Category: News and Politics

Politics – Current Events – Media

In the Eye of the Beholder

I learned earlier this week that the Church College of New Zealand is scheduled to close later this year, at the end of a 3-year-long process announced in June of 2006. What caught my attention, however, was a news report on opposition to the Church’s plan to dismantle the buildings that made up the school.

Uber-Deep and Important Doctrinal Questions

After reading the post from a couple days ago about optimal tithing rates, I started to think about some of the unanswered questions that have come to mind while I’ve been playing Brick Breaker in Elder’s Quorum pondering the mysteries of the Gospel.  It seems like this audience might be able to offer some differing perspectives on these conundrums that, up to now, have kept me at a loss.  A lot of you seem to be much smarter than I am. Have at them.

Anyone Know John William Yettaw?

Yettaw, who is Mormon according to several news reports, is now in detention in a Burmese jail. Worse, he has managed to get Burma‘s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was nearing the end of house arrest under  a 6-year sentence, arrested also.

When Should the News Mention Religious Affiliation?

When I was a youth (pre-1978), a magazine article about the Church hit the newsstands in Washington D.C., and we, local members, were ecstatic with what we considered great coverage of the Church. So I was very surprised at the negative reaction of the missionaries in our ward. It seems that the article had a few negative things to say that we thought were minor (and accurate), and the missionaries felt were major derogatory statements that put the Church in a bad light. While the situation isn’t the same, I read a similar reaction yesterday, objecting to the mention in news articles of someone’s religion. In this case it is one I don’t agree with.

Compassion for the Unworthy

Can I remind us of something? The rhetoric here and elsewhere on the bloggernacle, the Internet, and evidently in the personal lives of some of us, seems all too often to be based on the idea that there is a worthiness test for compassion.

Musings on Drifting Faith

The question becomes not if our policies and teachings will adapt, but rather how. And further, what statements are we making today – strident and bombastic – for which we will be judged tomorrow? Statements and positions that our future generations will be pressed to reconcile, to explain, or to disavow?

Four sources of the Apocalypse

With the past two months, I have read — for various reasons — four different novels laying out apocalyptic events within the United States. Here are the novels, in the order I read (or re-read) them, and with the reasons why I read them: — Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1977): a comet fragments and strikes the Earth in numerous places, collapsing much of world civilization, including the United States. I’ve read this several times before; I saw it cited on a blog (Samizdata) in a discussion on “the best end-of-the-world novels”  and decided to dig it out and read it again.

Bye-bye, Bybee?

A week ago, the New York Times joined the growing chorus of commenters calling for Judge Jay Bybee’s impeachment. Is impeachment really going to happen? And what should we think about the issue?

Own Worst Enemy

Its tempting to shrug off the news that Deseret Book has taken Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books off the shelves because of customer complaints. After all, Deseret Book has a right to run its business how it pleases. And as Clark Goble observes, in his comment on Beliefnet on this issue, it may be Deseret Book trying to differentiate itself from other bookstores. But I see a problem.

A Ponzi Scheme Trifecta?

Looking through the news over the past few days, I was surprised at the number of ponzi-schemes perpetrated by Mormons in the news these days. I’ve seen three in the news in the past week, two of which involved men who were Bishops at the time.

Memories of Bill Orton

Presidential campaigns aside, one of the first political races I can remember paying attention to growing up was the 1990 congressional race between Karl Snow and new comer Bill Orton to fill retiring Rep. Howard C. Nielson’s 3rd District congressional seat. I was 12 at the time and delivered the Utah County Journal, a free area newspaper.

Conscience in the Obama Era

I linked yesterday on the sidebar to Stanley Fish’s latest editorial in the New York Times, which takes as its occasion the possibility that President Obama will revoke the “conscience clause” allowing health care providers the right to refuse to provide certain services. I thought I’d add a few thoughts here.*

Contemplating Missionary Work in Cuba

The Obama administration announced yesterday that it is easing a handful of restrictions imposed by the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Among other things, Cuban-Americans will now be allowed to travel to Cuba as much as they like and will be free to send money and gifts to friends and relatives without securing travel or export licenses from the Treasury or the Commerce Department.

Notes From All Over – Comments

I’ve always liked our  posts allowing comments on the “Notes From All Over” in the sidebar. So I thought I’d try keeping it alive. Instead of simply leaving an open thread, I thought I’d number and give a summary of the items that appeared this past week:

Asking the Right Question

The news yesterday was that President Obama will hold a Passover Seder in the White House tonight, the first time a Seder has been held in the White House. So, who is going to ask him to hold Family Home Evening some Monday night?

The Double-Minded Essence of Mormonism

A while ago I was reading some sermons from the 1880s in the Journal of Discourses.  The 1880s, of course, is the decade when the anti-polygamy crusades were at their most intense.  Thousands of Mormons were incarcerated, the Brethren were in hiding from the law much of the time, and every time you turned around there was a new law confiscating Mormon property or disenfranchising Mormon voters.  Hence, I was surprised to come across a sermon in which George Q. Cannon spoke unironically of his admiration for George Edmunds.  Edmunds was a Republican Senator from Vermont, and the chief proponent of harsher anti-Mormon legislation in Congress.  Cannon noted that he disagreed with Edmunds and thought him mistaken.  Nevertheless, he said in effect that he thought Edmunds an admirable man of principle.  Cannon’s remarks reveal a deep double-mindedness in nineteenth-century Mormonism, a double-mindedness whose preservation surely counts as one of the triumphs of the modern Church.