May 29

An Update

So, I know that a number of months ago, I made a post about how I got engaged, and then I proceeded to disappear. My life has been pretty insane since then (work, health problems, wedding planning, etc.), but I wanted to give everyone an update on my life.

So, here’s the first part of the story: Continue reading

May 21

Why Don’t I Think the World is Ending Today?

Like most everyone I know, I’ve been pretty entertained by this whole the-world-is-ending-on-May-21 spectacle. I’ve gotten a kick of those who are planning post-rapture looting parties, or are signing up to be the caretakers of the pets of those who are raptured. I looked through several fabulous pamphlets, including “Another Infallible Proof” and “I Hope God Will Save Me,” from which I learned that about three percent of the population will be saved; that the Bible contains multiple infallible proofs, related to both the timing of the Flood and the Crucifixion; that God’s message is not meant to be easily understood; and that gay pride is a sign of the end.
Continue reading

May 17

Family Ties

When I was a kid, I would have said that one of the basic problems of my family was excessive geographical closeness. Not only were we all stuck in the same house, several of us were usually stuck sharing the same room. For a while I was with Kiskilili and Eve, and I can remember many conflicts over whether the door would be open or closed at night (I think at some point we had a chart of who got to decide on which day), and arguments which arose from different levels of desired tidiness. I still remember the drama which occurred when one of my toys made its way under Eve’s bed, and she claimed that anything which overflowed into her part of the room could be claimed as her own. I was on the top of a bunkbed, and Kiskililli was on the bottom, and I thought I was very clever when I proposed that our responsibility should be to clean underneath our respective beds. I later shared a larger room with Eve, which did not really ameliorate the tension, since she had to shovel my stuff back into my side of the room, and at one point I had a sheet hung around my bed so that I could hide from her. Then it was sharing with Kiskilili, which had its own amount of drama, as we alternated between playing elaborate games, and fighting. (I also had multiple hamsters, and K had a gerbil for a while, and this added to the general chaos.) Finally I got my own room when Eve left for college, and while I would like to say I was sad that she left, it would not really be true. Continue reading

May 15

Pay No Attention to the Misogynist Behind the Curtain

[co-written with Melyngoch]

The following tale of alien encounters is true.  And by true I mean false.  It’s all lies.  But they’re entertaining lies, and in the end, isn’t that the real truth?  The answer is: No.
-The Springfield Files

In his forty-two years of political power, Muammar Gaddafi has usually not been shy about owning his position: Continue reading

May 11

Graduating

I graduate tomorrow. I’ve graduated a bunch in my life, starting with kindergarten, but this is it. The end of the line. I’m even breaking with my personal tradition and attending the ceremony, which I’ve avoided the last few times. Partly because I’m not crazy about graduations, partly for logistical reasons (I seem to have a habit of graduating at the time of year when you have to come back later for a ceremony, which is a pain), and partly because I could always see another future graduation looming. Continue reading

May 10

The Damage of Mormon Mother’s Day Myths

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, which means that many (most?) American LDS women who attended Sacrament Meeting were told that they have a lot of innate qualities, such as being righteous, spiritual, pure, or nurturing.

Let us take as self-evident that, in reality, not all women are naturally pure or spiritual. Let us also posit that, even if the average woman is more nurturing or righteous than the average man (a hypothesis which remains to be proved), actual women surely exhibit a range of qualities such that some women are more nurturing and others are less so.

Are there any downsides, then, to telling women that they are naturally nurturing or spiritual or righteous? At best, what we’re saying is probably true of some women. At worst, we’re just encouraging other women to develop those qualities, right? Continue reading

May 07

Are We Here On Earth to Learn to Play “Simon Says”?

I’ve never quite understood the idea that we’re primarily here on earth to learn obedience. It’s the kind of thing that you’d think we could have practiced to boring but pristine perfection in the pre-mortal life. Ahh, you say, but the difference is that here we have to learn to obey even when God isn’t explicitly around. So now you get the added twist of having to figure out what’s really coming from God. This, I have to say, sounds disturbingly  like a game of “Simon Says.” Your primary aim is to learn the skill of figuring out which commands are coming from Simon, and then to obey them as quickly as possible. And even more troubling, Simon’s voice is often unclear, but you risk eternal consequences if you get it wrong. Continue reading

May 06

Fan Mail

Anyone who has a blog knows that the ratio of spam to actual comments is crazy high. On ZD over the past five years, we’ve had about 16,000 comments—and 215,000 pieces of spam. Fortunately almost all of it gets caught, though some occasionally make their way through. (More unfortunately, sometimes actual comments get mislabeled, so do let us know if your comments are disappearing.)

One of the entertaining things about these fake comments is that they often try to seduce you with very generic flattery.  But hey, at least we’re getting fan mail. So I thought I’d respond to some of it.

Continue reading

May 05

Why Do We Keep Talking About This Stuff?

So BCC is having a poll about what topics people are sick to death of discussing, and “gender inequality” is currently well in the lead. I don’t know if I should be annoyed about this, or pleased by the fact that Bloggernaclerites are clearly well aware of issues of gender inequality, even if they don’t agree with feminists, or want to talk about it ever again. (I’m reminded of my conservative friends in high school who were baffled by my feminist views, but when they heard a talk about gender roles in church would tell me that it was probably good that I missed it. They might not have been feminists, but they were aware of what things make feminists crazy. That’s something. How’s that for taking lemons and making feminist lemonade?) Continue reading

May 02

Why Not Do Better Temple Prep?

Our latest round of debating the meaning of “hearken” has raised another problem which frequently comes up in this discussion: people being blindsided by the temple. The fact that all the covenants aren’t explicitly spelled out in advance is something I’ve never understood. Why aren’t we teaching them to people all along? How can the Young Women “prepare to make and keep sacred covenants” if they don’t know what those covenants are? Continue reading