Freedom


Peterson Reid

Daniel Peterson, long a conservative political activist, has jettisoned the GOP and joined ranks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a fellow Mormon, to lead the fight for more comprehensive gun control legislation.  Specifically Peterson will labor in Utah, (where he is a professor at The BYU) in an effort to bring some semblance of sanity to Utah’s current gun culture.  When pressed for a comment, Peterson replied: “‘Interpret’ it how you want–but after Mitt’s dismal showing last year and the GOP’s future prospects, I’ve decided to lead a new and more positive, constructive life.”   There have apparently also been discussions of Peterson leaving the newly formed Interpreter A Journal of Mormon Scripture–an online Mormon Apologetic publication–to take a position as the social media editor for Dialogue, a Journal of Mormon Thought.  Neither Peterson, or Kristine Haglund (Dialogue’s current Editor–and shoe fashion guru) could be reached for further comment.

Developing . . .

church_state

Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday published (Mormon stake president gets political at church, laments election results) an unbelievable account of Stake President Matthew DeVisser of a Stake in Sandy UT, delivery his personal political theology  from the pulpit during a stake conference: (more…)

In keeping with a Christmas tradition, I again post The Wall Street Journal’s venerable Christmas Eve Editorial, written by the late Vermont Royster.  May we rejoice in the hope of a brighter future of greater freedom and light for all people made possible by the Birth of the literal Son of God: (more…)

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Time again for the Semi Annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–Mormon General Conference.  LDS Media Talk has a great post with several links on how best to enjoy this year’s October Conference.    There are also several Blogernacle Links where you can follow conference:  Of course there is the By Common Consent Threads–i.e., The One and Only True General Conference Thread (psst–don’t tell them, but they think they’re the only ‘nacle link out there for General Conference).  Chris H over at FPR has an open thread, mingling the philosophies of men, with conference (and being the social justice guru I know him to be, it will also include the philosophies of women as well). M* also has an open thread.  If you Tweet, the follow #ldsconf for pithy 140 character summaries.  Should be a great 5 sessions.  Come listen to Prophets, Seers and Revelators–messengers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and mold your life accordingly . . .

The Los Angeles Times reports that proponents of Proposition 8 have filed an emergency appeal to the United States Supreme Court to enjoin the federal district court trying the lawsuit challenging Proposition 8 from showing the trial on You Tube after the day’s proceedings:

Reporting from Washington – The lawyers defending California’s Proposition 8 and its ban on same-sex marriage urged the U.S. Supreme Court today to block video coverage of next week’s trial in San Francisco.

They filed an emergency appeal with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and argued that their client’s right to a fair trial would be jeopardized if each day’s proceedings were put on YouTube.

The trial “has the potential to become a media circus,” wrote attorney Charles Cooper. “The record is already replete with evidence showing that any publicizing of support for Prop. 8 has inevitably led to harassment, economic reprisal, threats, and even physical violence. In this atmosphere, witnesses are understandably quite distressed at the prospect of their testimony being broadcast worldwide on YouTube.”

I’m not sure I agree with this analysis.  The trial isn’t going to be the typical trial in the sense one might think.  There likely will be many experts and academics testifying as witnesses rather than the run of the mill voters who participated in the election in November 2008.  There’s less likely to be a media circus in a federal court room like the one we saw in the O.J. Simpson trial.  Those who think that will be the case haven’t spent much time inside a federal court room.  Most federal judges run a pretty tight ship, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other local court rules, including the judge’s ability to run his courtroom like his own personal kingdom will keep the media and others in order.

Frankly it just looks bad for the Proposition 8 proponents to want to hide this trial from the public.  I think the federal challenge to Proposition 8 has an uphill battle.  But, regardless, I’m a big believer in open and public access to our judicial system.  I think cameras in the courtroom are not only appropriate, but more and more likely in the future.  Let’s let the world see the finest judicial system at its best, particularly in this case when the arguments are going to be ground breaking, unique, and critically important.

The Mercury News has a good article overview on the upcoming trial.   Should be interesting.

The New York Times reports that the New Jersey Senate defeated the gay marriage bill today.  It is good to see this issue come before legislatures where it is better suited than the courts.  It is even better when the voters themselves get to express their views, since it is such an important issue that essentially redefines civil marriage.  Fortunately for gay couples in New Jersey they do have in place civil unions which grant the same rights to gay couples that straight married couples enjoy.  Therefore, no rights are lost:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, leaving it unlikely the state will have a gay marriage law in the very near future.

The bill needed 21 votes to pass; only 14 senators approved the measure Thursday.

Gay rights advocates had pushed hard to get the bill passed before Jan. 19, when Republican Chris Christie becomes governor. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine promised to sign the bill if approved by the Legislature but Christie has said he would veto it.

New Jersey offers civil unions that grant the legal rights of marriage to gay couples. Five states — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont — allow gay marriage.

This is another democratic defeat for the gay marriage movement, which in the recent past has been buoyed by judicial opinions creating gay marriage rights where none have existed and redefining civil marriage laws.

Nearly three years ago, when I originally posted on this topic,  America and torture were prevalent in the media.  Over the course of the last several months more details of America’s flirtation with torture in the Bush/Cheney Administration have been exposed to further light. In that original post, many opined the instances of torture, if any, were just limited to a few bad apples in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.  The most recent reports suggest otherwise, here, here, here. If you have the time and want to read the original recent CIA report and not just excerpts, you can find it here. (more…)

(This post has been recently updated toward the end with additional links) The Church has released this news update on the “kissing” incident on the Plaza, now an extension of Temple Square and Church Headquarters: (Hat Tip Geoff B.): (more…)

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting the Salt Lake City Police Report on the expulsion of two men for unwanted kissing and hugging on Church property has been released (I’m assuming by the SLCPD–but the article is unclear).  The Tribune did post the entire report.  You can read the actual report here, which is linked at the bottom of the article.    (more…)

Gay Day Temple Square

Matt Aune and Derek Jones, photo by Scott Sommerdorf Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that two men, Matt Aune, and Derek Jones (above) were cited by the Salt Lake City Police Department for tresspassing on private religious property: (more…)

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