Author Archives: ptmadmin

Not Approaching Zion

Every other month, we receive a copy of LDS Living magazine, I suppose because we shop at the Deseret Book store. Each issue is filled with uplifting stories about LDS personalities or LDS who have overcome great hardships with inspiring stories. Notwithstanding those People magazine-type articles, LDS Living is a commercial for the LDS Church. But not just the LDS Church. LDS Living is a commercial for LDS products — you know, food storage, Holy Land tours, comfort foods, religious conferences, event venues, and, of course, products from Deseret Book. And, not oddly but uniquely, addiction treatment centers and fertility clinics advertise on its pages. read more

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Posted in Personal Commentaries | Leave a comment

Why Church Members Quit: A Reply to the Oh-So-Rational “Root Causes”

Apostates are compelled to circulate all sorts of bullshit about the LDS Church. Again, they cannot leave it alone. But no piece of bullshit feels more useful to them than when an otherwise faithful member of the LDS Church writes about its shortcomings, especially its historical flaws or its politics.

One piece that circulates throughout their nest of nonsense is a 2017 commentary titled, “The Root Cause of Why Members Leave the Church & What Leaders Can Do About It,” by a member named Ryan Gottfredson. I have no clue who he is. I don’t even know if he is still a member as he claimed at the time his article was published. My reply has nothing to do with him personally. read more

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Posted in Saints Who Swear | Comments Off on Why Church Members Quit: A Reply to the Oh-So-Rational “Root Causes”

The Irrelevancy of Lavina Anderson and LDS Intellectuals

I suppose I’m next going to be told by apostates to comment on another bag of bullshit, the “CES Letter,” but first have been asked to read an ancient commentary from the equally ancient Dialogue journal — its pages seized by apostates ages ago — authored by the pre-ancient Lavinia Anderson who, in the minds of many apostates, represents the best in LDS thinking.

Anderson’s 1993 commentary, “The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology,” is a chronological litany of examples she refers to as a “search for knowledge” from a heart of a “troubled and painful relationship” with LDS leaders while “deliberately disclosing information that is negative, potentially disruptive, and embarrassing.” read more

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What is Truth?: The LDS Church and Sexual Abuse

After reading reports about the Associated Press’s “expose” more than implying LDS Church culpability in certain cases of actual sexual abuse of children by “members” of the Church — and the joyous pleadings on social media from every corner of the LDS Haters Club — I have some thoughts, to put it politely, the last polite framing included in this commentary.

Let me hit the highlights in brief. First, to the LDS Haters Club members, fuck you. Get a life. You’re no victim of the LDS Church. The LDS Church as an institution did not victimize you. No LDS Church doctrine has victimized you. You are a victim of a person, your own issues, or your own decisions. Second, to any lawyer or LDS Church leader who cockblocks justice in any way against child abusers, fuck you too and you should be fired, disbarred, or dishonorably released or excommunicated, respectively. read more

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Posted in Saints Who Swear | 2 Comments

I, swear

Over a business lunch just off Capitol Hill in Austin, Texas, a new colleague seemed shocked to know I was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “You’re a Mormon?” he asked with not a small amount of incredulity. My mind raced to discern why he was surprised. And then it hit me, “Ah. I get it. I swear. Right?” He nodded affirmatively.

My new colleague was not being overly sensitive. My swearing is reflective of unfiltered quality over quantity. I’m good at it. A damn or a hell would not have set off his perception alarms about my faith. He knew the strong expletives I used were intentional. Swearing is behavioral and I own it. read more

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The LDS Church should surrender its tax-exempt status

Being free of taxation is not what makes a church, or a person, do the right thing.

In his recent opinion, “Government shouldn’t decide which churches ‘deserve’ a tax exemption,” my dear friend and long-time colleague Bill Duncan dutifully defends against critics of tax exemptions for religious institutions. But times have changed, so, new rules.

I could write a book explaining why our side, institutionally, should step away from old ways to protect what we’ve already lost, get out of culture wars that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never should be a part of, and let the Lord, not governments, protect us. read more

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Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Pratt’s Dark Legacy and the Redemptive Promise of School Choice

Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Pratt’s Dark Legacy and the Redemptive Promise of School Choice[1]

                                                Daniel E. Witte, Esq., and Paul Mero[2]

Utah’s new school voucher law has meant many things to many people.  For the 43 percent of our Hispanic and African American public-school students who do not graduate with a diploma, the voucher law represented a sense of hope and opportunity.  For anti-voucher advocates who have a romanticized view of public schools, the voucher law is un-American and a threat to our democratic values. read more

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Posted in Freedom Series | Comments Off on Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Pratt’s Dark Legacy and the Redemptive Promise of School Choice

News Articles and Op-Eds

Harvard Kennedy School of Government, May 25, 2018, “Negotiating a Coalition of the Willing: Curt Bramble and the Utah Immigration Fight,” HKS Case 2127.0 (Winig/John F. Kennedy School of Government)

The Washington Post, Friday, March 11, 2011, “Immigration reform, the ‘Utah Way’” (Hockstader)

Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, March 1, 2009, “Mero’s No Common Ground Initiative” (Walsh)

The Herald, Tuesday, August 2, 1983, “BYU newspaper will focus on conservative challenges” (Caras/Ross) read more

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Posted in Bibliography By Type | Comments Off on News Articles and Op-Eds

Personal Writings/Creations

“How the contenders stack up,” a comparison chart of institutions thought of the “fundamental unit of society, designed for “The Natural Family: A Manifesto” book, published by Sutherland Institute, 2006.

The Natural Family: A Manifesto, special edition, jointly published by The Howard Center and Sutherland Institute, 2005 (Carlson/Mero).

“Back seat drivers henpeck current belt debate,” most likely a draft submitted unsuccessfully as an op-ed, no date.

“Potheads make bad laws,” original draft of placed op-ed, attached to a lengthy email response thanking me for the op-ed, April 12, 2018, response by Michael Jones. read more

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Posted in Bibliography By Type | Comments Off on Personal Writings/Creations

Writings on behalf of Employers

“Saving Education & Ourselves: The Moral Case of Self-Reliance in Education,” Sutherland Institute, March 2003.

“Neighbors in Need: A New Approach to Compassionate Poverty Relief,” Sutherland Institute, May 2002.

“How Congress Supports and Funds Organized Homosexuality,” American Priorities, 1994.

“How Congress Supports and Funds Organized Homosexuality,” Congressman Robert K. Dornan, July 1995.

“First Freedoms Compact,” Sutherland Institute’s FairToAll.org campaign, launched October 8, 2013. read more

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Posted in Bibliography By Type | Comments Off on Writings on behalf of Employers