Facebook just isn't enough. I'll try it here where people that are really interested (if there are any at all) can follow, engage, or maybe even be entertained by my thoughts on politics, religion, and general living.
Firstly, caveats need to be given. As I am employed by the federal government, my thoughts are clearly my own and have nothing to do with my official position which will likely be revealed as we go along. As my [family] points out, my employment certainly has its impact on my political and economic views - that goes without saying. But because some of this may touch on politics, I am required to follow the Hatch Act which protects me in my First Amendment expressions as long is there is no clear link that the U.S. Government or my Agency or local office has in any way endorsed my personal speech. I will not use any confidential government information. I am also restricted in the use of government equipment or official work time to express personal views. I will honor that requirement with the commitment that I will never blog during my regularly scheduled work hours of 7:45 am - 4:45 pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. That will be true for days I am on leave as well just so there will not be any confusion on anyone's part. So, no matter how tempting it may be, I will not engage during those regular business hours. (I might just sneak a peak to look but not to blog on a lunch break to see if anybody ever comments.)
Secondly, why blog? As I started out, I feel a need for expression beyond the limitations of Facebook and the patience of my numerous friends thereon. I have a lot in me anxious to get out. I have had a few guest op-ed pieces published in the Salt Lake Tribune (I'll try to link below). I find myself in such a unique and often contradictory situation as a middle-of-the-road registered Democrat living in a red state that is very conservative. I mean, there's the whole passionate moderate thing to begin with. I am active LDS or Mormon and have been all my life, even serving as bishop, yet I was not born in Utah, did not grow up here, and can't really figure out why I keep ending up here. And I find the dominant Utah culture rather strange at times. Maybe I'm on a mission to Zion? A good part of my extended family is much more conservative than I am to the point that it has caused some familial tensions. But I still love them and they love me (I think).
For instance, I love the Constitution of the United States of America. I use it in my daily work. (OK, I guess it's time to admit I'm an attorney.) But the Constitution I read and use seems to be a little different than the sometimes strange Constitutional interpretations I often find around me. Well, more of that later.
So, for now, sit back, enjoy, engage or ignore as you wish. I will attempt to be positive, passionate and moderate as I trust in Faith, Hope, and Charity. And I will attempt to practice Charity in my communications, which after all, is the greatest of these.
(I will also edit offensive language or comments - remember Charity always! - if I can figure out how to work this blog thing.)
Previously published op-eds in the Salt Lake Tribune:
The most recent was from last Spring 2010 on Joseph Smith and States Rights Doctrine. An older one from Spring 2007 is Temperate Pacifism which is unfortunately behind the Trib's Archive wall requiring payment. I will likely post that text from my drafts at a later point.