I'm an atheist but I've always been interested in religion; why people believe in what they do, how religion and other elements in societies mingle and just the weird and wacky aspects of religious practice and belief.
Relating to this... a few years ago, I 'dated' a man who was a Mormon; a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was a nice bloke and we got along very well but, long-story-short, our different approaches to life made a relationship impossible.
However, from this experience I got to learn about Mormonism and though Mr Mormon is long gone, my fascination with Mormonism is not. I still read a lot of Mormon/LDS blogs and forums and once in a while I consider going back to university to study and research Mormonism academically. I've a BA in anthropology & sociology and think that there is a lot of research that could be done. It's a good fit, but...
This past week was very Mormon-y one.
I read 'Escape' by Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer about Jessop's life in an FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints) polygamist community and her eventual escape. Fascinating reading of an insider's view of a cult and of polygamy and life on the outside.
I would recommend the book... if cults, polygamy and unique life experiences interest you. Here's the first 10 minutes of a book reading Jessop did a few years ago:
I also watched '8: The Mormon Proposition,' a documentary about the LDS Church's involvement in revoking same-sex marriage rights in California. Very damning for the LDS church indeed.
Here's the trailer:
A great documentary if you want to get pissed off about something.
I should mention that there is mainstream Mormonism (LDS) and there is fundamental Mormonism (FLDS). They share many beliefs but the FLDS is much, much more into cult territory than LDS is... but they're both nutty, imo. ;-)