Singing hymns to . . . well, NOTHING

 

Sydney's iconic opera house
The Sydney Opera House (Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)
From one point of view, this building, like everything else shown in the photograph above, is of no more ultimate significance than an anthill, the rust on a piece of iron, a clod of lunar dirt, two seconds of radio static, or a randomly chosen blemish on the back of a garden snake .

 

How very, very sad:

 

“Global Atheist Convention Called ‘Reason To Hope’ Cancelled Because No One Wants To Go”

 

Wouldn’t you think that people who’re convinced that their few years on Earth are all they’ve got would want to devote some of their rapidly dwindling time to gathering with like-minded hopers?  To being reminded of the glorious good news of atheism before a lethal accident or a fatal illness terminates their existence?

 

What greater “reason to hope” could there possibly be than the conviction that all human relationships end in death, if not before?  That lost loved ones are mouldering in the cemetery?  That most of the people around you are credulous fools?  That good and bad are mere arbitrary human distinctions?  That the universe is pitilessly indifferent to us and our pathetic dreams?  That, with the passage of time, it will have made not the slightest particle of difference that the Parthenon and the Taj Mahal and the plays of Shakespeare and the music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven ever existed?

 

Such thoughts almost make me want to break out into ecstatic singing.  How about you?

 

But, I guess, instead of spending your time at a convention of atheists, you could go skiing or watch a movie or play your guitar or spend some time on the beach.

 

What a difficult dilemma.

 

***

 

Of course, you could spend a few moments listening to this podcast, which is accessible through the website of the Interpreter Foundation:

 

“The Council of Fifty’s Quest for Religious Liberty,” with W. Paul Reeve

 

***

 

Some of you will find this video podcast of interest.  Terryl Givens interviews Elder Marlin K. Jensen, an emeritus member of the Seventy:

 

“A disciple’s plea for openness and inclusion”

 

***

 

I know it’s difficult to imagine, but there is just the slight whiff of a possibility that a journalist has gotten something wrong while attempting to cover a story with a Mormon angle to it.

 

That, anyway, is the claim of one non-Latter-day Saint writer:

 

“Newsweek twists message Elizabeth Smart has been sharing with Mormons about sex”

 

***

 

And here’s an item in which — even more difficult to believe! — someone on television seems to have mocked Mormons and Mormonism:

 

https://www.facebook.com/gilbertsheldon/posts/10159478993795005?comment_id=10159478997115005&notif_id=1511317256831001&notif_t=comment_mention

 

***

 

Thanks to Stephen Smoot for alerting me to this important product announcement:

 

“Violence-Free Bible Now Available”

 

***

 

I was very pleased to see the new Church video mentioned (along with several other interesting things) in this article:

 

“New Mormon Channel video is modern retelling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan”

 

I was particularly happy to see the central role played in it by an African Muslim woman.

 

 

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