How wonderful it was to gather and hear the words of a living prophet and the Apostles of Jesus Christ at the recent General Conference. As Latter-day Saints, we do not have all the answers to the mysteries of godliness and of the eternities and the workings of our Heavenly Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. But we believe that Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, and not figuratively. We believe in his real power and priesthood, and we know something of his mission and how it relates to our Heavenly Father’s purposes. What we know comes more from scripture and less from logical deduction or abstract philosophizing. This is something we can be grateful for.
Last week I went back to work full-time after a month of "paternity leave". My month off left me contemplating the sweeter things in life- like making cookies with my children.
Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld the "Solomon Amendment" against a challenge from a group of law schools claiming that the "forced inclusion and equal treatment of military recruiters violated the law schools’ First Amendment freedoms of speech and association." Rumsfeld v. FAIR, 547 U.S. ____ (March 6, 2006), online version at 3.
Indeed, according to FAIR (Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights- the association of law school faculties who was the plaintiff in this case), "the Solomon Amendment was unconstitutional because it forced law schools to choose between exercising their First Amendment right to decide whether to disseminate or accommodate a military recruiter’s message, and ensuring the availability of federal funding for their universities." Id.
So, what is the Solomon amendment, and why does it matter?
Thank you A. Greenwood for linking the Pope’s essay on Europe in First Things over at T&S today. It was a great read. I am really liking this new Pope and greatly respect the views he has articulated so far in his tenure. In some ways and on certain things, I have what one might call Catholic envy, and I felt its tinges today.
I just found out that Thomas Reiner is now the Stake President in Berlin. Thomas was the bishop of the Dahlem ward while I was serving there as a missionary in the mid-1990s, and has always been a wonderful example of the most Christlike kind of Church leadership. I have been fortunate enough to have returned to Berlin many times since my mission, and each time I make an effort to attend the Dahlem ward, largely to see Thomas (and many other members with whom I worked closely and with whom I have been fortunate enough to maintain contact). His brother Christian also taught me much while we were students together in the German department at BYU and as my supervisor while we were both teaching together at the MTC in the 90s.
I am happy to know the Church in Berlin is in good hands with Thomas Reiner and his counsellors at the helm. I am sure that he is the right man at the right time for this assignment and look forward to growth in the Berlin stake.
I came across this amusing video clip recently. Enjoy!
And discover why Englischlernen wichtig sein kann!
Two years ago right now I was in Berlin at a law student conference on religious freedom in the European Union. For an entire week full of meetings and break-out sessions, I worked closely with the staffer of a French Parliamentarian in hearings and negotiations in our "working group" to draft a proposal for the separation of Church and State under the new EU Constitution and with a view toward further expansion of the EU eastward. At the end of the week, and after we presented our draft proposal to the body of the conference in the historic Berlin Senate building (perhaps my most exciting public speaking experience to date), I bid farewell to my new friend and someone snapped this photo. (I’m the taller one–the tweed should give me away.)
Matthew Thomas Fowles was born on February 2, 2006 (02/02/06) at 5:14 pm. He weighed in at 8 lbs, 9.5 oz, and was 21 inches long. As you will see from the pictures, he was born looking very healthy with short brown hair. Put simply, in our opinions he is simply adorable!
These are just a few quick thoughts that I have had over the last couple of days as this debacle over the Mohammed cartoons has unfolded. They will be disjointed and, perhaps, random: