Drones and Realism in the Middle East

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army--Wikimedia Commons

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...]

Jesus in Doubt

Over the last few years, public discussions of the place of doubt in Mormon life have increased substantially. The sources of doubt are not new. Theological puzzles, historical messiness, fallible leadership, cultural weakness, personal suffering—all these subjects (and more) have been addressed and/or wrestled with since Mormonism’s founding. The nature and depth of these conversations have varied, of course. But the LDS Church has never collectively had them as consistently and openly as it has … [Read more...]

Mormon Church Responds to Bundy-led Oregon Occupation

Obligitory Mormon Institution Image (Wikimedia commons)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has now officially condemned the actions of a group of armed militiamen in Oregon, led by Ammon Bundy--a Mormon--and fueled by right-wing ideology, mixed with a unique brand of Mormonstyle American exceptionalism. Here's the statement: While the disagreement occurring in Oregon about the use of federal lands is not a Church matter, Church leaders strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility and are deeply troubled by the reports that those … [Read more...]

Cliven Bundy and His Sons Are Terrorists: So Why Haven’t They Been Excommunicated?

bundy

The notorious Cliven Bundy is back in the news, this time because two of his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, have joined up with a terrorist group that has seized a national wildlife refuge in Oregon as a form of protest. Cliven Bundy and his sons are also Mormons - they are not fundamentalists, but official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.In a Church that puts a great deal of resources into PR efforts, the Bundy family seems to contribute a lot of bad press for the … [Read more...]

Five Mormons Worth Reading

Freestockphotos. Alterations by JJ Feinauer

Here are five thought-provoking perspectives on Mormonism that I'm glad to have read in the recently released Book of Mormons [full disclosure: my essay is in the book as well, so this borders on shameless self-promotion, but I really am glad to have read the many insightful essays].The diversity and depth of Mormon experience captured in this volume are a timely corrective to recent black-and-white portrayals in media and in online discussions. Available for a steal at 50% off if you use th … [Read more...]

Batman vs Superman (The Gods Are Fighting)

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.36.49 PM

So there's a new Batman vs Superman trailer (thanks to Jimmy Kimmel) and it's kind of got my head in a tizzy. I think there's still plenty to be excited about, mainly how great Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman looks. Mostly his awesome suit, really.There are three things about this trailer, however, that have me feeling down.1) It's very clear that there is a ton of boring-looking CGI action in this movie. Stuff exploding to an obnoxious degree etc. Scenes that end up looking like … [Read more...]

Polygamy and the New LDS Policy: Two Thoughts

Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by Cody Ray Shafer.

 MichaelMany, including Elder Christofferson, have noted that the LDS Church’s new policy toward gay couples and their children is a carbon copy of the Church’s policy toward polygamous families, on the books since the 1920s. (If you’re curious, see Ardis Parshall’s post about it.) Most of these people have focused on how the Church is applying the old policy (re: polygamy) to a new situation (gay marriage).But there’s another arrow of influence. The Church is turning the attitud … [Read more...]

These Three Things Are True

DSC_4495

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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X