Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue (Part 3 of 3)

This is part 3 of a 3-part discussion with Alex Griffin and Eve Tushnet. In the first post, Alex and Eve discussed discourse on homosexuality in Mormonism and Catholicism. In the second post, they discuss what elements of their faiths and other faiths they have found useful in interpreting their sexual orientation. In this post, they turn their questions toward each other. What have you found interesting about each others' answers? What was unexpected, enlightening? How might you t … [Read more...]

Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue (Part 2 of 3)

This is part 2 of a 3-part discussion with Alex Griffin and Eve Tushnet. In the first post, Alex and Eve discussed discourse on homosexuality in Mormonism and Catholicism. In this post, they discuss what elements of their faiths and other faiths they have found useful in interpreting their sexual orientation. In the third post, they turn their questions toward each other. In the third post, they turn their questions toward each other. What cultural, theological, scriptural, or ri … [Read more...]

Review: “Selma”

Selma deserves a Best Picture win, because even with all of its imperfections, it is a story that engages with history honestly and insightfully. It highlights an important part of the civil rights movement, enlightens a common narrative of a historical figure, yet respectfully keeps the integrity of Dr. King’s legacy intact.It is good history as far as narrative filmmaking goes. Somehow I’ve managed to keep up with most of the Oscar nominees this year, and a disproportionate number of them a … [Read more...]

Doubting at Zion’s Gate

Through happenstance, two of my recent reads synergistically centered on doubt and the thresholds of religion.In the first, Elmer Miller’s Nurturing Doubt, the author reflects on his time as a Mennonite missionary in the Argentine Chaco (exactly where I served my LDS mission) and his later return as a professional anthropologist. He relates how his experience in ministering to the Toba, an ethnic group native to the Chaco, caused him to question the utility of the Christian message and A … [Read more...]

I Even Remain Alone?: Reflections on Eve Tushnet’s “Gay and Catholic”

About two years ago Ralph Hancock, a BYU professor of political philosophy, met with the Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association. As I reflected on the ensuing conversation, which had quickly veered into the troubled waters of Mormonism and same-sex marriage, I formulated two questions which I feel would have turned the discussion down less well-trodden—and hence potentially more productive—paths.First, I would have asked Hancock, “As non-heterosexuality poses existential questions categ … [Read more...]

It’s Time For Mormons To Be Scary Again

It’s Halloween time, so as usual I’m watching a lot of horror movies. Maybe this is why, by a mechanism purely driven by my own absurd imagination, I’ve loosely associated Meet the Mormons with the horror genre. Specifically, as a Dawn of the Dead-esque sequel to the 1922 silent film, Trapped by the Mormons.Disclaimer: I have not seen Meet the Mormons, and this is not as a criticism of the film itself, but an entertaining thought experiment meant to analyze the evolution of Mormons in cinem … [Read more...]

In Good Conscience…

Over the past six years or so, I’ve watched a number of my friends and acquaintances---and one family member---leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’ve heard many of them (but by no means all of them) say something like the following when explaining or defending their decision to leave: “I can’t in good conscience (variant: in good faith) remain a member of the Church.” Often (but by no means always), this formula appears in the course of expressing a set of relatively traditio … [Read more...]

Second Life and the Second Estate

From a hillside in Missouri, one can look out upon a relatively nondescript valley verdant with seasonal crops. It is to here, it is said, that Adam and Eve fled upon expulsion from the Garden of Eden and offered prayer to God and it is to here, it is said, that Adam will gather his posterity at the last day. Adam-ondi-Ahman, as Joseph Smith called the valley, is a locus of human-divine communication and visitation in Mormon theo-history.There is, however, another Adam-ondi-Ahman in the … [Read more...]


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