“I have a dream”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Washington Mall (28 August 1963)

  Last night, in preparation for today's fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech on the Washington Mall, I took a few minutes to re-read it. It's surprisingly short.  And, although it's eloquent, plainly Dr. King's magnificent delivery (deeply influenced in its Bible-drenched cadences by the best of the tradition of pulpit oratory in black churches) gives its words even greater power. I'm posting this too … [Read more...]

The Top Ten Signs You’re Attending a Phony University

No'us Refundus

   In the light of my recent post about phony strip-mall-store doctorates, I found this item -- which was sent to me the other day by, I believe, Ted Vaggalis -- both funny and apropos.   … [Read more...]

Welcome to Utah!

We're a friendly, quiet, hospitable bunch.

 I don't know whether this is authentic or not, but I rather hope so:     … [Read more...]

Once more, on “purely intellectual” loss of faith

Does this sign bar entry by believers?

  It occurs to me that one way of illustrating something of what I had in mind with my post,  two days ago, regarding reasons for loss of faith, is this: I've encountered a number of people who have abandoned their faith in God or become alienated from the Church because, they say, of certain facts or issues.  But what's striking about the facts or issues that they cite is that I, too, am aware of them.  In fact, in most cases, I've been aware of them for a ve … [Read more...]

Young people! Sign up for Obamacare!

The doctor is in!

  Here's a wonderful new video ad promoting Obamacare to young Americans: http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/356740/crossroads-gps-promotes-obamacare-young-people-jim-geraghty   … [Read more...]

Store-Front Diplomas and the Countercult

Groucho Marx as Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff in "Horse Feathers" (1982)

  Over the years, though not recently, I've had a few tough exchanges (some of them actually a bit testy), including (along with my colleague Bill Hamblin) a broadcast radio debate, with the zealous Calvinist countercult speaker, writer, and debater James White. Mr. White, who is based in the Phoenix area, has traditionally focused his fire on Mormonism, Catholicism, and (I'm more comfortable with this) King-James-only fundamentalists.  More recently, I think … [Read more...]

“Saim Abd al-Samid: ‘That Tried Friend’”

Ancient Gaziantep, surrounded by the modern city

  Ardis Parshall has posted the first (short) installment of a very interesting bit of Latter-day Saint history in the Middle East: http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2013/08/27/saim-abd-al-samid-that-tried-friend/ She tells me that the next installment will appear tomorrow.  Posted from Park City, Utah    … [Read more...]

Astronomy and the Book of Abraham

Earth's nearest neighborhood as viewed before Copernicus

  While I'm on something of a Book of Abraham theme, here's another article that John Gee, William Hamblin, and I wrote some years back about the Book of Abraham: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=40&chapid=161   … [Read more...]