Unworthy: Missing Chapter #3

I think he’s an asshole.

My SIL is not wrong. Nor is he alone in his opinion. Most of the book prior to these chapters is a testament to this reality. But Unworthy also explains why — the sources of my expressing ass-holier-than-thou thoughts. Even so, I’m not quite sure all of my new understanding and “scary” self-awareness would have changed anything between my SIL and me.

I do not begrudge my SIL’s venting. Nor do I begrudge him his pain. Believing his narrative, as he does, would demand the tone and form of his attack. I get it. I do. And his adamant desire to sever ties with me is a natural conclusion to his narrative. Hey, look, I have written too many “fuck you” letters in my life, personal and professional, to not understand his to me. read more

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Unworthy: Missing Chapter #2

 

I don’t care if this makes you sad. Almost everything about you makes me sad. I think you’re small. I think you’re a bigot. I think you’re a bully. I’m certain you’re an ideologue…It’s hard not to be impressed by [your] utter lack of self-awareness…

 Well, I guess this is what you call burning an already rickety-ass bridge. I told you many years ago that me and my family would be just fine without you in our lives. That remains true today.

The Imposter is made for moments like these. Regardless of how I apply every bit of context to my SIL’s words, they hurt, they successfully made me feel less-than, and they immediately began to work on my memories. I racked my brain. What beyond my early letter to him could make him feel this way, communicate it now after 20 years, and leave him in a position unable to forgive anything? read more

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Unworthy: Missing Chapter #1

You didn’t know who Candace Owens was? never heard of her? and sent me her video in defense of your position? Lol, Jesus Paul, how am I supposed to take you seriously?

The setting is Wednesday, June 3, 2020. It’s 3:39 pm. A friend just sent Sally a video of a young black woman opining about the new wave of aggrandizement, as she sees it, over George Floyd, the black man horrifically murdered by Minneapolis police officers. An hour or two had passed before I viewed the video and, in between receiving the video and watching it, I posted to Facebook an opinion, stating matter-of-factly, that systemic racism does not exist in America. read more

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Fairness for All is a failed strategy to protect religious freedom

The contention between religious freedom and gay rights is and always has been binary. The “Utah Compromise” of 2015 was a mirage and its illusory light distantly refracting for dull visionaries now gives hope to an identical federal proposal by U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart. But it too will disappoint.

Here is why: Can you imagine Martin Luther King Jr. settling for a “Southern Compromise” wherein blacks gain all civil rights except among certain segments of society? Regarding the Utah Compromise, if everyone is being honest, the LGBT community got hoodwinked for a hug at the state Capitol — a disappointing accomplishment as viewed by astute national LGBT advocates who well understood the problems of legalized discrimination. read more

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Impeachment inquiry is a moral and constitutional obligation

We now know that Trump extorted Ukraine, a U.S. ally with critical strategic value in a tumultuous region, in an attempt to gain an edge on a domestic political opponent. While the president and his supporters have attempted to hide behind false claims about the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation, this time around Congress has an opportunity and duty to uncover the truth as the American public looks on.

As we continue to hear testimony from distinguished career diplomats and decorated armed service members, the search for the truth must be the top priority of Congress. Presidential invitations to foreign nations to dig for dirt on American political candidates cannot be tolerated by voters, let alone by Congress. Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s math was shockingly clear: two-plus-two equals four. read more

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I, swear

Over a business lunch just off Capitol Hill in Austin, Texas, a new colleague seemed shocked to know I was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “You’re a Mormon?” he asked with not a small amount of incredulity. My mind raced to discern why he was surprised. And then it hit me, “Ah. I get it. I swear. Right?” He nodded affirmatively.

My new colleague was not being overly sensitive. My swearing is reflective of unfiltered quality over quantity. I’m good at it. A damn or a hell would not have set off his perception alarms about my faith. He knew the strong expletives I used were intentional. Swearing is behavioral and I own it. read more

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Bill Dannemeyer, RIP

For six years on Capitol Hill, I worked for Congressman William E. Dannemeyer. It was the first real job of my 35-year political career. Now “Mr. D” is laid to rest after his own tireless career as a lawyer, judge, California state assemblyman (as a Democrat), U.S. congressman (as a Republican) and saint or sinner depending upon your worldview.

The numerous obituaries I’ve read nearly all sound the same: indefatigable, unapologetic, principled, laser focused, relentless, scrappy, combative and confrontational. These same obituaries are filled with other descriptors: homophobic, bigot, despicable, horrible and as his congressional nemesis for many years, Henry Waxman, called him “a mean and hateful person.” Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen dubbed him “the Renaissance man of bigotry” in 1990 and The Advocate, the gay flagship magazine, later included him on its list of “the 50 biggest homophobes of the last 50 years.” read more

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Romney’s faith should move him to a humane immigration policy

Sen. Mitt Romney says America has become an “asylum magnet” for immigrants on our southern border. I say, good for us! If refugees cannot find asylum in the United States, we stop being Americans.

Salt Lake Tribune

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What is the ‘Utah way’? Depends on who you are.

If you are involved at all in Utah politics, you most likely have heard about the “Utah way” of doing things. But what exactly is the “Utah way?”

The New York Times referred to the firing squad as “a Utah way of death.” The arrival of Frontrunner ahead of schedule and under budget was described as being “kind of the Utah way.” Gov. Gary Herbert declared that “turning a blind eye and doing nothing” to help “our neighbors, our friends, and our family members” was not the Utah way, shortly before the House of Representatives rejected his Healthy Utah proposal. The phrase was used by political commentator Paul Mero to describe the Utah Compact and by Keith McMullin, CEO of Deseret Management, when referring to Utah’s business-friendly policies. Most recently, the Utah way has been trotted out when discussing the ballot initiatives during last year’s November election. read more

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Chapter 9: Happiness

Human beings are born to achieve happiness within God’s plan for man. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes happiness and its enjoyment possible. The Atonement, in fact, defines happiness. It defines our choices, our judgments, our values, our priorities and our worldview – all central components of our happiness.

Pleasure-seeking and pain avoidance are not forms of happiness. This worldly, utilitarian paradigm is selfish. Happiness is not selfish. Happiness is communion with God, His great Plan of Salvation, with our Savior and every element comprising essential connections leading us to know, become as and to live again with Heavenly Father. read more

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