How I choose to see the revisions

I write this as a heterosexual person, one who is not directly affected by the new strictures in the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI). For that reason, this is all very easy for me to say. I do not blame those who are 'closer to' this situation if their reaction is different from mine. I do not blame those who will leave. However, let's get one thing straight from the beginning: those who made this decision did not relish it. The Brethren do not look for ways to kick people out of the … [Read more...]

With the Mormon Church’s Backlash Against Boy Scouts, Gay Leaders Are Merely Scapegoats

Young men in the Mormon faith are almost guaranteed to be automatically enrolled with the Boy Scouts of America. I spent the majority of my teenage life attending BSA camp-outs, rafting down rivers, and camping out in the middle of no-man’s land. The BSA has always stood for some perceived transition into manhood by many members—learning how to start a fire, properly use an ax, and how to tie one-thousand-and-one-knots.However, last month the BSA announced a policy change that would allow gay … [Read more...]

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...]

The Hidden Telos of Marriage

As I made my way through the 100+ page ruling of the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, I was puzzled by a subtle discursive difference between the majority and dissenting opinions. I couldn’t put my finger on it until the word leapt out from page 5 of Justice Roberts’ dissenting opinion: “The premises supporting this concept of marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations betw … [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...]

Junia The Apostle and Mormonism’s Priesthood

Most Mormons don’t know it yet, but Romans 16:7, "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was," may soon become one of the most important and contested verses in our community. If we look at how other Christians dealt with their own internal struggles over women’s ordination, we can see that in the 1980’s-1990’s, this text received a dramatic increase in attention from mainline Protestant and Evan … [Read more...]

Visible Women

On June 24, I was at a national gathering of religious leaders and scholars in New York City. At dinner I struck up a conversation with the gentleman next to me, a Baptist theologian. When he found out that I was a Latter-day Saint, his interest was piqued because of the breaking news that Kate Kelly, Mormon feminist, had been excommunicated. Curious, I asked about his response to this news story.“Oh, it’s very negative, of course,” he replied. Candidly, he told me that this sort of news rein … [Read more...]