It is an absolute pleasure to read Midnight Sun just to cringe at it. But I am here to make it even cringier! I'm sure they have been WAY too many Twilight metaphors, but I'm adding one more to the pile: behold, Twilight through the lens of my gay Mormon religious trauma.
I've been curled up on the couch with a Lewis's Letters to Malcolm book this week. He never wrote a book on prayer, because, well, who am I to tell one how to pray? but his personal field notes on prayer have left me reflective on my own spiritual life.
I chose to read *Saving Faith* by John Gee because I knew I would strongly disagree with it. I don't usually do that with the books I read in my free time, but this one touched a chord as a gay Latter-Day Saint and a survivor of sexual abuse.
Stevens was a top Republican campaign strategist for many state and national elections, including Bush and Romney. His thesis: Trump isn't an aberration of the Republican party; he is its culmination. What happened to balancing the budget? Small government? Personal responsibility instead of playing the victim? Character counts? These principles that were supposedly the bedrock of the Republican party were abandoned over night when Trump was elected.
Hayek and Chesterton gave me a healthy skepticism of expert opinion, but the fact still stands: we do ourselves a disservice when we refuse to listen to our experts. In the era of COVID-19, we are seeing battle lines drawn yet again. Tom Nichols' book is an excellent look at where we went wrong.
While historical fiction surrounding the events of Christ's life can be fun, even inspiring, this one hasn't aged well. From Nicodemus's rant about the decline of Roman family values (even fitting abortion in there) to making Judas a rapist, it was WIERD.
For many in this country, the reality is you are guilty until proved innocent. This beautiful narrative illustrates one story of hope where a wrong was made right. I pray that we may have more such stories of healing in our broken system.
When it comes to Enos, Jarom, and Omni less is more. Sharon Harris has done more with these little books than I thought possible. Harris makes theological space in these pages for those on the edge of the inside of Mormonism, and in an Ozymandian take reminds us that spirituality isn't measured by your real estate on the gold plates.
My patient parents put up with me reading The Great Divorce to them this week while they were visiting. Re-reading Lewis always brings fresh insights. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" was one of the books that helped me overcome my religiously inspired self-loathing and realize I wasn't doomed to go to the Mormon version of hell.