About Ivan Wolfe

Ivan Wolfe teaches rhetoric at Arizona State University. He has a PhD in English from the University of Texas - Austin, and a BA and MA in English (with minors in Classical Greek, Music, and Philosophy) from BYU. He has several credits on various Christmas albums aimed at the LDS market, several essays in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series, and various book reviews in academic and popular venues. He also competes in Scottish Highland Games and mud run/obstacle course races, and he can deadlit over double his bodyweight (his last PR was over 500 pounds). He is currently married to Lisa Renee Wolfe. He has six kids and four stepkids.

Bigots and Fanatics

In the most recent conference, Elder Oaks said:

“today, when [followers of Christ] hold out for right and wrong as they understand it, they are sometimes called bigots and fanatics.”

I expect that from the world.  What most depresses me is that too many of those calling Mormons bigots and fanatics are, well, other Mormons.

[I also find it interesting how Oaks and Packer have switched places recently among the more progressive set of Mormons].

Equal and Opposite Sins?

At college (Ricks College, which really dates me!), one of the oddest controversies I encountered dealt with students complaining that the DJs were playing a filthy, dirty song about sex at every dance.  Now, I have no complaints about people actually complaining about songs that are actually and explicitly about sex, but this one was a bizarre one:  “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane (this also dates me, since most people are more familiar with the recent Rascal Flatts in the Pixar Cars movie).

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My father: A eulogy.

The funeral was very cathartic – it actually helped me gain a testimony of the necessity of rituals around the important times in life (birth, marriage, death, etc.).  However, I have had a hard time getting the distance required to say what I really wanted to say about my dad.  I keep crying every time I try to write this eulogy, as it means I really have to admit he really is gone.  I know that he isn’t really gone, and I can’t imagine what it would be like for me if I didn’t have a solid testimony of the Gospel, but it still hurts.dad

This is not the tribute my father truly deserves, but it’s the best I can do for now.  I feel I’ve delayed too long, so I will post the best I can, rather than wait too long for more distance. Continue reading

Accusations of bigotry are objectively worse than accusations of apostasy.

In the back and forth between the more progressive and the somewhat conservative blogs and voices in the online Mormon blog universe (aka bloggernacle), one common complaint is that the conservatives accuse the progressives of apostasy (not following the prophets, ignoring the scriptures, mingling the gospel with false philosophies) and the progressives accuse the conservatives of bigotry (racism, misogyny, sexiism, homophobia).

This is true. In my own limited, subjective experience, the accusations of apostasy tend to be implied whereas the accusations of bigotry are more explicit – and accusations of apostasy tend to be more general (“Failing to support the Proclamation on the Family is apostasy”), whereas accusations of bigotry call people out by name (“John Doe is a racist for failing to support immigration reform”), but I could be wrong in my impressions here, and my argument doesn’t hang on these observations.

However, I don’t think accusations of bigotry and apostasy are equal opposites.  In fact, I think the accusations of bigotry are objectively worse because they can destroy lives, whereas accusations of apostasy are at best (outside of certain rarefied instances) annoyances.

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