CNN is reporting that the Southern Baptist Convention will be abandoning the Boys Scouts of America over the BSA’s decision to allow openly gay youth to participate in Boy Scout units. The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders. The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in Houston. “There’s a 100% chance… Read more

“To become too attached to a thought or feeling or thing is to place it between God and ourselves,” Elizabeth Scalia tells us in the first chapter of Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life (14). It seems that we often make those thoughts, feelings, or things into our Gods. I am journaling my reading of Scalia’s book. I am a little behind in my journaling because we traveled to Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend to check out… Read more

Elizabeth Scalia, also know as The Anchoress here at Patheos, has written a book called Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. I am not good at book reviews. Instead, I am going to lived blog, chapter by chapter, my reading experience. Right now, I am sitting in the parking lot of my children’s elementary school on the last day of school. We are waiting to attend the fifth grade breakfast and fifth grade graduation for our second son,… Read more

I started writing a while back about John Rawls and his journey away from a rather orthodox Protestant faith. Rawls mentions three incidents which he viewed as playing a significant role in this change. All are connected to World War II, with the first two dealing with specific experience Rawls had while fighting in the Pacific. I wrote about them here. The third incident is a much larger event. It is the Holocaust. Rawls recounts finding out about the Holocaust… Read more

Along with my dissertation, I have been pondering and working on a project about the idea of loving our enemies. Earlier, I shared a variety of English translations of the fifth chapter of Matthew verses 43-48. The philosopher Immanuel Kant references these verses, specifically the instruction to love our neighbors and enemies, in his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. I was introduced to Kant in school. Much of my exposure to Kantian ideas came from reading John Rawls and… Read more

Only moments before seeing the news that Frances Monson had passed away this morning at the age of 86, I was telling a friend that my wife and children mean more to me than anything. Sister Frances Beverly Monson is the wife of Thomas S. Monson, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since Sister Frances is a fellow Utah Ute, I want to share this part of the statement from the Church Public Affairs statement… Read more

I am working on a theological case against guns. Not so much for gun control, but against guns. My thinking keeps coming back to a recent appearance by Jeff McMahan on the podcast Philosophy Bites. You can listen to the podcast here. Philosophy Bites can also be found on iTunes. Take a listen. I would love to hear your thoughts. McMahan makes a similar argument in more detail in the New York Times. Gun advocates and criminals are allies in… Read more

I just got the call from Democracy for America. I have been awarded a scholarship to Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose! The scholarship covers 4 nights of hotel and the conference fee. Thanks to all of my supporters that voted for me! Also, thank you to Democracy for America for this opportunity! Read more

I was sharing with my son Shem (11) the other night about the difference principle of John Rawls. I will have to share more about that conversation later, but I think this video points to some important matters of perception when it comes to wealth inequality and distributive justice. Found via Upworthy. Read more

My mother Carla Henrichsen is Dutch. She was born in The Hague. She met and married my father in Munich when she was 22. He was stationed there with he U.S. Army. She was working at the military hospital. My older brother was born a year later while my father was on a tour in Vietnam. With her baby, my mother immigrated to the United States while my father was still in Vietnam. My mother would go on to become… Read more

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