Chris Henrichsen, In Memoriam

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Chris Henrichsen (top right), who passed away suddenly this morning at the age of 45, was many things. A student of political theory, a democratic socialist, and a passionate defender of the legacy of John Rawls. An old-school fan of Minor Threat, Bad Brains, and other early 1980s hardcore punk acts (especially those with roots in his home stomping grounds of Washington DC). An educator who taught on the college and the high school level in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Maryland. A one-time Democratic candidate for Wyoming’s single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a failed campaign which he described to me at one point as having both completely broken him and entirely re-made him, financially and intellectually and politically, all at once. And perhaps most of all for this audience, a devout but cantankerous Mormon, always looking to situate himself (both publicly and within his own thinking and believing) in the midst of every controversy that roiled the waters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was these latter efforts which led him to be a inconsistent-but-always-returning mainstay of the Mormon blogging world, whether at Approaching Justice or Faith-Promoting Rumor or Times and Seasons. His history here at By Common Consent was…contentious, as Chris was never shy about fighting for what he believed to be correct, and never too embarrassed to simply walk away from a fight that he believed not be worth pursuing further. But that pugnaciousness, however visible at conferences–like the one featured above, from Kansas City in 2011–or on the blogs or over the years on social media, never characterized any discussions about his beloved wife Lyndee and their three children, Todd, Shem, and Geneva. Them he would celebrate in the most stereotypically weepy Mormon male fashion imaginable…which, perhaps, expresses the delightful paradox of Chris very well: a man of doubts and disputations and abrupt declarations, who also maintained a deeply loving domestic heart.

We are a lesser tribe for Chris’s passing. Please send your prayers and best wishes to his family, and if you have any tales of Chris’s many online adventures over the years, please share them here. Stories can be the best medicine, sometimes.


  1. Wow. I will miss Chris. He was a bombastic, outrageous, wonderful person.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear this. Far too young. Prayers for his family.

  3. Very sad to hear this.

    Aaron B

  4. Remembering Chris, who “unfriended” me in a fit and then sent me a new friend request within hours–yes, a passionate, impulsive, good soul. I met him and his wife a few years ago.
    Indeed, we are all less without him.What a devastating loss.
    Right before Chris “unfriended” me, he said, “Goodbye, Margaret!” I quickly accepted his new friend request later that day. The truth is, we are all a part of one another. Clicking on “unfriend” doesn’t change that. We remain one family, sometimes impetuous and angry and other times pulled into a communion of love and foundational faith. At moments like this, when we all suffer the loss of a friend, we remember how beautiful our intertwining mortalities are.
    All of us have-been BCC bloggers will need a good party after we’re with Chris again.

  5. Ann Porter says:

    Way too young. Way, way, way too young.

  6. Ugh. Rest in peace, Chris. Left us way too soon.

  7. Stephen Taysom says:

    Chris used to joke that he wanted to be me when he grew up. I always thought that was a little weird, but funny. Besides being a bad idea, it was also completely unnecessary because Chris actually CARED passionately about causes, and ideas, and people in a way that I never have and never will and, frankly, cannot. So, Chris, my fellow Marylander and Washington Football fan, we will miss you, your passion, your occasional insults, all of it.

  8. I trust that he has already tracked down John Rawls (who will have NO idea what hit him) and is yelling about Kant in some celestial place. I will miss him.

  9. I was never fortunate enough to meet Chris in real life; he spent a weekend in Chicago a couple years ago but we could never make our schedules overlap. But my interactions with him online were amazing; he had a fierce sense of right and wrong and was deeply committed to right. My heart breaks for his family and for a world that is a little less without him.

  10. Chris was a very good friend. He will be greatly missed.

  11. I never met Chris in real life but he was an important part of this community and his passing on is such a sad thing to contemplate.

    Almighty God,
    from whose love and remembrance we cannot be parted,
    hear our prayers for Chris and his family;
    fulfil in them the purpose of your love;
    and bring them to your eternal joy.

  12. John Mansfield says:

    Have funeral or burial arrangements been announced?

  13. First Clark and now Chris!?! These are sad, sad days indeed. My deepest condolences.

  14. John Mansfield says:

    Huntingtown High School’s office told me funeral services will be at the Lexington Park Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 12/18 at 11:00, with viewing 9:00-10:30 and also 12/17 6:00-8:00 PM.

  15. Lots of people probably wondering: “He passed away unexpectedly on December 13, 2021, due to surgery complications.”


  1. […] our house) and Christmases (often at his) cascaded through my brain. If you have not yet seen it, the short, three-paragraph tribute to him in By Common Consent4 is worth reading. It succinctly juxtaposes Christopher’s at times brash […]

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