Not a Democracy, Not a Dictatorship: My Big Fat Mormon Family

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously suggested moving to New Zealand to avoid Donald Trump. Alas, here I am in Auckland, New Zealand, but there is no refuge here from U.S. politics. Election news is on the BBC. It’s in the headlines. My students at the university get together to watch the debates and quote the best bits in tutorial.These discussions about political bodies and how they are constituted and governed have coincided with the semi-annual General Conference of t … [Read more...]

Trump’s Threat to Mormons

Donald Trump poses a unique threat to the interests, freedom, and safety of the Mormon people. Yesterday, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Donald Trump spoke to a group of evangelical pastors at a conference in Orlando. While there, the Cheeto-dusted Bloviator sought to capitalize on some evangelicals’ antipathy towards members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by noting that Utah “is a different place” and pointedly referencing the fact that no one from Utah was present in the audie … [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...]

Andrew Sullivan on God, Doubt, and Organized Religion

Blogging pioneer Andrew Sullivan formally retired from the daily content grind last year when he announced the closure of his subscription-based blog, The Dish. Apparently he's spent the last 12 or so months seeking greater spiritual peace and working on a book about modern Christianity. But as he told Ezra Klein in an interview released Tuesday, the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump has pulled him grudgingly back into the world of political commentary.Sullivan discussed this and a … [Read more...]

Where Is Mormonism On Civil Rights?

This week I went to an anti-racism rally here in Lexington, Virginia in response to Ku Klux Klan fliers being dropped around town. It was such a remarkable experience. It was uplifting and awesome for a multitude of reasons. I got to hear people stand and repudiate the KKK. A black Washington and Lee professor stood up and called on us to examine more than just the clearly racist actions of a few; to be introspective in how we are complicit in structural oppression and white supremacy. We stood … [Read more...]

Ted Cruz’s Weak Islamaphobia

In the aftermath of this morning's tragic terrorist attack in Brussels, each presidential candidate is jumping at the chance to say something profound and earth shattering in defense of all that is good and decent. For Ted Cruz, the word that will change everything is simply "Islam." In his mind, the Obama administration hasn't described terrorism as Islamic enough. Instead, Obama has lectured us on Islamaphobia, and referred … [Read more...]

Ammon, before Trump

On social media I passed along a quip that, while Donald Trump is applying to be president with no political experience, listing for even menial entry-level positions include years of experience as prerequisites.Several minutes later, someone I know--a young, high school-educated, lower-class, white male--privately messaged me the following: Give it a rest, loser. Trump’s going to be President and you can’t stop him. ^^ He will send my RACIST co-workers [context note: they are non-white] bac … [Read more...]