Nervous, brittle, and ineffectual laughter

The Yale edition

  There has been a fair amount of critical comment about my column, last week, regarding the Elizabethan "epicenter" of the syntax and grammar of the Book of Mormon. Much of that commentary focuses on my alleged insanity.  Much is mere caricature and mockery.  A few critics speculate about how much money I'm paid to tell such lies.  Others profess to be excited because my article somehow represents another nail in the coffin of Mormonism. Few, if an … [Read more...]

“How Gaza’s Christians view the Hamas-Israeli conflict”

Guevara and the Baptists

  The former pastor of the Gaza Baptist Church, an Arab with a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, offers a perspective that many out there will never have even imagined to exist:   … [Read more...]

Unfortunately, she didn’t quite live to see the Millennium

St. Barack the Great

  Irena Sendler died in 2008. In 2009, Barack Obama, still less than a year after he had inaugurated the era of universal harmony that we now enjoy, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush.   … [Read more...]

“Beau Jest”

A 2011 production of "Beau Jest"

  Just back from a performance of Beau Jest at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. Part of the play is built around a Passover seder, which we enjoyed because we've conducted a fair number of such seders and are therefore familiar with the prayers and the songs and the various ritual acts involved. The play has some very funny moments, and some clear weaknesses.  There were quite a few empty seats tonight, which I regret. I always want to … [Read more...]

A woman genuinely worth admiration

A true hero

  During the Second World War, Irena Sendler, a Polish Roman Catholic nurse and social worker, received permission to travel into and out of the Warsaw ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive. Irena smuggled Jewish infants out of the Ghetto in the bottom of the toolbox that she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids. Irena kept a dog in the back of truck, as well. She … [Read more...]

“Gran Hotel”: My latest guilty little pleasure

The actress Amaia Salamanca

   I'm a sucker for stories, and especially for mysteries. If I'm walking through a room where somebody's watching an episode of, say, Law and Order, and I happen to see the first few minutes (in other words, the discovery of a puzzling death or murder), it takes superhuman self-control not to pause for a few minutes more -- and then end up watching the whole hour. A waste of time, I know.  But, somehow, riveting. And, … [Read more...]

“The Myth of Republican Racism”

Mia Love!

  Within just the past day or two, I've been subjected, once again, to several comments on my blog and elsewhere asserting that conservatives (e.g., Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Allen West, Shelby Steele, and Condoleeza Rice, perhaps?) oppose Barack Obama only because he's black, that the Tea Party dislikes Obamacare because it might disproportionately benefit African-Americans, and that Republicans are, simply, racists. It's a libelous falsehood, and a … [Read more...]

Touring the House of the Lord

newly renovated temple in Ogden

  With another couple, my wife and I drove up to Ogden, Utah, earlier today, where we toured the newly "renovated" -- that's the understatement of the year! -- and soon-to-be-rededicated Ogden Utah Temple. It's an impressive building, and we were pleased by the number of paintings (or reproductions of paintings) in it that we had never seen before.  I'm especially fond, I think, of a large painting, near the baptistry of the temple, of a praying black woman.  ( … [Read more...]