Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue (Part 3 of 3)

This is part 3 of a 3-part discussion with Alex Griffin and Eve Tushnet. In the first post, Alex and Eve discussed discourse on homosexuality in Mormonism and Catholicism. In the second post, they discuss what elements of their faiths and other faiths they have found useful in interpreting their sexual orientation. In this post, they turn their questions toward each other. What have you found interesting about each others' answers? What was unexpected, enlightening? How might you t … [Read more...]

Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue (Part 2 of 3)

This is part 2 of a 3-part discussion with Alex Griffin and Eve Tushnet. In the first post, Alex and Eve discussed discourse on homosexuality in Mormonism and Catholicism. In this post, they discuss what elements of their faiths and other faiths they have found useful in interpreting their sexual orientation. In the third post, they turn their questions toward each other. In the third post, they turn their questions toward each other. What cultural, theological, scriptural, or ri … [Read more...]

Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue (Part 1 of 3)

Sometime at church in the past two weeks, local Mormons leaders across the country read aloud a letter addressing the Church's response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision on same-sex marriage. [fn1] In my own ward, one person asked a question that has become more and more salient: what about gay Mormons who wish to remain Mormon?Unfortunately, at present there are few good answers to this question. Today in my congregation, the answer given was that gay Mormons are no different than thei … [Read more...]

The Risks and Revelations of Protest and Lament

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave voice to the unspeakable injustice of American slavery in an address unrivaled either before or since. As a former slave, he spoke from profound experience. As an orator, he spoke with deft and sharpened words. “What, to the American slave,” he asked his white audience, “is your 4th of July?” The answer: “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.” This was not celebr … [Read more...]

The Hidden Telos of Marriage

As I made my way through the 100+ page ruling of the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, I was puzzled by a subtle discursive difference between the majority and dissenting opinions. I couldn’t put my finger on it until the word leapt out from page 5 of Justice Roberts’ dissenting opinion: “The premises supporting this concept of marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations betw … [Read more...]

Another Year, Another Mormon Feminist Silenced at Church

If someone had asked me three or five years ago whether I feared retribution for being an outspoken Mormon feminist, I would have told them no, not really. But I would have added that I didn't fear it because on an intellectual level I saw how the Church had become more inclusive. That we were past the days of the September Six excommunications, that efforts such as the I'm a Mormon campaign demonstrated the Church's commitment to including diverse members with varying viewpoints. But I also … [Read more...]

Is Mormonism optimistic?

I’ve been having a problem with optimism lately. My last two blog posts were basically just exercises in much needed mental cleansing. I feel alone at church and all my friends are leaving, etc. You know, young person stuff, I guess.But I’ve been fighting harder lately. Getting in the ring to punch out pessimism. ‘I believe this stuff” I keep reminding myself, “so I gotta figure out how to make this work and make it work well.”A big part of my efforts toward optimism is a sort of reconver … [Read more...]

The Problem with “Conscience”

The last time a state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) made news, I argued that the law’s critics were letting the word “discrimination” distract them from the real issues at stake. Everything I said then bears repeating: not all discrimination is wrong, not all wrongful discrimination should be illegal, and sometimes religious freedom really does give people the right to discriminate.But it’s only fair to acknowledge now, with another RFRA controversy lining outrage-mongers’ pocket … [Read more...]


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