Q&A on Mormon Priesthood (Part 2)

Now that Michael's given us an overview of the Mormon priesthood and answered some of my questions about how the priesthood relates to gender and transfiguration of spirit, I think we've all got enough background to go on to weirder and wonkier questions.  Again, my questions are in bold, his answers follow, and he's not to be blamed for the illustrations.Q: At various points in the history of Christianity, monks and ascetics were seen as particularly holy because they withdrew … [Read more...]

Q&A on Mormon Priesthood (Part 1)

As a follow-up to Michael Haycock's clarification of what it means to be a Mormon priest or bishop, I did a two-part Q&A about Mormon theology, hierarchy, and culture. My questions are in bold, his answers follow, and he has no culpability for my choice of pictures.Q: Why is the Melchizedek Priesthood reserved to men? Are there any roles reserved to women? Hoo boy. The first question is a loaded one, because it cuts to the quick of the issue of Mormonism and gender, on which you might … [Read more...]

Romney’s a Priest? What does that mean?

Via the Daily Dish, I found an article by Howard P. Kainz, that argues that the media's relative comfort with Romney's religion is proof that most Americans don't consider Mormons to be real Christians.  Here's a pull quote: [T]he fact that Mitt Romney, the first Mormon candidate for the presidency in our nation’s history, is not only a bishop in the LDS church but a High Priest of the highest echelon (the "order of Melchizedek") within that religion, and is not being opposed because of the "s … [Read more...]

I’m Speaking in DC!

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.What's the best way to spend Pi Day (March 14th)?  Arguably eating the Venn Piagram pictured above, but luckily that choice doesn't rule out coming to a theatre talkback I'll be leading that night!Theatre J is reviving its stellar production of New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza and, after the 7:30 show on March 14th, I'll be moder … [Read more...]

The Other Contraception Mandate Fight

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I'm one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.I do want to do a substantive post on the contraceptive mandate later in the week, but, to set the stage, I want to talk about the conscience objection for pharmacists first..  Since we haven't all been having this argument to death (at least not recently), maybe it can give us a better lead-in to the more topical fight.A federal judge in Washington … [Read more...]

I’m like Beetlejuice, except you only have to say ‘Statistician’ once!

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I'm one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.The Bright Maidens, a trio of young Catholic women who try to dispel myths and misconceptions about their faith, frequently do themed blog carnivals, and this week their topic is "Instructing the Ignorant."  Elizabeth Hillgrove of Startling the Day covered a lot of topics in her post, but you can't be surprised to find out it was this one that caught my ey … [Read more...]

Good News and Bad News on HIV/AIDS

My time at AAAS has come to an end, and today, I just want to feature one session.  (The post on the Dialogue on Science Ethics and Religion panel will be up later this week).Julio Montaner: Toward the Control of HIV and AIDS: Comprehensive Treatment as PreventionWe think of the mark of success for a new medical treatment as scoring a significant result when all the data are in. That's pretty good, but there's an even better prize: having your study called off part-way through be … [Read more...]


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