“To Whom Shall We Go? From ‘Apologetics’ to ‘Mormon Studies’”

BYU on Wikimedia Commons, of course

  My colleague and friend Ralph Hancock weighs in on an issue that has been much discussed, recently, in certain Mormon "intellectual" circles: http://ldsmag.com/to-whom-shall-we-go-from-apologetics-to-mormon-studies/   … [Read more...]

From Mormon Feminist Housewives: “In support of male allies”

illustrating LDS women

  How does this item, from the blog "Mormon Feminist Housewives," strike you? http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2014/12/in-support-of-male-allies/ I would be interested in your reactions. My own wife is currently shuttling back and forth between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Alburquerque, where she's gone with a friend for a few days to be supportive of, and to enjoy, that friend's daughter-in-law's participation with the Santa Fe … [Read more...]

Mr. Obama’s Mormon Republican ally on Cuba

Brother Flake

  Here's an interesting article about Arizona senator Jeff Flake, brought to my attention by Jabra Ghneim: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/jeff-flake-obama-cuba-113717.html I am, as I've said, ambivalent toward the U.S. embargo of Cuba and our refusal of diplomatic relations with the Castro regime.  On the whole, I probably lean toward ending such policies -- even though I think that the cases of China and Vietnam have severely undercut the cl … [Read more...]

Dickens and Christmas

Yes, it's from Wikimedia Commons

  You might find these two items, both relevant to Charles Dickens and his famous novella A Christmas Carol, to be of at least minimal interest: "Charles Dickens and the invention of Christmas" "Telling ghost stories is a lost tradition on Christmas Eve"   … [Read more...]

“Christmas in the Holy Land — somber, yet triumphant”

Modern Bethlehem

  Here's a Christmas-related column that I wrote for Salt Lake City's Deseret News slightly more than four years ago: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705386854/Christmas-in-the-Holy-Land-2-somber-yet-triumphant.html   … [Read more...]

An impassioned speech in the House of Representatives

Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina

  The oratory in the United States Congress rarely rises to very high levels.  (Of course, I'm one of the few, apparently, who've never understood why many consider Barack Obama a great speaker, either.  Even setting my political preferences aside, he doesn't seem to me at all remarkable in that respect.) Parliamentary debates in the United Kingdom are far more entertaining. But I just came across this 23 May 2014 speech last night, and I was i … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer 29

Lonely Christmas tree before doors open

  It's good to laugh at Christmas time.  Here are four quotations that made me laugh, plus a paraphrase. I'll give the paraphrase first: I believe it was the late Phyllis Diller who said that the worst thing about Christmas parties was having to find a new job the next day. The first quotation is from Bennie Hill, and the last three are from Dave Barry. Roses are reddish.
Violets are bluish.
If it weren't for Christ … [Read more...]

“We are never alone.”

The Three-Gable House in Ditzingen

  "I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses." Taylor Caldwell, Anglo-American novelist (d. 1985)    … [Read more...]