News and Politics

Politics – Current Events – Media

Counterpoint: Abortion, Obama

November 4, 2008 | 34 comments

Barack Obama has sought to bring pro-lifers and pro-choicers together to find a middle ground on the issue of abortion. With the help of noted conservative legal scholar, pro-life activist, and former Romney supporter Doug Kmiec Read more »

Collateral Damage: Missionaries and Prop 8

November 3, 2008 | 77 comments

An anti-Prop 8 organization has released a new commercial drawing Mormon missionaries into the fight over Proposition 8. To say the ad is inflammatory is putting it lightly. Read more »

An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

November 2, 2008 | 49 comments

Dear Michelle, First, let me say how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the last couple of months. Read more »

The Case Against John McCain

November 2, 2008 | 101 comments

Here are a few reasons why you should not vote for John McCain: Read more »

Proposition 8, the American mainstream, and the unspeakable

October 30, 2008 | 129 comments

Most online discussions of gay marriage are not worth the effort, because no actual discussion takes place Read more »

Girls, Are You Hip Enough?

October 29, 2008 | 95 comments

I kissed a girl and I liked it The taste of her cherry chapstick I kissed a girl just to try it I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it It felt so wrong It felt so right Don’t mean I’m in love tonight Read more »

Vote Early, Vote Often

October 27, 2008 | 38 comments

Just kidding about the “often” part. Are you an early voter or a procrastinator? Here’s why I voted early: Read more »

Mormon Halloween: Its Origin and Destiny

October 27, 2008 | 52 comments

I’m not sure whether or not Halloween is actually “Mormon” to any significant degree. Mormons generally participate in the holiday here in the U.S., of course. And we even have a few requirements of the holiday in a Church setting — for example, we don’t allow masks at Church-sponsored Halloween events. But I don’t think that these facts quite give us a Mormon Halloween. Perhaps what we need is a good, Mormon-specific monster! Read more »

What a day for a daydream

October 26, 2008 | 80 comments

A few days ago, Russell passed around this quote backstage (yes, T&S has a backstage–that’s where the permabloggers hang out, fight, and make fun of you): Read more »

Power to the Parents

October 24, 2008 | 88 comments

Naysayers regarding Sarah Palin’s promise to be an advocate for children with special needs can stand down for now rant all they want, but I’m still excited. Read more »

Essentials in Church Categorization

October 17, 2008 | 14 comments

Marc Bohn’s post yesterday on how Mormonism is classified became a legal issue reminded me that the issue of how Mormonism is classified is anything but clear, especially when non-Mormons are doing the classifying. We say we are Christian, and evangelicals claim we are not. We don’t want to be called Catholic or Protestant (or Eastern Orthodox for that matter, but that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue). But despite our intentions, Mormonism is classified in all sorts of different ways by many different observers and for many different purposes. We’ve been classified all over the place. Read more »

Prop 8

October 17, 2008 | 93 comments

In response to the FP request to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman”, I’m bringing the widget back to the top of T&S. Actually, it’s a slightly different widget. Sometime between now and election day I’ll post my thoughts on Prop 8. But for now, you get this happy little fellow. Read more »

Court Finds Mormonism is Not “Protestantism”

October 16, 2008 | 19 comments

An appellate court in Arkansas last week refused to overturn a lower court ruling which found a woman’s ex-husband in contempt of court for failing to raise their minor children “in the Protestant faith” after the ex-husband started promoting his Mormonism to their children. While many Mormons, and the Church itself even, would agree with the idea that Mormonism is not a Protestant faith, it seems to me that having courts making theological determinations about what denominations constitute “Protestant” is wading into some pretty murky territory. What if the custody agreement had stipulated... Read more »

A Nobel calling

October 13, 2008 | 24 comments

I’m very happy to see this year’s Nobel Prize in economics going to Paul Krugman, whose columns in the New York Times helped me see the importance of the discipline of economics as nothing else ever had. I think Mormon scholarship could use more scholars like Paul Krugman (quite apart from the Nobel and the weekly NYT column) Read more »

A Compendium of Mormon News?

October 10, 2008 | 62 comments

For the past couple weeks I’ve received email reports, forwarded to me from a friend, written by a lawyer who is LDS and who is prosecuting a counselor in a Stake Presidency in a ponzi scheme. The situation is sad, the email messages fascinating and the news that this is a counselor in a stake presidency can’t be found anywhere. Should it? I think so. Read more »

Key to the Culture of Mormons

October 3, 2008 | 81 comments

Last Saturday I gave a walking tour of Mormon history sites in lower Manhattan, one of the services our stake history committee offers regularly. One stop on the tour is the location where an early LDS newspaper, The Mormon, was published by John Taylor. That newspaper featured an interesting statement in its masthead–what it called The Mormon Creed. Read more »

M Gets a Joke

October 1, 2008 | 50 comments

A while back our household sat down to watch an episode of Monk. We like Monk because not only is it funny, it’s also sad and tender and offers good – sometimes very good – cultural satire. As I fed M she kept turning her head to look at the TV, watching whatever it is she sees when she’s watching something. We’re not sure what that is because doctors have sent mixed messages about her eyesight. But she does see. Read more »

The Great Unity

September 26, 2008 | 32 comments

Last weekend I went to the penultimate game in Yankee Stadium, and the next night watched the last game on television, complete with its post-game wake. Over nearly 20 years I’ve attended meetings there, letting a place and a culture become an almost religious part of my life. Its a Temple of baseball. Read more »


September 25, 2008 | 25 comments

Every medium has an inherent vice. While any form of media can be misused, there is a flaw lurking in the fundamental nature of each medium. Television exaggerates fear, as it transmits the worst events or most scandalous entertainment from the outside world into our homes. Movies indulge our self-deluding fantasies of escape or celebrity. Radio encourages the presumption, in the secrecy of our private chambers, that we sing and dance every bit as good as Milli Vanilli. The inherent vice of the Internet is shame Read more »

Questions about Personal Responsibility and the Economic Bailout

September 24, 2008 | 39 comments

How should we think about personal responsibility in light of the financial bailout currently being debated in Washington, D.C.? Read more »

Morality, Legality and Alcohol

September 24, 2008 | 20 comments

The church issued a statement about alcohol laws in Utah. The last paragraph reads: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that Utahns, including those who work in the hospitality industry, can come together as citizens, regardless of religion or politics, to support laws and regulations that allow individual freedom of choice while preserving Utah’s proven positive health and safety record on limiting the tragic consequences of overconsumption of alcohol.” Read more »

BYU in the Memory of the AAUP

September 23, 2008 | 23 comments

Among the other academic spam that I get are regular emails from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which is always eager to remind me of their fights for academic freedom, higher salaries for professors, and various trendy and hip progressive causes. Today, the AAUP sent out an email commemorating the ten year anniversary of its censure of BYU. I thought that readers might enjoy a trip down memory lane to the bad-old-days of Mormon intellectual life in the 1990s and a view of events through outside eyes: Read more »

Stewardship and Politics

September 22, 2008 | 42 comments

With elections coming up and my time as a guest blogger running out, I like to take up the topic of Mormonism and voting. First, what should we make of the many Mormons who seem completely disengaged in politics? Read more »

First Things Articles

September 17, 2008 | 41 comments

First Things has published two articles about the Church; one by Bruce D. Porter and the other by Gerald R. McDermott. Read more »