Modern Sexuality and Feminism: A Response to Ralph Hancock

Hancock’s latest article for DesNews is up: Ralph Hancock: The limits of today’s emerging sexuality Unsurprisingly, I agree with the majority of Hancock’s article. But I have a few qualms and quibbles that may be due more to my gender and age than anything else: Hancock states that “For much of history men have possessed physical and social powers over women, and it follows that there have always been abuses of these powers. Abuse that is violent should be punished… Read more

What is Love?

“This counterfeiting of the central ideal of Christianity for purposes directly contrary to basic Christian morality is a beguiling argument because it seems to allow an individual to avoid the hard choice between the Church and the world, the Tree of Life and the Great and Spacious Building. If “love” can be reduced to “non-discrimination,” then I can be a true Christian by abandoning the burden of traditional Christian morality and embracing the ethics of a relativist society. Unfortunately, this… Read more

The Kaepernick “Conversation”

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said his reason for refusing to stand for the national anthem was that he wanted to “start a conversation.” This is a well-worn rhetorical ploy; Democrats have been playing the “conversation about race” card at least since Bill Clinton’s presidency. But the conversation turns out to be a lecture on how liberals are right and everyone else is not only wrong but racist… Our quarterback-activist is clearly convinced, beyond any need for further conversation,… Read more

Tolerance and Freedom

For those of us who can remember a time not so long ago when respect for religion was a given in American society, it may be surprising and even disturbing to consider that the character of our society has so changed that religion is now on the defensive. But this is the reality that Elder Rasband is addressing [in this month’s Ensign]: “In today’s society it is politically correct to empathize with Ethan’s [gay] situation but less so with Samantha’s… Read more

The Virtue of “Justified Pride”

There are many good deeds, even deeds of sublime sacrifice, that have little or nothing to do with the world’s recognition. Perhaps motherhood (and like unto it, fatherhood) is the essential and fundamental example of such goodness, though even here there is the recognition of the grateful child, or the mere upward look of the suckling babe. The plain fact, though, is that most good actions are bound up with others’ recognition of their goodness. A good dentist needs to… Read more

Faith in the Good

We have lost faith in the idea of self-government that animated European nations since they began to take form in the high Middle Ages. Simultaneously … we have lost faith in Providence, in the benevolence and protection of the Most High; or, if these expressions appear really too obsolete, we have lost faith in the primacy of the Good. … And yet the two operations of freedom are inseparable, as are action and hope. Every action, and especially civic or… Read more

Trump’s Thoroughly Modern Views on the Rule of Law

Trump University is accused of fraud. Hearing the case is U.S. district Judge Curiel, an American born in Indiana. Trump objects because Curiel’s parents were Mexican immigrants. But does it matter who his parents were? Of course not: this is the only possible American response. The whole point of America is supposed to be the individual’s freedom from inherited classifications or identities. Americans hold that all human beings are created equal and should be treated equally under fair and equal… Read more

Abomination and Understanding, Works and Grace – October 1972 General Conference, Session 6 (Sunday Morning)

This post is part of General Conference Odyssey. This conference, which marked the beginning of Harold B. Lee’s service as President and Prophet, was notable overall for its firmness and clarity in declaring the unique and critically important truth of the Restoration of the gospel and of the priesthood through the Prophet Joseph Smith. In this Sunday Morning Session, Pres. N. Eldon Tanner notes some German astronomer’s call, in order to save our civilization from disaster, to “listen hard for… Read more

A Warning against Wolves and Delusions among the Saints – October 1972 General Conference, Session 5 (Priesthood Session)

This post is part of General Conference Odyssey. Pres. Harold B. Lee, the newly ordained prophet, at the conclusion of this Priesthood Session, recounts his being called “just as a young man in [his] thirties … to head up the welfare movement to turn the tide from government relief…”  Aware of the magnitude of the task and of his own inexperience, he was staggered by the assignment. As I kneeled down, my petition was, “What kind of an organization should… Read more

Saints Securely Dwell – October 1972 General Conference, Session 4 (Saturday Afternoon)

This post is part of General Conference Odyssey It turns out that doubt was not invented by the highly intelligent and critically thinking Mormon bloggers of the millennial generation!  One could get the impression from our activist bloggers that belief used to be easy and comfortable, before the internet and the discovery of equality and all that.  Weirdly, we find Elder Loren C. Dunn (“How to Gain a Testimony”), already 44 years ago, not only acknowledging doubt but also finding… Read more

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