Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 | 0 comments

On Fairy Stories

On Fairy Stories

I want to propose a simple and likely enjoyable remedy to the angst and malaise that is all things Presidential Election 2016. My suggested medicine does not involve serious or satirical Facebook posts, lawn signs, raging editorial pieces, or warnings of impending apocalypse. Instead, I suggest reading fairy-stories. In JRR Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories,” Tolkien defines fairy-stories as “stories about Fairy, that is Faërie, the realm or state in which fairies have their being.”[1] Faërie is the realm of enchantment where not only dragons and trolls (and hobbits) reside, but all the things that enchant us in the created world, “the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves.”[2] These stories capture not only the mythical qualities of some other realm, but the wonder-provoking though often ignored aspects of everyday life. Tolkien narrates three ways that fairy-stories provide succor to readers: recovery, escape, and consolation. Recovery. “Recovery is...

Read More

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 | 0 comments

Are Women Human?

Are Women Human?

In 1938, Dorothy Sayers addressed a society of women on the issue of feminism. This address came twenty years after the Representation of the People Act of 1918 which granted voting rights to a limited number of women over 30 years old and ten years after the Representation of the People Act 1928 which granted the same voting rights to women as men. Sayers, a public intellectual and writer, was well versed in the Suffrage Movement and the inequality in all levels of society for women. Those in the audience may have expected an amiable lecture on the merits of feminism in light of the recent successes and continued struggles for the feminist cause. Those expectations, though, would have been shattered as Sayers begins her address: When I was asked to come and speak to you, your Secretary made the suggestion that she thought I must be interested in the feminist movement. I replied—a little irritably, I am afraid—that I was not sure I wanted to ‘identify myself,’ as the...

Read More

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 | 11 comments

C.S. Lewis, Roman Catholicism, and Bad Apologetics

C.S. Lewis, Roman Catholicism, and Bad Apologetics

After giving his talk, the venerable old Dominican friar came and sat near me, sipped his beer, and began to ask me questions about myself. Before long, it became clear to him that I was not Catholic but Anglican. As seems almost inevitable among intelligent Catholics, the discovery that I am an intelligent Protestant with high church leanings led to the question, “But why aren’t you Catholic?” Among some (my girlfriend on our first date, for example) this is a genuine question. For others, it’s more a reaction of incredulity—it seems that some believe that any intelligent thinking person will through a process of simple syllogistic logic arrive at an understanding of the superiority of Catholicism and convert. Which brings us to C.S. Lewis, because the venerable old Dominican brought him up as an admirable Christian thinker. And, reflecting the attitude I experience towards myself, he expressed his puzzlement at how such a great thinker (certainly greater than I am, I hasten to add) could have remained Protestant. The...

Read More

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 | 0 comments

Behold your wickedness

Behold your wickedness

100 years ago, two miles from my house, seventeen-year-old Jesse Washington was lynched just outside the courthouse in downtown Waco, Texas.[1] What came to be deemed nationally as “The Waco Horror” was caught through gruesome images of Washington’s charred body hanging from a tree with a crowd of thousands in their Sunday-best encircling the scene. One of these images (warning: this image is graphic) captures the face of a young man smiling a benign smile that could just as well be made in a school photograph or at the sight of one’s crush on a first date. The smiling young man beams out from the bottom right corner of the image. Just to the left of him, there is a tree and hanging from it is the barely recognizable remains of a man. It would be easy to stand apart from the appalling joy of this young man before such a horror. Evil is always easier to swallow when we are able to stand apart. It is a bit...

Read More