Mormon News Report, 20 April 2016
The Abbreviated Version – summaries of the top stories, and links for the rest of them.
1.) Big news today from Utah, as the LA Times, the BBC, and Gawker all report on the government of Utah officially declaring pornography a public health crisis. The resolution, S.C.R. 9, was sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, “recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” The resolution “recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms; and recognizes the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation.” The BBC notes “The bill was supported by the anti-porn campaign group Fight the New Drug. Reports have pointed out the group’s founders are all members of the conservative Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormon Church. Close to 63% of the state’s residents are Mormon, but Fight the New Drug’s leaders have denied working on behalf of the Mormon Church.” Gawker notes the co-founder of Fight The New Drug, Clay Olsen, is also “a board member of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, which hosted its 14th annual conference (sponsored by the LDS Church) in March.” Interestingly, Gawker referred to the keynote speaker at the address, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, as “one of the most powerful Mormons in the country.”
2.) ABC News picked up on the story of Richard Norby, the last LDS missionary injured in the Brussels bombing making it back to Utah. Norby was serving in Brussels with his wife at the time as LDS service missionaries. Dr Stephen Morris of Uniersity of Utah Health Care said Norby “will remain in the hospital for many more weeks. Richard Norby will have lasting effects from the injuries but should be able to walk again, Morris said.” I know of the “lasting effects but should be able to walk again” statement that Dr. Morris refers to, after going through a major pedestrian traffic accident when I was in college. The biggest point of optimism is that Norby should be able to lead a normal life. Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Tribune covered the press conference with the Norby’s yesterday, noting “The Norbys were released from their missionary service Sunday, Pam Norby said.”
3.) We’ve had quite a few notable up-and-coming Mormon sports stars, from Jimmer Fredette to Jabari Parker to Bryce Howard to…Pete Nielsen and Matt Favero of Madison High School in Washington D.C. Nielsen and Favero are being heavily scouted by pro baseball scouts, and Brandon Parker of the Washington Post writes “By committing to Brigham Young University last summer over the likes of defending NCAA champion Virginia and Liberty, Madison standout seniors Pete Nielsen and Matt Favero demonstrated the importance of their Mormon faith. Per custom, the cousins plan to step away from the sport following their freshman year at BYU to take a two-year mission, just as their older brothers did.” It’s a great piece, with a lot of prominent Mormons playing pro baseball featured. It’s so nice to have Mormons and LDS missions talked about in a normal, nonchalant manner from an outsider.
- ThinkProgress: “The Hypocrisy of Utah’s Anti-Porn Crusade“
- The Wall Street Journal: “ABA Reviewing BYU Law’s Policy of Expelling Ex-Mormon Students“
- AZ Central: “1 Shot in Gilbert church parking-lot robbery” (the church was an LDS Church building)
- The Salt Lake Tribune: “Sheriff says employee who shared rape report with BYU was trying to prevent sex assaults“
- Democracy Now: “Will the Mormon Church Take Over The Salt Lake Tribune, Silencing an Independent Voice?” Answer: No, according to the Salt Lake Tribune this afternoon!
- Friend-of-the-Report Jana Riess: “Mormon growth slows to its lowest level since 1937. Here’s why that’s great news.“
- Christian Post: “Richard Mouw Gets Mauled by Mormonism“
- U.S. News & World Report: “The Salt Lake City Council voted unanimously to name a street after gay leader Harvey Milk, the latest signal of its position as a blue island in a deep-red state where the prevailing Mormon faith still has a fraught relationship with the LGBT community” (wow that’s a long headline)
- Huffington Post: “Ted Cruz’ Religion Adviser Talks to God, Can Add Scripture to Bible” – his religion advisor is Bishop Harry Jackson, associated with the “radical New Apostolic Reformation movement, to add new teachings to the Bible — in a similar manner as Mormon prophet Joseph Smith’s discovery of scripture that comprises the Book of Mormon which, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints, augments and completes the Bible.”
- Huffington Post: “Why I Still Won’t Put My Son in the Boy Scouts” – columnist Nathan Greenberg discusses his reasoning for still not supporting the B.S.A., despite their advances on LGBT issues, and also brings up the LDS influence in the Boy Scouts of America.
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