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Sic Et Non

The Maronites of Lebanon

1 month ago
    The manuscript continues . . .   The Maronites, the Near Eastern Christians in formal commun­ion with the Church of Rome, managed to survive for centuries, even though surrounded by Muslims, by barricading themselves in the rugged terrain of what is known as Mount Lebanon. They shared this difficult area with a religious […]
Dan Peterson

Just imagine.

1 month ago
    I was recently reminded of the showcasing of John Lennon’s atheist anthem “Imagine,” complete with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, during the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.  It surprised and puzzled me.   Not to mention the fact that that ghastly white death-mask-like portrait of […]
Dan Peterson

“All God’s Children”

1 month ago
    Incredibly — to me, anyway — we’re now coming up on the fortieth anniversary of the revelation that granted the right of ordination to the priesthood to all worthy males.   The day that I received the news was one of the happiest of my life.   1978 had already been a very […]
Dan Peterson

Some lines on Lebanon

1 month ago
    A passage from The Book about the country that lies directly north of where I’m currently writing:   Because of its mountains and its banks, but perhaps especially because it is a mosaic of different religions and cultures that lived harmoniously together, Lebanon was once known as the Switzerland of the Middle East. […]
Dan Peterson

In which I express my contempt for the man

1 month ago
    I was strongly rebuked a while back for my conspicuous failure to show sufficient reverence for the late physician, statesman, reformer, and humanitarian Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara.   So I would like to reiterate, as clearly as possible, my contempt for the man.  He was a sociopathic murderer, and I would also like […]
Dan Peterson

Not to be missed

1 month ago
    Sometimes, on this trip, I don’t even know what day it is.  And I’m often behind.  So I’m rather late in calling attention to this new piece from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   ““The Time is Past”: A Note on Samuel’s Five-Year Prophecy”   I hope that you enjoy it!   […]
Dan Peterson

“Projection! Projection!” (from “Freudian on the Roof”)

1 month ago
    I remember, very distinctly, a conversation from quite a few years ago in which the person speaking with me characterized another person with whom we were both familiar as among the two or three most arrogant people s/he had ever known.  I got a huge kick out of this remark because, had I […]
Dan Peterson

The good news of atheism?

1 month ago
    I confess that I’ve never understood the exultation and evangelical zeal that some claim to feel as atheists.   Let me be clear:  I can easily understand coming to the conclusion that there is no God.  The world is full of seemingly pointless suffering, painfully unanswered questions, dubious religious claims, historically shaky scriptural […]
Dan Peterson

Syria

1 month ago
    A bit more, perhaps?   Syria, too, is under the control of a wing of the Ba’th Party. It is a hostile faction, however, that long despised the Iraq wing of the party and tried to undercut it at every turn. Syria, too, is ruled by a ruth­less tyrant. Hafez al-Asad came to […]
Dan Peterson

On going to church each week

1 month ago
    Not infrequently, I read comments from purportedly liberated ex-Mormons about the glories of churchless Sundays.  Instead of attending mind-numbingly dull and repetitious meetings, they claim to spend most of their Sundays skiing, golfing, biking, reading classic books, listening to superb music, perfecting their highly toned bodies through exercise, enjoying the beach, and sipping fine […]
Dan Peterson

A brief thought on women and the priesthood

1 month ago
    There is no serious question that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, in some very important senses, a patriarchal organization.  Its priesthood is exclusively male, for example, which means that the central leadership positions in local congregations and in the Church as a whole are held entirely, or almost entirely, […]
Dan Peterson

Some further notes on Iraq

1 month ago
    Continuing with The Book:   The Ba‘th Party took its name from an Arabic word that can mean both “renaissance” and “resurrection.” That is the promise that it made to the Arab people. But it never delivered on its prom­ise. Instead, it represented an Arab socialism that was bound to destroy the economy […]
Dan Peterson

Memories

1 month ago
    We’ve just returned from a hot air balloon ride above the Valley of the Kings, the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, and other features of the ancient Theban necropolis.  First time I’ve done that.  A new memory.   Here’s an old one:   Not too terribly long after I received my California driver’s license, […]
Dan Peterson

A note on my approach to blogging

1 month ago
    Here’s something that I posted back in mid-2012.  Some of it is slightly obsolete, but I think it offers a good overview of what I’m up to with this blog:   Occasionally, someone writes in to complain about the nature of my blog entries on Sic et Non.  Usually, there’s a complaint that […]
Dan Peterson

Some modern Iraqi history

1 month ago
    Still proceeding with the Book:   British troops took Mesopotamia away from the Ottoman Turks during the First World War (1914-1918), and in 1920 they received a mandate from the League of Nations to administer the area. Losing little time, they helped the locals to set up a government in 1921, under the […]
Dan Peterson

A note regarding the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy

1 month 1 week ago
    In that context, I want to mention an extraordinary organization with which I’m somewhat involved, called the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy.   What I really like about FRD is its commitment not to ecumenism, and not even merely to interfaith dialogue, but to what its founder, my friend Randy Paul, calls “respectful contestation.”   I’ve […]
Dan Peterson

Return and Religion

1 month 1 week ago
    Moving steadily forward with my manuscript on Islam and the Middle East for Latter-day Saints:   One of the most pathetic things about the Palestinian-Israeli dispute is the pervasive theme of homelessness. The Jews, an exiled and scattered people, found a renewed homeland in Palestine. But their return has helped to create a […]
Dan Peterson

Jonah and the Reluctant Stake President

1 month 1 week ago
    I’ve been in and about the very ancient town of Joppa or Jaffa (or Yafo) a couple of times in recent weeks, and, barring unexpected interference, will be there once again within the next few days.  Which puts me in mind of a very favorite story:   Quite a few years ago, I […]
Dan Peterson

“Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?” (Part 5)

1 month 1 week ago
    Finishing up my comments on a 2012 Huffington Post article by one Eliza Wood:   “All three of these faiths,” writes Ms. Wood of Islam, her brand of Christianity, and the Mormon brand of Christianity (which she seeks to exclude from Christendom), “have scores of excellent people, possibly some who would make excellent […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
1 hour 40 minutes ago
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