Confederate Symbols and the Black Flag of ISIS: Two Sides of the Same Coin

A terrorist symbol looms over my hometown. It stands for an intolerant, un-American ideology, one that stripped human beings of their dignity and equated them with animals, beasts who could be killed at will.  Ominous and unmoving, it is an unholy shrine to rape, torture, and genocide.It is a monument to Confederate soldiers. And it is just as much a symbol of terrorism as the black flag of ISIS.I grew up in Cochran, Georgia, a small town located approximately two hours south of Atlanta. … [Read more...]

The Anti-Trump General Conference

Like many Mormons around the world, I’ve spent this weekend watching the Church’s General Conference, a biannual assembly of Church leaders and members where they come together to learn and be uplifted. While watching it, I’ve been struck by one thought – this is the anti-Trump conference.No, the leaders of the Church haven’t spent their time denouncing President Trump or calling for his ouster. Rather, they have offered forceful denunciations of some of the key tenets of Trumpism. That is, t … [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...]

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...]

Trans Win: Federal Government to Sue North Carolina

The Department of Justice recently announced it will be suing North Carolina for House Bill 2--an anti-trans law that requires individuals to use the bathroom of their assigned gender at birth. This is in addition to the other ways that HB 2 hurts the LGBTQ community, such as invalidating several LGBTQ anti-discrimination measures that local North Carolina governments enacted.Loretta Lynch, who was sworn in as US Attorney General just over a year ago, held a press conference this past … [Read more...]

Drones and Realism in the Middle East

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) by the military, have become a contentious issue within American foreign affairs. Neoconservatives have called for stronger military engagement within the Middle East, with those on the left wishing to back away from any military intervention within the region. Though these opinions are not often based within political theory. Realism has been used as a guide within American foreign policy for multiple presidential administrations, and … [Read more...]

Consecrating the widow’s mite

The Filipino widow’s miteThe widow’s mite is a poignant story, but one in which we might be missing the point Jesus meant to convey. What if instead of admiring the woman’s sacrifice, he was instead lamenting that her condition was countenanced by the people all around her, particularly those with substantial means? What if he was criticizing both that the rich garnered public approbation for their generous donations made out of their surplus, and that the woman, after consecrating her all, … [Read more...]

INTERNATIONAL MORMON STUDIES: MORE HELP WANTED!

 This is a report AND a call for input going forward from the directors of the International Mormon Studies Book Project, launched in February 2013 to encourage the expansion of Mormon studies research throughout the Mormon South (i.e. outside of North America). Part I: Report on IMS book placementsThe IMS Book Project organizers express our gratitude for the many generous individuals and institutions who have contributed to the cause of improving the quality and … [Read more...]