Can We Talk?  Round and Round on Immigration


Janie and Charlotte, good friends from college who have gone their separate ways politically, try to be reasonable about some hot-button issues.  We’ve talked about religious freedom, the proper role of government, and state-supported health care.  Then . . . Janie: So here’s what happened: I threw you a short list of topics, and you […]

Nine Things the Church Needs to Understand about Art (and Artists)

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Art is not a separate category of human endeavor, like “business,” “psychology,” “pest control,” “education,” or “politics.”  Some men and women make a living by creative pursuits, and we call them “artists” (or dancers, authors, screenwriters, photographers).  But in the broadest sense, art is something we are all called to, as imitators of our creative […]

Sad Kids


At National Review, Mona Charon writes about an extensive study reported in the journal Translational Psychiatry: “Sex differences in recent first-onset depression in an epidemiological sample of adolescents.”  (Here’s an abstract of the study)  The sex difference findings are interesting—teen girls are twice as likely as boys to feel depressed—but the real punch to the […]

On the Brink of Disaster

For the last week an old spiral-bound journal has been occupying my desk.  I like to browse my journals for ideas occasionally, to see if I’ve grown out of certain kinds of angst.  Here’s an entry from June 1999: Sometimes the world tilts like a ride at the county fair when everyone on deck pretends […]

Spirit in the Qubits


Just when you think you might have a grip on Schrodinger’s cat, along come qubits.  I started hearing about this when a theoretical 7-qubit computer made the news in the spring of 2000.  Now teams are experimenting with a 20-qubit computer, and a 49-qubit machine is supposed to be just around the corner.  49 is […]

The Age of "Horrific"

It happened again—suicide bomber blows up self in a crowded venue, taking about two dozen immortal souls with him.  There’s always some extra hellish touch to these events.  This time it’s the nature of the crowd: teenagers, most of them, the vast majority girls.  Girls in swift transition, trying to figure out who they are […]

The End of All Beginnings

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he may be preeminent.  Col. 1:18 Today is the first day of the rest of your life. That’s the motivational slogan I remember from college.  It was a revelation: Hey!  Whatever bad habits I’d collected, whatever sins I’d slipped into, there was always […]

Strawberry Nation

Jonathan Edwards, in his famous paper describing the behavior of spiders, noted “the exuberance of creation,”  as though he wouldn’t have minded swinging on a thread of silk for a few minutes.  At strawberry season I catch a scent of exuberance, especially when the plants I set in four years ago decide to go wild. […]

Mother's Day: No Laughing Matter

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I realized something for the first time when my kids were of an age for sleepovers and birthday parties: dads are funnier than moms. I might have noticed it in my own house if it wasn’t right under my nose.  My husband was the one to get on the floor and wrestle, start sock fights, […]