July 19, 2019

    This will be my fourth blog entry about the presidential “Go back” tweet and the subsequent “Send her back!” rally in North Carolina:   “On the Trump Tweet (1)”   “On the Trump Tweet (2)”   “Send her back!”   Is it the most important or most pressing issue of our time?  No.  It’s not.  Not on the surface, anyway.  But it seems to me an extraordinarily clear one, an unambiguous test question.   President Trump now says… Read more

July 18, 2019

    A recording of the 14 July 2019 Interpreter Radio Show is now available (at, of course, no charge), shorn of commercial interruptions and breaks.  For that episode, Terry Hutchinson, John Gee and Kevin Christensen discussed the 90th anniversary of broadcasts by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square as well  as new books about the New Testament. Also featured is a discussion of the upcoming Come, Follow Me lesson #30:   Interpreter Radio Show — July 14, 2019   If, however,… Read more

July 18, 2019

    An account that I’ve gleaned for my notes from P.M.H. Atwater, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 2007):   Patricia Meo, administrative director at Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was skeptical of near-death experiences until her husband, Tony, had one.  That had traveled from their home in Florida to Milwaukee so that Tony could have open heart surgery and cardiac revascularization performed by a… Read more

July 18, 2019

    Some good listening from Brigham Young University:   Dr. Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core Author and activist Dr. Eboo Patel is nationally and even internationally known for his interfaith work on college campuses as the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, but as a young man, religion wasn’t even on his radar.  In this interview we’ll follow his path back to faith and to interfaith work, and why he feels it’s important enough to devote his life… Read more

July 18, 2019

    By now, you’ve probably heard about the Trump rally in North Carolina yesterday in which, with reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and uncorrected by the President, the crowd began to chant “Send her back!  Send her back!”   I’ve already expressed my opinion of the presidential tweet that started all of this.  (See here and here.)   I haven’t yet called attention to the absolutely astonishing and utterly Orwellian attempt by one of Mr. Trump’s campaign personnel… Read more

July 17, 2019

    This subject came bubbling up again just the other day in a place where I happen to have noticed it.  So I think that I’ll repost an item that I originally wrote and put up on 10 January 2017:   The scandal du jour that’s agitating the embittered ex-Mormon hive (and that’s, perhaps, concerning some wavering Latter-day Saints, and even possibly a few very faithful ones) is the revelation that members of the First Presidency and other General Authorities receive… Read more

July 17, 2019

    A few nights ago, as we watched the 2008 WGBH (Boston)/BBC Sense and Sensibility, the one with Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood, I heard a quotation from William Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” (or, to be more full and exact, from Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798”).  That led me to re-read the poem yet again, and to be struck, yet again, by… Read more

July 17, 2019

    Since my request, made a few days ago, for suggestions of topics that I should cover during today’s FreedomFest 2019 lecture in Las Vegas (“Building Zion: Mormon Pioneers and Religion in the American West”) was so usefully productive, I thought that I might pose a more difficult, obscure, and demanding task for readers.  One good thing:  I’m not under so tight a deadline for this one.   I’m tinkering with a book manuscript for which the working title… Read more

July 16, 2019

    A few more items that I’ve extracted from P.M.H. Atwater, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 2007) as notes for a manuscript upon which I’m occasionally working:   In the Canadian magazine Maclean’s (20 April 1992, p. 40), Tom Harpur, an Anglican priest turned journalist, makes the following intriguing comment, which is cited by Atwater:   It is now my conviction that it is the… Read more

July 16, 2019

    Continued:   As I noted in my previous post on this topic, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were born in the United States, so Mr. Trump’s suggestion that they ought to go back to the countries from which they originally came is not only offensive but blitheringly stupid.   It’s true, though, that Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was born in Somalia and raised in Somalia and then in Kenya before she came to the… Read more

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