Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: Modern Polygamy in the United States: Historical, Cultural, and Legal Issues

Modern Polygamy in the United States: Historical, Cultural, and Legal IssuesModern Polygamy, "primarily about the Federal raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) ... is a collection of essays written by historians, anthropologists, and sociologists familiar with the FLDS and various other polygamous groups.  ... [It is] predominately sympathetic of the polygamous life-style .... [providing] an insider's perspective."

Title: Modern Polygamy in the United States: Historical, Cultural, and Legal Issues
Author: Edited by Cardell K. Jacobson with Lara Burton

Monday, July 25, 2011

New York becomes 6th state to allow same-sex marriage

Excerpts of New York ushers in same-sex marriage, Douglas Sabiston,
Hundreds of gay couples tied the knot in New York Sunday as the state became the sixth and largest to recognize same-sex marriage in the United States.

State lawmakers voted 33 to 29 June 24 to lift the ban on same-sex marriage, and a political campaign that lasted years finally came to an end. The new law took effect 30 days later, and at the stroke of midnight July 24, gay marriage became legal for the first time in New York history.

Thousands of opponents rallied in Manhattan, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo chanting "let the people vote!" The rallies, organized by National Organization for Marriage (NOM), were timed to coincide with the first day the new law took effect. Despite recent polls indicating that a majority of New Yorkers support gay marriage, opponents believe if the issue is put to a vote, traditional marriage will be upheld.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mormon movie to be based on Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven"

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent FaithExcerpts of Ron Howard to explore dark side of Mormon history, and more cheery stuff

And in the closest thing to fresh movie news in this post, Ron Howard ...  has now set his sights on Mormons, but not the cute, cuddly kind that won "South Park" masterminds Trey Parker and Matt Stone the top Tony.

Instead, Howard will team up with scribe Dustin Lance Black ("Milk" and Clint Eastwood's upcoming J. Edgar Hoover biopic) for a movie based on Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mormons love Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)Many fundamentalist Christians oppose the Harry Potter books and movies because aspects of the occult are treated in a favorable light. While Latter-day Saints are also religiously conservative, they apparently have no such aversion to the works of Rowling. Not only does "Harry Potter" rank  highly in Utah google searches, but Utah helped set a new record in box office receipts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

FOX News host says Mormons are not Christians

Capture19.jpgWith Utah ranked as one of the most conservative states in the union, and FOX News the predominate news source for the politically conservative, some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may feel conflicted by a recent statement on FOX News.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moroni Pratt not son of Joseph Smith says DNA researcher

Sarah Pratt, mother of Moroni Pratt

"Following another mission, this time to England, Pratt arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois, in July 1841. During Pratt's absence, Joseph Smith had begun practicing plural marriage. One of the women he approached was [Pratt's wife] Sarah, who rejected his advances. The next spring Sarah told Orson of Smith's proposals. Pratt became depressed and on 14 July disappeared; however, he was found near the Mississippi River and was persuaded to return home."  [Utah History Encyclopedia: Orson Pratt]   

Rumors have since circulated that Joseph Smith fathered Moroni Pratt, son of Sarah Pratt.  New DNA evidence sheds light on this proposed child of Joseph Smith. 
Excerpts of DNA solves a Joseph Smith mystery, by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Study to analyze impact of Mormonism on gays

Excerpts of Study Looks at Experiences of Gay Mormons, QSalt Lake

A new study assessing the experiences of gay and former members of the Mormon Church was launched by a Utah State University professor this week.

Renee Galliher, along with the Brigham Young University emeritus biology professor and chair of the pro-gay Family Fellowship, William Bradshaw, launched the 149-question survey to look at the impact the Mormon Church has had on gay and lesbian members.

The survey is anonymous and designed for gays and lesbians who have, at one point or another, been a member of the Mormon Church.

"The researchers hope this study may provide insights into the experiences of same-sex attracted Latter Day Saints, increasing the competence and sensitivity of the consumers of this research, who could potentially be psychologists, researchers, educators and other service providers interacting with individuals who identify with these experiences," the survey introduction says....

Click here to take the survey.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mountain Meadows designated national historic landmark

Excerpts of Mountain Meadows now a national historic landmark By Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune

... "The designation means the United States has recognized that this site is among the most important in U.S. history," said Lysa Wegman-French, a historian with the Intermountain regional office of the National Park Service. "I like to compare it to the Emmy or Oscar awards for actors. This is public recognition of the importance of the site to the nation."...

"This is the culmination of a multiyear collaboration between the church as landowner, victim groups and the federal government," Richard Turley, assistant LDS Church historian, said Thursday. "We are grateful that so many people came together to make this a reality."