Imagination, Christian sub-cultures, & the Two Kingdoms

More from my interview with Mathew Block, in which a question about Christians refusing to attend to music, movies, books, or the like unless they are explicitly Christian, leads to a digression on the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. [Read more...]

Hollywood, desire, & the Santa Barbara murders

Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday on the Santa Barbara murders:

As deranged manifestos go, the final YouTube video made by suspected Isla Vista, Calif., mass murderer Elliot Rodger was remarkably well-made. Filmed by Rodger in his black BMW, with palm trees in the background and his face bathed in magic-hour key light, the six-minute diatribe — during which he vows revenge on all the women who rejected him and men who were enjoying fun and sex while he was “rotting in loneliness” — might easily have been mistaken for a scene from one of the movies Rodger’s father, Peter Rodger, worked on as a director and cinematographer. [Read more...]

Smoking to the Glory of God?

Have you heard about this book?  The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion: A Celebration of Smoking to the Glory of God.  Jonathan Binnie, who told me about it, says that his brother attends a church that has a “men’s cigar outreach ministry.”  It’s called “El Lector,” after the practice in Cuba of having somebody reading a book out loud to the cigar-rollers as they work.  They have readings, as everybody smokes their stogies, or a speaker, as here.  See a description of the book after the jump.

What do you think of this?  Is it an exercise of Christian freedom or promoting an extremely unhealthy habit?  Is it a good way of reaching men or an example of churchifying what is properly secular?

Actually, this sounds kind of like the Men’s Club of our congregation back in Wisconsin, with its very traditional ethnic customs, which consisted largely of sitting around drinking beer, eating cannibal sandwiches, and playing Sheepshead. [Read more...]

Secession movements

What with the European Union, globalization, the United Nations, and being a “citizen of the world,” the trend was supposed to be for the elimination of narrow nationalisms in favor of cosmopolitanism and ever-larger unions.  But now nationalism is back, and little countries are trying to break away from big countries.  After the jump, links to those efforts, including the upcoming vote in Scotland to secede from Great Britain.  How do you account for this phenomenon? [Read more...]

Totalitarian discourse

Charles Krauthammer gives the name for handling disagreements by silencing and punishing those who hold opposing ideas:

The left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. [Read more...]

Accept gay marriage or lose your job

You have probably heard about the CEO of Mozilla (makers of the open source Firefox browser) losing his job when it was learned that he had given some money to support that referendum in California a few years ago that would block gay marriage in that state.  Since the contribution records have been made public, lots of other people could conceivably lose their livelihoods in this new activist climate. Peter Wehner has some good observations about this whole mindset of punishing people for their beliefs. [Read more...]


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