Generous Orthodoxy  

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Must-see movie for us older people (and anyone who wants to understand us)

A recent movie called Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont has come and gone with little notice, but I seek to resurrect it. Here's what it offers:

---A bittersweet portrait of the problems and challenges of aging, the most memorable and touching that I have ever seen on film.
---An unforgettably subtle, luminous performance by Dame Joan Plowright in the title role—a masterpiece of the art of acting and a fitting summary of a life's work.
---An assemblage of marvellous elderly English character actors.
---A ravishing evocation of a long and truly loving marriage.

And an additional comment:
Orlando Bloom, move over. Young English actor Rupert Friend just eclipsed you.

You won’t find the movie in your local multiplex but if all else fails, look for the DVD when it comes out.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Real progress on the issue of torture

The Christian community is moving.

It appears that God is deploying his Spirit in a new way. The cover story for the February issue of Christianity Today features an article by David P. Gushee. He is an evangelical writer whom I have long admired. He gives five theological reasons why Christians should always oppose torture. I had trouble finding a live link on the CT website, so look for the whole thing posted in my "Tips."

There is more. After a very long (too long) period of silence in the churches and a split between Christian left and right, finally there is real progress on the anti-torture front. You can read about the the recent conference in Princeton, "Theology, International Law, and Torture," at this link:

I was the preacher at this conference. The sermon, "My Enemy, Myself," is posted under "Sermons and Speeches" on my home page.

Out of the conference has come the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. You are urged to endorse the statement and, if possible, to contribute financially to the campaign.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Betty Friedan: the mother of us all

I will never forget the day in 1963 when I was in a gathering of husbands and housewives in Richmond, Virginia, where we lived for the first four years of our marriage. The only woman in the group who had been educated in the "North" (Smith College) said, somewhat conspiratorially, to the other wives, "Have you read this new book, The Feminine Mystique?" It was a bombshell. There is a sense in which I trace everything that has since happened to me to that moment.

Oddly, I never actually read the book about "the problem that has no name." I didn't need to. I recognized it immediately from the descriptions I heard in reviews and conversations. Reading the excerpts today in the obituaries, I realize once again with wonder that she was describing me almost exactly.

What hath God wrought? The women's movement and all the phenomena associated with it has been and continues to be the most far-reaching social upheaval that the human race has seen in recorded history, because gender is the most deeply ingrained (and most vexed) property of the human being next to being human itself. We are only beginning to see what it will all mean.

In the meantime, boys and men are having problems. To be continued...