Estonian Lutherans oppose Mormon access to genealogy records.

PernauNovember 22nd 1905, a group of socialists threw an Estonian preacher from the pulpit, causing the congregation to flee in panic.{1}  Back then, Estonia was just as religious as anywhere else.

After just a few decades of Soviet rule, Estonia is now one of the least religious countries in Europe.

The largest surviving religion, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, claim just 15 percent of the Estonian population.

Estonia, map and flag. by the US Department of State

During the Soviet era, when Estonia was part of the USSR, the Lutheran church and other churches had their records archived by the state.

Since the fall of communism, the Estonian government has been sharing these records with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (also known as the LDS church, or the Mormons), who are digitizing and storing them.

Continue reading Estonian Lutherans oppose Mormon access to genealogy records.

George III and the 76p Stamps

The Royal Mail is kindly reminding us why the American Patriots signed the Declaration of Independence.  It costs 76p to send a letter from the the mainland Britain Empire to America.  And who is on a 76p stamp?  None other than King George III.

King George III, of course, is remembered as the man who introduced the “stamp tax”, a kind of consumption tax (or sales tax, or VAT) that affected all printed matter.  Continue reading George III and the 76p Stamps

Well, who should play Ronald Reagan?

While some see President Reagan as the man who won the cold war, others remember him as having changed the economy at home.  Some might paint him as a kind of Scrooge, the character so well portrayed by Michael Caine (or, to keep in the Reagan Era,  very un-Reagan-like actors Bill Murray or George C. Scott.)

But President Reagan wasn’t all about war and money.  He was one of the most charming Presidents in the 20th century, far more charming than many actors are off the set. Continue reading Well, who should play Ronald Reagan?

Do we know the Truth about Reagan?

Last time, we remembered the birth of a Homicidal Robot called The Terminator, a personification of the fears in nineteen eighties.

Whether a metallic robot or an action hero, Arnold “Arnie” Schwarzenegger played characters with tough little sayings. Arnie could make a cliché cool, but it was all about getting straight to the point. While President Ronald “Ronnie” Reagan “did not recall” what happened in the Iran Contra Affair, Arnie would later pulled out of his mess on Mars with Total Recall. Continue reading Do we know the Truth about Reagan?

Thomas Jefferson seen through Canadian eyes

“Economics and reason alone do not rule history.” says Reginald C Stuart in The Halfway Pacifist.

Reginald C. Stuart may present Thomas Jefferson as an idealistic dreamer who is out of touch with human nature, an “Anglophobe” and even a “fatherly” despot, but one gets the feeling that Stuart likes Jefferson despite everything.

Jefferson on the Canadian flag
Thomas Jefferson

Continue reading Thomas Jefferson seen through Canadian eyes

Do we worship Thomas Jefferson?

In the Spongebob Squarepants film, Patrick looks at the icons on his underwear and realizes that he indeed worships the Goofy Goober. He and his friend Spongebob are not only fans of the fictional peanut, they live for him.

The more I read the news, the more I see accusations that we “worship” Jefferson, or at least hold him in too high esteem. One came from British pop-historian who teaches at Columbia. Now, there’s a guy who writes for the Arizona daily star  who makes a similar assertion.

Thomas Jefferson in profile, black and white woodcarving
Thomas Jefferson, portrait, from William Bryant’s “Popular History of the United States

Continue reading Do we worship Thomas Jefferson?