Blog Archives

Billboards against P()rn

September 8, 2004 | 8 comments

Driving back from Provo to Portland let us see the occasional p()rn billboards that are now standard on American highways. They aren’t the Golden Arches, but there’s more every year. We also saw an anti-p()rn billboard. It said something like “No Adult Stores in Our Town!” Next to it was a windowless cement-block structure with “Adult Store” in big, aged letters. The wife and I were reminded of South Bend. The more squalid section of South Bend has a few dirty strip bars, with anti-p()rn billboards alongside, stuff like “Sleazy shops ruin this neighborhood.” Read more »

BYU-Notre Dame Report

September 7, 2004 | 26 comments

I and my family went to the Notre Dame–BYU game this weekend. We sat on the very back row—actually, on a lip cut into the rear retaining wall. BYU won. Read more »

A Light Heart and Cowpath Rules

September 1, 2004 | one comment

How are you today? Fine, I trust? Good, good. I will now pontificate. Christ warned the pharisees that tithing cummin, and anise, and mint wouldn?t weigh very much in the balance against their faithlessness and mercilessness. No arguments here. But I confess I always get sidetracked reading that passage. I think about working a few of my overripe tomatoes into a tithing envelope. Or giving the Church a cut of our Visiting Teacher Rice Krispie treats. Tithing with exactness sounds like a real hoot. Read more »

The Spirit of Elijah and the Victorian Family

August 30, 2004 | 34 comments

Priesthood and Relief Society met together yesterday for a fairly exciting family history discussion/call to arms/how-to. We quoted Malachi, of course: Elijah the prophet . . . shall turn the heart of fathers to their children, and the heart of the children to their fathers . . . . We affirmed that this means more than templework. We agreed that temple work is key but that the spirit of Elijah includes learning to love ancestors by learning about their lives. Someone mentioned the widening in genealogical interest post-1836 as evidence of the spirit of Elijah. A brother mentioned the... Read more »

Deseret and Federalism

August 26, 2004 | 15 comments

A coupla bright boys propose dividing the State of Texas into five parts. This is a great opportunity for a modern Caesar, Omnia Texania in quinque parte and so forth. This is also, according to the bright boys, a great opportunity for the modern Texans. It seems that when Congress let Texas into the Union Congress gave Texas blanket permission to split into five states anytime Texas desired. The old Texans were a bit slow to recognize this particular opportunity, true, but what an opportunity it is. Think of it. Ten Senators! Extra votes in the Electoral College! Five... Read more »

Let God Judge between Me and Thee

August 23, 2004 | 11 comments

Nephi cast lots to determine God’s will. Bruce R. McConkie famously suggested we do the same. I must have had those two in mind when I read a puzzling description of Captain Moroni’s first Lamanite campaign. The Lamanites were sneaking around through the wilderness. Moroni tracked them: And he also knowing that it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their lands, and their liberty, and their church, therefore he thought it no sin that he should defend them by stratagem; therefore, he found by his spies which course the Lamanites were to take . . .... Read more »

How Mike Fink gets Remanded

August 19, 2004 | 7 comments

Orson Scott Card has Mike Fink and Joseph “Alvin Maker” Smith scrap. I have my friend who loves the old river boatmen and their boasts and Joseph Smith and his. I work in a judge’s chambers with a fine view of the river. And, as Nate O. can tell you, life as a law clerk is just like life on the old Mississippi. Hence this, this, this . . . you decide. How will you feel when you’re poling down the river, the Willamette as it may be, and you foul a boatmen’s poles, and he says, I am... Read more »

What’s the word for . . .

August 16, 2004 | 4 comments

What’s the word for those representative two sentences that the Ensign puts at the beginning of every Conference talk? The New Republic, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines do something similar, though they usually do it in a blown-up box in the middle of the article. Read more »

The Old Trope that we’re the New Jews

August 13, 2004 | 11 comments

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology has circulated the following announcement: On tuesday Oct. 12 at USU Menachem Fisch from the University of Tel Aviv will be speaking on “Science, Judaism and the Religious Crisis of Modernity”. Fisch has written widely on 19th century philosophy, plus the acclaimed book Rational Rabbis: Science and Talmudic Culture. Read more »

A detour to St. Blogs Parish

August 10, 2004 | 124 comments

St. Blog’s Parish, the all and sundry Catholosphere, and assorted RC hangers-on have missed the happy visitors from the Bloggernacle bus (7-day tour to Nauvoo, the Sacred Grove, and Nate Oman’s study! Bonus trip to the Holy Land!). So here goes (be sure to return to the bus in 3 hours, or you’ll be left behind. Take a travel buddy): Read more »

SSM Update

August 9, 2004 | 83 comments

Kay Hymowitz at the Manhattan Journal weighs in on SSM. She agrees with many of us that the key issue is whether or not marriage has any connection to procreation/childrearing. She concedes that recent trends have tended to separate them but sees this as a decline to be deplored and reversed rather than furthered. She reflects extensively on the meaning of republican marriage, as understood by the Founders. This is the most interesting part. Were I, alas, a member of the vanished leisure classes I would certainly parse some time away from the poetry and polo-playing to learn from... Read more »

Are Mormon Apologists Vituperative Enough?

August 6, 2004 | 6 comments

We have a confessed apologist around: Ben Spackman . While we’re in a confessional mood I’ll admit to being uncomfortable with a lot of apologetics. Like most Mormons, in person I am conflict-averse. Why, just last Sunday when the entire Elders Quorum agreed that following traditions without knowing the reasons for them was foolish, my inner Burke started to boil but I sat on my hands. That’s how conflict averse I am. So when I read FARMS or FAIR or other apologists I sometimes get uncomfortable with the tone, even if they are responding to, really, intolerable filth. They... Read more »

Robert Frost, The Silken Tent

August 3, 2004 | 56 comments

Robert Frost has a poem that should speak to us, with how marriage-minded and homeward looking we are. Know it by it’s first line, “She is as in a field a silken tent.” The woman he describes is a woman who has filled her duties and obligations with love enough that they scarcely seem duties anymore. A tent is kept up, not tied down, by its various cords, and so she. She is “loosely bound By countless silken ties of love and thought . . . And only by one’s going slightly taut In the capriciousness of summer air... Read more »

We were boys at Smith and Young together

July 30, 2004 | 22 comments

We wish Rod Smith and Southern Virginia the best of luck in finding their niche. He will say more about it but Southern Virginia’s original niche just didn’t work out. They wanted to be the elite LDS little liberal arts college. They failed. The reasons for the failure are numerous. A few of them are that BYU itself is moving into the elite niche, at least as far as the LDS market is concerned, especially with its Honors Program. That program may well become the sort of elite school within a school that has developed at a few other... Read more »

Jack Mormon

July 30, 2004 | 12 comments

We need a generic name for Latter-day Saints. Americans have Joe Citizen, Joe Sixpack, and John Q. Public. The law has given us John Doe and Richard Roe. We’ve already got Peter Priesthood and Molly Mormon, but those are derogatory. Jack Mormon is perfect but taken. The best I could come up with is Moroni Christofferson and DeAnn Daynes, but surely someone can top that. Read more »

Fiat Lux

July 25, 2004 | 2 comments

I rode the train into Portland that went slowly down into a tunnel. The builders had lightened the gloom enough that one could pick out the carvings in the red stone walls. Here was cut an evolutionary timeline, here a mammoth, and here a Neanderthal skull. Here also a Lamanite creation myth, not without poetry (“the earth was once as one person, big in the womb”). We then picked up speed again. The bright and dazzling light at the tunnel mouth grew in size rapidly. I saw the walls blank now, where different builders would have carved LET THERE... Read more »

Jingoists for John Kerry

July 21, 2004 | 66 comments

I had an oddly cheering experience today. I was driving along behind a pickup truck proudly flying two American flags (amen, brother) and got close enough to read the bumper stickers. They read, “Real Men Love Jesus,” “Half the Patients Die in an Abortion Clinic,” and “John Kerry, 2004.” Good for you, sir, I thought. I’m a Bush man myself. I prefer his policies, respond to his character, and in any case don’t have reasons enough to cease being loyal (a quality sadly absent in liberal democracies). Still, I think all us politically-minded types could take a lesson from... Read more »

Outing Mikulski and Struggle over FMA

July 12, 2004 | 28 comments

Hard core gay activists or homosexualists or gay fundamentalists or what you will have threateded to out opponents of SSM. They’ve accused a couple of staffers of keeping their homosexuality in the closet and now they’ve accused Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who has only tepidly supported SSM. Read more »

Marriage and Abrahamic Tests

July 5, 2004 | 46 comments

Times and Seasons has seen quite a bit of discussion lately on obedience, tests of faith, and Abrahamic trials. See here, and here, and everywhere. If I may summarize, we are disagreeing about whether commandments are given to us to obey or only because God knows the path of return better than we. I realized something about my marriage that seems to me to shed some light. A couple of days ago with hair-raising delight I realized that marriage means I don’t have to worry anymore about who’s the best girl for me. I don’t need the best girl.... Read more »

The Glorious Fourth of July!

July 4, 2004 | 28 comments

The Glorious Fourth of July! Some of you started last night with fireworks. We celebrated last night with the traditional torrential rain and tornado warning. God’s fireworks if you will. Today the sun shone on our remembrances. We decked our wagon in bunting and flags and put the girls on it in white sailor dresses with blue collars and red ribbons. Then we joined the parade around the University Village. The village children waved flags from their trikes and bikes. Things got a little out-of-Sabbath after that so we came back inside to read a talk from Brother Oaks... Read more »

Sunday Heroes

July 4, 2004 | 3 comments

Seems we get to mention Ken Strother in the same breath as Eli Herring, Faustino Lopez, and Aleisha Cramer. In the playing fields of Heaven the home team scores again. Read more »

Do we matter at all? Are we stones that leave no ripples?

July 2, 2004 | 17 comments

We love God because he’s just. We look at children in bad homes and console ourselves with knowing that their day will come. Every blessing God has offered us he’ll offer them and through grace he’ll clear them of whatever would impede their choice. We see the cemeteries full of people the gospel never reached and we’re pleased to think of baptisms for the dead. When we ourselves have sinned in our parenting or our friendship or our calling and it seems very much like we’ve made it harder for our children or our husband or our friend to... Read more »

The Lost Generation of Aborted Americans

June 30, 2004 | 20 comments

OpinionJournal concludes that abortion took 12 million potential voters out of the citizenry for the 2000 elections, 18 million potential voters in this election, and 25 million voters out of the citizenry for 2008. I suppose one could run similar calculations for everything. How many bloggers were aborted? How many converts has the gospel missed out on? Quite a few. True, it’s not as simple as just totalling up the abortions, since some would use contraception otherwise, but still quite a few. Read more »

Gay Marriage Links

June 29, 2004 | 8 comments

Joshua Livestro on Dutch Marriage: He reports that only a small fraction of gay couples have actually married and that heterosexual marriage rates have sunk while illegitimacy rates have risen. Susan Shell on the Liberal Case Against Gay Marriage: a society without the means of formally acknowledging, through marriage, the fact of generation, like one without the means of formally acknowledging, through funeral rites, the fact of death, seems impoverished in the most basic of human terms. Maggie Gallagher on Mitt Romney and Massachussetts: In birth... Read more »


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