This is a guest post by S. Stevenson (a pseudonym).
Recently, people who support the Church have been pointing out that there has not been an exodus of members leaving.
These people are widely lampooned and pilloried by the NOM and Dehlinite crowds and those who have degrees in religious statistics from the University of Reddit. The various disaffected groups are up in arms about the change in policy toward people with same-sex attraction, which became public in November 2015. They are desperate for any signs that people are leaving the church in droves and are hoping that sooner or later the Brethren must take notice of their disaffection and change the policy.
Now this may be hard to believe because you don’t know me from Adam and I’m writing under a pseudonym, but this is to protect a somewhat delicate source that I have within the Church Administration Building. Someone who is intimately familiar with the number of resignation letters they receive (they read them all), but who also knows the number of rebaptism applications they receive.
Now given the fanfare and magnification that social media provides, one would be tempted to assume that the resignations outnumber the rebaptism applications. This is simply not so. My source told us over family dinner one Sunday that the perception that social media gives about the “exodus” is simply not representative of the Church not just globally but even within the US.
The number of folks applying for rebaptism far and away outnumbers the resignation requests. In fact going further, there have been some that resigned in the post “policy” fallout have since requested rebaptism and expressed sorrow for their hasty actions.
This is a guest post by Lucinda Hancock, who describes herself as the mother of her husband’s nine children.
In a recent internet exchange, Brad Wilcox made the case for men to “Be a Man. Get married.” , and was rejoined by a group of men, MenGoingTheirOwnWay, who refuted Wilcox’s claims of improved life, citing particularly the high divorce rate primarily initiated by women.
Wilcox’s point of view is problematic because he seems to take for granted the sexual loyalty of married women, which is the premise that makes his entire argument so easy to attack. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that most men simply don’t have confidence in their ability to hold onto devoted female attention without the society-wide sexual mores that used to promote female fidelity. But anyone who wants to revitalize a marriage culture must understand how marriage appeals to men in the first place as having a high probability of female loyalty. Wilcox seems to think that telling men they will work more hours for more money and live 10 years longer is sufficient incentive. But this sounds a lot like, “We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well and live.” (from Ben Hur).
So why do men marry? What is the real incentive? It is true that the primary purpose of marriage for some men is to achieve the kind of status that will give them greater access to power and influence, but for most men, the purpose is verifiable reproduction. To paraphrase Jack Donovan, author of “The Way of Men”, if you fail to reproduce, your genes don’t make it to the next round. But the ability of marriage to guarantee female loyalty in reproduction has failed so decisively that it really has become somewhat of an illogical choice for the majority of men (based on the calculation of 44% of first marriages ending in divorce, and the doubling of never-married men since 1960). And many men have calculated that their best chances of reproduction lie in high numbers of low-investment ‘scoring’.
The primary tool by which marriage has been destroyed is feminism. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Michael Davidson.
Madi Barney, who up until recently was a BYU student, was completely unknown to me until last month. It was then that she publicly announced that she had been raped and proclaimed that BYU was punishing her for this. News headlines from around the world proclaimed: “Student: BYU used Honor Code to punish me for getting raped” (CBS News); “Brigham Young Students Say University’s Honor Code Made Them Afraid to Report Sexual Assaults” (ABC News); “BYU erupts in protest as student is suspended for violating the school’s honor code by ‘reporting rape to local police’” Daily Mail (UK); and “BYU Punished a Rape Victim for Breaking Their ‘Honor Code,’ Student Claims.” (Vice.com) However, none of this rung true to me and I just knew that there was more to this story than was being reported.
Below, I am going to endeavor to cut through the spin and fog of political correctness to set forth the facts as they have been reported in the local and national media. I am doing this because the media generally has either decided to ignore the facts, or has been too lazy to get to the bottom of the story. Instead, they are content to spend their collective time advocating for amendment of the Honor Code at BYU. The result of this is that no one is looking critically at Madi Barney or questioning the veracity of her claims. This allows the media to tell a simple story, that Madi Barney is being punished for being a rape victim. But, a fair reading of the facts does not support this conclusion. This is why the facts have been so hard to come by … because the facts simply go against the narrative and lead reasonable minds to conclude that Ms. Barney was violating the Honor Code well before her alleged rape.
(This is a guest post by Michael Davidson. He is an attorney by profession but has a degree in economics and loves the subject. He also has many friends in Canada, including many who spend considerable time at Fort Mac, and for whom he is really concerned.)
Those of you who did their undergraduate studies at BYU will likely remember a general education course called American Heritage. This course was a survey course that was one-third US History, one-third US government/politics and one-third US economics. It was a required course for every undergraduate, and so it tended to be taught in a large lecture hall with hundreds of students. This was not appealing to me, so I was delighted to find one section that was taught in a smaller classroom. The hitch was that it was intended for Canadian students. I signed up anyway, thinking that the worst thing that could happen would be that I would have to drop the class and enroll in one of the monster sections.
I am so glad I took this class. It was taught by a fellow named Delbert Palmer who I became good friends with by the end of the semester. He was an older gentleman, and had been a businessman in Lethbridge, Alberta for many years but had never gotten a university degree. (He had also been the first mission president in Chile in the early 1960’s, but that is another story entirely.) When he retired from his businesses, he decided to enroll at BYU and finally earn his degree, which he did. While he was there he further took it upon himself to teach this section of American Heritage for mostly Canadian students, and a few select Canada-philes (like myself) without pay as a hobby. It was American Heritage, but with a comparative twist. While learning about the US Constitution, we compared it with the Canadian Constitution for instance. It was an amazing course.
One day, we were discussing the Great Depression and the various causes of it. One of the many things touched on was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Continue reading
This is a guest post by Nick Galieti. Nick Galieti is an experienced podcaster and was named the recipient of the 2015 John Taylor: Defender of the Faith Award by FairMormon. Nick is the voice of Book of Mormon Central’s “KnoWhy” podcasts, and has directed and produced two documentaries on the life of Joseph Smith Jr., Picturing Joseph, and Murder of the Mormon Prophet.
An article was released by The Atlantic with the title, “Choosing Love or the Mormon Church.” The article addresses the issues of individuals who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and whom identify as gay, or experiencing same sex attraction. Aside from being somewhat divisive (something most article titles are supposed to do by design), the title makes as the assumption that the two, Love and the Mormon Church, are mutually exclusive. A good portion of the article makes a valiant attempt to humanize both the Church and those who identify with the LGBTQ community. I appreciate the effort that was put into the article and fear that my comments may be seen as an attack, which is not my intent. At the same time, the article makes some inaccurate assumptions that would be natural for one coming from the perspective of one on the outside looking in on the Mormon Community.
I won’t spend a great deal of time attempting to redefine how people identify themselves as being gay vs. not acting on same sex impulses. Although the world at large doesn’t see much of a difference between our impulses, or attractions, as being “who we are”, I see my effort to try and change that understanding to be a losing effort. However, I hope that those reading are able to understand that at least within a majority of the LDS or Mormon community, we seek to not define people by their sins, or by their impulses, but by their acts and in the intents of their hearts, if we “define” them at all. So if a person feels attraction to a person of their same sex, or if they feel attracted to someone of a different sex, it is the same so long as they don’t act in contrary to the Church’s Law of Chastity that states that there should be no sexual relations, except between husband and wife who are legally and lawfully married.