A nice column by David Brooks Friday, “Creed or Chaos,” that both extols the hit Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, and takes a turn, on that Good Friday, on the serious question of the relationship between faith, good works and the human condition. Not much that can be said in one NY Times Op-Ed column, but Brooks touches several important points, from pointing out the ridiculous:
The central theme of “The Book of Mormon” is that many religious stories are silly — the idea that God would plant golden plates in upstate New York. Many religious doctrines are rigid and out of touch.
While making clear the positive aspects of doctrinaire religions. Five points about rigorous theology, beginning with:
Rigorous theology allows believers to examine the world intellectually as well as emotionally. Many people want to understand the eternal logic of the universe, using reason and logic to wrestle with concrete assertions and teachings.
Rigorous codes of conduct allow people to build their character. Changes in behavior change the mind, so small acts of ritual reinforce networks in the brain. A Mormon denying herself coffee may seem like a silly thing, but regular acts of discipline can lay the foundation for extraordinary acts of self-control when it counts the most.
Good points, and worth reading — substitute “Rigorous personal codes” for “Rigorous theology” and one can move beyond the bounds of religion.
When Passover and Easter coincide, we are blessed with ….
The Ten Commandments and King of Kings on consecutive nights. I last watched The Ten Commandments probably fifty years ago. Well, considering it came out in 1956, maybe less than that, but it has been a long time. Now, with an adult and non-believer’s viewpoint, it is so utterly laughable. Especially the depictions of cultures about which we now know so much more.
(No Ben Hur. Perhaps the Powers That Rule All determined that one Charlton Heston epic was enough.)
From the Easter Bunny Department
Look at the Easter egg I found this morning:
From Edith’s most recent session.
Sucker Punch Department
I’m a sucker for maudlin commercials. There was a United Airlines commercial many years ago to which I’d tear up every time it came on. This time it is Purina’s Fancy Feast cat food:
For me, like a punch to the gut. Sorry, all you manly-man types out there, it’s just the way I’m made.
An Unforgettable Photograph the Photographer Wishes He Hadn’t Taken Department
A very good NY Times “Lens” portrait of photographer Eddie Adams. If you don’t immediately know the name, you’ll know the photographer by his work.
From our 2003 session.