State of the Union 2015: How to Watch

The State of the Union is Tuesday night, starting at 9 PM Eastern/6 PM Pacific. My preferred way of watching the last few years has been the White House's enhanced feed: it includes infographics and excludes pundits. We'll also be live-tweeting from @MormonPress. But if you want some other ways, C-SPAN has a nice undiluted feed, though it can be slow due to the heavy traffic, and all the major broadcast and cable news channels are also showing it, which means three things:

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If Ye Are Not One, Ye Are Not Mine

A fellow ward member who is African-American related to me recently that several years ago he and his wife felt impressed to move their family to Utah County even though they knew they would stick out among the vast majority of residents.  Moreover, repeatedly he has been offered better jobs elsewhere and he and his wife have considered moving, but again have felt impressed to stay where they are.

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The War on Kindness


Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and the older I get the more this increases. It’s a time when it just seems a little easier to focus on happy thoughts, family, loving our fellow human beings, and, for those of us who are Christians, the Savior.

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Why this Mormon Stands with Ferguson

Imagine that Mormon missionaries were killed and abused by police on a regular basis.

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Latter-Day Saints Should Applaud Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

President Uchtdorf Speaking to President ObamaLast week, President Obama announced that because of Congress’s failure to pass a bipartisan immigration reform bill, he is taking executive action to help improve our badly broken immigration system. At the same time, Obama acknowledged that his executive action would not solve all of our immigration challenges and that only new legislation would provide a comprehensive solution. Notwithstanding the fact that many previous Republican presidents used executive actions to reform our nation’s immigration policies, Republicans predictably responded to President Obama’s action with outrage, even though it was House Republicans who purposely stalled on taking up immigration reform after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan reform bill in 2013. Among those expressing disdain for the President’s actions are Mormon conservatives. However, if those conservatives understood the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on immigration reform, they would applaud the President’s initiative.

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The Problem and Opportunity with Bishop Paredes' Blog Post

Last week, Peggy Fletcher Stack, religion editor for the Salt Lake Tribune, approached me about commenting on a Los Angeles area LDS bishop who had written a blog post about Harry Reid.  Peggy asked me to comment because I have just written a book - The Liberal Soul: Applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Politics - that was published by Greg Kofford Books.  In the book, I address the issue of intolerance within the Church and the assumption that if one is a Democrat, faithfulness in the Church cannot co-exist.

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Of Bishops and Blamelessness


Mark Paredes has offended me. 

I don’t know Mark Paredes.  Until this weekend, I’d never heard of Mark Paredes, and in the great eternal scheme of things, what Mark Paredes does or says or thinks or writes shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference to me.  But offend me he has, and in the spirit of the Lord’s counsel in Doctrine and Covenants 42:90-91, I offer this brief but public chastening to my offending brother.

I’m offended, but not for the reason you think.

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When the Bishop Goes Rogue

Hugh B. Brown once said, “Beware of those who feel obliged to prove their own patriotism by calling into question the loyalty of others."

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A Bishop's Political Judgement

Recently an over-zealous LDS bishop wrote an op-ed piece which sparked some debate in the Mormon progressive community. Given the man’s position and the use of political questions as a litmus test for temple worthiness, a discussion has emerged around the separation of politics and LDS Church doctrine. Instead of writing an unproductive response to the bishop calling into question conservative platforms that are blatantly anti-Christian, I am instead addressing one of the article’s attacks; Democrat’s pro-choice position. As a proud progressive, I also feel the discussion should center on facts, data, and historical significance, and not arrogantly challenging people’s religious worthiness due to disagreement.  In defense of Democrat’s pro-choice position, here are some points to consider:

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The Calm Before the Storm

So we lost the Senate. Yea, it hurts. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. And get ready for the storm – the real storm -- coming in two years. You know, the political storm where Democrats take back the Senate and retain the White House. No, I’m not being overly optimistic. No, I am not riding on dancing unicorns jumping through candy-covered rainbows. I am saddled on a brute horse charging through the political lines of defeat. The Electoral College is on our side. The popular vote is on our side. The Senatorial election map is on our side. 2014 will be a contest quickly forgotten and 2016 will be our triumphant return to Rome.

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