Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The merits of fasting?

July 25th, 2017 by Vader

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

–Thus Frederic Bastiat

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July 25th, 2017 10:55:25

Pioneer Models

July 25th, 2017 by G.

One of the perennial shibboleth debates among the polisci right is whether culture is downstream of power or the other way around. It’s both, of course. Even fro those in power, there is no obvious template for how to act across time and space. They need models. So does everyone else. Stories–myths and legends–are models.

One of the major problems of our times is that we have made the civil rights era our model. As much as I would have acted the same in those civil rights leaders shoes, and been just as excited as they were about their victories, it is not a great fundamental model for society or even for those people’s descendants, because the model is that someone out there is doing you wrong and if you create enough furor, they will stop. Wrongdoing there is always plenty of, but furor isn’t always worth the gains . . . more and more, there are no gains. More importantly, it doesn’t tell you what to do when the wrongdoing is over. Looking for more wrongdoing doesn’t help you build anything, even if you find it. Activism is a demand that someone else build something.

The Mormon pioneer model is much healthier. You respond to wrongdoing by making something out of nothing.

Pioneer Trek for youth is one of the healthy trends in the kingdom. Everyone needs to live out their models as much as possible. There is a new thing going around now too for the youth. It’s a youth conference where they live out the Book of Mormon stories for a few days, complete with costumes and other reenactments. Our Stake just did it. “Mom, you’re larping!” one of the kids told a YW leader who went along. And she was. But from all accounts, it was a larp that deepened testimonies.

I wonder if Trek and Moroni’s Quest will make the temple experience less strange for the rising generation of youth. I told my young men on Sunday, “the temple isn’t much like Church but it isn’t strange either. It’s basically a reenactment like you’ve just done, but simpler and more sacred, and with temple clothing. You reenact being Adam and Eve through the fall and their eventual return to heaven, where the Lord personally greets them and takes them in. Along the way, you make covenants. That’s it.” They nodded along.

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July 25th, 2017 06:51:41

Honor, Praise, and Veneration

July 24th, 2017 by John Mansfield

Words of Lemuel Sturdevant Leavitt (1827-1916):

Our crops had been very poor. There was never enough water for each man to irrigate his scanty acres. We not only had our own families to feed, but often the Indians came and demanded bread. One winter was particularly hard. Our crops were more meager than usual and the winter was extra-long and severe. Our bins, as well as those of most of our neighbors, were getting pretty low so it was decided that I should make a trip to Parowan to replenish our supply of flour. At that time it was a hazardous undertaking, for in the winter a trip over the snow covered mountains to the north, with no road to follow, was a real undertaking, however, it was necessary that someone make the trip. (more…)

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July 24th, 2017 07:13:43

What’s Wrong with BYU?

July 24th, 2017 by G.

BYU Magazine runs a tedious sermon preaching the journalistic religion, which is deader than Zoroastrianism and has been for about as long.

My Eyes Glaze Over.

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July 24th, 2017 07:04:29

Accepting the Gift of Grace

July 23rd, 2017 by G.

Trying to be holy is how you accept grace.

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July 23rd, 2017 07:18:49

An Abortive America

July 21st, 2017 by G.

I spent a few days at a family reunion out where my people are from. I caught a glimpse of an abortive America.

It was an aristocratic America, but to understand what I mean, you must reject everything lacy and coiffed and rich about the term aristocratic.

I mean deep pride in your family name and your ancestors. Deep pride in the places they built. The literal structures that they built, and the farms and the irrigation systems and the ways of life. Deep pride even in their scandals. Not pride in the sense of “son, I’m proud of you.” Spanish hidalgo pride.

(and, of course, there is the hereditary right to bear arms . . .)

That isn’t the country we live in. If it were, we’d live in a different America, better in some ways, worse in others.

I believe that the tremendous variety of human ways of being is delightful to God.

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July 21st, 2017 06:40:11

China EWWW

July 21st, 2017 by G.

We are here to provide amusement for our friends, Dr. Johnson says, and the friend we have amused lately is the estimable gentleman at the Scholar’s Stage.

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July 21st, 2017 05:44:22

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

Only Female Fields Medalist Dies from an Illness Particular to her Sex

July 18th, 2017 by John Mansfield

Sunday evening two days ago I had a follow-up conversation with a young mathematician, a son of members of my ward. A couple years ago I asked him about his area of work, but there wasn’t much for me to connect with—something vague about mapping manifolds. The Sunday before last I saw him again at a reception for a departing missionary couple and learned that he will begin a post-doctoral position in Finland, so I asked him, “Why Finland?” “Well, Finland is a small place, so the math research there is focused on a particular area that happens to be my area. I’ll be working with my PhD advisor’s advisor.” “And what is that area?” I asked, fearing that the answer would be as vague as before. Instead he simply said, “Complex analysis.”

There couldn’t have been an answer of more interest to me. (more…)

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July 18th, 2017 11:45:23

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

We need a positive explanation of repentance – for a world that does not understand sin (and will not make the effort)

July 18th, 2017 by Bruce Charlton

Christ brings us the infinite power of repentance – but modern Man does not understand the need for it; because he does not understand the nature of sin, and will not make the effort to understand it.

Therefore, we need a way of explaining what Christ did for us in a way that avoids mention of sin, and emphasises the positive nature of his great gift.

Sin is inevitable in this mortal life – therefore repentance is vital; and indeed sufficient (even for the worst of sins).

Repentance is, ultimately, to live by the two great commandments – love of God and of fellow men. Because repentance = the desire to become part of the divine family: the choice to take up our places as sons and daughters of God.

Love of God and Neighbour translates to the desire to live eternally as a part of the Heavenly Family.

Repentance is the wish to become part of God’s holy family, and the acceptance of what that entails.

So – the gift of Jesus Christ was his invitation to join God’s family for eternity; including the ability to do so; the choice is therefore whether we want to accept this gift; or not.

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July 18th, 2017 00:59:20

Oh, Babylon, Oh, Babylon, we bid thee farewell

July 17th, 2017 by Zen

The inestimable Rod Dreher relates a panel discussion on religious freedom, discussing the Benedict option. There are a lot of good things to relate from it, but the thing that most impressed me, was the inability to even imagine withdrawing from the World. It is too much intertwined with most so-called Christians. Resisting the World is more than a great many can do, much less completely withdrawing. A majority of those who call themselves Christians, are only Christians in name only.

Alas, I do not think there is anywhere for us to physically flee, and we are not ready for Lunar/Martian/Venusian/Jovian colonization. But withdrawing from the World (its blood and sins, and necrotizing philosophy) is something we must withdraw from, as part of our salvation.

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July 17th, 2017 23:04:42

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