The Problems with Moral Equivalence – A Response to Geoff B.’s Perspective on Ukraine

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[This is a guest post by Morgan Deane who is a military historian that teaches history for BYU-Idaho. He is an Mphil/PhD student at Kings College London and writes at http://mormonwar.blogspot.com and http://www.arsenalofvenice.com. He has written a book titled, "Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon", which will be released shortly. His guest post is in response to Geoff B.'s recent post: Perspective on Ukraine]

Every time the U.S. might take potential military action there are a variety of people who argue that these tyrants and dictators are little different from the U.S. This article in particular caught my eye, since it contained so many of the common moral equivalence errors. Despite the legitimate mistakes made in American foreign policy, America is a different and better country than Russia and our foreign policy is morally superior to that of Putin’s. The quotes are from this article from Geoff B.

The United States is currently occupying Afghanistan

Occupy is a loaded term with a negative connotation. We have troops there, but the most frequent criticism about Obama is that we are leaving too soon. We just left Iraq and the leverage we had there, so I’m amazed at how consistently America is attacked over “occupations” when we seem to be heading towards the exits like scolded gorillas. Continue reading

LDS Immigration Policy an Issue in Arizona Senate Race, or “The Case Against Russell Pearce”

The following guest post comes from Brent Ellsworth, an Arizona attorney, and author of  ”The Case Against Russell Pearce.”

Mitt Romney is not the only LDS candidate receiving national media attention this election cycle.

Russell Pearce is also on the media “watch” list.  Pearce is one of two LDS candidates for an open state senate seat in the Arizona primary on August 28.  His opponent is Bob Worsley, founder of SkyMall, who is seeking his first elected office.

Pearce was the moving force behind the passage in 2010 of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the first state law to enact “enforcement only” provisions to address the problem of undocumented immigrants at the state level.  The stated objective of such legislation is to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they will voluntarily leave and return to their countries of origin.  ”Attrition through enforcement.”  Pearce also attracted national attention when in November 2011, while President of the Arizona State Senate, he was removed from office in a humiliating and controversial recall election.

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Guest Post: The Church Got the Plan of Salvation Wrong

The following guest post comes from Tex Benson.

I have lived in the south-eastern United States my entire life including my mission which was in Houston Texas. God bless Texas. Currently I am in my fourth year of school studying Civil Engineering and Military Science (Army ROTC). At church I serve as the Stake Young Single Adult Representative, which I hate, and I teach Elders Quorum once a month(ish), which I love.

Ok, not the whole Church, just the Mission Department and the Church Education System. I wanted an edgy title.

I realized this while I was on my mission but wasn’t really sure how to address it and the reason I am ranting about it now is because I am ashamed of myself. Recently I attended a Young Single Adult fireside and honestly this one was quite good, however it hit on a pet peeve of mine. Towards the end the Bishop who was teaching asked for a volunteer to come up and draw the Plan of Salvation on the board with the rest of the group assisting them on what to put in. Before the young man drew the Pre-Earth Life I knew what would happen, but I let it go to see if someone said something. I had enough confidence in this bishop to think that if no one else pointed out the problem he would at the end. Sadly, my faith was in vain. The typical Sunday school Plan of Salvation was put on the board complete with Outer Darkness, the War in Heaven, and the Veil. The only time Christ was mentioned as part of the plan was when a woman said “put an A by the Earth for the Atonement”. Sadly she was shouted down by an argument about the Veil of Forgetfulness and her A was never drawn. I had a difficult decision to make, do I call out a Bishop and everyone else or do I stay silent? I chose to stay silent.

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A Well-behaved God

The following guest post is from SilverRain, a frequent M* commenter.  SilverRain blogs at rainscamedown.blogspot.com.

There is something in each of us that wants things to be neat and tidy. If we are righteous, we will get blessings. If we are wicked, we will be punished. Therefore, if good things happen, it’s because we were righteous. If bad things happen, we must have been wicked.

As humans, we continually recreate God in our own image. If we don’t believe in polygamy, or male-centric priesthood, we don’t believe that God supports those things, either. If we feel that modesty doesn’t have to mean covering the shoulders, we believe God doesn’t care whether or not we cover our shoulders. If we feel that our tithing money would be better spent with a local charity, we have a tendency to believe that God wants us to spend it where it can make the most difference.

By doing this, either we focus so much on the details that we miss the principle, or we fancy that if we understand the principle, the details are unnecessary.

 

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Guest Post: Becoming New Creatures

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Christ continually invites us to abandon old habits, attitudes, and thoughts and replaces them with newer and better ones.

The following guest post from Jeffery Thane is cross-posted at LDSPhilosopher.com.

As repeated in the Book of Mormon countless times, prophets have long prophesied that Christ would come to earth to redeem His people. Abinadi taught that “God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth … that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead … and redeem his people.” Abinadi was murdered for preaching this, but Alma, Abinadi’s sole convert, continued to teach others about “the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ.”

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