Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Signing Off

Here it is, my very last J Squared column as Issues & Ideas editor for The Daily Universe:

Another proclamation on the family - 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord'

This is another of my personal, emotional and fairly preachy viewpoints, which I thought made it a good one to end on. It's a touching shout out to my wife and soon-to-be born daughter too.

(The only thing I'm a little worried about is any adverse reaction that may come from high school friends who I know support gay rights and same-sex marriage. I don't mean to offend, and I definitely don't mean to turn gay rights supporters into enemies. Politically, I can understand both sides of the argument over same-sex marriage. But I admit to being completely one-sided on the issue, for reasons that make sense spiritually but maybe not politically. I don't apologize for my view, but I do apologize if I made it sound harsh in this viewpoint.)

Here's the "Red Families vs. Blue Families" page on Amazon.com, if you want to find out more about the book.

I found out about the book in the first place from this Slate Political Gabfest podcast. If you want to hear the discussion on "Red Families vs. Blue Families, fast forward to the 28 minutes and 47 seconds mark.

And here's a New York Times editorial on the subject.


There were a lot of interesting letters to the editor this time around, and I tried to include as many as I can. They aren't in the archives of the Daily Universe website yet, but click here and go to page 3.

My favorite was a response to last Thursday's J Squared about the LDS Church in Iraq. In addition to many antagonistic emails and blog post comments, I have received quite a few compliments about my work on the opinion page. But this was the first one that came in the form of a letter to the editor, so it was the first one I could actually publish in the Universe.

You can read it here, or right here:

His influence in everything

I really appreciated the recent viewpoint
titled “Operation Iraqi Spiritual Freedom:
LDS Church makes it to the Middle East.” My
husband is an active duty member of the United
States Navy and is currently deployed overseas.
Recently, I encountered a fellow student who was
quick to let me know my husband is a sinner and
not in the Lord’s favor for being a member of the
military. This, in her opinion, proves he does
not love his fellow men as the Anti-Nephi-Lehis
from the Book of Mormon did. She wanted me
to be sure to understand my loving, strong and
amazing spouse could only be doing the work of
My husband and I, however, believe our Heav-
enly Father has His hand and influence in ev-
erything, including war. My husband has been
to areas devastated by hatred and anger, but he
has seen how the light of Christ is slowly filling
these areas with hope. People who never would
have had the chance to know about their Savior
are able to gather around faithful soldiers (who
are in fact keeping temple covenants and not do-
ing the work of Satan) to hear their testimonies,
to feel comfort and to learn about Christ.
So thank you Brother Despain for shedding
light on this long war (and the faithful soldiers
who are fighting it) and proving our Heavenly
Father is truly mindful of all of His children and
can have a strong positive influence even in the
midst of a terrible war.


And, the big news: I'll be a sports editor in the fall!!!

I got the job, and I'm super excited. Like I talked about on July 29, there are some great things about the opinion page and some great things about being a sports editor. I am really looking forward to working with 321 reporters and sharing what I know about good writing, helping to plan front page packages on sports, and getting paid to pay attention to sports. Not too bad.

My fellow sports editor is David "Sparky" Mortimer, already quite a celebrity in the sports journalism world. Long before writing about sports as a COMMS 321 student, and even long before coming to BYU, he was the official sports correspondent for David Letterman. Check it out:

Until then, I'm helping to cover BYU's Education Week. I get to go to a couple classes a day for free, and write about them for the paper. It will be fun to do some good old fashioned reporting again.

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