The political irrelevance of anti-Mormonism

Political anti-Mormonism was a real force in late nineteenth-century America.  Commentators across the country denounced Mormonism as “the octopus of our political life” and as being distinctly “un-American.”  Every level of the federal government weighed in.  The Supreme Court ruled against Mormon polygamy in the Reynolds v. U.S. decision in 1879, and Congress passed anti-polygamy legislation in 1862, 1874, 1882, and 1887, all of which was accompanied with strident anti-Mormon sentiment.  Anti-M … [Read more...]

Why Mormon Feminism Is True

“By proving contraries,” Joseph Smith once declared, “truth is made manifest.”  For many, the very phrase “Mormon feminism” is itself a “contrary.”  If so, then perhaps Mormon feminism is precisely the kind of place we should look for truth. … [Read more...]

“I’m a Mormon, yes I am!”

Like Rosalynde Welch, one of my early musical memories (besides my oldest brother blasting Van Halen through the walls) is of gathering around the record player listening to Janeen Brady’s annoyingly catchy song, “I’m a Mormon”: I'm a Mormon, yes I am! And if you want to study a Mormon I'm a living specimen. Maybe you think I'm just like anybody else you see, But trust in my word, You'll quickly observe, I'm different as can be! … [Read more...]

On Mormon Secularization and Politics

Mormonism has been secularizing since 1833. (For those keeping score at home, that’s three years after Mormonism’s institutional birth.) Politics—or more specifically, Mormons’ engagement with and capitulation to the secular nation-state—is the primary culprit.“Secularization” is a loaded term, carrying for many the notion of anti-religion. But by saying that Mormonism has secularized I’m not suggesting that Mormonism is secular, in the sense of not being oriented toward the sacred. And I’ … [Read more...]