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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. According to the Laffer Curve theory, revenue is maximized at a tax rate that isn't too high or too low. The idea that without qualification "reduction in tax rates actually leads to greater revenue" is silly. So, did Trump's tax cuts lead to greater revenue? No. https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/did-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-pay-itself-2018
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/09/14/americans-are-leaving-religion-why-are-we-still-subsidizing-it/
  3. I agree with that, which is why the government shouldn't subsidize religion with tax subsidies, including both direct payments and economically equivalent tax deductions.
  4. The only reason I'm commenting on this issue is my maternal grandparents were coffee-drinking temple-recommend holders for about 40 years. They were among the most saintly members you could imagine, and they were totally at peace with the apparent incongruency between their morning beverage and their otherwise Mormon lifestyle. When I was little, I asked them why they drank coffee. My grandmother said, "I think Heavenly Father cares more about what comes out of our mouths than what goes in it, don't you?" That didn't really answer the question, but it did put coffee drinking into a broader perspective. I'd like to think that they were honest in their temple recommend interviews, and that their priesthood leaders were a little more like Jesus and less like Pharisees when it comes to worthiness issues. Or maybe it was a California Mormon thing. Granted, maybe they just lied to the bishop and the stake president, but that raises the question about what kinds of sins the bishop and stake president were guilty of not to have the spirit of discernment when it comes to keeping the temple clean of such people. Those are my thoughts. YMMV.
  5. That's between the member and the bishop, isn't it?
  6. I suppose it depends upon somebody's unique situation. Coffee's anti-depressant properties are well established. If somebody is a more loving and serving human being if they have their cup of coffee in the morning, it's hard for me to imagine God requiring them to take Prozac instead.
  7. Maybe they are telling the truth, and the bishop feels inspired to sign the recommend. If drinking coffee is somebody's biggest sin, I'd think they are among the most holy of Saints.
  8. I found it at JSP. Hyrum wrote, "And again ‘hot drinks are not for the body, or belly;’ there are many who wonder what this can mean; whether it refers to tea, or coffee, or not. I say it does refer to tea, and coffee." https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/times-and-seasons-1-june-1842/1#full-transcript
  9. Believe it or not, I dreamed about this thread last night. I was in a 2-seater airplane piloted by Russell M. Nelson. Despite his reassurances to the contrary, President Nelson had no clue how to fly the plane. After several close calls it eventually crashed. We somehow survived, and I walked away thinking how naïve I was for getting in that plane in the first place. The only thing missing was Smac97 witnessing the crash and saying the reason I became disillusioned was because I expected Nelson to be infallible.
  10. I don't say that a person is a Latter-day Saint. I say that a person struggles with attraction to Mormonism.
  11. The use of the word "infallible" here is a bit of a caricature of the situation. I don't think any Mormon believes the leaders are literally infallible. And the idea of being "basically infallible" or 99% infallible is nonsensical--like the idea of being "basically pregnant" or 99% pregnant. The real issue is whether the leaders are trustworthy. From a recent New Era article we are told, "Your bishop or branch president is a true servant of the Lord. You can rely on him for guidance as you seek inspiration from the Holy Ghost and the scriptures. You must understand that the bishop is there to help and that he is led by God." This article isn't teaching that the bishop is infallible. It is teaching that we should trust Bishops because they are in fact led by God. Should we trust the Church as much as it asks us to? That is the real question.
  12. All our times have come Here but now they're gone Seasons don't fear the reaper Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are Come on baby, don't fear the reaper Baby take my hand, don't fear the reaper We'll be able to fly, don't fear the reaper Baby I'm your man La, la, la, la, la La, la, la, la, la Valentine is done Here but now they're gone Romeo and Juliet Are together in eternity, Romeo and Juliet 40, 000 men and women everyday, Like Romeo and Juliet 40, 000 men and women everyday, Redefine happiness Another 40, 000 coming everyday, We can be like they are Come on baby, don't fear the reaper Baby take my hand, don't fear the reaper We'll be able to fly, don't fear the reaper Baby I'm your man La, la, la, la, la La, la, la, la, la Love of two is one Here but now they're gone Came the last night of sadness And it was clear she couldn't go on Then the door was open and the wind appeared The candles blew then disappeared The curtains flew then he appeared, saying don't be afraid Come on baby, and she had no fear And she ran to him, then they started to fly They looked backward and said goodby, she had become like they are She had taken his hand, she had become like they are Come on baby, don't fear the reaper
  13. Regarding the various comments about whether the world is getting better or worse, I highly recommend the book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steve Pinker. With wide open eyes, he looks at the state of the world from history. He argues, "Life before the Enlightenment was darkened by starvation, plagues, superstitions, maternal and infant mortality, marauding knight-warlords, sadistic torture-executions, slavery, witch hunts, and genocidal crusades, conquests, and wars of religion. Good riddance. The arcs in figures 5-1 through 18-4 show that as ingenuity and sympathy have been applied to the human condition, life has gotten longer, healthier, richer, safer, happier, freer, smarter, deeper, and more interesting. Problems remain, but problems are inevitable." Pinker, Steven. Enlightenment Now (p. 364). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
  14. I'm not talking about whether or not it is "inspired" or not. In a sense, all literature is inspired, and many people find the Book of Mormon to be inspiring. The question is whether the Book of Mormon is an accurate translation of an authentic ancient Mesoamerican manuscript. Like in 1 Kings 10:19, for example? According to the 1828 dictionary, the second definition of the word "seat", when used as a verb, is "To place in a post of authority, in office or a place of distinction. He seated his son in the professor's chair." http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/seat Joseph Smith knew English, and I find the concept preposterous that by itself, Joseph using this English word correctly in the Book of Mormon constitutes 50:1 odds that the book is ancient and that it is incumbent upon skeptics to explain how Joseph Smith acquired this (or any other) word in his vocabulary.
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