Latent Racism, Orientalism and “Magic Underwear” in American Society and Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign

January 16, 2012

African Muslim Men in Religious Attire, source http://www.thingsoftheday.com/?p=3285

As I made my way through the crowded local Costco recently, I stepped back a moment and appreciated the diversity surrounding me. Although approximately 92% of the population in the UK is white, about 45% of the remaining 8% of the UK population that are ethnic minorities live in London. And we’ve enjoyed having a high concentration of this 45% in and around the area of London where I currently reside. We have become accustomed to seeing people in their religiously significant daily dress in all circumstances, from the morning school run, to regular visits to the supermarket, to going to movies in the cinema and just about everywhere else. (In fact, it is not unusual for us to see such dress in our LDS ward on Sunday as investigators from all of these ethnic and religious backgrounds politely keep their commitment to the missionaries working in the area to visit us and see what the Church is all about.)
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Like a Trampled Flag on a City Street

August 10, 2011

I enjoyed and was humbled by Aaron R.’s great post today about the London riots. We live in neighboring wards in London’s eastern outer boroughs so we have both experienced the riots first hand, though thankfully my particular neighborhood was not touched, though others in my ward were more affected. His post reminds me once more that he is a better man than I — and he’s a sociologist, so I understand the charitable and analytical place that his post is coming from. I am grateful for his good example! He reflects well on Latter-day Saints with this perspective. Read the rest of this entry »


Pluralism and Persecution in the UK

June 22, 2011

Despite the Telegraph’s deliberately provocative title (“Christians are more militant than Muslims, says Government’s equalities boss”), which doesn’t accurately reflect the content of the article, the Chairman of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission recently raised some interesting points and makes some insightful observations about integration, pluralism and claims of religious persecution in modern society (ht:M*). Read the rest of this entry »


Where Does It End? The Real Danger in Warren Smith’s Perspective

June 3, 2011

Dave noted yesterday at Times and Seasons the inherent incivility of journalist Warren Cole Smith’s recent dismissal in Patheos of Mormons’ eligibility for the office of President of the United States precisely because of their religion. I found Dave’s analysis cogent and important. My concern with WCS’s viewpoint runs deeper than whether he and those who share his views have simply departed from the bounds of civil discourse. Read the rest of this entry »


An “Important Strengthening” of Religious Freedom: Temple Recommends in the European Court of Human Rights

October 13, 2010

Freedom of contract, religious autonomy and the Mormon temple recommend prevailed recently in The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)[1] as the Court rendered its judgment in the case of Obst v. Germany (application no. 425/03). More specifically, the ECHR found that Germany had not violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life) when Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court, had ultimately upheld Michael Obst’s 1993 dismissal without notice by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from his employment as Public Affairs Director for the Europe Area after he had confessed to committing adultery. Read the rest of this entry »


An Appeal to Mitt Romney for Republican Leadership on the Mosque Issue

August 26, 2010

Does the Park51 Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan (also known by the misnomer “Ground Zero Mosque”) present an opportunity for Mitt Romney to assume and evince leadership in the Republican Party, possibly even ousting populist Tea Party Anti-Federalist demagogues based on fundamental Federalist principles in the process? Read the rest of this entry »


A (Secular) Turkish Delight

July 27, 2010

Any general arguments against the safeguards provided to all religions by the maintenance of a secular public sphere should take into account whether it is better to live as a Christian in Saudi Arabia or Turkey. Read the rest of this entry »


Criminal Possession of a . . . Snowball?!?

March 10, 2010

According to the NY Daily News, four buddies are “facing a year in jail for criminal possession of a weapon – a snowball that hit an off-duty transit cop.” Granted, some of these boys have been in trouble before, and, according to the cop at least, the boys chased him down and pelted him with snowballs. But the boys claim they only hit him with one errant snowball, after which he pulled a gun! I guess it is a lucky thing he did not shoot them. I, for one, am not so sure I want such a jumpy police officer on the street…

I wonder if the Second Amendment includes within the right to bear arms a right to bear snowballs? Supreme Court- get ready to grant certiorari!! :)


DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE

October 3, 2008

The Federal Republic of Germany turns eighteen today — at least in its reunified form. On October 3, 1990 the official Reunification of a country divided for 45 years by what seemed an insurmountable geopolitical estrangement took place in Berlin, the besieged city at the very heart of the Cold War. The scene played out on the steps of the famous Reichstag building upon which the words in the title of this post are inscribed just below the pediment: DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE — “To the German people”. Read the rest of this entry »


Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

March 25, 2008

A substantive article in the City Journal (ht:T&S), “Child-Man in the Promised Land”, documents what we have all observed:

Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood’s milestones—high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers—happily—in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance.

It is hard not to agree with the sentiment of the article: that we should be very afraid of what the new child-man will make of our society. Perhaps LDS men who were married with kids by 26 can chime in here. And wasn’t Brigham Young saying something about this 150 years ago? I doubt that Kay S. Hymowitz reads the Journal of Discourses though.

In the article, Hymowitz notes that

Not only is no one asking that today’s twenty- or thirtysomething become a responsible husband and father—that is, grow up—but a freewheeling marketplace gives him everything that he needs to settle down in pig’s heaven indefinitely.

To this I would only say “Have you heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?”

Would I be correct in assuming that the Mormon Church isn’t exactly the solution that Hymowitz is pining for in this article?


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