St. Valentine’s Day

Here is a good account of the history of St. Valentine’s Day, how it’s NOT related to the pagan festival of Lupercalia and how the death day of an early Christian martyr got connected with love and romance.  (Short answer:  Chaucer.)

So what can be said about the true meaning of St. Valentine’s Day in 2014?

Textbook’s version of the Second Amendment

How American history and the Constitution are taught in high schools:

The authors of United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination have taken it upon themselves to change the Constitution of the United States. The high school textbook contains a summary of each Amendment that alters the initial intent in which they were created.

The textbook notes the Second Amendment as, “The people have a right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.” [Read more...]

Jesse James meets the Second Amendment

If there should ever be a monument to the Second Amendment, it should be erected in Northfield, Minnesota. In this little college town in 1876, Jesse James and Cole Younger, with six other members of their gang, tried to rob the First National Bank, only to get shot up by an aroused citizenry.  I just finished reading a new book on the subject, Mark Lee Gardner’s Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape.

I knew about the Northfield raid and when I spoke at St. Olaf College a few years ago, my hosts took me to see the bank and the marks of the bullets that still adorn the downtown buildings.  But I did not know the details, nor did I know about the equally thrilling aftermath.  Gardner’s book, while being sober history, reads like an action thriller, but what I most took away from the book was a glimpse of something we don’t see all that much anymore; namely, a genuine community, whose members look out for each other, protect each other, and pull together for the common good. [Read more...]

Child sacrifice then and now

Collin Garbarino tells of a controversy in archaeology about whether or not the ancient Carthaginians practiced child sacrifice, as the Romans always said they did.  Recently, evidence has arisen that they did, in fact, sacrifice children.  Some archaeologists, though, just won’t believe it.

Mr. Garbarino says that the Carthaginians sacrificed children for the same reason we do. [Read more...]

At his post 29 years after the war

The Japanese soldier who held out in a Philippine jungle for 29 years after the end of World War II died.  Hiroo Onoda was 91.  Read his story–including why he finally turned himself in– after the jump.

Would you say Lt. Onoda was an example of outrageous stubborness (a vice) or inspirational integrity (a virtue)?  How does this relate to vocation? [Read more...]

Top Biblical archaeology finds of 2013

Archaeologists keep digging up interesting discoveries.  Christianity Today lists the top 10 finds in Biblical archaeology of the past year. [Read more...]


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