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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. I enjoyed the comments in this thread and at least somewhat agree with most if not all of them. That said, I think there is one more dimension to this. It seems to me that Evangelical Christians feel a strong need to have an Enemy. In the 70's and 80's the Enemy were "cultists" who poisoned society with their false religious beliefs. But over the next few decades, a new Enemy was found: political liberals. Now, rather than listening to Walter Martin and Ed Decker to learn about what Mormons really believe, they listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to learn what liberals really believe.
  2. I wonder how far apart that is from the traditionalLDS position. Evangelicals believe that the original manuscripts of the scriptures are "infallible and inerrant Scripture", which sounds a lot like the LDS position that the Bible is the word of God "insofar as it was translated correctly." Get back to the original manuscript, and you get back to the Bible being the word of God without qualification. Latter-day Saints will generally be willing to say that this or that was merely the opinion of Nephi or Matthew or Paul, but that raises the question about what's the point of carrying around these canonized books in the first place--what makes the scriptures any more special than the Journal of Discourses or back issues of The Ensign and the Improvement Era?
  3. Did you read the letter published by the Writer's Guild? They make an excellent case. The leadership of the Guild, both black and white, thought the arguments were valid and important. And CBS did too. Maybe you understand the industry better than the Writer's Guild and CBS. Even if you do, it would be great if you demonstrated that you understood what they believed and why. Great! Neither is CBS, nor the Writer's Guild, nor Black Lives Matter. Neither is CBS, nor the Writer's Guild, nor Black Lives Matter. You are fundamentally misunderstanding what they are doing and why. As an analogy to help you understand their position, say there was a hit TV show called Provo! about a large Mormon family living in Provo, Utah. None of the writers are Mormon, although one of them visited Provo for a football game, once. And not surprisingly, the show misrepresents in details large and small what life is really like for Mormon families living in Provo. And say there are lots of Mormon writers who would love to do the show, but they are never picked for it. The network claims they are picking the people who are best qualified, but it turns out the executive producer was picking up his friends from USC, as well as the people he socializes with at LA parties, non of whom happen to be Mormon. If a group of Mormons in the Writer's Guild said this wasn't right--that despite the executive producer honestly believing he was choosing the best people for the job irrespective of religion, he was really inadvertently decimating against Mormons because of the fact they were in different social circles. And what if the members of the guild, Mormon and non-Mormon alike, agreed with him on this and made the case to the network. What if they argued that not only was this unfair to the Mormon writers, it was also hurting the show, the network, and ultimately all of society. And say the network found the argument convincing and responded by saying they wanted to have at least 50% of their writers for Provo! to be Mormons. This would not only right a small wrong, but also improve the quality of their program. Would that be an egregious example of insisting upon general non-Mormon collective guilt? Would it be reverse discrimination against non-Mormons? Would you cry it is morally wrong for the network to want Mormons on the staff and that they ought to completely ignore the religious background of the people they pick to write about life in Provo?
  4. If one of your kids wants to be a writer for CBS, I'd explain to him or her that with very few exceptions throughout the history of the industry, people who hire TV and movie writers have either been explicitly and deliberately racist, or at best have been trying to be race agnostic but have really been inadvertently or subconsciously participating in systematic racism. I'd explain to him or that consequently, white writers have a huge advantage over non-white writers. I'd suggest you tell him or her to join the union from which CBS hires writers, the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW). I'd suggest you tell him or her to get to know the other writers and understand their point of view about what CBS is doing and why. He or she would likely learn that the WGAW agrees with what I stated above: that up until the present time, the writing profession has in fact had huge systematic biases in favor of white writers. He or she would likely learn about a press release from the WGAW's Board of Directors last month that called for an overhaul in the way the TV and movie industries hire writers, and would learn that what CBS is doing is in direct response to what the writers guild itself requested be done. CBS isn't engaging in reverse racism. It is finally taking proactive steps to end the largely unintentional but totally real racism that it has engaged in up until now. https://www.wga.org/news-events/news/press/letter-to-hollywood-from-wgaw-committee-of-black-writers
  5. Hi Don, I'm glad you are happy and have been accepted by the community.
  6. Repeating your point, I would guess that of 16 million members on the rolls, 2 or 3 million are deeply lost and won't be removed until they are presumed dead, which is widely believed not to happen until their 110th birthday. Having a big percentage of members with THAT kind of longevity will keep the overall death rate low. Other factors: the church is young compared to the overall population--having bigger, younger families means a much higher percentage of the church's membership is under the age of 60/70/80 compared to society at large. That can and surely does play a huge role. Also, women tend to live longer than men, and women are also more likely to be members of the church.
  7. In what sense is the New York Times a former newspaper?
  8. It isn't about encouraging non-communication between parents and children. It is about honoring a request not to share an ancillary detail with parents. I'd love to see some actual examples about how schools handle real life situations surrounding these issues as opposed to reading legal complaints by right-wing culture warriors.
  9. Let me see if I understand this. If 10-year old Elizabeth tells her teacher that she'd prefer to be referred to with him/his pronouns, the teacher should honor that. And if Elizabeth tells her-I-mean-his teacher not to mention this preference to his parents, the teacher should honor that, too. And if he says he'd prefer to be called Liz or Beth or Beck or anything else, the teacher should honor that, too. That is the basic issue, right? My perspective is that for the tiny minority of kids who would want to do this, allowing them to do so is a good idea. Forcing them to conform to stereotypes wouldn't do any good and might do some harm.
  10. No, it is a big chunk of the 124 Billion. The 124 Billion includes the stocks, bonds, and cash owned by Ensign Peak (about 100 Billion) plus the value of the commercial real estate (cattle ranches, office buildings, etc., valued at an additional 24 Billion). Technically the commercial real estate isn't owned by Ensign Peaks, but is often reported with it so the big commercial assets are all on the same report.
  11. The city and church were aware of the easement--it is something they explicitly included in the agreement. What took them by surprise is the legal fact that if people have the legal right to use an easement, they have the legal right to take their free speech with them as they use it.
  12. As I read it, you called the consensual relationship in the TV show "seemingly consensual." It only justifies incest to to the extent that there isn't a good, humanism-based rationality for why it is wrong. But asking the question doesn't normalize it. Have you articulated any other? Nah. I think you are normalizing it by raising the question here. I don't find it the least bit "normal" and wouldn't otherwise think about it. In modern society with modern values (as illustrated by most posters in this thread), I stand by what I said. It's curious that you haven't articulated it. No, I'm not advocating for the normalization of incest. I'm just responding to something that is a non-issue for perhaps 99.99% of the population because you brought it up.
  13. What is the difference between "seemingly consensual" incest and "consensual incest?" In any case, I think the point isn't so much to normalize incest so much as to make people ask the question, "why is this considered wrong?" If the only moral argument against it can be summarized with the phrase "Eww!", then maybe it isn't really that bad in the first place. In modern society, the true basis for our common moral values is humanism; the goodness or badness of a thing is primarily evaluated on how much it benefits or hurts people, with secondary consideration played to how much it benefits or hurts other sentient species or benefits or hurts the planet itself. If you can't make a coherent argument on how consensual incest hurts people (beyond "Eww!"), humanism says it isn't wrong. And if humanism doesn't say something is wrong, it is going to be hard to come up with a broad-based consensus that it is wrong.
  14. Not really. You said, "the Church’s opponents contended that with the sale of the property to the Church, the law required that there be an easement." I don't think that is true. The law didn't require there to be an easement. The easement is what the city and church freely negotiated.
  15. My memory is slightly different. When the city originally sold Main Street to the Church, they only sold the land--they did not sell the public's right to walk across it as part of the transportation grid. Thus, the explicit easement on the property. The arrangement was that people had the right to walk across the plaza, but the Church's private security force could impose its own behavioral standards on people who were using the easement. The ACLU successfully argued that this arrangement was inherently unconstitutional--if people had the legal right to walk across the plaza viz a viz the easement, they could take their free speech rights with them. After it became clear the ACLU had the winning argument, the city traded the easement for some other property. Once there was no longer a legal right to walk across the property, the church could regulate its guests on the property.
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