Händel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” as performed by a group of monks under a vow of silence

No, this isn't the choir.  But these are, in fact, Trappist monks.  They don't really take a vow of silence -- but idle talk is against their monastic rule, so it often seems as if they have.

  If you've taken a vow of silence, yet you wish to perform G. F. Händel's "Hallelujah Chorus," what do you do?  Here's an idea: http://www.godvine.com/What-a-Choir-of-Silent-Monks-Does-Will-Make-You-Laugh-2484.html Thanks to David Wills, of Adelaide, South Australia, for bringing this to my attention.   … [Read more...]

How did monotheistic Jews come to believe that Jesus was divine?

Christ Pantocrator ("All-Powerful") Cathedral of Monreale, Palermo, Sicily

  One of my Christmas columns for the Deseret News last year: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765617678/The-divinity-of-Christ-is-absolute.html   … [Read more...]

What shall we give him?

Click on the image to enlarge it further.

  An occasion for reflection, with beautiful Christmas music in the background: http://www.mormonchannel.org/more-videos?v=1318641007001   … [Read more...]

On Despising Just about Everybody and Laughing at Their Misfortunes

My favorite outfit for Casual Fridays

  There's an ongoing tournament, it seems, within a certain small subculture, to discern ever deeper and more disgusting areas of insensitivity, blindness, arrogance, and just plain depravity in Your Humble Servant. The other day, somebody accused me of mocking the deaths of innocent people. In general, apparently.  Not merely in specific cases. I'm known, of course, to despise women, ethnic minorities, foreigners, non-Mormons, liberal … [Read more...]

A difficult but inspiring video

Atticus Finch, played here by the immortal Gregory Peck, has been voted the greatest hero in the history of Hollywood.

  If you have 8.5 minutes, watch this video.  If you don't have 8.5 minutes, find them. It offers an important lesson on many levels and about many things, including moral courage: http://www.faithit.com/i-cant-believe-the-things-people-say-to-this-guy-with-down-syndrome-but-the-beautiful-people-who-take-a-stand-will-inspire-your-socks-off/ You don't have to be Atticus Finch -- the people in this video aren't -- in order to display … [Read more...]

Materials for Advent (2013) — Day 14

From St. Leon Armenian Cathedral, in Burbank, California (Please.  Click on the image to enlarge it.  In fact, click on a second distinct time to enlarge it still further.)

   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16) “To love another person is to see the face of God.”  (Les Misérables) There is no piece of classical music so inseparably associated with Christmas as G. W. F. Händel's Messiah.  This isn't the first time that I've employed it in these Advent posts, and I can guarantee, barring some sort of … [Read more...]

“Apologetics and Falsifiability”

Irrelevant, but a nice photo

  Stephen Smoot has a nice new entry on the FAIRMormon blog: http://www.fairblog.org/2013/12/14/apologetics-and-falsifiability/   … [Read more...]

“Charles Dickens and the invention of Christmas”

This image of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their children played a crucial role in making Christmas fashionable -- not only in Great Britain but in North America, as well.

  This weekend's Hamblin/Peterson column has appeared in the Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865592380/Charles-Dickens-and-the-invention-of-Christmas.html   … [Read more...]