By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

Fourth Circuit Strikes Down President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Fourth Circuit Strikes Down President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

This afternoon, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Richmond, VA, just held that President Trump’s second travel ban Executive Order (which superseded his first one) is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause. Key quote: The Government has repeatedly asked this Court to ignore evidence, circumscribe our own review, and blindly defer to executive action, […]

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Scripture as Genre: What It Means When We Call Something “True”

Scripture as Genre: What It Means When We Call Something “True”

Let’s start with an observation that I hope will be uncontroversial: there is a big difference between how people solve crimes in the actual world and how readers try to solve crimes in mystery novels. Here is a crystal-clear example of the difference: in the real world, the person that all of the evidence points […]

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Do We Love Good Because it is Good?

Do We Love Good Because it is Good?

Mette Ivie Harrison is a critically-acclaimed writer of numerous books,including ‘The Bishop’s Wife’. We’re grateful for her thoughts. In “The Education of the Human Race,” the great German writer and philosopher Lessing suggested that humans as a species have gone through three stages of development. The first stage was the Old Testament phase where we […]

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Plans of Salvation

Plans of Salvation

It seems like everyone is familiar with those diagrams with various circles that explain Mormon cosmology, and which outline the progression of the human soul through eternity (do an image search for “plan of salvation” for some beauties). I thought it would be fun to sketch out the Plans of Salvation for various sources.

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Threats to Religious Freedom, at Home and Abroad (A BCC Discussion)

Threats to Religious Freedom, at Home and Abroad (A BCC Discussion)

As described perfectly by USCIRF and it’s former Mormon chair, Katrina Lantos-Swett, promoting religious freedom promotes all other civil rights. If a society can embrace religious freedom, then it is strong enough to protect minorities, tolerate strong differences of opinion, celebrate diversity, and prohibit discriminatory violence across the board.

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Simulation and Theology

Simulation and Theology

So, me, a biologist, wrote this book on speculative theology. The promise is rather, shall we say, curious (‘weird’ would also work)? The usual thinking goes, especially for Mormons, that first we do religion, then science. If either is to bow, it is science. The book is an experiment on the premise that the reverse […]

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The Chosen People Are Always Wrong

The Chosen People Are Always Wrong

Can we talk about CPS? I mean, of course, Chosen-People Syndrome, or the belief that one belongs to a race, people, or organization that has a unique and special relationship to God. Latter-day Saints generally believe that we fall into this category, but there is nothing special about that. Most people believe, and have always […]

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Joseph Smith Papers Lecture: Brent Rogers on Kirtland Temple

Joseph Smith Papers Lecture: Brent Rogers on Kirtland Temple

Notice of Lecture by Brent Rogers, one of the editors of volume 5 of the Documents Series in the Joseph Smith Papers. If you’re in Salt Lake City on Thursday, it should be fun. In conjunction with the publication of Documents, Volume 5: October 1835–January 1838, Brent M. Rogers, Associate Managing Historian of the Joseph […]

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The Boy Who Cried Religious Freedom

The Boy Who Cried Religious Freedom

The June issue of The New Era includes an article entitled “Why Religious Freedom Matters: What’s at Risk.” As I read through it, I had two primary thoughts. On the one hand, I applaud the church for attempting to educate teenagers about their civil rights and responsibilities. This is an important topic, and one that […]

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Ted Chiang, “Arrival,” Mormons, Science Fiction, Angels, Time Travel, Sex, Free Will, The Tower of Babel, and the Secular: A Roundtable

Ted Chiang, “Arrival,” Mormons, Science Fiction, Angels, Time Travel, Sex, Free Will, The Tower of Babel, and the Secular: A Roundtable

You probably heard of, and might have seen, last year’s Best Picture nominee Arrival. I did, and liked it, and so eventually picked up Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, the collection that features “Story of Your Life,” the short tale of alien contact and the ways in which it upends how humans […]

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The Church cuts ties with scouts (but not really).

The Church cuts ties with scouts (but not really).

The Mormon newsroom broke the news this morning that the church is ending its venture and varsity scout programs for boys 14-18 years old in the U.S. and Canada. I was particularly interested in this announcement not just because I was active in scouts when I was younger, but because until fairly recently I served […]

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Satan is Silent Notes Taking

Satan is Silent Notes Taking

We take for granted that angels are silent notes taking, but did you know that Satan is too? As a youth, I recall having vague notions about the actions that were necessary to avoid temptation, but if you would have asked me, say, last week, I don’t think I would have had the temerity to assert […]

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Book Review Roundup

Book Review Roundup

Again it’s my pleasure to bring you brief reviews of outstanding books that deserve (and have received elsewhere) much fuller review by more qualified persons. My goal here is not to replace that more fulsome review, but to give a layman’s perspective and some idea of where these books fit into the libraries of non-professional […]

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Lost Longing, Or, The Book You Didn’t Know You Needed

Lost Longing, Or, The Book You Didn’t Know You Needed

It’s almost Mother’s Day. I can tell from the little knot of confusion pushing itself towards the front of my consciousness. On Father’s Day, it’s easy to choose the hymns: “O My Father,” and “Our Father, By Whose Name”– Our Father, by whose name all fatherhood is known…Thy children bless in every place, that they […]

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Welcome Carolyn Homer!

Welcome Carolyn Homer!

BCC extends its warmest welcome to new Permablogger Carolyn Homer! As the non-priesthood holder presiding at the welcome, I now have the opportunity to open our Carolyn testimony meeting by roasting Carolyn bearing my own testimony of Carolyn’s many virtues. I first met Carolyn at a Stake Relief Society Super Saturday activity, where we fatefully […]

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Where faith lives

Where faith lives

This past Sunday the stake president asked me to speak in one of the wards in our stake. The assigned topic was cultivating the faith necessary to have success in missionary work as a ward. That got me thinking about faith and how it relates to how we think about the church’s long term fate. […]

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When in Rome, Marry as the Catholics Do

When in Rome, Marry as the Catholics Do

By Carolyn Homer (with comedic assistance from Eric D. Snider). Carolyn is a Mormon attorney engaged to a Catholic attorney in Washington D.C. Eric is a film critic and humorist in Portland, Oregon. Friends keep asking Brad and me when we’re getting married. We appreciate the support, but we believe marriage is a private decision, […]

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