MrShorty

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Everything posted by MrShorty

  1. I saw this article from the AP today in various news outlets https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-06-13/new-york-set-to-cut-religious-exemption-to-vaccine-mandates If this link fails or you find it behind a paywall or something, the article is attributed to David Klepper of the Associated Press with a headline about New York state eliminating or ending the religious exemption to vaccine mandates and you should be able to find a copy of the article searching for those parameters. Since religious liberty has been kind of a hot button topic lately -- especially as it intersects other issues -- I found this piece interesting. I am certainly pro-vaccine and do not understand how so many accept the anti-vaccine pseudo-science. But I also feel some of the concern that the Church feels about eroding religious liberties. A few statements that stood out to me: Is it the job of the state to decide what is a legitimate or valid or honestly held religious belief and what is not? It is also pointed out that the choice is about sending kids to school. I get the impression that you are only required to get vaccinations if you want your child to attend school. Anyone can homeschool their unvaccinated child (within the limits the law imposes on homeschooling, which I don't know what NY allows as far as homeschooling). This might be the biggest statement. Even if I agree that public health overrides religious liberty in this case, what are the criteria that we use to decide when a public _______ issue overrides religious liberties? It kind of seems like it is up to case by case voting, but do I/we trust legislators (and even the voters in general) to do this well?
  2. MrShorty

    Neuro's seitch for fremen fanboys

    Finished Chapterhouse this week. And, in celebration (or something) stumbled on this somewhat amusing piece (or maybe it is just the slight possibility that there really is a sandworm actors guild somewhere out there that piqued my imagination): https://babylonbee.com/news/scarlett-johansson-under-fire-for-agreeing-to-play-giant-sandworm-in-upcoming-dune-adaptation I decided to pick up Hunters of Dune and see what Brian and Kevin made of Frank's outlines and notes and such. Wish me luck. Oh, and if anyone is starting to count down -- Villeneuve's flick is scheduled to release in December.
  3. MrShorty

    BYU classroom lecture

    I know what you mean by this, but... The discussion groups I frequent tend to focus on sexual behavior/standards within heterosexual marriage. Frequently within these groups, the question of what is appropriate between a married couple comes up, and most of the time we try to steer couples towards "use your own personal definitions to govern your understanding of the law of chastity." (within, of course, the limitation of going outside of the marriage). So many times, the most difficult cases are the "but my mom/dad/bishop/stake president said that Elder (apostle/prophet) so and so said that..." because that appeal to authority carries a lot of weight in the Church. Take Professor Brau's statement outside of the context of this particular controversy, and I see many promoting exactly this -- come up with your own personal definition of what virtue and chastity mean (if any of you follow Jennifer Finlaysen-Fife, she frequently talks about this). Is it really that terrible of a skill to develop -- the ability to make moral judgements -- to really understand right from wrong? I think the thing that I see in this is that so many of us are afraid that, if we give students permission to make their own moral judgements, then they might make (in our estimation) wrong moral judgements (in this case, deciding that homo-romantic behavior is acceptable under the law of chastity). How shall we deal with CES students who come to wrong conclusions? How far should CES honor code offices go in "policing" students' moral reasoning and conclusions and the behavior that flows out of that reasoning?
  4. MrShorty

    Pornography Addiction

    In the sexology circles that I frequent, porn as addiction is much maligned. The therapists that I see talking about it frequently talk about why the user chooses to use porn (covering some other uncomfortable emotion or avoiding something uncomfortable or ...). I think you are wise to think about and talk about the issue and try to understand your own views and opinions on the topic before committing to marriage. Marriage is supposed to be for life -- for richer for poorer etc. -- including some sense of what you will tolerate and what you refuse to tolerate around porn exposure and use. You have every right to decide for yourself if and when this is a dealbreaker and when it is not. If you (and/or your boyfriend) are interested in approaches that lean away from the addiction model, you might look up: Cam Staley is an LDS researcher who has had a recent publication on the issue. Jennifer Finlaysen-Fife is a popular LDS sex therapist who has some ideas around porn use and integrity and such that I find compelling. Daniel Burgess did an episode with Saints Unscripted (I think they are still a thing on the main third hour page) on his views regarding porn as not addiction. any number of other LDS and non-LDS therapists and researchers who suggest alternatives to the porn/sex as addiction model. If your boyfriend has already tried and failed at the addiction model for porn use, he might try looking at it differently and maybe find success in another way.
  5. MrShorty

    New Handbook

    Which is why I was careful to specify bearded men in my post.
  6. MrShorty

    New Handbook

    I'll believe that when they allow bearded men to take tests or check out books from the library. Or maybe they will decide that this is the only aspect of the dress standard that is safe to enforce.
  7. MrShorty

    New Handbook

    That was the wording of the Nov 2015 policy, which was then changed to may require in the Apr 2019 update to that policy.
  8. Just came across an announcement that the Church is consolidating handbooks 1 and 2 into one, publicly available handbook. https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2020-01-30/new-handbook-church-leaders-members-173085?fbclid=IwAR1ssmS9XM4P5yDAeeLcwmEsyYZuT3eqwDc7QWqElkyIRFLKrllAkXmgp70 It is set for digital release in English on Feb. 19.
  9. Some elements of Holy Week and Christmas often bring up the question of the value of liturgy in Christianity. I was out and about town last night and caught a portion of an Evangelical radio program called Breakpoint and they were talking about the lack of formal liturgy in many Evangelical churches, and how some of that liturgy is starting to make its way into some Evangelical churches. One of the hosts reflected that, until very recently, he did not recall ever having or attending a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service (for the record, his opinion was overall positive to see some of these liturgical elements entering the churches he was familiar with). I recall another essay I read where the author was describing insights gained attending a Good Friday service that included the symbolic elements that many traditional liturgical churches include that help the worshiper symbolically relive the historic experience of laying Christ in the tomb and reflecting on what that might mean when the promise of Easter is a somewhat unkown thing yet three days in the future. My question for the group (and I am putting this in Christian Beliefs because I would like views from those across the Christian spectrum) is just to get opinions on these liturgical elements. Respectfully like or dislike them? Do they add to your worship, or detract? Would you like more or less? Any other thoughts?
  10. MrShorty

    Women and Priesthood Power

    Except that I would still be in a position to lead and protect my family without the formal ordination to the Priesthood. A single mother is considered the leader and protector of her family without ordination. I don't think I am underestimating my value to my family -- I'm not seeing how my ordination to the Priesthood adds anything to that value. One part of the discussion has been whether or not women are authorized to lay on hands -- often citing the practice of women laying on hands for blessings earlier in this dispensation. I am not sure if those who advocate for this practice today are the last vestiges of the older practice as the practice finally dies out, or if I am seeing a resurgence of the older practice. Another part is kind of the same thing. When my child is sick, I can lay my hands on their head and give a blessing. With some of this "new" rhetoric, I am seeing us say that my wife could keel at their bedside and give essentially the same blessing. In both cases, we are each calling upon the powers of God/Heaven to bless a child, and as I am understanding the rhetoric, each is equivalent. There is no real difference between me laying hands on head and invoking the Melchizedek Priesthood than my wife calling on God by virtue of her position as a woman and mother. I find myself back at the same point -- what does my formal ordination bring to the scenario?
  11. MrShorty

    Women and Priesthood Power

    At what point does this become the Protestant "Priesthood of all believers" idea where there is no need for any kind of formal ordination? Since Pres. Nelson's talk in October, this maybe is the thing that has really been rattling around in my head -- Why am I ordained? As an Elder, I am not eligible to be called into most positions of Church government (What Ulrich called the Ecclesiastical Priesthood). In a thread started shortly after last conference, we talked about women being able to officiate in blessings for the sick and blessings of comfort, so those ordinances do not seem to require formal ordination (though I think there is some debate to be had on this). I guess I need to be formally ordained in order to perform baptisms and confirmations for my family members, which only happens a few times. As a youth, I needed to be formally ordained to pass, prepare, and bless the sacrament. Any other callings I am called to fulfill come with a "setting apart" in which I am given the requisite priesthood authority to perform those callings (and, the impression I am getting, is that this is new priesthood authority and not "activating" a latent authority that is already present in my ordination as I once thought). It just seems that my ordination grants me very little above and beyond what any non-ordained member of the Church has -- not that I need my ordination to grant me special privileges. It just seems that, at this stage in my life, I could abdicate my priesthood and still do everything I currently do in the Church and my family.
  12. MrShorty

    Neuro's seitch for fremen fanboys

    I picked up Chapterhouse this week to start it. The copy I got from the library included an introduction by Brian Herbert, that had a couple of interesting pieces of trivia that were new to me: Lady Jessica was based on Frank's wife Beverly. Brian claimed that more than 20 editors turned Dune down for publication before a Sterling Lanier "took a chance". I know there are a lot of those kinds of stories, and hindsight is 20/20, but I couldn't help but think there are a lot of editors and their publishing houses looking back and thinking about missed opportunities. From there, I guess I will dive into Chapterhouse and see if I make it out the other side.
  13. MrShorty

    New Church Handbook announced

    @Midwest LDS You're probably right. Fortunately, we have about 3 weeks to dispose/cover the evidence. I know that not everyone would do it, but I'd be willing to come down and help with disposal. It will be a sacrifice, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to keep this controversy to a minimum.
  14. MrShorty

    New Church Handbook announced

    @Fether And I expect to be deeply disappointed, "These are your so-called deep, dark secrets?! Not all that deep nor dark, are they?"
  15. MrShorty

    New Church Handbook announced

    Official church newsroom link: https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/new-general-handbook-coming-in-february-2020
  16. @MormonGator Just in case someone has not seen this xkcd comic.
  17. @mordorbund In my own "ignorant of anything to do with professional dance" way, I agree that this appears to represent a significant shift in the art and style of ballroom dance. Are we discussing the importance of preserving traditional ballroom dance and decrying changes to those traditions, and calling for BYU to be a beacon for traditional ballroom dance, or something else? If it's just about sticking to tradition and not letting sports/arts change, then it seems analogous to the volleyball purists who wish we were still doing traditional side-out scoring. Or basketball purists who decry the existence of the 3 point shot. Or those music purists (many from eras long past) decrying to creation of jazz or rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or [enter your most hated musical style]. Do we think it is BYU's place to be police and arbiter of what is part of traditional ballroom dance? It seems to me that, if BYU ought to stick to its standards on this, it ought to be for a more substantial reason than, "this change to the art of ballroom dance is forever going to ruin the art of ballroom dance and we refuse to go along with it."
  18. It seems reasonable to me. If we truly are going to treat same sex and opposite sex couples the same vis a vis the law of chastity, and the law of chastity permits umarried people to dance, then it seems reasonable to allow same sex couples to dance together in a competition setting.
  19. This Christmas was the first time I had heard of the apocryphal anecdote of St. Nicholas "slapping" Bishop Arius at the Council of Nicea over Bishop Arius's view of the Trinity. prisonchaplain mentioned (here in this string or in another) a split within his denomination over Nicean Trinitareanism versus Modalism. It has made me curious just how many schisms in the course of Christian history have been over some detail about the mystery of the Trinity. I agree with you -- it doesn't seem like these different interpretations of the Trinity merit full schism over. And yet, Christian history is evidence that Christians on the whole have decided that the triune nature of God -- however mysterious and incomprehensible to mortal minds -- is worth schisming over.
  20. MrShorty

    Progression between kingdoms?

    True, it doesn't help us decide which side of the debate is more true than the other. My hope would be that, recognizing that the Church has no official position would allow us to show grace to each other whether we land on the side of the "no movement" or "full movement" between kingdoms. I have heard it said that the most contentious debates in the Church are over Book of Mormon geography -- an issue that the Church claims "no official position" (outside of the BoM presents a history of some real people who lived anciently somewhere in the Americas). Some of the most contentious debates I have participated in have been "creationism" vs. "evolution" -- another issue where the Church claims no official position (other than God is ultimately the creator and the Father of our spirits). Which is not to say that we cannot have opinions, or even strong opinions. Present your ideas and support them with your favorite scriptures and proof texts and GA quotes and theological/philosophical arguments. Allow others to do the same. Ask questions and respond to questions and let the discussion run its course. At the end of the day, allow that we won't all come to the same conclusions, and that its okay that we won't come to complete agreement.
  21. MrShorty

    The Glory of Men is the Woman

    I agree. Sometimes I feel like the real question that shows how we feel about equality of the sexes is if we likewise see nothing wrong with being a stay at home dad.
  22. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/08/turner-woman-mormon-lds-church-child-sex-abuse-lawsuit-oregon/2846278001/ In an interesting turn-about on the standard "Church (could be any church not just ours) covers up abuse when they should have reported" narrative, I came across this article* today where an Oregon woman is suing the Church for violating the "priest-penitent" privilege (that makes clergy exceptions to most mandatory reporting laws) by reporting her husband's sexual abuse to police. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I expect that the case will ultimately hinge on exactly how the court will interpret the priest penitent privilege in a church with a lay leadership. I see some interesting implications for future cases either way the court chooses to rule. I will need to think on this, but would also appreciate reading any of your thoughts. I have also seen a statement released today by Eric Hawkins of Church PR that basically reiterates the Church's standard position on abuse and does not make any comments regarding this specific case. *-- If the USA Today link fails, the article is authored by Whitney Woodworth of the Salem Statesman Journal and published Jan 8 2020 and seems to be showing up in multiple news outlets. Hopefully you can find the article even if the USA Today link fails or ends up behind a paywall or something.
  23. MrShorty

    Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

    @askandanswer I have heard of some of the turmoil down in Australia over this and was somewhat aware of the opposition of the Catholic Church to these statutes in Australia. As part of this issue here in the states, I have also become aware of the Catholic Church's opposition to similar bills here in the states -- most recently this one in the Deseret News about the bill that may come before the Utah legislature later this month: https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/1/14/21065579/utah-bill-clergy-report-child-abuse-confessions-house-speaker-catholic-church-mormon-lds-diocese I do not claim any expertise in Catholic Canon law or how it intersects with secular law. From what I can tell, there could be some issues here -- some issues related to religious freedom, to mandatory reporting, to the safety and welfare of victims of assault/abuse, and others.
  24. Considering what I wrote above, I think I have to answer, "no" to this one. I do not share the same fellowship with a muslim that I would share with a Catholic that I would share with a Protestant that I would share with a fellow Latter-day Saint. Even within this last category, there can be differences, so it feels more like a sliding scale rather than a "in fellowship/out of fellowship" binary. But I also don't see any clear lines where I can say that I won't share a pew with ________, either.
  25. MrShorty

    Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

    One of the concerns I would have is that I don't think we want the state(s) to maintain a list of "approved" churches/denominations that believe in clergy-penitent privilege. One of the things that I am uncomfortable with is that some of the allegations here about the counselor "violating" church policy potentially puts the court in the position of interpreting the Church handbook for us. I am extremely uncomfortable with this idea, though I am also reasonably confident that the judges and lawyers will be able to recognize the danger in setting the state up to interpret religious belief/practice and it won't come to that. While I might agree with you, I see nothing in what little information has come out that suggests that the Bishop or the disciplinary council told him that submitting to the law would be a requirement of his repentance. Granted we know nothing more than the existence of these councils and know nothing about what was said and not said, but I see no indication that the he was ever told to report to law enforcement. I wonder if we believe that facing legal consequences is a universal truth, or one that is applied on a case by case basis at the discretion of the bishop/disciplinary council.