Big day for Tips from the Times

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here is a four-point bulletin from today’s NYTimes:

1) I stopped reading Maureen Dowd a long time ago because her snarky tone has become annoying, especially if she is talking about her own Roman Catholic Church. Today, however, the headline “Anne Frank, Mormon” caught my eye. Apparently the Mormons are so determined to baptize everyone that ever lived that they have even baptized Anne Frank. I hate to admit it, but Bill Maher (“Religulous”) and Christopher Hitchens (“God Is Not Great”), whom Dowd quotes, seem to have nailed Mormonism more or less correctly. Well, I take that back to some extent–it isn’t really fair to harp on the polygamy–but the purported revelations to Joseph Smith (with his golden tablets that so conveniently vanished) really should lay the matter to rest for anyone who cares about the Great Tradition of historic Christianity.

2) The latest in sex education for 11-year-olds is not only hair-raising for social conservatives, it is apparently too much even for Princeton academics. This op-ed piece is remarkable for its balance, care, and analytical precision. Here is the link:

3) and 4)
We have all been reading and hearing reports about the fallout from the Great Recession for a long time now. And most of us have known about it and felt it personally. Today’s front page has two articles that seemed, to me this morning, to move us a bit beyond the place where we have been stuck, to encourage us to give serious thought to what an ever-expanding econony means both positively and negatively, and to offer an opportunity to reflect upon what it might be like if Christians seriously applied themselves to being content with less consumption and possession, emphasizing instead friendship, mutual service, growth in faith, nurturing children, mentoring teenagers, caring for elders, planting something, making something, studying something–being content with less, aspiring more to treasures in heaven. Since “things” have been a form of idolatry for me for much of my life, this is a serious proposal. Here are the two links:

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