The abyss of love

Ethan Richardson at Mockingbird quotes French philosopher Simone Weil on the Cross of Jesus Christ:

“Christ healing the sick, raising the dead, etc–that is the humble, human, almost low part of his mission. The supernatural part is the sweat of blood, the unsatisfied longing for human consolation, the supplication that he might be spared, the sense of being abandoned by God. The abandonment at the supreme moment of the crucifixion, what an abyss of love on both sides! [Read more…]

Love songs

Roger Catlin interviews jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway and country artist Rosanne Cash about love songs.  After the jump, I’ll give you what Ms. Callaway, a master of the form, says, including some real insights about the nature of love and her complaint that most of today’s pop songs, though about love, “don’t sound like love.”  And as a bonus Valentine’s Day present, I’ll add some samples of Ms. Callaway practicing what she’s preaching. [Read more…]

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?

What’s whiter than snow?

Here in Northern Virginia we woke up to about 12 inches of it, and it looks like there is that much still in the air coming down. And we’re supposed to get another wave tonight. It’s a snow day–one of those gifts of free time that are unplanned for so are not already booked with other kinds of busyness–so it’s peaceful, with the fireplace blazing, with my mug of coffee, as I look out the back window watching the woods fill up with snow.

I know, though, that the winter storm is wreaking havoc across much of the nation. And I dread having to shovel all of this. And I hope the power lines don’t come down.

In the meantime, I am taking consolation in this: The utter purity of snow covering up all of the dirt, dead grass, and pretty much everything is a sign of what God has done with our sins:

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).

Since weather is one of those great topics of conversation, how are you doing where you are? Are any of you in desperate straits, in need of prayer from the rest of us?

A conservative alternative to Obamacare?

A conservative alternative to Obamacare has been unveiled.  Read about it after the jump.  Then consider these questions:  (1) Does it sound better than Obamacare?  (2)  What is particularly conservative about it?  (3)  Is it qualitatively different from other efforts to have the government presiding over the health care of its citizens?  [Read more…]

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…]