“Lest we forget”

Fort McHenry

  I would like to wish all of the Americans out there a very happy Independence Day.  (For that matter, I hope that you non-Americans have a nice 4 July, too.  Even you folks in the United Kingdom.) There have been fireworks going off around our neighborhood for the past several days, and tonight, of course, will be absolutely ablaze -- though not, I hope, out of control.  In the meantime, I thought I would post the entire Francis S … [Read more...]

Unfortunately, it goes both ways.

Bishops and their counselors don't appoint themselves, but are called from among ordinary members of a local congregation to serve for relatively limited times.

  Fresh from recommending an article by Peggy Fletcher Stack in the Salt Lake Tribune, I'll comment briefly on part of another one, published today. Speaking of active Latter-day Saint women affiliated with Ordain Women, the article notes that In a barrage of brutal online insults, they have been called "mean-spirited," "misguided twits," "heretics to be burned at the stake," "arrogant," "self-centered" and "anti-Christs," who believe that "all men … [Read more...]

Another Utah piece on “Ultra Violet”

"Ultra Violet" and Andy Warhol sometime in the Sixties

  Yesterday, after I posted my entry on Isabelle Collin Dufresne (aka "Ultra Violet"), the Salt Lake Tribune writer Peggy Fletcher Stack, whom I first met more decades ago than probably either of us can admit without astonishment at this stage of our lives, remarked on my Facebook page that I would have known about Sister Dufresne already, had I read her (Peggy's) column back in mid-June. And it's true.  I would have. In response, I pointed out to … [Read more...]

“What about those who have never heard?”

The baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple

   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865581566/What-about-those-who-have-never-heard.html   … [Read more...]

Louis Zamperini (d. 2 July 2014)

Louis Zamperini during his running days for USC

  I'm saddened to hear of the death of Louis Zamperini.  His story, as recounted by Laura Hillenbrand in her book Unbroken, is one of the most remarkable I've ever encountered.  Ever. People (including myself) read a lot of junk.  Hillenbrand's book surely ranks among the most excruciating and inspiring that I've read in my lifetime. Here's something I published about Zamperini a couple of years ag … [Read more...]

Why wasn’t I canned altogether from BYU?

Trust science.

   When I was forced out of the Maxwell Institute back in 2012, many assumed at first -- and some excitedly hoped -- that I had been altogether fired from Brigham Young University. But I wasn't. I had already long been a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic in BYU's Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages, and I have continued to be a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic in the same BYU department. Why was I not … [Read more...]

“Hillary Leads the Lies on Hobby Lobby”

Hillary Clinton is determined that demagoguery shall not remain a club that excludes women. (Click to enlarge.)

   Hlllary Clinton is plainly determined that demagoguery shall not remain a club that excludes women: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/381952/hillary-leads-lies-hobby-lobby-deroy-murdock   … [Read more...]

Ultra Violet, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, and Mormonism

The still-legendary Andy Warhol

  Well, it's not quite as direct a tie between Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, and Mormonism as my title might have suggested to you -- I'm not claiming that either  Andy Warhol or Salvador Dalí was (like Steve Martin, Abraham Lincoln, Tiny Tim, Alice Cooper, Elvis Presley, and others) a closet Latter-day Saint. But I found this really interesting and unexpected. Andy Warhol (d. 1987) was not only a major figure in the movement known as "pop art," but h … [Read more...]


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