Revising the Libertarian Understanding of Marriage

I think that many Latter-day Saint libertarians have fundamentally misunderstood marriage. As a libertarian this refers to me — I once thought of marriage as a civil contract, and I once supported the position that the government should remove itself completely from marriage. This is the way libertarians have often thought about the issue:

We should take all of the legal benefits and obligations of marriage (survivorship, duty to fidelity, duty of care and support, autonomy in family affairs, etc.) and unbundle them from the idea of “marriage.” Marriage would then be a solely religious commitment that has no legal consequences or implications whatsoever (any more than baptism does). Couples who marry could privately contract with each other (via a civil union) for the legal entitlements that marriage usually entails. Judges could not enforce any such obligations unless the partners explicitly consented to them by contract. Such civil unions or private contracts would be available to anyone who so wanted to commit themselves, be they man and woman, man and man, sisters, roommates, best friends, etc.

At least, that was the general idea. I bought into it for a long while. Not anymore. Continue reading

Ordain Women: thanks for nothing

This is a guest post by Kyleigh Ruth, who describes herself as “a mother of two girls, a Registered Nurse and wife. Born in Utah, she fell in love with the deserts of Arizona and now is proud to call it home.”

By Kyleigh Ruth

I will never join the Ordain Women movement. To unite myself with their cause is to admit that somehow I am less because I do not hold the priesthood.

Which I simply can not do. I refuse to adhere to a position that demands that I am inferior to a man in any way besides the genetic predisposition for upper body strength and the ability to father a child. Ordain Women would have me admit that I am inferior and then join the crusade to somehow fix this perceived inequality.

I am not less in the eyes of God or in the eyes of this Church because I am a woman and definitely not because I don’t have the priesthood. I have never felt this way and neither have the vast number of women that participate in Church activity. Lifted from the OW Facebook page “Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.”

There you have it. Women are powerless. We can make no autonomous decisions, according to the lovely Kate Kelly. Hold on, let me see if I feel powerless.


Let me see if I can make an autonomous decision.

I think I can… Yes, yes I can.

Why don’t I feel powerless? Perhaps it is because I come from a long line of women who are the leaders in the home. Women who love, respect and revere their husbands, but whose insight and reasoning guide the family.

Maybe it’s because on my mission, I made plenty of autonomous decisions about where to go, what to teach, what to do and how to do it. I was blessed to serve with sisters who were powerhouses, razing the land with nothing but righteousness in their wake. We, as sisters had our own leadership roles, Trainers, that would plan and execute training, solve problems, delegate responsibility and ensure the proper function of our Visitor’s Center. My wise mission president sought the Trainers’ insight about transfers and even recommendation of elders for mission leadership positions.
Continue reading

A View of Keys

[This is the first time I am adding a podcast of a post. To listen, click on the left side of the bar below, and the mp3 will load, then start to play. To pause, simply click the left side of the bar again. I think this isn't a very good skin, but it works...]


A Graphic of Elder Oaks' address on Keys

A Graphic of Elder Oaks’ address on Keys

I thought it might be useful to put up a graphic representing my understanding of Elder Oaks’ address at Priesthood Meeting. My apologies that this graphic isn’t beautiful.

Clearly I’ve adapted the traditional astrological symbols for Mars and Venus here. The little plus sign at the bottom of the circle derives from the distaff, the tool women traditionally used to support flax before it is woven – a symbol of the creation of products that has been a traditional role of women. Obviously women also perform the primary labor of producing children (gestation, birth, lactation). Plussing up the population of mankind, if you will. I made this symbol gold because it is wonderful.

The arrow in the traditional symbol points off to the side and represents a spear (vary male and phallic). In this graphic, however, the arrow is a sort of umbrella pointed towards God, representing both the umbrella under which all Church service is performed as well as the salvific ordinances that can reunite mankind with God. I made this blue. No reason. Continue reading

Why Did You Resign (from Mormon Matters)? – Side #1 vs. Side #2 and the We Attack / You Defend Model of Dialogue

football-hike-600x250In my last post I talked about the inherent imbalance in negative and positive posts on Mormon Matters. Even if there were equal numbers of them, the types of negative posts had a lot more emotional punch than the positive ones because negatives always have more inherent punch than positives.

In this post, I want to expand on this idea a bit by asking the question “whose side are you on?”.  What do we even mean by “sides”?

And since this is a long post, I should let you know that I issues challenges to John Dehlin and Sunstone at the end, once I’ve laid the foundation for my case.

There Are No Sides. Let’s Build Bridges Instead.

One of the cultural tenets of Mormon Matters (and often even the Bloggernacle as a whole) is that we do not have sides. We are all Mormons whether culturally or by belief. I have already expressed my concerns with this aspect of Bloggernacle culture, at least in some cases. Further, it’s only true when it’s true. John Dehlin would regularly talk openly about “believers and unbelievers alike”, though the preferred language is to speak of “spectrums” of belief (a term I find misleading at best, as many factors of belief are literally off or on). [1] Continue reading