Taking President Trump seriously

I have a lot of friends on social media, and one of the consistent themes I have found is that almost nobody takes Donald Trump seriously. By this I mean that they have not really stopped to contemplate what a President Trump would mean. What would President Trump actually do? And how different would he be from the other Republicans candidates we have seen lately, including Mitt Romney?

Let me start this post with the following important disclaimer: I am NOT going to vote for Donald Trump for president. As a libertarian/conservative, I oppose a lot of what Trump stands for, and my conscience will not let me vote for another person who does not understand the basic principles of liberty.

But in the interests of being somewhat of a contrarian and perhaps even literally a devil’s advocate, I would like to propose that most people have not adequately thought through what Trump would be like as president. Most of our dear readers have certainly not considered that he is not that different from the other Republican candidates out there.

Let’s consider Trump vs. Mitt Romney. In favor of raising the minimum wage: both Trump and Romney. Repealing Obamacare: Trump and Romney. Against illegal immigration: Trump and Romney. Likely to do deals with Democrats to “get things done:” Trump and Romney. Want to get “tough on China:” Trump and Romney. Want common sense tax reform: Trump and Romney. Lower the corporate tax rate: Trump and Romney. I could go on, but my point is that when it comes to the actual issues Trump and Romney don’t disagree that much.

When it comes to demeanor and style and honesty, I think Trump and Romney are exact opposites, and I definitely prefer Romney’s demeanor and style to Trump’s.

So, the Mormon love for Romney and disdain for Trump has much more to do with style than policy substance.

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Guest post: be a man, get married?

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

Seeing Joseph More Clearly – What I Perceive

Pluto 3 Resolutions

From the time Pluto was discovered in 1930, we had only the fuzziest images of the fascinating celestial body. The highest resolution images came from the Hubble telescope (image on far left). As the New Horizons space probe sent back images, space enthusiasts were excited to see hints of details that explained the asymmetries seen with the Hubble telescope. When New Horizons passed within 8,000 miles of Pluto in July 2015, the clarity with which we could now see Pluto was absolutely thrilling.

I’ve felt that same kind of Eureka! moment as I come to better understand Joseph Smith and the details of his actions and teachings regarding Celestial marriage. In the past I was blogging about things every week, and so you would hear what I was learning. Then I stepped back to write it up as a book, and have since been preparing for the June edition I’ll push out right before the Mormon History Association Conference.

As I’ve sifted through and polished, I can now see some clear patterns that were obscured even as recently as last year. Continue reading

Guest post: lazy reporting on the BYU rape scandal

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.

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Before the Beginning

Creación de Adán (Miguel Ángel)

The origin of individuals, as perceived by Mormons, is radically different from any other religion. I realized this anew this past week, when searching for the term that would correspond to eschatology (from the Greek for “last study”). Eschatology is the study of the end of life, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world and our entrance into the Kingdom of God.

I wanted to use a recognizable religious term for the study of man’s beginnings.

I could not find such a term.

The term should be protatology (from the Greek for “first study”). The word protatology doesn’t exist. [Turns out the term is protology – Thanks gundek! You have to be careful though, because auto spell functions will always turn protology into proctology. So it’s obviously still an obscure word.] The closest common term for the study of origins is cosmology, which discusses the origin of the universe for different belief systems.

Joseph Smith’s teachings regarding our existence before birth are truly radical. And I mean this in the best possible way. Continue reading