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About Amulek

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. What difference does it make if the Bishop has an attorney contact the police on his behalf rather than contacting them personally? So long as the abuse is being reported to the police in a timely manner, I don't see why it matters. But, in the case that Tacenda referenced, the outcome (were this to happen today) is clear. The Bishop learned of abuse from a witness - not from the abuser where priest-penitent privilege may apply. So when the Bishop calls the help line (just to be safe) he will be advised that he needs to contact the police - or that they would be willing to contact the police for him and make the report. Either way, the police will become involved at that point, which seems to be what is ultimately wanted.
  2. Except, of course, the church already has changed its policies when it comes to reporting sexual assault. If the incident described in the article were to happen today, the Bishop would have reported the abuser to the police. I suspect Craig Vernon is aware of that, so I would be curious as to what additional "changes" to protocol he might have in mind.
  3. That's too bad. Because many important political movements - the antislavery movement, the civil rights movement, and various antiwar movements - were composed in large part of religious people who acted for explicitly religious reasons, and justified their positions using explicitly religious arguments. Would you say that opposition to slavery was illegitimate because it was mostly overtly religious? Or that our country would have been better off had the religionists "never interfere[d]"?
  4. Perhaps I misunderstood the point you were trying to make earlier. When you said, "You have the right to believe as you do, yes, but you do not have the authority to enforce your right on others. Those days are over." The bygone days which I took you to be referring to were the days where religious believers had the authority to enforce their beliefs on others. That didn't make sense to me though, because religious believers still have the "authority" to force their beliefs on others - same as anyone else. If you just mean to say, however, that religious believers do not have the same level of power or influence as they had in the past, then sure - I think we would be in agreement on that.
  5. Huh? You may not have noticed, but most of the coercive laws that are hotly debated involve the forcing of a majority's views on the minority. That's kind of how our government is designed to work.
  6. Jews and gypsies. I mean, it's all just nonsense...until enough people start believing it.
  7. You're not the only one who found that concerning. SMU law professor (and long-time gay rights supporter) Dale Carpenter remarked, "Perhaps most striking to me about the exchange between Lemmon and O'Rourke was not that a candidate would tell an audience what he thought they wanted to hear, but that the audience was so wildly enthusiastic about it. The reaction was explicable on one level because organized religion has been an extraordinary source of pain to LGBT people. (And of course, it has also been a source of extraordinary comfort to many LGBT people. It giveth and taketh away.)" He goes on to comment about how it's also striking because, on another level, it's an act of forgetfulness. The gay rights movement has been very well served by First Amendment protections which prohibit the government from discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. And O'Rourke's rationale for denying exempt status to churches and other groups that oppose same-sex marriage is identical in form to the rationale for denying exempt status to the Pride Foundation back in the 1970s. Fortunately, there are people of principle on both sides of the issue, and the courts have long stood in support of the First Amendment. Sill, it's hard to just completely ignore threats to religious liberty when politicians are...you know, actually threatening religious institutions. And being applauded for doing so.
  8. They often do. But what if your Ward Council doesn't meet every week? Seems like there would need to be a system in place to handle that situation, which is what the EQ/RS/WML are supposed to be doing already. For whom, specifically? Seems to me like this would mostly affect those serving in the RS/EQ presidencies, but IMO the shift in burden here is just part-and-parcel with the shift in responsibility. If you were given a promotion at work which entailed taking on additional supervisory responsibilities, I doubt you would be surprised to learn that additional monitoring and reporting would attend such a change in responsibility would you not? First of all, you don't have to worry about being snarky with me. I am decidedly pro-snark. That being said, if a slimmed down report is all that needs to be communicated, why is it that the WML must be the one to deliver it? Couldn't that slimmed down report just be given to the EQ President (or whoever is attending Ward Council that week) instead? To me, that sounds more like an 'information sharing' item and not really something that needs to be discussed by the council. I see these two things as being independent of each other. Not knowing the status on less actives isn't a function of not having the WML present in a council meeting - it's caused by a breakdown in communication between the WML and (ultimately) the EQ President. Fix the root cause of the issue and everything else will follow. Sometimes, however, you've got to give people the opportunity to improve on their own - even if it it's frustrating and happens much more slowly than you would prefer.
  9. Tongue-in-cheek answer: Because we don't have 20 minutes to burn getting the run-down on everyone the missionaries have talked to in the last two weeks. Slightly more thoughtful response: With the shift of responsibilities over missionary work, having the WML attend Ward Council is largely redundant now. The WML ought to be reporting to someone in the EQ presidency, who ultimately reports to the EQ President, who happens to be on the Ward Council already. If there's anything important relating to missionary work, he ought to know about it already, so there's no real need to have another standing member on the council just for missionary work. In our ward, we still have a WML. He comes to Ward Council, by invitation, about once a quarter to give a report on how things are going with respect to our ward mission plan. The family history coordinator does the same thing - brief report, no more than once a quarter. That seems to be sufficient, though it does slightly differ from what has been done in the past.
  10. Well, it's certainly true that our buildings tend to be on the spartan side - not a lot of furniture to hide behind like what might be possible in an office space. However, you seem to be forgetting a rather salient point about the classrooms: they are invariably on the first floor, and they all have windows which can be used for escape; some of the larger rooms (e.g., RS, Primary, FH Center, etc.) have full sized doors as well. The only rooms that don't have a point of egress are usually rooms that can be locked (e.g., bishop's office, clerk's office, utility rooms, library, etc.). So 'running' seems to be a pretty viable option in most buildings, regardless of where you happen to find yourself. With respect, I disagree. The run > hide > fight protocol is the best approach for citizens to follow in these kinds of situations. And, as I mentioned before, the guidelines very much do apply to our meetinghouses, so there's no reason to disregard them.
  11. Texas, three units, current start times: 9am, 10:30 am, and noon. Seems to work out okay.
  12. Maybe he's just not a fan of being compared to a loyalist in the evil, totalitarian regime described in her fiction. I'm sure you were just trying to be clever / funny, but I thought the remark was a little off-putting. YMMV.
  13. The article is, technically, accurate on this point. But I think the way it's phrased is designed to be misleading. Here's the quote again: Asians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics have been called to be general authorities and given conference speeches. But not until this year has there been an African American doing so. They don't specify Asian Americans or Hispanic Americans or US Pacific Islanders, so the inference here is that they are talking about race - not race + country of origin. So, primed to believe that we're talking about race, the article then immediately pivots to race + nationality, but that's not how the casual reader is going to understand what it being said. They are going to take it to mean that there has never been a black man (or woman) who has ever given a conference address in the last 41 years. But that would be incorrect. There have been black Latter-day Saints who have participated in conference before - just none who happen to have been born in America.
  14. Not immediately released, but there's certainly a countdown. Personally, I think this will be a good change. I've been involved with YM's in smaller wards, and I always thought that three adults in the room (i.e., Bishopric member, YM Presidency, and Advisor) felt like too many cooks in the kitchen. Plus, I like how the church is moving toward re-emphasizing the fact that Quorum leaders are key holders, and (as such) are the ones ultimately responsible for their quorums. This is how I was raised, and I've found it shocking to see wards where youth leaders end up taking over the programs. Removing YM 'presidencies' in exchange for 'advisers' is - I think - a not so subtle indication of what their true role ought to be. That seems...statistically unlikely, but I suppose it's possible. I was almost released twice that way. I was serving in the EQ Presidency a while ago and had been released as part of an EQ Presidency reorganization just before the changes to Stake Priesthood organization were rolled out. I was then called to serve in Primary, teaching the 11 year old class - only to have that calling be disappeared at the end of the year. It didn't really bother me though. I just figured the Lord was so concerned about the kind of damage I was going to do as a youth leader that, rather than risk the prompting of my release being ignored by local authorities, He just decided to go straight to the prophet and eliminate the class entirely. And, just to add insult to injury, He had me called as a clerk. I don't know that we always do do this. The ward we are living in now has been re-aligned twice since we have lived here, and everyone in the stake knew about the changes well in advance. To be honest, one of my favorite sights in the church is when I see the entire Stake Presidency attend our ward and I don't know what they are there for. Because if I don't know - then they're obviously not there for me!
  15. I haven't seen the actual case, but my reading of the article is that the only thing St. Vincent's refuses to do is to provide recommendations / endorsements for gay couples seeking seeking to foster and/or adopt children. Instead of providing these recommendations / endorsements themselves (contrary to their religious beliefs) they simply refer them to other agencies who have no such objections to providing those specific services. However, once a couple has been endorsed, St. Vincent's complies with the determination of the state and willingly places children into those homes - including those with gay parents. I can understand where they are coming from. They want to provide a service and help kids who are genuinely in need, but due to their Catholic faith they just can't bring themselves to endorse these parents themselves. I could imagine a similar kind of situation playing out if, say, polygamy were legally recognized. A Christian adoption agency might say, 'Well, if the state is willing to certify them as being fit then we will agree to placing children in their care, but we just can't bring ourselves to be the ones who declare that they are fit in the first place.' When it comes to religious exercise, people have to decide for themselves where they will draw lines. Personally, I think the Catholic agency here is doing their part to try and operate on an acceptable middle-ground. But if push comes to shove, we know will happen - they will stick to their beliefs and close up shop just like they have had to do elsewhere (e.g., Boston Catholic Charities). And the system will be worse off for it.
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