Mormon News, August 4–8

In the News

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who engaged in an armed standoff with federal officials in April, says his fight is spiritual and that God is on his side. In speeches and interviews this week, Mormon NewsBundy said that his supporters were “spiritually touched,” that the U.S. Constitution is divine scripture, and that he is under no obligation to obey the law if government officials violate the Constitution. He also stated that he has spoken to his LDS bishop and has not been censored in any way for his behavior.

The LDS Church-owned Deseret News carried a notice in its Faith section promoting the web-series, Mormon Bachelorette, a show that mimics the popular ABC series, although through an LDS lens. This comes at a time when the mainstream Bachelor series and its spin-off, the Bachelorette, are increasingly under fire for promoting a subservient view of women. The Bachelorette was created to balance the sexist antics portrayed in the Bachelor, but soon followed the same pattern.

The annual FairMormon conference, a gathering of scholars who like to hear innovative defenses of Mormon theology, began in Provo this week. Scott Gordon, longtime president, said “we have more diversity of thought and opinion in our group” than when they were founded seventeen years ago in 1997. “We have learned quite a bit since we started doing this,” he said.

On the Blogs

Historian Joe Geisner was recently on the Feminist Mormon Housewives podcast to discuss violence in frontier Utah. He has accumulated a vast amount of information on key episodes in the history of Utah Territory and has ideas about where such violence originated and how it continues to influence the collective memory of Utahns. The two-part episode is one of a series of podcasts produced by FMH on a wide variety of historical and contemporary topics.

News update by John Hatch, acquisitions editor