Inauguration Open Thread/Live Blog

UPDATE: Let's get started! Comments and thoughts will be shared in the comment section below. All perspectives are welcome. Disagreement ail happen and that is good. Standard rules about language and rudeness apply. Having written a bit about the inaugural prayers, I am looking forward to the the actually show on Monday. Join me here for an open thread discussion of the ceremonies. I will be joined by Dwight Welch, and United Church of Christ Minister from Sheridan, WY. I will also be … [Read more...]

Mormons and Palestinians: Justice and only Justice

With the tragic recent escalation of conflict in Israel-Palestine, my thoughts have turned to experiences I had while living there, first as a naive undergraduate for a semester abroad at the BYU Jerusalem Center and then later as a visiting graduate student at the Hebrew University. My first experience was eye-opening and really life-changing in terms of providing an impetus to developing a more critical and reflective perspective on religion and my own faith in particular. Through merely a … [Read more...]

Reject and Denounce: Obama and his church

Author's note I originally posted this here at FPR back on March 18, 2008. Am I accountable for the crazy things that people say at my church? Luckily, I tend to disagree, and disagree strongly with most political statements made at church. Was Mitt Romney responsible for racist practices that existed with the Church during his younger days? I do not think so. What about Ezra Taft Benson’s delusional politics? While I believe that he was an apostle and prophet, his politics was nasty … [Read more...]

B.H. Roberts and the Mormon Political Left by Chris Smith

BH Roberts

FPR would like to thank Christopher Carroll Smith for this guest post. Chris is an emerging Mormon Studies scholar out of Claremont Graduate University, in the tradition of Jan Shipps. B. H. Roberts, a member of the First Council of the Seventy, is better known for his efforts as an apologist than as a politician, but this is a man who was regarded by some of his contemporaries as the most prominent Democratic orator in the state of Utah. Roberts, in fact, was elected to the United States … [Read more...]

Apologetics Into Doctrine: Romney’s Impact

It appears that Andrew Sullivan published something on Mormons yesterday.  How do I know this without reading Sullivan?  Because there’s a zillion Mormons responding to his comments at sites far removed.  In fact, there’s a bumper crop of Mormon apologetics springing up all over the place and I’m detecting a bit of a common theme.  It is, I think, something of a South Park approach. … [Read more...]

9-0: Hosanna!!?

In a 9-0 decision the U.S Supreme Court has declared that the government may not second-guess a religious community’s decision about who should serve as ministers, teachers, or leaders even when employment discrimination issues are at stake.  Why did the government even try this?  Beats me.   The unanimity of the decision, though, shows just how unreasonable the Court found the Obama administration’s argument. Now you might ask, “Why do you care, Mogs?”  Well, I teach the sole … [Read more...]

Canon and Culture: The Scriptures Made Me Do It!

Fundamentalism is the belief that all that the scriptures and revelation say are to be taken as factually accurate. This view is clearly problematic, but I'd like to address its cousin, foundationalism. Foundationalism admits that the scriptures are not factually accurate in all things (though they may be in some), yet argues that they still give us clear moral, ethical, or doctrinal guidance. The scriptures, when properly interpreted, are the secure foundation for our doctrines about the … [Read more...]

Capital Punishment and LDS Doctrinal Development

This morning my facebook and twitter feeds were inundated with declarations by my Latter-day Saint friends decrying capital punishment and the execution of Troy Davis last night. "I want to take this opportunity to voice my outright and unequivocal opposition to the death penalty," said one. "A sad day to be a Georgian," lamented another. I wasn't really surprised, but I am fascinated by how the tide of public support of capital punishment has ebbed among Mormons in my own lifetime. … [Read more...]


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