Porn and the contemplative life

They don't mix, if you're looking for the answer up front. There are perhaps several reasons for this, but Alain de Botton offers one in The Wall Street Journal worth considering.Certain kinds of suffering are beneficial, even necessary for human flourishing, he says, particularly struggling through periods of anxiety and boredom.Porn diverts us from those struggles. "Our anxious moods are genuine but confused signals that something is amiss," he says, "and so they need to be listened … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades of Let’s Get Serious

E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey sold over 10 million copies in its first six weeks here in the U.S., according to the publisher.If you're close to the publishing business, you know that number is high enough to induce acute tachycardia. Precious few books ever sell such quantities. But this book and its companion volumes are hardly precious, and there are some serious reasons to be concerned about the phenomenon.I've now read several exchanges among Christians in the blogosphere and on … [Read more...]

Fighting Downton Abbey passions

At the dawn of the surprise-hit series Downton Abbey Mary Crawley has a momentary and tragic fling with a guest staying at her family's estate. Opportunity presents in the form of the dashing Turkish envoy, Kemal Pamuk. Lust prevails, and her moral failure and the threat of its scandalous exposure form a good bit of the dramatic pulse that drives the story forward … [Read more...]