Review of City of Brick and Shadow

The novel by Tim Wirkus, City of Brick and Shadow, is a riveting tale of two missionaries in a sweeping Brazilian slum looking for a missing congregant they had recently baptized. All the characters are well-realized, from the unhappy local Mormons to the woman at the lanchonete to the mysterious Argentine, a kind of Satan figure who rules over Vila Barbosa. Further, the level of description is quite vivid, helping the reader feel like an unwilling visitor to the slum all along the way. In some Read more [...]

Mormonism, Christianity and Queer Politics

Someone recently brought to my attention an atheist post about how "Jesus was not a queer ally," how the writer "can’t take LGBT-affirming Christianity seriously" and "why queer spaces must remain secular." The post covers a lot of important nuances. Looking briefly at my past writings about the intersection between Mormonism and queerness, the someone (who I just met) thought that I might be a good person to critically respond to the above post. Well, besides the fact that I don't really Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Torture Edition!

This week Mormons are in the news again, and not for something terribly flattering. A certain report about the US Government (particularly the CIA) torturing people hit the press, and two of the masterminds behind the torture are faithful Mormons. Noredseariver summed up the problem: "Human Rights Lawyer = Excommunicated; Architect of Brutal Torture Program = Bishop." John C. of By Common Consent unequivocally condemned the moral reasoning behind torture, and invited his fellow members to consider Read more [...]

An Ode to Life and Love: “Free Electricity” by Ryan Rhodes

Everything was suddenly different, but what had just happened would not fall into place in my mind. The circuitry had never been laid for this -- like learning a foreign language. The verbs were reversed with the nouns and the vowels were crashing into the consonants and every adverb and adjective had turned into a jumbling semantic puzzle. Everything that happened was like finding a new word for a meaning you had already assigned to something else, and this frantic switch-around exploded the normal. Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Server Failure Edition!

Yes, we had a bit of a server problem. Not here at Main Street Plaza, fortunately! But rather at the ol' day job, the one that pays Main Street Plaza's server bills. It wasn't that big a deal, but... with my other jobs (making sure my kids bathe and get their homework done + throwing social events for visiting colleagues of my husband the professor), a couple hours of unexpected emergency server maintenance on a Sunday makes the difference between having time for my fun hobby of SiOB and not having Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Black Friday Edition!

Sadly, this week world news finally pushed Mormon news off the center stage, with a new reminder that the US justice system has a very serious race problem. Take it away Andrew S: It happened all over again with Mike Brown. I joked once that since I follow the Word of Wisdom (which prohibits alcohol and tobacco), I would never be caught (and shot after) stealing cigarillos. The humor was only to conceal my fear – that no matter what I did, I could never become white and delightsome. I would Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: The Empire Strikes Back Edition!

Last week our beleaguered church was mired in a horrible public-relations fiasco of its own making. Now, what do you think a wealthy corporation with an army of PR hacks would do in this situation? Leave well enough alone? Learn something from their errors? Take the good old-fashioned advice of "When you're in a hole, stop digging"? Heavens, no! Let's take a look at what kinds of damage control LDS Inc. has in store for us! Naturally, President Newsroom decided to provide some context, which MormonThink Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Hitting the fan edition!

Remember how last week I said the leaders of the CoJCoL-dS are wishing they could silently delete the polygamy essays? Well, now I bet some heads are rolling in the PR department in the Church Office Building! Who could have predicted it? The first few essays worked perfectly -- people who wanted to believe the CoJCoL-dS is being forthright (or wanted to debate others about it) had something to point to, and the average member didn't even notice them! Then somehow this last batch went viral in Read more [...]

new survey on gender issues in the LDS Church

A research team made up of a mixture of scholars (see information about them here) is conducting a survey on gender issues in the LDS Church.  They are interested in responses from both current and former Mormons.  Here's a link to the survey.  And, if you can, please pass it along to family and friends who are either current or former LDS. Read more [...]

In other “complaining about stuff on the ‘Naccle” news…

We've been having a lively discussion of some quotes from The Crucible of Doubt, and on the same day that that came up in my reader, some other 'Naccler managed to link to something even worse. Take a gander at this article. The author lists off a bunch of positive learning and growth experiences that come from parenting, but instead of framing them in a positive sense, she flips them around and states them in terms of how horrible non-parents must therefore be. Normally I would save this sort Read more [...]
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