Atheists: Less Crime, Less Vengeance, Less Racism

Check out this article in the LA Times about Secular Family Values and how great they are. It's a few months old, but worth reading and relevant to many conversations held here. The conclusion will reassure many MSP readers: Being a secular parent and something of an expert on secular culture, I know well the angst many secular Americans experience when they can't help but wonder: Could I possibly be making a mistake by raising my children without religion? The unequivocal answer is no. Children Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Another day, another excommunication edition!

This time it's Marisa and Carson Calderwood: We have received the decision from our Stake Presidency about our disciplinary court and it states that we are apostates. This is a title we wear with honor! Yes, we are apostates! We are proud to have been kicked out of an organization that values obedience over truth finding. We love our Mormon family and friends and recognize that there are many good things in Mormonism, but if it chooses to value certain things that we are morally opposed to, Read more [...]

Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator: “It’s like religion. Believe what you want. Get out of it what you want.”

I loathe the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator with a fiery passion that is totally dormant as long as nothing reminds me of the test’s existence, which is how I prefer things. Once aroused, the fervor of my loathing takes a while to die down, which is why I’m blogging about it now: this week brought the test to my attention quite a few times. One way was that on Facebook, a bunch of people were posting this thingy defining the different types of hell for each Myers-Briggs type. (As I say in the Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Survey says edition!

This week's Mormon news item is one where I can give the CoJCoL-dS some real praise! Setting a good example for drought behavoir, they let the temple lawn go brown. You can probably guess what happened next... Perhaps you've heard about the new Pew Study on American religious trends, showing the shrinkage of Christianity. The whole thing provides an amusing example of the problems with journalism with an ideological spin. It looks like the CoJCoL-dS peaked with Gen-X, but the faithful Mormons Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Season for the reason edition!

Yes, earlier this week, we celebrated the National Day of Reason, and now today we celebrate the hand-wringingest holiday on the Mormon liturgical calendar: Mother's Day!! Let's have a look at this year's rendition of this yearly spectacle: If you have all the mothers stand up to receive a gift it’s salt in the wound for the childless/single; so you have all women stand, but what’s the age cut off? 18? 16? I heard one ward gave cookies to every girl in the ward (including Primary) because Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness:

It's been a slow week in Mormon news. The biggest item seems to be that you can now pay your tithing online (though you still can't keep the amount confidential from your local leaders). Remember, tithing is basically the most important thing to do. Oh, and don't criticize the leaders, especially not with funny memes. Still no moral guidance from the prophet on complicated issues like race riots, but -- to be fair -- everyone knows the public would rather hear about lighter issues. OTOH, apparently Read more [...]

Final religious amicus brief on US same-sex marriage

I've been following the same-sex marriage debate on the legal front since the days of Prop 8. In 2010, Judge Walker gave his damning ruling that "a gender restriction on marriage is nothing more than an artifact of a foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic life." Such language struck at the heart of the patriarchy in the positions of maintaining opposite-gender marriage only. The Catholic, Mormon and conservative Protestant faiths do not permit female ordination; because Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Changing of the guard edition!

The CoJCoL-dS has a very interesting way of including God in the process of deciding who gets to be the next supreme leader: of the eligible prophets, seers, and revelators, the president is the one with the most seniority that God hasn't killed. Yet. Now it looks like God is getting ready to retire some leaders. Unfortunately, this system makes it a little creepy and morbid to do something completely ordinary like pick your favorite new leaders or calculate whether your favorite might win. (For Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Opposition Edition!

What's up with those who voted "opposed" in conference? Maybe this interview will help explain it. One person who participated (in spirit) described some reasons: My main issue is that the church needs to have a way for the average member to bring up an issue without being demonized. He said there is a way. Bishop first. Then Stake President. I countered with "But my issues are treatment of LGBT people and no financial transparency and gender inequality issues. How can you help with that?" I also Read more [...]

Sunday in Outer Blogness: Conference Review Edition!

General Conference was last weekend, so this SiOB is the traditional wrap-up of the commentary after everyone's digested it a bit. Especially the nardoo: My faith is starving, full of nutritionless spiritual nardoo but too weak to stand, and I’m scared that our tiny baby steps of progress—women praying in General Conference; pictures of women leaders hanging in the Conference Center— can’t cross the desert fast enough to feed me. This is a crisis of faith too, as it ultimately means my Read more [...]
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