“All . . . untrue, . . . tales . . . lies”

You DARE to report a problem?  You LIE!

  I'm told that Senator Harry Reid has good qualities.  I don't doubt it.  I've always resisted the tendency of some of his critics to demonize him. Unfortunately, he seems disinclined to return that favor to those who disagree with his views: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/harry-reid-denies-all-obamacare-horror-stories-all-are-untrue_783449.html It's virtually inconceivable that any large federal program, even the best, is ever t … [Read more...]

Is that controversial Arizona law being grossly misrepresented?

Part of the Phoenix skyline (Click to enlarge.)

  A varied group of law professors say it is: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/25/Law-Profs-Send-Letter-To-Gov-Brewer-Warn-SB1062-Being-Egregiously-Misrepresented And, while I'm at it, here's a very interesting Mormon take on the new law, which, as I write, may or may not soon be vetoed by Arizona's Republican … [Read more...]

Younger people, homosexuality, and religion

Down with oppressive heteronormativity?

  There is no question that younger people in the West and specifically in America, for a host of reasons, currently tend to be less uncomfortable with homosexuality and more welcoming toward the redefinition of marriage than do their older peers. Whether they're right to be so, whether their attitudes reflect their superior virtue or the innately greater wisdom of the young, how (if at all) religious leaders should respond, and many other such questions are … [Read more...]

“Seven Egyptian Christians Executed on Benghazi Beach”

Just after a terrorist attack on a Pakistani church (Click to enlarge.)

  It's difficult for me to imagine on what basis the murderers who carry out such outrages believe that they're acting in accordance with Islam.  But I suspect that that's precisely what they believe. http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/february/seven-egyptian-christians-executed-on-benghazi-beach-libya.html?utm_source=connection-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=1281995&utm_content=250967102&utm_campaign=2013 The rest … [Read more...]

The lovable rascal Nasr al-Din (Goha)

The inimitable Mulla Nasr al-Din

  I did an interview with BYU-Radio last week regarding the popular Islamic folklore figure Mulla Nasr al-Din. I've just been informed that that interview will be included in the episode of BYU-Radio's The Apple Seed that is airing today (25 February 2014).  The title of the episode is "Nasruddin." If anybody out there would like to listen, the episode is to be broadcast at 2 PM ET (which means, perhaps, that it's already aired? actually, I think … [Read more...]

Act now; avoid regret.

Dr. Richard H. Cracroft

  Essentially by coincidence, I found myself, just now, re-reading an old 2012 blog post of mine.  I was moved by what I found.  Not by my own eloquence or insight, but, particularly, by one of the two comments following the entry that I had not seen before.  (I was traveling, back then, with only intermittent Internet access, and was very much distracted.) The comment came from Richard Cracroft, the much-beloved former dean of my college, the BYU College of Hu … [Read more...]

“How the Culture Wars Shrink Both Religion and Reason”

This was, for many years, effectively the motto of FARMS and of its successor organization, the Maxwell Institute.

   I don't believe that I've called attention yet to this significant and provocative piece by my friend and colleague Professor Ralph Hancock: http://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/13976 Well, on second thought, I guess I have.   … [Read more...]

“How Can I Do This Great Wickedness?”

Joseph and the wife of Potiphar (Click to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge still further.)

   Jeff Bradshaw, Craig Foster, and Martin Tanner discuss Lesson 11 in the 2014 Gospel Doctrine manual in this, the sixty-first (61st) scripture roundtable posted by The Interpreter Foundation: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/scripture-roundtable-61-old-testament-gospel-doctrine-lesson-11-how-can-i-do-this-great-wickedness/ Lesson 11 treats Genesis 34-35, 37, and 39.   … [Read more...]