Sunday, April 14, 2019

I Can't Fix America

Very few people read me. Fewer are convinced by me. That doesn't change the facts that America is corrupt at the top with the trump criminal conspiracy, down through the greedy hordes who want more by denying others, and the hypocrisy of the religious right that deals with the devil to promote its agenda.

Politics may have to do with out me for a while as I concentrate on other things. The fires of progressive rebellion still smolder in me. But with apathy, hypocrisy, and corruption all around, I will shrug off the latest tweets and news of the day and go with my new GIF:

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Daffodils Are Out!

Finally!


It is a wet Spring after late snow and we're only a month or so late for St. David's Day (Dydd Dewi Sant). Now I have the opportunity to share a poem I've been saving along with my dozens, if unfortunately not thousands, of daffodils:

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Religion, Superstition, and Rationality in Scotland

Book Report: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (1824)

Flag of Presbyterian Covenanters, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
It's great to find a literary classic that I hadn't known before. Reading all I can devour about Scotland helps me be a better tour guide. This one intrigued me as it was listed as an odd book, a religious-psychological thriller that had served as inspiration to another Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, in writing Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It has sword fights, murder, mayhem, and a couple of strange games of tennis. What's not to like?

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Holy Yew Becomes Holier

"That shady city of Palm Trees. . . ."

Palms don't grow in Britain. There are some surprising palmetto-types along the south and western coasts as the temperate climate is warmed by the Gulf Stream. And as Basil Fawlty explains, Torquay is the Riviera of Britain. . . .

So what do they use for Palm Sunday?

Yes, the Holy Yew!

My distant cousin, Henry Vaughan, knew this. And surprised I was to learn that when he wrote of the Palm Tree, it was the Yew! That poem makes so much more sense now so I share it here thinking of that peaceful resting place below the Yew in Llansantffraed Churchyard.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Not Killing Babies

It is burned into my brain what I saw with my wife on that operating table at the end of her sixth planned pregnancy. You were not there and I will not describe it to you. We could have lost either or both lives. Our doctor was brilliant and blessed as she knew exactly what she was doing. Had it come to it and without a moment's hesitation I would have directed the doctor to save my wife, my life-partner, the mother of five living children.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Heroes: Widtsoe the Apostle and Vaughan the Silurist

While searching the online version of the British publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Millenial Star (1840-1970) for any trace of the Vaughans, I found a couple. Serendipity has its day because it was my distant cousin, Henry Vaughan the Silurist, Metaphysical Poet of the 17th Century. Apparently, LDS Apostle, John A. Widtsoe was a fan.

Just the other day, I was thinking on these same themes, the eternal nature of man and woman and the gift of Agency! And here is Widstoe and Vaughan right on point. I'll just let Dr. Widtsoe take it from here:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Free-Will Families

One of the things I did right when I was a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 20 years ago, was to have some really good talks with the combined youth of the ward. One of my favorites was to talk about the joy there is in proper intimate expression between husband and wife and in creating families.

Not everyone has this opportunity due to circumstances of life - and we talked about that. We also talked about how rare it is in the world for a lot of reasons - mostly the unwillingness of males, mainly, to be responsible for sexual expression and the fact of much sexual activity outside of a godly marriage. Even in marriages supposedly done right, there is still a lot of abuse, hurt, and shame. Strangely, while all can sin, most of these are still male-caused problems.

To celebrate the positives and to try and promote agency, responsibility, and the male and female positives in life, I would have a young man stand up and read what Adam said after leaving the Garden and being instructed by the Angel of the Lord: