“Turkey and the Islamic State appear to be headed toward outright war”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/turkey-urges-world-to-stand-firm-against-terrorism-after-airport-carnage/2016/06/29/6457228c-3d70-11e6-9e16-4cf01a41decb_story.html   Assuming that the Istanbul airport attack is the work of ISIS, I don’t understand the thinking of the Islamic State’s tacticians or strategists.  For many years, the relatively mildly Islamist-leaning government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been far too lax toward ISIS.  So what is the point, for the Islamic State, of [Read More…]

“Guys and Dolls”

    On the way back to the States yesterday, I watched a number of movies — flights are by far my best opportunity to watch films — and one of them was the old Guys and Dolls, with Marlon Brando (as Sky Masterson), Frank Sinatra (as Nathan Detroit), and Jean Simmons (as Sarah Brown, [Read More…]

“Trump’s ‘Mormon Problem’ is Mitt Romney’s Fault”

    “Trump’s ‘Mormon Problem’ is Mitt Romney’s Fault”   So, at any rate, claims a writer for the Trump propaganda organ called “Breitbart”:   http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/07/01/mitt-romney-trump-mormon-problem/   It’s nonsense, of course.  Mormons aren’t mind-numbed robots; they can think for themselves, without guidance from Mitt Romney.  And there are plenty of reasons for declining to support [Read More…]

“Reflecting on the ‘Marks of Jesus'”

    It being Friday, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has posted a new article:   Reflecting on the “Marks of Jesus”     [Read more…]

“‘Obergefell’ and the New Gnosticism”

    One year after Justice Kennedy redefined the primordial institution of marriage for us, a philosophical reflection on where we stand:   http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/06/obergefell-and-the-new-gnosticism   Posted from Amsterdam, The Netherlands     [Read more…]

“Whatever the Soul Is, Its Existence Can’t Be Proved or Disproved by Physical Science”

    There are a couple of points at which I would quibble, but, fundamentally, I think he’s right:   http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2016/06/30/whatever_the_soul_is_its_existence_cant_be_proved_or_disproved_by_natural_science_107121.html   Posted from Amsterdam, The Netherlands     [Read more…]

“Where do Southern Baptists go when they leave?”

    An extremely interesting little article, well worth pondering by both Southern Baptists and others:   Where do Southern Baptists go when they leave? The answer in one chart   Posted from Amsterdam, The Netherlands   [Read more…]

“Why we forget Muslim terror victims”

    A perspective of which people who want to understand Islam and the Middle East ought to be aware:   http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/29/opinions/muslim-victims-terrorism-moghul/index.html   Posted from Amsterdam, The Netherlands     [Read more…]

Beauty and Sadness

    The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. Vincent Van Gogh         We spent most of today (a portion of what one anonymous internet critic recently termed my “miserable life”) at the Van Gogh [Read More…]

BOM Alma 42

    Today’s reading, Alma 42, is among my favorites, and yet there’s no single passage from it that stands out to me or that seems particularly quotable.  The whole chapter is good.   Its discussion of the relationship between justice and mercy is classic, and its account of this life as a time of probation [Read More…]