Featured Articles

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Freedom, Democracy, and Socialism

“How can the freedom of citizens be secured in a socialist state?” asked political theorist William Connolly. In Free to Choose, Milton Friedman makes an automatic connection between the economic freedom and political freedom, implying that socialism by its very existence denies freedom to its citizens. Economic freedom, as defined by Friedman, is laissez—faire capitalism […]

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Is the Bible Reliable?

                         The above picture is Paul and Peter arguing over their disagreements Why is it important that the Bible is reliable is the second topic among the 8 churches in Fountain Hills Arizona. Last Sunday they all preached on this topic on in their opposition to progressive Christianity and the Fountains Methodist Church in particular. […]

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Ireland Comes Home For Equality

The Republic of Ireland is holding a referendum today to decide whether to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. If the vote turns out in favor, it will be a remarkable historical moment. Ireland will be the first country to adopt marriage equality by a popular vote. And though it is close, it does look […]

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Religion

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Why It’s Important that God Changes

Fountain Hills AZ has come into national attention as eight congregations have come together to do a series against progressive Christianity. Several congratulated themselves on their ecumenism though it appears to be directed against Fountain Hills United Methodist. They also lauded the idea of free discussion but no discussion is had with any progressive Christian […]

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The Pew Report and the Loss of a Public Faith

John Spong starts his book on Eternal Life talking about funerals. In them, he notes, the services are not (or should not be) directed to members of the church. It is really for those who are gathered. And when it comes to weddings and funerals, the one thing you know is that most of the […]

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Podcast Episode 3: Interview with Dennis Prager about The Ten Commandments: Still The Best Moral Code.

Shaun sits down with Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, conductor, and public speaker,to discuss his newest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code. Dennis makes the case for the Ten Commandments in way that will appeal to both atheists, and religious Christians and Jews. A transcript of this interview can be […]

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Why I Preach on Mother’s Day

It’s always been awkward for me as a pastor to talk about Mother’s Day. Of course I don’t really need to. I have the freedom of the pulpit, which this church has provided and of which I’m very grateful for. And if I had wanted to stick to the church religious calendar versus the Hallmark […]

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Pay Tithes and Offerings Online!

I know that this type of stuff is not ground breaking or of grand moral significance. In an age when few of us use paper checks, this is one of those things that was bound to come about. However, it is also something that I did not think would change because of the importance we […]

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Politics

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Baltimore’s Dream and Ours

As has been noted by Martin Luther King, riots are the voice of the unheard. That is not something to be celebrated but mourned. Desperation and fear are not sufficient conduits for social change in and of themselves. They indicate that something is wrong, something must be addressed. But they also indicate something is broken […]

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Fever in Baltimore

America woke up today to news of riots in Baltimore. We’ve seen this before, too often. But what bothers me is the inevitable outrage directed at the protestors and rioters, rather than the systematic violence that created them. Riots are not the problem, but a symptom of something far worse. A riot is like a […]

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What If Everyone Mattered?

“I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b This month is dedicated towards Autism Awareness. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to the Autism Society “is a complex developmental disability; which affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a […]

U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Harry Reid’s Missionary Work Helps Convert Former U.S. Senator to Mormonism

Former 3-term U.S. Senator Larry Pressler joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint this past weekend. He was baptized by Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen and confirmed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Read. Here is how the Deseret News described Reid’s involvement in introducing Pressler to The Book of Mormon and Christensen: Pressler’s […]

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Rapid Rise in Super PACs Dominated by Single Donors

by Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, and Jonathan Stray, special to ProPublica, April 20, 2015, 5:15 a.m. This story was co-published with the Daily Beast. The wealthiest Americans can fly on their own jets, live in gated compounds and watch movies in their own theaters. More of them also are walling off their political contributions from other […]

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Culture

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Mad Max: Furiosa

Mad Max: Fury Road is the movie I have waited for my entire life. It’s not perfect, but it comes close. It is refreshing in many ways–it doesn’t rely on CGI, the secondary characters are fully fleshed out, and it doesn’t waste precious minutes of screen time on unnecessary exposition or explanation.

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Four Dead in Ohio

May 4 1970 – US National Guard shoot dead 4 unarmed students & wound 9 anti-war protesters at Kent State University. pic.twitter.com/jP9FrtfTcb — DailyRadical History (@radicaldaily) May 4, 2015

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Make a Donation For Your Exaltation

If you haven’t heard, the church recently announced that it will allow members to “pay tithing and submit other charitable donations” electronically. Now, if you’re anything like me, you no longer need to feel guilty for getting behind in your tithing because you ran out of checks. Also, you don’t have to feel like a […]

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Education

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In Defense of Higher Education, Loans and All

Thanks to Facebook’s settings, I am privy to whole conversations on others’ timelines simply because my wife makes a comment. A couple years ago, I read through a “discussion” about the movement to forgive student loan debt, which continues to linger, though it has passed through many different phases over the last couple of years, […]

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Anti-Gay Harrassment at Southern Virginia University Drives Away Student

The Roanoke Times recently published an article about Nic Jensen and his battle with Southern Virginia University over allegations of sexual harassment from the school’s provost Madison Sowell. There has been discussion about Nic’s supposed activism in some conservative Mormon circles, where critics are basically calling Nic a whiny child pushing an agenda to undermine the religious convictions of a god-fearing […]

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States Fail to Keep School Vaccination Data #MuckReads

by Amanda Zamora ProPublica, Feb. 6, 2015, 3:50 p.m. How prepared are U.S. schools for measles? Most states don’t keep those records. A USA Today analysis found just 13 states met federal standards for collecting school-level immunization records. In those states — which included California — vaccination rates fell below the minimum standard of 90% […]

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Like a Mother Bird: Don’t Work Harder than Your Students

by Adam Stout My student-teaching supervisor watched what I was doing one day and told me, “Don’t work harder than them.” I was amused. I thought she was offering a sort of life hack, a clue to sliding more easily through the job. It was as though she was telling me I could get away […]

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You Need Credibility

By Adam Stout As a 2nd year teacher, I have learned a lot and have a lot left to learn. So, take this post for what it is – the musings of a new teacher in the trenches. Lately, one of the lessons I am learning is the importance of establishing credibility with students. Bottom […]

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Synagogue, Philosophy, and Judith Butler

In the following video, philosopher Judith Butler discusses her work and philosophy with Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth. I particularly enjoyed hearing her discuss how the synagogue of her youth played a major role in her path toward philosophy. As a Rawlsian and Kantian, my work and thought has been very different from that […]

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What is the Original Position?

The original position is a social contract mechanism used by the philosopher John Rawls to establish the hypothetical conditions of fairness within which hypothetical participants will select the principles of justice. In many ways, the original position is cross between the state of nature found in Locke and Rousseau and Kant’s construct of the categorical imperative. Justice for […]

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Stand By Me

Rest in Peace Ben E King. “This song says no matter who you are, no matter where you go in your life, at some point you’re going to need somebody to stand by you” – Street performer Roger Ridley John Lennon Playing for Change Tracy Chapman Muppets!

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“In a coming day…” Remembering Bruce R McConkie

April 19, 2015, marks exactly 30 years since Bruce R. McConkie, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died.  I realize that he said some pretty controversial stuff.  I know that he insulted people who believe in evolution, I know that he compared people who leave […]

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A Response to Nathaniel Givens’ Unfortunate Defense of #GamerGate

I like video games. I don’t play them as much as I used to, but I’ll still sit down and play the occasional shooter or role-playing game, and I like to keep up with the industry. Which is why, like many geeks, I was fascinated, repulsed, and horrified by the car wreck known as Gamergate, which flared up […]

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Why Jesus Would Accept LGBT People

At least I’m guessing that is the case that Jesus would have accepted GLBT people. But as Chris Sosa writes “Queer identity, as it’s commonly understood, wasn’t a concept until very recent history. The entire Bible had been finished for over a millennium by the time the word “gay” came to exist.” So we’re doing […]

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Racist Posts on NY Cop Blog Raise Ire at Time of Tension

by Joaquin Sapien ProPublica, April 16, 2015, 1:39 p.m. Week after week, racist posts appear on Thee Rant, a blog for current or former New York City police officers: African Americans are called “apes;” a retired officer says one of the blessings of retirement is not having to work the Puerto Rican Day parade, with […]

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The Latest Star Wars Episode VII Trailer Features Han Solo…

…and Chewbacca. It also does gives some additional hints about the film’s plot. Take a look: I realize that I am a sucker for this stuff. I am okay with that. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is set to be released Christmas Day. What stands out to you from this latest trailer?

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