Film Journal: The Land Before Time

A few days ago, after carful deliberation, my wife and I chose to watch Don Bluth's animated masterpiece, The Land Before Time. It is currently streaming on Netflix and we both wanted to relax and unwind a little before the start of another hectic week. I'm glad we did. The Land Before Time is a delicate fable of survival — exactly the kind of story I was in need of when we watched it. It has beautifully simple things to say about compassion, family, and endurance. It has aged well.I was sur … [Read more...]

No, Elder Oaks, Trump’s No Santa Claus

Prior to the March 22nd Utah caucuses, LDS Church members may have been surprised to discover that Elder Robert Oaks, a former member of the Presidency of the Seventy (one of the Church’s chief governing bodies) and retired 4-star general, was serving on Donald Trump’s Utah campaign committee. While Mormons typically trend Republican, they have largely given the orange-faced demagogue the cold shoulder, especially in light of LDS icon Mitt Romney’s denunciation of “He-Who-Must-Comb-Over” and the … [Read more...]

Mormonism Doesn’t Have a Monopoly on Rape Culture: It’s Just an Easy Target

I'm normally a fan of Peggy Fletcher Stack's articles at the Salt Lake Tribune, but her recent article, "How outdated Mormon teachings may be aiding and abetting 'rape culture' " strikes me as irresponsible. In the article, Peggy Fletcher Stack and co-author Erin Alberty recount anecdotal evidence that Mormon culture and teachings support rape culture, such as a bishop who, upon learning a woman had been raped, responded "let's begin the repentance process," or outdated 19th-century language in … [Read more...]

What BYU’s Honor Code Office Doesn’t Understand About Trauma is Endangering Victims

By now, I'm guessing you've heard about BYU's track record of using Title IX investigations about alleged instances of sexual assault as an opportunity to investigate the alleged victim for any potential honor code violation, a track record that may not only discourage victims from coming forward but may even, in one extreme case, interfere with a criminal case. For their part, BYU and the Honor Code Office are firmly denying that they would ever punish someone for being assaulted.the … [Read more...]

Where Is Mormonism On Civil Rights?

This week I went to an anti-racism rally here in Lexington, Virginia in response to Ku Klux Klan fliers being dropped around town. It was such a remarkable experience. It was uplifting and awesome for a multitude of reasons. I got to hear people stand and repudiate the KKK. A black Washington and Lee professor stood up and called on us to examine more than just the clearly racist actions of a few; to be introspective in how we are complicit in structural oppression and white supremacy. We stood … [Read more...]

Wait, What Is The White Horse Prophecy?

Americans rarely unilaterally agree on anything, but there has risen one important break from that trend; we’re all convinced that the 2016 election is next level bonkers. All of us. Including, apparently, Mitt Romney.As of this post, Romney is posed to make a big speech at the University of Utah tomorrow morning, which has some eager politicos wondering if he’s making some sort of play as a late addition to the race, a wishful thought for anyone feeling hopeless after Donald Drumpf’s dismal … [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...]

I Bet I Know Who Hugh Nibley Would Vote For

I didn't know Hugh Nibley personally, and I don't fancy myself much of a Nibley scholar. But if there's one thing I know about Nibley, it's that he had some pretty strong thoughts on the "rhetoric of wealth." This comes from page 48 in my copy of Approaching Zion: First, of course, the work ethic, which is being so strenuously advocated in our day. This is one of those neat magician's tricks in which all our attention is focused on one hand while the other hand does the manipulating. Implicit … [Read more...]