New Website: Discussing Marriage

This morning, a new website launched at www.discussingmarriage.org.

What is marriage? Why is the topic such a contentious issue in modern day politics? What is at stake in the marriage debate? On this website, the authors attempt to respond to these questions and more. There are new and compelling arguments for why man-woman marriage is good public policy, but they are not well known. The hope is that this website will help bring these arguments to light, and provide people with the resources to understand them. The purpose of this site is also to inject humility into the conversation on both sides of the issue. Reasoned, measured, and respectful dialogue is possible with regards to marriage.

A note for M* readers: There is no reason that we, as Latter-day Saints, cannot defend traditional marriage as a pillar of our faith, and as sound, informed, reasoned public policy. There are secular, public sphere arguments for traditional marriage — perhaps dozens of them — that have nothing to do with religious doctrine or belief. This site will present them (there are two currently published, with many others on the way).

Current articles:
The Conjugal View and Revisionist View of Marriage
The Argument from Crucial Distinction
The Argument from Public Interest
The Objection from Infertility
The Objection from Bigotry

Please visit the site, and read the articles — and share them. There are YouTube videos also associated with each article.

Like the page on Facebook/discussingmarriage
Join the conversation on Twitter @discussmarriage
Subscribe to the YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/discussingmarriage
Subscribe to be notified by email when new articles are published.

Meet the new bigotry, same as the old bigotry

This is a guest post by Michael Towns.

In 1971, seminal English rock band The Who released a classic entitled “Won’t Get Fooled Again” which includes these words: “Meet the new boss….same as the old boss!” For decades, it’s been interpreted in a political context. Nixon was viewed as not that different as Johnson – both escalated military actions in Vietnam and thus the “new boss” was the same as the “old boss.”

There is a troubling aspect to contemporary social discourse. It goes something like this: you don’t agree with the social, political, or religious beliefs of a person or a group of people, yet instead of meeting those beliefs from a position of mutual respect in the marketplace of ideas, you label the person or group using a catch-all epithet designed to so marginalize your opponent that the labeling party essentially can claim a victory before the battle has even started. The labeling party views this result as perfectly condign to the crime of talking about certain topics. Meet the New Bigotry. It’s the same as the Old Bigotry.

In a way I can see the logic of such a tactic. By anathematizing the “other”, you can insulate yourself from having to wrestle with your political or social conceits. By marginalizing those who believe differently than you, you can supposedly remain perched upon your moral tower while ensconced in your blissful echo chamber. It frees you from having to engage in the rough and tumble of debate. But let me be perfectly blunt about it: doing so makes the person a complete anti-intellectual coward.
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The LDS Church Responds to Criticism and Details Efforts to Reach Out to Women

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The Millennial Star has received the following letter from the Public Affairs department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entitled “Context Missing From Discussion About Women”.

The letter, written by Michael Otterson, Managing Director of Public Affairs, responds to recent criticisms from bloggers and explains and clarifies the Church’s efforts to reach out to LDS women and to listen to their ideas and concerns. It also clarifies the role of Public Affairs and their supervision by the highest authorities of the church.

Letter: Context Missing From Discussion About Women (PDF Document)

Text of the letter follows:


Context missing from discussion about women

Comments on various blogs over recent months about what Church leaders
should or should not think and do about women’s roles in The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints prompt me to provide some context from an insider
perspective that may be helpful.

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The Problems with Moral Equivalence – A Response to Geoff B.’s Perspective on Ukraine

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[This is a guest post by Morgan Deane who is a military historian that teaches history for BYU-Idaho. He is an Mphil/PhD student at Kings College London and writes at http://mormonwar.blogspot.com and http://www.arsenalofvenice.com. He has written a book titled, "Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon", which will be released shortly. His guest post is in response to Geoff B.'s recent post: Perspective on Ukraine]

Every time the U.S. might take potential military action there are a variety of people who argue that these tyrants and dictators are little different from the U.S. This article in particular caught my eye, since it contained so many of the common moral equivalence errors. Despite the legitimate mistakes made in American foreign policy, America is a different and better country than Russia and our foreign policy is morally superior to that of Putin’s. The quotes are from this article from Geoff B.

The United States is currently occupying Afghanistan

Occupy is a loaded term with a negative connotation. We have troops there, but the most frequent criticism about Obama is that we are leaving too soon. We just left Iraq and the leverage we had there, so I’m amazed at how consistently America is attacked over “occupations” when we seem to be heading towards the exits like scolded gorillas. Continue reading