Knowing Emma and Joseph’s History: A Response to the Speculative Essay on Early Polygamy– Alison Udall

It was really enjoyable to work my way through this. This is the first response I've done with these new church essays since I had read enough to be able to notice things that I recognized were missing, or implications that were being made that felt incomplete or inaccurate. As a result of this knowledge, I was surprised at how carefully this was written and what they choose to include and not. It bothered me more than I thought it would....as it was a recent example of what I feel is an attempt Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Polygamapalooza Edition!

Wow!! The anonymous-yet-official mysterious oracle of the CoJC0L-dS has just officially admitted that Joseph Smith married multiple women, including teenagers and other men's wives! And other interesting stuff about Mormon polygamy! This is big news because bringing up any of these fact (true and well-established as they are) has traditionally been enough to get you branded "anti-Mormon"! So it looks like lds.org (the official website of the CoJCoL-dS) is now an anti-Mormon website. And, while it's Read more [...]

Have something to say about “The Book of Mormon” musical?

For the past few years, a colleague and I have been working to compile a collection of scholarly essays about “The Book of Mormon” musical. We’ve got a signed contract with a press and some really great essays, but there’s room for one or two more. If you have an idea for an essay of 4,000 to 6,000 words critiquing the BOM musical from any discipline, send an abstract ASAP to: bom.musical.interp @ gmail.

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Sunday in Outer Blogness: Women’s Session Edition!

This week's Mormon news of the weird was the confusion over whether the women's session was an actual session of General Conference. Some GAs said yes, some no, until the invisible hand of correlation swept away the statements it deemed to be wrong. You might notice that the same logic that the church website oracle uses to override past prophets (to explain the ordination of black men) can also be used to argue for the ordination of women. But beware! Comparing the current CoJCoL-dS (unfavorably) Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Meet the Mormons Edition!

It has been a big week for shameless astro-turfing, as the new infomercial on Mormons hit the theaters! Members were encouraged to go see it or at least buy tickets -- tithing deductible!! Despite the star power of the Mormon elite and the church's famed information control, they haven't convinced the public that it's a real movie. Fortunately, there was some happier news this week as marriage equality hit Utah! The CoCJoL-dS has officially conceded defeat on this issue. This affected folks from Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Countdown to Conference Commentary Edition!

Today my RSS reader was full of open threads and live-blogging of General Conference! While some commentary and especially laughs are already rolling in, experience tells me that if anything interesting at all gets said at conference, the awesome/exciting conference commentary will be next week's SiOB. (The most exciting things so far have been that some women attended satellite sessions of priesthood, plus another predictable PR blunder from the CoJCoL-dS.) And if nothing interesting gets said, Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Ninja polygamist modesty edition!

This week's Mormon news-of-the-weird was the ninja polygamist sister wives. (Actual satire can't compare.) Then there was the assault of the out-of-control dress codes in Utah high schools and LDS universities. Pat Bagley nailed it. The modesty obsession highlights an unhelpful focus on appearances and does psychological harm to victims of sexual assault: I want them to be taught to dress and act like ladies. To be respectful of their bodies and treat them like the temples and Godly gifts Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Short and fun edition!

It was a bit of a light news week in Mormon-land -- no crazy scandals to get everyone riled up. Perhaps the worst of it was the super-wealthy Marriotts' tacit admission that they underpay their cleaning staff. So lots of people blogged about random life stuff like a gay dad at his gay son's wedding, tossing out religious books, trying to get a job, visiting Athens, explaining entropy, and photographing flowers! Of course the CoJCoL-dS provided some discussion fodder with more emphasis on dress Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: A little bit of equality edition!

This week's news in Mormon land was this odd talk by Ballard: Here is a very good illustrated version of it. In essence, it's important to have women's input in council meetings -- but not too much! Which naturally leads to the question how much is too much? And why are women consigned to an "auxiliary"? Why the second-class role instead of equality? Meanwhile, the atheist movement has its own problems with institutionalized sexism -- which I personally posted a righteous rant about. Will Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Judgment edition!

This weeks topic was judging. For stuff like the pictures you post to Facebook and surfing the web while watching your kids at the park. And taking it to the next level: shunning. (And someone finally asked the question about BYU that I've always wondered about!) Who's not pat of the fold is the ever-present question. Sadly, while the CoCJoL-dS can excommunicate people for apostasy (however arbitrarily), they can't seem to define it. Maybe Rock's book will help. Or this week's Old Testament Lesson: However, Read more [...]
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