In this article published in a Rutgers law journal, I address the problem with criticizing the effort behind Proposition 8 in California (the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment) as having the backing of religion.
Proposition 8, as you may recall, stripped gays of the right to marry, a civil right granted them by the California Supreme Court. (There has been much debate as to whether marriage is a civil right, and whether the California Supreme Court could have granted a civil right that heterosexuals never had, but I find these arguments specious. Gays had a civil right; Proposition 8 took it away.) A federal court then invalidated Proposition 8, citing the role religion played in getting it passed. Should legislation be invalid because religious folk backed it?
David Twede’s mormonthink.com site is inaccurate in the way it portrays Church involvement in politics and the way it suggests that Romney, as a “high priest”, will need Church approval and get his direction from Church leaders. The Church does not require such approval from its regular members. Continue reading
Mormon apologetics is a form of discourse in the which Latter-day Saint religion is defended against its critics. Apologetics is a part of every major religion.
One of the best-known modern Christian apologists is C.S. Lewis. Lewis was a medievalist who taught at Oxford. He was a lay Anglican. Lewis tried to present a reasonable theory of the legitimacy of Christianity with several published works. I have read some of his works. My favorite is God in the Dock. Continue reading
One of my favorite books is John L. Sorenson’s An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Deseret Books: 1985). It has forwards by three men I greatly admire, two of whom were professors of mine and one of whom I worked for at BYU. I’ve probably read Ancient American Setting (which I sometimes have caustically referred to it as “Ancient America Speaks” after a very questionable film of the 1970s) three or four times.
OK, I’m not much of a political junkie. But Mitt’s great-grandmother and great-grandmother are my great-great grandmother and grandfather, namely, Miles Park Romney and Hannah Hood Hill. That makes me a second cousin once removed. My mother was a Romney, and one of my sons Romney as a middle name.
Until recently, I have been a Democrat. I threw my money last time at Rudy and Hillary. I switched to the Republicans a couple of years ago; it has something to do with the uncertainty of being a Libertarian. Continue reading
I’m not really qualified to muse on the recent demise of the FARMS Review, an academic rag established to publish pieces about Mormon doctrine and history. Although having published in it twice in Mountain Meadows Massacre topics, I am not an insider. As an avid reader, a financial contributor, and a follower of each publication, however, I think I might spew forth as well as any.
Jack Welch founded FARMS in the 1970s while he was an associate at a large law firm in Los Angeles. Welch was trained classically. He had knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. He was fluent in German, the language in which much has been written in Biblical studies. Welch’s view was to create a non-profit foundation which would study the Book of Mormon in the context of its contemporary ancient environment.
Why am I interested in the Mountain Meadows Massacre?
In 1857, approximately 50 members of the Mormon Church converged in a lonely valley in Southern Utah to exact vengeance upon approximately 140 members of an Arkansas wagon train. Their excuses surfaced as the years went by and they were rather odd — they thought they were in peril from the United States Army advancing upon them from the east, and they thought the Arkansans provoked them. But, the manner of execution was inexcusable. The Arkansans had been disarmed. All but little children were executed.
“Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret/Him will I put to silence.” (Psalms 101:5 (NIV)). It takes courage to use one’s own name when making posts to internet blogs and websites. Only the coward thinks otherwise.
Matt Roper’s first article in 22 FR 2 is a tempest in a teapot although it isn’t really Bro. Roper’s teapot and it is hard to fault him for jumping into the tempest. I can summarize the dispute between Meldrum/Porter and Maxell Institute scholars in three sentences, but the dispute really defies such easy summary. Continue reading
Will’s fundamental and monumental error in his 2002 book, Blood of the Prophets, is to follow Juanita Brooks’ lead and argue that the Department of Justice and the LDS Church cut a deal to scapegoat John D. Lee in return for an understanding that nobody else would be prosecuted. Many of you know that I have reviewed that work extensively in a published piece, here. This brief article highlights some of the more interesting gaffes.