The St. Louis Cardinals have a defensive dynamo at third base, the perennial Gold Glove winner, who also provides middle of the order punch to the offense, and makes them a yearly threat to be world champions. His name is Scott Rolen.
We forget this all the time. Perhaps as we get older, we’re a little less oblivious and proud about it, but I don’t think we truly understand the fragility of our existence. Most people who start off essays like this have some sort of axe to grind; I don’t, at least not about this, but I was reminded by something I read.
There are special days and months that we celebrate in the secular society. Holidays for the birthdays of presidents, recognition of ethnic minorities, and days set aside to raise awareness for rare diseases and conditions. Most of this passes without notice, and much of it is unobjectionable. But I have noticed that some of it is, and that it forms a competing liturgy with the Christian one.
I don’t know what sort of regime of shame existed in American culture before I was here. In some people’s telling, everyone thought sex itself was dirty and shameful, and untold secrets were kept. I don’t want to take us back to the good old days that never actually existed, but I think sexual intercourse between unmarried people is still wrong. That’s what “fornication” refers to, if you didn’t know.
I got your attention, didn’t I? This is not to say that I am its master; I am well aware of my lack. Nevertheless, the secret is plain in front of us. The secret of a good life is thankfulness.
One of the dodges that you hear in these debates is that only women should decide what happens in a crisis pregnancy. This emotionally-satisfying stupidity presupposes that reason alone cannot establish the personhood of the nascent human, and that the difficulty of the situation determines the moral validity of choosing to abort the child. Even if we were somehow to accept this “reasoning,” it conveniently ignores all of the pro-life women, who dare to risk exile from the cool kids’ table, in order to stand up and say that killing an unborn child is not a morally praiseworthy act.
In the middle of the summer, John Mayer released this album, and it sounded like a Hall & Oates album broke out. I couldn’t help but think of the last hit from Daryl Hall and John Oates, “Everything Your Heart Desires,” as I listened to the lead track on this record, “Last Train Home.” Just as they landed in the top 10 in 1988, this album is an attempt to lovingly remind us of 1988.
The state of Texas just passed a “heartbeat” bill, banning abortion procedures after the six week of pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers, and this is the part that has abortion advocates really concerned.
I join with our esteemed editor-in-chief in lamenting what has happened in Afghanistan. For the moment, I will leave the Christian reflection to him. For my part, I see the tragedy of Afghanistan as the unfortunate culmination of long-running battles in US politics, over US military involvement.
At the end of August, the U.S. Open tennis tournament will begin in Flushing, New York. Novak Djokovic has recently won Wimbledon, bringing his total of major titles to 20, equaling him with Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. Someone is likely to be the all-time leader in men’s major titles alone at the end of this tournament.