Will we be let off easy with ghettos and yellow stars?
John C. Wright is currently writing a serial. It is awesome. I love my weekly Wednesday update.
You can read all the back chapters for free at his place. Be warned. It is a very high-octane story. It might be almost too much to take in one sitting.
If you like it and want to keep reading, he asks that on the honor system you subscribe for a buck or two per month.
Monday night Mrs. Clinton brought up Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who Trump was mean to, and bragged that she is now a U.S. citizen and will be a Clinton voter. Apparently, Miss Machado has lived a fairly wild and sordid life since her dealings with Trump twenty years ago. Not really the sort of person that candidates of the past would have pointed out by name before a national audience as supporters of theirs. But it’s not the past. It’s now, and as Mr. Trump asked, “Where did you find this?” Part of the answer is that Trump has contributed a lot over the decades, and more each decade than the one before, to creating our Kardashian era in which people like Miss Machado are easy to find. Unpleasantly hard to avoid, really.
So here we are with one candidate who thinks it’s a nifty thing that a woman who posed naked in magazines, served as the getaway driver for her homicidal boyfriend, and threatened to kill a judge has been given citizenship and a vote—because she finds some small advantage in this. The other candidate is married to a woman who posed naked for magazines, thinks that is normal, and has performed an oversized labor toward normalizing public depravity.
Hoping to trap Jesus in his utterances, some of the shrewdest of his adversaries posed double-edged questions on political and rabbinic law. One group of Pharisees and Herodians asked him a most diabolic question:
“… Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth. …
“Tell us therefore, … Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” (Matt. 22:16–17.) If he were to answer yes, he would easily be accused of betraying his heritage among Abraham’s seed, the very group staggering under the oppression of Roman law. If he were to answer no, he would immediately be apprehended as a political agitator. He answered neither, but rather asked to be shown a coin by which such tribute money commonly was paid.
Holding the piece of money up to his accusers, he asked: “Whose is this image and superscription?” Of course, they answered as any child in the street could have: “It is Caesar’s.” With that single question he had taken command of the confrontation. He returned the coin saying: “… Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” (Matt. 22:20–21), as if to say: “The man’s name and picture are on the coin. Surely it belongs to him. Please be kind enough to return it to its rightful owner.”
Brilliantly he had destroyed the ploy of his oppressors, but that was never his true mission or desire. These, too, were sons of God. These, too, were among those he came to save. He feared for them and loved them even in their malice. As they turned away he added a plea: “… and [render] unto God the things that are God’s.” As the coin bore the image of Caesar, so these and all men bore the image of God, their Heavenly Father. They had been created by him in the likeness of his image, and Jesus was to provide a way for them to return to him. Yet, “When they heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.” (Matt. 22:21–22.)
Mormons have a very broad and democratic collection of biographies of their 19th Century predecessors. This is due to two causes. The first is our belief that family bonds have eternal significance which leads us to seek familiarity with our dead and to leave records that will allow our descendants to know us. The second is that the first Latter-day Saints felt they were eyewitnesses of something important and wanted to leave a testimony of it. Thanks to these factors, it is easy to find research on hundreds of second-tier associates of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and tens of thousands of multi-page biographical essays on nobodies written either first-hand by the nobodies themselves or by their children. These are of most interest to direct descendants of these people, so today most of those 19th Century Mormons are each known in detail to a few percent of present-day Mormons, but we like hearing the stories of others’ kin too.
A few of my favorites: (more…)
This morning you look at your whole crop of kids, laughing and chattering, eating apple pie for breakfast. (more…)
Why? Because it’s fun.
Inspired by a recent post by Dr. Bruce Charlton, here are three possibilities for some kind of reincarnation compatible with what we know about reality. In other words, at least possibly compatible with the truth that the spirit does not merely ride the body like a waldo. As Dr. Charlton says, “once a spirit has had a body, the body cannot afterwards be detached from that spirit without some maiming, some irreparable damage.”
None of these speculations are guaranteed to be true, or even ultimately possible. (more…)
I like going through the formal logic of the gospel in clear, simple terms. Not because the formal logic is the real gospel. The way the gospel is expressed is the real gospel. Formal logic is like bones. Bones are not the body. But learning the skeleton tells you a lot about bodies work.
The analogy to bones misleads in one sense. A body has only one set of bones. The gospel, on the other hand, can have more than one formal logic. The gospel is deep and varied. The “body” of the gospel is different from different points of view.
Finally, what I call formal logic is not what a philosopher would call formal logic. No As and Bs, I’m afraid.
Good. Throat well and truly cleared, lets get to it.
Today’s General Conference talk is To be in the World, but not of the World, by Brother James Cullimore. It is a topic of repeated need.
May we appreciate the privilege that is ours in living in this time, in the beautiful, wonderful world in which we live. May we let the gospel light guide us that we may be in the world and yet not partake of the evil of the world.
The world is a constant attractor. The default state–entropy–is that we slip into worldliness. In the world naturally becomes of the world. It requires conscious effort to resist. (more…)