The Thinking 
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Sandy Hook

December 14, 2012


THE shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut were much worse than I knew when I posted the previous entry. According to the AP, 27 are dead, including 18 children. This is a living nightmare. The latest reports are that a fired teacher was the attacker. The New York Daily News reports it was a masked gunman.

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Secular Crusaders

December 14, 2012


IN THE entry about the new French National Observatory of Secularism, which will crack down on “religious pathology,” Daniel S. writes, quoting CNA news service:

In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, [Interior Minister Manuel Valls] said that secular morality is to “understand what is right and to distinguish good from evil.”

“Secularism is not about simple tolerance … it is a set of values that we have to share.

That sure sounds like religious language to me. Will someone investigate the Interior Minister for religious pathology?


An Elementary School Shooting

December 14, 2012


JEANETTE V. writes:

Depraved liberals are already blaming the NRA for the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, never realizing it is a fact that there were more guns at schools 50 years ago and these incidents never happened. Read More »


The Diverse Universe of St. Louis

December 14, 2012


ALAN writes:

Last January, in a post titled “A Tale of One High School,” I wrote about the decline of the neighborhood around Cleveland High School in St. Louis, the story of a “dead school in a decadent city.”

Here is a brief update:

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Delayed Parenting Is Not So Wonderful After All

December 14, 2012



I pass along to you an article in The New Republic by Judith Shulevitz, “How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society.” I was struck in particular by this passage, a quote from a female researcher who has been documenting the deleterious effects of fathering babies later in life: Read More »


Notre Dame

December 14, 2012

Illustration from Victor Hugo et son temps (1881)

WHILE FRANCE’S National Observatory of Secularism sets to work ridding the nation of “religious pathology,” the ramparts of the extravagantly anti-secularist Notre Dame Cathedral remain, towering over Paris, flying buttresses buttressing and gargoyles gargoyling, as they have for hundreds of years. The cathedral celebrates its 850th anniversary starting this week. Galliawatch reports on the installation of a new organ and the festivities.

In 1185, Heraclius of Caesarea called for the Third Crusade from the still-unfinished cathedral. On November 7, 1455, Isabelle Romée, the mother of Joan of Arc, requested that her daughter’s conviction for heresy be overturned at Notre Dame. In December, 1804, Napoleon I was crowned there and in August of 1944, the liberation of Paris was celebrated with a Te Deum mass. To a gargoyle on the towers of Notre Dame, Quasimodo said, “Why was I not made of stone like thee?”

Notre Dame is France.

Victor Hugo wrote of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre-Dame:

He would sometimes spend whole hours crouched before one of the statues in solitary conversation with it. If anyone came upon him then he would run away like a lover surprised during a serenade.

1853 photo by Charles Nègre of Henri Le Secq next to le Stryge in the then-new Gallery of Chimeras.


France to Oppose “Religious Pathology”

December 14, 2012


THE FRENCH government will monitor and shut down any groups that demonstrate “religious pathology,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday, two days after the announcement of a new agency called, with Orwellian candor, the National Observatory of Secularism. Valls asserted that many religious groups are of concern. According to Reuters:

Valls said the government had a duty to combat religious extremism because it was “an offence to the republic” based on a negation of reason that puts dogma ahead of the law.

Giving examples of religious extremists, he mentioned creationists in the United States and the Muslim world, radical Islamists, ultra-traditionalist Catholics and ultra-Orthodox Jews who want to live separately from the modern world.

As reported at CNA, the interior minister stated that the Catholic group Civitas, recently in the news for its peaceful protests against homosexual “marriage,” pushes “the limits of legality … All excesses are being minutely registered in case we have to consider dissolving it and defending this before a judge.”

Of course, who are the religious pathologists? They are the millions of Muslims opposed to historic France and bidden to conquer infidels. But, presumably in order to justify its concern about Islam, the government will monitor any groups that are actually religious, any groups that refuse to confine faith to the private realm. Perhaps France will eventually rival Saudi Arabia in its prohibition of any and all expressions of devout Christianity. Then the National Observatory of Secularism could be turned into a mosque. Read More »

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