Seriously Basic

    “More consequences for thought and action follow the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question.” Mortimer Adler (1902-2001) [Read more…]

“O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture”

    “O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture”   Amen.   And, again, amen.   I’ve watched with horror as we’ve descended from William F. Buckley, Jr., to Michael Savage and Sean Hannity, from Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump.   I’m not accusing Savage (whom I cannot abide and to whom [Read More…]

“Amici Curiae Brief by Scholars of Mormonism Opposed to Trump’s Refugee and Immigrant Ban”

      A “friend of the court brief” was filed today with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in reference to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order on immigration.  I’m among the nineteen signatories.  Professor Nathan Oman, Rollins Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Law and [Read More…]

“Russian court bans Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremist group”

      This is very bad news for religious freedom, and perhaps a threatening harbinger of things yet to come:   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/20/russian-court-bans-jehovahs-witnesses-extremist-group/100701524/   Thanks to Marc Norton for alerting me to the news item.   Posted from Park City, Utah     [Read more…]

“The unexpected Book of Mormon”

    This week’s assault upon reason, charity, and common sense has appeared in the Deseret News:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865678219/The-unexpected-Book-of-Mormon.html   Posted from Park City, Utah     [Read more…]

“Rethinking Critical Thinking With the Help of Carl Sagan”

    It won’t surprise many who know me or know much about my thinking that I’m not an unalloyed fan of the late astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan.  But I like this piece, and I like the principles from Sagan that it sets forth — even if I think that Dr. Sagan himself [Read More…]

“Mormons and Charity”

      Here’s an article from way back in 2012, published in the Jesuit (Catholic) magazine America, that some might find of interest in view of the recurrent claim that Mormons don’t give enough to charity, are too selfish, spend too much on their silly churches and ridiculous temples, are ignoring the teachings of Christ [Read More…]

What would he have said TODAY?

    Referring to certain strands of liberal Protestant theology in his day, the famous Yale Christian ethicist H. Richard Niebuhr (younger brother of the even more famous Protestant theologian, social thinker, and public intellectual Reinhold Niebuhr [1892-1971]) described them this way in his book The Kingdom of God in America:   “A God without [Read More…]

What About Peter’s Denial of Christ?

    First off, an interesting 1970-1971 speech by Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Council of the Twelve (who, of course, later went on to serve as president of the Church):   “Peter, My Brother”   Then a note on the story by Blake Osler that was brought to my notice by Robert Boylan:   [Read More…]

Why does the Church give so little to charity?

    Critics often claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t give enough money to charity.   What that typically means is that the Church doesn’t do enough charitable work of the kind that they would approve.  Because, after all, the Church is a charity.  In a sense, their complaint is [Read More…]