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...]

Who Will Get the Mormon Vote, Part 2

Editor's note: This post is an updated version of an earlier post, which can be found here. All updates and corrections have been made in red, like this editor's note.   So is this it? Is this how The Republic ends? Not with a bang, but with 16 straight months of presidential debates?That’s right, 2016 is upon us, with the force of a thousand Facebook arguments and your uncle’s hatred for “career politicians.” We’re entering a period of great uncertainty, which can only culminate in the glor … [Read more...]

Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]

The “Thoughts and Prayers” Backlash is Deserved

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...]

Finding Hope From The Westboro Baptist Church

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...]

Star Wars Needs A Faith Crisis

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...]

These Three Things Are True

Sharp divisions make it hard to pinpoint "how Mormons feel" about the policy barring children of same-sex married parents from blessing or baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but these three things are true:Mormonism is charismatic. Mormonism is organized. Mormonism is Mormons.By “Mormonism is charismatic” (from the term “charismata”, or gifts of the Holy Spirit including visions, healings, prophecy, etc.) I mean that its existence as a religious tradition is … [Read more...]

I Won’t Go to Church Unless Everyone is Welcome

There is a lot yet to be said about the Church's recent policy changes to Handbook 1 regarding the children of LGBT parents. A few writers here at Peculiar People are still processing this, and our perspectives and opinions are as varied as the church membership itself. This policy doesn't directly affect me, but it does people I know and love. I don't want to distract from their stories, but I thought this was as good a time as any to air out my issues with the Church's position.When it … [Read more...]