Seven Quick Takes (9/17/10)


I’ve been enjoying working on this week’s series on using Diane Duane’s novels as a lens for explaining why I feel uncomfortable with Christianity.  I’ll be doing at least one more post on this topic, and then a wrap-up.  Additionally, I have news on the RCIA front that I’ll be able to post this weekend.



Meanwhile, at The Faith Heuristic, Justin is dissatisfied with my answers about to his questions about the ethics of surrogate motherhood.  I’ll be responding to his criticisms soon, provided I can catch up to him.  In the last few hours he has written another post on the topic.  I wish I were half as efficient at posting here.



The Orbit Books Blog has combined two of my favorite things: infographics and women.  Orbit Books drafted their summer intern to compare the images of urban fantasy heroines on book covers.  Click through to see their graphic.  In short, guns are in, longswords are out.  And sixpacks are replacing stilettos.

The above link should absolutely be paired with the classic “The Questionable Anatomy of the Comic Book Babe.”  An artist attempts to replicate the poses of comic book characters without breaking her back.



This week, I have an op-ed in the Yale Daily News that may be of more interest than usual to the readers of this blog. I argue that Yale shouldn’t value cooperation over conflict, leading students to care less about differences in first principles. This attitude is particular noticeable with regard to Yale’s policy towards religious groups on campus.  Check out the whole article here.

This inclusive attitude is a valid approach to boost turnout to events like Freshman Day of Service, but it’s an unrealistic and harmful expectation to set in other spheres. Most disagreements on campus, whether political or philosophical, cannot be reduced to a simple disagreement about facts or implementation of public policy. When people disagree on first principles, they can’t agree to disagree if they think those principles are important.

I prefer the attitude of the members of the Yale Political Union, who can respect me without respecting my principles. Instead of indulgently tolerating my beliefs, my conservative friends are quick to catch my arm after I give a speech and exclaim, “You were completely wrong up there! Let’s get coffee so I can explain this to you.”



Over at First Things, David Mills has hit upon one of the most important reasons to keep church and state separate:

Another apparently unsolvable conflict of church and the state in the guise of public schooling: a girl in North Carolina has been suspended from school for wearing a (very small) nose ring, which is against the dress code, unless the child has a religious reason, which this child claims to do, as she’s a member of the Church of Body Modification.

No one benefits when legislatures or courts are suddenly in charge of deciding what constitutes a religion.  Pity the poor British court that was forced to wade in and decide for a state-run Jewish school what constituted a valid conversion to Judaism.



And speaking of David Mills, this week he also wrote a piece for Inside Catholic on Confession that I found pretty interesting.  The full article is here, and I’ve put a pull quote below to whet your appetite:

Third, we need to recover the use of the word “confession,” while quietly dropping “the sacrament of reconciliation.” We need to hear the blunt word, because, before everything else, we want to say, “I did this and I’m really sorry.” That’s the appeal of confession, the chance to get it all out in the open. To emphasize the result is a bit like renaming the emergency room the “healing center.” It’s true, but not as helpful or as encouraging as you’d think, particularly when you really have an emergency.



One delightful dispatch from the internet: The Rosa Parks of Blogs is a news aggregator of sorts.  The blog tracks especially inappropriate uses by media outlets of the phrase “the [PROPER NOUN] of [CATEGORY].”  Some of the highlights include “The Satan of home design shows” and “The Cameron Diaz of constitutional analysis.


[Seven Quick Things is a blog carnival run by Jen of Conversion Diary]

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  • I'm intrigued by your blog, and am now a subscriber! 🙂 Just wanted to say hi.# 5 upsets and angers me. I spent a long time today reading about some guy who wants to ban all these books from a high school district, and his justification is that it's "Unchristian." At, um, a public school. (The author wrote about it here: ridiculous. Makes me so sad and angry.Looking forward to reading more from you!