One little girl, her two dads, and whether that’s such a bad thing

[Cross-posted at OT]

The topic of Same-Sex Marriage has bounced around the bloggernacle so much it has taken on a universally-recognized acronym. The topic of gay adoption has received much less attention, and, as far as I know, has elicited little (or no?) specific ecclesiastical counsel (unless one counts Sheri Dew’s controversial speech, which was delivered after her tenure in the Relief Society General Presidency — and which, incidentally, was recently removed from the Meridian website.) I don’t have any eloquent doctrinal arguments or child-welfare statistics to posit, but I do have a story to share, one that I think speaks for itself.
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Kay Whitmore, 1932-2004

I read in the Rochester and Democrat and Chronicle this afternoon that prominent businessman and devout Mormon Kay Whitmore passed away last night after a struggle with leukemia. It’s only by chance that I read it in the paper before I heard it over the phone; he happened to be a member of my ward. [Read more…]

I Like Scouting, Except for All the Scouty Stuff

It probably wasn’t a good time for me to encounter this review, in the most recent Atlantic Monthly, of Oxford University Press’s recent reissue of the original Boy Scout Handbook from 1911. While Baden-Powell’s original ink drawings are charming, and many of his instructions and observations have a distinctive timelessness, certain aspects of the original book are quite alarming. [Read more…]

Abu Ghraib: the Least of the Least

Do not shame or humiliate a man in public. Shaming a man will cause him and his family to be anti-Coalition.

The most important qualifier for all shame is for a third party to witness the act. If you must do something likely to cause shame, remove the person from the view of others.

Shame is given by placing hoods over a detainee’s head. Avoid this practice.

Placing a detainee on the ground or putting a foot on him implies you are God. This is one of the worst things we can do.

(From a cultural sensitivity training pamphlet given to U.S. Marines last September as part of an effort to improve relations between soldiers and Iraqis; republished in the June 2004 issue of Harpers) [Read more…]

Consecrating Your Eyeballs

Gordon’s recent thread at Times and Seasons on corporate social responsibility and institutional philanthropy got me thinking about a charity for which I feel a strange combination of enthusiasm and suspicion: the Hunger Site. In case you’ve not familiar with the site, here’s how it works. [Read more…]

Come, let us haggle together

Okay, imagine this scenario: the lesson is on the word of wisdom, and the teacher begins by reading the pertinent scriptures, then taking comments from the gallery. “I have a strong testimony of the Word of Wisdom,” says one member, “but a beer or two in the evening really helps me unwind.” A sister chimes in: “And red wine is actually good for your heart; I don’t see the harm in having a glass with dinner.” A general consensus emerges among the class that there are numerous circumstances in which it is okay–laudable, in fact–to break the Word of Wisdom. Curiously, the entire class seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that they have more or less rejected outright the entire point of the lesson.
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