Year: 2004

A Mormon Washington Post?

Among other reasons that I like living in Washington DC is the Washington Post. It is on occasion of course a partisan rag, but, hey, it is my partisan rag. It is certainly much better than the trash that they read in some city farther up the coast. The world might have been different, however, had the Post gone Mormon. Apparently it almost did.

“Liberals,” “Tolerance,” and Other Canards of the Right

Over at A Bird’s Eye View, I’ve been having a conversation in comments with John Fowles. In one comment, John castigates a student who made a remark that he viewed as derogatory towards Mormons. John writes: “If she is ‘liberal’ doesn’t that mean she is supposed to be ‘sensitive’? Or does that only mean she is sensitive to the favored social causes and minorities and intolerant towards others?” Ahh, where to begin?

Why Aren’t There Economists in Mormon Studies?

The patron saint of the New Mormon History – Leonard Arrington – started his academic life as an economist, but interestingly economists have been on the whole absent from Mormon studies. Given the presence of philosophers, sociologists, and – of course – gobs of historians, the lack of followers of the dismal science is striking.


Belgium, December 29, 2004. For days now I have been confronted with TV-images of bloated and rotting bodies littered along shores, of parents crying over the corpses of their children, of living children staring dumbfounded into a camera and holding up a note with their name and the question “Seen parents?” – while it is almost certain, after three days, they have become orphans. Thousands of orphans and they still cling to their note.

Picking Battles: Reflections on Parenting

As a father of two teenagers with three more children in the pipeline, I have received — and continue to receive — plenty of parenting advice. One bit of advice that I hear over and over is this: pick your battles. Standing in the middle of this experience, I haven’t yet decided whether this advice is merely self-evident encouragement, truly insightful parenting counsel, or complete hogwash. I am leaning toward the hogwash hypothesis.

Judge Posner on Faith Based Morality and Public Policy

Judge Richard Posner — one of the most influential judges of the past several decades — is guest blogging on professor Brian Leiter’s blog. His first post deals with faith-based morality and how this affects public policy. (A topic that T & S readers will recognize as familiar — we discuss it a lot around here). Judge Posner suggests that: “If the population is religious, religion will influence morality, which in turn will influence law, subject to constitutional limitations narrowly interpreted to protect the handful of rights that ought not to be at the mercy of the majority.” Instead of giving further snippets, I’ll commend for reading the entirety of Judge Posner’s fine post.

How Corporations Saved the United Order (kind of)

One of the great advantages of blogging is that you can ramble on regardless of whether or not what you are saying is of any interest to anyone else. Hence this post. I feel it is time that we had the discussion that you have all be waiting for: The one on real estate leases, corporate law, and the United Order.

Springtime in Winter

After you try your hand at composing a haiku, take a chance on writing a Christmas story. All you have to do is supply the ending: a crotchety old cop is assigned to supervise a Christmas shopping trip for two needy kids, and after grudgingly performing the act of service he finds himself

Called to Criticism

A couple of weeks ago, the mail man braught me my long awaited copy of the first volume of B.H. Roberts’s Seventies’ Course in Theology. As you can imagine, it has been a heady time around the Oman household. In reading it, I came across what I am sure would be Aaron Brown’s dream calling:

Ender’s Game as Mormon Literature

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past twenty years, you’ve probably heard of Orson Scott Card. He’s a Mormon author who primarily writes science fiction. And he’s a very good author — to this day, his best work, Ender’s Game (which won Hugo and Nebula awards) is considered one of the better sci-fi novels of the past quarter century. Of course, Card’s Mormon background raises the question of what we can learn by viewing Ender’s Game as Mormon literature.

Christmas songs: Navidad Sin Ti

In this time of the year, we hear lots of Christmas songs. There’s one song in particular that I’ve come to enjoy hearing around Christmas, though at one time I never thought this would be possible. The song is “Navidad Sin Ti” by the Ranchera music group (essentially country music in Spanish) Los Bukis.

Dealing with Brother H.

I cannot remember when Brother H. came to our branch for the first time. Somewhere in the late seventies or early eighties. A middle-aged man, single, not too tall, graying hair, with lips drawn between an angelic and an ironic smile. Was he brought in by the missionaries or did he find us? I am not sure anymore. I tend to think the latter.


We often speak of being worthy. We pray that we may be worthy. We urge each other to be worthy. Sometimes we recognize that we are not worthy. But what do we mean by “worthy”?

RSS feeds

Ours is was broken. Now it’s better. Thanks, as usual, to Bryce for able assistance. If anyone continues to have problems with the RSS feed, please make a note in comments, or send an e-mail. Thanks.

Around the Blogs: Planet LDS

I just noticed (via A Soft Answer) a new bloggernacle aggregation blog — Planet LDS, at KZION. The site includes feeds from almost 50 bloggernaclites, including Times and Seasons. Techies will note that this aggregation is identical to what anyone can do with an aggregator (for example, the free one at Bloglines). However, Planet LDS’s pre-set aggregation blog is a useful fill-in for any readers too busy, lazy, or Luddite to set up their own aggregators. Caveat: For those who don’t know, let me note that there is an important limitation if you’re reading Planet LDS instead of setting up your own aggregator. That limitation is that you’ll only see posts from the blogs that Planet LDS has selected for its aggregation list; you can’t add other blogs that you like or take out ones that you find boring. However, (1) that’s the price you pay for using someone else’s aggregated blogs rather than setting up your own aggregator; and (2) Planet LDS has compiled a very good list of bloggernacle blogs, and most readers are probably unlikely to disagree much with their choices.

Shameless Huckstering: Ephraim’s Harp

On an earlier thread, someone opined that I am precisely the sort of snob for whom it is impossible to select a musical gift that will be appreciated. I want to report that two brilliant, generous and very thoughtful friends have actually done it, even without reference to an Amazon wish list. The CD is Saints Bound for Heaven, recorded by a Mormonish group called Ephraim’s Harp in NYC, and it’s great stuff.