The Lamp Post is a collection of quotes, news articles, opinion pieces or blog posts that I found interesting and worthy of attention.
If you see something that you believe should be in The Lamp Post, tweet it to me at @WardrobeDoor with the hashtag #LampPost.
Her•meneutics: Why Don’t They See the Miracle?
I am convicted that one of the best ways I can affirm the value of the unborn child is through narratives that uphold children as a gift from God. I hope these videos will lead us to embrace anew the hard and beautiful work of raising, training, educating, watching, and caring for the children in our lives with love, grace, and verve. And I hope that we learn to invite those who don’t recognize the sheer perfection of a newborn, the beauty of childhood, or the value of all life, into the stories we create and tell. Stories like my memory of watching Joy’s birth.
Ethika Politika: What the Duggars Get Wrong About Chastity
The irony of the Duggars’ and some ultra-Orthodox Jews’ sexual mores is that they end up sexualizing nearly all human touch. Holding hands, rather than being a form of affection, or an expression of comfort, or a method of guidance, is reduced to sexual desire. Bumping elbows with your seatmate on the plane becomes an occasion of sin.
Behemoth: The World’s Most Astonished Atheist
When the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago this month, Joy Davidman—best known today as the wife of C. S. Lewis—was in a vulnerable way. Nearly six months pregnant with her second son, she lived in Ossining, New York, with her toddler and her husband, the troubled novelist William (Bill) Lindsay Gresham. Jewish-born and Bronx-raised, Joy had been an atheist since childhood and became a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in her early 20s. But motherhood and a move to the suburbs had isolated her from comrades, setting her adrift from the Party and abruptly ending what had been a successful career in New York City as an award winning poet, editor, and film critic for the Communist magazine New Masses.
Of all the ways people can brag about the superiority of their political beliefs, “I’m happier” is a curious choice. But a new study from the University of Virginia professor Brad Wilcox and the University of Utah professor Nicholas Wolfinger gives Republicans the chance to do just that: In conservative counties in the United States, the researchers argue, people are more likely to get married and stay married, and less likely to have kids out of wedlock. And, if you ask them, they’re more likely to say they’re very happy with their marriages.
I asked him if he could help me understand that better, and he described a letter from Tolkien in response to a priest who had questioned whether Tolkien’s mythos was sufficiently doctrinaire, since it treated death not as a punishment for the sin of the fall but as a gift. “Tolkien says, in a letter back: ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” Colbert knocked his knuckles on the table. “ ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” he said again. His eyes were filled with tears. “So it would be ungrateful not to take everything with gratitude. It doesn’t mean you want it. I can hold both of those ideas in my head.”
“A propos of nothing in particular,” Aslan said rather suddenly, “I don’t want you thinking I’m a metaphor for Jesus, or anything like that.”
“Oh, no, rather,” Susan said.
“And nothing happens to you after you die,” he said. “I want to be very clear about that.”
“Nothing at all,” Peter said. “Very sensible outlook, that.”
“It’s why we must focus on our own well-being in the present,” Aslan said, “and build as many trains as we can before dying.”
“To trains,” Lucy said, and they all raised a meaningful glass.