Lewis Black recently skewered Mormonism based on a letter he received from an 18-year-old who resigned from the LDS Church. The letter is funny, but is it accurate?
Author Archives: Jana Riess
About Jana Riess
Since 2008, Jana Riess has been an acquisitions editor in the publishing industry, primarily acquiring in the areas of religion, history, popular culture, ethics, and biblical studies. From 1999 to 2008, she was the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, and continues to write freelance articles and reviews for PW as well as other publications.
She holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in American religious history from Columbia University. She speaks often to media about issues pertaining to religion in America, and has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, People, the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday, among other print publications, as well as “Voice of America,” the "Today" show, MSNBC, and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Tell Me More,” and “Talk of the Nation.”
She is the author, co-author, or editor of books including The Twible: All the Chapters of the Bible in 140 Characters or Less . . . Now with 68% More Humor!; Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor; What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as a Spiritual Guide; Mormonism for Dummies; and The Writer’s Market Guide to Getting Published. She blogged for Beliefnet before coming to RNS in 2012.
Mormonism is at its finest on a Saturday morning when the ward turns out to help someone move. “This is service in its raw form,” writes guest blogger Mette Harrison. “It should always feel sacred.”
Yesterday, the LDS Church narrowed the scope of its controversial ban on children of same-sex marriage. However, many are not appeased.
The LDS Church is not perfect and never has been. The church is flawed individuals. It is us. There is no magical institution outside of ourselves, no foundation that we get the luxury of imagining we do not pour.
“When you’re raised in the church, you’re raised to sustain your leaders,” says Alyssa Paquette, whose twelve-year-old stepson has just been denied priesthood ordination. “But I don’t know how we’re supposed to sustain something that tears our family apart.”
In the face of widespread criticism, the LDS Church is defending its new policy that bans children of same-sex marriage from baptism.
I thought I belonged to a church that teaches that people will be punished for their own sins, and not for the sins of others. Apparently that theology does not apply to children of same-sex marriages.
All this Mormon emphasis on correct knowledge and possessing the fullness of the truth misses the point: Amassing knowledge is not our job. Having faith is. And faith absolutely requires uncertainty.
Mormon support for homosexuality is low overall but growing faster than any other religion’s, says a new Pew study out today. But other findings show Mormons very resistant to change.