State, National and World News

Tuesday, we’re asking the question at the heart of a resolution proposed by Utah Senator Todd Weiler: is pornography a public health crisis? Anti-porn groups point out that we’re not talking about a Playboy centerfold. They say a simple internet search will lead you to free content that’s degrading, violent, and hijacking our sense of healthy sexuality. But others say porn is a symptom, not the cause of anxiety, depression, and shame. Doug is joined by Weiler and others to explore the arguments.

Utah Senator Steve Urquhart says the LDS Church “effectively snuffed out” his bill to strengthen the state’s hate crime laws. Last week, the Church criticized any legislation that would upset the “careful balance” Utah achieved between LGBT rights and religious liberty with last year’s anti-discrimination law. Wednesday, Urquhart and others will join us to talk about the timing of his bill, what balance should look like it, and why proponents argue the state’s current hate crime law falls short.

  Monday, our guest is political commentator E.J. Dionne, whose new book charts the course of conservatism from the Goldwater era of the 1960s to what he calls the “Trumpification of Republican politics” today. Dionne says it’s a story of disappointment as politicians have failed to fulfill their promises and rhetoric. He joins Doug to explain how this led to a steady march rightward and why reforming the conservative movement means revisiting the choices Republicans made 50 years ago.

Medical marijuana is legal in 23 U.S. states, and Utah is now considering whether it should be an option for patients here. Two bills are working their way through the legislature. The more controversial is sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Madsen. It proposes making the whole plant - including the psychoactive chemical THC - available. Wednesday, we’re talking about the bill and the politics around it. We’ll also break down the science to analyze the benefits and risks of medical marijuana.

Last week, an advocacy group made headlines when they said there’s been a startling increase in suicides among LGBT Mormon youth. They blamed LDS Church policy which labels members in same-sex marriages as apostates. It’s hard to get a line on those statistics though, and while the anecdotal numbers are problematic, they still raise serious concerns. Tuesday, we’re asking what we know about depression and suicide in gay Mormons and whether the Church’s vocal stance contributes to that risk.

Monday, we continue our Sundance coverage with AUDRIE & DAISY. The two teen girls were raped and this documentary examines the fallout of shaming and bullying on social media that followed. Audrie was overwhelmed by what she saw as irreparable damage to her reputation and committed suicide. Daisy's story made national headlines, and her family became the target of an enraged community. Filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk join Doug to explore what they call a modern-day "Scarlet Letter."

Bundy-style Mormonism

Jan 14, 2016
Gage Skidmore, cc via Wikipedia

Thursday we’re asking if the occupation of a federal office in Oregon is a Mormon enterprise, and if so, what kind of Mormonism? The Bundy brothers leading the group are LDS, and they use Mormon theology to talk about motives and dealing with “tyranny.” The Church has condemned the tactics, and while the Bundys’ views aren’t mainstream, historian Patrick Mason says they didn’t come out of thin air. He and others join us to talk about the groups’ politics and faith in relation to Mormon orthodoxy.

Camilla Madsen

In November, independent radio producer Scott Carrier traveled overland from Copenhagen, Denmark, south to the Greek island of Lesbos. His journey traced the trail taken by refugees fleeing conflict in Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Carrier wanted to talk to the refugees themselves and find out why they left their homes, where they were going, and what they thought their futures would be like. He joins us Tuesday share what he learned about the European refugee crisis.

Micah Sheldon via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1O4Qt4z

Tuesday, as the sun sets on 2015, we’re discussing the biggest Utah news stories of the year. It was a year full of notable political and cultural developments. Salt Lake City elected a new mayor and was chosen as the new home for the state prison. Fights continued over both public lands and election reform. Gay marriage advocates rejoiced over a historic Supreme Court ruling, and the LDS Church adopted new restrictions on gay members. There’s a lot to talk about, so we hope you’ll join us.

Thierry Ehrmann via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1Bo4c0j

In March, the journalist Graeme Wood joined us to put the Islamic State under the microscope. What is it? Where did it come from, and what does it want? In an article for The Atlantic magazine, Wood argued that ISIS seeks to revert civilization to a “seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately bring about the apocalypse,” and it’s committed to killing vast numbers of people in the process. We talked about ISIS’s intellectual genealogy and why it’s imperative the West better understand it. (Rebroadcast)