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 . . .

Back in June 2012 Daniel C. Peterson, was fired as FARMS/Maxwell Institute editor of the FARMS Review.  Part and parcel of that controversy was the existence, but at that point, yet unpublished article by Gregory L. Smith, also formerly of FARMS dealing with John Dehlin of Mormon Stories.

Much has been written, blogged, Facebooked and speculated about Smith’s paper.  Today the speculation ends with its publication by The Interpreter, Daniel Peterson’s (with others) latest project.  You can find the paper along with an accompanying second article by Gregory Smith about his version of the John Dehlin affair here: Dubious “Mormon” Stories: A Twenty-First Century Construction of Exit Narratives, and here: Return of the Unread Review: A Mormon Story.

I have not yet been able to read both in their entirety, as they were posted to Daniel Peterson’s blog and Facebook page late last evening; however, both look to be interesting reading . . .

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…)

Pants' SundayThere’s been much ado lately in the media, Bloggernacle, (also here  here, here, here and a whole bunch of other places as well)  and even Facebook about Mormon Feminists calling for women to wear pants to Church on Sunday, 12/16/12, (hereinafter Pants’ Sunday).  Now, in the Mormon tradition and culture, women traditionally have worn dresses or skirts to Church on Sundays; however, there is no formal dress code in place, and the institutional Church does not have or enforce such a dress code.   (more…)

I’m not certain what’s going on with John Dehlin and his Mormon Matters Blog—but from all accounts it looks to be a massacre in the classic sense of the word.  There are several good posts up already in the Bloggernacle about this debacle where you can get most of the details.  See Faith Promoting Rumor’s Elder Jensen and the Exploitation of the Sacred Moments, and Times and Seasons post Credible Criticism.  I’m sure there are likely others as well. (more…)

Lots of noise today from the political right.  Lots of discussion about “restoring honor to America” and “getting back to God.”  On this I can agree with those who so proclaim from the nation’s capitol, today.  The path, however, lies through keeping the commandments, and not adhering to the philosophies of men.  America has strayed from Her primary purpose as the Cradle of the Restoration, but not through any political sins–so called.  Rather, Her people like many before have strayed from the Commandments of God, and no longer worship Jesus Christ.  This is where America’s fundamental problem lies.

The solution is rather simple–but most, likely will not see it because of the simplicity.  If we truly want to restore honor to America and get back to God, we should begin to keep His Commandments and we will prosper in the land. The best way to do that is to follow the Brethren, not Beck. We will restore much more honor to America and get much closer to God by reading more of the Scriptures, praying more to God, serving others, than by all the breast beating and pontificating from Washington D.C.  Choose you this day . . .

Glenn Beck, the fiery talk show host and Fox News personality delivered a commencement address at of all places, Liberty University.  There’s a pretty decent round up on a variety of blogs: (more…)

The Episcopal Church again made headlines with its recent ecclesiastical ordinations.  Writes Mitchell Landsberg of the Los Angeles Times: (more…)

Reed Cowan, a Miami film maker has produced a documentary on the Church and it’s involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.  It apparently premiers today at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. (more…)

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.

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