Better Sex Through Chastity

Premarital sex on college campuses is not something I know anything about. I went to BYU about 10 years ago, and while premarital sex existed there, it certainly wasn't widespread enough to be conceived of as a marketplace. So when I read this Slate article reporting that the current market "price" for sex is currently very low, I was, well, shocked. Apparently single women in their twenties are having sex under conditions for which I wouldn't have even been willing to hold hands. According … [Read more...]

Profanity in Film (Part 2): Profane Language and the Third Commandment

The original Production Code for motion pictures in 1930 (called the "Hays Code") contained strict prohibitions against "pointed profanity", defined as "the words, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ -- unless used reverently".While falling out of favor quickly (the Hays Code also contained strict prohibitions against things like "sexual relationships between the white and black races" and "ridicule of the clergy") this original code for … [Read more...]

Movie Ratings and Content: Judging Profanity in Film

Series Introduction: Movie ratings are traditionally based on three primary criteria:  profanity, sex, and violence, with some additional emphasis on drug use.  One of the flaws of the current rating system is that each level of PSVD content is wrapped into the same rating, without considering the different categories of content individually.  As such, the current rating system provides no additional information about content for viewers who might care about one ca … [Read more...]

Balancing tradition with faith and scholarship: a Mormon application of Peter Enns

In my own struggles to balance faith and tradition with scholarship, I find it useful to see how others have done so, particularly when I see close structural parallels between the two traditions. Peter Enns speaks from a Protestant perspective but Protestants aren't the sole source of useful insight. I've enjoyed Jewish perspectives more, explored in fictional narratives like The Chosen and The Promise. The tensions between traditional views and scholarship  that Enns highlights among … [Read more...]

Here’s A Secret: Nobody’s Normal

An interesting thing has happened since I launched the Mormon Women Project at the beginning of 2010: Molly Mormon has disappeared. Completely vanished. At least I can’t find her anymore. … [Read more...]

Status Update: I’m an individual…please don’t shun me

If you're keeping up with the latest debates in LDS pop culture, you've probably come across some discussion over the new site.  It's fantastically imagined and executed--an amazing leap away from the stogy PR of the past and a clear leap into the iFuture, if you will.  I've found the stories on it personally moving and uplifting in so many ways, especially those featuring women.  Here I'm told about mayors, dentists, non-profit humanitarians, journalists, artists, doctors, lawyers, an … [Read more...]

The Girl With Her Fingers In Her Ears

I have a confession: the music in the waiting chapel of the Salt Lake Temple drives me nuts. There I am, sitting reverently in my white dress, waiting for the session to start, and instead of a quiet atmosphere in which to ponder the reasons I came to the temple that day or even say a silent prayer, I am subjected to the kind of piped-in electric organ music that one might expect to hear in a funeral parlor.As I sit there, trying to meditate but distracted by the wrong notes in the familiar … [Read more...]

Brigham Young, Studying Evil, and Living in a Bubble

It's been five years since I posted this, and it came up in a Church discussion the other day, so it's time for a repeat.I enjoy Orson Scott Card’s books. My in-laws feel that he portrays evil too much in them. OSC has his own defenses of this (cf. A Storyteller in Zion), but I thought of it when I came across these comments by Brigham Young. Shall I sit down and read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Covenants all the time?” says one. Yes, if you please, and when you have done, … [Read more...]

CleanFlix and Clean Flicks: A Look At Edited Films

Once upon a time, my wife and I watched a TV movie on a basic cable channel -- the TV-edited version of a movie that was originally rated R in theaters.  It was okay, but the interesting part was what we didn't see. … [Read more...]

Patriotism and God

It's Independence Day this Sunday, and chances are each Mormon ward will sing at least one of the three patriotic hymns in our hymnal.  If my ward sings the national anthem, a friend of mine will quietly protest.  She refuses to sing the United States national anthem in Sacrament meeting, not because she doesn’t like to sing it, but because she feels it’s not appropriate in that context.  And she's not the only one who questions the presence of patriotic music in church.  Services at other Christ … [Read more...]