LDS Church Releases New Statement on Polygamy

In the wake of the polygamy ruling by the U.S. District Court for Utah, and on the heels of a similar post about race and the priesthood, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a brand new "Gospel Topics" entry dealing with the history of plural marriage as practiced by Latter-day Saints. A few points stood out after an initial reading by Approaching Justice. The entry acknowledges that polygamy was still practiced after the 1890 "Manifesto" which… Read more

A Look at the Sister Wives Ruling with an Attorney for the Browns.

In his office, Adam Alba has a picture of early Mormon Apostle George Q. Cannon wearing a black and white stripe prison uniform in the 1890s. In the picture, Cannon is sitting with other prominent Mormons of the day who, like Cannon, were imprisoned for violating anti-polygamy laws. A Mormon himself, Alba, the co-counsel for the legal team representing the Brown family of Sister Wives fame in their legal battle with the state of Utah, reflected in an interview with… Read more

Polygamy Researcher Responds to Sister Wives Ruling

In response to an inquiry from Approaching Justice, author and polygamy researcher Brian C. Hales responded to Friday’s ruling by the United States District Court for Utah which ruled that Utah’s polygamy laws are unconstitutional. "Theologically, the LDS Church’s support of proposition 8 in California was a firm declaration against both polygamy and same-sex marriage," Hales told Approaching Justice. "So I expect such rulings will have no impact on Church teachings or practices." Hales, board-certified anesthesiologist in Layton, Utah, is… Read more

Nate Oman on Reynolds, Polygamy, and Mormonism

Yesterday, the Federal District Court for Utah ruled that Utah polygamy laws violated the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. District Judge Clark Waddoup, in his ruling, addressed the 1878 Reynolds v. United States Supreme Court case which determined that religious duty is not a defense against criminal charges. Specifically, it is not a defense against anti-polygamy laws. In the ruling, Judge Waddoup cited Nate Oman. Oman is the Cabell Research Professor of Law at William and Mary Law… Read more

Breaking: Judge Rules Utah’s Anti-Polygamy Law Unconstitutional in Sister Wives Case (With Updates)

Federal District Court Judge Clark Waddoup ruled today that Utah’s anti-polygamy laws violate the free exercise clause of the first amendment. The case is a particularly high profile because the Plaintiffs against the state of Utah are Kody Brown and his wives. The Browns are famous from their reality show Sister Wives on the cable network TLC. From the introduction to the 91 page ruling: Before the court are the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment relating to Plaintiffs’ facial… Read more

Santa and Jesus are White.

Oh, wait. Jon Stewart breaks it down: Whiteness is lucky to have Fox News as a defender and champion. For a more serious discussion of the topic of race and Christ, check out The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey. Read more

Our “Elf on the Shelf” Has Good Taste

On Monday morning, we awoke to find our “Elf on the Shelf” elf doing some light reading in the living room. He was reading The Examined Life by Robert Nozick. From the above picture, it appears that he was specifically reading the chapter on The Holocaust. This has come in handy, since I am writing specifically about that chapter today. Check back at Approaching Justice tomorrow to see if my collaboration with the elf  produces anything interesting. Merry Christmas! Yes,… Read more

The Nativity

  Luke 1: 26-55 (NSRV) In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to… Read more

Mary Knew! Stop Asking Stupid Questions!

The popular Christmas song "Mary Did You Know?" by Mark Lowry is a pretty song in many ways. However it is also stupid and disrespectful of Mary. Did Mary know? Well, according to the first chapter of Luke she was visited by an angel of God. 26. And in the sixth month the aangel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the… Read more

Lit Review: George and Wolfe “Natural Law and Public Reason” #rawlsreligion

NOTE: This is a research note as I compile my literature review. Robert George and Christopher Wolfe argue that the “reason” aspect of public reason automatically cast religion as somehow being unreasonable or irrational (George 2000, 67). For George and Wolfe, public reason is hostile to religion in that the revelation which stands as the basis of religious faith is sacred rather than “publicly accesible” (67). George and Wolfe contends that prior to 1947 and the Supreme Court case Everson… Read more




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