Smoking, Pollution, and Other Sins

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The Utah State Legislature is contemplating a bill that would outlaw smoking within a car when a child is present. The bill seems to bring into direct conflict two of the most cherished principles of this conservative group of politicians: 1) choices about our own bodies matter because they impact others, especially our children and 2) government should respect freedom of choice. This isn’t the first time we have seen these battles in the state legislature. They have debated similar laws c … [Read more...]

Stewardship and Citizenship at the City Level: Part II

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It is easy, and understandable, to get cynical about politics. There are those who choose not to vote out of a sense of frustration because they sense that a vote makes little difference. I think this is a poor excuse, and I would go so far to say that it is unconscionable as inheritors of our freedoms in this country to not vote. My suspicion is that most of those who don’t vote do so out of laziness or ignorance and not out of any reasoned political stance of opposition to an imperfect d … [Read more...]

Not Yet Full, Not Yet Empty

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I am always disappointed by the apathetic but I distrust the overzealous. And it only seems that the deeper we slide into apathy as a society, an increasingly yawning gap stands between those who feel and do nothing and those who feel that they have all of the answers. It is certainly understandable why a radical and proportionate certitude would seem to be a necessary answer to the contagion of indifference, but I am not convinced that an apathetic or willfully ignorant society is any better … [Read more...]

Citizenship and the Environment: An LDS Primer

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Before moving on to a discussion of state and national level involvement, I wanted to pause and consider the broader principles of citizenship, specifically as they pertain to people of faith concerned with the environment. Consider this a prequel to my previous post.A little known passage in the Aims of a BYU education deserves our attention. It describes the aim that a BYU education should be “intellectually enlarging.” It goes on to say: … [Read more...]

Stewardship and Citizenship at the City Level

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I would like to offer a few posts that explore ways of getting involved in the political process, from an LDS perspective and particularly in relationship to the environment. I want to start at the city level, which is a good place for anyone to start, especially if you are new to political involvement. My perspective is informed by my experiences, and I don’t mean to suggest that my experiences should be considered the ideal nor do I pretend to know what the right course of action is in every ca … [Read more...]

Can Literature Save the Earth?

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Can literature save the earth? At first glance, this seems like an absurd question, but even if the answer is a definitive "no," it is a question worth asking. One of the absurdities is that hardly anyone reads anymore. How can literature compete with visual media, the internet, or the many forms of idle entertainment our world throws at us? Moreover, who reads serious literature anymore? And why should we expect to learn anything vital about our relationship to the land from creative writing? … [Read more...]


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