Tag: Religion

Join Jim and Greg for a very lively Friday podcast! First, they cheer the Supreme Court for telling the 9th Circuit to reconsider a case where churches face tighter restrictions than non-religious gatherings. They also hammer Los Angeles and California as their COVID restrictions even forbid “unnecessary walking” and effectively make people prisoners in their own homes. And they react to Joe Biden’s confusing comments about what would happen if he and Kamala Harris ever have a major disagreement over principle.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: It’s Not Just About Politics

 

The article in the New York Times, like its companion piece in the Washington Post, is one long dog whistle. Its warning is not about Judge Barrett herself, who will fold into the life of the Supreme Court, but the possibility that others who share or are attracted to her active religiosity might be rising out there in the country to pose a threat to the secular dominance of America’s cultural mores that began some 60 years ago.

The new counter-belief system back then argued that shared community values grounded in religious belief—or virtue of the sort evident in the Barrett family—imposes unnecessary constraints on personal or private behavior.

Why this tension should have divided eventually into liberal versus conservative isn’t immediately obvious. There still are many liberal traditionalists. But it did. So now the possible appearance of a “conservative Christianity” needs to be delegitimized, or canceled, before it spreads. Perhaps it is a sign of the dominant culture’s lack of confidence in the durability of its own value system that its main tool of opposition isn’t argument but suppression and condescension. — Daniel Henninger

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I’ve become really hesitant to make any long-term plans, pay the bills too far ahead, or feel hopeful about one day leaving my home without risking the rise of resentment in my gut as I look at what our piece-of-garbage governor has done, and continues to do, to what was once a beautiful state. I’ll […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Not-The-Good-News Network?

 

Today (August 12, 2020) I must confess a frisson of irritation with my Morning Jolt of Good News, a daily email I receive from the Good News Network to cheer me up, as I contemplate the other daily bulletins and botherations of life in this twenty-first century. (High among those botherations at the moment are the endless customer satisfaction surveys I’m being badgered to complete, all of which ask me to please rate the vendor involved as having “exceeded expectations” or as a “10,” and to answer an enthusiastic “YES!” to all questions as to whether or not my sales representative met my needs and discussed everything from the price of tea in China to the right way up to plant tulip bulbs in the Fall. At this particular moment: Nissan wants to know if they met my needs when they sold me my new Rogue Sport (love it BTW); the crematorium which took care of Mr. She at the end wants to know if I am satisfied with their efforts on his behalf (umm…argh); Allstate wants to know if I’m delighted with the expeditiousness with which they removed his name from the policy and wrote me a new one; Target wants to know if I’m happy with the velveteen coat hangers I bought a couple of weeks ago (not-so-much since I saw exactly the same things at Sam’s Club the other day for about one-third the price); and Staples (Staples!) would like to hear what I have to say about Avery Removable Inkjet File Folder Labels, 2/3″ x 3 7/16″, White, 30 Labels to a page. I met with my financial advisor this afternoon and told him I really hoped that PNC wouldn’t start harassing me in similar fashion about my conversation with him–he, rather shamefacedly, admitted that they probably would.)

And those are the ones that spring to mind off the top of my head. I’m sure there are plenty more.

So, this morning, I was ready for my Morning Jolt of Good News. And I thought I’d found it here.

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This Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Joe Biden held a virtual fundraiser which featured former President Barack Obama. The event included a discussion or conversation between Biden and Obama and, in that conversation, Obama made an assertion that stunned me. Let me post a video which includes the assertion in question. The video is about 2 […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I recently called for the White House to show they believe that all black lives matter, using the beginning of week press briefing among other venues. That is exactly how Kayleigh McEnany started out this Monday’s press briefing. This theme was also highlighted by a young black woman speaking at President Trump’s invitation in Phoenix […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Amazon is creating a new series based on Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It will be set in the Second Age, the age dominated by the long-lived men of the island of Númenor. Here are the latest (but not so recent) rumors about the production. The Tolkien estate has announced the constraints it has placed on Amazon’s […]

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Sam Harris (author, philosopher, neuroscientist) has a fascinating conversation with Bridget about meditation, consciousness, mindfulness, and awareness. They discuss what brought Sam to meditation (drugs, initially), and the decade he spent traveling and diving into Eastern philosophy, mindfulness practices, and silent retreats, until ultimately he went back to college and eventually got a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. He and Bridget cover mediation and psychological resilience, being a hostage to your own thoughts, the search for a durable state of well being, the casualties of the spiritual path and the people who follow it, the illusion of self, and how close we are to being psychotic so much of the time.

Full transcript available here: WiW80-SamHarris-Transcript

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“Freedom From Want” – Norman Rockwell, 1943 In his State of the Union address on the 6th of January 1941, in the height of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous Four Freedoms speech. FDR envisioned a future where all of humanity had these four fundamental freedoms: Preview Open

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. CNN’s Toobin Not Alone in Using COVID-19 to Slam Religious Freedom, Christianity

 

Ancient Rome was not exactly a haven of religious freedom, particularly for a new sect called Christianity. Writing at the end of the second century, Christian apologist Tertullian summed up the situation:

They think the Christians the cause of every public disaster, of every affliction with which the people are visited. If the Tiber rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not send its waters up over the fields, if the heavens give no rain, if there is an earthquake, if there is famine or pestilence, straightaway the cry is, “Away with the Christians to the lions!”

Why would a loving God permit something like COVID-19 to afflict people He ostensibly loves? It’s the sort of question people have wrestled with for thousands of years. Our own Dave Carter sits down with Father Ben Bradshaw, Pastor of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Memphis, TN, to discuss this question and a great many others in a wide ranging conversation that touches on the metaphysical insights of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Socrates and Aristotle, the physical challenges of ministering in a world of social distancing, and even the world of faith and food (Father Bradshaw is also a classically trained chef).

Ricochet Member Seawriter also joins Dave in a discussion of a his latest book, “Vanished Houston Landmarks.” (He’s also authored 31 other books on a huge variety of interesting historical topics.)

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Smart *Are* Billionaires, Anyway?

 

Only in the Age of Foolishness (our current age) would you see a headline like the following: “Billionaires could leave Earth behind for space colony as climate collapses.”

This comically preposterous headline, which sounds like something from some stinkaroo sci-fi flick, begs a very serious question; and no, not one about the climate or the technological feasibility of a space colony. Those pale in comparison to the more trenchant question, which is: If an incredibly wealthy person really believes that the climate is in danger of “collapse,” and collapsing so bad that the only way to survive is by leaving the planet, how is it possible that such a person could ever have been smart enough to make a billion dollars in the first place?

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Choosing Faith

 

Years after trying to start a family, I found myself at a crossroad. I had spent half a decade riding an emotional roller coaster with the occasional up, but mostly the gut-wrenching downs that only a woman struggling with infertility can truly understand. We had tried almost every medical procedure possible, countless prayers and tears were expended by us and others on our behalf, blessings and fasts were offered, I spent hours upon hours scouring the internet to research adoption agencies and certify us as foster parents not once, but twice, in two different states. We took the classes, completed the home visits, and jumped through all the hoops but never saw a child because my husband’s job took us elsewhere before that could happen. We now were in a new state and hope was on the horizon as we finished our foster certification – for a third time. I was just hired as a full-time teacher, and we were settled into our new home. But as usual, our plans came to a halt.

My husband got word that his unit would soon deploy for 12 months. Upon becoming licensed foster parents, our hope was to take in a newborn. And as much as I longed for a baby and welcomed the challenge, I didn’t know the first thing about them; that was my husband’s expertise and I was depending on him for guidance.

When I learned of the deployment the questions and “what ifs” came: What if he leaves before we are placed with a baby, do I still take one in? How can I take care of a newborn by myself when I know nothing – and I mean nothing – about them? Can I do this by myself while I’m working full-time? Should I wait until he gets home, even if that is a year away? What if we miss the opportunity to take in a child? Was it so stupid of me to even try this with our military lifestyle, what was I thinking?!

Zuby, rapper, musician, podcaster and author, stops by during his whirlwind tour of the United States. Son of Nigerian immigrants, he talks about his upbringing in Saudi Arabia and the UK, and the perspective on the world it offered him. He and Bridget cover the role of masculinity in today’s society, why the concept of “thought crimes” is so chilling, the rise of secular religions like “wokism” and climate change activism, and the idea of a moral panic void that must always be filled. They discuss the biggest issue of political polarization: that it shuts down the conversation, how if they were both actually grifters they’d be killin’ it right now, and the importance of having perspective and gratitude. Check out Zuby’s website here.

Full transcript available here: WiW64-Zuby-Transcript

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Focusing on the Personal

 

Last year, my church introduced a new at-home study program called “Come, Follow Me.” It included weekly reading assignments for studying the New Testament, including suggestions for how to adapt those assignments for different family situations. Probably a lot of you have followed similar programs on your own or with your families.

When I started the program, I decided to do something a little different. I made a goal to write at least one poem inspired by the reading assignment each week. The goal wasn’t necessarily to try to interpret the scriptures, but to deepen the spiritual and emotional experience I had during my study.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Basia and the Squirrel: Scruton’s Tale of Eros Transubstantiated

 

“The apostolic church is a church of the heart. When you steal from it you steal the heart. Hence the theft is easy, and amends are long and hard.” A strange way to sum up a story of erotic love. Nonetheless, it was Scruton’s way, as he described, in the second half of his essay, Stealing from Churches, the thwarted love affair that taught him a “narrative of transubstantiation” transmuting body into soul. In truth, the love affair wasn’t thwarted at all, but one that fulfilled its purpose, a purpose his stubborn young beloved, Basia (pronounced “Basha”), saw more clearly than he did.

Scruton had organized a subversive summer school for the Catholic University in Poland, bringing together Polish and English philosophy students to resist communism. Under the codename “Squirrel” (in Polish “Wiewiorka”, for his red hair) and tailed by at least one jug-eared agent, Scruton had stumbled into more James-Bond mystique than most ginger-haired philosophy dons could hope for. It would be almost cliche, then, for an exotic young thing to throw herself at him. Wry-smiling, stunning Basia was no cliche, though. Or rather, if she were, it would be the cliche in a kind of story too little told these days to count as cliche anymore.

Basia, at 26, the oldest, most academically-advanced of the bright young things attending Scruton’s summer lectures and their unofficial leader, was an uppity young woman with a checkered past. She wasted little time with Scruton: after his second day in Kazimierz, she waylaid him in the woods to announce she noticed no ring on his finger. Such a frank admission of desire seems likely to end in embarrassment all round whether the desire is reciprocated or not, and perhaps it would have if it weren’t accompanied by her equally frank admission that consummating desire was not her aim:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Socialism Violates the 10 Commandments

 

“Socialism violates at least three of the Ten Commandments: It turns government into God, it legalizes thievery and it elevates covetousness. Discussions of income inequality, after all, aren’t about prosperity but about petty spite. Why should you care how much money I make, so long as you are happy?” — Ben Shapiro

I’ve never heard socialism described this way, and it makes sense: anyone who is supposedly religious can’t subscribe to both socialism and religion. Well, of course, they can, but it must be difficult to ignore the cognitive dissonance.

How often have you heard Progressivism described as just another religion? Since Progressivists adhere to socialism (whether they admit it or not), they can’t legitimately engage in a religion, certainly not a theistic one.