Finding Hope From The Westboro Baptist Church

A Westboro Baptist Church protest. (Wikimedia Commons, alterations by Cody Ray Shafer).

For years, the Westboro Baptist Church have been synonymous with bigotry. I learned this when they protested at my high school in 2004 over a production of The Laramie Project (documented by my embarrassing teenager blog). A large counter protest was organized, and an event originally sparked with hate turned into a largely positive, jovial affair. The Phelps clan were woefully outnumbered, and they left rather quickly, while the crowd left behind cheered and laughed and prayed together. As an … [Read more...]

See, Mormons and Muslims Really do Have Stuff in Common

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.15.13 PM

While advocating for Donald Trump's insistence that Muslim's deserve less rights than other religious Americans, Katrina Pierson (who serves as The Donald's new national spokeswoman, mind you) cited previous treatment of the Mormons as precedent for restricting religious rights. "This is no different than a Christian church, it's not different than a Mormon church," Pierson told Fox News' Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune's Thomas Burr. Pierson then went on to ex … [Read more...]

Star Wars Needs A Faith Crisis

Along with my love of the original films is a massive appreciation for Ralph McQuarrie's excellent concept art for the very first Star Wars. (Fair use)

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but there’s a new Star Wars coming out next month. Remember Star Wars? It was a 1977 low-budget film from the chronically anti-social merchandising kingpin George Lucas that shamelessly ripped of Kurosawa and Frank Herbert. Believe it or not, the film was followed by not just one but two sequels in the ‘80s, and then an entire prequel trilogy in the early ‘00s. Now Disney owns the property and is planning on inundating the public with more Star Wars films fro … [Read more...]

Bill Maher is Like an Awkward Parody of Atheist Beliefs


Famous atheist and washed up 1950s stand-up comic impersonator Bill Maher went on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night, and it was a gleefully awkward experience for everyone.You see, Maher is pretty bad at articulating his atheism without sounding like an ass (important side note: this is not a symptom of atheism. There are plenty of atheists who represent their beliefs well and plenty of religious folks who don't) and Colbert is a famously devout Catholic who people actually like. … [Read more...]

What Keeps Mormonism Ticking

Wikimedia Commons

We Mormons aren't no. 1 at everything, but in at least one way we rise above the rest:That's right. Mormons win at being highly involved in their religious community. This chart, which is a visualization of data from the the Pew Research Center's recent "Religious Landscape Study" via Pew's Fact Tank, shows that: Among Mormons, 67% have a high level of engagement, while a comparable share of Jehovah’s Witnesses (64%) are highly involved. Indeed, these two groups have the highest level of inv … [Read more...]

So Mitt Romney is Back

Pixbay. Alterations by JJ Feinauer

But not really.So in light of the fact that 47.6% of primary support in the Republican Party currently belongs to the two most ridiculous candidates imaginable, some R's have begun calling for the mighty return of Mitt Romney to claim his rightful throne atop Mount Unelectable. Here's Philip Rucker and Robert Costa at The Washington Post: ...some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he … [Read more...]

Polygamy and the New LDS Policy: Two Thoughts

Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by Cody Ray Shafer.

 MichaelMany, including Elder Christofferson, have noted that the LDS Church’s new policy toward gay couples and their children is a carbon copy of the Church’s policy toward polygamous families, on the books since the 1920s. (If you’re curious, see Ardis Parshall’s post about it.) Most of these people have focused on how the Church is applying the old policy (re: polygamy) to a new situation (gay marriage).But there’s another arrow of influence. The Church is turning the attitud … [Read more...]

These Three Things Are True


Sharp divisions make it hard to pinpoint "how Mormons feel" about the policy barring children of same-sex married parents from blessing or baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but these three things are true:Mormonism is charismatic. Mormonism is organized. Mormonism is Mormons.By “Mormonism is charismatic” (from the term “charismata”, or gifts of the Holy Spirit including visions, healings, prophecy, etc.) I mean that its existence as a religious tradition is … [Read more...]