Why reading is good for you

Reading a lot, for pleasure, is associated with all kinds of physical and psychological benefits.  Details after the jump. [Read more…]

If not an introvert nor an extrovert, maybe you’re an ambivert

In addition to introverts and extroverts, psychologists are studying another personality type:  the ambivert. [Read more…]

Euthansia for the depressed

Belgium, having legalized euthanasia, keeps extending it to more and more people:  to terminally ill children too young to request it; and now to physically healthy folks who suffer from depression.  Doctors have recently approved euthanasia for a healthy 24-year-old woman who has been struggling with “suicidal thoughts.” [Read more…]

Will marriage wreck the gay identity?

The New York Times reports that some gays are worrying that legalized marriage and their new social acceptance will mean a loss for gay identity and gay culture.  Some telling quotes in the article:  “The thing I miss is the specialness of being gay.”  “There is something wonderful about being part of an oppressed community.”

Hey, maybe Christians now can feel special and and will come to enjoy that wonder!

But seriously, one of the arguments for gay marriage made by early proponents such as Andrew Sullivan is that gay people need to abandon the promiscuity that has tended to characterize their culture–which manifested itself in the AIDS epidemic–and embrace the social order found in marriage.

Do you think, now that gays can marry, that we can return to the ethic of no sex outside of marriage?  Studies do show that while pre-marital sex is tolerated, being unfaithful to one’s spouse is still seen as a bad thing.   Will gays adopt that ethic, or will the sexual exclusivity of marriage be the next to go–some married gays say they are “monogamish”–in which case, will marriage itself lose its point?  Or will gays settle down into married domesticity? [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…]

Recovering Friendship

The decline in the size of families–from 3.5 to 2 children in 50 years–has also meant fewer cousins, fewer children in neighborhoods, and fewer relationships in general.  That means, according to Ted C. Fishman, that we need to recover friendships, which are also in decline, even though having friends is important on all kinds of scales of well-being.

I would throw in that part of the problem may be the way friendship, which is often a same-sex relationship, has been sexualized by the homosexual movement.  So called “queer theorists” in academia are interpreting virtually every close friendship on the part of historical figures is evidence that they are gay.  And the counseling and support groups in schools often encourage young people who have the intense friendships often characteristic of adolescence to think they must be gay.   But one of the most beneficial qualities of friendship, according to the classic authors, is that it is a close personal relationship that specifically is not sexual.

In fact, some Christians are seeking to channel gay feelings into non-sexual friendships.  See, for example, this and this.  Wesley Hill has written a book on the subject, Spiritual Friendship. [Read more…]