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World

Stifled, Egypt’s Young Turn to Islamic Fervor

“'I can’t get a job, I have no money, I can’t get married, what can I say?’ Mr. Sayyid said… In their frustration, the young are turning to religion for solace and purpose, pulling their parents and their governments along with them. With 60 percent of the region’s population under the age of 25, this youthful religious fervor has enormous implications for the Middle East. More than ever, Islam has become the cornerstone of identity, replacing other, failed ideologies: Arabism, socialism, nationalism.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    egypt | islam | middle east

Issues

For the Children: David Blankenhorn and Kay S. Hymowitz on marriage

“The material Blankenhorn amasses establishes that far from a private relationship to satisfy adult needs, marriage is a social institution to meet social needs. Against this argument the case for same-sex marriage cannot stand… [A]ccepting same-sex marriage means accepting same-sex parenthood, by whatever means a child is acquired. This will deny the child the very benefit marriage was instituted to confer on him. Blankenhorn characterizes Andrew Sullivan's argument as ‘reeking of narcissism’ and demanding that ‘we worry less about children and more about adults.’" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    children | divorce | marriage | same-sex

Faith

Pope: Why the ‘dual-unity’ of man and woman is important

“[it] is based on the foundation of the dignity of every person, created in the image and likeness of God, who ‘created them male and female’ (Genesis 1:27), as much avoiding an indistinct uniformity and flattened-out and impoverished equality as an abysmal and conflictive difference … This dual-unity carries with it, inscribed in bodies and souls, the relation with the other, love for the other, interpersonal communion that shows that ‘the creation of man is also marked by a certain likeness to the divine communion.’ When, therefore, men or women pretend to be autonomous or totally self-sufficient, they risk being closed up in a self-realization … which in fact reduces them to an oppressive solitude.” READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    gender | genesis | man | marriage | sexuality | woman

Life

Overselling Overmedication: The panic over pill-popping may be wrong

“People have been unofficially drugging themselves for as long as they’ve had the capability to do so. They smoked cigarettes to boost their concentration. They drank cocktails with lunch and dinner — and more — to deal with anxiety and despair. Prior to the modern era of F.D.A.-regulated prescribing practices, they slugged down untold quantities of tonics and bromides. All of which suggests that what social critics now identify as the signature event of our time (the urge to manage psychic pain through substance use) may, in fact, almost always have been a facet of the human condition. It may just be that we’re better at it than ever before – with cleaner, safer, less addictive and debilitating tools at our disposal.” READ MORE >


Business

Too many stores: How long will the anti-shopping backlash last?

“The extreme consumption of this current gilded age has inspired a backlash. In December, hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio ran full-page advertisements in newspapers urging Americans to eschew Christmas gifts and instead make donations to charity. Maybe he's just run out of things to buy. Or maybe he's surfing the zeitgeist… [but] the cultural anti-retail moment will likely pass. Thoreau lasted only 26 months in his cabin by Walden Pond. The elevation of frugality into a virtue seems likely to last about as long as modern recessions do—about eight months.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    consumerism | frugality | shopping

World

Nicolas Sarkozy embraces God as good for society, igniting debate over church and state in France

Last December Sarkozy expounded on "’France's essentially Christian roots. A man who believes is a man who hopes,’ said the president. ‘And the interest of the republic is that there be a lot of men and women who hope.’ He advocated a new ‘positive secularism’ that ‘doesn't consider religions a danger, but an asset.’ And he declared, ‘In the transmission of values and in the teaching of the difference between good and evil, the schoolteacher will never be able to replace the priest or the pastor.’" READ MORE >


World

Letter to the Family of the Palestinian Sniper Who Killed David Damelin

This for me is one of the most difficult letters I will ever have to write. My name is Robi Damelin, I am the mother of David who was killed by your son. I know he did not kill David because he was David, if he had known him he could never have done such a thing... I also feel that if he understood that taking the life of another may not be the way and that if he understood the consequences of his act, he could see that a non-violent solution is the only way for both nations to live together in peace. READ MORE >


Culture

The ‘Problem of Evil’ in Postwar Europe

“After 1945 our parents' generation set aside the problem of evil because —for them—it contained too much meaning. The generation that will follow us is in danger of setting the problem aside because it now contains too little meaning. How can we prevent this? How, in other words, can we ensure that the problem of evil remains the fundamental question for intellectual life, and not just in Europe? I don't know the answer but I am pretty sure that it is the right question.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    europe | evil | holocaust

Politics

Who will Catholics vote for in November—Obama or McCain?

“Sorry to tell you this, Sen. McCain, but a good number of the Catholics I know are not certain to light candles at the Republican political altar. Some of us who rode McCain's Straight Talk Express before the Republican commitment to a balanced budget put us on track toward a $400 billion deficit appreciate his confessed desire to redeem himself as a faithful conservative. But there are suspicions. After all, hanging out with Joe Lieberman and Russ Feingold comes well within the Latin canon: Similes similibus gaudent. Pares cum paribus facile congregantur—birds of a feather flock together.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    catholic | election | mccain | obama | voters

Faith

N.T. Wright says don’t think heaven, think Resurrection

“Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death — in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth... John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: ‘God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves.’ That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.” READ MORE >

(1) COMMENT  |  TOPICS:    heaven | resurrection

Faith

20-Something Evangelicals: a new vision, a timeless orthodoxy

“Theologically, these 20-somethings are abandoning a worldview that reduces the gospel of Jesus Christ to an afterlife-oriented, fire-insurance, salvation pitch. These are Matthew 25, Luke 4, and “Sermon on the Mount” Christians. They really believe that the kingdom of God represents God’s best hopes and dreams for this present age, not only for the life to come. From coffee-infused, late-night seminary conversations to missions trips bringing them into relationship with single mothers living in the crumbling remains of America’s inner cities, with children living on garbage dumps in Mexico, with teenage girls rescued out of Southeast Asia’s sex industry, and with the boy soldiers of sub-Saharan Africa – the 20-something evangelical worldview is being disciplined by a new global context. “ READ MORE >


Politics

Young voters will help, but can’t elect, Obama

"If [Obama] wins his party’s nomination, the 46-year-old stands a shot against the 72-year-old John McCain. Even so, Obama would need to find a bloc of voters outside his coalition of blacks and yuppies. But the history of the post-1968 Democratic party suggests that Obama would struggle in wooing a new constituency. The national party has pursued the votes of young people, minorities, and liberated women first and foremost — and those of the white working class and Catholics second, if at all. As a result, only two of the party’s last seven presidential nominees have won. Obama could be the third winner, but he will need more than hope." READ MORE >


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