“Mormons and ‘Gay Rights’: Statesmanship vs. Ideology”

    Some reflections from Professor Ralph Hancock, occasioned by the LDS Church news conference held earlier this week:   http://ldsmag.com/mormons-and-gay-rights-statesmanship-vs-ideology/     [Read more…]

Elvis and the Mormons

    I’m afraid that I’m not, and have never been, an Elvis fan.   My brother was, though, and I first heard the story of Elvis’s visit to an early morning seminary class from him.  When he served as a bishop, Elvis’s former bodyguard was in his ward and told him about that experience. [Read More…]

Failed writers

    “Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”  (T. S. Eliot [1888-1965], Nobel laureate for literature in 1948)     [Read more…]

New Testament 55

    Matthew 5:21-26 Compare Mark 11:25 and Luke 12:57-59   Just a quick note on this very familiar passage:   I think it significant that Jesus doesn’t cite authorities.  He is authority.  He needn’t borrow it from anybody else, as we do.  He doesn’t reason or argue, either; he simply declares.   “You have [Read More…]

Have I been fired? Banished?

    Some of the more bizarre conspiracy theorists among my obsessive enemies are absolutely certain that I wasn’t really on research leave last year.  I was, they insist, on probation.  Being punished for my crimes against reason and ethics.  Some are even sure that I’ve been fired from Brigham Young University.  A few are [Read More…]

“Western diplomats don’t get religion”

    I’ve complained for a long time that Western statecraft — predominantly conducted, I think it’s perhaps safe to say, by people of merely nominal or even no religious beliefs — has failed to take religious factors into account, both domestically and, with much more serious results, in our foreign policy.  One doesn’t need [Read More…]

“Absence of White House strategy makes ISIS, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan wars unwinnable”

    A trio of formerly high-ranking military officers — now retired, or they wouldn’t be able to speak so freely — testify to the painful truth:   http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/27/former-top-officers-absence-of-white-house-strategy-makes-isis-iraq-syria-afghanistan-wars-unwinnable     [Read more…]

“Astronomers discover a replica solar system”

    Thanks to Michael Davidson for bringing this intriguing item to my notice:   http://news.yale.edu/2015/01/27/astronomers-discover-replica-solar-system#.VMfc_pjhfos.facebook     [Read more…]

“Religious freedom and refusing service”

    The indispensable Cassandra Showell Hedelius weighs in with a calm and legally-informed piece, commenting on the Church’s Tuesday news conference regarding discrimination and religious liberty:   http://ldsmag.com/religious-freedom-and-refusing-service/     [Read more…]

“Rethinking materialism in science”

    This week’s installment of my continuing assault on rationality and human kindness has appeared in the Deseret News:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865620611/Rethinking-materialism-in-science.html     [Read more…]