Featured Articles


FLASHBACK: The 10 Best Facebook Reactions to Election Night 2012

I have been feeling nostalgic of late, especially since Barack Obama has finally transformed into the president I always hoped he would be. This post takes us back to the 2012 presidential election, which I watched, largely, on Facebook. There is no better reality television. I loved some of the status updates so much, I […]


We Are Not The Cool Kids. We Are Approaching Justice.

Approaching Justice is a scrappy blog. I think I can say that. Our regular contributors include a college professor, a middle school teacher, a junior high teacher, a pastor, and a marketing guru. That is not everyone. We are liberals, leftists, moderates, and conservatives. Some of us defy labels. Some of us support same-sex marriage. […]


Is Romney the Next FDR? Wait, Stop Laughing

By Cody Ray Shafer Mitt Romney says he wants to fight poverty because he really wants to be president. I’m not suggesting he’ll do or say anything to be president—I would go that far—but rather, that the message is less important to him than is the opportunity to just do it. Romney has a major […]

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LDS News Conference on Religious Freedom and Nondiscrimination

Transcript from the LDS Newsroom: Welcome and introductions by Elder D. Todd Christofferson Good morning and thank you for coming. I am Elder D. Todd Christofferson, and I’m here to introduce this news conference in my capacity as one of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister Neill Marriott, […]


MLK’s Progressive Christian Faith

  While the name of Martin Luther King is revered, for his work in the civil rights movement and his ability to articulate the faith and hopes of so many Americans, there is always a danger that what he sought to achieve and his actual beliefs will be ignored, replaced with an image that does […]


Dehlin’s Case is Not About Gay Rights (From The Archives)

Editor’s Note: This post originally ran on June 29, 2014. It still applies to the developments of this week. — Chris H. An Associated Press article about John Dehlin titled “Mormon gay-rights advocate faces excommunication meeting with area church leader in Utah” has popped up in newspapers all over the country today. Here is the […]

Glenn Beck at his 2010 Restoring Honor rally. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Is Glenn Beck Having A Faith Crisis?

From Glenn Beck’s Facebook page: The world is upside down. For the first time in many years I have again begun to question EVERYTHING I think I know. I read something so disappointing in a paper this am. I really no longer know who to trust. That includes me. I want to make sure I […]


Mitt Romney for President…Mission President (An Open Letter to Pres. Monson)

Dear President Monson, Mitt Romney is thinking about running for President of The United States of America, again. I think Brother Romney needs our help. He appears to be bored and in need of something to do. As you know, nothing good ever comes out of such idleness. So I think, as a Church, we […]

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Economist to Headline Free Discussion Series on Postal Banking

Commonomics USA (formerly BankACT), a leading voice for postal banking since USPS inspector general Dave Williams first proposed it in January 2014, will host a series of conference calls featuring prominent economists and experts on United States Postal Service-based financial services, beginning on  Tuesday, February 3, when Dean Baker, American macroeconomist and co-founder of the […]


Senator to Hospitals: Stop Suing Poor Patients

by Paul Kiel, ProPublica, and Chris Arnold, NPR, Jan. 22, 2015, 5 a.m. This story was co-published with NPR. Sen. Charles Grassley said nonprofit hospitals could be breaking the law when they sue poor patients over unpaid bills and issued a stern warning to one Missouri hospital that he hopes reverberates nationwide. Citing a ProPublica […]

President Barack Obama acknowledges applause before he delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Elected Hecklers #SOTU

On Tuesday night President Barack Obama delivered his 6th state of the union address. As always, he delivered a great oration. This speech was particularly spectacular because of the boldness that comes with entering the “no election to worry about” years left in his presidency. There has been much to say on the interwebz about […]


An Unaffordable Aspect of the Affordable Care Act

When I started my PhD program at Florida State University, I had the option of waiving the student insurance, which I chose to do. Living on a measly stipend, even with the aid of student loans, did not lend itself to what I saw as a luxury: paying thousands of dollars for insurance to cover […]

IRS and Department of the Treasury seal. (Photo by Gerald Shields)

New IRS Rules on Dark Money Likely Won’t Be Ready Before 2016 Election

  by Theodoric Meyer ProPublica, Jan. 5, 2015, 8 a.m. The Internal Revenue Service says it won’t come out with new proposed rules for so-called dark money groups until late spring at the earliest, increasing the likelihood that no changes will take effect before the 2016 elections.These groups — social welfare nonprofits that can engage […]

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Bradley Cooper (Right) as Chris Kyle in American Sniper.

American Sniper and Futile Heroism

It seems everybody’s talking about American Sniper these days, so I figured I’d join the chorus. The movie’s popularity has exploded, with general acclaim from critics and even more from audiences who’ve made it the #1 film of the year thus far. And there’s no doubt that it’s generally well-crafted, as Clint Eastwood flicks tend […]


Did You Watch The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore? Check Out The First Episode.

I missed it, too. Here it is: I am excited. I love Wilmore. I was a big Colbert Report fan, but I am ready for something different. Thoughts?


A Soundtrack for “The Most Dangerous Game”

by Shem Henrichsen Seek & Destroy: Metalicca Seek & Destroy by Metallica is about the searching and destroying of a target. It embodies the hunt of General Zaroff for his prey. Here are some of the lyrics that get to this point: Running, On our way Hiding, You will pay Dying, One thousand deaths Running, […]

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You Need Credibility

By Adam Stout As a 2nd year teacher, I have learned a lot and have a lot left to learn. So, take this post for what it is – the musings of a new teacher in the trenches. Lately, one of the lessons I am learning is the importance of establishing credibility with students. Bottom […]


Softball Players Kicked Off Team for Not Being Mormon

From ThinkProgress: Three public school students in Mesa, Arizona, including a team captain, were allegedly removed from their varsity softball team, in part because they did not want to start each game with a “team prayer.” According to a complaint filed in a federal court in Arizona, the three girls were “penalized for not conducting […]

Should We Teach About Religion in the Public Classroom? (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When Charter Schools Are Nonprofit in Name Only

by Marian Wang ProPublica, Dec. 9, 2014, 10:49 a.m. This post has been updated to include a response from National Heritage Academies. A couple of years ago, auditors looked at the books of a charter school in Buffalo, New York, and were taken aback by what they found. Like all charter schools, Buffalo United Charter […]


Imagine Dragons Rock Vegas to Support Local Schools (Including Mine!)

On Saturday night, the Imagine Dragons performed live on the Las Vegas Strip in a surprise street performance. Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the following: Saturday’s mini-concert at the edge of Bellagio’s Dancing Fountains was the kickoff of a partnership with R&R Partners, the agency of record for the Las Vegas Convention […]


New Teacher Journal: The First Days

Teaching is hard. This is not shocking news, but exactly how hard it is did not sink in until my first day as a middle school reading teacher. That was Monday. I am told that I am at a “rough school.” It is officially designated as a “turnaround school.” That means that it has been […]

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My Sloppy Manners Explained! Support Approaching Justice!

  A October 2012 Associated Press profile of me described me as “a large man with perpetually rumpled clothes.” Well, if sloppy dress leads to sloppy manners, I am pretty sure this explains why I have rumpled manners. Here at Approaching Justice, we don’t fit a typical mold. We annoy some. We offend others. And we also […]


What Difference Does God Make?

An atheist blogger asks a simple question “what difference does God make?”. The answer hinges on what you mean by God. If God is the name we give to what makes for life, for individuality, for growth, for love and our connection to one another, then God makes all the difference in the world. But […]


Deep in My Heart, I Do Believe

As have many have done, I have been mourning the tragic life and death of Leelah Alcorn.  I never met her, and I am in no position to judge her family, but her story has brought me to tears.  For her to be so rejected by her loved ones that she felt the need to […]


Top 14 Approaching Justice Posts of 2014

Our most visited posts of 2014: 1. BYU-Idaho Religion Instructor Leaves Church by Chris Henrichsen 2. We Are Already Seeing An Exodus of the Faithful by Chris Henrichsen 3. 78 Progressive Christian Answers to the 78 Questions by Dwight WelchDwight Welch 4. 10 Questions About Spiritual Abuse: Mormon Edition by Johnny Wycliffe 5. Jake is a Hoax. However, There are Many Real Jakes by Chris Henrichsen […]


Review: The Interview

By Cody Ray Shafer Now that the media hype cycle for The Interview is dying down, is it finally possible to take a good look at the film itself and figure out whether it was even all worth it? Of course, there’s no good answer. The film is still breaking news with its unprecedented digital […]

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to the small, but loyal, team of Approaching Justice readers! Here are some stories and images that stood out to me over the last few days (including some of my family Christmas Eve pictures). Enjoy! "All I Want For Christmas Is Justice" protests in Milwaukee are large and energized. #DontreHamilton pic.twitter.com/UGaPFMCzbg — John Nichols […]


The Lost Ending of “It’s A Wonderful Life”

From Saturday Night Live of Christmas past: If the movie had actually ended this way, it might have gotten the film-makers in some political trouble. Moyer & Company report over at Rawstory that “It’s A Wonderful Life” was suspected already thought to be communist propaganda by some: …when the movie first came out, it fell […]

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REVIEW – The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History

“The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History.” Edited by Jedediah Rogers. Published by Signature Books, December 2014. Cloth Binding, 424 pages. ISBN: 978-1-56085-224-7. Price: 49.95 Review originally written for the Association of Mormon Letters Writing in an early Church periodical, Oliver Cowdery described his time working as Joseph Smith’s scribe by stating, “These were days […]


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