Presenting “I Gave Her a Name” and “A New Constellation”

 

 

We have a different version of the pride cycle here at BCC Press: we publish something great and feel proud of it, and then we publish something even better and feel proud about that too. And then we remember all of the other great stuff we published and become so justifiably proud that we have to stay in our rooms for a few days so we don’t go into stores and other random places and start sounding like Robert Goulet in Camelot.

[Read more…]

The Book of Abish Is Here


As BCC has already proved with math, the Book of Mormon does not pass the Bechdel Test. In fact, it doesn’t even qualify to sit for the Bechdel Test. It doesn’t have two named female characters who talk to each other about anything. It doesn’t even have two named female characters who are alive at the same time or part of the same story. Only three women in the book even have names at all, and these three never come near each other.

But do you know what does pass the Bechdel Test? Mette Harrison’s new Book-of-Mormon themed novel, The Book of Abish (Kindle edition here), that’s what. It passes it in the first chapter and then keeps on passing it, on almost every page, until the last chapter. That’s because the whole point of The Book of Abish is to give the women of the book of Mormon their own stories–and their own names. And it is available from BCC Press today. [Read more…]

Mourn, Comfort, Stand: How Mormons Can Respond to New Zealand

ali-arif-soydas-212421-unsplash

The baptismal covenant in Mosiah 18 is why I call myself a “Mormon.”  There, by the Waters of Mormon, a beggarded group of refugees promised to “preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord” and to “knit their hearts together in unity and in love one towards another.”

These original members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Prior-day Saints expressed their desires to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;” to “mourn with those that mourn;” to “comfort those that stand in need of comfort;” and “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things.”

I’ve spent the last day reflecting on how I, and my Mormon community, can live up to those same covenants in order to demonstrate love and unity towards our Muslim brothers and sisters in the wake of the white nationalist terrorist attack on Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. [Read more…]

Jesus Wants Me for a Skeptic

0-1

There is a trend in Latter-day Saint rhetoric to argue that having questions or researching answers about the church are dangerous and misguided ventures. These arguments have good intentions—they are meant to help people avoid discomfort or cognitive dissonance by encouraging them to wear blinders or to place difficult questions on “shelves” to be ignored until all is revealed after death (this analogy is not quite as useful in the age of Marie Kondo, however!). I sympathize with the intentions behind these arguments, although I disagree with them. It’s true: questions can be painful. Questions can inspire disobedience to authority. Questions disrupt what is normal and familiar.

However, questions are also necessary tools for strengthening faith. God teaches us through questions, inspires us with questions, expects and even demands that we continue coming up with questions in order to have reasons to keep praying and researching and exploring and wondering. Questions keep us awake and curious. Questions are requisite for growth. [Read more…]

2018 BCC Year in Review

steven-vandesande-jr-503999-unsplash.jpg

In 2019, By Common Consent will enter its 15th year of Bloggernaccle existence.  The state of our imperfect union of informal bloggers is strong:  2018 clocked in as second only to 2015* in total traffic.  As the sun sets on 2018 , I thought I’d compile some highlights. [Read more…]

Where Can I Turn for Support? abuse.lds.org

Laura Brignone Bhagwat is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley where she studies technology and domestic violence.  Her dissertation tracks a public health intervention in hospital emergency rooms meant to prevent intimate partner homicide.

Abuse is the neglect or mistreatment of others (such as a child or spouse, the elderly, the disabled, or anyone else) in such a way that causes physical, emotional, or sexual harm. It goes against the teachings of the Savior. The Lord condemns abusive behavior in any form. 

‘The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form’ (Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 17.3.2). Abuse violates the laws of God and may also be a violation of the laws of society. The Lord expects us to do all we can to prevent abuse and to protect and help those who have been victims of abuse. No one is expected to endure abusive behavior.

At 12:05 yesterday, I was driving to lunch when a message from a friend popped up on my phone. It consisted of six exclamation points (“!!!!!!”) and the text “abuse.lds.org.” Within 15 seconds I’d pulled over and clicked on the link. [Read more…]

Research Grants for Global Mormon Studies

The Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University is funding research grants for people studying global Mormonism.

While they will be accepting proposals for the next few months, they will be giving preference to proposals received by the end of October.  Their hope is to see significant progress on funded projects by April 2019.  They are interested in helping to fund projects that are already underway, as well as new projects.

Please see the call for proposals here (https://mormonstudies.cgu.edu/center-global-mormon-studies/claremont-mormon-studies-research-grant/)  and contact Caroline Kline if you have any questions.

Prostitutes, Vampires, and Mormons—Oh My

   

Since 1847, July 24 has meant one thing to Mormons across the globe: Pioneer Day, the anniversary of the arrival of Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers to their future home in the Salt Lake Valley, where they would eventually set up an International Church, a great university, fry sauce, and a universal WiFi password.

All of this is important, of course. But, since 2017, July 24 has been a REALLY important holiday: the day that BCC Press releases its newest crop of amazing books. This year, we are proud to bring you two remarkable books by two modern-day pioneers in every sense of the word that does not involve pushing handcarts and eating roots. Or sleeping on the ground. Or malaria.

But in lots of senses of the word, the two women whose works we unveil today are pioneers. And when you read their stories, you will know why. [Read more…]

Domestic Abuse Resources for Bishops

Laura Brignone Bhagwat is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley where she studies technology and domestic violence.  Her dissertation tracks a public health intervention in hospital emergency rooms meant to prevent intimate partner homicide.

On a hot summer morning last year, I sat in a small room with fifteen pastors and ministers. Coffee and pastries were tucked into a corner, and the men and women of my county’s Interfaith Coalition to End Domestic Violence were introducing themselves. At the end of introductions, the pastor facilitating the meeting asked: “What are the biggest challenges facing your congregation when it comes to domestic violence?”

The answers started flying. “The abuser is a member of our church board!” “She just keeps going back to him and I don’t know what to do.” “Women in our church are taught to be meek and submissive, so when the abuser tells them something, they think they have no options.” “Victims are often looked down on when they speak out.” “Abusers misuse scripture to justify their actions.” “Even after [theological] seminary, I just don’t feel I have the training I need to respond to this issue.” [Read more…]

Announcing “Lawless Women” by Heather Harris Bergevin

At BCC Press, we are all about breaking rules. And maybe the biggest rule in contemporary publishing  is “nobody reads serious poetry.” We say pshaw! As we found out with our blockbuster international bestseller Mother’s Milk, just about everybody reads serious poetry if it is also REALLY FREAKING GOOD. And just to prove it, we are doing it again.

Lawless Women, Heather Harris Bergevin’s new book, is probably not like any book of poetry you have ever read. It’s better—deeper, funnier, wiser, and, well, cooler. It does things. Lots of things. And you need to read it. [Read more…]

BCC Press Announces a New Book by Adam Miller–And So Much More

Happy Thanksgiving. And, more specifically, happy day-after-Thanksgiving. Now that you have given thanks for all the stuff you have, it is time to start wanting a whole bunch of new stuff that you can give thanks for next year. And if you happen to love some people, it is time to buy some stuff to give them for the Holidays.

By “Holidays,” of course, we mean whatever end-of-the-year religious or secular celebration fills you with glee. And by “stuff,” we mean books.

And the first book that you should buy for everybody on your  list is the newest installment in Adam S. Miller’s scriptural paraphrase series: The Sun Has Burned My Skin: A Modest Paraphrase of Solomon’s Song of Songs[Read more…]

Love Song of the Dandelion Mama

 

 

I was poor. I was divorced. I was a single mother. I was a welfare mother. I was heading back to college in my thirties. I was learning to love and accept myself for the first time. I was helping my children heal and grow after the trauma of losing their father. Everything I had feared, every stigma I had hoped to avoid, had become part of my life. In the prevailing narrative distilled down, my ex-husband was a drug addict, and I was an uneducated single mother on welfare.

So what? What are you going to do about it?

I’m going to reject the pre-written script and write my own story from here on out. All of it. I’m going to own it —The Burning Point, p. 168

By Common Consent Press is proud to announce the publication of our second book, Tracy McKay’s long-awaited memoir, The Burning Point: A Memoir of Addiction, Destruction, Love, Parenting, Survival, and Hope. The book is now available on Amazon and our online store—and the Kindle version will become available at midnight tonight (though it can be pre-ordered at any time). One way or another, you need to read this. It is the sort of book that changes lives. [Read more…]

Announcing BCC Press

We started BCC in 2004. That’s a very long time for any internet project, and I’ve been really lucky to be associated with some of the best Mormon writers and thinkers around. BCC is a joyful, faithful, troublemaking crowd and every day I read and learn things here that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I have become a better Mormon because of the minds and souls of the rest of you here. We’re proud of this community, but there’s always been the feeling that we could be doing more. So we’re expanding our efforts to build the community and engage with our faith in a new way. We’ve started a non-profit publishing company: BCC Press. [Read more…]

BYU’s Honor Code and Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment

No cap sleeves, slit one inch above knee. Come to daddy!

Does the BYU honor code create or discourage sexual harassment?  Does the increasingly stringent focus on female modesty create or discourage objectification of women?  In both cases, women are often singled out and approached by total strangers who feel it’s acceptable to make comments on their appearance.  In the work place, this behavior may constitute creating a hostile work environment.  At BYU, we call it standing valiantly for right.

In employment law, hostile environment sexual harassment refers to a situation where employees in a workplace are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior . . . It is distinguished from quid pro quo sexual harassment, where a direct supervisor seeks sexual favors in return for something . . . courts have . . . recognized hostile environment as an actionable behavior since the late 1980s. [Read more…]