On nationalism: Unfortunately, this is a worldwide problem

On nationalism: Unfortunately, this is a worldwide problem

This guest post is written by Kate Harveston, a writer and political activist from Pennsylvania. She blogs about culture and politics, and the various ways that those elements act upon each other. For more of her work, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

America’s news media has spent the last six months captivated by a rash of white nationalist activity. It’s easy to point a finger at the surreal result of the USA’s democratic process — the election of President Donald Trump — as the cause for all this hateful activity. The truth is, though, that nationalist sentiment has been swirling around the global geopolitical conversation for quite some time now.

Continue reading “On nationalism: Unfortunately, this is a worldwide problem”

On defending the unborn when you can’t even treat those around you with basic respect

On defending the unborn when you can’t even treat those around you with basic respect

This guest post is written by Kate Harveston, a writer and political activist from Pennsylvania. She blogs about culture and politics, and the various ways that those elements act upon each other. For more of her work, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

Anti-abortion advocates are adamant that they’re pro-life. The irony of this is their lack of respect for other human beings who have opinions that differ from theirs. There is a long history of violence at abortion clinics by anti-abortion activists, and in the 90s, anti-abortion extremists decided murder was the only way to stop abortion. How does that correspond with a pro-life agenda? Continue reading “On defending the unborn when you can’t even treat those around you with basic respect”

Religious education is still important, regardless of affiliation

Religious education is still important, regardless of affiliation

This guest post is written by Kate Harveston, a writer and political activist from Pennsylvania. She blogs about culture and politics, and the various ways that those elements act upon each other. For more of her work, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

In the Western world, the new wave of liberalism and acceptance sits with difficulty alongside the
stigma associated with traditional religion.

Seen as outdated and irrelevant, as well as archaic, religious education in schools is losing importance, and publicly funded religious schools are under threat more than ever before. It is not hard to understand how this has happened, and with the rise of political correctness, getting through a religious education class having escaped accusations may seem an impossible feat for many teachers today. Continue reading “Religious education is still important, regardless of affiliation”

On “Dying with Dignity”: When religion meets medicine

On “Dying with Dignity”: When religion meets medicine

This guest post is written by Kate Harveston, a writer and political activist from Pennsylvania. She blogs about culture and politics, and the various ways that those elements act upon each other. For more of her work, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

Healthcare forces us to make some of the most difficult decisions of our lives. In recent years, the issue of doctor-assisted euthanasia has become one of those.

There was a time when the practice simply wasn’t talked about. It is, however, part of our reality and one that pulls us in a number of moral directions. Add religion to the equation, and things become even more complicated.

Just such a choice has made things difficult for a Catholic hospital in Ontario, where euthanasia is not typically performed. One group is challenging whether the opt-out ability that Canada grants to hospitals is fair to patients who request the procedure. Continue reading “On “Dying with Dignity”: When religion meets medicine”

The Solar Eclipse and Spirituality

The Solar Eclipse and Spirituality

This guest post is written by Kate Harveston, a writer and political activist from Pennsylvania. She blogs about culture and politics, and the various ways that those elements act upon each other. For more of her work, you can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

On Monday, August 21st, the entire contiguous United States saw its first total solar eclipse in 99 years. While it lasted for only a few precious minutes, it was a moment of great anticipation that indeed did unite America’s 50 states, federal districts, territories, and islands for a brief and rare moment of community.

Of course the country — the world — saw the solar eclipse as an event to be celebrated, but more so for the phenomenon we understand it to be scientifically, as opposed to an overtly spiritual event. However, looking back at religious perceptions of solar eclipses, we learn of their major spiritual significance, both negative and positive, within different religions. The human’s fascination with solar eclipses is thousands of years old, and naturally the various interpretations of them have shaped religion’s appreciation of these events today. Continue reading “The Solar Eclipse and Spirituality”

11 ways leaders can make non-binary youth feel welcome at church

11 ways leaders can make non-binary youth feel welcome at church

Having two LGBTQ+ children makes me hyper aware of the challenges they face growing up in the LDS church.

Growing up gay in the LDS church is problematic enough. Identifying as a gender outside of the conventional binary of either male or female adds even further complexity to the challenges queer youth face in the church.

The LDS church strongly adheres to the typical gender binary. It’s reflected in their scripture stories, in their temples, in how they approach parenting, in leadership responsibilities, and so on. Segregation of the sexes begins at 8 years old, with boys being shipped off to weekly Cub pack meetings and girls being shuffled to biweekly Activity Days. This segregation continues into adulthood, right to the day one dies.

This is problematic for people who don’t identify as male or female. They feel out of place when forced to segregate, and the discomfort (to put it mildly) can lead them out of the church ultimately.

Few resources are provided to youth leaders to help them address the unique experiences of the non-binary youth they are asked to lead. This goes not only for young men and young women leaders, but bishops and stake presidents, too. So, it’s not surprising, then, that leaders do little to accommodate their non-binary youth.

I reached out to our gender-fluid child, Ash, who will be entering the youth programme next month, and we worked together to compile these 11 tips on how leaders can make non-binary youth feel welcome at church. Continue reading “11 ways leaders can make non-binary youth feel welcome at church”