Archive for January, 2013

Anthony Esolen has a series of posts over at Front Porch Republic addressing Life Under Compulsion. I’ve only scanned a couple of them (the latest, and the first), but I suspect they’re all worth a read (his posts generally are good food for thought), and so…

Life Under Compulsion uses the life and observations of author Sigrid Undset as a starting point.

Life Under Compulsion: From Schoolhouse to School Bus

Life Under Compulsion: The Billows Teaching Machine

Life Under Compulsion: If Teachers Were Plumbers

Life Under Compulsion: Human-Scale Tools and the Slavish Education State

Life Under Compulsion: Curricular Mire

Life Under Compulsion: Bad University

Life Under Compulsion: The Dehumanities


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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.

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1. First off, I’d like to say that I’m amazed there is a 7 Quick Takes Friday round up this week. The usual hostess is in the hospital. But, she asked a friend to host it on her blog, and away we go. If I haven’t mentioned it lately, I am in awe – awe – of these mommybloggers.

2. I spent much of the holiday season, Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, ill in ways that suggested quarantine would be only civilized. So I missed a lot of gatherings. Considering that large gatherings aren’t my favorite thing in the world, this was not altogether a disaster. I did miss having more time with visiting relatives, most of whom I barely know.

3. On those days I wasn’t a walking germ factory, one young visiting relative, age three, was kind enough to find ways that I could play with him even in my weakened state. Our joint favorite was where I stood in one place with my feet apart, and let him drive a remote control car between my feet. Or around my feet. Or into my feet. Did I mention that he’s three? And a boy?

4. The girls next door got a play kitchen for Christmas. And a play barbecue grill. The kitchen comes complete with a phone receiver hanging on the wall. The two year old loves to pick up the phone and say “Hi. Love ya. Bye. Bye.” and hang up. She is also very fond of toy horses right now. Incorporating her toys, I have caught her several times carefully grilling or studiously frying her toy horses. Thank goodness the toys only have play pretend heat.

5. Speaking of kitchens… Several friends have been campaigning on Facebook for butter, and against margarine. I’m with them there. The main reason I switched to margarine back in the day was because my husband and I didn’t use butter fast enough to get through a whole pound before some of it would sour. Then I discovered that butter freezes well. Such a deal. You can buy butter when it’s on sale, freeze it, and pull it out a stick at a time. Who knew? (I didn’t, that’s who.)

6. It’s cold outside, right at zero. I tried to take a walk yesterday, but between the slick, packed snow on the lane, and biting cold on my face, and the remains of a respiratory illness, I cut it short. It sure was a pretty day, though. We’ve had a lot of fog this winter. Clear days are such a treat.

7. Tomorrow is Shop Hobby Lobby Day. I’ve never been to a Hobby Lobby, but there’s one about an hour away, and it’s really close to a Chick-fil-A, which I’ve never been to, either. If weather and health permit, I’m going to vote for decency and freedom by doing a little business at businesses in the crosshairs of the Can’t Abide Morality crowd. I hope to meet some new friends, too. Here’s hoping for good roads and good health.

For more of this week’s 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, go here.

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I don’t recall hearing of either of these men before, but according to these recent reports, they openly took on the Soviets, to the good cheer of their fellow-afflicted.

Michael Ledeen writes:

December 30th is Vladimir Bukovsky’s seventieth birthday.  He is the only Russian barred by special law from running for president, a tribute to his immense popularity and force of character. Among the great generation of democratic dissidents–the generation that punctured the monstrous Soviet bubble and produced the celebrated sucking sound that ended the Soviet Empire and gutted the world Communist movement–Bukovsky is arguably the most important.

Then there was this from Yahoo News:

WARSAW (Reuters) – Retired Polish Archbishop Ignacy Tokarczuk, who built churches in secret in defiance of the communist authorities, becoming a folk hero for many, has died at the age of 94, PAP news agency said on Saturday.

One of the Soviet bloc’s more colorful anti-communist clerics, Tokarczuk clandestinely built hundreds of churches under the noses of the officially atheist government in the 1960s and 1970s.

Follow the links to the posts for more.

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Hop on over and get acquainted with Georgianne, and sign up for chance to win a Timothy Keller book. The drawing is Friday.

Welcome, Georgianne.

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