Episode 19: Mormons and the Cross

In this episode we chat with Mike Reed about his thesis work concerning Mormons and the cross, its history and current attitudes today.

Deseret New article
Mormon Times article
Salt Lake Tribune article

Mike’s Blog: http://culturalmormoncafeteria.blogspot.com/

Episode 19

24 comments on “Episode 19: Mormons and the Cross”

  1. MikeReed Reply

    John calls me a “special” guest, and Nyle laughs. Nice. Making fun of my daim bramage, eh?

    In all seriousness, thanks for the interview you guys (and gal).

  2. MikeReed Reply

    John calls me a “special” guest, and Nyle laughs. Nice. Making fun of my daim bramage, eh?

    In all seriousness, thanks for the interview you guys (and gal).

  3. John Reply

    There is a story there. Zilpha makes fun of me that I identify every podcast and every guest as “special”. Right before the recording, I had shared that with group. Nyal was laughing at me calling Mike “special”.

  4. John Reply

    There is a story there. Zilpha makes fun of me that I identify every podcast and every guest as “special”. Right before the recording, I had shared that with group. Nyal was laughing at me calling Mike “special”.

  5. Swearing Elder Reply

    Nice interview. Having some Catholic relatives I always found the anti-Cross’ism of the church kinda odd — this gave some interesting background to the whole issue.

  6. Swearing Elder Reply

    Nice interview. Having some Catholic relatives I always found the anti-Cross’ism of the church kinda odd — this gave some interesting background to the whole issue.

  7. Randy Reply

    Interesting interview. The funny thing was, I thought you guys introduced him as an apologist, so I was listening with the assumption he was still a believer. Then, bam, at the end he reveals he is not a believer anymore. I was listening on a plane so maybe the background noise made me remember it wrong but still, I can finally give background as to why the strange anti cross sentiment in the church.

  8. Randy Reply

    Interesting interview. The funny thing was, I thought you guys introduced him as an apologist, so I was listening with the assumption he was still a believer. Then, bam, at the end he reveals he is not a believer anymore. I was listening on a plane so maybe the background noise made me remember it wrong but still, I can finally give background as to why the strange anti cross sentiment in the church.

  9. MikeReed Reply

    Randy,
    Even without the background noise, you would have probably gotten the same impression. I didn’t think my ex-Mormon status needed to be brought up, since the validity of the Church (as I see it) neither rises nor falls over my thesis topic. I purposefully chose the topic of Mormons and the Cross for this reason. I wanted a topic that I could research as objectively as possible, and not have my faith-based assumptions (or lack thereof) color my perception. But yeah… although my status may be irrelevant to my research, it was probably best that it was explained in the podcast. Best not to mislead any listeners. 🙂 The down side, though, is that my status can be exploited by others (ie. to discredit me, or place me on a pedestal) to serve sensational agendas. I’d like to avoid this if I can.
    –Mike

  10. MikeReed Reply

    Randy,
    Even without the background noise, you would have probably gotten the same impression. I didn’t think my ex-Mormon status needed to be brought up, since the validity of the Church (as I see it) neither rises nor falls over my thesis topic. I purposefully chose the topic of Mormons and the Cross for this reason. I wanted a topic that I could research as objectively as possible, and not have my faith-based assumptions (or lack thereof) color my perception. But yeah… although my status may be irrelevant to my research, it was probably best that it was explained in the podcast. Best not to mislead any listeners. 🙂 The down side, though, is that my status can be exploited by others (ie. to discredit me, or place me on a pedestal) to serve sensational agendas. I’d like to avoid this if I can.
    –Mike

  11. Mike Reed Reply

    Good question Jenny. Chaplains currently have a limited number of badges to choose from—-a moon crescent for Islam, wheel for Buddhism, Star of David for Judaism, and a cross for Christianity. (1) One should expect that if a different symbol was made available for the Mormon faith (like the Beehive or Angel Moroni), then the Church would instruct their chaplains to use it instead of the cross. Although the U.S. government has yet to provide a unique badge for Latter-day Saints chaplains, the Church successfully applied for and received an angel Moroni grave-stone marker in 1980. (2)

    ————————-

    1) See “Chaplain Badges,” USA Military Medals, http://www.usamilitarymedals.com/chaplain-badges-c-2071_2470_2506.html

    2) Edwin G. Sapp, “Suitland Maryland Stake,” History of the Mormons in the Greater Washington Area (Washington D.C.: Community Printing Services Inc., 1991), 112.

  12. Mike Reed Reply

    Good question Jenny. Chaplains currently have a limited number of badges to choose from—-a moon crescent for Islam, wheel for Buddhism, Star of David for Judaism, and a cross for Christianity. (1) One should expect that if a different symbol was made available for the Mormon faith (like the Beehive or Angel Moroni), then the Church would instruct their chaplains to use it instead of the cross. Although the U.S. government has yet to provide a unique badge for Latter-day Saints chaplains, the Church successfully applied for and received an angel Moroni grave-stone marker in 1980. (2)

    ————————-

    1) See “Chaplain Badges,” USA Military Medals, http://www.usamilitarymedals.com/chaplain-badges-c-2071_2470_2506.html

    2) Edwin G. Sapp, “Suitland Maryland Stake,” History of the Mormons in the Greater Washington Area (Washington D.C.: Community Printing Services Inc., 1991), 112.

  13. lump Reply

    Jenny,

    Chaplains are officers in the Army, Navy or Air Force (Maybe Marines). As such, they have insignia on their uniform that identifies their specialty. For Army Infantry it’s crossed rifles; for Army Medical Corp (doctors) it’s a caduceus. For the chaplain it’s typically a cross, but can also be a crescent for Muslims or tablet with star of David for Jewish chaplains. So, it’s a thing with officers, they wear an insignia to identify their branch/specialty.

    see:

    http://www.ndu.edu/nwc/nwcclipart/US_ARMY/Rank-Insignia-Logos/Other_Insignia/Branch_Insignia(Officer)/0003.html

  14. lump Reply

    Jenny,

    Chaplains are officers in the Army, Navy or Air Force (Maybe Marines). As such, they have insignia on their uniform that identifies their specialty. For Army Infantry it’s crossed rifles; for Army Medical Corp (doctors) it’s a caduceus. For the chaplain it’s typically a cross, but can also be a crescent for Muslims or tablet with star of David for Jewish chaplains. So, it’s a thing with officers, they wear an insignia to identify their branch/specialty.

    see:

    http://www.ndu.edu/nwc/nwcclipart/US_ARMY/Rank-Insignia-Logos/Other_Insignia/Branch_Insignia(Officer)/0003.html

  15. Mike Reed Reply

    John Whitmer Books and I have negotiated a contract for a book deal.

    Subscribe to my blog (link given above), and you will be among the first to know when the book is available.

  16. Mike Reed Reply

    John Whitmer Books and I have negotiated a contract for a book deal.

    Subscribe to my blog (link given above), and you will be among the first to know when the book is available.

  17. Pingback: The lowdown on us Mormons... - Utah (UT) - Page 30 - City-Data Forum

  18. Jacob Brown Reply

    I don’t know why, but I was really sad to learn near the end of the podcast that Mike is agnostic. It really doesn’t make sense because I am atheist/agnostic too. Maybe he sounded sad?

    Wonderful information about the cross and Mormonism. It is neat to look back and try and understand how things have changed over time. Thanks!

  19. Megan von Ackermann Reply

    I resigned over Prop-8 and have certainly been active over the issues of gay rights so I’ve heard a lot of stories but yours really touched me and broke my heart. Thank you for sharing it. I’m glad to hear that you are able to be your honest self and that you have so many people who love you for it.

  20. Michael Johnson Reply

    It’s nice things worked out Drew. Your kids look great. Thanks for your story.

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