Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Quotable: On Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism ... differs from traditionalism or orthodoxy or even a mere revivalist movement. It differs in that it is a movement in conscious, organized opposition to the disruption of those traditions and orthodoxies.

Tradition, orthodoxy, and revival exist within an ongoing, stable system. Fundamentalism exists in the midst of change. Clifford Geertz describes this difference in Islamic societies he has studied as the difference between "being held by" one's beliefs and "holding" those beliefs, between having faith and having reasons. In a culture in which there is a great deal of stability and agreement on the way life should proceed, beliefs are part of the fabric of life. To be part of one's culture and to affirm those beliefs are inseparable. In such situations, one is held by beliefs about ultimate reality. But once that culture is disturbed by change or outside intrusion or mobility, beliefs lose their taken-for-granted character. They must be consciously held.

Source: Nancy T. Ammerman, "North American Protestant Fundamentalism" in Fundamentalisms Observed (Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1991) by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds., pp. 14-15.

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Monday, October 26, 2015


Two Takes on Modeling

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The Children Come First

The ABC News video below tells the story of Bianca and Nick, the transgender parents of two young children. As an article in the Mirror Online explains: " 'We have the parts so we will use them,' she says. 'If we could change them we would, and they would be the other way around – but we cannot afford it and the children come first.' "

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015


The Third Intifada?

The video below is from the Guardian (UK) and features Palestinian perspectives that are sorely missing from most Western mainstream coverage of recent violent clashes in Palestine-Israel.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015


Nothing But The Truth

This film is inspired by the Valerie Plame affair but it's not a retelling of that story. It is a sophisticated cinematic exploration of the clash between the imperatives of government and a free society.

See also: "L'affaire Plame" by Justin Raimondo on Antiwar.com.

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Reality, Temptation, & Nothing

Not everybody is able to see me ... I'm real and most earthlings can bear very little reality.

-Character of Proginoskes in A Wind in the Door (Crosswicks, 1973) by Madeleine L'Engle, p. 81.

The temptation ... is to stay an immature pleasure-seeker. When we seek our own pleasure as the ultimate good we place ourselves as the center of the universe ... nothing created is the center.

-Character of Proginoskes, p. 178.

When everything is nothing there will be no more war, no illness, no death. There will be no more poverty, no more pain, no more slums, no more starvation ...

-Character of Echthros-Mr. Jenkins in A Wind in the Door, p. 187.

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Although the film makers have taken some historical liberties, seemingly to paint a more negative portrait of early Christianity, this is still a film very much worth seeing and not all that far from the mark.

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Cristiada (For Greater Glory)

In the 1920s, the Cristero War took the lives of an estimated 250,000 Mexicans. When I learned this I was shocked that I had never heard of the war until I watched this remarkable film.

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