Been Sittin’ On My Butt…

The first words of his testimony today were “Been sittin’ on my butt at home for the last six months so I thought I ought to at least give up smoking.” He said he hadn’t been at church during that time like he ought to, “prolly because the fish were biting and the ducks were flying.” And finally he allowed as how, after fifteen or so years, he’d started to feel like he was finally good enough to join the rest of us.

Pretty strong stuff, you know?
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Get Thee to a Grad School

In recent weeks both TT and Chris have each made controversial posts. By this I mean no criticism, but simply that each has created entries on “hot” issues that invite responses from a wide variety of readers. I could tell from reading the responses that many folks had spent a great deal of time thinking about these issues. All in all, I have really enjoyed those threads.

But alas, I am Mogget the Bible dork and teacher. And the teacher in me also noticed quite a spread in the level of the arguments. I am not talking about who is right or wrong, but a matter of how each writer “sold” his or her ideas. For example, when it comes to time to take account of feelings, those who have experienced something have a natural lead. And in talking about the legal aspects we accord those with the appropriate credentials some respect. These are all issues of credibility.

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Pick Romney….Please

 

With the Olympics started it looks like all of the VP chatter will have to wait until after the Summer Olympics. The question had been whether or not McCain, or Obama, or both would announce there veep choice before the summer games. Alas, that was mostly wishful thinking on the part of us political junkies.

 We Obama supporters (I have no idea as to whether this applies to anyone else at FPR, so I mean Obama supporters in general), are a bit concerned about the inability of the Democratic candidate to break away from McCain in the polls. There are of course a variety of reasons for this. The primary reason, in my political scientist opinion, is that we are not likely to see a huge popular victory not matter who wins. We are a deeply divided country and rather evenly divided between those of us who are red and those of us who are blue. So lingering with a two to five percent lead might be the norm through November. Either way Obama appears to have a strong electoral college advantage.

I have found a solution to the VP selection game that will make both conservative Mormons and me happy: Have McCain pick Mitt Romney. This act would help Mormons again feel safe within the GOP. They need to have an institutional home (we Mormons are big on institutional belonging), and feel spurned after having their golden boy rejected. I felt the same way about the Dems rejected Bill Bradley (though I do not quite categorize him as a golden boy).

I would be happy if they picked Romney, because it would ensure McCain’s defeat in November. What is better in a time of economic turmoil than for the Republicans to put a filthy rich guy in the VP slot. It would help to highlight the disconnect between the GOP and everyday economic troubles. The GOP takes pride in defending the economic interests of people like Romney. However, when they do it, they pretend that they are protecting the economic interests of the middle class common man. That is real faith base politics. Romney on the ticket would remind everyone of who the GOP really looks out for.

Process-ease and other Linguistic Pet Peeves

I’m not a prescriptivist when it comes to language. That is, when a foreign-speaking missionary comes home from a mission correcting everyone’s grammar, people are correct (imo) to be turned off by it (this usually assumes, as prescriptivists have throughout time, that English should work like Latin, Greek, or some other language). This “correct” English itself would have been considered a bastardization not too terribly long ago. Split infinitives don’t bother me (though I try to really not use them), and I’m even okay with everyone bringing their books. You’ll hear me gleeflully postpositioning prepositions, at least when appropriate to the audience I’m speaking to, and I’ve certainly transitioned to verbing nouns.

But there are some things that I’d like to correct, for reasons other than to preserve grammar.*

Public enemy #1: “Processeez”: Continue reading “Process-ease and other Linguistic Pet Peeves”

Provo-based Media and the Priesthood Ban

SCANDAL! Read on for details…

Given the many posts in the ‘nacle devoted to Sunday’s 30-year anniversary of the priesthood ban, I was surprised at the lack of attention given the anniversary in the Provo-based Daily Herald. Saturday, June 7th’s paper had a small (one-column) below-the-fold article noting the anniversary, while just under the Daily Herald’s logo at the top of the paper was a giant headline announcing the “Life and Style” section’s full-page article on Mack Wilberg’s taking the helm of the Tabernacle Choir. I do believe more was done in the online version,[1] but given the way this particular newspaper pitches to the LDS crowd, I find the lack of attention curious. Do they assume their readers would be upset by too much attention? Uninterested?

And I wonder if this seeming stance is at all related to perceptions promulgated recently by BYU’s top Religious Education professors in a discussion to air on KBYU this Sunday morning. They appear to defend (create?) a doctrinal basis for the priesthood ban. This was called to the ‘Nacle’s attention by David G at Juvenile Instructor. In the discussion that ensued, a call was made to petition KBYU not to broadcast the episode.

I don’t want to poach discussion from JI. [Go there and participate!] What I want to ask is what perspective is this answering? Does this represent tangible residues lingering from the Priesthood Ban, residues that the church has tried to denounce? Is it an attempt to counter the arguments that Brigham Young and Joseph Smith were simply racist?

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[1] I found this “vignette” of Darius Gray online, with the note that it ran on Saturday June 7th on A2, but in my (Provo-Orem) copy of the Herald there was no such article printed.

Feral Children and Divinity

I recently reintroduced myself to the study of feral children, children who have been abandoned for whatever reason at a very young age without any human contact, sometimes being raised by animals, for a number of years. I stumbled across the study of these children in some footnotes and was fascinated as I read around online about them. These children are critically important because their existence and behaviors challenge some of the most fundamental concepts of what it means to be human, showing that the line between human and animal is dangerously thin. Here, I am interested in how the case of feral children impacts LDS notions of divinization.
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The Problem with Laughter

Last night I attended a baptism that was accompanied by much laughter and merry-making, which was at times shushed by many of those in attendance. The LDS practice of “reverence” as a means of producing the conditions for spiritual experience sets boundaries around certain kinds of laughter. In other contexts, “loud” laughter is prohibited. When we fast, we are supposed to abstain from laughter as well as food (D&C 59:15). These particular ways of regulating laughter are not unique to Mormonism.
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Curses!

A discussion I had recently with a friend of mine reminded me of one of my other favorite soap boxes that I haven’t stood on in this forum before. No, it has nothing to do with swearing (in a traditional sense at least). Today I’m more interested in the sort of curses that God lays on peoples. Like on the Lamanites and stuff. And yeah I know that there is nothing new in the ‘Nacle so I’ll just say outright that I haven’t even looked elsewhere to see who has already broached the subject and what they said. Feel free to restate and/or link. Continue reading “Curses!”

The myth of applying all scripture

An argument that I occasionally see floated in blogs is the argument that ideas are to be shunted aside simply because they neglect to consider all the scriptures. This is a strange argument to me. No single argumentative notion is capable of encompassing all scripture, or even most scripture. There may be one or two exceptions, but I would tend to think that they would be promoted by ideologues who dismiss counter-arguments without real consideration. Sure, all scripture may testify of Christ, but that argument reduces the Jews to a group of incompetents and ignoramuses. We need to accept that it helps us, in seeing the obviousness of Christ being testified of everywhere, that we are already Christian.
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