Talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation

Elizabeth Scalia quotes G. K. Chesterton on what happens when the “young generation” gets old, claiming that he is nailing us Baby Boomers before any of us were born. [Read more…]

Crime Wave

The decades-long decline in crime rates may be over.  Murders are up 180% in Milwaukee.  Other cities are showing double digit increases in violent crime.

Some are blaming the “Ferguson effect,” claiming that as a result of the controversy over police who killed an unarmed suspect–a pattern replicated elsewhere–citizens no longer respect police officers, sometimes to the point of defying them, and police officers, sometimes mobbed when they go on routine patrols, can no longer enforce laws with the vigor they need to.

I’m not sure that fully explains why people are killing each other and stealing each others’ property.   I would think the answer needs to deal with issues such as the loss of internal constraints, which in turn comes from family breakdown, radical individualism, instant gratification, the eclipse of the conscience, crime-glorifying pop culture, the dysfunctions of poverty, anemic churches, etc.    What explanations can you offer? [Read more…]

How Christianity humanized children

One of the many cultural influences of Christianity, observes Eric Metaxas, discussing a book on the subject, was the practice of treating children as human beings of great value.  That was not how children were treated in the ancient pre-Christian world.  Notice too that now that the Christian cultural consensus is unravelling, we have already dehumanized the unborn child and have started to dehumanize infants. [Read more…]

New baptisms for the transgendered?

At a baptism, the baptized person is given a name.  That’s not all that happens, but that’s what a lot of people associate with the rite.  So in the Church of England, some transgendered individuals have asked to be re-baptized, so as to have the Church affirm their new name and new identity.  So far, a sympathetic vicar decided not to repeat  the baptism but has devised a new liturgy to bestow the new name.  The Church of England is discussing how to handle this. [Read more…]

Putting flowers on graves

Many of us will observe Memorial Day by putting flowers on the graves of loved ones.  This custom seems almost universal.  In fact, archaeologists studying the burial site of a stone-age woman have found that the cave dwellers put flowers on her grave.

It’s a beautiful, touching custom.  It feels deeply meaningful, but what does it mean?  Why do you think people do this? [Read more…]

Traditional style, progressive substance

We blogged about Rachel Held Evans, her point that Millennials can’t stand the church growth efforts to reach them and how the Sacraments are what make the church relevant.  David French observes that what she is really calling for are churches that are “traditionally progressive,” keeping the old forms while changing orthodox teachings on theology and morality so that they conform to to the canons of progressivism. [Read more…]