Many people have heard the word fatwa.  Most famously, particularly for people in the West above a certain age, the word will ring a bell in connection with the case of the Anglo-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie.  In 1988, Rushdie wrote a novel titled  The Satanic Verses that provoked a major international controversy because of its disrespectful, even insulting, references to Muhammad, the founder of Islam.  Huge Muslim protests occurred in several countries.  Salman Rushdie received multiple death threats in response to his… Read more

    Before FreedomFest 2019 draws too near, I want to post my final comment about the just-concluded FreedomFest 2018.   My participation in FreedomFest 2018 commenced with a private Wednesday night dinner with roughly twenty invited guests, including such folks as as John Mackey, Michael Shermer, Mark Skousen, Daniele Struppa, Deirdre McCloskey, Grover Norquist, Steve Forbes, Lisa Sparks, Larry Elder, Doug Casey, Ross Douthat, and George Will.  It ended with a gala closing dinner on Saturday night,emceed by Fox New’s Kennedy, during which,… Read more

    Two new review articles appeared today (Friday) in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “The Case of the Missing Commentary”   “Much More than a Plural Marriage Revelation”   Moreover, the 1 July 2018 version of the Interpreter Radio Show is up and ready for free listening on the website of the Interpreter Foundation.  On that particular evening, Martin Tanner, Stephen Smoot, and Hales Swift discussed such topics as Book of Mormon geography and . . . immigration… Read more

    We went whale watching for several hours today.  We saw only one humpback whale, but we saw (and spent much more time with) two or three groups of orcas or killer whales.  And, at the end, we cruised over by Race Rocks, where, because of the high tidal current, an exceptional variety of marine life can be found, including mammals, sea birds, fish, various invertebrates, marine algae, and sea grass.  There, we watched California and northern (or Steller) sea… Read more

    Something that I wrote and published back in 1998:   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always accepted Jesus of Nazareth as testified of in the Bible: the divine Redeemer and Son of God who atoned for the sins of all mankind and ensured our universal resurrection. The church has never ceased to affirm that there is no other name given whereby man can be saved (see Acts 4:12). Another book that the church reveres… Read more

    From a manuscript of mine:   The medieval Florentine poet Dante Alighieri (d. 1321), author of the immortal Divina Commedia, concludes his famous journey through the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, in the Empyrean, or tenth heaven, where, a lone mortal among immortals, he beholds the “Eternal Light.”  He is overwhelmed, and, later, professes to have forgotten most of what he briefly knew.   . . . [M]y sight, becoming pure, was able to penetrate the ray of Light… Read more

    I continue with a few notes from James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Washington DC: Henry Regnery, 2011).   First, from the book’s introduction to the book, titled “The Truth about Science in the Middle Ages”:   Commenting upon the legacy of Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), president of Cornell University and one of those chiefly responsible for creating the very often illusory narrative of historical conflict between religion and… Read more

    A Canadian woman told the Guggenheims about seeing her two daughters, ten days after their death in a farm accident: Noelle and Christie were standing there, hand-in-hand, sort of looking up.  They were bathed in a very bright, clear white light.  The light was indescribable!  It was brighter than anything I’ve ever seen, and it should have hurt my eyes, but it didn’t.[1] As one experiencer described it, it is a “white, lovely, iridescent light. . . . … Read more

    There is a great deal of concern among some Americans about shari‘a (or sharia, or shari‘ah; there is no single “right” way of transliterating Arabic شريعة‎) or what is sometimes called, a bit redundantly but also somewhat misleadingly, shari‘a law or Islamic law.  Much of that concern, I think, can be eliminated by learning more about what shari‘a actually is.   Herewith, a few partial and preliminary notes on the topic, with no pretense — so please don’t… Read more

    It’s time, probably, for me to post some of the links that I’ve been accumulating on broadly socio-political topics lately.   First, some of you may be aware that Vladimir Putin and his approximate United States counterpart, До́нальд Трамп, joined together for a press conference in Helsinki, Finland, earlier this week, and that reactions to the press conference have not been uniformly positive.  Here are a few responses that you may or may not have seen:   First, from… Read more

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