The Thinking 
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A Nineteenth Century Birth Certificate

January 3, 2012



HERE is another handmade Pennsylvania German birth certificate in the fraktur style. It records the birth of Elias Nicholas in 1823 and was created by a young woman named Elizabeth Borneman Dieterly. The inscription records the names of the infant’s parents and godparents, the date and location of his birth, and a few other important details. It also includes this message:

Scarcely born into the world, it is only a short measured pace from the first step to the cool grave in the earth. O with every moment! Our strength diminishes, and with every year we grow more ripe for the bier. Read More »


Raised to Think

January 3, 2012


ART from Texas writes:

My parents are not very conservative and my mother is somewhat liberal though she is a churchgoer now. Nevertheless, they homeschooled me and as a result I was not subjected to the indoctrination of the school system. I was exposed to both Asimov and C.S. Lewis. I read God in the Dock when I was a small boy. In general society, I was exposed to viewpoints outside the liberal vein. All this was a benefit to my education. This is part of the reason why feminists want to keep parents away from children.

Read More »


Ad Draws Heat Because It Suggests Men Cannot Menstruate

January 3, 2012


JEANETTE V. writes:

This is a fine example of just how degraded we have become as a culture. A television commercial portrays a man dressed as a woman in a woman’s restroom. He is applying make-up in a mirror next to a woman. They compete for a feminine look until finally the woman pulls out a tampon and the cross-dressing man walks away in a huff.

The idiocy of the resulting scandal is even worse. The mentally confused and disturbed are decrying the ad not because of its disgusting portrayal of a cross-dressing man but because it is “transphobic.” The media is reporting this as if it is “news.”  Read More »


The Anti-Human Utopianism of Feminist Views on Work

January 3, 2012



The Economist recently featured a special report titled “Women and Work.” (November 26, 2011) What struck me the most about all of the articles in the report was their anti-human utopianism. The central theme was that we are moving towards a better world of equality but that we aren’t there yet and that there are still many pesky differences between men and women in the workplace that we should try to overcome with changes in cultural practices and attitudes and perhaps with outright government mandated quotas. 

There was some acceptance by the authors that there are differences between the sexes, that men and women might have different temperaments and different preferences regarding the focus on work versus the focus on the family but even when these differences were pointed out there was a tendency to blame things on discrimination and cultural stereotypes; to suggest true inborn differences between men and women was condemned as “biological determinism.” Read More »


Happy New Year

January 3, 2012



THIS 1788 American baptismal certificate is a an example of fraktur, religious folk art by the Pennsylvania Germans (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) which was comprised of elaborate calligraphy and colorful drawings of birds, tulips, hearts and other elements of nature. Fraktur included baptismal certificates, marriage and household blessings, illustrated words of wisdom, and book plates. This Taufschein, or baptismal certificate, would have been a cherished family possession. Over the Christmas holiday, I saw a small exhibit of fraktur and was struck by their remarkable beauty and reverence for family life and children.

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