Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hey, listen to this

As I perused the latest copy of First Things, I found myself delighted with thoughts, articulations, and turns of phrase; I longed to have someone in the room to whom I could read them aloud and smile in shared enjoyment.

Like it or not, you, my friends, are my virtual companions. I will just have to imagine the shared smiles as we read some snippets from the October issue.

§ § §

It is an outrage, a shame and a scandal and a sin, that the old and ill should feel that they are alone with their demons, that those demons render their lives worthless, and that the only sensible, charitable thing to do is to take themselves and the demons as far out of everyone else's way as possible.
Sally Thomas, Letter

* * *

Sex is now considered a private recreational activity with no moral or social significance. The default setting in this society is that sex is sterile. Childbearing is available as an optional lifestyle extra, if you happen to like that sort of thing.
Jennifer Rabcock Morse, Letter

* * *

[H]is arguments seem coherent only because they are so perfectly circular.
David B. Hart, reviewing The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

* * *

In Loh's essay … a husband — as it happens, one of those husbands no longer interested in sex with his wife — bookmarks his pornography on the computer; his wife knows all about it, even reports it to her friends who are commiserating about their sexless marriages — and no one seems to connect the dots at all.
Mary Eberstadt

* * *

Existing economics has a negative moral content in that it treats economic factors as though they were pieces on a game board rather than human beings who learn, discover, and innovate.
Edmund Phelps

* * *

[T]here are two distinct tribes of Wind in the Willows lovers: those for whom Toad is what it's all about, and those for whom the milder adventures of Rat and Mole are the heart of the matter.
Alan Jacobs

* * *

When humanity is guided by the gospel, earthly reality can indeed prefigure, however modestly, the heavenly reality that is to come. Unguided by the gospel, earthly reality will become a mockery -- a false progress toward a false unity.
Douglas Farrow

* * *

[I]f you do not feel God's presence, you will become desperate to feel anything at all. Terror and horror create at least some kind of feeling. After pornography has jaded the capacity to feel pleasure, what remains is the capacity to feel fear and pain.
David P. Goldman

* * *

On Peter Seewald, author of Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait, in a review:

[B]y his own account, the answers Seewald received [from then-Cardinal Ratzinger] "grabbed him by the scruff of the neck." He started to read the gospels regularly and to go to Mass. Belief became a burning issue for him … He has now quietly returned to the Church, acknowledging that, by Catholic criteria, only a conservative can be progressive — which is to say, only someone who keeps the treasure of faith complete and intact is able to achieve progress.
George Cardinal Pell

* * *

The language of partnership with God is a tricky, dangerous one, easy to misunderstand — particularly if it is used by those whose rhetorical style is already messianic, as President Obama's is. And, besides, he didn't speak of preserving [life] and delaying [death]. He said flat outo that we are "God's Partners in Matters of life and death." The answer to which is simply: no. We're not.
* * *

The headline from a recent Newsweek article by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend reads: "Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the Pope does." An alternative does suggest itself. "Why Barack Obama represents Kathleen Kennedy Townsend better than the Pope does."
"While We're At It"


Salome Ellen said...

I recognize every one of those! This issue was superb. Too bad we couldn't have read it in the same room ;-D



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"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

Pres. Barack Obama, Feb 5, 2009