White Dudes Talk about Race

I attended Black, White, and Mormon, “A CONFERENCE on the EVOLVING STATUS of BLACK SAINTS WITHIN the MORMON FOLD” at the University of Utah a few days ago.  I took a lot of notes from the speakers, and had planned to give an overview.  Lester Bush gave an outstanding speech Thursday evening.  I should have started with his remarks, but I went alphabetically with the titles of my notes, so I’m going to first give my notes of “our token white male panel” , as Paul Reeve said when he introduced the panel.  I tried to type as fast as I could to catch the essence of what these guys were saying, and I’ve tried to clean up my notes as best as I can.  Sometimes I missed stuff, and sometimes I couldn’t remember exactly what they said, but I think this is pretty good.  Here are my notes from the first session on Friday Oct 9, 2015. Continue Reading »

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Church for Saints and Sinners

Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber

I really enjoyed an interview a few weeks ago with Nadia Bolz-Weber.  She is a Lutheran Pastor who founded The House of All Saints and Sinners, and she prides herself on literally welcoming the outcasts to her church.  These people include junkies, drag queens, and transgender.  Here are some excerpts from the interview.  How is she different that most other pastors?

Other than the fact that I tend to swear like a truck driver? … I don’t look like a pastor, I’m very heavily tattooed, I have sleeve tattoos, basically, and very short hair, and I’m, like, 6-feet-1-inch [tall]. I don’t actually act like a pastor either. I don’t have that sweet, nurturing, “come to me; I’ll co-sign on all of your BS problems,” like, I just don’t have that warm, cozy personality, and I’m kind of cranky and a little bit sarcastic, I guess.

Nobody ever meets me and guesses. The best thing is on airplanes. … Eventually if you talk to [people], which I try not to do, but if it has to happen, then they’ll say, “What do you do?” and I’ll invite them to guess, and never once have they guessed. I did get “burlesque dancer” once, which pleased me to no end. If you’re a middle-aged Lutheran pastor and someone guesses you’re a burlesque dancer, that feels like a win for the day.

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Sanders Appeals to Conservatives

Bernie Sanders speaking at Liberty University Sept 15, 2015

Bernie Sanders is a socialist.  Yup, I said it.  Apparently Karl Marx thought that Socialism leads to Communism (as is the USSR – Union of Soviet Socialist Republic)  or Naziism, which was headed the the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  But the opposite seems to be true.  Both Naziism and the Soviet Union have died, although certainly Vladimir Putin is trying to get Russia back to the the “good ole’ days” of the Soviet Empire.

But the fact of the matter is there is a big difference between tyrannical socialism and democratic socialism.  Sanders is more of the latter, and there are many countries in Europe that seem to be pretty good examples of not falling for Soviet or Nazi tyrannical socialism.  For example, the top 3 happiest countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) are social democracies: Continue Reading »


Why They Don’t Need Heavenly Mother

“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose”, so states the Proclamation on the Family.  “ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”  Many feminists want to talk about her.  The funny thing about this, however, is we have been told that we should not talk about Heavenly Mother.

At a recent Sunstone presentation, however, Marina N. Capella and Christian Anderson questioned whether God is really gendered at all.  In their abstract, they wrote

The Mormon theology of a Heavenly Mother has been widely discussed as a transcendent and empowering doctrine, especially among Mormon feminists. While we recognize that this can be a valuable paradigm for many, this panel will discuss some of its implications. For example, what does a heterosexual god-couple imply for same-gender couples? Would feminizing some attributes through a goddess figure impair the development of those traits in men? Does eternal gender (and associated eternal attributes) abrogate hopes for egalitarian institutions?

They think that God transcends gender.  Here are my notes from their presentation.  They start with 5 main points, and then expand on these points. Continue Reading »


Your Thoughts on Kim Davis

Kim Davis, county clerk in Kentucky, has made headlines with her refusal to issue marriage licenses to both gay and straight couples applying for marriage licenses.  I was surprised to learn that (1) she is a democrat (I’ll bet she has more republican supporters and Democratic haters than any other person in America), and (2), even the Westboro Baptist Church is protesting her!  Noting that she has been married 4 times to 3 different men, the WBC calls her an oath breaker and adulterer, stating “Proud adulterers who divorce/remarry and refuse to call it a sin are no more a WBC member than a proud fag.” Continue Reading »

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Birth of the Devil

Abraham is known as the father of monotheism.  Growing up in a culture of polytheism with both good and bad gods, Abraham declared that there was only one god, YHWH.devil

Egyptologist Kara Cooney has narrated a Discovery Channel series (now on Youtube) has said that archaeological evidence has shown that ancient religions have always been polytheistic, believing that gods had both good and bad characteristics.  (Hinduism pre-dates Judiasm, for example, and some Hindu temples have been dated to 7000 BC, and some claim it might be 20,000 years old.)  However, when people began to be monotheistic, specifically around 3000 years ago, monotheistic believers not only believed in a single God representing all that is good, but made Satan a single individual, encompassing all evil.  Polytheistic gods became personalized in a single devil, rather than countless devils, representing all aspects of evil.  She said, Continue Reading »

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Sunstone Testimonies 2015

I’m a few weeks late with my recap of Sunstone.  The one thing about Sunstone is that you can find all kinds of different sessions, both pro and anti church.  People seem to concentrate on the anti-church presentations, but there are some others I would like to talk about.  The people I have highlighted below bore amazing, strong, powerful testimonies and I would like to dedicate this post to them and their good example to all of us.

Ed Smart

Ed Smart

Ed Smart headlined a group of people who are working to help sex trafficking victims.  The session started with a song and a prayer (unlike some of the other sessions), and Ed briefly discussed some of the experiences of his famous daughter Elizabeth, recounting a time when Elizabeth was cornered in a church bathroom by a woman who asked questions like “You loved Brian David Mitchell, didn’t you?  You miss him, don’t you?”  Ed was furious with this woman’s interrogation of his daughter. Continue Reading »


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