For the past couple weeks I’ve received email reports, forwarded to me from a friend, written by a lawyer who is LDS and who is prosecuting a counselor in a Stake Presidency in a ponzi scheme. The situation is sad, the email messages fascinating and the news that this is a counselor in a stake presidency can’t be found anywhere. Should it? I think so.
Last Saturday I gave a walking tour of Mormon history sites in lower Manhattan, one of the services our stake history committee offers regularly. One stop on the tour is the location where an early LDS newspaper, The Mormon, was published by John Taylor. That newspaper featured an interesting statement in its masthead–what it called The Mormon Creed.
A while back our household sat down to watch an episode of Monk. We like Monk because not only is it funny, itâ€™s also sad and tender and offers good â€“ sometimes very good â€“ cultural satire. As I fed M she kept turning her head to look at the TV, watching whatever it is she sees when sheâ€™s watching something. Weâ€™re not sure what that is because doctors have sent mixed messages about her eyesight. But she does see.
Last weekend I went to the penultimate game in Yankee Stadium, and the next night watched the last game on television, complete with its post-game wake. Over nearly 20 years I’ve attended meetings there, letting a place and a culture become an almost religious part of my life. Its a Temple of baseball.
Every medium has an inherent vice. While any form of media can be misused, there is a flaw lurking in the fundamental nature of each medium. Television exaggerates fear, as it transmits the worst events or most scandalous entertainment from the outside world into our homes. Movies indulge our self-deluding fantasies of escape or celebrity. Radio encourages the presumption, in the secrecy of our private chambers, that we sing and dance every bit as good as Milli Vanilli. The inherent vice of the Internet is shame
How should we think about personal responsibility in light of the financial bailout currently being debated in Washington, D.C.?
The church issued a statement about alcohol laws in Utah. The last paragraph reads: â€œThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that Utahns, including those who work in the hospitality industry, can come together as citizens, regardless of religion or politics, to support laws and regulations that allow individual freedom of choice while preserving Utahâ€™s proven positive health and safety record on limiting the tragic consequences of overconsumption of alcohol.â€
Among the other academic spam that I get are regular emails from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which is always eager to remind me of their fights for academic freedom, higher salaries for professors, and various trendy and hip progressive causes. Today, the AAUP sent out an email commemorating the ten year anniversary of its censure of BYU. I thought that readers might enjoy a trip down memory lane to the bad-old-days of Mormon intellectual life in the 1990s and a view of events through outside eyes:
With elections coming up and my time as a guest blogger running out, I like to take up the topic of Mormonism and voting. First, what should we make of the many Mormons who seem completely disengaged in politics?
First Things has published two articles about the Church; one by Bruce D. Porter and the other by Gerald R. McDermott.
Some of the thoughts of a commenter on my last post, got me thinking about Mormons, politics, and morality. My observation is that the issues that set off moral alarm bells for most Mormons are those that deal with issues relating to what I would consider â€œfreedom to sinâ€ or â€œprohibitions of obvious sins.â€
The Mormon conception of Zion has changed dramatically over the past century. Today’s members of the church are likely to define “Zion” as wherever the members of the church are: LDS homes, congregations, and stakes. While the conception of Zion in the 19th century may have included these elements, these Saints were determined to literally be Zion communities
This morning I heard a member of Utahâ€™s delegation to the Republican National Convention tell a radio talk show host that â€œthere is a really special feeling among the Republican delegation.â€ Could you run that by me again?
Has the Church really made an unsolicited offer to buy Facebook (see here which spun off to here)?
Yes! Another SSM post!
It comes up often enough, doesn’t it: People compare race to sexual orientation, when discussing questions of marriage, medical access, and so on. Is this comparison legitimate?
The week in notes, belatedly.
I think we can all agree that, from a risk analysis perspective, global warming and gay marriage share a lot of characteristics.
Let me remind everyone that I support the Church’s position opposing same sex marriage.
Comment on the week in sidebar links.
You are probably too erudite to discuss this, but Iâ€™m bringing it up anyway: vampire books. You know what Iâ€™m talking about.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve encountered an interesting banner link in my gmail account:
The week in sidebar links.
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 From: [redacted] Subject: MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT MONSON
Dave’s Mormon Inquiry has a post up about a new article in Meridian Magazine today that likens the brewing battle over gay marriage in California to the War in Heaven. The comments of the post link to an editorial from the Daily Universe editorial board this week that I found pretty shocking. The money quote: Consequently, â€œactive Mormonsâ€ know that when the prophet speaks, the debate is over. No matter how diligently someone reads their scriptures, attends church or pays a full tithe, unless they sustain President Monson, his counselors and the other 12 apostles, [by supporting the proposed amendment to legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman] they are not â€œactive Mormons.â€
Bloomberg reports the following from McCain about economists who criticized his (lunatic) summer gas plan:
The other day somebody sent me a YouTube link for a comedian Iâ€™ll call Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones was a chubby gramdma with hot flashes â€“ not the kind of person you usually see doing stand-up. Most of the â€œfunnyâ€ email forwarded to me makes me sigh and hit the delete button. Mrs. Jones made me laugh out loud. It felt sort of weird. Which made me realize that I donâ€™t laugh nearly enough
Utah’s NBA team needs to change its name, period. The name is silly. There is no jazz in the state of Utah. They should give the Jazz name back to the good folks of New Orleans, for whom the moniker actually makes sense, and pick a new one that actually makes sense for Utah. Which new monikers might work?
Just over a month ago, Kaimi posed a question asking how exactly our Latter-day Saint beliefs should translate into specific ideas on the issue of immigration. His blog post was provoked by press accounts of meetings that Elder M. Russell Ballard and other Church officials had just had with members of the Utah legislature from both parties. These sorts of meetings are nothing unusual; they’ve actually become a matter of tradition. Before each general session, party leaders in both the House and Senate meet separately with Church officials to discuss any issues of importance. What set these particular meetings apart, however, was the increasingly hardline immigration measures the legislature was set to consider during the upcoming legislative session.