Jan 31

Exploring a Misconception about Feminism: Difference and Equality

In the bloggernacle, one of the statements that I hear over and over again from non-feminists is: “I don’t support feminism because I don’t think that women should be the exact same as men” (or as a recent blogger put it at the Blogger of Jared [it’s in the comments], we shouldn’t be “trying to make women ‘man-like'”). Now, while I admit that feminists are much more likely than the average person to be skeptical that various gender differences are inherent or natural, throughout feminist history there has been a large amount of tension around “equality” and “difference” and what those ideas mean for the feminist movement. Continue reading

Jan 30

The Names of My Wounds

But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

–3 Nephi 12:22

And the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

–1 Corinthians 3:13

I’ve been ambivalent about blogging for a long time, and I have to admit that on the balance, I have found it spiritually destructive. Not because I found any dirty little Mormon secrets that shattered my faith; for whatever reason–perhaps sheer intellectual laziness–Joseph Smith’s amorous adventures and nineteenth-century English in the Book of Mormon and the Mountain Meadows Massacre and institutionalized racism, while they do disturb me, don’t fatally damage my commitment or conversion. I suppose I figure that prophets are human, that God has to work with what he has–us–and that moral complexity is an inevitable part of life, even life in the true and living church. Blogging has breached years of loneliness and helped me come to terms with questions that at times I’ve barely had the courage to admit to myself. I blog, in some measure, to know I’m not alone–intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually. Online conversations have sharpened and complicated my thinking, advanced my understanding, and broadened my perspective.

Continue reading

Jan 27

Called of God

An acquaintance of mine was ordained in the Episcopal church last month. She’s a warm, lively person, probably around the age of my mother, who despite not knowing me well stopped to give me a hug the night before my comps defense. The path to ordination is a long one, with a lot of requirements along the way, and even for me as an outside observer it was kind of exciting to see someone finally make it to the end of it. Continue reading

Jan 21

The Value of Theology

“It is very strange. But we Christians often seem to be completely unconvinced of the power of thought with regard to our Christian faith.” (Karl Rahner)

I’m currently in my sixth year of studying academic theology. (I’ve posted before about how I ended up in this area.) Despite those inevitable moments of feeling tired of it all, on the whole I honestly can’t imagine doing anything more engaging. However, I’m all too aware that from the point of view of many Latter-day Saints, what I’m studying is worthless at best, and possibly even downright harmful. It’s nothing but the philosophies of the world, I repeatedly hear. It denies the value of revelation. And so on. Continue reading

Jan 20

Recent Down Time

We apologize for being unavailable the last day or so. We’re not sure quite how it happened, but we suspect that one of us left the Bouncer on autopilot, and he ended up bouncing himself repeatedly until our CPU quota was used up.

Jan 16

Defining “Patriarchy”

In recent threads people have commented on various words that the church redefines for its own use. While most are words I know are redefined by the church, one word which was often included I’d never seen on a similar list, or thought of myself. Patriarchy. Yes, I’m quite familiar with how the dictionary and the world define patriarchy (I studied anthropology). I just wasn’t aware that the church defined it differently. Continue reading

Jan 12

“Radical Heterosexuality”: Do We Want Equality?

Last year I started an individual blog which is currently defunct, and this is a repost of a post from that blog. I wrote it nearly a year ago, but it’s an issue that’s been on my mind lately, and our conversations about presiding reminded me of it again. It’s just a few thoughts on the difficulties of trying to negotiate feminist ideals in one’s life (in this case, when it comes to relationships). I’ve made no alterations to the original post.

I get frustrated by the disconnect I see in my life between how I act in relationships with others (especially those of the male-female variety) and how I ideally see myself acting in my head. Continue reading

Jan 12

Having One Spouse Be In Charge

(Since this issue came up several times in the comments on the feminist concerns poll, it seemed worth opening it up for discussion on its own thread.)

Proud Daughter of Eve wrote:

I have no problem with a man presiding in the home because someone has to be the head and if the mom is staying at home with the kids then isn’t that enough responsibility? Why does she have to make ALL the decisions in the house?

Sue (and others) responded:

Why does someone have to be the head? In our marriage, we’ve seen no need for one person to be in charge, or to have the final say. I don’t understand why it would be necessary…

What advantages and/or disadvantages do people see to having one spouse take an “in charge” kind of role? If you’re married, is that how you would describe your relationship?

Jan 10

Poll on Feminist Concerns

There are a number of standard feminist issues that get discussed again and again in the Bloggernacle. And we’re curious–for those of you who do have such concerns (and we’re quite aware that not everyone does), which ones would you say are the most important to you? Just for fun, we’ve decided to do a poll on the subject. Continue reading

Jan 10

Augustine, Pelagius, and Questions of Grace

One of the theological conundrums in Christianity concerns the relationship between God’s grace and human freedom. What role does God play in the process of salvation, and what do humans contribute? Views ranges from one extreme in which everything is done by God, with humans only playing a passive role, and another extreme in which salvation is entirely merit-based, a reward for our works. Continue reading

Jan 07

Relief Society Lessons

ZD is teaming up with Exponent II to post thoughts and ideas for upcoming Relief Society lessons from the Spencer W. Kimball manual. To keep things simple, all of the posts will be on ExII’s site, but they will come from members of both blogs. The lessons will appear twice a month, on the second and third Tuesday. So if you’re an RS teacher, or if you’d just like to be involved in some discussion of the lessons, please come by and add your thoughts!

Jan 07

A Year of Blogging

Well, Christmas break is (sadly) over, and I believe all the ZD bloggers have made it back to their scattered homes. Perhaps this will mean that we’re going to be blogging a little more again– though I suppose the more ambitious among us might have other plans, such as (gasp!) studying.

As of this past Thursday, January 4, Zelophehad’s Daughters has been in existence for a year. I was going to post something to mark the occasion (because what’s the fun of blogging if you can’t indulge in occasional navel-gazing?), but I ended up spending the day driving multiple times through the snow to the Salt Lake airport to get various sisters to their planes, and then squeezing in a few last games of Settlers of Catan with the sisters who were still around before I left the next day. Continue reading