I listened to a recent podcast at On Being, by Krista Tippett. She interviews religious thinkers of every stripe. I like Tippett, definitely on the happy liberal unitarian side, but positive and fair. In 2008 she interviewed conservative Mormon apologist Robert Millet (Audio /Transcript).
Tippet described Mormonism and how she sees Brooks as a good representative:
“A highly disciplined, highly effective frontier culture grows up and migrates back out into centers of power. It’s a classic American story. But there’s also some kind of religious and cultural coming of age here, for Mormons and the rest of us.
I couldn’t have found a better person than Joanna Brooks to shed some distinctively informative, candid, and meaningful light on it all. She’s a literature scholar and a journalist. HerAsk Mormon Girl blog and Twitter feed is a remarkably reflective, compassionate community of questioning with Mormons of many stripes.
And Ask Mormon Girl, as she notes on her website, is housed on the “legendary Feminist Mormon Housewives blog.” That is just one of many things that does not meet the traditional American eye on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — but which we engage through the voice and life of Joanna Brooks.
I thought Brook’s perspective was a refreshing alternative to apologists like Millet’s. I find her as a good example of one who remains faithful to Mormonism despite serious problems with the way the Church represents its ideals. Mormonism with its authoritarian structure stuck on top of a very expansive, revolutionary, and often undeveloped view of the world has produced many who live the faith while dealing with many internal contradictions.