I was strongly rebuked a while back for my conspicuous failure to show sufficient reverence for the late physician, statesman, reformer, and humanitarian Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara.   So I would like to reiterate, as clearly as possible, my contempt for the man.  He was a sociopathic murderer, and I would also like to communicate my disgust at the romanticizing cult that has grown up about him.   I’ve despised him since long before I gained a beloved… Read more

    Sometimes, on this trip, I don’t even know what day it is.  And I’m often behind.  So I’m rather late in calling attention to this new piece from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   ““The Time is Past”: A Note on Samuel’s Five-Year Prophecy”   I hope that you enjoy it!   ***   And, for those of you who teach or attend Gospel Doctrine classes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, here’s an… Read more

    I remember, very distinctly, a conversation from quite a few years ago in which the person speaking with me characterized another person with whom we were both familiar as among the two or three most arrogant people s/he had ever known.  I got a huge kick out of this remark because, had I myself been constructing such a list, my conversation partner would also have been on it, along with that other person.   We’ve all, I suppose,… Read more

    I confess that I’ve never understood the exultation and evangelical zeal that some claim to feel as atheists.   Let me be clear:  I can easily understand coming to the conclusion that there is no God.  The world is full of seemingly pointless suffering, painfully unanswered questions, dubious religious claims, historically shaky scriptural stories, hypocritical pseudoprophets, theologically-motivated wars and oppression, and the like.  Moreover, naturalistic theories such as evolution seem (at first glance, anyway) to have undercut arguments… Read more

    A bit more, perhaps?   Syria, too, is under the control of a wing of the Ba’th Party. It is a hostile faction, however, that long despised the Iraq wing of the party and tried to undercut it at every turn. Syria, too, is ruled by a ruth­less tyrant. Hafez al-Asad came to power in 1970 and was every bit as cruel as Saddam Hussein. But Hafez had a better sense of the way the world works, and… Read more

    Not infrequently, I read comments from purportedly liberated ex-Mormons about the glories of churchless Sundays.  Instead of attending mind-numbingly dull and repetitious meetings, they claim to spend most of their Sundays skiing, golfing, biking, reading classic books, listening to superb music, perfecting their highly toned bodies through exercise, enjoying the beach, and sipping fine imported wines.   And perhaps they do.   Would I gain by skipping out on Sunday meetings and spending the day as if God didn’t… Read more

    There is no serious question that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, in some very important senses, a patriarchal organization.  Its priesthood is exclusively male, for example, which means that the central leadership positions in local congregations and in the Church as a whole are held entirely, or almost entirely, by men.   But, I’m going to hastily argue, that may not be quite as important or lethal as some on the outside assume.  … Read more

    Continuing with The Book:   The Ba‘th Party took its name from an Arabic word that can mean both “renaissance” and “resurrection.” That is the promise that it made to the Arab people. But it never delivered on its prom­ise. Instead, it represented an Arab socialism that was bound to destroy the economy of any nation that adopted it, and, like the more famous German national socialism of Adolf Hitler, it created an atmosphere of intense racism and… Read more

    We’ve just returned from a hot air balloon ride above the Valley of the Kings, the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, and other features of the ancient Theban necropolis.  First time I’ve done that.  A new memory.   Here’s an old one:   Not too terribly long after I received my California driver’s license, I had it suspended for a month.  And I deserved it.   I was coming home from the library (of all things) on a Wednesday… Read more

    Here’s something that I posted back in mid-2012.  Some of it is slightly obsolete, but I think it offers a good overview of what I’m up to with this blog:   Occasionally, someone writes in to complain about the nature of my blog entries on Sic et Non.  Usually, there’s a complaint that they’re too political.  Sometimes the lament is that I post too much travelogue.  One person complained some time back that what I write is no… Read more

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