If you’re wondering why, say, The Little Sisters of the Poor can’t just sign off on a form and let others go along with the HHS mandate for them, read this (“St. Thomas More, The Little Sisters of the Poor & the Casualness of Conscience,” Tod Worner, January 7, 2014, at Patheos). Well, even if you know already why they can’t, you might want to read the post. It’s a good overview, and a good reminder of some of what’s at stake.
Posts Tagged ‘Christians’
1. I wonder how many people who die in fires these days are found near a smoke detector, with a ladder in one dead hand, and a battery in the other? Surely I’m not the only person who is, by now, trained to respond in Pavlovian fashion to beeps and screeches not with a run for the exits with the idea of escaping a still-young fire, but with an obsession with finding a fresh battery and some way of getting it into the beast as soon as possible, before I am driven to madness by the brain-ripping sound?
2. Have you heard? The Russians have been teaching Russian Orthodox chaplains to parachute, and have devised chapels that can be transported to troops along with the airdropped chaplains. Seriously. See Russian army introduces the flying Orthodox church-in-a-box. (Via Mere Comments.)
I can remember when Russia was death to Christians, per government policy; while the United States was the freest place in the world for the faithful. How things change. And how quickly. Yinga.
And yes, I did notice that the news comes to us via an architectural and design blog.
3. Cubans have reportedly been getting around government control of other media by distributing information hand to hand on thumb drives. So of course they’d be excited to hear that someone has been working on developing a flash drive on ordinary paper.
4. The two-year-old in the family has been obsessessed with switches and buttons for as long as I can remember. Until recently, she has pretty much confined herself to nearly wearing out the light switches, but recently she has become enamored of trying out nearly every button and switch that falls within her sight. So far, the older members of the family have been able to prevent out and out calamity, but she did manage to provide her grandparents with a private power outage that went on and on, until someone thought to check the circuit breakers. Yes, indeedy, she has discovered that there are switches there, too.
5. Shameless self promotion: I’m doing a book giveaway at Goodreads, for Why We Raise Belgian Horses. I know most of the giveaways are for new releases, or for pre-release copies. But they allow giveaways of older books. This was my first novel. Feel free to enter. The more the merrier.
6. Speaking of pre-release books, Eric Metaxas has a book coming out the end of this month that celebrates seven great men. In an age when many amongst us have been raised more or less without real heroes, or whose heroes were scrubbed of their faith in the history books (my generation had this problem, in spades), it’s nice to see Christian men held up as inspiration.
7. Speaking of heroes, I am delighted to find that many younger adults are showing both more sense and more backbone than some of their immediate ancestors. For example, look who’s helping lead the fight to defend – and restore – marriage to its proper definition and level of commitment. Having felt the damage from easy divorce and feminist experiments, they know firsthand what the ‘it’s-all-about-doing-what-feels-right-to-you’ mindset has done. And they want better. Good for them.
For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, pop on over to Conversion Diary.
In the course of a biographical sketch of Joseph Hardy Neesima (Niijima Jō), 1843-1890, Glenn Sunshine also lays out the background of Christianity in Japan, including this:
Unfortunately, the missionaries made two mistakes that would cost the Catholic Church in Japan dearly. First, the Spanish arrived and promoted the Franciscans and Dominicans as rivals to the Portuguese Jesuits in a bid to get their own trading concessions in Japan. Second, the Jesuits had all the converts take on Portuguese names and begin wearing Western clothing. Both of these had the effect of making the missionaries look like they were covertly advancing colonial interests, and the converts look like foreign agents.
As a result, there were outbreaks of persecution in 1597, 1613, 1630, and 1632. After a rebellion in 1637-38, Christianity was officially outlawed and Japan closed off to all foreigners except the Dutch. About 30,000 Catholics continued to worship in secret as kakure kirishitan (“hidden Christians”), only coming into the open after the Meiji Restoration in the mid-1800s, when Japan allowed freedom of religion.
I haven’t done this in a while – but here we go, joining with bloggers galore and our 7 Quick Takes Friday hostess, Jennifer Fulwiler, at Conversion Diary.
1. Speaking of Conversion Diary, did you see her recent post on The secret of a domestic monestary? Good stuff on pushing back on the world’s expectations, so you can concentrate on what matters more.
2. This post at The Common Room has what was to me a surprising way of teaching children honesty. After a bit of thought, it made all the sense in the world, but it just never occurred to me before. Nature walks. Yes, nature walks. Pop over for the explanation.
3. I usually clean the house a few days ahead of Thanksgiving, so the cleaning smells are gone before the food smells get turned loose, and I try to vacuum a couple of days ahead, so there aren’t vacuum tracks in the carpet. This year, I did get clutter stashed away or thrown out, and got vacuuming done the night before, but very little else got done. I had the sort of visitors who probably didn’t notice, and who wouldn’t have cared if they had noticed, but it still would have been nice to have pulled it off in the usual way. I got the floors waxed the Saturday after, and today I finally got the stains out of the carpet and the bathroom counter polished and the bathroom cabinets re-oiled. Better late than never, right?
4. One reason I didn’t get the cleaning done is that I was doing major slicing and dicing on the book-in-progress. One chapter was moved forward and merged with another. Also, I realized that a hike I had folks doing in one day would take two, so I had to add an overnight stop. That wasn’t all bad; it let me add a fun chapter that set things up better for what was to come, and let me toss in some local history. I’d inadvertently moved a river too far north, too. Oops. I cut all that misplaced river nonsense, and other stuff that was fun but not tied to the main plot, and did other edits, and sent a formatted copy off to be printed, so I can do the next edit run in trade paperback format. Plan A was to put the project aside until the proof got here, so I could read the book with fresher eyes. Plan A did not count on me realizing after the proof was shipped that somehow I’d forgotten about a different river that cuts through the country to the north. No, the book is not called The River Curse. I just tried to do too much from memory in the first draft. I’m old enough to know better. Maps are wonderful inventions, if you actually use them.
5. Taking a guess based on how wildly book rankings are changing hour by hour at Amazon, I’m predicting that a lot of people are getting books for Christmas this year. Certainly, a mind-boggling number of books are being bought, just through that one retailer. Wow, even.
6. Speaking of Christmas gifts…
7. Last night after I went to bed, I got a phone call from the lady who runs the prayer chain at our church. Usually she sends emails, but this was late enough and dire enough – a congregation member had been airlifted to a hospital and wasn’t doing well – that she called. Recently, I missed two Sundays in a row at church, the first for illness, the second because I was visiting elsewhere, and the pastor showed up on my doorstep on Monday, to see for himself if there was any problem he needed to know about. Yes, Virginia, there are churches like that. Really.
… sometimes happen: A Miracle Inside the Aurora Shooting: One Victim’s Story.