Kansas City: LDS temple coming soon

So today at General Conference the announcement was made that the greater Kansas City metro area would have a temple of its own soon.

For my non-LDS readers, what this means basically is that the second coming of Christ is right around the corner. (Kidding. Well. Kind of.) Thing is, I’d be a lot happier about this if I didn’t think that half the Mormon corridor will be packing their bags come Monday to move here to prepare for aforementioned second coming. (And by the way, we don’t believe in the rapture version of the second coming.)

See, Independence, Missouri, is in the greater KC metro area and it’s significant to our religious history. During my incarceration in Provo, Utah, I realized that very few LDS, however, know that Independence is in KC because, well, nothing LDS exists east of the Rockies. And now that a new temple has been announced, they’ll all Google and figure it out and then oh noes! Here come the Saints back east dragging their handcarts behind them.

And if you do hit eastbound I-70, I-80, and I-90 running, prepare for tarring and feathering at the state line because the evangelical/born-again Christians still aren’t over that whole cult thing–like, they’re RABIDLY not over that whole cult thing.

Really, I’m happy we don’t have to drive 4 hours to St. Louis or Nauvoo, or 3 to Omaha to go to the temple and we have a built-in babysitter (grandma). Maybe I’m wrong about the impending mass immigration, given how the economy is right now. But really, folks, stay in Utah and Arizona and Idaho and Nevada and California. If you do come here, learn how to pronounce Olathe.

Now the question on everybody’s mind is: Where will it be built? I say Olathe.

Because I like saying Olathe.

Abolish marriage

“Marriage” is an ancient artificial construct that, in modern US society with no property rights attached to the female (i.e., dowry), has no real place.

As I said on chosha’s blog A Little East of Reality, what’s going on with California’s Prop 8 and the LDS church’s involvement with that, is one of defining the term. What needs to happen is that the underpinning law defining the term needs to change and then let linguistic evolution take over as to what is and is not marriage.

Here’s what needs to happen:

You and your intended(s) go to a lawyer and draw up a contract (people already to this for prenuptial agreements). You specify things like kids, power of attorney, healthcare decisionmaking, who does and does not have access to your healthcare information (thank you, HIPAA), and other things that heterosexual couples just…get…legally because they’re married as defined by law. In this case, the contract becomes the law. The lawyer files it with the court (like a divorce decree, only it’d be called something else like, oh, a companionship contract), the state collects its data, and everybody’s good to go.

If you and your intended(s) then want to go to your local ecclesiastical entity (whatever it is) and have a rite performed, you do that. Or don’t, if you don’t want to.

Or…do none of the above and after X number of years, you’ve converted from cohabitating to common-law “marriage” and that could apply to whatever living arrangement you have.

Here’s the thing. You change the labels and the populace will decide what marriage is based on their vocabulary.

Since I’m a libertarian, I have no investment in regulating what people do with their bodies as long as it doesn’t endanger me and mine.

I also have no investment in helping the church attempt to define “marriage” in California (although thankfully I haven’t been asked because then I’d be forced to be rude) because marriage has historically been about money and alliances.

What I find hypocritical is that the people who are most invested in re-defining marriage to include same-sex couples then turn around and vehemently protest polyamorous unions, which should have the same protections under whatever law gets passed.

William Saletan goes to great lengths to define why this should not be allowed and I find that simply ridiculous. Two people know what they’re doing, but three or more don’t? Let’s protect you from yourselves!

Here’s the answer. The number isn’t two. It’s one. You commit to one person, and that person commits wholly to you. Second, the number isn’t arbitrary. It’s based on human nature. Specifically, on jealousy.

Ah, okay. There’s a good argument.

In an excellent Weekly Standard article against gay marriage and polygamy, Stanley Kurtz of the Hudson Institute discusses several recent polygamous unions. In one case, “two wives agreed to allow their husbands to establish a public and steady sexual relationship.” Unfortunately, “one of the wives remains uncomfortable with this arrangement,” so “the story ends with at least the prospect of one marriage breaking up.” In another case, “two bisexual-leaning men meet a woman and create a threesome that produces two children, one by each man.” Same result: “the trio’s eventual breakup.”

Let’s protect the women and children!

Then he resorts to quoting the Bible, so he loses credibility with me right there.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What’s good for the homosexual goose is good for the polyamorous gander and I defy any same-sex couple to give me a decent argument why that isn’t so…

…but that’s not my main point. My main point is this: You make it a civil contract between consenting adults, then let society’s usage of the word “marriage” define the word “marriage.”

Spiritual erotica

My book doesn’t have a genre. It’s too many things, but two things it is are spiritual and erotic. Okay, so in my mind, I think, “spiritual erotica.” I like it.

Anyhoo, I would like to direct your attention to today’s Thmazing’s Thmusings post by Eric Jepson on “The Erotic in LDS Lit, Part I: Why?” Very thoughtful piece. Tyler of Chasing the Long White Cloud appears on the verge of addressing the subject himself. Then there’s The Visitors’ Center, which is a blog “celebrating Mormon sexuality,” and I’m wondering…

Is this serendipity that a whole bunch of us are coming up with this just in the last couple of years or so or has it been simmering on the back of the stove for a while and is now gathering steam and getting ready to blow?

“Mormon” as its own genre

Well, so I’ve been through the whole “LDS fiction” genre discussion here and here and here.

But not here. I’m not late to the party, as I’ve been stewing about this for a while, but the LA Times article gave me something else to throw in the stew pot.

Richard Dutcher, the regrettably monikered “father of Mormon film,” has released his latest film, Falling, in a limited number of venues. As of last year, he also released the moniker and the church. In a statement made last year, he said he was “leaving Mormon moviemaking to the Mormons.” Which is sad because as far as I can gather, his work was seen by some as “so very supportive of both our community and its faith.”

(Psst: Mr. Dutcher. Call me!)

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The 37-year-old virgin heroine

The Virgin Heroine has always been (and remains, IMO) a staple of genre romance. It’s getting not so much that way anymore, but as time goes on and society gets freer with its sexcapades, it’s harder for a writer to justify the Virgin Heroine, especially beyond, say, college age. On the other hand, we still have historical writers who are perfectly capable of pulling off the “wicked virgin widow trope,” which I have to admit is cracktastic and I never ever get tired of it. (Kind of like “I had to do it to fulfill the will” plots, but that’s another post.)

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a contemporary romance (other than an inspirational or sweet) that used religious beliefs as a solid, if not defiant, reason for the heroine’s virginity. And in any case, religious or not, if the heroine does lose her virginity before she marries the hero, she still marries (or commits to) the hero, so it’s all good.

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