Yesterday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints drew a line in the sand for children of same-sex couples denying them membership and inclusion in their church.
Typically considered a grassroots movement of conservative Catholics, evangelicals, and Mormons, and the political organizations that mobilized their efforts in the 1970s and 1980s, the Religious Right's intellectual and ideological origins trace back further into the twentieth century.
Telling women who have prepared all their lives to be good mothers, wives, and Relief Society Presidents that they are expected now to do more work within the church without being paid and without much thanks is not liberation, not really.
While we all anticipated his musical performances to be awe-inspiring, I don't think any of us were ready for the fierce realness he brought to the stage that night during his speech.
One does not have to be a Mormon Elder, a Mormon, a believer, to find reason to listen. Nor would Oaks expect everyone to agree with his every line. He is starting a conversation, which is the most subversive thing to do among people who want to prosecute a culture war over religion.
For five days members of the most diverse religions not only co-existed, but created community together. How was this possible? There was no proselytizing. And the conversation was intentionally inclusive.
For more than two thousand years, some people, inspired perhaps by Diogenes the Cynic (ca. 412-323 B.C.E.), have made fun of burial practices and monuments.
Almost every religion looks bad when forced to deal with the criticism of atheists. But almost every religion can be improved by taking these criticisms seriously.
Because of the way the Mormon Church works, you're either with them 100 percent on everything or you're out. If you are LGB or T and act on it, then you will be excommunicated, your name will be removed from Church records and you're no longer a member.
My parents moved us to Utah when I was ten, and there I became so used to the Mormon habit of not swearing that even into my twenties when I was in graduate school, I struggled with books and movies that I was required to watch/read for my studies that had bad language in them.
The words Black, White, and Mormon are all important parts of my identity, they were also the title of a conference recently held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The conference attempted to create a platform for a critical conversation; the intersection of race and the LDS church.
We Mormons often find ourselves explaining to people why we can't drink alcohol, coffee, or tea and why we don't smoke. It's part of a revelation that the prophet Joseph Smith had called "The Word of Wisdom" which is part of Mormon scripture.
All of our 12 apostles are white, our nine female auxiliary leaders are white, and most of the members of the Quorum of the Seventy are white.
Explorers come in all shapes and flavors. From the Vikings to the Spanish conquistadors; from the Portuguese to the English, those with restless souls who craved adventure found it difficult to resist a challenge.
When it comes to tackling hard questions about Mormonism, gender, and equality, real leadership has come from Mormon women.
Of course, I cannot speak for every Mormon woman. Each of us has a different experience, but here are a few of the experiences which I think unite us. I hope that this make us as a whole a little less mysterious to outsiders, and perhaps even to the Mormon men who think they know us so well.