The hot, and perhaps somewhat bizarre rumor doing the rounds has the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS, or Mormons) offering to buy Facebook. As Cyndy Aleo-Carreira points out at The Industry Standard, the buy makes some sense when you consider the family networks on Facebook and the Mormons fascination with family history. World wide there's every chance that your local "family history library" is run by Mormons, and even if you don't agree with the religion itself, they are the leaders in genealogy.
But how different would Facebook be under Mormon control? The church as some interesting teachings....
1: Sunday becomes a day of rest
Every Sunday is the Facebook Day of Rest under the Mormon sabbath. Some functionality will be available on the site, but you won't be able to make new friends or add to a profile wall. Applications cannot be used.
2: On Friday's, Beacon knocks on your profile.
The church relies on its outreach program to convert people and to raise funds, and what better way than to reach the masses than Facebook's Beacon platform. You won't be able to hide from the missionary ads, complete with door bell sound and well dressed missionary.
3. You've got LDS Facebook Mail
It's not spam, but it's part of the legitimate missionary outreach from the LDS. Every day is a new passage from the book of Mormon.
4. A man and a man shall not use Facebook
Mormons are strict on homosexuality: they don't like GLBT people. Any hint of homosexuality becomes a breach of the revised LDS Facebook TOS, however you will be allowed to keep your account if you dedicate the rest of your life to overcoming your ungodly urges. Also don't think a man loving himself passes the test either, the church aren't fans of masturbation either.
5. Different status for African Americans?
The Mormons don't have a great track record with African Americans, and the book of Mormon is pretty clear on where they stand:
# 1 Nephi 13:15
"... and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful..."
# 2 Nephi 5:21
"And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them."
# 2 Nephi 30:6
"... a white and delightsome people."
This is the reading of Joseph Smith's original 1830 edition. Smith changed the wording "white" to "pure" in the 1840 printing, though until 1982 the word "white" was again in use.# 3 Nephi 2:14-15
"And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; and their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites. And their young men and their daughters became exceeding fair.."
According to LDS theology, the Lamanites are the ancestors of the American Indians. In the verses above we see the unbelievable LDS teaching that the skin of the Lamanites would turn white upon conversion# Jacob 3:8-9
"O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins "
The church claims today that it isn't racist, and started allowing African Americans join the ministry in....1978. This is not to say that mainstream Christian faiths have brilliant track records on race either, but racism runs far deeper in Mormon teachings.
6. Missionary game is the most popular Facebook Application
Well it isn't really the most popular, but the LDS Missionary game appears at the top of every list.
7. Mitt Romney as CEO
Looking for an acceptable face for LDS Facebook, the church appoints Romney as CEO. Caffeine is forbidden in the boardroom, and Zuckerberg has left and is still working out how to buy a bed with his billions.
8. How many wives?
Gay relationship status' and anything remotely looking like pre-marital sex has gone, but lucky guys can now list more than one wife. The Mormon Church claims that Polygamy is the thing of the past, but anyone taking a casual drive around the backwoods of Utah knows that this isn't always the case.
I apologize if I've deeply offended any Mormons in this post and where possible I've checked the facts when mentioned. No doubt you'll want to save my atheist soul none the less.
To finish, the following is a video of Mormon beliefs from the 70s. It may not be entirely accurate (although the stuff about lots of gods, wives and planets is as far as I can tell), but in an age where Scientology is the primary target of anti-religious zeal, the following is food for thought.
NOTE: the language in the following video is offensive at times.