Cooking for your family as “tyranny” or as “vocation”

Slate has published a column by Amanda Marcotte on “the tyranny of the home-cooked family dinner.”  She cites surveys that show how hard and stressful it is for women to live up to the ideal of the whole family sitting down together for a home-cooked meal and concludes that cooking –a task that falls disproportionally on women–is “expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway.”

Mollie Hemingwaywho just joined the First Things stable of web columnists–answers this column, slicing and dicing its feminist assumptions.  But she does acknowledge that cooking and other domestic tasks can be frustrating, tedious, and challenging.  Whereupon she then  gives her readers a crash course in the doctrine of vocation, including one of Luther’s best quotations on the subject, how the trials of family life are connected to the blessings of God. [Read more...]

Accounting for the “pause” in global warming

Scientists admit that there has been no global warming between 1998 and 2013, even though the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has continued to increase.  A new study claims to account for this so-called “pause” in global warming.  It turns out, there are “natural fluctuations” in the climate.  Who knew?

The scientists claim that a little cooling blip has cooled things off in the last decade or so, but that the global warming will soon resume.  Read about the findings after the jump.

But doesn’t this research miss the point?  Does invoking “natural fluctuation” really give us a cause?  What causes the fluctuations, and if they are “natural,” might they account for other temperature phenomena, including those blamed on human agency?  More fundamentally, if greenhouse gasses can increase without making the temperature of the earth go up, doesn’t that suggest that there may be problems with the assumptions behind the computer modeling that give us the dire global warming forecasts? [Read more...]

Targeting the taboos against pedophilia & incest

Michael Avramovich writes about efforts in academia, psychiatry, and the law to normalize pedophilia and incest; that is, to make them morally and socially acceptable. [Read more...]

Your one-stop Superbowl blog

We must celebrate our national holiday, Superbowl Sunday, so use this blog to make predictions, comment on the game, and complain about the half-time show.  You can live-blog the commercials.  We will even modify our newly-minted blog rule to allow for trash talk, as long as it’s related to sports, since that seems to be an issue in this particular game. [Read more...]

Luther and bowling?

Martin Luther’s influence goes far beyond the theology of the Lutheran Church.  His putting the Gospel and the Word of God at the center was the catalyst for all Protestantism.  But even his theological opponents have accepted his ideas like worship in the vernacular, congregational singing, and vernacular translations of the Bible.  Then there are his cultural contributions:  universal education, standardizing the German language, vocation.  But there are also things he is credited for that are questionable or uncertain, like inventing the Christmas tree.  And there are things that that he is credited for that are just wrong, like writing “Away in the Manger” and being the source of German anti-semitism.  Being a master of language, he is supremely quotable on all kinds of subjects.  But he is also cited as the source of things that he never really said (such as the “Wise Turk” quote).  I have recently learned that Luther is considered one of the inventors of bowling!  [Read more...]

Veterans Day

This is Veterans Day, so let us honor those who have served in the military vocations.  You readers who are veterans, thank you for your service.

I’ve read that some veterans, particularly of our recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are sick of hearing that.  It is good, though, that they are receiving today almost universal respect, unlike the reception in some quarters of Vietnam vets.  After the jump, some questions and a link to a classic discussion of the military vocation. [Read more...]


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