups have been chased out repeatedly. America keeps chasing out everyone, but that’s not necessarily a case for making everyone illegal. (I don’t know. Look. Mormonism is certainly crazy. But it’s no crazier than anything else, really and it bugs me a smidge that it gets this way-out-there label when it’s really and truly not that different from lots else. There are branches of Mormonism that are more out there. There are branches that are less out there. Also, there snake-handlers and Westboro. This is less a defense of Mormonism and more an indictment of everything.)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s