The Thinking 
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April 7, 2011

 

Village Gossips, Thomas Webster

Village Gossips, Thomas Webster

 

Is a Man Obligated to Marry?

April 7, 2011

 

MAX writes:

You seem to posit that all men, simply by virtue of existing, are obligated to seek a wife, marry, and have children, unless there is a real impediment to marriage (religious vocation, mental/physical illness, inability to financially support a family, etc.) Is this assertion correct? If so, why? I’ve never seen any doctrinal or legal obligations within the church’s tradition stating this, nor have I come across any rational argument for this in the (arguably limited) philosophy texts I’ve read. If I have your view on this incorrect, how am I incorrect?

If the above is NOT your position, and normal men are not obligated to seek marriage just by existing, how does this scenario work: Read More »

 

More on Burning the Koran

April 7, 2011

 

RESPONDING to a Muslim reader who protests my praise of Pastor Terry Jones, I wrote:

[I] don’t support the casual, routine burning of the Koran. I don’t wish to see Americans burning Korans everywhere. That would be gratuitously insulting to Muslims, many of whom are good and decent people. Jones has made a political gesture by the public burning of one Koran and that political gesture, which is aimed precisely at the violence and intolerance you describe, is what I support.
 

Reading Amid the Whirlwind of Motherhood

April 7, 2011

 

Eugenia Ginzburg (second row, second from left) at the Tartarstan Communist University

Eugenia Ginzburg (second row, second from left) at the Tartarstan Communist University

 CAROLINE BECKENHAUPT writes:

After reading your post on Eugenia Ginzburg and Soviet Womanhood, I had to read her memoirs. I finally got Into the Whirlwind from the library. I started it last night, and I couldn’t stop reading. I finally forced myself to go to sleep at 1 a.m. –unusual for me. I’m still reading today, in between kids’ activities and vet appointments. She writes so evocatively, the tears always well up.

I can’t help comparing today with those wretched times. Of course, there are many things different, but one thing strikes me as being similar: scared people lying to themselves, to each other, in the name of a messiah figure, and what was assumed to be “normal” everyday life is turned upside down, and freakish things become mundane.

 

Carter on World Oppression of Women

April 7, 2011

 

JIMMY CARTER continues to be one of the world’s most outspoken feminists. Yesterday, he said the exploitation of women was “the most serious and all pervasive and damaging human rights abuse on Earth.” Read More »

 

Was the West Saved by Islam?

April 7, 2011

 

THOMAS F. BERTONNEAU writes:

One of your readers wrote, in respect of the Muslim period in Spain and the enthusiasm of the Reconquista: “A few voices of rationality managed to save some key texts which among other things introduced Europe to Greek and Roman knowledge.” 

Another one of your readers wrote: “The Muslims were responsible for some great civilizations, exquisite art, the transfer and preservation of classical philosophy, and a civilization of tolerance (in Spain) for hundreds of years.” 

This notion that the West owes its civilization to Islam is a complete falsehood notwithstanding that many otherwise intelligent and educated people continue to believe it.  The continuity from Classical Mediterranean to Western European Medieval Civilization is patent, which is to say that knowledge of the Greco-Roman tradition never vanished, even though at times it contracted to a few monasteries and scriptoria.  Many scholars have understood this since the nineteenth century, but a French researcher, Sylvain Gouguenheim, has recently and brilliantly restated the facts in a remarkable book Aristote au Mont-St, Michel: Les racines grecques de l’Europe Chretienne (2008).  Regrettably Gouguenheim’s book has not yet been translated, but readers of The Thinking Housewife may access my review of it, at The Brussels Journal, here.  In that review, I wrote:  Read More »

 
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