Why governments cannot make utopias

The Library of America, known for its excellent editions of American literary classics, has added a theologian to its list, Reinhold Niebuhr, whose “Christian realism” taught his fellow mainline Protestants about the reality of sin, which must temper the promises of every “social gospel.”

After the jump, an excerpt from Barton Swaim’s Wall Street Journal review of his Major Works in Religion and Politics, giving Niebuhr’s reasoning and quotations from his writing, showing why utopias can’t happen and why governments must be limited.

[Read more...]

Pope apologizes for Milton’s “slaughtered saints”

Pope Francis recently apologized to the Waldensians.  They had their beginnings in the 12th century, anticipating many of the teachings of the Reformation four hundred years later, which the group then joined.  The Waldensians suffered centuries of persecution from the Roman Catholic Church, culminating in the Easter massacre in the Piedmont of Italy in 1655, when some 1,700 men, women, children, and infants were slaughtered in the most brutal ways imaginable.  (See the Wikipedia article linked, above.)

Read this chilling 17th-century catalogue of the atrocities.  Then, after the jump, read the sonnet that John Milton wrote about this mass martyrdom, given, along with a news story about the Pope’s asking for forgiveness from the 30,000 Waldensians still in Italy.  (There are more in Germany, the United States, Uruguay, and the the Pope’s native Argentina.) [Read more...]

The Common Core in action

The Common Core requires that at least half of what elementary and middle school students read be non-fiction.  By 12th grade, that goes up to 70%.  And the non-fiction being read is not that of the great minds of our heritage but online posts, government documents, and United Nations proclamations.

The New York Times has an article on what the Common Core is doing to English classes.  Notice how educators are taking the opportunity to politically indoctrinate their pupils.  Notice how the approach forces what classic literature that is still read into a contemporary grid.  Notice how the whole enterprise is not raising standards, as the Core claims to do, but is rather dumbing down the curriculum. [Read more...]

Reviews of “Whisper, Whisper: Learning about Church”

What they are saying at Amazon about my daughter’s new book, Whisper, Whisper: Learning About Church, after the jump.

Let me put it this way.  If you can buy either mine or hers, buy hers.  It’s cheaper anyway. [Read more...]

Bibliotherapy

Did you know that there is such a thing as bibliotherapy, in which counselors will prescribe a course of books to read as a way of working through emotional or mental problems? [Read more...]

My daughter’s new book: Teaching kids about church

Do you have little kids who squirm and whine and have no idea what is going on in church?  Then you need the new book by my daughter, Deaconness Mary Moerbe,  entitled Whisper, Whisper: Learning About Church.

It’s a children’s book, with wonderful illustrations by Martha Aviles and a charming rhyming text.  But it also includes suggestions in the margins for how parents can help their children take part in the Divine Service.

Hers came out the same day mine did, which makes me very proud.  More about her book after the jump. [Read more...]


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