ANGELS: celestial beings who serve God

Over the past week there have been numerous comments from people reflecting on the tragedy in Connecticut which have referred to the role of angels.  For the most part, grieving people have said that the 20 children gunned down in their classrooms have “gone to Heaven to be angels.”  It is a convenient idea which […]

BÊTE NOIRE [beyt nwahr] : a detested person

I find it hard to identify someone as a “hated person.”  It’s a really, really awful thing to say about someone, meaning that the person has no redeemable qualities.    That’s what is meant by a bête noire.  This is an (obviously) French word that has come over into the English language intact…even the circumflex accent mark […]

THEOLOGICALLY DEPRESSED: to suffer from depletion of a positive attitude toward one’s faith

There is an extensive range of arenas of depression, ranging from social, economic, sexual, post-traumatic, post-partum, and numerous others.   But I’ve never encountered the idea of theological depression, at least not in any kind of academic or instructional form.  I “googled” it and found that there are, indeed, a number of articles about depression and […]

“PHONY THEOLOGY”: an arrogant judgment needing response

I waited several days to be sure I wasn’t just reacting emotionally.   But the arrogance of the comment by Rick Santorum, the leading vote-getter (for now) in the Republican Party’s attempt to identify its candidate for the Presidential election, won’t let me delay any longer.  I’ve had to sort out whether I’m responding as a […]

PANOPTICON: a circular prison, giving the guards maximum visual observance of prisoners

The idea of constructing a prison in such a way that one, lone guard has 360 degree observation of the entire population makes all kinds of sense.  I’m kind of squeamish about it being only one guard; maybe there could be two or three just in case.  But there’s no question that it minimizes the […]

ANESTHESIA: loss of sensation or consciousness

Yesterday I had a medical procedure which required anesthesia.  It is a repeatable offense, so I’m used to it by now.  But each time it occurs I find myself thinking about the sensation of it…or, to be honest, the lack of sensation. An invention of the nineteenth century, anesthesia is the creation of artificial unconsciousness.  […]