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.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Few Thoughts on Polygamy, Its Discontents, and Its Weirdest Defenders

I recently read a post over at kiwimormon about an LDS man facing some kind of church discipline for writing an essay arguing that the historical Mormon practice of polygamy was not doctrinal. I don't know the guy and I want to be sensitive to what sounds like a difficult situation, so I won't comment more on that, but it got me thinking about the practice we Mormonfolk call plural marriage. For starters, I thought about how much I dislike that euphemism, so I'll just call it polygamy.*

My position on polygamy is straightforward: Not gonna do it. Not now, not ever. If the President of the Church ever personally asked me to practice it, I would politely invite him to go to hell. If an angel visited me at night with a flaming sword, I like to think I'd grab my wife's Legend of Zelda Master Sword replica and at least go down with a fight.

Or just have my wife fight the battle for me. She's pretty great.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The 8 Kinds of Liberals on The Internet

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I'm a left-leaning kind of guy. Most of my friends are liberals, too. So it is with deep and sincere regret that I must drag all of us through the mud as I exhaustively categorize the kinds of liberals I see most often on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.

You might argue that this list is reductive, unfair, and even offensive. You're probably right.

The Watchdog

If a conservative somewhere says something ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic, or just basically conservative, the watchdog knows and immediately announces it to the world (by which I mean, Facebook friends) with appropriate disdain. Spends hours trawling blogs and media outlets (or at least liberal watchdog sites) looking for links to post, lest you forget for one second how awful, awful, awful conservatives are.

Most likely to post a link from: Breitbart (with scorn)

Conservatives beware; the watchdog misses nothing

Monday, February 16, 2015

Celebrating Presidents Day by Ranking Presidential Portraits

One day you will die and be forgotten.

Sorry, not a very good introduction. Let me try again.

Happy Presidents Day! Officially celebrated as George Washington's birthday, P-day is the day when we celebrate...having a president and being American, I guess. Or having the day off if you're a banker or a government employee. Or having to put out inventory and work harder if you're in retail.

Anyway, one day you will die and be forgotten.

But not if you're an American President! Then, you'll be forever immortalized by an official portrait, which will be hung forever in the hallowed halls of...the White House, I assume? The point is, some portraits are really good. Some are not. Here's a list dedicated to counting down the ten best and worst.

The Best Presidential Portraits


10. Thomas Jefferson


Simple, elegant, and also is it weird that I kind of think Jefferson looks a little like Liam Neeson here? Is that just me? Yes? Okay, fine. Moving along.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sleater-Kinney Is A Great ROCK Band. Here's Why.

About a week ago I saw Sleater-Kinney at The Depot in Salt Lake City. The rock-punk* trio played a helluva show--only their third after a nine-year hiatus--and I'm going to tell you why, if you don't already know them, they should be one of your favorite bands right now.

Meet your new favorite band. Carrie Brownstein (of Portlandia fame) on guitar/vocals, Janet Weiss on drums, Corin Tucker on guitar/vocals.

For one thing, Sleater-Kinney is awesome because they're all-female and unapologetically feminist. Check out this interview for a taste of that. Second, they ROCK. Third, analysis is stupid so just listen to these songs:

1. No Cities to Love


The lead single from their latest album of the same name, this is a good intro to Sleater-Kinney because it features some celebrities. The song is hella catchy, too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

On The Legend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbender

A little while back the wonderful Nickelodeon cartoon The Legend of Korra ended its four-year run. Korra and its predecessor, the equally fantastic Avatar: The Last Airbender, represent high points in American animation and kids/young adult entertainment that can, and should also be appreciated by adults. Plenty has already been written about Avatar's boisterous energy and Korra's nuanced female characters and rich animation, so instead I want to talk about some of Korra and Avatar's larger political themes. I think both stories, taken as a whole, have useful things to say about modernity, (lack of) control, and the usefulness of being able to lob enormous boulders at your enemies with the flick of a wrist.

For people who haven't watched the shows (you really should), I'll address some minor spoilers that mostly amount to "the good guys win." Hopefully you feel inspired to seek out and watch both Avatar and Korra when I'm finished.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Songs of Mormonism, Part I

We're happy to welcome EOR to the fold here at Expert Textperts. We're still not sure exactly why anybody would want to besmirch their good name by writing here, but we're not going to complain.

The other night I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and somehow (don’t ask me because I couldn’t tell you) I wound up at the 1982 Tony Awards performance of “And I am Telling You” from Dreamgirls. The scene itself is of course designed to evoke powerful emotion on poor Effie’s behalf—what that emotion is must be determined by the viewer.