Proposing another way to understand catalysts to faith disaffection: Attachment injury

This is the first of a seven-part series, “Recruiting Alma the Younger“ There continues to be lots of discussion about disaffiliation and disaffection from faith communities these days – most often, involving a language of unexpected “faith crisis” hitting – which can subsequently trigger what many experience as an inevitable, irrevocable “transition process” in relation… Continue reading

Recruiting Alma the Younger

This last weekend, I caught a glimpse of Tyler Glenn and Dan Reynolds on the Love Loud Livestream singing a mock primary song, with words implying hypocrisy among those hold a different perspective on sexuality than they do, for not being loving like they are (like even a child should find obvious!) I couldn’t help… Continue reading

Who Loves Gay People “the Most”?

 Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. When it comes to “the loving thing to do,” we continue to reach very different conclusions in the American conversation on sexuality.  Why? Our convictions about love, I argue below, arise directly from other convictions about happiness and identity itself…all of which explains contrasting evaluations of whose teachings are “loving” and whose are “destructive.” [Originally… Continue reading

Differentiating Policy Discomfort and Discomfort Induced by Accusing Rhetoric About the Policy

Jacob Hess, Ph.D. A previous version was published on Millenial Star, as “Enlarging the Wounds of Those Already Wounded” in Our Sexuality Discussion Today Thursday before the recent General Conference, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced policy adjustments in relation to children connected to parents who had chosen to… Continue reading

A Response to Jana Riess’s “The Next Mormons”: The Importance of Disentangling Data and Argument

 Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. Note:  A special thanks to Jana Riess for her willingness to correspond and share thoughtful responses to a number of questions during an especially busy time for her. Given the seriousness of claims made in her lengthy book, an adequate review and response also requires sufficient space (trigger warning to long-read-haters!)  … Continue reading

Can People Repent of Racism?

Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. [Originally published on the Millenial Star] If someone does or says something legitimately racist, can they change, move past it – and regain societal grace? After Governor Ralph Northam was accused earlier this year of wearing blackface in a college yearbook photo, calls for his resignation were almost immediate – including… Continue reading

Why Have Suicides Increased (Even More) After Enormous Efforts to Reduce Them?

Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. [First published on the EternalCore Mental Health Conference website] Like so many, I’ve lost loved ones to suicide. The most obvious question that always comes up is why? What was it that led this individual…to that tragedy? Although there will always be some uncertainty involved in this heartbreak, thousands of studies documenting various… Continue reading

The Dystopian Novel(s) We Are Now Living

Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. Once upon a time, religious conservatives in America found themselves increasingly disliked within a society more and more rejecting of their core convictions about life, sexuality and family. By the time 2016 rolled around, these orthodox religious folks were definitely not the cool cats, anymore: “Sexist!” “Racist!” “Heterosexist” “Is that even a… Continue reading

A Gathering of All Goodness: Some Optimism in this Somber Political Moment

Originally published on the Bridge Alliance blog, as “Glimpsing a Silver-Lining in this Otherwise Gloomy American Moment“ Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. Amidst the tumult of this perilous moment in the United States, could something surprisingly beautiful arise? Could this be the moment when good-hearted people across the political spectrum are forced to decisively come together – in… Continue reading

The Problem with Love Loud

Originally published on the Millenial Star blog, under the title “Lies Don’t Feel Loving: A Response to LoveLoud“ Jacob Hess, Ph.D. Standing in the middle of 30,000 people, it’s hard – even impossible – to imagine that something could be wrong with what’s happening.  It’s even more difficult to imagine that such passionate work may,… Continue reading