“Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental” | USA Today

Stacia Datskovska in New York City on July 24, 2019.

“Church should offer more open-ended resources such as meditation, discussion groups and even nature walks. Let teens come to God in their own way.” Stacia Datskovska, Opinion contributor: USA Today

Source: Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental | USA Today

As I read this essay, I am reminded of the introduction to C.S. Lewis’ essay, “Priestesses in the Church”:

“I should like Balls infinitely better,” said Caroline Bingley, “if they were carried on in a different manner … It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing made the order of the day.”

“Much more rational, I dare say,” replied her brother, “but it would not be near so much like a Ball.”

I am not defending the gratuitous self-righteousness of the woman with whose example this young woman opens her essay; lack of charity is never excusable.

But when Miss Datskovska jumps from the unkind words of an unpleasant person to generalize, “many Christian denominations are too deeply rooted in tradition. Whatever this ‘tradition’ comes dressed as, we find it a turnoff,” she is basically saying “I should like church much better if it were less like a church.” Continue reading ““Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental” | USA Today”

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This badass Edinburgh photo shows two ladies in long dresses and hats rock climbing in the 1900s | Edinburgh Live

Who needs specialist climbing gear when you’ve got formal frocks and heels?

Source: This badass Edinburgh photo shows two ladies in long dresses and hats rock climbing in the 1900s | Edinburgh Live

Occasionally, those of us who favor a more traditional – dare I say, “old-fashioned”…? – approach to life, and especially if we should presume to suggest that women look more feminine in skirts or dresses (as they have worn, with few exceptions, here in the West, since before the dawn of recorded history), get responses along the lines of “But, I can’t do anything in a dress! It’s too restrictive.”

To which I suspect one of these ladies might say, “Hold my cup of tea, and watch this!” 😉

Mind you, I’m not suggesting that women go back to rock-climbing in dresses and “sensible shoes.” Nor, for that matter, am I suggesting that femininity or decorum require quite such voluminous skirts! But this does rather put the lie to the notion that it’s impossible to do strenuous physical activity in them.

So, for that matter, does my experience working for a number of years on an organic community-supported agriculture produce farm. We had several female interns and apprentices who preferred to work in loose cotton “peasant” skirts, and on the rare occasions that they got in the way, they simply “kilted them up” until they were done that job, and then let them down – as, again, women have done for untold generations.

It ain’t rocket science, folks….!

Blighty Boys: The UK’s Countryside Alliance

“The Countryside Alliance is the campaigning organisation that promotes the rural way of life in Parliament, in the media and on the ground.”

Source: Countryside Alliance – Home

Just as the urban / coastal elite in the US ridicules what was once called “America’s Heartland” as “flyover states,” and conservative, traditional country people as “rednecks” at best, “deplorables” at worst, so the urban elites in the UK disparage countryside people, pastimes, and traditions.

The Countryside Alliance was founded, IIRC, in 2005, in the aftermath of the ban on mounted foxhunting under the Tony Blair administration. As it says of itself on its website,

“The Countryside Alliance is the campaigning organisation that promotes the rural way of life in Parliament, in the media and on the ground. We campaign for the countryside, for rural communities and for hunting and shooting.

“We publicise the economic, social and environmental contribution the countryside makes to the national economy and quality of life.

“Our aim is to promote understanding and acceptance of the rural way of life and activities such as hunting and shooting in a managed landscape, and to protect them from bias, misinformation and over regulation.”

Campaigns and causes sponsored or supported include the Campaign for Hunting, Campaign for Shooting, Game to Eat initiative, Food and Farming, and Rural Communities – among others.

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Any true Blighty Boy would, or at least should, be a member!

“Imagine a world that is clean…” – on traditional courtship and dating, by Professor Anthony Esolen

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor
The Sailing Signal Gun, 1880-1881 – by Arthur Hughes

Source: Is Traditional Courtship Really “Unrealistic” Today? | Crisis Magazine

From the inimitable Tony Esolen:

“Imagine a world that is clean, insofar as a world of fallen human beings is ever going to be so. Imagine then that a boy’s heart would beat a hundred times a minute just at the thought that he might hold the hand of the beautiful girl whom he admires so much – because she is kind and good and merry.

“Imagine that they have walked aside from a feast at their parish church, to watch the herons wading in the river to catch their fish, and the sun is deepening to orange in the west, and the sounds of children playing come to their ears from far away. Imagine that she too can hardly think of anything else but his presence, and that she is hoping that he will take her hand, though she is a little shy of it.

“Imagine that that they sit on a bench, and when they run out of things to say, he places his hand upon hers. And they sit like that for a long while…

“That boy and girl I have described will remember that moment for the rest of their lives, whether or not they end up marrying one another. It will be a memory filled with the sweetness and the innocence and the promise of youth.

“It will be a moment without guilt, or shame, or, God forbid, the remembered fear that they might have made a child, one that they were not in the slightest bit ready to care for, and one whose life would be at grave danger as soon as he were conceived. They could stand before God and man without anything for which to apologize.”

Just gonna leave this here…

P.S. Read the whole essay. It’s worth it.

Can America Become a Christian Society Again? | The Imaginative Conservative

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/1280px-george_henry_durrie_-_going_to_church.jpg

What is the status of Christianity in the United States today? Can there be such a thing as Christian society or culture?

Source: Can America Become a Christian Society Again? ~ The Imaginative Conservative

There are many points worthy of highlighting in this lengthy but excellent essay by Thomas Ascik – which I strongly encourage you to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! – but here is one that jumped out at me, and not only because it features one of my favorite writers and thinkers, Tony Esolen:

“Focusing on the differences between men and women and between fatherhood and motherhood, Dr. Esolen goes into an extensive analysis of the contemporary American family. He argues that girls become women more easily than boys become men, and, thus, the redefinition of masculinity and the compromising of formerly boy-oriented institutions like the Boy Scouts has been catastrophic. As a summary of ‘the way of the world’ in modern times, he points out that the Industrial Revolution took the father out of the house and feminism took the woman out of the house.”

Think about that for a minute (and ponder it daily): “the Industrial Revolution took the father out of the house and feminism took the [mother] out of the house.” Who does that leave? No one, that’s who! Continue reading “Can America Become a Christian Society Again? | The Imaginative Conservative”

The Glories of the West: The Beauty of French Architecture

Lovely examples of what we’re fighting for, from “the eldest daughter of the Church” – la belle France.