Trump Should Learn from Andrew Jackson: Keep Church Out of State

Trump can learn from his hero and reject a fusion of Church and State.  Among the Religious Right, the idea that America is a secularized, atheistic wasteland has become an article of faith. From annual jeremiads about the “War on Christmas” to lamentations about prayer in schools, conservative Christians portray the country as a prodigal nation that has strayed from its faith-based roots.President Trump has pandered to this religious discontent, proclaiming that his America will “start sayi … [Read more...]

A Hillbilly, a Professor, and a Mormon Mayor Walk into a (Dry) Bar . . .

The experience Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams gained on his Mormon mission helped him bridge economic and political divides. A year of national service could do the same for young Americans. A few months ago I finished reading Hillbilly Elegy, an engaging memoir by J.D. Vance that has been seized upon to explain the historic shift of blue-collar whites from their Democratic roots to voting for Trump in the 2016 election. In it, Vance discusses how many working-class whites, especially those … [Read more...]

The Fundamental Optimism of Apocalypse

Today, we have a guest post from my friend Cameron Neilsen. Please note that this was written before November 8.Apocalypticism is back. While the Bible-thumping, seven-seals-interpreting strain has kept a low profile compared to the 1970’s and 80’s, it has joined with secular concerns over environmental threats and economic instability to produce an entire subculture of “preppers,” ZeroHedge readers, and r/collapse Redditors. Pundits are all too apt to dismiss these groups as paranoid, supers … [Read more...]

Review: The Mormon Jesus

Perhaps my devotional life’s greatest flaw is that I forget about Jesus. Intellectually, of course, I know that I cannot ignore the Savior when speaking about theology, but much of the time my musings tend to amble away toward questions of divine-human ontology, creation, exaltation, and eternal family relationships instead.Therefore, I was curious what John Turner would have to say in his The Mormon Jesus, published by Harvard University Press last month. Through his Brigham Young: Pioneer P … [Read more...]

Stop Praying for us, and Acknowledge That You Helped Create Omar Mateen

Let me give you a run down: 2015 was the deadliest year on record for transgender women, but 2016 could surpass that—since the beginning of the year, 14 transgender individuals have been murdered. Additionally, research shows that 80% of LGBTQ people killed are people of color. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, fought over 200 anti-LGBTQ laws in the first ten weeks of 2016. Advocacy groups continue to fight House Bill 2, also known as The Public Facilities Privacy & S … [Read more...]

Gordon B. Hinckley, Gun Control Advocate

 My heart aches in the wake of Sunday Morning's Pulse nightclub tragedy. I haven't said much, haven't looked for arguments or consolation, because this is just getting too exhausting. We've been here before. And the way things look, we'll be here again. We have a crisis of inaction in the U.S.; we are bombarded with horrible tragedies just like this, and we are continuously satisfied with our wobbly justifications that doing nothing is the best course of action. Because we all have … [Read more...]

The Weak Shiver of an Uninspiring Democratic Process

 I’ve been relatively quiet during this primary election season, mostly to stay out of the crosshairs between Sanders and Clinton supporters. I have enough respect for both candidates to still align myself with the Democratic Party (mostly) but enough differences to piss off both camps. Nevertheless, I’ve been rooting for Bernie, long before he even announced his candidacy. For years, he was a wishful-thinking kind of dream candidate. The guy who should run, but never would, and cert … [Read more...]

Normalizing Gun Violence on Campus

The following post originally appeared on Professor Park's Blog.When I first read about the shooting incident on UCLA’s campus this morning I immediately feared that it was over a grade dispute. Especially at this time of the year, when final grades are being doled out, many professors live in fear of students literally fighting back over anything short of the perfect grade. This anxiety is heightened as we become more aware of the brutality common in our news. The violence has become too co … [Read more...]