Saturday, August 23, 2008
Certainly these feelings are not new. Dr. Richard Dawkins, biologist and author of “The God Delusion”, has expressed similar sentiments. However the cynical, and mocking nature of how Maher expresses his opinions are rather startling.
Some time ago, TwoMinuteBriefing expressed concern that as a society we appeared to be moving into an era where the level of animosity against religion was increasing. Bill Maher’s new movie would appear to be another indicator of this trend.
Click HERE to see the movie trailer.
CAUTION: TwoMinuteBriefing cautions its readers NOT to follow the link from the movie's website to disbelief.net. Disbelief.net contains some material that readers of TwoMinuteBriefing may find objectionable.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The decision clarified that this was not a case in which Mormons were taxed on account of their religion, rather it was that their religion prevented them from providing the public benefit necessary to secure a tax advantage.
To read the full story click here.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
In 2004, the RAND institute reported that "heavy exposure to sexual content on television related strongly to teens' initiation of intercourse in the following year." (Does Watching Sex on Television Influence Teens’ Sexual Activity?)
That Gossip Girl flaunts the sexual nature of its show, and that its target audience is teenagers is indeed very concerning.
Gossip Girl is a product of The CW television network.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This year, however, a confluence of events makes the outlook bleak for charitable giving.
The high price of crude oil has impacted the price of virtually all consumer good, the cost of commuting to work, or anywhere else, and will cause the price of heating oil this winter to be over 30% higher than last year.
Even while less discretionary income is available, the political campaigns of this presidential election cycle, and the anticipation of expensive and hotly contested initiative elections (such as Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage in California) are tapping into those ever dwindling financial reserves.
And so, I’m thinking of Christmas in August. With less discretionary income available, and with more people in need, what will happen to the “Poor and destitute” this coming holiday season?
Monday, August 4, 2008
In an effort to better cover that specific issue, TwoMinuteBriefing has created a new blog specific to that topic.
You can find this blog at:
Friday, May 16, 2008
(Over the next few days, there will be updates on this issue.)
Yesterday the California Supreme court issued a ruling effectively legalizing Same-sex marriage in
In the case, tentatively titled In re MARRIAGE CASES, the court interestingly concludes that 1) marriage is a fundamental right protected by the state constitution (p. 5), and 2) that marriage is so important it should not be denied to any loving couple (p. 120).
For those opposed to Gay Marriage, their work on an amendment to the California State Constitution becomes that much more critical. If this amendment had been in place prior to the California Supreme Court addressing this current case, the Court’s decision would likely have been different.Read the Decision Here
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Funes went on to say that if intelligent life existed on those worlds, they could be considered extraterrestrial brothers and sisters.
Although the concept of intelligent lifeforms on other worlds being our spiritual brothers and sisters might seem to be a new concept, it would fit well with the teaching of the Mormon Church which has taught this principle since its foundation.
It is also worth contemplating how this statement fits in with other statements or procedural changes that have been made in recent years by the Catholic church, specifically, the return to the use of Latin in the Mass, and doing away with the concept of Limbo.
Fox News Story
Catholic News Service Story
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This is more than just a curiosity or social oddity. Second Life, a highly popular virtual world on the internet which uses Avatars, has over 13 million registered users. The Second Life virtual world has shopping districts, distinct neighborhoods, parks, beaches, clubs, etc. Where previously there was concern that individuals would get lost in online chat rooms, Second Life, or other such virtual worlds provide not just a chat "room", but a complete virtual world.
World of Warcraft, which is a war game played in a virtual world, while not using Avatars also provides opportunity for individuals to lead virtual lives online. World of Warcraft has over 10 million subscribers.
Although the TIME article points out that in an appropriate therapy setting these virtual worlds might actually aid patients, it would seem that for many no real benefit is being gained. Conversely, what may be lost is not only time, but real world associations and perhaps even portions of an individuals real world personality.
Virtually anytime there is an impact on the Chinese population, the numbers are large. In this case as well, the numbers are staggering. When the numbers involved in such a disaster are of this magnitude, it sometimes numbs the mind to the true nature of the individual tragedies that are taking place. Family homes have been destroyed, family members have been lost. Emotional, physical, economic, psychological, and spiritual recovery may be long in coming.
But what does this have to do with us?
Beyond the pain that we individually should feel at the suffering of any member of the Human Family, the impact can be more direct, and hence we introduce the concept of Five Steps from Home.
Whereas Two Minute Briefing usually provides the connections on how events may impact you, your community, or your organization, today we invite you to search for the links. We think you will find that this Chinese tragedy will be only some five steps from home, your home, your business, your community.
We invite your comments.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Reports continue to surface that Evangelicals, previously assumed to vote Republican as a block, are leaving the Republican fold over issues such as the Iraq war, the economy, and even the environment.
A 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reported that approximately 15% of young white evangelicals, a traditionally solid republican block, were no longer identifying with the GOP. Older evangelicals are also re-examining their traditional party identifications.
Although there is certainly sufficient reason to debate the current administration's handling of the Iraq war and the U.S. economic situation, other questions arise from this shifting of party loyalties.
- Will this shift impact the balance of power in congress?
- Will Democrats brought into power by this shift be more moderate in their stance, and hence be at odds with the broader Democratic leadership?
Seattle Times Article
The speech delivered by President Dmitry Medvedev to mark the occasion was softer in tone than the address given by his predecessor Vladimir Putin last year. Nevertheless, beyond being an opportunity to show renewed military strength, this display does raise several questions:
- Why now?
- What messages is Russia trying to send and to whom, and
- What implications do these messages have for other aspects of Russian interaction with the west.
Moscow Times Article
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Although Mr. Egan's blog posting could be considered phenomenally uninformed, it is nevertheless very educational. It is educational in the sense that:
- it clearly demonstrates how old biases regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints persist, in spite of the LDS Church's efforts, even among those who might be considered highly educated, and
- it would seem to illustrate that whereas broad based media efforts might raise someone's awareness of a particular group or issue, it may likely be that personal contacts will be more effective in changing long held, albeit incorrect perceptions or beliefs.
Elder Marlin K. Jensen's response
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
The sending of inspirational text messages is not new. It has been possible for years to subscribe to services which would send you a daily inspirational message.
That the Catholic Church is using this technology with the specific intent of reaching out to young people is noteworthy for two reasons:
- because it demonstrates their interest in the youth of their church, and in reaching out to that demographic, and
- because is shows their willingness to adopt new technologies.