Author: Nate Oman

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah (autobiographical blogging here), and attended Brigham Young University from 1993 to 1999. Between 1994 and 1996, I served in the Korea Pusan Mission. While at BYU, I mainly studied political science and philosophy. (I was lucky enough to take several classes from T&S's Jim Faulconer.) I also took just enough economics to get myself in trouble. After graduation, I married the fabulous and incredible Heather Bennett (now Oman) and worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) while Heather finished graduate school at George Washington University. Beginning in 2000, I attended Harvard Law School, escaping with my JD in June, 2003. After practicing law for awhile, I became a law professor at William & Mary Law School. Somewhere along the line, Heather and I managed to have a son and a daughter.

From the Archives: An Open Letter to the Dialogue Board

The most recent issue of Dialogue reprinted a post from this blog — “An Open Letter to the Dialogue Board” — noting that the online discussion created by the post generated more than 130 comments. I hope that the mention in Dialogue created some interest in the Bloggernacle among its readers. I am also flagging the original thread once again for those Dialogue readers who might be interested in reading or continuing the discussion. Welcome to the Bloggernacle! (more…)

Mark Your Calenders!

The Third Annual LDS Law Students conference is coming up. The organizers have already put together a very slick looking website with lots of information about the conference. The scheduled speakers include Harry Reid (Senate Minority Leader), Thomas B. Griffith (U.S. Court of Appeals Judge), Robert F. Drinan, S.J. (Professor of Law at Georgetown and ordained Jesuit priest), Richard Bushman (Professor emeritus of History at Columbia), and others. There will also be panels on corporate law, public interest law, women and the law, and much much more. I attended the conference last year at Columbia and loved it. Interesting presenters, smart students, good times. The conference will be held February 17th & 18th at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.

Crisis and Compost

You will be happy to hear that the Oman marriage has weathered a massive marital crisis. It was tough for a while, but we are doing well now. As you might expect, the dispute centered on compost.

Blogging and Lying

Imagine that you and a couple of friends started a group blog — called it Heaven’s Banner — in which you all pretended to be fictional people having really bizarre conversations (OK, so perhaps this wouldn’t take too much pretending). You and your friends work to create a semblance of warped verisimilitude, and then watch the show. Here is an interesting question: Are you liars?

Influence in all the wrong places…

From time to time Mormons face various forms of legal and political harassment. Sometimes this happens in the United States, but as events in Venezuela dramatically illustrate the legal challenges that the Church faces abroad are generally much more extreme than those that it faces in the U.S. One result is that there is a real mismatch between the Church’s challenges and its resources.

The Deep Meaning of the Bloggernacle (Abridged)

It seems to have been a bicoastal weekend for real-world discussions of the bloggernacle. John Dehlin gave a great talk on blogs at the Seattle Sunstone Symposium (pod cast here), and I gave a brief presentation to Naomi Frandsen’s “Saturday Night Discussion Group” (a name that carries all sorts of unfortunate disco connotations for me.) Lacking the technical sophistication do a podcast, here is a shortened version of what I said:

A Paradox of Our Own

One of the more prominent strands of modern political philosophy is what has been called “luck egalitarianism,” which of course raises basic questions for Mormon theology.

Are we mainstream?

Slate has an interesting photo-essay on the architecture of mega-churches. One of the featured buildings is the Conference Center in Salt Lake City (known among Church Historical Department employees as the “meganacle”). I was struck by the following bit of commentary from the essay: The approach of the architects, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca of Portland, Ore., shows the influence megachurches have had on mainstream religions. I’ve tried parsing this several ways, but it seems to me that the only way of reading it is as claiming that Mormons are a mainstream religion, as opposed to the evangelical megachurches.

From the Archives: Chastity and Terrorism

What are the root causes of terrorism? Poverty (problem: most terrorists seem to come from middle class or upper middle class Middle Eastern families). U.S. hegemony (at least in part). Embarrassment and rage at the decline of Islamic civilization (almost certainly). Another recent candidate has emerged: Chastity. (more…)