Sunday, 2/21/16

  1. What’s worth writing about
  2. Sweet 16, Bitter Timing
  3. A Regressive Revolution
  4. Just soooo Newton County
  5. Inarticulacy

1

The only things worth writing about are

Love, death, man, virtue, nature, magnitude, excellence, evil, suffering, courage, morality. What is the good life. What is honor. Who am I.

(Jack Gilbert)

2

Remember when Sandy Koufax would not pitch on Yom Kippur? Of course, nobody reading this remembers when Eric Liddell refuses to run the 100 meter dash on Sunday in the 1924 Olympics, but many remember the retelling in Chariots of Fire.

And many more remember the NCAA in 2015 threatened to punish Indiana if it kept its newly-enacted RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) intact.

Now, the NCAA is further demonstrating its contempt for religion — or maybe it’s just Christianity — by scheduling the second week of the NCAA Basketball tournament during Holy Week in the Western churches.

Gilbert Meilander intends to “just say no” to the NCAA, and I plan to do likewise, though my Holy Week will be a way off still and painful though it may be if Purdue makes the sweet 16. And I fervently hope that Christians will start saying no to Sunday youth league rehearsals, and “hell no!” to Sunday morning practices, rehearsals and other disruptions from what Sunday morning is for.

3

Over the last fifty years, American society has undergone a series of moral revolutions, all championed by progressives. We were told to “loosen up” and, more recently, to “be accepting.” All this hasn’t harmed the sorts of people who read the New York Times. It’s been hell on the bottom of society, however.

(R.R. Reno) I’ve made similar points before, but it bears repeating for the benefit of those who are coming to the realization that there may be some downside to the sexual revolution, as sentient beings tend to do.

4

Mark Warne, 46, Community Bank President in Brook, Newton County, Indiana is charged with bilking the Bank of $3.27 million.

That is just sooooo Newton County. Sometimes it seems that crime and political corruption are the only forms of economic activity there.

5

We lost the public debate on gay marriage; but more important was how we lost. Gay marriage showed that there was a great gap between what social conservatives want to say, and what the rest of the public is willing or able to hear. In short, what the process revealed was the inability of social conservatives to articulate, in a publicly convincing way, the basis of their own beliefs. The most striking fact about the whole process was this inarticulacy.

(Rod Dreher’s reader “Jones” who got a blog treatment for his insights) I have nothing to add, having not yet thought of any magic words to open the ears of those who don’t want to hear. Everything I’ve written thus far probably incurs the verdict of “inarticulacy.”

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

One thought on “Sunday, 2/21/16

  1. I do not have a subscription to _First Things_, so I read it online (as far as I am allowed) or in the library and am not able to post comments directly to Gilbert Meilaender’s essay, but I’ll take the opportunity to comment here.

    1. He accuses the Obama administration of thinking “that religion has to do with worship and not much else.” I think it would be more correct to substitute the word “ritual” for the word “worship”: although now an Orthodox Christian, I have not forgotten what I learned in Calvinist circles — that the whole of life is worship, whether of the true God or of idols.

    2. Almost 40 years ago I arrived in the USA as a graduate student, and my first real culture shock was seeing a sign in a bank window announcing that they would be closed from noon to 3pm on Good Friday. “Only three hours!?” I thought: in Australia, where church attendance is a tiny (and ever-diminishing) fraction of that in the USA, it’s a (paid) public holiday. Later I discovered that some professors at the seminary I was attending even scheduled classes on Good Friday!

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