It’s that time of the year

    Christmas shopping and Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations, yes.   But we’re also drawing near the end of the year, when many people consider whether and where to make tax-exempt charitable donations.   There are lots and lots of worthy causes.   My wife and I have a few favorites, including the Liahona Children’s [Read More…]

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“The Murders in Paris and Lebanon: Why Muslims Should Not Apologise”

    I think this article has a point, though I don’t think that the case is quite as clear as the author tries to make it:   http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/11/16/4352803.htm   ISIS and other such groups have, for example, claimed explicitly Islamic legitimation for what they do far more consistently and intensely than the Buddhist nationalists [Read More…]

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Two images of ancient Christian prayer

    Incidentally, please note the Christian gesture of prayer in the image (from a sixth-century Egyptian ivory box) accompanying the article to which I linked here.   What does it have in common with the third-century image above?   Posted from Istanbul, Turkey [Read more…]

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Wise Counsel, Commonly Violated, from Edward Gibbon

    I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.  (Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)   Posted from Istanbul (formerly Constantinople or “New Rome”), in Turkey     [Read more…]

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“The University Gone Feral”

    One of my favorite writers, Victor Davis Hanson, offers a rather sharp critique of contemporary higher education in the United States:   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427152/university-protestors-demands   For what it’s worth, incidentally, he’s hardly opposed to universities and colleges in principle, let alone to the life of the mind; he holds a doctorate in classics from [Read More…]

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“The Holy City of Byzantium”

    After the conference meetings today, we went out to dinner at the rooftop restaurant of the Hotel Arcadia Blue with some of the Latter-day Saints here, including senior missionaries (among them Kent and Gayle Brown) and Sharon Eubank, who dropped in to speak at the conference here on her way back from refugee [Read More…]

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“Ben Carson, Science, and Seventh-Day Adventists”

    An interesting article by Ben Spackman about Ben Carson and the history of “creation science”:   http://religionandpolitics.org/2015/11/17/ben-carson-science-and-seventh-day-adventists/   Posted from Istanbul, Turkey     [Read more…]

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“What Daniel meant to the persecuted Christians”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11995928/What-Daniel-meant-to-the-persecuted-Egyptians.html   Posted from Istanbul, Turkey     [Read more…]

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“The hangover that led to the discovery of ibuprofen”

      The story behind one of the most popular painkillers now available without a prescription:   http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34798438   Posted from Istanbul, Turkey     [Read more…]

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Infallibility?

    The Mormons are deeply concerned only with what they accept as scripture.  Non-Mormons, raised in the tradition of the infallible Bible, are unable to conceive of a man’s being a prophet and at the same time a fallible mortal. They persist in thinking  .  .  .  that the discovery of any slightest flaw [Read More…]

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