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...]

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...]

Mormon Church Responds to Bundy-led Oregon Occupation

Obligitory Mormon Institution Image (Wikimedia commons)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has now officially condemned the actions of a group of armed militiamen in Oregon, led by Ammon Bundy--a Mormon--and fueled by right-wing ideology, mixed with a unique brand of Mormonstyle American exceptionalism. Here's the statement: While the disagreement occurring in Oregon about the use of federal lands is not a Church matter, Church leaders strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility and are deeply troubled by the reports that those … [Read more...]

The “Thoughts and Prayers” Backlash is Deserved

Idol worship. (Wikimedia Commons, alterations by Cody Ray Shafer)

After so many shootings this year, it just feels like nothing is ever going to change. But after the San Bernardino shooting, there was a decent amount of backlash against the many politicians who responded to the news with a very bland, “thoughts and prayers” tweet. Tweeting "thoughts and prayers" is right up there with American politicians' favorite past time of making excuses for why we can’t have any sensible firearm legislation.here’s a template tweet for all politicians to use. “My thou … [Read more...]

Batman vs Superman (The Gods Are Fighting)

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.36.49 PM

So there's a new Batman vs Superman trailer (thanks to Jimmy Kimmel) and it's kind of got my head in a tizzy. I think there's still plenty to be excited about, mainly how great Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman looks. Mostly his awesome suit, really.There are three things about this trailer, however, that have me feeling down.1) It's very clear that there is a ton of boring-looking CGI action in this movie. Stuff exploding to an obnoxious degree etc. Scenes that end up looking like … [Read more...]

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

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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...]


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