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Showing posts from April, 2008

Is Reverend Jeremiah Wright a Lunatic?

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Barack Obama is distancing himself from his pastor of twenty years. Glenn Beck is warning that "Wright should not be so eager to encourage folks to listen to his message". Others are saying he's on a self-promotion crusade. Well, I watched him on Bill Moyers Journal the other day, and I agreed with a lot of the stuff Jeremiah Wright said. Not everything, by any means, but a lot more than I thought I would.

Is Jeremiah Wright really a lunatic? What do you think?

I thought Wright's statement about Louis Farrakhan being a great American was a bit weird, but then what do I know, except for what the media tell me about Farrakhan? What about the AIDS claim of Wright, that the US government inflicted the black community with AIDS? Here are some things the US government has done... (Except I think Malcolm X didn't think he was very great.)

What about the AIDS claim of Wright, that the US government inflicted the black community with AIDS? I haven't seen any evid…

Comment Thread for "Amazing Grace: Why Do So Many Mormons Not Get It?"

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For some reason, comments are no longer posting correctly to the article "Amazing Grace: Why Do So Many Mormons Not Get It?". In the best way I know how to remedy the situation, I have closed comments for that article, and re-opened them here.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for a stimulating conversation.




Amazing Grace: Why Do So Many Mormons Not Get It?

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Note on Comments for This Post: Somehow, blogger is displaying about 3 fewer comments than have actually been entered. I have added 3 comments, so that the last relevant ones will be shown. In addition, I have closed comments on this article. Please click on this link to continue commenting on the original article. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In large part because of the many childish and tyrannical things we do to each other (and to ourselves), life sometimes seems to suck. God, however, did not intend it to be that way. Unfortunately, our worst tormentor is often ourselves. We Mormons mentally flagellate ourselves on a regular basis. God especially did not intend it to be this way. Instead, he hopes that we will look upward and see the Amazing Grace that he gives to us. We're so busy with the seeming enjoyment of miring ourselves in guilt, however, that we seldom even notice that his grace is at our fingertips.

Amazing grace How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like …

With Imperialists Like These, Who Needs Communists?

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There is no question that Communism is the greatest scourge the world has ever known, having to its credit the murder of approximately 100 million of its subjects. But since the victor writes the history, very few people are as aware of the suffocating effect that Western imperialism has had on democracy and liberty, particularly in the Middle East. Unfortunately, Whenever it has suited Western governments--including the United States--democracies around the world have been overthrown in favor of brutal, more predictable tyrants. Ironically, an inordinate fear of Communism caused western leaders to squash liberty in the countries whose liberty they feared would be destroyed by Communism.

Those chickens have now come home to roost, to a great extent in the form of radical Islam.

To be sure, there exists no excuse for the killing of innocents in the name of Muslim extremism. On the other hand, the deep-seated resentment of the United States (and other Western countries) because of our…

Harry Reid Praises Texas KGB for Outstanding FLDS Abduction

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Harry Reid sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking him to use federal resources to put a stop to the abuse that is going on in polygamous communities. I agree--the abuse must stop. And, from my perspective, this has become a federal affair.

If a state legal agency abuses its power to the extent that it destroys a community like Eldorado, the federal government must be called on to put a stop to it.

Unfortunately, that's not Interestingly, no criminal conduct whatsoever has been proven yet against FLDS members in Texas--and it will be difficult to do so, because Texas arrested everyone except for the ones that supposedly committed all the crimes--the men.what Senator Reid was talking about. Instead, he was referring to--based on little or no evidence--increasing the size, scope, and control of the Federal government over the religious activities of Americans. Reid is somehow aware of "a broader pattern of serious criminal conduct" in poly…

Confronting the Radical Islamic Monster: Benazir Bhutto "Got" It

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Western imperialism shares a lot of the blame for the turmoil that exists in the Middle East. The United States' hands are not clean in this regard. However, Benazir Bhutto, in her posthumously published book, Reconciliation, warned the West and her fellow Muslims that this is far from the only problem that confronts the Muslim world.

When they realized that she "got it," from the sense of understanding the breadth of the problem, radical Islamists made sure that she "got it" for the final time, as they presided over her murder on December 27, 2007.

In an effort to see both sides of an important issue, Bhutto is not shy to blame Western imperialism for contributing to the Middle Eastern malaise.
The colonial experience has obviously had a major impact on the Muslim psyche. ...No one doubts that the record of the West in majority Islamic nations is not a pretty one.

Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, p. 4I have written about this previously, and iron…

Why Do Liberals Coddle the Radical Islamic Monster?

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Many liberals and progressives in the United States and elsewhere support a radical Islamic fundamentalist movement which, if it came to power, would quickly wipe out their liberal progressive ideology. Why then, do so many liberals coddle the monster that would destroy them? The Answer lies in their long-stemmed hatred of Western liberty and free markets.

Dick Morris' new revelation of Hillary Clinton's ties to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism provides an excellent backdrop for me to ask the question that Greg Allen of The Right Balance has been asking for quite some time, to wit:
If many liberals stand for free sexuality, homosexuality, the use of drugs, binge drinking, and other mindless expressions of individuality, why do so many of them also look the other way when it comes to Islamic fundamentalism? Don't they know that Iran has put to death as many as 4,000 homosexuals? Don't they know that if Islamists come to power they will not only make sexual perversion,…

Should Marriott Hotels Sell Pornographic Movies?

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When I was a kid, I was somewhat surprised that the local grocer, being Latter-Day Saint like me, had a large assortment of cigarettes for sale behind his counter. After all, smoking is against the Word of Wisdom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But, I told myself, not everyone is LDS, so they should have that choice. Now I am beginning to wonder.

The proprietors of the Marriott Hotel chain are LDS as well. Yet in some of their hotels pornographic movies are sold. I think this is a bit weird--much more weird, actually, than a Mormon selling cigarettes. Do you think Marriott should sell porn?

I attend one or two computer conferences per year, and almost invariably my hotel room has "Adult" movies for sale. Occasionally, I stay in a Marriott hotel room. It surprised me greatly the first time I stayed there, and it still does when I stay in a Marriott room, that Marriott is one of the hoteliers that sells adult pornographic movies in addition to other m…

FLDS Human Rights Violations are Fraud Reminiscient of KGB

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In his book The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn talks about how strange it was when he first realized that he was being arrested in a large crowd of people on the most specious of pretexts by the Soviet KGB. His life was instantaneously changed forever for the worse. He had done nothing wrong, yet there was also nothing he could do to preserve his freedom, because if he had cried out, no one in that large crowd would have believed (dared to believe?) his word vs. that of the KGB agents.

The state of Texas has now gone the KGB one step better: 416 children and their mothers have been arrested in a much larger crowd, and you are statistically likely to be part of that crowd of people who think that the FLDS people had it coming.

You are oh so wrong.

Most of us think the FLDS people in that Eldorado "compound" are just too weird--but only because we don't know them very well. However, we also think that just because they're too weird gives Texas law enforcement…

George W. Bush and Jack Bauer--Losing the "War on Terror" from the Get-Go

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My brother and I agreed the other night over dinner that George W. Bush will most likely go down as the worst US president in our history. From his misguided "compassionate conservatism" takeover of philanthropy, to his support for a North American Union, to his senseless attack of Iraq, the man has done almost nothing right.

Perhaps the worst trait of this ego-maniac is his seeming desire to emulate Jack Bauer of "24" fame, apparently believing that the protection of America against another 9/11 attack must involve torture of our potential enemies. Early in the War on Terror ballgame, George W Bush decided that any kind of interrogation--including torture--is fair game if it might protect America from further attack, and the "War on Terror" was lost in one fell swoop.

This goes against every American tradition. Such arrogance invites future attacks on America.

Ron Suskind called it the One Percent Doctrine. The people at Guantanamo came to know it as t…

Grand Canyon is Grand, but Zion National Park is Much Grander

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I've been on a bit of hiatus recently, having spent the past few days with my family in the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. It was a very cathartic break in my work schedule. All of us, including the kids, had as much enjoyment as we did last year in Arches National Park and Mesa Verde. The Grand Canyon is awe inspiring, but so is Zion National Park, and it seems like it's easier to interact with nature at Zion. That's why I think Zion is the grandest of them all.

Last Saturday we hiked Angel's Landing at Zion. The info board told us it would take 4 hours. We did it in three. But we were exhausted. It's a good thing Sunday was a rest day.

Monday we hiked the rim trail at Grand Canyon at sunrise. Then we hiked halfway down Bright Angel trail. The kids thought it was the most fun they'd ever had, until it was time to turn around and come back up! We had to pick the hottest day of the year, too--which caused our water to run out more quickly than we…

Evolution: How Could Earth Have Evolved into Existence?

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I've studied a bit about evolution, and:
I can see how it is possible that animals evolved (in fact there's ample evidence of that).I wouldn't be too troubled to find out that man evolved from lower hominid forms.But I guess I'm not smart enough to figure out how solar systems--especially the planets in them capable of sustaining life--could have evolved. In other words, I have a sneaking suspicion that earth and our solar system is quite good evidence that there must be a God out there someplace.

I'm in the middle of reading two very interesting and antithetical books. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is one that I have read before. I am also reading the answer to Dawkins' claims--The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions, by David Berlinski. Needless to say, I am immensely intrigued and entertained by my study in contrasts.

In his defense of the claim that truth can emanate from both science and religion (a claim that I agree with),…

FLDS Under Siege: They're Using that "Compound" Word Again

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The FBI set the Texas standard for destruction of a religious community with their killing of David Koresh and nearly all of the Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993. Texas law enforcement officials--as well as representatives from child and family services--haven't killed any members of the Fundamentalist LDS community in Eldorado, but their path of destruction is nearly as evident. As evidence of their unsurety of their cause, Texas officials have (once again) gone to using the word "compound".

I can think of a lot better words than "compound" to describe the FLDS community. How about "community" for one? Or we might say "town" or "society". We can even use the word "enclave". But "compound"? The colloquial definition has come to be fraught with images of siege, fences, and razor wire--a prison camp for lunatics. Use of the word compound is a subtleTexas officials entered Eldorado in search of weapons of ma…

The Federal Reserve Weighs its "Option": Bailout of the Elite

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It would be nice if the moneymakers at the Federal Reserve were simply inept.

It was a terrible idea the moment it was hatched nearly one hundred years ago, and I have now had about a gut-full of the freaks at the Federal Reserve. After creating the financial atmosphere where a subprime mortgage meltdown could occur, the Fed now contemplates bailing out the big boys who took it in the shorts--while leaving you in the lurch.

The Mexican Peso Bailout of 1994 wasn't a bailout of the Mexican Peso. It was a bailout of the tycoons who loaned the money to Mexico knowing full well that they would have their spread covered if the deal went south. In a similarly elitist move, the Federal Reserve bailed out Bear Stearns a couple of weeks ago. Why? Because, said Ben Bernanke, we can't afford to let such a big company go under.
Given the exceptional pressures on the global economy and financial system, the damage caused by a default by Bear Stearns could have been severe and extremely di…

No Boycott, But Don't Hold the 2008 Olympics in China!

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The International Olympic Committee is considering abandoning the international portion of the Olympic torch relay for safety reasons. Of course, if they continue just the China portion of the relay then everyone will be safe--except for the current and constant crop of victims of massive human rights violations in China and Tibet.

I think the IOC should go itself one step further. China, the greatest human rights violator in the history of mankind, does not deserve to host the Olympic games. Boycotting is not the answer, because then the athletes are penalized. So let me propose a better solution--let's convene another 2008 Olympics in some other country.

I can hardly expect the United States government to take umbrage with the coming of the Olympics to China in August of 2008; the American Establishment has its fingers way too deep in that pie. Since General George Marshall was shanghaied by Mao and Chao in 1945, the American Establishment has never had as healthy a regard f…

DNA: The Book of Life

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Christian scripture teaches that I will be judged out of the Book of Life. If this is true, am I the book out of which I am judged? Is there enough information inside me to form a basis for my own judgment relative to the laws of nature and nature's God? Do my behavior and desires help to determine my DNA?

Near the end of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, John writes that
...I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.Could it be, metaphorically, that we are the books that John saw being opened? Do our actions in this life make an imprint on our beings? I think so. What about our thoughts and our feelings? Most definitely.

DNA is distinguishing characteristic between living and non-living things. DNA "provides the information necessary to take a bunch of lifeless chemi…

Yoani Sanchez Tells What Life Really is Like in Cuba

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Books don't capture the moment like blogging does. Armando Valladares, Humberto Fontova, and other authors, have masterfully captured the debauchery, the murderousness, and the torture of the Cuban Communist oligarchy; but history presents the truth in a way that can tempt and trick our minds into dismissing its facts as either exaggerations or occurrences of a bygone era. Blogging, however, puts those facts in your face almost as they happen.

With up-to-the-minute accounts by Yoani Sanchez--and hopefully soon-to-be others--Americans will now be able to get a clearer understanding that the debauchery, the murder, the torture, and the socialist expropriation are going on in Cuba right now.

It's too bad the internet wasn't around when the Cuban revolution of Fidel and Raul castro, along with Che Guevara and other gutter rats, plunged Cuba deep into the dark ages. With the internet, this travesty of freedom may never have been able to happen.

If Che Guevara were still around,…

Richard Dawkins, Mormonism, and Evolution

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Various Christian denominations teach unequivocally that organic evolution is a falsehood. Where do you think The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints stands on this issue? It might surprise you.

Have you ever been taught in an Sunday School class that the theory of evolution is outright falsehood? Have you felt on a high school or college science exam about evolution that you would have to choose between your faith and science?

If you're a Latter-Day Saint, you don't have to worry about these issues. Because your church's doctrine on this subject just might not be what you think it is.

I've been rereading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, a book which fascinates me. While I don't think his understanding of early Christian history is anything to write home about, I have been impressed by his explanation of evolution--particularly Natural Selection. During reading, I have found myself--especially when I discovered that Natural Selection and Chance are t…