“Religious Freedom in an Era of Social Change”

    Bad news out of Canada for those who believe in religious liberty and, in the United States, in the First Amendment:   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-appeal-court-upholds-law-societys-stand-on-christian-school/article30674427/   Incidentally, Trinity Western University’s “covenant” is very similar to BYU’s Honor Code.   It’s Canada, yes.  But the decision cites a precedent from the United States, and this could [Read More…]

Mr. Donald Trump on International Trade

    To me, the right to engage in voluntary exchanges is a moral one.  Thus, belief in free markets is an ethical issue even before it’s an economic matter, and the fact that free markets perform far, far better than do command economies is, really, icing on the cake.   I also tend to [Read More…]

General Patton and Prayer

    I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the legendary, colorful, brilliant, and deeply flawed General George S. Patton.   Not only because I like the famous 1970 film about him starring George C. Scott.   And not only because he was born in my own home town of San Gabriel, [Read More…]

BOM Alma 45

    In the fourth volume of what was then called the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon but which was eventually known as the FARMS Review (and then, very briefly before its murder, as the Mormon Studies Review), John Tvedtnes published a response to a book by the Rev. Wesley P. Walters, a Protestant [Read More…]

“Muslim woman deluged by ‘hate tweets’ after helping Homeland Security panel”

    I’ve had a slight taste of this kind of behavior:   http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/19/technology/laila-alawa-trolling/index.html?iid=ob_homepage_tech_pool   I suspect, incidentally, that most if not all of those who are sending her such messages support the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Please note:  I’m not saying, by that, that all or even most Trump supporters would send “hate [Read More…]

“Church attendance linked with reduced suicide risk, especially for Catholics, study says”

    An interesting result of social science research (perhaps especially interesting in connection with the piece that I just posted a few minutes ago):   http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-church-attendance-suicide-20160629-snap-story.html   I dunno.  Dare I say it?  The late Christopher Hitchens’s dictum that “religion poisons everything” is coming to seem . . . well, perhaps not entirely accurate.   [Read More…]

A surge in suicides among gay Mormon youth?

    Over the weekend, both the liberal Mormon blogger Jana Riess and a guest opinion column in the Salt Lake Tribune lamented the rise in suicides among gay Mormon teenagers caused by the Church’s stance on homosexual behavior.   There may well have been other such articles.  These are merely two that I happen to [Read More…]

A thought for the day following Independence Day

    According to the notes of Dr. James McHenry, who was a delegate from Maryland, a lady approached Ben Franklin when he was leaving Independence Hall after the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.   “Well, Doctor,” she asked him, “what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”   “A Republic,” he [Read More…]

Lessee. Should I choose the firing squad, or electrocution? I’m just giddy with excitement!

    Mr. Donald Trump now seems to have tweeted a message with anti-Semitic associations:   “Donald Trump’s ‘Star of David’ tweet controversy, explained”   Big deal, right?   Did you really expect that this “loutish, unstable man-child”  would really transform himself and become “presidential”?   “The Man’s Not for Changing”   Moreover, his long-standing interest in [Read More…]

An “Interpreter” contributor and Oxford University Press

    I’m very pleased to learn that my long-time friend Gary Gillum, who published an article in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture in 2013, has been appointed to the board of Oxford Biblical Studies Online.   We’re all frauds and pseudoscholars at the Interpreter Foundation, of course, and we rely, in lieu of actual [Read More…]