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Posts Tagged ‘manners’

Having found that some readers did not understand the irony (i.e., did not get the joke) of his suggestion that we revive the art of dueling (I linked to that post, and a related article, here), David Bentley Hart clarifies that, and then goes on to give us a history lesson in “the cut,” which he suggests might be of some use in dealing with uncivilized people who crave, and all too often get, public attention.

As he points out along the way, if you don’t know what a “cut” is, you won’t understand some of the jokes and jests in literature. He gives examples.

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The book Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Good Manners, by Karen Santorum, was featured in this encore broadcast at Family Talk. The author’s premise is that literature is a great aid in teaching good behavior.

This reminds me of some posts at The Common Room a while back:

Books build character.

Books build character, part II. (has links to related posts, at end.)

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A challenge to Christians, to be champions of civility.

An excerpt:

Misunderstandings surround the idea of civility; it’s frequently mistaken for squeamishness about cultural differences, false tolerance or dinner-party etiquette. Classically, civility is a republican virtue, with a small “r,” and a democratic necessity, with a small “d.” It’s the only way you can have a diverse society, freely but civilly, peacefully.

As Christians, we have deeper motivations still [for championing civility]. Followers of Jesus are called to be peacemakers, with truth and grace; Paul asks us to speak the truth with love. We’re called to love our enemies and do good to those who wrong us. This is our Christian motivation for championing the classical virtue of civility.

Freedom of conscience [upholds] the right to believe anything, but the right to believe anything does not mean that anything anyone believes is right. That is nonsense. We have a right and a responsibility to disagree, to debate, to persuade someone that they’re out to lunch. They may be muddle-headed. They may be socially disastrous. They might even be morally evil, but we have a responsibility to disagree civilly.


Read the whole article.

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Jennifer Fulwiler – with an assist from Francis de Sales – has some food for thought for Christian bloggers. (via Thinking Christian)

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Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary writes Of cat ownership and “little sins”.

Shannon Woodward of Wind Scraps writes of mice and young men – and predators.

Plain Catholic in the Mountains shares The Seventeen Evidences of a Lack of Humility by St. John Vianney, and also a prayer by a 17th century nun, for growing old gracefully.

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In Pieties and Pixels, Glen Arbery discusses people who use their camera when they shouldn’t, and wind up stealing something from themselves and others. A snippet:

It’s difficult to explain this sense of breach and outrage to people for whom photography is an unquestioned good. Photographers like these do not see themselves as intruding upon the event, but as absenting themselves from it in order to bestow the gift of . . . precious memories (which always requires the foreboding ellipsis). They sacrifice their ordinary presence at the mere wedding to become a selfless, invisible recording eye, as though they occupied some interstitial space between the sacred, but still physical one of the church and—what, exactly? The not-yet-embodied future? It strikes me that they think they are made angels by the camera, observers unobserved.

But there they were, still in their bodies, perfectly visible to everyone.

Read the whole thing. Do. He’s a man after my own heart on this.

One of my sadder memories is that when I went to my grandfather’s funeral, people got angry with me because I didn’t want to take pictures at the funeral. Quite without asking me, they’d decided that, since photography was one of my hobbies, I should do them the service of taking pictures of them paying their respects. I wanted to be there, not observing. I also object, in general, to taking pictures at funerals, and I felt they were asking me to go against my conscience.  I’m not sure they ever understood why I dug my heels in.

Added March 6, 2009: Sometimes a subject just seems to be in the air or something… Check out Patricia’s dream, described toward the end of this March 2 post.

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