Gordon B. Hinckley to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

June 19, 2004 | 25 comments
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The church web site is reporting that church President Gordon B. Hinckley will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from national President George W. Bush. President Hinckley writes that:

I will be deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from the President of the United States. I am profoundly grateful. In a larger sense, it recognizes and honors the Church which has given me so many opportunities and whose interests I have tried to serve. To the Church, to my associates, and to our people everywhere I extend my gratitude and with each of you share the honor of this recognition.

The White House press release notes:

Gordon B. Hinckley has been President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1995, and has served in church leadership since the 1930s. In those capacities, he has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe.

Congratulations to President Hickley on receiving this award, which is the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. government. A total of thirteen new recipients of the award are designated in the press release, including Pope John Paul II, pundit Norman Podhoretz, actress Doris Day, golfer Arnold Palmer, and cosmetics designer Este Lauder.

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25 Responses to Gordon B. Hinckley to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

  1. obi-wan on June 19, 2004 at 3:06 pm

    Wow. This puts President Hinkley right up there with Este Lauder, Arnold Palmer, and Doris Day?

    I’m not quite sure what that means.

  2. Dr. Tarr on June 19, 2004 at 3:12 pm

    Maybe it means it’s an election year.

  3. Philocrites on June 19, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    Dr. Tarr, surely things haven’t gotten so bad for Bush that he needs to rescue the Utah-Idaho vote from John Kerry!

  4. Dr. Tarr on June 19, 2004 at 4:53 pm

    There are plenty of Mormons outside the intermountain west.

    If this list is any indicator, a number of them could be induced to join the Evangelical fundamentalist types working to put Shrub back in office.

    And surely you don’t think that the election year award to the Pope for defending “the unique dignity of every life” is a coincidence?

  5. Philocrites on June 19, 2004 at 5:54 pm

    But Mormons are already one of the most solidly Republican groups in the country. An olive branch to them from President Bush makes about as much sense as an olive branch from John Kerry to my fellow Unitarian Universalists. Those voting blocs are locked in. There’s no electoral advantage to be gained.

    Since Roman Catholics *are* swing voters, sure, I’d buy the idea that Bush is looking for Catholic votes. But I don’t see where the advantage to Bush comes from in honoring President Hinckley. Maybe it’s a way of looking ecumenical and interfaith — you know, “compassionate conservative” — without angering the Evangelicals too badly.

  6. John David Payne on June 19, 2004 at 7:39 pm

    But if the goal is to avoid angering evangelicals, then the president could certainly pick a better recipient than the leader of a church which evangelicals routinely crusade against.

  7. Professor Fether on June 19, 2004 at 8:34 pm

    Doesn’t he need to reward the loyal troops in the locked-in voting blocs every once in a while?

  8. John David Payne on June 20, 2004 at 12:00 am

    Not as long as the other party seems inhospitable. That’s why we’re locked in. Mormons are not going to jump to the Democrats in large numbers any time soon because of party platforms on issues that are near and dear to their hearts. Republicans don’t need to cozy up to us to keep us from switching sides; they only need to make sure we show up to vote. And in this election, lots of Mormons will show up for the same reason that other religious conservatives will show up to vote. No need to motivate us beyond that, especially if it risks offending the much larger group of anti-Mormon evangelicals.

  9. Julien on June 20, 2004 at 10:06 am

    Maybe Bush is just making sure the Mormons don’t switch sides (which they should have a long time ago), after it becomes clear that he lied about Iraq, led an illegal war, had his Pentagon commit organized torture, is discriminating against Arabs in the U.S., passed the unconstitutional Patriot Acts, locks people away with no rights in Guantanamo, causes more environmental harm than any other government in the world, allows tax cuts for big companies while the poors live in slums (mainly black people)…. He’s realizing he’s done crap, and he’s hoping the Mormons don’t… Which they should!

  10. diogenes on June 20, 2004 at 10:48 am

    Julien’s thought was rather similar to mine.

    I gave up on the Republican party a number of years ago after having been heard from them far too many times “This man hath brought upon himself his misery: therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just” — in very nearly those words.

    After having heard from them far too many times, “Every man fares in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospers according to his genius, and every man conquers according to his strength” — in very nearly those words.

    After having heard from them far too many times they “would avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren who had been slain by their enemies, that they would go up to battle against their enemies and would cut them off from the face of the land” — in very nearly those words.

    This frightens me.

    Perhaps Bush’s handlers fear that the Latter-Day Saints might finally realize how little the Republican party has in common with the faith they claim to profess.

  11. cooper on June 20, 2004 at 11:33 am

    Let’s not reduce this award for Preseident Hinckley and others to a partisan (insert choice word of your choosing) contest.

    The medal is awarded annually to people who have been nominated (suggested) or selected personally by the president. Could it be that President Hinckley actually does deserve the award? And could it also be that his wife having just passed away, it has come to the attention of those that choose? [Sorry guys, especially after being married so long – men have a higher likelihood to pass away quickly if their spouse pre-deceases them.] Could it be President Bush wants him recognized before it’s too late?

  12. Julien on June 20, 2004 at 1:32 pm

    Cooper, you’re right about what you’re saying on not reducing this award to partisan politics, and maybe my political statement should not have been made in this context. Though disagreeing with close to everything the Bush administration has pulled off since 9/11, the fact that somebody receives an award might not have much to do with political contents. The discussion was going into a political direction and I just stated my opinion – the award itself might have shifted out of focus a little too much in my statement…

  13. diogenes on June 20, 2004 at 3:15 pm

    I certainly agree that if anyone deserves the American version of knighthood, it is Gordon B. Hinckley.

    But the list of deserving candidates is very long, and I worked on the Hill far too long not to also agree that any publicly visible award bestowed by an incumbent administration is very, very carefully calculated.

  14. Kingsley on June 20, 2004 at 7:25 pm

    “Maybe Bush is just making sure the Mormons don’t switch sides (which they should have a long time ago), after it becomes clear that he lied about Iraq, led an illegal war, had his Pentagon commit organized torture, is discriminating against Arabs in the U.S., passed the unconstitutional Patriot Acts, locks people away with no rights in Guantanamo, causes more environmental harm than any other government in the world, allows tax cuts for big companies while the poors live in slums (mainly black people)….”

    Someone’s been watching their MTV!

  15. John David Payne on June 20, 2004 at 7:27 pm

    Julien: I respectfully disagree with your claims about this administration, but I think this forum is not the place to have that argument.

    In any case, I am not saying (as you and diogenes seem to think) that all Mormons *should* support the Republican party or President Bush. All I am saying is that most LDS members do, and that this is not likely to change any time soon. Perhaps the two of you will change a few minds, but I see no signs of a political sea change in the Mormon community.

    For this reason, the award doesn’t make any sense as a means of securing political support. Thus, I agree with cooper that the gift was most likely simply a way to honor a notable American who has spent his life in selfless service during his few remaining years in mortality.

  16. Kristine on June 20, 2004 at 8:32 pm

    Kingsley, that last comes perilously close to a verboten ad hominem. (Also, I would think, embarrassingly close to “neener, neener, neener…”)

    Julien was expressing what I think is a quite typical view of the current US administration in the part of the world where he lives. And many Europeans who share his views are significantly better-educated and better-informed about politics and world events than most Americans. Probably you should acknowledge that many very smart people have different political views than you do and try to disagree civilly, if you must.

  17. Kristine on June 20, 2004 at 8:38 pm

    Oh, and I forgot: it’s bad form to get your grammar wrong when you’re mocking someone else’s supposed lack of erudition. No doubt you meant “someone’s been watching *his* MTV.”

  18. Daniel Peterson on June 20, 2004 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t intend to argue politics here, but I do want to register the fact that (putting it mildly) I strongly disagree with every one of Julien’s claims.

    (And, for what it’s worth, by the way, I’m an Arabist.)

    Please don’t do politics here. I would feel obliged to dispute such claims as Julien’s, and I don’t want to do that.

  19. Kristine on June 20, 2004 at 10:24 pm

    Er, Kingsley, I was a little over-the-top. Sorry. Just doing my part to make Carol Gilligan look bad :)

    Again, sorry.

  20. Julien on June 21, 2004 at 2:34 am

    I already did “apologize” for putting politics in a place where they shouldn’t be (I’ve been wondering – why is a weblog the only place people can disagree with me on politics and not hate me for it, like people do in real life?), but my sources are definitely different than MTV – in fact I haven’t watched a minute of that in years. They come from the best and most intellectual newspapers from all across Europe – my expressions were a lot more populistic than the papers I’m afraid, but all in all this is the opinion of the largest part of the lettered (as well as “un-lettered”) European world (including the majority of Mormons). Just wanted to mention that – and I’m an Arabist too, by the way! My best friend is Syrian… ;)

    Let’s not put political views of brother- and sisterhood here, though, I apologize if you feel like I did!

  21. Julien on June 21, 2004 at 2:42 am

    I mean over brother- and sisterhood of course… ;) And my news sources include the New York Times and Washington Post.

  22. Kingsley on June 21, 2004 at 10:03 am

    Kristine:

    The singular “they”/”their”/”them”/”themselves” construction
    These files contain a list of over 75 occurrences of the words “they”/”their”/”them”/”themselves” referring to a singular antecedent with indefinite or generic meaning in Jane Austen’s writings (mainly in her six novels), as well as further examples of singular “their” etc. from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and elsewhere. While your high-school English teacher may have told you not to use this construction, it actually dates back to at least the 14th century, and was used by the following authors (among others) in addition to Jane Austen: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, the King James Bible, The Spectator, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Frances Sheridan, Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Fielding, Maria Edgeworth, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, William Makepeace Thackeray, Sir Walter Scott, George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans], Charles Dickens, Mrs. Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, John Ruskin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walt Whitman, George Bernard Shaw, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, W. H. Auden, Lord Dunsany, George Orwell, and C. S. Lewis.

    Singular “their” etc., was an accepted part of the English language before the 18th-century grammarians started making arbitrary judgements as to what is “good English” and “bad English”, based on a kind of pseudo-“logic” deduced from the Latin language, that has nothing whatever to do with English. (See the 1975 journal article by Anne Bodine in the bibliography.) And even after the old-line grammarians put it under their ban, this anathematized singular “their” construction never stopped being used by English-speakers, both orally and by serious literary writers. So it’s time for anyone who still thinks that singular “their” is so-called “bad grammar” to get rid of their prejudices and pedantry!

    A brief history of singular “their” (etc.)
    The following is a brief potted history of this construction:

    In Old English, the masculine gender was used as the “unmarked” default for some purposes, but the problem of which pronouns to use with an indefinite singular antecedent (which can refer to both men and women) did not exist in quite the same way that it does in more recent English. This is because in Old English there was a system of arbitrary “grammatical gender”, in which nouns were assigned a gender which was often independent of the biological sex (if any) of the noun’s referent (as also happens in modern German, French etc.), and articles, demonstratives, and adjectives (as well as third person singular pronouns) all took on different forms according to the grammatical gender of the noun words they accompanied. It was apparently in early Middle English, with the transition to a system of “natural gender” (in which the third person singular pronouns are almost the only surviving linguistic markers of gender, and they are basically used in accordance with the biological sex of the referents of their antecedent nouns), that there arose the pronominal “generic masculine” construction as such — in which it is only by a separate convention (somewhat isolated from regular rules of pronoun agreement) that masculine pronouns are used in sentences of the type “Everybody loves his own mother”.

    However, not long afterwards the “singular their” construction (“Everybody loves their own mother”) also came into existence, and is attested starting in the late 1300’s. So from the fourteenth century on, both “singular their” and the pronominal generic masculine existed in English, and were two competing solutions for the same problem.

    From then on, “singular their” was used without much inhibition (see the examples from the OED) and was not generally considered “bad grammar”. It is true that starting in the 16th century, when English grammar began to be a subject of study, some rules of Latin grammar were applied to English; and that the Latin-based rules of grammatical agreement might have been seen as forbidding the English singular “their” construction — if they were interpreted in a certain linguistically naﶥ way. (This may explain why certain classical-language-influenced authors, such as the translators of the King James Bible, tended to use singular “their” somewhat infrequently — but see Phillipians 2:3.) However, the earliest specific condemnation of singular “their” that Bodine was able to find (in her 1975 article) dated only from 1795 (more than two centuries after English grammar started being taught, and at least several decades after the beginning of the 18th century “grammar boom”).

    So it seems that it was only in the late 18th century or early 19th century, when prescriptive grammarians started attacking singular “their” because this didn’t seem to them to accord with the “logic” of the Latin language, that it began to be more or less widely taught that the construction was bad grammar. The prohibition against singular “their” then joined the other arbitrary prescriptions created from naﶥ analogies between English and Latin — such as the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition.

    But through the 19th and 20th centuries, singular “their” has still continued to be used by a number of even somewhat “literary” authors, as well as commonly in the speech of even many educated individuals.

    It is interesting that almost as soon as the banning of singular “their” by grammarians and schoolteachers had gained some degree of acceptance (making many feel that the singular “their” construction was out of place in writing), some people began feeling dissatisfaction with the other alternatives which were permitted by the arbitrary edicts of prescriptive grammarians. So already in 1808/1809, noted author Samuel Taylor Coleridge seems to have rejected “generic masculine” he in some cases (as not being appropriately gender-neutral) — and since he apparently did not consider singular “their” to be permissible, and probably felt that “he or she” was too cumbersome (especially in repetition), he settled on “it” as the only available solution, as discussed in the following passage:

    QUÆ’E — whether we may not, nay ought not, to use a neutral pronoun, relative or representative, to the word “Person”, where it hath been used in the sense of homo, mensch, or noun of the common gender, in order to avoid particularising man or woman, or in order to express either sex indifferently? If this be incorrect in syntax, the whole use of the word Person is lost in a number of instances, or only retained by some stiff and strange position of the words, as — “not letting the person be aware wherein offense has been given” — instead of — “wherein he or she has offended”. In my [judgment] both the specific intention and general etymon of “Person” in such sentences fully authorise the use of it and which instead of he, she, him, her, who, whom.
    — Anima Poet溠From the Unpublished Note-Books of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge (1895), p. 190. [“Homo” and “mensch” are Latin and German words which mean `man’ in a general sex-neutral sense, as opposed to “vir” and “mann”, which mean `man’ in the specifically masculine sense.]

    Similarly, dissatisfaction with generic “he” and the other prescriptively-allowed alternatives led to proposals for neologistic English gender-neutral singular human pronoun words beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, as can be seen at Dennis Baron’s “Word that Failed” page.

    Singular “their” and linguistic sexism in English
    Recently, various new constructions or new words have been proposed to mitigate perceived English linguistic sexism; these are innovations, and must be evaluated as such. But singular “their” (etc.) is not an innovation, but old established good usage. So here anti-sexism and traditional English usage go hand-in-hand — and those who object to singular “their” can find no support from history, linguistics, or the aim of inclusive language.

    Already in 1894, the famed grammarian and linguist Otto Jespersen (who was decidedly not a feminist himself) wrote in his book Progress in Language: With Special Reference to English (?24) that “it is at times a great inconvenience to be obliged to specify the sex of the person spoken about. […] if a personal pronoun of common gender was substituted for he in such a proposition as this: `It would be interesting if each of the leading poets would tell us what he considers his best work’, ladies would be spared the disparaging implication that the leading poets were all men.” (so that it can hardly be claimed that a concern about such matters is only a recent outgrowth of 1970’s feminism or so-called “PC” ideology).

    Conditions on the use of singular “their” etc.
    Contrary to what some people apparently believe — that as soon as speakers deviate in the slightest degree from the prescriptive rules inculcated in schools, the English language then begins to spontaneously degenerate into a chaos of incoherent mumbles — there are actually clearly-defined patterns in the use of singular “their” etc. Such plural pronouns can only be used with a morphologically and syntactically singular antecedent when what it refers to is semantically collective and/or generic and/or indefinite and/or unknown. (A lack of knowledge about the gender of what is referred to, or an “epicene” reference to both genders or indefinitely to either, will in many cases help to make the use of singular “their” sound acceptable, by contributing to such semantic indeterminacy; however, note that unspecified gender is actually neither a necessary or sufficient condition for use of singular “their” — see below for non-“epicene” examples of this construction.)

    Where singular “their” cannot be used is when referring to a strongly-individualized single person about whom there is some specific information. So the following attempt at pronominal reference would fail, even if one did not know (or did not wish to reveal) the sex of “Chris”: “Chris was born on February, 25th 1963, the youngest of three siblings, is 5 feet 9 inches tall with red hair, graduated from Slippery Rock college, is currently working as an accountant, has never married, and is fond of listening to jazz. They…” (This shows that singular “they”/”them”/”their” cannot be used in all cases of unknown or indefinite gender.)

    These semantic factors are gradient, which is why some speakers find “their” etc. which refers back to an indefinite pronoun such as “anybody” more acceptable than cases of “their” etc. referring back to a singular concrete noun. So in the great majority of cases in Jane Austen’s writings, singular “their” has indefinite pronouns or quantifier words as its antecedent; there are also a few cases of “a person”, “any young person”, and “any man” as the antecedent, but no cases of a more specific noun phrase as the antecedent (except perhaps one case of “any acquaintance” embedded in a parallel coordinate construction). (It is significant that in one of the two cases I have found of the generic masculine construction in Jane Austen the antecedent is “the reader”, with a definite article and a concrete noun.)

    Go to a linguistic and logical discussion of singular their by Steven Pinker

    ——————————————————————————–

    The singular “their” (etc.) construction in Jane Austen
    “And this, too, she calls a frolic, or in her own vulgar language, fun.”
    — Lady Delacour in Chapter IV of Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda
    Jane Austen’s attitude towards singular “their” is shown by the fact that she uses it even in the narration of her novels — it is conspicuously not confined to the quoted speech of vulgar and ignorant characters, in the way that certain other constructions in Jane Austen are.

    For example, phrases of the type “me and…” are used as the subject of a verb only by characters such as Lydia Bennet of Pride and Prejudice (“Kitty and me were to spend the day there… Mrs. Forster and me are such friends!”, “…as we went along, Kitty and me drew up all the blinds, and pretended there was nobody in the coach”, all from Chapter 39); Lucy Steele of Sense and Sensibility (“…my sister and me was often staying with our uncle…” from Chapter 22, and “Ann and me are to go, the latter end of January, to some relations who have been wanting us to visit them these several years” from Chapter 24); and Mrs. Elton of Emma (“Neither Mr. Suckling nor me had ever any patience with them; and we used sometimes to say very cutting things!”, from Chapter 38). Similarly, the word “fun” is only used once by John Thorpe in Northanger Abbey and eight times by Lydia Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, and the main users of “ain’t” are Nancy Steele and Mrs. Jennings of Sense and Sensibility.

    It’s also interesting that in several of the examples (they are pointed out in the list), singular “their” refers to each of several women, and so was not used to express gender-neutrality. The reason for this is that singular “their” can serve as a general way of expressing indefiniteness, which need not have anything whatever to do with gender-neutrality. So for example, Shakespeare wrote “There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me / As if I were their well-acquainted friend” (Comedy of Errors, Act IV Scene 3), and in Mrs. Gaskell’s 1855 novel North and South, a male character says “I was never aware of any young lady trying to catch me [i.e. matrimonially], nor do I believe that anyone has ever given themselves that useless trouble”.

    The total number of occurrences of singular “their” etc. found in Austen’s six novels was 75, distributed as follows (see also the more detailed statistics):

    Full-length (three-volume) novels:
    Mansfield Park: 24
    Emma: 14
    Sense and Sensibility: 12
    Pride and Prejudice: 12
    “Half-length” (two-volume) novels:
    Northanger Abbey: 7
    Persuasion: 6

    ——————————————————————————–

    Go to List of examples of singular “their” etc. from Jane Austen’s writings
    Go to List of examples of singular “their” etc. from the OED and elsewhere

    ——————————————————————————–

    Selective bibliography on singular “their”, generic masculine, etc.
    This is a selective condensation and rearrangment of a posting on the LINGUIST mailing list:

    Date: Thu, 29 Apr 93 18:43:25 PDT
    From: (Johanna Rubba)
    Subject: Summary: Language and gender
    What follows is a list of references that were sent to me by various individuals on the subject of language and gender, especially the problem of `generic’ or epicene pronouns.

    Abbott, Gerry. “Unisex `they'”, English Language Teaching Journal, 1984. 38, 45-48.
    Baron, Dennis. Grammar and Gender, Chapter 10. 1986. New Haven: Yale University Press.
    Bodine, Anne. “Androcentrism in Prescriptive Grammar: Singular `they’, Sex-indefinite `he’, and `he or she'”, Language in Society, 1975. 4, 129-146.
    articles “Agreement: indefinite pronouns” and “They, their, them” in E. Ward Gilman ed. Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage. 1989. Springfield Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster.
    Green, W. H. “Singular Pronouns and Sexual Politics”, College Composition and Communication, 1977. 28, 150-153.
    Hofstadter, Douglas R. “Changes in Default Words and Images, Engendered by Rising Consciousness” and “A Person Paper on Purity in Language”, Chapters 7 and 8 in Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern, 136-167. 1985. New York: Basic Books.
    Jespersen, Otto. Section 5.56 in A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. Part II: Syntax, First Volume, 137-140, addenda p. 495. 1913 (1948).
    Korsmeyer, Carolyn. “The Hidden Joke: Generic Uses of Masculine Terminology”, in Mary Vetterling-Braggin ed. Sexist Language: A Modern Philosophical Analysis, 116-31. 1981. New Jersey: Littlefield, Adams & Co.
    Martyna, Wendy. “The Psychology of the Generic Masculine”, in Sally McConnell-Ginet, Ruth Borker, and Nelly Furman, eds. Women and Language in Literature and Society, 69-78. 1980. New York: Praeger.
    Meyers, Miriam Watkins. “Forms of they with Singular Noun Phrase Antecedents”, Word, 1993. 44 181-191.
    Miller, Casey and Kate Swift. Words and Women. 1976. Garden City, New York: Anchor.
    Mühlhäusler, Peter and Rom Harré. “He, She, or It: The Enigma of Grammatical Gender”, Chapter 9 in Pronouns and People: The Linguistic Construction of Social and Personal Identity, 229-247. 1991. Basil Blackwell.
    Newman, Michael. “Pronominal Disagreements: The Stubborn Problem of Singular Epicene Antecedents”, Language in Society, 1992. 21, 447-475.
    Pinker, Steven. The Language Instinct, 378-379. 1994. New York: W. Morrow.
    Sklar, E. S. “The Tribunal of Use: Agreement in Indefinite Constructions”, College Composition and Communication, 1988. 39, 410-422.
    Stanley, J. P. “Sexist Grammar”, College English, 1978. 39, 800-811.
    (A summary on the “generic masculine” and related issues in English, with some further references, is available on-line as section 5 of the paper “Why there are so few Female Computer Scientists” by Ellen Spertus.)

  23. D. Daily on September 20, 2004 at 2:44 am

    I think that, politics aside, this recognition to G. B. Hinckley’s service is part of a larger recognition of the sacrifice and service of the membership and leadership of the Church. Hinckley is wise and well aware that this is not his honor alone. He did not call himself to the Presidency, and is more aware than probably any other man on earth that his calling is to serve the Lord, and that any honor given to him by man will pale to the honor that he will recieve when he sees his Savior again. Please keep this recognition in perspective. This recognition is good and is more of a reflection of the healthy judgement of the U.S. government than the service and sacrifice of one man.

  24. D. Daily on September 20, 2004 at 2:44 am

    I think that, politics aside, this recognition to G. B. Hinckley’s service is part of a larger recognition of the sacrifice and service of the membership and leadership of the Church. Hinckley is wise and well aware that this is not his honor alone. He did not call himself to the Presidency, and is more aware than probably any other man on earth that his calling is to serve the Lord, and that any honor given to him by man will pale to the honor that he will recieve when he sees his Savior again. Please keep this recognition in perspective. This recognition is good and is more of a reflection of the healthy judgement of the U.S. government than the service and sacrifice of one man.

  25. Restoring Lost Comments on November 25, 2004 at 9:50 pm

    [Restoring Comments Inadvertently Lost in the WP transfer] :

    Oops, here’s the source.
    http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/austheir.html
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 21, 2004 10:07 AM

    *****

    Kristine: I use the singular “their” all the time, as do–in my experience–many scholarly and academic writers, given that English does not really have an appropriate gender-neutral singular pronoun, and also given the clumsiness of most recent attempts to coin new alternatives (e.g., “his/her,” “(s)he,” etc.). But I see that Kingsley has already knocked this point out of the park, so I won’t belabor it.
    Comment by: Russell Arben Fox at June 21, 2004 10:59 AM

    *****

    I’m not sure what ought to be concluded from the descriptions of the recipients on the White House website, but it’s worth comparing President Hinckley’s to the Pope’s.
    President Hinckley: “Gordon B. Hinckley has been President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1995, and has served in church leadership since the 1930s. In those capacities, he has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe.”
    Leadership, inspiration, humanitarianism, education, etc. Ho hum.
    Pope John Paul II: “His Holiness Pope John Paul II, a devoted servant of God, has championed the cause of the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast. He has defended the unique dignity of every life, and the goodness of all life. Through his faith and moral conviction, he has given courage to others to be not afraid in overcoming injustice and oppression. His principled stand for peace and freedom has inspired millions and helped to topple communism and tyranny.”
    Devoted servant of God, goodness and dignity, champion of the poor and weak, moral conviction, peace and freedom, etc. Impressive. I think it’s clear who the White House considers to be the big dog here.
    Comment by: Russell Arben Fox at June 21, 2004 11:00 AM

    *****

    Pop Quiz for Kingsley
    Section A: Short Essay
    1. _______ is the soul of wit.
    (Your answer should not exceed 1,000 words.)
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 21, 2004 11:01 AM

    *****

    Kingsley, I’m aware of the debate. I *like* Latin and German and prescriptive grammar. And being snotty when it seems warranted. Clearly, though, I can be outmatched in the snottiness department. Congrats.
    Comment by: Kristine at June 21, 2004 11:17 AM

    *****

    “passed the unconstitutional Patriot Acts”
    Despite what I am sure is the dizzyingly erudite and informed legal analysis in European newspapers, to say nothing of the genius jurists at the Washington Post and the New York Times, my understanding is that claims about unconstitutionality of the Patriot Act are a bit premature. Contrary to popular journalistic perception, the lawyers in the DOJ who drafted the bill are not idiots, and my understanding is that while portions of it are questionable, claims that it is obviously, clearly, wholely, or largely unconstitutional are a bit overblown. Mind you, I am not necessarily a fan of the Patriot Act, but I am also not a fan of constitutional histrionics.
    Comment by: Nate Oman at June 21, 2004 11:24 AM

    *****

    You should not assume that Julien necessarily meant “unconstitutional” in the technical sense — i.e., in violation of the Bill of Rights, or of separation of powers, or in excess of ennumerated grant of authority — although there may be portions of the Act that meet that definition.
    He may well have meant it in the colloquial sense, that is, contrary to the principles of a free society, or moving us closer to becoming a police state. And that reading of his claim is highly defensible.
    Comment by: obi-wan at June 21, 2004 11:42 AM

    *****

    Russell: It does seem politically significant that the Pope’s award and Pres. Hinckley’s come now. Both surely deserve the award, but it also seems to be a nice play to the so-called “religion gap”.
    The Pope’s award interests me, since politically he disagrees with Bush on a significant range of issues, excepting two admittedly big ones, gay marriage and abortion.
    Comment by: Jeremiah J. at June 21, 2004 12:58 PM

    *****

    Not to mention the pope’s disagreement with the war in Iraq. Did you see how uncomfortable both men looked in the pictures from Bush’s recent trip to the vatican?
    Comment by: Karen at June 21, 2004 01:35 PM

    *****

    Hi folks. Dan has a point. Any chance that T&S will put up a “political” politeness rule? Some here may think I should be the last to call for this; yet…I usually use titles & address folks respectful like…even if I do disagree with them.
    p.s. Karen: Do you think the uncomfy photos were published for a reason? Do you have any doubts that there are photos that show both happy & looking goode? Perhaps you have forgotten that the Pope, like Pres. Hinckley, has been serving God a very long time?
    Comment by: lyle at June 21, 2004 02:24 PM

    *****

    Nate: Julien was already reproached for turning the comment section of this post into a discussion of the merits (or lack thereof) of the present administration. Like a true gentleman, he has apologized and promised not to do so here. Please don’t provoke him into going back on his word by attacking the claims he made before his apology.
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 21, 2004 03:04 PM

    *****

    oh, and for those that want to talk about politicization:
    yes, I will use photos from the ceremony on the mormons4bush.com website. They out to go nicely along with those already there showing Bush with prominent Mormon leaders & politicians.
    frankly, sounds like ‘sour grapes’ to me; those that whine about it. more likely, you are just upset (like i would be if i were on your side of the spectrum) because it will only further cement the solid foundation & alliance between the average LDS voter & their current political preferences.
    Comment by: lyle at June 21, 2004 03:20 PM

    *****

    I don’t mean to upset the apple cart, but I am a bit confused as to why the merits of the present administration should be off limits. Is it that these types of comments are off limits only on this particular thread, or has T&S decided that these sorts of comments are simply not welcome, period. If that is the case, how exactly does this work? Do I now get to chastise those who sing the praises of the administration?
    I truly am not trying to start a ruckus–just looking for a little guidance before I go and get myself into trouble.
    Comment by: Randy at June 21, 2004 03:26 PM

    *****

    I don’t think it’s inappropriate to discuss these things at T&S. I think the objection was that a post about President Hinckley receiving an award got hijacked into a discussion on whether or not American Mormons should vote for Bush in November. The implication seems to be that we should wait for a more overtly political post to have that discussion.
    Thoughts, permanent bloggers?
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 21, 2004 03:42 PM

    *****

    I don’t speak for the rest of the permabloggers or for T&S as an entity, but I don’t think that there is any reason that discussions of Mormonism and politics are inappropriate per se at T&S.
    My apologies to Julien for an overly quick and harsh reply earlier on this thread.
    Comment by: Nate Oman at June 21, 2004 03:48 PM

    *****

    Nate: how about some guidelines though? Frankly, I don’t want to see ‘hate’ spilled out on the e-covers of T&S. Perhaps something similar to the post Kaimi put up on the “Media”?
    Comment by: lyle at June 21, 2004 03:59 PM

    *****

    I second Randy’s request for clarification. Although it’s quite possible I’ve missed something, I don’t really understand what to me seems like a fairly arbitrary policy on politically-related posts/threads (i.e. Kaimi’s request that no one respond to Adam’s eulogy of Reagan with any anti-Reagan comments).
    Further, I think it’s kind of strange to protect the pristine integrity of a thread from being hijacked (i.e. going from President Hinckley’s Medal of Freedom to whether Mormons should vote for Bush); it’s as though each thread is a delicate indigenous culture that must be protected at all costs from mingling with others for fear the natives will catch smallpox and become addicted to firewater.
    Comment by: Davis Bell at June 21, 2004 05:26 PM

    *****

    One other thought. There seem to be people who are very interested in discussing the question of whether or not American Mormons should be supporting Bush’s reelection campaign. Lyle, am I wrong in thinking that you know a good blog where questions of this nature are addressed?
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 21, 2004 05:30 PM

    *****

    John, both PJ at political juice & I run websites that are exclusively dedicated to the election issue & specifically re: how “mormons” “should” vote. However, I have to admit that a more “central” location & occasional posts here…with a list of rules (i.e. like no name calling, no saying the other guy sacrifices babies in the name of oil, or liberal godless america, etc); might also be nice.
    Comment by: lyle at June 21, 2004 05:34 PM

    *****

    I am glad to hear (at least according to Nate) that discussions of religion and politics are not “per se” off limits here at T&S. My question as to religion and politics on this thread remains unanswered.
    Quick straw poll: If President Clinton, and not President Bush, were the one to hand out this award, what odds would you give me on some commentor not being able to resist the temptation to make a snide remark?
    I suppose we can all sympathize with frustrations over thread-jacking. Assuming that is what happened here, folks seem to have been pretty anxious to shut it down. I’m sure the reaction will be the same if and when the shoe is on the other foot.
    Comment by: Randy at June 21, 2004 05:37 PM

    *****

    Well, if thread hijacking is okay…
    I’ve got this great chocolate recipe I’d love to share with all of you.
    or
    Have you seen the new Lotus Elise? It is by far the best sportscar out there in it’s price range. I think I’m going to put a deposit on one. Has anyone else thought of doing the same?
    Yes. It’s way off topic, but one hijack is the same as the other.
    Comment by: cooper at June 21, 2004 05:58 PM

    *****

    Um, no, one hijack isn’t the same as the other, and I think the difference is fairly apparent. Again, this is up the those who run this blog to decide; my personal bias is that, unlike in a talk or a SS lesson where one has prepared and has clear objectives, there is no objective good that comes from maintaining the topical purity of a thread; in fact, I think it keeps some threads from dying.
    Comment by: Davis Bell at June 21, 2004 06:05 PM

    *****

    cooper, I’m tempted to try and shut you down, but alas you are not talking politics, or at least not politics that I happen to disagree with.
    Comment by: Randy at June 21, 2004 06:14 PM

    *****

    Speaking only for myself, I also see no reason why we cannot make political comments on the site, including negative comments about whomever or whatever–as long as those comments abide by the rules of thumbs about posts. The only problem I foresee is that people will find it difficult to respond to each other civilly when talking about Bush and Kerry or similar political topics.
    I also agree with Davis Bell: I don’t see any reason why a thread can’t be “hijacked” in a more or less natural way, as has happened with thread. That is quite different than simply posting something completely off-topic.
    Comment by: Jim F. at June 21, 2004 06:31 PM

    *****

    I agree with everything Jim has said (in the comment above — I have my reservations about some of the other stuff he has said ;->)
    Comment by: Nate Oman at June 21, 2004 06:35 PM

    *****

    Davis I understand your frustration.
    Many times I have read threads that did not interest me. I have not posted comments. I have respected the author’s choice of subject by not taking it in my own direction. I agree that there will be a natural course of topics that a thread will follow and that they will venture off to spawn other arenas of discussion. To not be mindful of the author’s intent is disrespectful in my opinion.
    What bothered me so much with this one is that the argument continued to go on without any consideration of the threads’ given subject.
    Comment by: cooper at June 21, 2004 07:27 PM

    *****

    I can live with those rules.
    Incidentally, it seems to me that Julien stayed within these boundaries, with the possible exception of his use of the word “crap.” Even then, I suspect he was referring to Bush’s policies, and not Bush personally.
    Regardless, it is interesting to hear Mormons from other countries comment on American politics. I, for one, hope to hear more.
    Comment by: Randy at June 21, 2004 07:29 PM

    *****

    To avoid hijacking this thread, and offending the sensibilities of the apolitical, I just blogged on the Gospel, Republicans, and Democrats over at http://intellecxhibitionist.blogspot.com/. I specifically address Diogenes’ comments.
    Comment by: Davis Bell at June 21, 2004 07:33 PM

    *****

    Julien: “And my news sources include the New York Times and Washington Post.”
    I’m sure that was intended to be reassuring.
    My objection to any partisan pollticizing of this blog — and, of course, since I’m rarely here and contribute little if anything even when I am, my objection carries about as much weight as it deserves — is that to do so would carry a large risk of fundamentally transforming the place. Very politically committed people such as myself would feel the need to reply. (There was very, very much that I was tempted to say about Julien’s accusations/complaints, but I held my tongue. However, if the gate is opened wide, I won’t.)
    I don’t really want to spend much time on political debate — that’s certainly not why I come here to the extent that I do — but there are some things to which I would feel virtually an obligation to reply. And I would regret and even resent that.
    What I find interesting about this blog is more or less philosophical reflection upon general issues of culture, etc., as they relate to Mormonism. A general discussion of what might be termed political philosophy and Mormonism would be very interesting, too, but a plunge into partisanship and electoral politicking would not. Not to me, anyway. I can get that anywhere. And I do.
    Comment by: Daniel Peterson at June 21, 2004 07:34 PM

    *****

    Daniel Peterson’s points are well-taken, and I’m not advocating for a transformation of the nature of this blog from Mormon-related to political. I do, however, think that when politics come up in the natural order of a discussion that they shouldn’t be treated as anathema (particularly when a blogger makes a political statement that is in essence protected from examination by decree of the administrator(s)).
    Comment by: Davis Bell at June 21, 2004 07:40 PM

    *****

    Of course, it’s one thing to call a truce; it’s another to ask for unilateral disarmament. If the concern is about T&S devolving into an irreverent political blog, then those who claim to be defenders of this site shouldn’t be heard to complain only when one side of the debate engages in political sniping.
    Comment by: Randy at June 21, 2004 08:21 PM

    *****

    Randy, you sound like something’s bugging you. Which side of the debate do you feel has been shut down without a chance to defend itself? (I ask as someone who was involved in the earlier discussions in this particular comment forum, since I feel neither like a silencer or one silenced.)
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 21, 2004 09:53 PM

    *****

    I suspect that a number of people are still smarting from the limitation and subsequent bowdlerization of the discussion on the Reagan eulogy thread.
    Comment by: obi-wan at June 21, 2004 11:22 PM

    *****

    Oh. I didn’t even see that post. What happened? Reagan-haters didn’t get to talk about the reasons they hated him?
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 22, 2004 01:03 AM

    *****

    One needn’t have been a “Reagan-hater” to have had doubts that he was a great president. The adulation that he received was slightly frightening because it was so over-the-top.
    Comment by: Jim F. at June 22, 2004 01:07 AM

    *****

    Exactly. Like it or not, the eulogizing of a former president is an inherently political act (unless you were a member of his family or a personal friend); thus, making an inherently political statement and then proscribing opposing views, I think, left some feeling a bit frustrated.
    Comment by: Davis Bell at June 22, 2004 01:29 AM

    *****

    John,
    I didn’t mean to come off as petulent. With the exception of the Reagan eulogy thread, I don’t think that debate has, in fact, been “shut down.”
    What I was implying is that the political sniping that occasionally takes place on this site comes from both the right and the left. If Dan’s comments are to have any force, they must of necessity apply to all partisan commentary. I’m curious as to whether the conservative bloggers/commentors here would be willing to forego making these types of comments. If not, then why should Julien, or anyone else for that matter?
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 01:42 AM

    *****

    “The only problem I foresee is that people will find it difficult to respond to each other civilly when talking about Bush and Kerry or similar political topics.” – Wouldn’t that be a challenge as to whether Mormons can discuss things on a different base on brotherhood than maybe other partisan politics supporters? I’m including myself here big time, cuz I know how emotional I can get. I can understand how the discussion on general issues rather than on “Bush is bad”, “Kerry is good” or the other way around, would be a lot more interesting, and I’m afraid my initial comment might have been on that lower level… Then everybody could figure out for themselves who or what or if anybody at all coincides with their preference. As to being interested in the view of a European Mormon on American politics I’m quite flattered about that – and I’d be glad to hear the same the other way around! And one thing: NEVER take anything I say about political issues personally. I have lots of LDS friends and acquaintances in the States, and as you can guess a vast majority belong to the “other camp”… (GOP that is…) ;)
    Comment by: Julien at June 22, 2004 03:09 AM

    *****

    Randy, I didn’t think you sounded petulant. It sounded to me like you had some legitimate grievance which didn’t need to be explicitly stated because anyone who pays attention to this site would know what you were talking about. Since I only recently discovered this place and often go for a week or longer without popping in, I figured I had managed to miss something that the regulars are all aware of. (Like, for instance, the Reagan eulogy controversy, which I did miss. Well, I can’t say I really *missed* it, but…)
    Speaking of which: Jim F., sorry for being flip. I agree that Reagan’s presidency is a subject on which reasonable people can disagree. Unlike, for instance, the transcendent wonderfulness of U2’s _The Joshua Tree_.
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 22, 2004 10:16 AM

    *****

    Let me start by saying that John is absolutely correct. There is no just no place on this blog for people who don’t like The Joshua Tree.
    Here is a short theory of topic gravity. I left out the math and all intermediate calculations are left to the reader.
    1. Certain topics are high gravity. Which is to say that anytime one mentions something related to these topics, odds are good the discussion will get sucked into the high gravity topic. SSM is one example. Bush/Kerry is a second. Bob Dylan is another.
    2. Posts that are a short conversational distance from high-gravity topics are in danger of never getting discussed, because the discussion always gets sucked in to the high gravity topic. The original topic and its nuance are then lost.
    3. A high gravity post may be one of great interest and a valuable one to discuss, in which case it is good to get sucked into. But it may just be a snarky one that is difficult to resist talking about (see Daniel Peterson’s AA style confession above). If there exist high-quality topics that are near neighbors to high gravity topics, we can miss these topics even if they are more valuable to discuss.
    4. Unless one wishes to set up a market where we charge people based on their comments, the way to solve this public goods problem is to regulate— so that if one has a discussion near a high-gravity topic, specify that the high-gravity topic is verboten. These sorts of thread ground rules occur all the time around here. Nate did it with his post on the theology of SSM. Kaimi did it with his post on the media. Otherwise the thread could never get discussed. Adam’s Reagan post and this post both fall into the category of being very close to high-gravity topics. Those topics are fine, but if they are not restricted, these other topics simply can not be discussed ever.
    There is nothing in this theory to prevent conversational veering in the threads. I love a good veer (as long as it doesn’t involve Umberto Eco). But topics close to gravity wells universally veer into the neighbor topic. This is frustrating because those topics can then never be aired. Every time they are raised, you immediately plunge into the gravity well. That is very different from a casual veer off into another topic.
    Comment by: Frank McIntyre at June 22, 2004 11:03 AM

    *****

    “I love a good veer (as long as it doesn’t involve Umberto Eco).”
    I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 11:32 AM

    *****

    update: I just got this email from the RNC today. So, for those who didn’t believe me that an open & honest conspiracy is afoot (one that I am aiding & abetting; and in fact part of the planning circle) re: Mormons & Bush…here is the proof in the blue pudding:
    Dear W Lyle,
    On Wednesday, June 23, President Bush will award President Gordon B. Hinckley
    with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As you know, President Hinckley has
    inspired millions of individuals and has led countless efforts to provide humanitarian
    aid, disaster relief and education funding across the globe.
    I thought you might enjoy reading the article below to hear President Hinckley’s
    reaction and learn more of the exciting details.
    Remember – June 23 is President Hinckley’s 94th birthday! Congratulations
    President Hinckley!!
    Kiahna Sellers
    Regional Grassroots Coordinator,
    Latter-day Saints Grassroots Development,
    Republican National Committee
    —————-
    also in the email:
    Pres. Bush Awards Pres. Hinckley Nation’s Highest Honor
    by Matthew S. McBride
    June 21, 2004
    Mormon Life
    President George W. Bush has selected President Gordon B. Hinckley to be
    among 12 who will receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential
    Medal of Freedom. The award will be presented at the White House on
    Wednesday, Hinckley’s 94rd birthday.
    The announcement came on a day when President Hinckley had already been
    awarded by the National Forensic League’s Communicator of the Year. After
    addressing the Forensic League’s gathering at the Tabernacle Friday night, he
    mentioned the Medal of Freedom:
    “I will be deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from the President of the
    United States. I am profoundly grateful. In a larger sense, it recognizes and honors
    the Church which has given me so many opportunities and whose interests I have
    tried to serve. To the Church, to my associates, and to our people everywhere I
    extend my gratitude and with each of you share the honor of this recognition.”
    The White House cites President Hinckley’s long-standing service to the Church
    and world: He “has been President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
    Saints since 1995, and has served in church leadership since the 1930s. In
    those capacities, he has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve
    humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe.”
    Comment by: lyle at June 22, 2004 02:31 PM

    *****

    PLEASE post your right-wing spam elsewhere.
    Comment by: Steve Evans at June 22, 2004 02:51 PM

    *****

    Lyle, what do you think someone in Latter-day Saints Grassroots Development is going to tell you? Every notable demographic has a person whose job it is to spin every governmental action as proof that the president is looking out for them and appreciates their vote, even if the president is fighting against their interests and doesn’t want their vote. So Ms. Sellers is just doing her job, and her email to you sheds little light on the question of whether or not Pres. Hinckley got the award so more Mormons would vote for Bush.
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 22, 2004 02:52 PM

    *****

    Steve: I was attempting to shed light on the vast right-wing conspiracy that you claim exists. How can you possibly be opposed to factual evidence of its existence? You call that spam? Grow up…and take your left-wing Spam back to BCC were it belongs. {my apologize, after the fact, J. Golden Kimball style for that last insult. I don’t want to throw mud, but you started it}.
    JDP: John, I know Kiahna personally & was peripherally involved in her getting hired. The RNC hired her _explicitly_ to reach out to LDS voters.
    Comment by: lyle at June 22, 2004 03:06 PM

    *****

    Lyle, I don’t claim that any conspiracy, right- or left- wing, exists, and I don’t care. I call your comment spam because it was an unsolicited plug for your personal political agenda, and a total non-sequitur for this thread. I’m opposed to your insertion of “factual evidence” because it was irrelevant, and unwanted, not because I dispute its “factual” quality.
    You’re correct, though, in pointing out that if I had a left-wing agenda, I should take it “back to BCC where it belongs.” BCC would be a natural place for such a comment. Are you implying that T&S is the rightful home for your right-wing consipiracy factual evidence?
    As for telling me to “grow up” and then claiming that I threw mud, so be it. I appreciate your candor and helpful advice.
    Comment by: Steve Evans at June 22, 2004 03:41 PM

    *****

    John,
    You can really go for a week or longer without “popping in” to T&S? Unless I’m on vacation, I can barely make it a whole day. ;)
    What’s your secret?
    Randy
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 03:47 PM

    *****

    Lets all calm down folks. Posting an email from the RNC about President Hinkley recieving the medal of freedom on a thread about President Hinkley recieving the presidential medal of freedom is hardly spam. Furthermore, Steve has every right to spout off about his left-wing agenda here, and I can certainly understand his desire to do so on T&S rather than in the relative obscurity of some other blog (what was its name again ;->)…
    Lets all be friends and direct our hostility against Outsiders and the Other. That is what they are there for.
    Comment by: Nate Oman at June 22, 2004 03:50 PM

    *****

    steve: this thread is talking about Mormons, Bush & the Pres. Hinckley award. the only non-sequitor is calling information that deals precisely with these three topics ‘spam’.
    again, my apologies :)
    Comment by: lyle at June 22, 2004 03:53 PM

    *****

    Nate, as ever, thanks for the plug.
    As for outsiders to scorn, may I suggest Seventh-Day Adventists? I mean, what’s up with the Saturday thing?
    Comment by: Steve Evans at June 22, 2004 04:08 PM

    *****

    We get the occasional gentile in here, so I feel I should clarify Nate’s remarks. He’s not talking about you. He’s talking about these people:
    http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/the_others/
    And these:
    http://www.impawards.com/1983/outsiders.html
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 22, 2004 04:16 PM

    *****

    That was very funny.
    It is not as funny as this, but still very funny.
    Comment by: Frank McIntyre at June 22, 2004 04:44 PM

    *****

    Frank, you are correct. Randy, now you know how to overcome a T&S addiction: with something much more addicting.
    Comment by: John David Payne at June 22, 2004 05:23 PM

    *****

    Frank & John, I had not ever seen that site before. Do people really think it is funny? Perhaps I am missing something, but I don’t think I laughed once. Which is a bit odd, because I have a pretty low threshold for humor. Is there an inside joke that goes along with the site? If not, I think I’m going to need something else to get me off my T&S fix.
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 05:43 PM

    *****

    Randy you must have something wrong with you if you don’t love Strong Bad! :-)
    Comment by: Mary at June 22, 2004 05:49 PM

    *****

    Well I certainly don’t dispute that . . . .
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 06:17 PM

    *****

    I am also struggling to be tickled by the puppets. My computer’s awfully slow, though, so perhaps I’ve got to see it as it’s meant to be seen before I pass judgement. In the meantime, for real belly-laughs I turn to http://www.onionnews.com/.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 06:27 PM

    *****

    Yes, Kristine, I know I spelled judgment wrong.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 06:30 PM

    *****

    I knew if I waited long enough, Kingsley and I would eventually agree on something, and here it is — the seemingly humorless Strong Bad and the hillarious Onion. I have to admit, though, that I would have picked Kingsley to be more partial to Scrapple Face (www.scrappleface.com).
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 06:39 PM

    *****

    We also agree that he misspelled judgment.
    Cooper, you still got that chocolate recipie?
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 06:46 PM

    *****

    Thanks, Randy, good stuff. I’d not been introduced to Scrapple Face before. I’m actually a big fan of left-leaning humor as ingeniously exemplified by the Onion & Jon Stewart; when Pres. Bush made his famous, “Fool me once …â€? statement I was weeping with laughter like everyone else.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 06:47 PM

    *****

    Could not agree more on Jon Stewart–he is, without question, the funniest guy on TV. Last night was a classic–lampooning both Clinton and Bush. If he were on all day, I could cure by T&S fix in no time.
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 06:54 PM

    *****

    Randy writes: I’m curious as to whether the conservative bloggers/commentors here would be willing to forego making these types of comments.
    Kingsley writes: Hell, yes. I’m purely a reactionary. If I get stung I flail out with my blunt stinger blindly. Otherwise, I keep it pacifically tucked in my abdomen.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 06:57 PM

    *****

    What, exactly, qualifies as “getting stung”?
    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 07:06 PM

    *****

    Kingsley, glad to hear you two were willing to dis-arm. :)
    Note, for those that wish to continue with full coverage of the original subject matter of this thread, I’ll have full coverage on lds4bush.com
    Comment by: lyle at June 22, 2004 07:15 PM

    *****

    Randy: What you have called “political sniping” or “snide remarks.” Hitting out for the sake of hitting rather than really contributing to the discussion. I know it’s subjective, but it’s the best I can do. I suspect, however, from your comments above, that you have at least a general sense of what I mean. I acknowledge my hypocrisy by offering my MTV comment as a perfect example: reacting tit-for-tat to J.’s “crap” comment. Now, I realize how rarely I genuinely move the discussion forward here (I cringe in anticipation of Kristine’s cold steelpen); but: I do try to avoid being smarmy as often as I can. Also, I try to get in as many Joyce references as I possibly can.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 07:19 PM

    *****

    Kingsley, why “cringe”? Rather, embrace & “lunge” towards that cold steelpen. It is rather refreshing…and I should know as you & me seem to alternate as the principal target. :)
    Comment by: lyle at June 22, 2004 07:26 PM

    *****

    Lyle: I can’t help it: I was routinely pummeled by feminists as a child. Randy: this is another negative example of smarm.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 07:34 PM

    *****

    I worry, Kingsley, that you and I could only reach agreement on where to draw the line at the greatest level of abstraction. Both of us, I suspect, see sniping in cases where a genuine (though perhaps conclusory and even misguided) effort to contribute to the discussion is intended. I suspect we also “miss” these snipes when they happen to comport to our worldview.
    And seriously, pummeled by feminisits? Seems to me that you ought to stick that back up your, um, abdomen where it belongs. (I’m off to pick my switch now . . . .)

    Comment by: Randy at June 22, 2004 08:15 PM

    *****

    Randy: Nah, I’m sure we could find a basic line. Your example above is a good one: If the thread’s about Pres. Bush or Pres. Clinton giving Pres. Hinckley an award, avoid attacking the (U.S.) Pres. & focus on the well-merited award instead.
    Yes, the feminist comment was improper, but this thread seems to have died out so completely I wasn’t worried about sending it careening off course. (I am properly in awe of Kristine, by the way, & envious of her languages & education. I only read Thomas Mann in translation, & slowly.)
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 08:32 PM

    *****

    “… avoid attacking the (U.S.) Pres. & focus on the well-merited award instead.”
    Of course, this doesn’t mean attack the (Church) Pres. or focus those attacks on the well-merited award! That was badly worded. Maybe all I’m saying is, When the thread’s obviously about sending a shout-out Pres. Hinckley’s way, everybody play nice & avoid politics.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 22, 2004 08:49 PM

    *****

    Kingsley, I remain unconvinced.
    However, if you like the Onion, then this will send you rolling–Republican Survivor (http://www.dtriptv.com).
    Comment by: Randy at June 23, 2004 12:41 PM

    *****

    Kingsley, trust me–there’s nothing to be awestruck about. And there are some really good translations of Thomas Mann, so you’re in fine shape. (Now, if you wanted to read Goethe… :) )
    And, btw, my smartest brother *loves* Strong Bad et al., so I’m forced to conclude that I’m about one standard deviation too dumb to get it. Sigh.
    Comment by: Kristine at June 23, 2004 01:00 PM

    *****

    Though flattering to me since I like Strong Bad, I can’t believe there is much relationship between intelligence and love of Strong Bad.
    Strong Bad can only be described as an acquired taste. But once acquired, it is oh so tasty!
    Comment by: Frank McIntyre at June 23, 2004 01:22 PM

    *****

    Gordon Hinkley has done more than anyone posting to this board including me and including the lady who can cut and paste encyclopedia-length stuff about gender-neutral grammar
    he who is without sin… (we’ll I guess I’m assuming a lot thinking Democrats might catch the Biblical reference and have a moral stance other than being for everything that is destructive and self-serving. )
    Comment by: inetsuperman at June 24, 2004 06:36 AM

    *****

    Gordon Hinkley has done more than anyone posting to this board including me and including the lady who can cut and paste encyclopedia-length stuff about gender-neutral grammar
    he who is without sin… (we’ll I guess I’m assuming a lot thinking Democrats might catch the Biblical reference and have a moral stance other than being for everything that is destructive and self-serving. )
    Comment by: inetsuperman at June 24, 2004 06:37 AM

    *****

    As Exhibit 253 to Jim F.’s fine post, Politics in the Church, I give you inetsuperman . . . .
    Comment by: Randy at June 24, 2004 10:43 AM

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    “Gordon Hinkley has done more than anyone posting to this board including me and including the lady who can cut and paste encyclopedia-length stuff about gender-neutral grammar”
    This is the FIRST time in my life I have EVER made the following accusation: How sexist of you, inetsuperman, to assume I am a lady just because I cut ‘n posted about the joys of gender-neutral grammar!!! Ah … Now I see what I’ve been missing.
    Comment by: Kingsley at June 24, 2004 01:03 PM

    *****

    Courtesy of the Gentile SLC paper,
    Come here a Prophet Speak…
    http://www.sltrib.com/2004/Jun/06242004/utah/178472.asp
    “When I think of the word ‘freedom’ that is embodied in this award, I think of those men and the great service they are rendering,” Hinckley said.
    Earlier this month, when Bush presented the pope with the award during a Vatican visit, the pontiff said that he was troubled by the war and eager to restore sovereignty to Iraq and security to its people.
    “He may be troubled by the war in Iraq,” Hinckley said Wednesday of the pope, “but he cannot discount the bravery of the men and women who at the behest of their commander-in-chief are there in the cause of freedom.”
    Comment by: lyle at June 24, 2004 07:38 PM

    *****

    Rev. Sun Myung Moon was recently declared king and Messiah by members of Congress (including one from UT). Read about it here:
    http://gadflyer.com/articles/?ArticleID=131
    And we thought Pres. Hinckley was honored!
    Comment by: Taylor at June 28, 2004 11:24 AM