Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’
The Next Christians: Creating Cultural Good at Breakpoint includes, among other things, info on efforts to help parents when they get a diagnosis of Down Syndrome for their unborn baby.
Today’s Family Talk broadcast was Sexuality & Singles -1, and featured Mrs. Elisabeth Elliot. Much of the interview covered topics and information also available (they said) in the book Passion & Purity, by Elliot. Mrs. Elliot offers hope and suggestions for helping today’s singles navigate in a world that falsely assumes that purity isn’t possible, or isn’t a blessing.
One of the highlights of the interview is where they talk about Mrs. Elliot getting a lengthy standing ovation after a talk calling college students to purity. There is, they note, a hunger for putting right above wrong, and a realization that the world’s way doesn’t deliver what it advertises.
Ladies, this is a great post on the value of human life and the sanity and power of Christian love: Teaching Grace, by Tim Muldoon (Patheos, March 22, 2011).
Muldoon uses the occasion of his daughter Grace’s attendance at a memorial mass of a premature baby to explore the topics of love and Christianity.
…was actually the headline over a column in the New York Times yesterday. No, really. They dared print something that states that social conservatives might, after all, not be completely wrong about a contentious issue. Columnist Ross Douthat works off of a ‘results’ premise – i.e., the Sexual Revolution has resulted in unhappier women, etc. – so the column is still largely in moral relativity land, but, hey, it acknowledges some key facts about the inherent miseries of promiscuity. That’s progress.
I’m going to steer you there through the article that brought it to my attention, because I think it’s a good place to start: Cynicism, Vain Hopes, and Realistic Optimism about Pre-Marital Sex, by Julie Ponzi.
Both posts stress making a distinction between sex that is truly pre-marital (a man and woman on a path to marriage) and sex that is divorced from any idea of marriage. From a Christian perspective, that misses a crucial point or two, but, again, to notice that there is a difference between falling to temptation within the context of commitment, and just having sex to be having sex, well, this, too, is helpful.
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to recommend a book I just read, called Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals, by Trevin Wax. The chapter on sexuality I think has some really good ideas and information, and includes a clear call for church communities to be promoting chastity. Wax makes a clear distinction between abstinence and chastity, and even argues that all too many abstinence programs contribute to a warped view of sex by keeping the focus self-centered. (If teens are avoiding sex because of the dangers of sex outside of marriage, they are still thinking of sex only in terms of their own well-being, which isn’t getting them set up for good relationships.) Chastity, on the other hand, embraces a number of positives. Wax also asks that Christians and churches do more to publicly celebrate married love. One small way, for instance, would be to celebrate those couples in the congregation with decades-long marriages. It’s a thought.
At First Things, David Mills reflects on the death of his father and Real Death, Real Dignity.
The post begins (emphasis in original):
From Father Corapi,
A large number of endangered, unwanted, and unborn children held a town hall meeting on the 4th of July – alarmed at the brutal and untimely killing of millions of their brothers and sisters in recent years. That the murderous war waged on them had the full force and respectability of the law made their plight all the more terrifying.Their complaint was humble and it was simple. They were not distressed by rising gas prices, or the deteriorating economy in general. They were not even frightened by the exponential increase of natural disasters. The threat of global warming or global terrorism did not greatly disturb them.
They had become an endangered species, and little had been done to answer their terrified and silent screams from the womb. They decided that the barbaric treatment that they and their fellow unwanted unborn human beings have had to endure for perilous decades was unconscionable and unbearable. They cried out to their Creator for inspiration and protection, and then unanimously they put forth a declaration. It began as follows:
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of nature and the Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…
THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE; THAT AMONG THESE IS LIFE!”
The first and pre-eminent right is the right to life. This truth the Founding Fathers were sure of, and anyone with any common sense at all is equally sure of it. 232 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed the amount of common sense that seems to be operative in many spheres of influence – most notably the courts and the political arena – can easily be poured into a very small thimble. The United States of America seems to have a death wish, and we have traveled far down the road to having that wish realized. When law divorces itself from common sense and spawns the illegitimate offspring of distortions of law, resulting in illegal laws – based neither on the natural law nor divine law – this undermines law itself, generating disdain for the law. Erosion of trust in the courts, or the system in general, is inevitable.
hat tip: Mrs. Rene O’Riordan’s Facebook page.
As the subtitle of this Chelsea Zimmerman article puts it: ‘When human fear masquerades as compassion, lives cannot be lived to their fullest because the fear is in control.’
This reminds me, I was reading The City of God by Saint Augustine, but took what was supposed to be a short break, and that was weeks and weeks ago. He had, if I remember right, observations that run along these same lines, and a few things to say about the pagan culture that nurtured a terror of suffering. For that matter, since my stint with Augustine, I’ve been delving into Puritan writings of a few hundred years ago, and they understood suffering as a part of a full life, too. In a similar vein, I can also recommend the Streams in the Desert devotional by Cowman (particularly the original devotional, not the ‘updated’ version), which pulls together writings from many authors, all devoted to the upsides of trials, for those who do not flee from them.
Zimmerman blogs at Reflections of a Paralytic. It’s not a blog I’m familiar with, but I’ve appreciated what I’ve seen of it, browsing around in it today.
hat tip: Paul Mitchell facebook post