News and Politics

Politics – Current Events – Media

The Gospel and Immigration

November 17, 2008 | 108 comments
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The Gospel and Immigration

A High Priest I know is in crisis. He is an immigrant who, like many other Church members, came to the US without a visa, according to what I understand of the situation. After arriving here he joined the Church, and eventually fell in love and married a U.S. Citizen, a wonderful, faithful Church member. This situation would normally put him on track for a green card and U.S. citizenship. But this brother is facing deportation, and his ward and stake are praying for a miracle that will keep him here in the United States. Read more »

Rhetoric, Ideology and Prop 8

November 14, 2008 | 132 comments
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In the run up to and in the wake of Prop 8, Latter-day Saint proponents of the measure have often tried to parse their words carefully when discussing their support for it in order to avoid charges of bigotry and hate for opposing the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. Echoing a refrain from the late Gordon B. Hinckley, Mormon Prop 8 supporters have often tried to explain that they are “not anti-gay, but pro-marriage.” This effort, however, has clearly failed to shield members from allegations of discrimination. Read more »

What Should Mormons Do?

November 12, 2008 | 44 comments
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The Associated Press reported yesterday that Mormon employees at the University of Phoenix benefited from discrimination based on religion, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The University settled the suit, paying $1.9 million to 52 employees (an average of more than $36,000 each!) and agreeing to a “zero-tolerance” policy to religious discrimination, but did not admit wrongdoing. What’s up with that? Read more »

That’s Trillion with a ‘T’

November 11, 2008 | 45 comments
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Is anyone else just the teeniest bit bothered that the government wants to lend two trillion of our dollars but will not tell us to whom they are lending it or what kind of collateral they have? Read more »

What of the Mormons (in Congress)?

November 5, 2008 | 34 comments
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The results are in, and the Mormon officials in congress is facing some changes as a result. From what I can tell, the new congress will include either 5 or 6 Mormons in the Senate and 9 in the House of Representatives. Read more »

Prop 8 Likely to Pass

November 5, 2008 | 163 comments
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I haven’t found a news organization that’s called Prop 8 yet, and CNN’s exit polling showed it failing 48%-52%, but my county-by-county analysis of the remaining vote indicates that it will likely pass. With 93.6% of precincts reporting state wide, Prop 8 is leading by 406,519 votes (4.1%), and almost all of the precincts yet to be tallied are in counties that have favored Prop 8 by good margins. Read more »

An Historic Night

November 5, 2008 | 101 comments
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In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity. Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility... Read more »

All opposed, by the same sign

November 4, 2008 | 132 comments
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On the issues I care about (and therefore not including the topic addressed from various perspectives so eloquently by my esteemed colleagues), I prefer the positions of the Democratic Party platform and candidate. I directly benefited from Barack Obama’s work as a state senator while I lived in Illinois, he seems to know what he’s talking about on important issues, and it looks like he ran a pretty competent campaign. For my taste, McCain and Palin didn’t offer much more than the politics of fear and resentment, and they seemed more likely to stay trapped in the conflicts of... Read more »

Counterpoint: Abortion, Obama

November 4, 2008 | 34 comments
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 »