Posts from the “Culture” Category

Talk to each other

Posted on August 31st, 2015

A great place to get BBQ in Alexandria is Sweet Fire Donna’s. They have a sign out front that says, “No Wi-Fi: Talk to each other.” I wish I had seen that before I wrote “The Tyranny of the Present,” my first piece for the LCMS Blog. Here’s a sample: This obsession over the immediate present often renders us incapable of being present with the ordinary people in our ordinary lives. The pictures on the screens easily seem more attractive than unairbrushed reality. Yet intrinsic to our vocation is to be present where God has placed us. There may be a time for an electronic message, but it ought never be our default. What is important is right in front of us, as Lazarus…

Civilization Depends on Strong Marriages

Posted on April 29th, 2015

Here’s an important section of a book everyone should read, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense So it is a summary, but hardly an exaggeration, to say that civilization depends on strong marriages. Maggie Gallagher captures this insight with the slogan that “sex makes babies, society needs babies, and children need mothers and fathers.” She develops the idea: “The critical public or ‘civil’ task of marriage is to regulate sexual relationships between men and women in order to reduce the likelihood that children (and their mothers, and society) will face the burdens of fatherlessness, and increase the likelihood that there will be a next generation that will be raised by their mothers and fathers in one family, where both parents are committed to…

The corruption of all learning

Posted on July 10th, 2014

Jonah Goldberg argues that the 1960’s was progressivism’s “Great Awakening,” spawning the religion that has become orthodoxy in academia and the bureaucracy. The religious character of modern liberalism was never far from the surface. Indeed, the 1960s should be seen as another in a series of “great awakenings” in American history— a widespread yearning for new meaning that gave rise to a tumultuous social and political movement. The only difference was that this awakening largely left God behind. Paul Goodman, whose 1960 Growing Up Absurd helped launch the politics of hope in the first part of the decade, came to recognize in the second half how insufficient his original diagnosis had been: “I… imagined that the world-wide student protest had to do with changing…

Are conservatives insane?

Posted on July 1st, 2014

In Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg shows how progressivism joined psychology with Marxism and declared opponents insane: A handful of immensely influential Marxist theorists, mostly Germans from the so-called Frankfurt School (transplanted to Columbia University beginning in the 1930s), married psychology and Marxism to provide a new vocabulary for liberalism. These theorists— led by Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse— tried to explain why fascism had been more popular than communism in much of Europe. Borrowing from Freud and Jung, the Frankfurt School described Nazism and Fascism as forms of mass psychosis. That was plausible enough, but their analysis also held that since Marxism was objectively superior to its alternatives, the masses, the bourgeoisie, and anyone else who disagreed with them had to…

Deadly Scissors

Posted on July 1st, 2014

This picture, tweeted by Rep. Keith Ellison, is sadly symbolic of the gruesome work of abortion.   Cutting the ribbon at the new Planned Parenthood in Richfield #HobbyLobbypic.twitter.com/sdDS1pnwea — Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 30, 2014 We know what they use scissors for at the abortion mills.

The LGBTQ View Is Anti-Science

Posted on June 19th, 2014

Former Immanuel member Joy Pullmann, now managing editor at The Federalist, has written a piece on discrimination and sex confusion. She observes that the modern view on “gender” is a denial of reality: Except for a tiny number of people with gene disabilities, every human being has either XX or XY chromosomes embedded in every cell of his or her body. That makes each of us biologically male or female, no matter how we feel about that fact. To believe otherwise is essentially a psychiatric disorder. Dr. Paul McHugh, retired from psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recently likened transsexuality to anorexia and bulimia, since all are disorders in which the individual substitutes his preference for reality. He writes, “These disorders occur in subjects who have…

Exterminating ourselves

Posted on May 9th, 2014

In a discussion related to the LCMS group OWN (Ordain Women Now), LCMS pastor Matthew Becker calls for the full embracing of “modern western egalitarianism.” Peter Speckhard (who I think is also an LCMS pastor) is spot-on in his reply: Churches that embrace Western egalitarianism for the sake of the Gospel have typically not served the Gospel well, either in terms of evangelism to America or in term of bringing a Christian witness to the social problems of the day. Western egalitarianism is busy exterminating itself with pills and abortions, and churches that seek to blend in with it will have to keep shrinking to find cover. Read Jonathan Last’s What To Expect When No One’s Expecting, and you will find statistical confirmation of this. Church leaders…

Holy Saturday: Funeral for a Herring (corrected)

Posted on April 19th, 2014

From Francis Weiser’s Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs: An amusing custom is practiced in Poland on Holy Saturday. The boys of the villages “bury” the Lenten fare, herring and zur, in a mock funeral. The herring (a real one or a wooden image) is first executed by hanging, then a pot of zur is shattered against a rock or tree; finally the fish and the pieces of the pot are interred with glee. No longer will these tiresome dishes be eaten, at least not until next Lent.