Everybody‘s talking about the big news items this week: Secularism is rising dramatically in the U.S., and HBO is showing the Mormon temple ceremony! Let’s have a look:
There have been so many posts about this “Big Love” temple endowment episode, that I can hardly begin to organize them! It seems like not only did all of Outer Blogness post about it, but every Bloggernacle blog has posted about it at least twice! And — via The Mormon Curtain — it looks like exmormon.org‘s RfM forum has run a whole extensive series of articles about it! But, since I like a good challenge, I’m going to try my hand at grouping the discussion into themes:
First of all, there are those who join HBO in thanking the LDS Church for so much free publicity! See here, here, here, and here. Then there’s the battle over whose public statement is more ridiculous: HBO’s non-apology or the LDS Newsroom’s petulant response, see here, here, here, and here. Many waxed philosophical, asking why it’s a problem to portray the endowment, see here, here, here, here, here, and here. Some were inspired to contemplate some original tangents, see here and here. Some pointed out that what goes around comes around *cough* invalidating other people’s marriages *cough*, see here and here. And many people were inspired to share their own temple experiences, see here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Personally, I thought the American Religious Identification Survey news was more interesting, as you can see from my post about being out (as atheist) at Work. Andrew S. wrote a follow-up about religious identity and the battle of wills. Chino Blanco reminds the press about how fast the LDS chruch really is growing (or not). And Chris Smith muses about whether American Christianity can survive and find a balance between theological liberalism and fundamentalism:
Studies have shown that successful religion must be morally and epistemically demanding on the one hand and in touch with people’s basic assumptions and identity on the other. Theological liberalism fails on the former count, while Fundamentalism increasingly founders on the latter. The problem is that when Christianity brings itself in line with the emerging American identity by ejecting its anti-scientism and its intolerance, it does so only at the expense of the foundation of biblical authority. Christians who have made this move have had trouble identifying any alternative ground for religious conviction or ethical compulsion other than the grounds offered by secular humanists.
Whew, that’s this week’s news discussion! I can’t wait to see what happens between now and next week!