Monday, July 27, 2015

Mormons React to the BSA Allowing Gay Leaders (or, Idolatry in the 21st Century)

An unedited sample of comments on the Mormon Newsroom's Facebook link to the church's statement on the Boy Scouts' decision to allow openly gay leaders:
"I will as well support the decisions of my Church Leadres." 
"I support the Church" 
"I will agree with whatever decision the church decides.I am a latter day Saint and I love my church and it's leaders" 
"Follow the prophet, that's what I'm going to do!!"
"Stay with the church teachings" 
"Thank full for prophets and other inspired men who lead with honor and authority!" 
"As a member of the Church, I will support their decision" 
"Thankful that the Church is reevaluating what has become a thorn in our side. Have confidence that whatever they decide will be done correctly." 
"I support what the church decides to do" 
"Out leaders will do what's right, for this reason I am so thankful for inspired leaders who do not decided from Truth and right with love and dignity shown to all"

Monday, July 6, 2015

My New Best Friend: Gordon Cynthia Churchill (Written by Me at Age 14)

Update: I originally wrote that this was written around age 8 after I misread folder labeled "third period" as "third grade." In fact, this came from Junior High. I was a precocious kid, but not that precocious.

Tonight I was going through a box of old documents from school when I came across this paper, written by me at age 15 or 16, apparently for an assignment to write about an imaginary friend. It seems worth sharing, if only because the profound weirdness entertains my 30 year old self. I now present it fully transcribed and without significant edits, for your...whatever it is you get out of reading this blog.

Gordon Churchill is my new best friend. He is a 55 year old deadbeat living in a trailer home with his mother Cynthia, his cat Muffykins, and his mom's current boyfriend Antonio. His dad joined congress when he was young, and has not been seen since. He has no job, although he once briefly held the position of assistant regurgitation engineer in a Turkish vomitorium (he never told me what he was doing in Turkey). Currently, he makes his living turning in Pepsi cans to grocery stores, suing corporations for trivial injuries and annoyances, collecting welfare, unemployment, and mooching money off of Cynthia (he calls her by her first name, by the way).

He is aware of his financial turmoil, and currently plans to start his business venture, the "Disco Copying Center," as soon as he can get money to rent space, hire employees, buy copiers, buy a disco ball, and order every Bee Gees album ever released. Says Gordon, "I am confident that the Disco Copying Center will take the fire away from Xerox and Staples, and make me rich!" Says Cynthia, "Take out the **** garbage NOW before I skin your *********** and **** it to the **** before they ***** with your loser father!" Once Gordon starts Disco Copying, he plans to live there also.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

On Freedom

This Independence Day, I've been thinking a lot about freedom. Freedom is an abstract concept and easy to twist to whatever your personal definition may be, but bear with me as I play with the definition to serve the purposes of this post.

Freedom is being free, right? If you are a free person, you can go do basically whatever you'd like today as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. You probably have a few options of what to do today including barbecuing, watching Netflix, going on a walk, and watching fireworks later tonight. In the United States, certain freedoms are enumerated in Bill of Rights. We have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to petition government, freedom to assemble, and a number of other such freedoms that make America THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Some Thoughts on (Shudder) Matt Walsh

A spectre is haunting social media. The spectre...of an acerbic right-wing Christian blogger named Matt Walsh. If your Facebook feeds are anything like mine, it's entirely likely that you've come across Walsh at some point. His chest-puffing, bible-thumping, liberal-bashing rhetoric propelled him from being just another blogger to landing a gig on The Blaze in a very short time period, making him a darling of right-wing social conservatives and a sworn enemy of liberals, feminists, and social justice advocates.

However, I'm not really interested in Walsh per se. I find his writing, such as I've read, narrow, superficial, and lacking in empathy, mostly just a waste of time. I don't think he's a troll, insofar as he's apparently quite sincere about his beliefs; he's just sort of an ass. But that applies to plenty of writers on the internet. What's more interesting is that over and over again I see people, many of them left-leaning, sharing his posts. I have no data for this, but compared to other conservative bloggers Walsh seems to dominate social media, both from people singing his praises and others ruthlessly mocking him.

Matt Walsh the blogger, thankfully, has nothing to do with Matt Walsh the actor, who is a national treasure.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Complicating Motherhood: 4 Important Examples to Consider

Mother's Day is upon us, which means it's time for a serious discussion of mothers, motherhood, mothering, and other suffixes as well.

As you know, motherhood is important, but also mysterious and complex, like Jon Snow or a Comcast remote control. To respect that fact, I compiled a quick list of things to provide a more thoughtful and nuanced take on motherhood that is very deep and also important.

1. Mother Teresa: Not who she appeared to be

Not a mother. Not a Teresa. Not for America.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Baptism is Not Wedding Prep for Little Girls

Okay, first things first, my disclaimer:

Beware, all ye who read this. I would like you to read this because I believe it is important, but please consider what you read for a few minutes before responding, and definitely read the entire post, especially if it makes you angry, because this is my feminist rant about LDS baptismal traditions.

Before I am accused of being apostate: I do think that 8 year olds are capable of making the decision to be baptized, I do think they shouldn't feel pressure to choose it, and I definitely think that it is an important step to make in one's religious journey.

I do not, however, think that little girls who are only just becoming capable of making their own decisions should be led to believe in any way that baptism is the last big step before marriage. (Read on, angry reader. Read on.)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Are You Defending The Family Enough? Take Take This Quiz and Find Out!

Faithful Latter-day Saints and good Christians everywhere know that The Family is under attack as it has never before been. Indeed, The Family is in such dire straights that people struggling with same sex attraction are trying to form their own families, often cheered on by governments, scholars, feminists, and (obviously) Satan. This grave, dire, and definitely real threat to religious liberty and Christian values means it is our sacred duty to defend The Family by attacking all who would destroy it.

But how do you know you're doing enough to defend The Family? This short quiz is here to help!

The biggest threat to The Family today is:
A) Gay people getting married
B) Child poverty, abuse, human trafficking, warfare etc, but mostly gay people getting married

Which of the following happy Caucasian families with 2.5 children dressed in modest earth tones is most appropriate for creating an uplifting meme about The Family?

Friday, March 27, 2015

10 Mormon Newsroom headlines we all expect to see (but never will)

You and I both know the Mormon Newsroom as America's real journal of record, but despite so many high-quality press releases descending on its pages as the dews of Carmel, I feel like there are some headlines I keep expecting (or hoping) to see but never do.

Well, if the greatest new organization of our generation cannot fill that need, I guess it's up to people like me to do so using the most important weapon in a non-journalist's arsenal: my own twisted imagination.

-- -- --

New missionary age limits announced: elders may serve at age eighteen, sisters at not eighteen
Church members laud the move as both a step towards, and away from, gender equality

-- -- --

Typo in First Presidency letter results in radical new calling: 'Skate President' presides, directs, pulls off wicked frontside ollies
"We need to discuss your temple worthiness."
-- -- --
(continued after the jump)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kindness, or Why I'm a Huge Fan of Taylor Swift

At the outset of this year I made one New Years' Resolution, and I'd like to share it with the faithful readers. For my resolution I have chosen two people whom I greatly admire and would like to emulate. My first choice was obvious; I want to be more like the pope. Pope Francis has become a daily inspiration to the world, Catholics and otherwise, making him an obvious choice of a strong, Christlike person whom I could use as a good example of how to live my life with more empathy, understanding, and love.

Four for you, Pope Francis! You go Pope Francis. via

My second choice is perhaps less obvious, and the inspiration for writing this post. The other person I want to become more like is Taylor Swift.