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Rational Faiths
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"[Brigham], it is my church as much as it is yours" - Robert Gardner to Brigham Young
"[Brigham], it is my church as much as it is yours" - Robert Gardner to Brigham Young

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"But what if we imagine that a slice of those fears–just a tiny fraction, buried deep enough in their psyches that even they aren’t conscious of it–is the fear that Jesus’ empty tomb is the sum total of the most unspeakable horror that humankind could ever be confronted with? Something so horrible that we have taught ourselves over many millennia to desire it above all other things in order to avoid a truth so terrifying that truly contemplating it could drive us mad? Which is: Life will go on." Jacob Baker asks what it might mean to seriously contemplate living forever.

"But what if we imagine that a slice of those fears–just a tiny fraction, buried deep enough in their psyches that even they aren’t conscious of it–is the fear that Jesus’ empty tomb is the sum total of the most unspeakable horror that humankind could…

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"Since men are the primary builders, maintainers, and supporters of these institutions--and particularly because men are overwhelmingly those who sexually assault--what they believe about rape and rapists is particularly important. I think these often include false beliefs about the equivalency of rape with sex, which allows responsibility to be imputed to victims, having the effect of both traumatizing victims further but also in softening responses to rapists." --- Jacob Baker considers the possible logic underlying male beliefs about sex and rape.

Since men are the primary builders, maintainers, and supporters of these institutions--and particularly because men are overwhelmingly those who sexually assault--what they believe about rape and rapists is particularly important. I think these often…

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"...Rainbows, then, are a symbol which Mormons and the queer community share..." --- David Delbar reminds us of all the wonderful meanings of the rainbow.

With the advent of June comes LGBT pride month. It’s a time of celebration, of scantily clad bodies, of liberation, and of rainbows. This tradition has penetrated even into the heart of Mormondom, so that the spires of the great Salt Lake Temple can…

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"Whereas the premodern and modern paradigms are vertical and hierarchical, the postmodern paradigm is radically horizontal and decentralized. What might Mormon religious authority look like as it adapts to a postmodern environment?" -- Benjamin Knoll provides a preview of how postmodernism might influence and alter contemporary conceptions of religious authority.

My past two posts (here and here) have given an overview of the differences between premodern, modern, and postmodern religious institutions in terms of their structure, organization, and concepts of identity. To review, I summarized the differences like…

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"Joseph Smith is human and was convicted of a crime. It is time for everyone to drop the claim he never was convicted and treat him as he truly was, a complex man who made mistakes, and in this case, took responsibility for them." -- Guest author John Dinger documents an altercation between Walter Bagby and Joseph Smith and its legal resolution.

For decades historians, apologists, and anti-Mormons have been debating this very question: was Joseph Smith ever convicted of a crime? While there have been discussions on this topic since the beginnings of Mormonism, the debate really got started in the…

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The Seeing Eye Dog, Commenting on recent Commentary

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"I like the idea of a God who manages my affairs by making things happen or preventing them to keep me safe and happy. I can find comfort in that. However, I can’t abide a God who does that for one person and not another. I can't find comfort in that God."

I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I’m the first person to ask this kind of question. I’m sure everyone reading this has had these same thoughts. So, help me out here. Help me pin this practice down. I don’t understand why we claim there is power in…

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"...This good has been conflated with white supremacy in prophesy, biblical imagery and use of the bible. We see its manifestation in frequent connections made between the settlement of North America by Europeans and the conquest of Canaan. The actions of both were justified within their respective groups by the creation of the Other. Prophesy, in the context of conquest and domination, favors the group which effectively marginalizes the opposite group." --Janan Graham-Russell discusses blackness, whiteness and the prophetic vision in The Racialization of Prophesy

America long ago fell in love with an image. It is a sacred image, fashioned over centuries of time: this image of the unharried, unconcerned, gladulatory, simple, rhythmical, amoral, dark creature…It was created, and it persists, to provide a personified…

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"...The first step in loving someone is to understand where they are coming from..." --Jeff Swift asks about his trans* neighbors

Love your neighbor as yourself –Jesus The Savior’s teachings were clear, but their applications are not always so clear. One thing I do know, however, is that the first step in loving someone is to understand where they are coming from. This post will be…

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"...But how could I be gay? I didn’t think this happened to obedient Mormons. I opened up to my husband not long after my discovery..." --- Jena writes about being Mormon and discovering she is gay.

Note: This blog post first appeared on Jena’s personal blog, Authentic Jena. on April 23, 2016 I’m not sure what’s more awkward, me wearing dangly earings and lipstick, or me standing up here in front of all of you. Growing up I was a pretty athletic…
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