The Trump Supporter Next Door

Image obtained through Creative Commons, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons If you’ve been following the Peculiar People column over the past few months, you’ve probably noticed two things: the posts have been sparse, and nearly all of them have been anti-Trump. The emphasis on Trump wasn’t a coordinated effort on anyone’s part – personally, I’ve held back from writing more about him so that it wouldn’t seem like we’d plunged into political propaganda. But I’m acknowledging that... Read more

The Case for Hillary Clinton and a Mormon Stance on Abortion

Image courtesy of Creative Commons It’s no secret that Mormons don’t like Donald Trump. So I was surprised a few weeks ago when, among my conservative Mormon friends, one of the most common public reactions to the third debate was a doubling down on far-right anti-abortion stances. In response to Clinton’s insistence that a ban on late-term abortion needed to include exceptions for the life and health of the mother, friends shared articles claiming that no... Read more

Why I’m Fasting for Hillary Clinton

Image by Gage Skidmore; obtained through Creative Commons On the first Sunday of every month, Mormons all over the world abstain from food and drink for 24 hours. This period of self-denial is designed to help us draw closer to God and seek answers to our prayers. In addition, we donate the money that we would have spent on the skipped meals to the Church’s program for assisting the poor and needy. I’ve fasted for various... Read more

Not a Democracy, Not a Dictatorship: My Big Fat Mormon Family

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously suggested moving to New Zealand to avoid Donald Trump. Alas, here I am in Auckland, New Zealand, but there is no refuge here from U.S. politics. Election news is on the BBC. It’s in the headlines. My students at the university get together to watch the debates and quote the best bits in tutorial. These discussions about political bodies and how they are constituted and governed have coincided with the semi-annual General... Read more

Trump’s Threat to Mormons

Image obtained through Creative Commons. Donald Trump poses a unique threat to the interests, freedom, and safety of the Mormon people. Yesterday, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Donald Trump spoke to a group of evangelical pastors at a conference in Orlando. While there, the Cheeto-dusted Bloviator sought to capitalize on some evangelicals’ antipathy towards members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by noting that Utah “is a different place” and pointedly referencing the fact that no one... Read more

The Real Reason Harry Potter Helps Us Resist Donald’s Hate.

Image obtained through Wikipedia Commons In the wake of a Republican National Convention that has left many shaken – including many conservatives, particularly among conservative Mormons – there’s a teensy bit of glimmering hope for bookworms who don’t want a man who deliberately incites mob violence to take the White House: according to one study, Harry Potter may be part of the solution. Even after controlling for the most relevant mediating factors, such as age, education,... Read more

Hell and Zion: A Review of “Undertale”

  Note: Undertale is a game best experienced without spoilers; I include some details below, however, in an attempt to convince the reluctant among you that it’s worth your time. In the game Undertale, your adventure begins when you fall into the underworld—a sort of hell that turns out to be quite Mormon. [1] That is to say: it is not the typical Christian hell of punishment and torment, fire and brimstone. The underground’s inhabitants, monsters banished and trapped there by humans defeated... Read more

Review: The Mormon Jesus

Perhaps my devotional life’s greatest flaw is that I forget about Jesus. Intellectually, of course, I know that I cannot ignore the Savior when speaking about theology, but much of the time my musings tend to amble away toward questions of divine-human ontology, creation, exaltation, and eternal family relationships instead. Therefore, I was curious what John Turner would have to say in his The Mormon Jesus, published by Harvard University Press last month. Through his Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet and a... Read more

Stop Praying for us, and Acknowledge That You Helped Create Omar Mateen

Wikimedia Commons 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,... Read more

Gordon B. Hinckley, Gun Control Advocate

  He was coming for your guns before it was cool (Wikimedia Commons) My heart aches in the wake of Sunday Morning’s Pulse nightclub tragedy. I haven’t said much, haven’t looked for arguments or consolation, because this is just getting too exhausting. We’ve been here before. And the way things look, we’ll be here again. We have a crisis of inaction in the U.S.; we are bombarded with horrible tragedies just like this, and we are... Read more
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