Mayan Weaving, American Relations with China, and Remembering Suffering through Narratives

This post comes from a presentation I gave this semester in response to a lecture on Mayan weaving given by Allen Christensen, a talented Maya scholar at BYU.

I am also writing this in response to the discussion on relationships with China that Doug raised several days ago.

There is an interesting correlation between how Mayans and Christian Americans connect themselves with their religious narratives and how they produce clothing. This is one small way of exploring how Americans have become insensitive to human suffering in relationships with China and other poor countries. Continue reading

China, Sudan, Tibet, and the Olympics

The following is an email from my friend Dave Cook regarding China’s support of Sudan in the wake of the Darfur Genocide, the Tibetan riots, the international responses, and the Olympics. It is in response to the NY Times article: Pro-Tibet Activists Disrupt Olympic Flame Ceremony and a question of mine. Dave has traveled extensively in China and offers a reasoned discussion here, as you will see. I thought it might spark an interesting discussion about human rights, protests, the possibility of halting the genocide in Darfur, the media, etc. Enjoy.

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Illegal Immigration vs. Article of Faith 12

The following post is slightly modified from a comment I left in answer to a reader’s question, in the comments from the Why Mormons Should Consider Backing Obama post. The question was concerned with illegal immigrants being able to have temple recommends (as well as, in some cases, high-level local leadership positions), considering the Latter-day Saint belief “of obeying, honoring and sustaining the law” (Article of Faith 12). I admit in addressing this question that I am nowhere near an expert on this issue. The following represents simply a few tentative, humble thoughts on the matter. I would be curious to hear what others think. Continue reading