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Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

February 2010 Archives

From neo-Nazi to haredi Jew

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s an astonishing story of a miracle of repentance: WARSAW — When Pawel looks into the mirror, he can still sometimes see a neo-Nazi skinhead staring back, the man he was before he covered his shaved head with a skullcap, […]

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Why I hate buying wine in PA

posted by Rod Dreher

I had reason yesterday afternoon to go into our local Soviet Socialist Keystone State Wine Shop — in Pennsylvania, you’ll recall, you can only buy wine and spirits at a state-run store — looking for a bottle of dry Riesling. […]

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Don’t mess with old Texas men

posted by Rod Dreher

Here’s a discussion of a terrific Life magazine article from 1949, about a failed campaign in the small East Texas town of Whitney, to ban a bench that the town’s old coots sat on and watched the world go by. […]

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So I cracked my enameled cast iron

posted by Rod Dreher

I can hardly express what a complete idiot I feel like right now. Not knowing any better, I put my new Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven, a Christmas gift to us, on the burner to dry after washing before […]

How Millennial are you?

posted by Rod Dreher

Via Sullivan, the Pew Center’s online quiz to see how much you have in common with the Millennial Generation (whose members were born starting in 1981). I scored 50; Gen Xers (1965-1980) average a score of 33; 70 is the […]

Chile’s monster earthquake

posted by Rod Dreher

Horrible news from Chile this morning: A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, shaking the capital of Santiago for 90 seconds and sending tsunami warnings from Chile to Ecuador. …The quake in Chile was 1,000 times more powerful than […]

Freedom of choice, freedom from choice

posted by Rod Dreher

Remember that Devo song “Freedom of Choice” ? Especially this lyric: Freedom of choice is what you got/Freedom from choice is what you want Turns out they were right. From today’s NYT, a column about scientific findings showing that people […]

Sarah Ruden, a joyful iconoclast

posted by Rod Dreher

The most exciting book of historical analysis I’ve read in ages — indeed the most exciting book period — is the Classical scholar and translator Sarah Ruden’s “Paul Among the People” (Pantheon) which attempts to defend St. Paul against his […]

And that’s why they call them killer whales

posted by Rod Dreher

Jim Nash states the bleeding obvious. Excerpt: You take 32 feet of muscle, teeth and brains out of the ocean, put it in a featureless tank the size of Graceland, force it to act like an idiot in public, and […]

Is the Reformation ending?

posted by Rod Dreher

My friend and colleague Charlotte Hays has a Wall Street Journal commentary up today, in which she reflects on Pope Benedict’s recent outreach to disaffected Anglicans. This passage, about Father Eric Bergman, a former Episcopal priest turned Catholic priest, caught […]

Against single moms in combat

posted by Rod Dreher

Mary Eberstadt looks at the moral problem of sending single mothers to the combat zone. Excerpt: The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America reported that 30,000 single mothers had served in those two war zones as of March 2009. In […]

“Oh no, look at that blister!”

posted by Rod Dreher

So said Nora, my three-year-old, gazing out the window shortly after she woke up this morning. She meant, of course, blizzard. I’ve never seen a snowstorm like this. Man, that wind! Idiot Roscoe loves loves loves the snow, and is […]

Health as harmony

posted by Rod Dreher

More from that Krista Tippett interview with Dr. Sherwin Nuland I blogged about yesterday — an excerpt from a Nuland book: Always, the purpose of treatment is only to restore nature’s balance against disease. There is no recovery unless it […]

Snowbound with children

posted by Rod Dreher

“If Darth Vader got into a fight with Caillou, who would win?” These and other pertinent questions being pondered here at our place on this snow day. Blizzard bearing down on us — the third major snowstorm this year, and […]

God and foreign policy

posted by Rod Dreher

New study finds that American foreign policy is handicapped by a “God gap,” an inability of the U.S. foreign policy establishment to fully appreciate the role of religion in human affairs. Excerpt from the Washington Post report: “It’s a hot […]

Toxins and autism

posted by Rod Dreher

Nicholas Kristof reports growing evidence that there is a connection: Concern about toxins in the environment used to be a fringe view. But alarm has moved into the medical mainstream. Toxicologists, endocrinologists and oncologists seem to be the most concerned. […]

Why people hate banks

posted by Rod Dreher

Er, wow: Bets by some of the same banks that helped Greece shroud its mounting debts may actually now be pushing the nation closer to the brink of financial ruin. The police in Greece pushed back against demonstrators on Wednesday […]

Temple Grandin: We’re failing our geeks

posted by Rod Dreher

In her TED talk, Temple Grandin gives an overview of how people on the autism spectrum think, and makes a brief case for neurological diversity as a benefit to society. She says that in most places, we have no idea […]

Love and “suffering with”

posted by Rod Dreher

In common parlance, the word compassion is taken to mean exceptional niceness, or an emotional state of unusual sympathy. That’s true, I suppose, but it shortchanges the real meaning of the word. Compassion comes from the Latin roots meaning, “to […]

Grace under pressure

posted by Rod Dreher

Look at that portrait of my sister Ruthie and her husband Mike, taken in the hospital the other day. Would you imagine that they were dealing with a Stage Four cancer diagnosis? Look at the light in their faces. That’s […]

Family medicine: Small is beautiful?

posted by Rod Dreher

I e-mailed a physician friend and medical school professor today to tell him about Dr. Tim Lindsey, and the incredible personal care he’s giving to my cancer-stricken sister, who recently became his patient. I recalled for my friend a conversation […]

How not to analyze religion

posted by Rod Dreher

I was surprised to come across my own name in Samuel G. Freedman’s religion column this past Saturday in the NYT. Freedman wrote a piece saying that voodoo is misunderstood and unfairly criticized by Westerners. Here’s the part where he […]

Is Rielle Hunter actually the grown-up here?

posted by Rod Dreher

I have a friend who is very shy by nature. He learns a lot about people simply by virtue of his reticence to speak. People often assume he agrees with them, simply because he keeps his own counsel (not out […]

A bad bit of biddy

posted by Rod Dreher

Boing Boing posted this very short children’s parable from an old storybook. It’s kind of strange and compelling. Take a look: What do you think it means? Do you think it has a different meaning for parents and children? I […]

Atheist scientist duns Darwinism

posted by Rod Dreher

Now this is combustible stuff: a Salon interview with Jerry Foder, a cognitive scientist and philosopher who does not believe in God, but who says Darwinism is built on a shaky foundation. Excerpt: Do you think people are defending Darwinism […]

A brand new day

posted by Rod Dreher

Today is a new day. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow is not promised to us. On this day, you can be reconciled to your brothers and sisters, your children, your parents, your neighbors, indeed even to your enemies. On this day, […]

The gift of forgiveness and healing

posted by Rod Dreher

:Today a Louisiana cousin from whom I’ve been estranged for 10 years and I exchanged mutual forgiveness, and repaired that broken bond, because of Ruthie’s inspiration. My cousin, who loves Ruthie too, and who has been helping her around her […]

The magnificent grace of Roger Ebert

posted by Rod Dreher

The very moment I got the phone call from Louisiana with the awful news of my sister’s cancer, I was preparing a post about this fantastic Esquire article on Roger Ebert’s fight with cancer. I dropped everything I was doing […]

The paradox of meritocracy

posted by Rod Dreher

I was struck last week by the David Brooks column in which he considers a paradox of our time and culture: As we’ve made our institutions more meritocratic, their public standing has plummeted. We’ve increased the diversity and talent level […]

Freda Rosenfeld, the Breast Whisperer

posted by Rod Dreher

Imagine our surprise to see a big NYT feature on the amazing Freda Rosenfeld, the Brooklyn woman who taught our Matthew how to nurse. Excerpt: About 74 percent of American mothers tried breast-feeding their newborns in 2006, according to the […]

Look what Ruthie did

posted by Rod Dreher

Or rather, what God did through her. From the comboxes this morning: Dear Ruthie and Mr Mike, I was your nurse for only 12 hours. I had six other patients that night, but you were the only one who smiled […]

The faces of my family

posted by Rod Dreher

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for making my niece Claire his Face of the Day today, and for linking to all my posts about my sister and her cancer. I wrote to Andrew from the airport yesterday and told him what […]

This bright sadness

posted by Rod Dreher

“Well,” said my sister to me this morning, “I was diagnosed on Tuesday, and the next day was Ash Wednesday. I guess this is my Lent.” The people of the Church used to think of Lent as a journey of […]

Mama

posted by Rod Dreher

That’s a photo of my sister Ruthie Leming and her daughter Claire in the hospital this morning, shortly after we brought the girls in to see their mother. I think the look on Claire’s face upon being reunited with her […]

Andy Crouch’s three last things

posted by Rod Dreher

Andy Crouch, contemplating the possibility of lung cancer at age 42 after troubling medical test results, thinks of three things: First, I love the world. E. B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web: “All that I hope to say in books, […]

Our beautiful, horrible cancer day

posted by Rod Dreher

Back home in the country from a long day at the hospital. The word from the oncologist was pretty grim. Ruthie is in Stage Four. They rushed Ruthie into radiation therapy at once after he read her latest MRI results. […]

When prayer seems futile

posted by Rod Dreher

I am finding it hard to maintain my prayers right now. I know in my head that just because my sister has not experienced a miraculous recovery and jumped out of bed to second-line out of the hospital, that does […]

Hospital in Baton Rouge

posted by Rod Dreher

How do you know you’re at a hospital in south Louisiana? At the coffee shop, during Carnival season they sell king cake by the slice. I got a kick out of that today, and was pleased and comforted to see […]

The theology of illness

posted by Rod Dreher

On the way out the door to the airport yesterday, I pulled a few books off my shelf that I thought might be useful reading in the days to come. One I grabbed was a thin but rich book by […]

My sister has cancer

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m writing from Louisiana tonight to clarify my earlier, cryptic post. I rushed down here today from Philadelphia because now we know why my sister Ruthie has been so sick: surgeons this morning found a large, aggressive malignant tumor encompassing […]

A grueling Lent ahead

posted by Rod Dreher

Folks, my presence on this blog will be light in the days to come. I’ve just received terrible news of a critical family medical emergency, and will be getting on a plane for Louisiana this afternoon. I’m not at liberty […]

What good has intelligent design done?

posted by Rod Dreher

Not much, either for science or religion, says physicist Stephen Barr. Excerpt: None of this is to say that the conclusions the ID movement draws about how life came to be and how it evolves are intrinsically unreasonable or necessarily […]

Why Orthodox Judaism thrives

posted by Rod Dreher

Shorter Ben Greenberg: Because it’s the antidote to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism among Jews. From the longer essay by Greenberg, who is the Orthodox rabbi at Harvard: What changed in the half century since 1952? If anything, the America of today […]

Icarus and the seraph

posted by Rod Dreher

Artist Dan Hillier’s portrayal of Icarus has the mythical figure being dropped from the sky by a seraph, one of the higher angels. Interesting what it says about hubris as a form of defying divinity. In this image (at least […]

Acid and our oceans

posted by Rod Dreher

Carl Zimmer has very bad news: A new study says the seas are acidifying ten times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred. And, the study concludes, current changes in ocean chemistry […]

Did Goldman Sachs help sink Greece?

posted by Rod Dreher

Astonishing story over the weekend about how Goldman Sachs may have helped Greek politicians take on reckless levels of debt and deceive their Eurozone partners — and how, more broadly, Wall Street bankers may have colluded on deals that now […]

Learning from chickens

posted by Rod Dreher

A poultry-positive reader in Colorado Springs passes along this recent UK essay about what one learns about science and the nature of life from watching chickens. Excerpt: Watching chickens is a very old human pastime, and the forerunner of psychology, […]

Pews vs. standing: an Orthodox controversy

posted by Rod Dreher

My family came into Orthodoxy in a parish without pews. St. Seraphim’s Cathedral in Dallas observes the traditional Orthodox custom of parishioners standing for the entire two-hour liturgy, though there are chairs lining the sides of the worship space for […]

Lent is here

posted by Rod Dreher

So, it begins — at least for us Orthodoxes; our Western Christian brothers and sisters will join us on Wednesday. I felt far away from our church home in Dallas today; the Forgiveness Vespers service is always so very moving, […]

Walker Percy movie

posted by Rod Dreher

A new trailer for the upcoming Walker Percy documentary:More info here. Hurry up, Win, and finish the movie! Dying to see it…

Are cell phones giving us cancer?

posted by Rod Dreher

Uh oh: Earlier this winter, I met an investment banker who was diagnosed with a brain tumor five years ago. He’s a managing director at a top Wall Street firm, and I was put in touch with him through a […]

Warning: Don’t move to Texas!

posted by Rod Dreher

Today is my 43rd birthday, and also the day my Texas drivers license, acquired in 2003 right after I moved to Dallas, expires. On Friday, I went to a DMV location here in Philly and got a PA license. I […]

The good doctors do

posted by Rod Dreher

A New York Times story today about doctors who rushed to Haiti to do rescue work, and who feel emotionally broken over those they weren’t able to help contains this haunting passage: In Uganda, three weeks away from her return […]

Jamie Oliver and Lent

posted by Rod Dreher

Jamie Oliver’s wonderful TED talk about fighting obesity in America:Lent is almost upon us liturgical Christians, and we’ll be thinking about food, and about repentance. Anybody have any ideas about what we can do in our own lives to change […]

St. Paul, in historical context

posted by Rod Dreher

Sarah Ruden is an highly acclaimed classical translator , a researcher on the Yale Divinity School faculty, and a Quaker. She’s also the author of a new book about St. Paul, called “Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and […]

About those piercings, young people

posted by Rod Dreher

This morning I was in line getting my Pennsylvania driver’s license, and noticed a teenager in front of me getting his learner’s permit. He had a small ring in each earlobe — not pierced in the conventional way, but rather […]

Wal-mart, friend to local farmers. Really!

posted by Rod Dreher

If Corby Kummer says it — and shocks himself by so doing — it must be true. Excerpt: I started looking into how and why Walmart could be plausibly competing with Whole Foods, and found that its produce-buying had evolved […]

How joblessness will change American families

posted by Rod Dreher

Sharon Astyk forwards to me a link to a massive and important new story in the new issue of The Atlantic, which speculates as to how the psychological scars of unemployment and underemployment (including a shaky job market) is likely […]

He made you want to be good

posted by Rod Dreher

A novelist I was listening to on the radio the other day spoke about how difficult it is to portray goodness effectively in fiction. Evil, she said, tends to manifest itself in dramatic strokes, but goodness is usually more subtle, […]

Darwin & Gray: How to talk about science and religion

posted by Rod Dreher

Via a New Scientist blog, here’s a nifty notice of the stage play “Re: Design,” built on the real-life 40-year correspondence between Charles Darwin and his friend, Harvard botanist Asa Gray, who accepted Darwin’s theory of evolution without losing his […]

The end of the Space Age

posted by Rod Dreher

Ross Douthat says that it makes sense that the U.S. government is abandoning manned space exploration, at least for the time being. He approvingly quotes John Derbyshire, who says: From the beginnings of modern science in the late 17th century, […]

David Rieff, on our self-blinding

posted by Rod Dreher

David Rieff is just back from India, and finds America to be sleepwalking its way to a bad place. Excerpt: It is in the manufacturing of an ersatz reality based on lies–or, in our present case, on the eliding of […]

As goes Greece, so go we all?

posted by Rod Dreher

Niall Ferguson says the fiscal black hole that is Greece may not be merely a Eurozone problem. As goes Greece, so go we all. Excerpt: For the world’s biggest economy, the US, the day of reckoning still seems reassuringly remote. […]

Mortality

posted by Rod Dreher

Woke up this morning to the shocking, awful news that an old friend was killed yesterday in a car crash near New Orleans. Gerard was taking his parents, who also died, home from the doctor. Police today booked a woman […]

The skyscraper or the cathedral?

posted by Rod Dreher

David Schaengold finds the skyscraper to be the emblematic building of the age of science, and the observation deck on some of them to be akin to a cathedral’s high altar. Excerpt: Nothing like the scientific method was found in […]

Snowpocalypse without a TV

posted by Rod Dreher

We didn’t get cable TV when we moved to Philly. Julie figured that because we only used it in Dallas for news, PBS Kids and the occasional Nickelodeon show, it was a waste of money to get it here. She’s […]

The miracle of forgiveness

posted by Rod Dreher

After last night’s bleak post about man’s inhumanity to man, I wanted to counter with a post about something awesome: man’s capacity for forgiveness and healing. On my Templeton-Cambridge seminar last summer, my friend and colleague Amy Sullivan presented a […]

Diplomacy on a snow day

posted by Rod Dreher

We have a snow day off today. How am I spending it? Doing a good deed: teaching my oldest son how to play Diplomacy. I played it a lot in boarding school, and totally loved it, but haven’t been able […]

Want to work with me at Templeton?

posted by Rod Dreher

We need someone who wants to be the web manager for the John Templeton Foundation, a job that will entail working closely with me in running the online magazine we’re going to launch later this year. Here are the details […]

Atheism and our inhuman nature

posted by Rod Dreher

On the drive to work this morning, I listened to a Mars Hill Audio Journal interview with the Orthodox Christian theologian David Bentley Hart , in which Hart discussed his book “Atheist Delusions,” which attacks Ditchkins et alia. In the […]

Grindr and the problem of technology

posted by Rod Dreher

The late media critic Neil Postman famously observed that the rise of broadcast media meant the end of childhood. His point was that childhood as a period of relative innocence is a socially constructed phenomenon, and is possible only when […]

Will a superblack name hurt your child’s prospects?

posted by Rod Dreher

According to the Freakonomics guys, black babies with “superblack” names (Roshanda, Darnell, etc.) don’t do as well economically as black babies with “whiter” names – but it’s not because of the name itself. This is why, they say: What kind […]

Modernity and seeing through a glass, darkly

posted by Rod Dreher

I’m really enjoying Templeton Prize winner Charles Taylor’s massive tome, “A Secular Age.” Unlike most philosophers, Taylor is a crystal-clear writer, and has the gift of being able to discuss profound and complex thoughts without giving himself over to impenetrable […]

The joy of victory: a New Orleans postcard

posted by Rod Dreher

I don’t care what you’re doing, stop right now and watch this video postcard from New Orleans last night, passed along by a fellow Louisiana expat. Imagine the joy of these people, who have been down for so long, but […]

Everything’s a hologram

posted by Rod Dreher

That’s the implication of a new cosmological finding. Excerpt from the report in New Scientist: If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger […]

Free riders watch the Super Bowl

posted by Rod Dreher

I watched the big game at the home of new friends and neighbors, all folks with Front Porch Republic sympathies. This morning, one of our crew, a Catholic theologian, writes to say: Every adult in the house last night was […]

Moralistic Therapeutic Politics

posted by Rod Dreher

You’ve heard of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, the approach to religion that sees God as a heavenly Dr. Phil, only to be consulted when we have a problem, which He’s supposed to solve, but otherwise Someone we would prefer would stay […]

Tracy Porter knocks off Peyton Manning, Brett Favre

posted by Rod Dreher

This was the play of the game last night:Didn’t it remind you of this?:The Saints’ Tracy Porter was the hero who made both interceptions.

Oh no! Not AGAIN?! Aaaaugh!

posted by Rod Dreher

So I take the dog out for his morning constitutional, only to find that we can’t safely cross the parking lot in front of our apartment. It’s on a hillside and has patches of black ice all over it; I […]

The Who: Embarrassing geezer spectacle

posted by Rod Dreher

I was watching the Super Bowl with some co-generationalists, all of whom were eagerly awaiting The Who’s halftime show. In the end, we all thought it was hugely embarrassing for Townshend and Daltrey. Wheezing your way through a greatest-hits medley? […]

WHO DAT?! Hell freezes over; God loves NOLA

posted by Rod Dreher

Child, child, I am just back from a Super Bowl party, and I cannot believe I’m typing the words: The New Orleans Saints are the champions of the world! I mean, damn! My dad phoned to say: “You tell those […]

Young adults: lost without a map

posted by Rod Dreher

I keep telling you that you need to subscribe to Mars Hill Audio Journal, and sure enough, every time I listen to a new edition, I marvel at how terrific Ken Myers’ interviews are, and how nobody is doing anything […]

Information, the basis of reality?

posted by Rod Dreher

Via the physics blog on MIT’s Technology Review site, here’s fascinating news from the world of quantum physics, about the potential for using quantum principles to teleport energy. Excerpt: Just how we might exploit the ability to teleport energy isn’t […]

HELLSTORM 2010 open thread!

posted by Rod Dreher

I am willing to open this forum up for liveblogging Snowmageddon. The first sprinkling of the white stuff has just begun to fall here in Philadelphia. It’s soft and beautiful — but that’s clearly what this Mephistophelian precipitation wants us […]

Faith, reason and paradigm shifts

posted by Rod Dreher

Writing in The Guardian, Mark Vernon comments on a recent Cambridge University lecture delivered by the major philosopher and Templeton Prize winner Charles Taylor, who spoke about religion and science. Taylor reportedly said that in the conventional understanding of faith […]

First they came for my terrycloth bathrobe…

posted by Rod Dreher

Boing Boing brings us news that the heartless communiss cretins running the Shanghai outpost of the police state are going after fashion-forward citizens who wear pajamas in public. An iron curtain descends! Meanwhile, in a blow for sartorial liberty, I […]

How to do a generic TV news report

posted by Rod Dreher

Genius parody — but be warned, there’s one brief f-bomb, so it may be NSFW:

Should “Mein Kampf” be published in Germany?

posted by Rod Dreher

The government of Bavaria holds the copyright on Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” and has exercised that right to prevent its publication for 70 years. But that copyright expires in 2015, and the Times reports there’s a controversy over whether the book […]

Who’s your ancient Greek philosophy guru?

posted by Rod Dreher

Mark Vernon created a fun online quiz to help you figure yours out. Here’s mine, along with a Vernon online video bit about him: Your recommended philosophy-guru is ZENO OF CITIUM.Key fact: He taught in a stoa, the Athenian supermarket, […]

Cooking gumbo with John Besh

posted by Rod Dreher

Folks have asked me for the recipes I’m going to use for my Louisiana cooking this weekend. The truth is, I’m not sure. I can’t find all my cookbooks in our giant pile o’ stuff as yet unpacked, and I’m […]

The Internet killed American democracy

posted by Rod Dreher

So says Robert Wright. Excerpt: The new information technology doesn’t just create generation-3.0 special interests; it arms them with precision-guided munitions. The division of readers and viewers into demographically and ideologically discrete micro-audiences makes it easy for interest groups to […]

Voodoo Christians? Really?

posted by Rod Dreher

Syncretism in our time, in the home of a former Lutheran pastor and her husband, who are now worshiping voodoo spirits: CHICAGO – Images of the washed-out Haitian hillside where their children’s relatives lived have led Peter and Paula Fitzgibbons […]

When social science won’t cooperate

posted by Rod Dreher

I have avoided blogging about gay marriage since starting this new blog, because without fail, gay marriage threads on Crunchy Con were examples of 99 percent heat/1 percent light. This new blog is not meant to be polemical, especially not […]

If Haitian vodou isn’t demon worship, what is?

posted by Rod Dreher

Regular readers know that I hold anthropologist Wade Davis in high esteem, as I’ve been quoting extensively and approvingly from his new book “The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World.” As one would expect, he excoriated televangelist […]

The language of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

posted by Rod Dreher

This morning on the way in I was listening to an old episode of the unfailingly excellent and indispensable Mars Hill Audio Journal, in which sociologist Christian Smith discussed his findings about American youth and Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. I was […]

Toyota attacked by black swans

posted by Rod Dreher

Things just keep getting worse for Toyota. Now there’s a problem with the brakes on some Priuses. Do you drive a Toyota affected by the recall? If so, how are you dealing with it? It seems to me that the […]

Oxytocin, the con man’s secret weapon

posted by Rod Dreher

So, we’ve been in a big day-long meeting at the Foundation, and one of the things I learned was about how we helped fund Dr. Paul Zak’s research into the role the brain chemical oxytocin plays in warm, fuzzy emotions. […]

Does the free market corrode moral character?

posted by Rod Dreher

That’s the question the Templeton Foundation posed to an array of smart people (e.g., Jagdish Bhagwati, Bernard-Henri Levy, John Gray, Michael Walzer, Michael Novak, Kay Hymowitz, and others) a while ago. Their diverse answers, including some videotaped responses, are archived […]

The amazing tale of Henrietta Lacks

posted by Rod Dreher

Now this sounds like a book I want to read. Excerpt from the NYT review: The best book blurb I’m aware of came from Roy Blount Jr., who said about Pete Dexter’s 1988 novel, “Paris Trout”: “I put it down […]

Ayn Rand, Stalinist monster

posted by Rod Dreher

Writing in The New Criterion, Anthony Daniels reviews a new Ayn Rand biography, concluding that Rand was not without talent, but was a particular kind of Russian-bred monster. Excerpt: In her expository writings, Rand’s style resembles that of Stalin. It […]

Why we need more Tim Tebows

posted by Rod Dreher

Washington Post sportswriter Sally Jenkins, who is openly pro-choice, makes a good and important point about masculinity, athleticism and virtue: Here’s what we do need a lot more of: Tebows. Collegians who are selfless enough to choose not to spend […]

MMA and the Fight Club for Jesus

posted by Rod Dreher

In an effort to bring young men to church, some Evangelical ministries and churches are embracing Mixed Martial Arts. Excerpt: Mr. Renken’s ministry is one of a small but growing number of evangelical churches that have embraced mixed martial arts […]

Old people have to save America

posted by Rod Dreher

The most depressing bit of news out of Washington I heard recently was that the president couldn’t get Congress to come up with a bipartisan commission on debt reduction. The Republicans refuse to talk about tax increases, and the Democrats […]

Researchers: Now abstinence education works?

posted by Rod Dreher

Big new federal study finds that abstinence education can work. Excerpt: In the first carefully designed study to evaluate the controversial approach to sex ed, researchers found that only about a third of 6th and 7th graders who went through […]

The New Atheists: Just like fundamentalists

posted by Rod Dreher

So says the Canadian philosopher (and 2007 Templeton Prize winner) Charles Taylor, whose masterwork “A Secular Age” I’ve just started. What follows is a passage from an interview Taylor did a couple of years ago, in which he pointed out […]

Rescuing ideas from the culture war

posted by Rod Dreher

Just got back from a good lunch with a local Orthodox priest who is also a trained physicist, and who has a passionate interest in the dialogue between religion and science. I’m thinking about how one thing I love about […]

When is loyalty immoral?

posted by Rod Dreher

Marc Ambinder thinks the senior aides who covered up for the sleazy John Edwards during the presidential campaign should be publicly shamed. Why? Because of the stakes involved in allowing someone as reckless and character-deficient as Edwards compete for the […]

Haiti and voodoo economics

posted by Rod Dreher

Social scientist Elizabeth McAlister writes about the real-world effect of voodoo religion on the ways Haitians explain — and make — the material world around them. What I found most interesting about McAlister’s post, which appears on the social science […]

Previous Posts

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Rod Dreher. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Most Recent Scientology Story on Beliefnet! Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 3:25:02pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mommy explains her plastic surgery
In Dallas (naturally), a parenting magazine discusses how easy it is for mommies who don't like their post-child bodies to get surgery -- and to have it financed! -- to reverse the effects of time and childbirth. Don't like what nursing has done ...

posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the ...

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to! ...

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a ...

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

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