Jul 27

A Modest Bit of Data

Over at Doves and Serpents, Heather Olsen Beal recently blogged about a Friend article in which a four year old girl learns the importance of not wearing clothes that show her shoulders. The article was also discussed at fMh, and Heather, Erin Hill, and Chelsea Fife were guests on a Mormon Matters podcast, where they used the article as a jumping off point for discussing how modesty is taught (and could be taught better) in the Church.

In the discussion, following Heather’s post, she raised the question of whether this focus has changed over time, whether the practice of drilling even prepubescent children on modesty of dress is a new thing:

I think the rhetoric we were getting from church leaders and publications 20 years ago was much more sane and reasonable. I feel like it’s gotten ratcheted up to the nth degree. It’s no longer a modest position; it’s extreme.

That modesty is being pushed harder and with more detail now than it used to be is my impression too, but I wondered whether I could find any data that would support or refute this conclusion.

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Jul 26

A Post-Pioneer Day Manifesto

Sunday was Pioneer Day, which got me to thinking about our cult of pioneer worship and how, even though we give lip service to the idea that any convert is a “pioneer,” of sorts, I get the impression that many people who don’t have pioneer ancestors (in the traditional sense of the word) don’t feel much of a connection to the holiday.

I propose, therefore, that January 24th (six months after Pioneer Day) be celebrated as Converts’ Day. Continue reading

Jul 10

You Talkin’ to Me, Mormon?

I’m in favor of modifying the scriptures to give them gender-inclusive language. I’ve always thought that the strongest argument for this is that gender-exclusive language makes them insulting to women. But I recently encountered another argument that I also find quite persuasive: women find it more difficult to read the scriptures as addressing them.

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