Rachel Held Evans sure doesn’t know the Scriptures, but she’s smugly confident in her damned ignorance.
Rachel Held Evans sure doesn’t know the Scriptures, but she’s smugly confident in her damned ignorance.
G.K. Chesterton noted how tradition acts as a ‘democracy of the dead’ (Orthodoxy, Chapter 4, “The Ethics of Elfland.”):
Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.
Seems some Russian writer has taken this all too literally, given his suggestion:
A controversial Russian academic has proposed giving the vote to the millions who died in the Second World War, so that they can “continue to influence the development of the country”.
Alexander Ageyev told a conference by the powerful Orthodox Church on ‘Faith and Deeds in a Time of Crisis’ that the idea is “worth considering”, the local Fontanka news site reports. Mr Ageyev is director of the Institute for Economic Strategies, an affiliate of the official Academy of Sciences, and so his comments have attracted considerable media attention – not least about the logistics of how the dead would cast their votes.
The proposal has some topicality. For the second year running a march through Red Square by the Immortal Regiment – descendants of the war dead, bearing portraits of the ancestors – has been a prominent feature of the official 9 May celebration of the end of the conflict, with President Putin himself taking part. Professor Ageyev told Fontanka that the dead should have a say, “given that they were directly involved in the country’s salvation”, and even wrote an article in his Institute’s journal attributing hopes for the “resurrection of Russia” to the Immortal Regiment phenomenon.
As for practicalities, he suggested that their descendants could cast proxy votes for the fallen. Amid the predicable jokes about zombies, Gogol’s satirical novel Dead Souls, about stuffing property registers with deceased serfs, readily occurs to social media users. Some wonder why Professor Ageyev doesn’t consider votes for the “victims of Stalin’s prison camps”, while others ask whether “no taxation without representation” should also apply to the dead.
Living through a time of great social and/or political change can give one the opportunity to examine things generally left unexamined. Such can cause one, at least one given to introspection and reflection to perhaps an abnormal degree, the chance to see familiar things from a new angle, not previously considered.
I bring this up because of living through a time when a plant material substance that though previously legal in several jurisdictions has been against the law in many countries for a century is now in the process of becoming legal again, increasingly, in several jurisdictions. I refer of course to cannabis, or marijuana.
There are of course those who use marijuana for recreational purposes, and then there are those who claim to use it for medicinal purposes. No doubt, in jurisdictions where medical use is permitted but recreational is forbidden by law, the true number of those who use it for medical purposes is grossly inflated by large numbers of individuals who use it recreationally under the guise of medical use – e.g. witness the proliferation in Canada, since the new government announced its intent to legalize recreational use, of scores of ‘medical marijuana dispensaries’ that have popped up suddenly. Nevertheless, there are real medicinal uses of marijuana; e.g. it can awaken appetites / help keep food down in sick folk unable to otherwise eat; also, sedative properties. These uses were in fact known about back when marijuana was previously a legal, pharmaceutical product:
I got to thinking, why is it that we don’t often hear any more of people using alcohol for medicinal purposes? I mean, my maternal grandmother always used to have a nip of cherry brandy before bed ‘for medicinal purposes’, as she would say (and no doubt a little bit can help one sleep better), and many women of her generation would make the same excuse (the Queen Mother was known to vouch for the health benefits of her many gin and tonics). In I Timothy 5:23, Paul exhorts Timothy to partake of some wine and water to help his stomach and other ‘infirmities’. And roughly around the same era in which the medicinal properties of marijuana were first recognized in the West, so too were there various ports and wines for ‘invalids’, i.e. people stuck in bed with various ailments (who were apparently less valid than healthy, working folks):
And anyone who is old enough to have heard stories from old-timers now deceased knows that in the early 20th century, liquor was administered to revive people who’d been rescued from exposure to the elements (though no longer recommended for hypothermia victims), plus it was used as an anesthetic in surgeries when real anaesthesia were unavailable.
So what happened? Why don’t doctors prescribe wine or beer or liquor to help remedy various ailments? It’s true that every now and then, a study is published which indicates some health benefits to moderate alcohol consumption, but you never hear of any doctor actually prescribing it, nor do we ever see people taking prescriptions to liquor stores. Is it because there are other, better ‘cures’ for various ailments? Or is it because of Big Pharma, pushing their pills instead? Is it because of a holdover cultural prejudice against alcohol, left over from the Prohibition era? Or is it just because we don’t have the concept of ‘invalids’ any more, therefore no market for fortified wines for people laid up in bed (hey, why not?)? Or is it just because insurance companies would laugh and/or balk at the idea of subsidizing medicinal booze? Why no more medicinal booze?
I remember reading a few years ago a minister’s account of counseling a man with a pornography problem. The advice amounted to ‘Get married and have sex with your wife.’ The advice may have been ironic; but if not, it is surely dangerous. The use of pornography is not simply a result of overactive glands than need some relief; it is a form of sin which is complex in origin and manifestation. Simply finding an outlet for legitimate physical relief of sexual urges does not begin to address the deeper problems. To quote Butterfield (p. 83): “What good Christians don’t realize is that sexual sin is not recreational sin gone overboard. Sexual sin is predatory. It won’t be ‘healed’ by redeeming the context or the genders. Sexual sin must simply be killed. What is left of your sexuality after this annihilation is up to God. But healing, to the sexual sinner, is death: nothing more and nothing less.” That has profound pastoral implications, one of which is not seeing marriage as the cure for sexual incontinence.
Men turn to pornography as a sexual release outlet precisely because they’re not otherwise getting the sexual release they desire. It’s a sinful choice, but it’s certainly understandable. Paul, inspired, told us in Scripture that ‘It is better to marry than to burn’ (and in that chapter encouraged spouses to meet each others’ sexual needs, to not defraud each other); what does Pastor Trueman know that Paul didn’t? How is marriage not a solution?
(It reminds me of how Alcoholics Anonymous argues that alcoholism isn’t caused by excessive, uncontrolled drinking of alcoholic beverages, but stems from various moral failings, and that ‘liquor is but a symptom’ of the ‘real’ issue, a ‘spiritual disease’; from this, they argue that merely being ‘dry’ doesn’t solve such.
Which is bullshit. While people may turn to excess drinking in response to various stresses in their lives, etc., which may still remain even if they quit their drinking, the fact is, quitting drinking will return to them a greater degree of control over their lives, and then they can start to tackle various other problems in their lives. And the problem with alcoholism is drinking too much; not what led to that, which is a separate matter.)
Seems to me that some folks want to make hills into mountains. No doubt it helps pastors and ‘Christian counsellors’ sell books / counselling sessions, theological conferences, etc. (Oops; how uncharitable of me…)
The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”
The Minstrel fell! But the foeman’s chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said “No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!”
In this ludicrous op-ed from Julie Bindel writing in The Guardian, a clear, unmistakable, and shameless parallel is drawn between the “rights” of pet owners, and parents of human children. The semantic goal for Bindel in this piece? That pet owners should be allowed to to get paid time off from work to take care of their animals. Bindel states that it’s only fair since humans are afforded the same rights for their children.
I assume that whatever farcical animal-worshiping foolishness takes place in England can also be found in the United States. Of course. First World problems are tiresome and predictable across the pond.
Stick a fork in us; we’re done…
An author claiming women without children should be allowed to take time off work for a ‘me-ternity’ leave backed out of an appearance on Good Morning America today after she faced overwhelming criticism over her ideas.
As a magazine editor, Meghann Foye, 38, grew weary of fellow coworkers who left the office at 6pm to spend time with their children, while she was expected to pick up the slack without a valid ‘excuse’.
She proposed that women should be given time off to reconsider their life goals and avoid burn-out after she observed new mothers returning to work with a fresh sense of confidence.
GMA host Amy Robach addressed the outrage, bringing in psychiatrist and mother-of-four Dr. Janet Taylor, who said Foye’s idea pits mothers against childless women in an unnecessary competition.
Foye said it was unfair that expecting mothers got to take a break from work, only to return with a clearer idea of what they wanted in life.
In a NY Post piece titled, ‘I want all the perks of maternity leave – without having any kids’, Foye wrote having a child seemed to be ‘the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility’ in an age where people are expected to be on call every minute of the day.
She also argued that tending to a friend who had been ‘ghosted’ by a date was just as valid a reason to leave work as a parent who needs to pick up their child from school.
On GMA today, anchor Amy Robach announced: ‘Meghann was supposed to join us right here live. She has just pulled out of the interview. There has been so much backlash about her comments, viewers across the country [have been] weighing in on this all night long.’
Robach shot back at Foye’s arguments, saying maternity leave was ‘diabolically opposed’ to Foye’s ideas of focusing on the self.
Dr. Janet Taylor weighed in, adding: ‘There’s no question you need ‘me-time’. But maternity leave is not a time of play, passion, or reflection. It’s a time of you bonding, being sleep deprived..it’s all about your child.
‘Once again, it pits moms versus non-moms. As women, we don’t need that. i think it really minimizes the notion of stress and guilt for working moms. And it undermines the fact that being a mother is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, full-time commitment, and we can’t belittle that.’
Some great responses:
And there was a great comment at the Daily Mail site:
I knew someone who was out all the time getting chemotherapy, while I toiled away. How about us cancer-free workers getting Me-motherapy? Booking my morning show appearances now.
IMO, though, this is a natural result of having maternity leave in the first place; eventually, others will feel entitled to a similar break…