Critical Religion Theory

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Integral to this identity is my history.  My past is also linked to the suffering of my ancestors at the hands of mobs in Missouri and Illinois.  I spent a summer as a performing missionary in Nauvoo singing about the trials and my ancestors went through.  The tiny graves; the mothers giving birth on the trail; the frostbitten toes; the bruised and broken bones - but not broken Spirits.  The original words to the hymn Praise to the Man - a hymn glorifying Joseph Smith's deeds and martyrdom - have a verse in which millions sang, "long shall his blood which was shed by assassins, Stain Illinois, while the earth lauds his fame."  This persecution is built into every piece of the history of my religion.  It is part of our culture as Latter-day Saints.

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Leading Out In Racial Justice

October of last year, President Nelson looked straight into the camera and said, "Listen carefully to what I am about to say."  That got my attention.  If I wasn't listening before, I was definitely listening at this point.  He went on to say that members of the church should "lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice."  At another point in the talk he said that he pleads with us to, "promote respect for all God's Children."

So how do we do that?

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The Verdict

January 6th was a day I don’t think any of us will forget for as long as we live. Indeed it is a day that will live in infamy. The first deadly transfer of power in United States history. No longer can we say that we, "always have a peaceful transfer of power" here. The violence was real. It was terrible. It threatened our entire system of government.

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An Electoral Jeremiad

O Ye Fair Ones, ye who profess to belong unto the Church of Jesus Christ, hearken and give ear unto the words which I shall speak against you!

How long will ye call evil good, and good evil?

Sun in orange sky

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Why I am Voting For Joe Biden

A friend messaged me the other day asking for why I am voting for Joe Biden.  Other friends have wondered aloud whether anyone is actually voting FOR Joe Biden or just voting AGAINST Donald Trump. 

I have been passionate about making sure members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints create more space for progressive members of the church or Democrats like myself.  Recently I have been on Facebook sharing opinions about how I think Biden will be a much better president than Trump.

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Yes, Systemic Racism Still Exists

sys•tem•ic sĭ-stĕm′ĭk, -stē′mĭk

adj.        Of or relating to systems or a system.

adj.        Relating to or affecting the entire body or an entire organism.

Today I want to talk about the second definition: Relating to or affecting the entire body or an entire organism.  The body we’ll talk about today is the United States of America.

However, instead of talking about systemic racism in the abstract, I’m going to talk about racism in my own life.   We all know the statistics systemically (% of CEOs, % of wealth, etc).  I want to talk about my own life history with racism.

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The 2020 Republican National Platform


WHEREAS, The Republican Party this year decided to forego the regular debate and process that goes into creating a political platform;

WHEREAS, The Republican Party decided to base all her principles on Donald J. Trump, his rhetoric, and actions;

WHEREAS, The Republican Party decided to also adopt their platform created in 2016; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the following is our de facto platform.

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The Advantages of Being Dishonest in Politics

Dishonest politicians have huge advantages in the political process: they can pick their party and their messaging, and they have significant fundraising advantages. Dishonest politicians work under a quid pro quo, which means large “donors” are really investors. It can take a lot of work and effort on the part of voters to combat these advantages, but voters need to be vigilant in their rejection of dishonest politicians.



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Black in America

I find it difficult to talk about race.  I was born of privilege.  I come from Scottish, Irish, and English ancestry, with a few Germans or other European ancestors mixed in.  My family never owned slaves, as far as I know.  I live in a state with a 1% black population.  I have 2 black Facebook friends, neither of whom I contact regularly.  I am just about as far removed from the plight of my darker skinned brothers and sisters as anyone could be in this country. 

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Why We Weren't Prepared for COVID-19 Part 3

After President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, I think most people in the United States (including me) breathed a sigh of relief. After watching the signs, reading the news, seeing the infected count rise day after day, we needed some leadership at the top. While the performance of his declaration was not spectacular, at least he did it and now the country could get to work on minimizing economic damage and lives lost.

That hope was in vain.

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