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Everything posted by Just_A_Guy

  1. I’m not sure the Hebrew text, or the Jews or Christians who read it up until the last century or two, recognize that distinction. My understanding is that Christians even into Elizabethan times considered charging interest to be morally suspect, if not exactly verboten (which is why the protagonists in the Merchant of Venice have to seek out Shylock the Jew). Banking was supposedly one of the few professions open to Jews, because many good Christians just couldn’t imagine earning a living that way.
  2. Just to be a smidge contrarian: there’s nothing wrong with being a “gold digger” per se. Women have a right to expect a husband who can support them; and if they are initially a bit unrealistic about the style in which they can expect to be supported—well, if you don’t aim for the moon, you certainly won’t hit it The trade-offs, as has been discussed, are positioning oneself in a place where suitable potential mates are actually likely to be; striking the right balance of idealism and realism as one gets increasingly exposed to the dating pool; and in being the sort of wife who’s worth supporting in any kind of style.
  3. Plus they’re basically getting a $180K education for $24K, with the Church’s tithepayers making up the shortfall. The entitlement boggles the mind.
  4. I think one of the significant nuances here is that MGTOW aren’t really done with women. They are done with interacting with women. They are still straight; and they still largely . . . errr . . . have no problem interacting with images of women. From an LDS standpoint, rampant porn use and justifications thereto among MGTOW make the movement deeply problematic. I think both hardcore feminists and MGTOW have sort of deceived themselves into thinking that the other gender doesn’t have anything they themselves really *need*; and I think generally speaking, folks who embrace this kind of thinking are setting themselves up for a lot of loneliness and frustration later on life (to say nothing of feeding into social dynamics that aren’t conducive to a healthy, harmonious, sustainable society; and especially in an LDS sub-community that lionizes the principles of the Proclamation on the Family). One other observation that seems to have some application in response to some of the posts (and I’m sure @LDSGator will note that I’m engaging in a bit of pearl-clutching here): I was on BYU campus the other day, and the number of apparent-students of both genders who were dressed very much outside the parameters of the Honor Code, really surprised me. In my day of 2002 (harrumph! harrumph!) everybody toed the line, at least on campus. Certainly people have been complaining about “kids these days” for millennia; but at the same time, there does seem to be a higher proportion of modern LDS YSAs who have openly rejected an awful lot of traditional LDS orthodoxy and orthopraxy. That’s got to make the dating game even harder for the kids who are looking for a truly converted and faithful future spouse.
  5. I don’t think modern legal trends make it clear that federal anti-polygamy legislation was unconstitutional (some of the remedies provided by that legislation—denying the vote, liquidating entities that promoted polygamy, etc—sure; but not the notion of the feds regulating marriage itself). Conservatives were fine with the federal DOMA; and when it was stricken down I believe the grounds had less to do with concerns about federal overreach than that sexual orientation had been deemed a “protected class” and that DOMA failed under an equal-protection analysis. I believe (going from memory here) that the Reynolds decision said that Congress can pass generally-applicable laws even if they happen to conflict with the mores of individual religious groups; and IIRC that holding still gets cited from time to time in modern cases. I do think we are moving towards a society where polygamy is legally tolerated; but I think the route to that will come via federal legislation as a sop to increasing numbers of immigrants from Islamic countries where polygamy is de rigeur. Even then, the tolerance won’t really be social. People will still consider it inherently oppressive to/exploitative of women; it’s just that - as is currently the case with other antisocial behaviors - progressives will insist that ethnic or racial minorities be given a pass and that the rest of us must either look the other way or make obeisance for our having caused the situation through our “whiteness”.
  6. They can if it invokes constitutional issues (double jeopardy, for example). If the state court trial is not fundamentally fair or somehow falls foul of “due process” requirements, SCOTUS can absolutely review it. That’s why the left is throwing such a hissy fit about Thomas’s and Alito’s supposed ethical violations right now—they want to prep the playing field before the case makes it there.
  7. Me too. Carrie Underwood has a version out that’s hauntingly beautiful - has some verse transitions that evoke “Sunrise, Sunset” and work surprisingly well.
  8. Not licensed in New York and I don’t practice anything like the sort of law being applied here; but criminal sentencing can routinely take months. In a run-of-the-mill criminal case in Utah the convict would be expected to meet with Adult Probation and Parole, which would do an evaluation and make recommendations to the court prior to the sentencing hearing. The defendant could then theoretically bring in witnesses/experts to dispute the report and/or submit their own competing report.
  9. In the long term (10+ years), I don’t think Taiwan is defensible by the US against invasion by a peer (or, as the Chicoms are likely to become soon, superior) military power—the geography is against us. IMHO the US should offer political asylum for any Taiwanese national who wants it; incentivize their tech industries to set up additional factories on American soil, support Japan, South Korea, and Australia becoming open nuclear powers; and scale back our own military engagement in the region.
  10. Anyone wanna summarize the arguments, for those of us without the patience to watch the video? 🙂
  11. In a previous life, I could have gotten you guys alimony for that. Just sayin’.
  12. Just_A_Girl and I toured the Cailler chocolate factory in Switzerland last year. Apparently, when evaluating hoity-toity chocolate, one of the criteria is supposed to be the sound it makes when it breaks.
  13. I like Hardy a lot. His “Understanding the Book of Mormon” was illuminative for me. He was also involved in the Maxwell Institute’s BOM study edition a few years back (which I own and love); I believe the Annotated is an expanded version (but the Annotated uses the 1920-something text whereas the MI edition uses 2013–the Church has stopped authorizing the use of the 2013 text, and the MI edition is now out of print).
  14. Losses inexorably change the nature of the battlefield. Thanks to inflation fed in part by a labor glut, what was once attainable for the vast majority of families who put their minds to it (specifically, subsisting and even thriving on a single income), no longer is. I’m not sure what you mean by pivoting or suggesting that it’s a rare thing. Every time the left “wins” on a particular issue, they tend to open up a new front; and the right feels it has to fight it. Got sex ed in schools? Great, now hide the curriculum from parents. Got legalized abortion? Great, now offer it at taxpayer expense and make it legal up to 39 weeks. Got gay marriage? Great, now get dudes in drag to do strip shows in schools. Got legal equality for racial minorities? Great, now let’s institutionalize reverse-discrimination. I don’t think the right “pivoting” is odd or surprising at all; it’s just conservatives trying to conserve.
  15. In one respect it isn’t. The Americans would likely have made their way to a consulate eventually and found a way out, after a great deal more inconvenience and possibly suffering than they otherwise endured. On the other hand, I have a book about the evacuation of the German mission (this one); and those involved recalled some truly remarkable things happening around this time that they could only consider “miraculous”. Why God would have intervened on such a micro scale to help some relatively privileged people, while allowing enormous catastrophes to play out in the lives of thousands of others, naturally brings us back to larger problems of theodicy and the divine plan. (I was going to ask here if it wasn’t a Britisher who coined the aphorism about God for some reason taking especial care of fools, drunks, and Americans; but come to think of it, wasn’t it Bismarck who came up with that one?)
  16. With regard to Pres. Johnson’s Facebook post: I think the subtext is a recognition that, as @Anddenex suggests, a lot of women have sort of been pulled kicking and screaming into the workforce out of necessity (because their families are grappling with inflation caused by, among many other things, a rising number of two-income families with more disposable income) (and whether President Johnson’s life choices thirty decades ago were part of the problem, is another discussion). But the crux of her post, as I read it, was “even if you’re working, don’t wait to have kids. You were created to be a parent first and foremost, and you can make it work.” Which, I think, is a timely message. I’ll certainly advise my sons and sons in law to pursue careers that will give them the financial latitude to permit their wives stay home full time. But I’m not sure it’s desirable—or possible—to have a church where every (or most) adult male clears six figures per year. If a critical mass of LDS women are going to be establishing careers, then the inevitable next question is “do they have kids sooner, or later?” And that’s a no-brainer as far as our theology is concerned; and President Johnson is (as President Oaks affirmed) endorsing a proper example in that regard. In other words: The fight over whether mothers should stay home with their children was well-fought and no doubt improved many lives and even saved many souls. But the battlefield has changed. The fight now isn’t whether mothers work outside of the home; it’s whether women become mothers at all.
  17. On the other hand, if your 70-year-old mother had voluntarily donated her basement as a place for goons to keep their Jewish sex slave . . . We have a strong western tradition of at least giving lip service to the distinction between civilian and military; and the notion that a populace is often not accountable for the acts of its government. But when you see the public opinion polls about the number of Palestinians (and Palestinian supporters in Europe and the USA) who support the 10/7 attacks . . . I don’t know. It makes me reconsider the OT conquest narratives. Could it be that sometimes, an entire culture is simply beyond rehabilitation/reconciliation; and for the sake of self defense, all that’s left to do is to give them the most humane death your resources permit?
  18. I like to think so; but in this case the external pressures were immense.
  19. As a matter of mechanics, how do you think the “thus-switch-the-Lord” revelations in the D&C (and for that matter, the rest of canon) were transmitted to their recipients? Dream? Waking Vision? Physical material visitation of a divine being? Audible voice? Trance? Specific words coming to to the recipient’s mind? A image coming to the recipient’s mind, which the recipient then had to articulate in his own words? Something else? Were *all* the “thus-saith-the-Lord” revelations in our canon transmitted through the same method? Are you sure? How do you know? Oh, and on a completely unrelated tangent: what do you think of Denver Snuffer and John Pontius/Thom Harrison?
  20. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2010/10/cleansing-the-inner-vessel?lang=eng Compare with the audio at about 1:05
  21. I should note that I didn’t condemn the entire younger generation; I condemned that subset of them which has abandoned a certain set of principles. I’m probably getting into the weeds here, but . . . I disagree with this. Kids don’t always do what they’re taught. In fact, for millennia people have bemoaned the tendency of adolescents to do precisely the opposite of what they were taught. Humans are not computers; and I think it’s a stretch to suggest most incidences of human dysfunction are the result of some sort of manufacturer’s or programmer’s error.
  22. I’m a little confused by the juxtaposition here; the post asks if I think the younger generation is really that immoral and then goes on to state that we should expect immorality to be commonplace in the younger generation today because it was commonplace in our own generation in the last century. I absolutely stand by the proposition that participation in or support or extramarital (including, gay) sex constitutes a forfeiture of a Latter-day Saint’s spiritual birthright. It is a redeemable forfeiture, to be sure; but a forfeiture it most certainly is.
  23. I disagree, and would refer back to what I said earlier. I've already acknowledged that individual GAs may at times err; and in case I wasn't clear enough, I'll state: they may err even from the conference pulpit. (They probably won't, especially in our highly-correlated age. But they can.) If you take the race-and-priesthood issue specifically and parse the material that was released in the name of the entire first presidency or the entire Q12, you really don't see anything that's been subsequently rescinded. To the extent that individual Church presidents made statements that were later walked back (Brigham Young to the Territorial Legislature or what-have-you)--see my earlier statement about the OD-1 material and "harmless error". [1] In general, these same sorts of exegeses (and others, suggesting that particular passages were directed to particular cultures/times/places and are no longer appropriate to our modern circumstances) could be made about any future change in doctrine/practice, right up to my earlier hypothetical about the Church approving human trafficking. Heck, the nature of continuing revelation and the vagaries of the existing corpus of canon mean that one could make a straight-faced argument justifying a "revelation" affirming that the Atonement was actually done in 1956 by a Chicago plumber named Earl who died by choking on a piece of cake. The fact that something is arguable, does not make it mainstream. [2] As you no doubt are keenly aware, such arguments are a red herring since both the Old and New Testaments explicitly condemn gay sex. [3] As you no doubt are keenly aware, the Church has institutionally entrenched itself into a position on the perpetual sinfulness of gay sex and justifications thereof, in a way it never entrenched itself on the issue of the perpetual nature of or the detailed justifications for priesthood ban. And as you are further no doubt keenly aware, the "theories taught with limited understanding" verbiage comes from Elder McConkie who was addressing one particular (and frankly not-very-authoritative) sub-corollary of the ban justifications which, unlike the other justifications, *did* suggest that the ban was effectively perpetual (at least until the Millennium) But Elder McConkie himself continued to his dying day to maintain that the ban itself was divinely instituted and that in principle, the Lord takes the restored Gospel to different peoples at different times. [4] I think there are limits to how accommodating the Church leadership is to the idiocies of the Church membership. There are not-insubstantial issues with young LDS adults breaking the law of chastity and concealing it from priesthood leaders (in my work, I just last month cross-examined a lovely young lady on a family law case who admitted that she, as a BYU student, had been shacking up with (and of course, fornicating with) her boyfriend for the last three months). I daresay the Church leadership is aware of this as a general proposition; but they haven't gone so far as to say "fine, we changed our minds, go ahead and sex it up with whoever you want." And one of the virtues of the Church's financial situation is that (absent the danger of violence or adverse government action) it can pretty much teach whatever it wants without regard to what the masses think about it or what those teachings do to its membership rolls or annual donation receipts. Those of the "younger generation" who are willing to pimp out their spiritual birthrights for the sexual revolution's mess of pottage can quit doing their thinking with their genitalia--or they can go to hell until they learn (or are forced) to ignore their genitalia, quit taking their theological cues from the shriekings of the sorrowing damned, and discern what God is actually telling them.
  24. I would respectfully add separately, @Maverick, that I rather think you rather overstate the degree to which Church members have cause to feel significantly and sincerely befuddled by conflicting “church teachings”. That individual prophets and apostles can express personal views that may be wrong is, I think, increasingly well understood in the Church; as is the idea that we aren’t bound to offer unblinking obedience to such idiosyncratic statements. The closest analogue is the statement in the supplementary matter to OD-1 about the Lord not allowing the prophet to lead the Church astray. And even then, the statement is qualified to suggest not absolute infallibility but that any error will ultimately be harmless. What we are covenantally bound to follow through our sustaining votes—where we risk falling into grave error if we disobey—are statements of the united voice of the Church’s governing councils. And once we remember that Church practices and teachings are to some degree tailored to time and place and that what was needful in 1835 or 2015 may no longer be appropriate in 2019 or 2024 (a proposition that is baked into the whole process, else there would be no need for living prophets/continuing revelation at all), I think one becomes hard-pressed to find a single instance where the entire Q12 and Q15 were objectively, undeniably, soul-jeopardizingly wrong. The Church has no shortage of fringe theories, but it also has a theological mainstream. And it’s really not that difficult to tell the difference—especially with the added benefit of personal revelation based in faith and sincere repentance, and even more so as we learn to block out the voices of the shrieking profligates who are pretty obviously motivated primarily by envy or libido. Take the aforementioned Proclamation on the Family, for example. We can split hairs over whether it is (or should be) canon, versus scripture, versus revelation, versus inspiration, versus just good sense, versus a complete product of its culture, versus a vestige of bigotry under which the Church groans for relief. But the simple fact is that over a hundred LDS apostles, seventeen LDS presiding high priests, every currently-serving GA-level seventy, and every section of LDS canon that discusses the matter, disapproves of gay sex. It’s not a close call in any way. The Lord, of course, can reveal whatever He will reveal. But as our theology stands right now there is literally a better chance that He will instruct the Church to start buying and importing indentured servants from slave markets in Mauritania or child brides from impoverished families in Saudi Arabia, than that He will instruct the Church to begin solemnizing gay marriages. That’s the elephant that remains in the room in spite of all the kabuki theater and concern-trolling over just how seriously we should really take the POTF.