Immigration, Promised Lands, and Homelands


 LDS pioneers who arrived in the Great Basin in 1847 were, well, squatters. I don’t know what else to call them. The academic term for their development of the Great Basin is “extralegal,” that is, outside of the bounds of law. They were stepping into the ungoverned and soon-to-be contested territory of the Spanish colonies, but even if their immigration was not technically illegal, their practice of polygamy certainly was. LDS pioneers were deemed a sexually deviant and threatening bunc … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Links Concerns for the Poor and the Environment


“Please, let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment."At first glance this is a counterintuitive statement. How might concern for the poor and for the environment be linked? Aren’t they often mutually exclusive? Aren’t humanitarians and tree-huggers loving different things? Can we be both Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi? Pope Francis obviously seems to think so. Of course, this really is not new Chris … [Read more...]

LDS Belief as Ecologically Responsible


As I mentioned, this is part II of a brief investigation. I have spent a great deal of energy and writing on this particular question, so I make mention of some of these points at the risk of repeating myself. But perhaps now, stated in direct dialogue with perspectives within LDS culture that are decidedly anti-environmental that I described in my previous post, we can gain some clarity about how these positions might better understand one another. … [Read more...]

LDS Belief as Ecologically Harmful


I once read an excellent essay by David Kinsley entitled “Christianity as Ecologically Harmful” with a companion essay entited “Christianity as Ecologically Responsible.” These two essays explore two sides of the same coin. I think this was an excellent exercise in helping readers to understand that a religious tradition provides many principles and doctrines that are important guideposts in life but there is nothing deterministic about a belief system that dictates certain attitudinal or behavio … [Read more...]

Interview with Generation Anthropocene

This was a very interesting opportunity to be interviewed at Generation Anthropocene, a podcast program based at Stanford University. Our interview covered everything from Utah politics, attitudes about climate change, Mormonism and the environment, and the value of what is known as ecocriticism. Check it out:  … [Read more...]