- Moral equivalency?
- No threat (sorry to say).
- Skyscrapers’ future.
- “Agitating a bag of wind.”
- Rational or warranted?
- “53-second suicide bombing.”
The Penn State and Roman Catholic pedophile scandals have obvious parallels. In both cases, bureaucracies apparently buried the scandals, presumably for the “best interests” of the institution, and in both cases more victims apparently were added as the proximate wrongdoers continued their predations.
Will people knock sports off its insanely exalted pedestal? Will they see that the Catholic Church (from which we should concededly be allowed to expect better) was exhibiting a widespread if baffling human fault? Will someone with more data and more time than I explore, and share with the rest of us, some insight into how institutions become more important than immortal souls, and what to do about it?
God forbid that the Penn State saga should become the moment when NAMBLA triumphs, when people decide that pedophilia isn’t really all that bad, or that the boy shouldn’t have been naked and showering if he didn’t want sodomized, or that Jesus Christ is no more important than Joe Paterno.
So many religious people, and so many secular people, like to believe that American religion is a threat to the contemporary secular order and its values. It is neither.
This quote is not a reassurance. It’s an indictment.
They’ve spent $550,000,000 on rehabilitating the Empire State Building (likely pay wall). If it weren’t so iconic, would it have been rehabilitated or renovated?
James Howard Kunstler says, generaally, “no” — and presumably would see this rehabilitation as an exception. It’s too expensive, generally speaking. (He also is skeptical about the continuing availability of modular building materials for such projects.)
That’s one of two big skyscraper problems. Think, too, says he, of what happens when 20% of the owners of a high-rise condo complex are in financial distress, and cease paying association fees.
No, this item is not about the Michigan GOP Presidential debates, which I understand went badly for everybody except Mitt Romney, who’s looking like Gulliver in Lilliput (if you ignore Ron Paul, which of course “they” all do).
In 1873, Andrew Dickson White, Cornell University’s first president, refused permission for the school’s football team to travel to Cleveland to play Michigan: “I will not permit 30 men to travel 400 miles merely to agitate a bag of wind.”
(HT George Will)
Ruth Bancewicz, a biologist in the U.K., quotes with approval from Alister McGrath’s book Surprised by Meaning:
The instinctive question for the scientist to ask is not ‘is it reasonable?’ as if one knew beforehand the shape that rationality had to take, but ‘What makes you think that might be the case?’ Science is about warranted belief, not about rational belief. The history of science is about the recalibration of notions of ‘rationality’ in the light of what was actually discovered about the deeper structure of nature.
I can’t agree with her “that God makes us think so much is the hardest part of being a Christian,” though. If I said what was harder, people might misread between the lines.
As they text, OMG! LMAO! Rod Dreher calls it “a 53-second suicide bombing”:
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Having become tedious even to myself, I’m Tweeting more, blogging less. View this in a browser instead of an RSS feeder to see Tweets at upper right.
I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.