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Israel, Gaza, and Why Killing People is Bad

Let me level with you: when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict, I am staggeringly ignorant. It’s messy, complicated; filled with nuance I don’t understand and history I haven’t learned. I guess I probably know more than your average person on the street, on account of having read a bunch of news articles and wikipedia […]

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Botched Executions and Our Lost Humanity

A little over two months ago, I added my commentary on the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, whose vein collapsed during an attempted lethal injection in Oklahoma. He eventually had a heart attack and died. In that post, I reference the current problems with the acquisition and effectiveness of certain types of the drugs used […]

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Fearing Strangers: Principles and Anxieties

“Principles lose their grip in times of fear.” — Marta Nussbaum (176) In Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality, Martha Nussbaum takes a historical look religious liberty and religious equality through the lens of philosophical political liberalism. I will explore her conceptualization of political liberalism later. For now, I will […]

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Religion and Public Reason: Notes from the Commonweal Interview with John Rawls

In September 1998, the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal published an interview with John Rawls by Bernard G. Prusak. Below are my notes about that interview. My notes are from the re-print of interview found in Rawls’ Collected Papers. All block quotes are direct quotes from Rawls. In response to a question about why religion has […]

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An Outsider’s Take on the Book of Abraham

John Turner, a religious studies professor at George Mason University and the author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, has written a post reflecting on Joseph Smith, the Book of Abraham, and the recent statement by the LDS Church about the Book of Abraham. Here is a selection from the end of Turner’s post: Mormon scholars […]

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“…a little more C-SPAN, a little less FOX News.”

Check this out via TPM: Dem rep. mocks C-SPAN caller's conspiracies: Watch "less Fox News" http://t.co/jyN0jgekzM pic.twitter.com/7RmW0s1uL4 — Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 23, 2014 The caller rattled off a list including Benghazi, the IRS scandal, NSA surveillance, Fast and Furious and the Veterans Affairs scandal. He also asked Himes to address the theory that […]

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“I will be all right: My people were Mormon Pioneers.”

Pioneers My people were Mormon pioneers. Is the blood still good? They stood in awe as truth Flew by like a dove And dropped a feather in the West. Where truth flies you follow If you are a pioneer. I have searched the skies And now and then Another feather has fallen. I have packed […]

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How to Save Humanity: Step One, Treat People like People #usprisonsystem

Not too long ago, I wrote a two-part commentary on the US prison system (part one, here; part two here), and John Oliver was kind enough to offer a follow up, where he demonstrates how far away we are from making any kind of positive changes the further we delve into the privatization of the […]

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The Metaphorical Ton of Bricks

Most days in our lives, we go about our business. Everyone’s day is different, but most of the 7.046 billion people on Earth have established routines. Every day, some of those 7.046 billion people are going to hit a rough patch. Maybe a client yells at them, a lover’s tiff upsets their rhythm, or the […]

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Pete Seeger Memorial Concert

A series of Pete Seeger memorial concerts called “Seeger Fest” were held from July 17 to July 21st 2014.  One of those concerts held on Sunday, July 20th at the Lincoln Center in New York City was broadcast over the internet.  The performers included a who’s who of folk singers as well as family and […]

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The Seneca Falls Convention: July 19-20 1848

  Declaration of Sentiments When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a […]

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Where is My Mind?

I discovered the 1988 Pixies song “Where Is My Mind” while an undergraduate at the University of Utah. That would have been about the same time as this 1999 live performance. I have yet to find my mind. Let me know if you know where it is.      

John Huntsman Sr in 2004 (Source: Chemical Heritage Foundation)

Huntsman Sr.: Tithing Does Not Count as Charitable Giving

  Jon Huntsman Sr.: Giving to church doesn’t count as charity. #utpol http://t.co/MKIXJqTHPD — Pat Bagley (@Patbagley) July 17, 2014 From Forbes: Jon Huntsman Sr. has given away about $1.5 billion to worthy causes – about 80% of his total wealth. He is also spending $200 million building Huntsman Springs, a golf resort and nature […]

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Geography, Politics, and Feelings about Mormons

68% of people in Western U.S. know a Mormon, compared with 44% of Americans overall: http://t.co/deVIhpfbm5 pic.twitter.com/oeGyP1lrav — PewResearch Religion (@PewReligion) July 17, 2014   From the Pew Research Center report: Atheists, Jews and Mormons each make up roughly 2% of the U.S. population, but a majority of Americans say they know someone who is Jewish […]

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A Farewell to Kings #rush #bastilleday

When they turn the pages of history When these days have passed long ago Will they read of us with sadness For the seeds that we let grow We turned our gaze From the castles in the distance Eyes cast down On the path of least resistance Cities full of hatred Fear and lies Withered […]

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Happy Bastille Day! #rush #bastilleday

There’s no bread, let them eat cake There’s no end to what they’ll take Flaunt the fruits of noble birth Wash the salt into the earth But they’re marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim her bloody prize Free the dungeons of the innocent The king will kneel and let his kingdom rise Bloodstained […]

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