The Real Reason Harry Potter Helps Us Resist Donald’s Hate.

In the wake of a Republican National Convention that has left many shaken - including many conservatives, particularly among conservative Mormons - there's a teensy bit of glimmering hope for bookworms who don't want a man who deliberately incites mob violence to take the White House: according to one study, Harry Potter may be part of the solution. Even after controlling for the most relevant mediating factors, such as age, education, and party affiliation, reading Harry Potter books was … [Read more...]

Mormonism Doesn’t Have a Monopoly on Rape Culture: It’s Just an Easy Target

I'm normally a fan of Peggy Fletcher Stack's articles at the Salt Lake Tribune, but her recent article, "How outdated Mormon teachings may be aiding and abetting 'rape culture' " strikes me as irresponsible. In the article, Peggy Fletcher Stack and co-author Erin Alberty recount anecdotal evidence that Mormon culture and teachings support rape culture, such as a bishop who, upon learning a woman had been raped, responded "let's begin the repentance process," or outdated 19th-century language in … [Read more...]

What BYU’s Honor Code Office Doesn’t Understand About Trauma is Endangering Victims

By now, I'm guessing you've heard about BYU's track record of using Title IX investigations about alleged instances of sexual assault as an opportunity to investigate the alleged victim for any potential honor code violation, a track record that may not only discourage victims from coming forward but may even, in one extreme case, interfere with a criminal case. For their part, BYU and the Honor Code Office are firmly denying that they would ever punish someone for being assaulted.the … [Read more...]

Cliven Bundy and His Sons Are Terrorists: So Why Haven’t They Been Excommunicated?

The notorious Cliven Bundy is back in the news, this time because two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, have joined up with a terrorist group that has seized a national wildlife refuge in Oregon as a form of protest. Cliven Bundy and his sons are also Mormons - they are not fundamentalists, but official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.In a Church that puts a great deal of resources into PR efforts, the Bundy family seems to contribute a lot of bad press for the … [Read more...]

No, Mormon Women do not Oppose Female Ordination, and Here’s Why That Matters

When the topic of ordaining Mormon women comes up, one of the most common responses from top Church leadership as well as more orthodox members is that Mormon women are, in an overwhelming majority, against being ordained. Personally, I've heard a number of reasons for being against ordination, ranging from pseudo-science theories about female vs. male brains (theories about the brain that have been debunked), to insulting complaints that men would slack off if they weren't the only people o … [Read more...]

Who does the membership ban really affect?

Perhaps the most disheartening thing about Elder Christofferson's well-meant video, which attempted to address concerns about the new membership ban for children of a parent in a same-sex relationship, is that he provided no new information. The Church's motivation for this ban was already understood by many to be a desire to avoid significant conflicts between minor children and their parents. And a desire to make the Church's law absolutely clear (though it's ludicrous to think Mormons don't k … [Read more...]

If I left the Church

The last few days have been less a whirlwind for Mormons, and more a tornado of emotions. The Church released updated policies to local leaders, in an amendment of the official administrative handbook that only leaders typically see. It didn't take long for former Mormon John Dehlin to leak the updates to the press, following which the Church promptly confirmed the updates to news sources, before remaining silent on the matter for an additional, excruciating, 24 hours. In those 24 hours of … [Read more...]

Abortion as Seen in Young Adult Science Fiction

 Imagine a world where a civil war has been fought over abortion, and the compromise that ended the war was The Bill of Life, a document that essentially postpones abortion by making it illegal to tamper with life from the moment of conception up until age 13. In the teenage years, however, parents may choose to have a child “unwound” into parts used in organ transplants. Improbable as it sounds, this is the premise of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series. If you can ignore how preposterous t … [Read more...]


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