Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Thoughts on “The Benedict Option” by Rod Dreher

July 20th, 2017 by MC

Image result for the benedict option

[For previous discussions of the Benedict Option, see here]

In reducing his signature idea to book form, Rod Dreher set a clear, if daunting, task for himself: 1) Describe the challenges that serious Christians face in the modern world due to increasing secularism, and 2) Propose solutions to meet those challenges. (more…)

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July 20th, 2017 02:55:22

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 7

July 18th, 2017 by Vader

In my last post, I proposed some axioms to guide legislators in formulatings laws that are likely establish civil liberty in a free society.

(more…)

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July 18th, 2017 12:17:26

Revealed Preference

July 18th, 2017 by Vader

Everybody says they want more in-depth journalism, more serious and thoughtful discussion on cable-news shows, and more highbrow programming, but what everybody actually watches is porn and the Sean Hannity show.

Thus Kevin D. Williamson

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July 18th, 2017 10:01:37

The Modern Ant and the Grasshopper

July 14th, 2017 by G.

Stolen from Friend of the JG Jamie Huston:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool, laughs, and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Professors publish monographs on ant privilege and give their students extra credit to protest outside the ant’s house.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left after the costs of the suit, his home is confiscated by the government.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

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July 14th, 2017 07:10:29

Self-Love of Thine Enemies

July 13th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

The untroubled self-love of one’s foes, exuberantly manifested, is a truly horrible thing to see.

-thus Nick Land. The whole thing is an interesting bit of political analysis of the current moment. It’s the rare high-level analysis that doesn’t predict either the inevitable triumph of the author’s own ideas, or apocalyptic doom either. “History is moving orthogonally to me” is not the usual.

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July 13th, 2017 07:12:19

Love without Law

July 12th, 2017 by G.

Neither is love without the law in the Lord, and they twain shall become one flesh.

The crisis of our times is a religious crisis.

Christianity is a religion of both Law and Love. . . .

The Progressive ethos can be seen as a commitment to Love perverted by the rejection of Law. When you deny people guidance and declare them free to do whatever they wish, individuals react differently. Some choose to act in harmony with the Law, others choose to follow their baser instincts. Consequences still accrue according to the Law: virtue brings good fortune to oneself and one’s community, vice brings misery. When groups tend toward different choices and then reap the results, the Progressive is in a bind. How to keep denying the Law when its consequences are staring you in the face?

The answer is to double down. No consequence should be explained in terms of the choices that led to it. . . .

There is only so much you can blame on unfavorable conditions before it starts to ring hollow. What if you’ve already heaped every material advantage on the disadvantaged and they still stay behind? If it is not the conditions then it must be the Other holding them down. . . .

So we arrive at the inevitable conclusion. Nothing helps against this sabotaging Other; he must be immensely powerful and irredeemably evil. If the downtrodden are to be helped, the Other must be stopped – destroyed if that’s what it takes.

-thus Contingent, not Arbitrary

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July 12th, 2017 06:19:30

Beguiled

July 12th, 2017 by G.

There are prophets, scriptures, and things said and done in holy places that support the point of view that Eve’s tasting of the fruit was a deliberate, wise choice.

On the other hand, there are prophets, scriptures, and things said and done in holy places that suggest it was something like a sin. The language of cursing and punishment is used, and Eve says she was beguiled. (more…)

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July 12th, 2017 06:09:16

Imagining the Scriptures

July 11th, 2017 by G.

A guy once said something like mankind is just a bunch of method actors, all stuck inside their part. He said it like it was a bad thing.

Reading the scriptures for content is good. Reading for story is good. Imagining the story may be better.

Now, just a few words to you young men. Have you ever imagined yourself to be the Prophet Joseph Smith when he was fourteen and received his glorious vision? Or David when he was playing his harp for King Saul? Or Joseph who had dreams and visions and saw in a dream how his father and mother and all his brothers and their families would bow down to him? Have you ever thought of yourself as being Nephi, who, under very difficult circumstances, defied his rebellious brothers and went into the city of Jerusalem and singlehandedly obtained the plates which were vital to the posterity of Lehi and his family? Have you ever thought of yourself as being the young Nephi who gave leadership in large measure to his older brothers and to his father’s family?

Can you think of yourself as being Nephi who heard his father excitedly call attention to something he had found just outside the door of his tent?

Elder Kimball.

Salvation starts with playing a part.

Zeno’s paradox doesn’t work. Not only is space not infinitely divisible, but if it were, infinitely divisible time would allow all those infintiely small gaps to be crossed. But what about character change? What are the units of change in the soul? How does what I am become what I am not?
Imagination and pretense is what bridges the otherwise impossible gap.

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July 11th, 2017 07:30:17

The New Fox and the Grapes II

July 11th, 2017 by G.

(Aesop’s fine original here.)

One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.

“Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.

Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.

Finally, the enraged fox said, “those grapes are oppressing me!”

Moral:

When we feel ourselves unfortunate, we look for someone or something to blame.

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July 11th, 2017 05:40:17

The New Fox and the Grapes

July 10th, 2017 by G.

(Aesop’s fine original here.)

One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.

“Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.

Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.

Finally, giving up, the fox turned up his nose and said, “Our society is obsessed with grapes and material values.  My spiritual nature is above such things,” and proceeded to walk away.

Moral:

It’s easy to pride yourself on what you cannot have.

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July 10th, 2017 05:40:57

Wicked Parenting Traditions of Society

July 09th, 2017 by Zen

This article makes an interesting thesis, that the way children are being raised now, makes them more accepting of an authoritarian society, because they never had the free time, or freedom, to do as they please. If they have always looked to adults for direction, if they haven not learned anything else, then they will continue to look to others, such as government, when they are older.

One important foundation of freedom are found in childhood play and children learning to act.

Is American Childhood Creating an Authoritarian Society?

I have had an inchoate feeling that our nation’s philosophy on parenting is largely as unhealthy as the immoral society that spawned it. This is one manifestation of that.

 

 

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July 09th, 2017 20:34:44

Dark Sacraments

July 07th, 2017 by Patrick Henry

Dark sacraments are little rituals of transgression that bind a group together.  The Mafioso killing someone to become a made man is a dark sacrament.  Or think of Mark Stoddard being asked to trample on the crucifix as part of his initiation into the inner circle of N.I.C.E.  That’s a dark sacrament too.  The idea is to do some act that the larger society  finds disgusting.  Or the natural conscience.  Either way works. (more…)

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July 07th, 2017 05:22:00

The Role of Works

July 06th, 2017 by G.

Doing things is not how we earn things.  It is how we become things.

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July 06th, 2017 13:12:31

God will yet Reveal — the Holy Ghost

July 06th, 2017 by G.

God will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Chief among them is the Holy Ghost. We know so little.

Still, I believe that what Joseph Smith and the prophets have already revealed about the Holy Ghost may be the most underrated truths of the Restoration. (more…)

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July 06th, 2017 13:09:08

They the Builders of the Nation

July 04th, 2017 by G.

At one of the bicentennial general conferences, President Benson was full of the red, white, and blue . . . and the beehive.

I pay fervent tribute to the forebears who made this possible—the Founding Fathers of this republic and our Mormon pioneers. I pay tribute to their faithful deeds, their noble lives, and their lasting lessons of faith in God, courage, industry, self-reliance, and integrity.

My emphasis.  We Mormons are the heirs of a twice-founded nation.

Image result for flag beehive

from lunarmotion.com

And to a surprising extent, President Benson seemed to see the American founding as more of a moral and spiritual founding, like the Pioneer one. (more…)

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July 04th, 2017 07:30:27