A light to the Nations? The Problem in a Nutshell

The greatest sin in the world today may well be the senseless division of Christianity. One regrettable consequence of that partition seems to be that the fabric of Western culture is unraveling under the onslaught of radical individualism. This belief holds that self-determination, even regarding one’s own gender, ought to trump not only centuries of human tradition but the very laws of nature itself. And as the institution of family recedes ever deeper into its crisis of identity, society has becomes increasingly chaotic. A kind of intellectual anarchy now routinely assaults reason to substitute its own tenets for that great deposit of wisdom known as common sense. Meanwhile, in the West, Christianity seems to be in full retreat so that even an unobtrusive order of religious sisters, by following their consciences, is being threatened with ruinous fines Continue reading

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A Mormon Odyssey ~ Final Thoughts

My final thoughts in this series on Mormonism are excerpted from a recent letter to a young Mormon Evangelist whom I have not heard back from since posting it. Since Mormons base their apologetic on a well rehearsed and scripted narrative, any direct challenge to, or deviation from, that script is certain to evoke not robust rebuttal but generally a retreat from the debate. For the good Mormon faith is necessarily divorced from reason, or shall I say that the two things are hermetically “compartmentalized” out of fear that latter might somehow contaminate the former.

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A Mormon Odyssey: Part II

Mormonism is one of the faster growing religious bodies in the United States today as a result of active and constant proselytizing. Nonetheless, the sect continues to arouse suspicion, not the least because of its insistence that it is the only true and valid expression of Christianity. To answer this rather exalted claim one must investigate whether the primary supplemental scripture underpinning Mormon beliefs, i.e. the Book of Mormon, is a credible document. Continue reading

Fantasy as Faith ~ A Mormon Odyssey

Mark Twain famously joked about the Mormons, “Their beliefs are singular ─ but their wives are plural.” Since Twain’s day though, mainstream Mormons have officially renounced polygamy (as a necessary condition of statehood back in 1896). But one can still strongly make the case that the beliefs of the Latter Day Saints remain quite singular, one might even say fantastic. I will get into more specific details presently, but first it may help to explore the idea of fantasy as faith, an American phenomenon which is in no way intended to cast dispersion on denizens of the Beehive State. In fact most tenets of the Mormon religion are surprisingly rational when set against many newer cultish practices, both secular and religious, that have proliferated since the advent of the 20th century. Continue reading