Posts Tagged ‘ culture ’

The One Percent that Ought to Concern Us

July 7, 2012
The One Percent that Ought to Concern Us

“There is but one Lord of the Ring, and he does not share power!” — Gandalf to Saruman. Hawkgrrrl recently summarized Jonathan Haidt’s thesis, expressed in The Righteous Mind, of how people develop pronounced liberal or conservative tendencies as a combination of both genetics and experience (see here). I also wrote about Haidt’s ideas about how […]

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Posted in Agency, America, Europe, Freedom, Morality, Politics, understanding | 62 Comments »

Killing Tinker Bell

June 23, 2012
Killing Tinker Bell

Peter Pan was a wonderful story for me as a six-year old when the Broadway show was first televised by NBC to help market the new-fangled color TVs. Even though we didn’t have the money for color TV, seeing pirates and flying children cavort above the stage even in black-and-white made the program then the […]

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Posted in America, economics, Europe, Faith, Mission, Morality, Politics | 33 Comments »

Community of Christ Crosses Rubicon on LGBT Issues

June 9, 2012
Community of Christ Crosses Rubicon on LGBT Issues

The Community of Christ has begun “crossing the Rubicon” on LGBT issues, and there can be no reversing the action taken. CofChrist is committed to the theological precedent that priesthood can be compatible with participation in a legally recognized same-sex sexual relationship. On June 2nd, the Australian National Conference approved the following recommendation to the […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture | 11 Comments »

Intersectionality and Individuality

May 9, 2012
Intersectionality and Individuality

What makes a person unique? If people are unique, then why do we still find so much in common with others?

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Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

What is Mormon Culture?

April 17, 2012
What is Mormon Culture?

Just what is Mormon culture?  Recently, as I read Joanna Brooks’ memoir, I noted that there were several elements of culture that I shared with her (dance festivals – on a much less grand scale, open-minded BYU professors).  But there were many that differed from my own experiences (apocalyptic food storage, pioneer heritage, and Marie Osmond […]

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Posted in America, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture | 18 Comments »

Is Karma Fair?

March 31, 2012
Is Karma Fair?

“Liberals have difficulty understanding the Tea Party because they think it is a bunch of selfish racists. But I think the Tea Party is driven in large part by concerns about fairness. It’s not fairness as equality of outcome. It’s fairness as karma — the idea that good deeds lead to good outcomes, and bad […]

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Posted in Agency, America, economics, Freedom, Morality, Mormon Belief, Politics | 44 Comments »

A Solutrean Solution?

March 17, 2012
A Solutrean Solution?

Science knows that the Norse (Vikings) colonized Greenland a millennium ago, but the colony didn’t stick when colder temperatures returned following the Medieval Warm Period. Average daily temperatures in Greenland warmed about 3 degrees F before the plunge back into a Little Ice Age (which itself only ended well into the 19th Century) that forced […]

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Posted in America, Faith, History, Mormon Belief, Science and Religion | 22 Comments »

Diversity: Avoiding Pain is No Gain

March 3, 2012
Diversity: Avoiding Pain is No Gain

I still contend I was not being insensitive — just naive. I arrived on the East Coast in 1973 — freshly out of grad school — having been selected for the one job at John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab I’d wanted more than any other I’d even considered applying for. After my church had canonized […]

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Posted in Politics, understanding | 2 Comments »

Economic Recovery: Steering by the Rear View Mirror

February 18, 2012
Economic Recovery: Steering by the Rear View Mirror

One of my guilty pleasures is watching the TV show “Alaska State Troopers” on the National Geographic Channel. The pleasure part comes from seeing spectacular scenery and wildlife like moose and bears I’ll never be able to visit in real life. However, the guilty part comes because most episodes also pose the question as to […]

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Posted in America, economics, Politics | 30 Comments »

Preacher’s Kid: Romney’s OTHER Mormon Problem

February 4, 2012
Preacher’s Kid: Romney’s OTHER Mormon Problem

How does knowing you’re supposed to grow up being part of the “aristocracy” affect a political candidate’s ability to connect with everyday people? In elementary school in the 1950′s, we used to be given as “enrichment” a little news magazine called the Weekly Reader tailored toward stories on current events that would appeal to children. […]

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Posted in America, Mormon, Mormon Culture, Politics | 19 Comments »

Patronage: In Heaven as it is on Earth

January 7, 2012
Patronage: In Heaven as it is on Earth

Over the New Year holiday, a comment by Stephen Marsh in his own post on rent seeking reminded me of something John Dominic Crossan had talked about in his book The Historical Jesus — the parallelism between the concepts of an earthly patron in the development of the Roman Empire, and heavenly patronage as it […]

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Posted in America, Church Policy, History | 25 Comments »

Lessons From a Utopia (Dystopia)

January 4, 2012
Lessons From a Utopia (Dystopia)

I like dystopian novels. I think that if many of the ideals espoused by most people were executed to perfection the result would be captured by one of the many dystopian novels that have been written. I think this says something very important about ideals, paradox, uncertainty, and truth. I’ve been reading “Brave New World” […]

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Posted in Freedom, Morality, Mormon, Science and Religion, Violence | 18 Comments »

Mormonism as an ethnicity

November 17, 2011
Mormonism as an ethnicity

Over at my personal blog, I reminisced over the time in my life that seemed to me to be the earliest, simplest, purest root of disbelief. The setting was junior high in the middle of the Bible Belt. I frequently got into debates and discussions with my friends over Mormonism as it stood with respect […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments »

Did the Arab Spring Just Come to Washington?

October 15, 2011
Did the Arab Spring Just Come to Washington?

The United States has been preoccupied with economic issues and domestic politics. So it was shocking to have the Attorney General of the United States call a news conference to announce that Iran’s government was implicated in a plot to murder the Saudi Ambassador to Washington while in the city and (from other sources) conduct […]

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Posted in America, Holy Land, Politics, Violence | 6 Comments »

Roulette Wheels and Solar Panels

October 1, 2011
Roulette Wheels and Solar Panels

I can remember making 3 bets in my life — all the result of foolish pride leading me astray. Barely above the age of accountability at the time of the first bet, I was sitting in my kitchen while my mother gave me a haircut when she made some terribly offensive remark about how cute […]

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Posted in America, Mormon Culture, Politics, Pride | 35 Comments »

Blogs: Bitter Rantings or Vehicles for Change?

September 29, 2011
Blogs: Bitter Rantings or Vehicles for Change?

A recent online group made by YSA in the UK provides a way in which witty comments and cynicism can promote change.

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Posted in America, Mormon Culture | 21 Comments »

Balancing the Discussion: Miracles, Satan, and Church Programs

September 28, 2011
Balancing the Discussion: Miracles, Satan, and Church Programs

Last time I addressed the topic of our discussion in the church I talked about faith in Christ, and how we might shift our discussion from speculation on doctrines designed to create an emotional response to discussions about faith in our real lives. In perhaps a not too dissimilar vein, I’d like to talk about […]

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Posted in Faith, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Uncategorized | 33 Comments »

Things I Have Learned about Americans from Living Abroad

September 27, 2011
Things I Have Learned about Americans from Living Abroad

To really understand a culture, you have to be able to see it both as an insider, fully immersed, and as an outsider, looking back. Hawkgrrrl has been living with her family in Singapore this year and has gained some insights into American traits from a distance.

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Posted in America, Freedom, Politics | 73 Comments »

Expanding the Church or Just Moving It?

September 17, 2011
Expanding the Church or Just Moving It?

“Finally have put a finger on an issue I have with the priesthood of this church. A lot of you want us to embrace, uphold, accept and defend the practicing homosexual. Why is it that because I do not agree with you that you try to paint me as hateful to everyone else?” Thus began […]

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Posted in Church Policy, Mormon Culture | 22 Comments »

Balancing the Discussion: Faith in Christ

September 14, 2011
Balancing the Discussion: Faith in Christ

Because I have had my own trials of faith, and have stood in the figurative shoes of those who see things from a non-believing standpoint, I have become increasingly aware of the language we use and the ways in which it contributes to our cultural peculiarities and often times sets people up for failure. Sometimes […]

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Posted in Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture | 19 Comments »

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