Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The First Great Commandment

March 03rd, 2015 by G.

Love is not best considered as a feeling, it is not necessarily something at the forefront of consciousness. For many people, their deepest love is something which structures their life, rather than being at the front of our conscious deliberations for most of the time. Some (I am one of them) are very expressive of love – but this is not a necessity; and some very loving cultures and families and marriages do not go in for statements, hugs or tears.

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My understanding of the absolute necessity of loving God above all else is metaphysical rather than psychological – that without this, all other loves (including the love of Jesus) lose their meaning and function.

The supremacy of our love for God is that it makes all other loves possible – it makes other loves a matter of eternal significance.

 

-thus Bruce Charlton.

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March 03rd, 2015 08:13:41

Angina Monologue 10

March 02nd, 2015 by Vader

Fast Sundays seem to be for puttering.

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March 02nd, 2015 06:02:42

Love Makes for Hard Justice

February 23rd, 2015 by G.

Justice is what God expects of us. Justice is the standards he holds us to.

The standards he holds us to are impossibly high. We cannot satisfy justice.

Why? (more…)

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February 23rd, 2015 13:00:49

Freedom is Responsibility

February 23rd, 2015 by G.

Freedom is responsibility. (more…)

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February 23rd, 2015 08:29:15

Angina Monologue 9

February 22nd, 2015 by Vader

So school teachers’ lesson plans are “trade secrets” exempt from the various Freedom of Information statutes? In a Sith’s eye!

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February 22nd, 2015 19:43:20

Everyone is Indispensable

February 20th, 2015 by G.

There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

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February 20th, 2015 13:21:57

What Does 50 Shades’ Popularity Tell Us?

February 20th, 2015 by Nathaniel Givens

Note: this piece is cross-posted at Nathaniel’s home blog DifficultRun.

964 - 50 Shades Teddy Bear

Almost all of the many articles and blog posts in the lead up to the 50 Shades of Grey release last weekend have been negative, so I had some hope that better sense would prevail and people would stay home rather than prove that controversy and porn are quick and easy paths to profit. That just goes to show you that my sense of cynicism has room to grow. (more…)

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February 20th, 2015 09:18:40

All Fail, Some Succeed

February 19th, 2015 by G.

The basic problem with all mortal lives is death – and that is why from a purely mortal perspective all lives must be seen as a failure.

Some lives are a success when considered from the context of eternity.

-thus Bruce Charlton.  If you limit yourself to only one internet read this week, make it the essay I pulled that from.  It captures the mix in life: how sometimes we seem to be living in the middle of light, and sometimes it all seems like dirt and unhappiness.

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February 19th, 2015 12:11:15

Stalin, Saints, and Signals

February 19th, 2015 by G.

Sozhenitysn writes:

A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on—six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly—but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”

You can find videos of Stalin buzzing an audience to let them know it was safe to stop applauding. (more…)

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February 19th, 2015 08:15:06

The People Shall Dwell Alone

February 19th, 2015 by MC

Thesis: Winning elections is pointless when the culture and the people themselves are corrupt. A few people at the top won’t be able to change the character of an entire nation. We have to build a better society from the ground up.

Antithesis: Any effective cultural change must go through the centers of power and influence; elites alone have the power to change society. All of the largest social changes of the last century were imposed from the top down.

Possible syntheses: (more…)

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February 19th, 2015 04:29:39

This is My Boy. I Love Him and I’m Proud of Him.

February 16th, 2015 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life. (more…)

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February 16th, 2015 07:26:44

Helpless as a Father

February 12th, 2015 by G.

Francisco de Zurbarán's Agnus Dei - a still life of a trussed up lamb

My little baby just got out of the hospital. She’s fine now, no need for sympathy, I mention it because I learned something from the experience. (more…)

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February 12th, 2015 12:58:23

What Can I Get Away With?

February 09th, 2015 by G.

Bruce Charlton has an interesting post up on the “What can I get away with?” approach to reading scripture.

When Liberal ‘Christians’ interpret the Bible for guidance concerning modern sexual doctrine, and this criticism includes some of the most learned and eminent among modern scholars, they approach it looking for ‘legal loopholes’ which could be argued to allow what secular Left want to do anyway.

This applies to the two major recent issues that have riven the major denominations of ordination of women as priestesses within Christian Churches, and the extension of the post-sixties sexual revolution within Christianity.

Scripture is not the Code of Federal Regulations.  Christ is not God’s Undersecretary for Morals and Feeling Good About Yourself.  He is the Way. (more…)

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February 09th, 2015 11:00:46

Investigators on Scout Sunday

February 09th, 2015 by G.

You have a new bishopric. This is their first Sunday. They are fumbling a little. The counselor releases your ward mission leader, Brother X, and then asks for a vote of thanks to him or her. He adlibs that the bishopric is here to serve the ward, if only through comic relief.

The theme for the talks is Boy Scouting.  You are worried; a nice investigator family with the cute little daughters of the world is attending for the first time.  The talks won’t have much to offer them, you think.  The first speaker is the Scoutmaster.  He has a bunch of girls, no boys.  “My job,” he says, “is to raise the kind of men I’d want my daughters to marry.”  Bingo.

A guy who moved in to your ward a year ago tells how a dream his little sister had, telling her to go to primary, brought him back into the church as a teenager (no one else in the family wanted to take her, so he got the detail).

In Elders’ Quorum your baby daughter belches like a hog after you give her a bottle. You spend the afternoon making lemon icecream and French fries for your oldest daughter’s birthday dinner.

That is your Mormon Sunday.

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February 09th, 2015 09:12:12

The Tree of Our Life: Juxtapositions IX

February 06th, 2015 by G.

From Alma’s sermon on faith: (more…)

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February 06th, 2015 09:59:29