Drones and Realism in the Middle East

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army--Wikimedia Commons

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) by the military, have become a contentious issue within American foreign affairs. Neoconservatives have called for stronger military engagement within the Middle East, with those on the left wishing to back away from any military intervention within the region. Though these opinions are not often based within political theory. Realism has been used as a guide within American foreign policy for multiple presidential administrations, and … [Read more...]

The Courage and Light of Martin Luther King, Jr.


In a meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the 1963 civil rights protests in Alabama that landed Martin Luther King, Jr. in a Birmingham jail, King warned his fellows: I want to make a point that I think everyone here should consider very carefully and decide if he wants to be with this campaign. . . . I have to tell you that in my judgment, some of the people sitting here today will not come back alive from this campaign. And I want you to think about it. Deadly violence … [Read more...]

Explaining the Bundys sans Mormonism

Ammon Bundy. Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by JJ Feinauer

As a Mormon, it's hard for me to watch or listen to anything the Bundy boys say without being instantly reminded that they represent a very real element within my belief system. One that I don't happen to agree with or particularly like, but is nevertheless tied to a shared history. When I hear Ammon Bundy bearing his testimony that he knows the federal government isn't true, I close my eyes and wish this wasn't all somehow rooted in the faith we share.So, for those of you who feel like I do … [Read more...]

In His Final Performance, David Bowie Embraced Death


I woke up earlier than usual this morning, only to find that David Bowie died last night, just days after his 69th birthday.I'm devastated. No other musician or pop star filled my life with such joy and mystery. "Legendary musician" doesn't even begin to cover it. David Bowie was elemental, everchanging, and I assumed eternal. I took his presence on earth for granted, evidenced by my review of his latest album Blackstar, published just two days before he died. The conclusion is mostly a re … [Read more...]

Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

Fledge the winged horse and Jewel the Unicorn, as painted by the author of this post

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]

This Seems Relevant

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, by Alexander Leloir. Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by JJ Feinauer

"The LDS Church has no doctrine of infallibility, but it is characterized by a church culture that elevates the prophet and his mantle to near infallible heights ... The challenge of Mormon leadership is how to balance Woodruff's assurance that the leadership will never lead members astray, with the empirical and doctrinal reality of prophets designated by the voice of revelation as 'the weak things of the earth.'"-Terryl L. Givenes, Wrestling the Angel p. 22 … [Read more...]

O Say What is Truth


 "The Church is true"  has got to be the most uttered phrase on the first Sunday of the month in LDS churches worldwide. But alas, it’s a phrase that has tripped me up since childhood. Not because I don’t believe it, but because those words, in that precise order, have never made sense to me.What does it mean to say the Church is “true?” Are we saying the Church is “honest?” Maybe that the Church is the “genuine article?” Or that it “conforms to the actual state and conditions of rea … [Read more...]

Jesus in Doubt

Over the last few years, public discussions of the place of doubt in Mormon life have increased substantially. The sources of doubt are not new. Theological puzzles, historical messiness, fallible leadership, cultural weakness, personal suffering—all these subjects (and more) have been addressed and/or wrestled with since Mormonism’s founding. The nature and depth of these conversations have varied, of course. But the LDS Church has never collectively had them as consistently and openly as it has … [Read more...]