so Sam and I have both now read Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven and I'm struggling with Mormonism. every time I think I have my finger on what bothers me about it (patriarchy, racism, secrets in vaults, egomaniacal leaders, fundamentalist sects, mystical laying-on of hands) I come up with an example from another religion that I'm more familiar with that also exhibits these traits and I wonder why Mormonism strikes me as different from these other religions. it's still stewing.
speaking of patriarchy and religion, broadsheet had a short note on the recent training and appointing of 50 women as religious guides in Morocco, opening up a bit of the higher levels of the Islamic community there to women, and providing an outlet for women to earn money as well. the other countries that also do this? Egypt and Iran.
once again it continues to astound me that the latter is on the US axis of evil while Saudi Arabia remains our close ally. here's hoping that the US doesn't try to squash the progressive movement within Morocco like it did the one in Iran.