Words Matter

Picture 27This news story reminded me of teaching long ago, and trying to persuade students that “God” was not necessarily a generic, cross-cultural, trans-historical term but, instead, usually carried with it (as do all words) a specific baggage (e.g., the Christian doctrine of trinity, the role of Jesus, specific ideas of heaven and salvation, the bible, etc.) — an argument not that different from trying to persuade students that “man” is not necessarily a universal designator for all human beings (i.e., introducing them to the issue of gender inclusive language). Continue reading

Religion on the Television (Part 3)

3 grace florrick

Kate Burton also plays attorney Victoria Adler on the series The Good Wife, and to that show I would now like to turn. The Good Wife‘s central character is Alicia Florrirck (Julianna Margulies), a woman estranged from her politician husband, Peter Florrick (Chris North), whose misdeeds force him to be removed from public office as Cook County state’s attorney. A recording of Peter’s adulterous affairs is aired endlessly on all forms of media; on account of his political crimes, he is incarcerated in the Cook County Jail for a time during which Alicia, who had been a housewife for the last decade or so, realizes she must make her own way in the world. She eventually lands a job as a first-year intern in the prestigious law firm of her former Georgetown classmate (and subsequent lover) Will Gardner (Josh Charles). Continue reading

I’ll Be Watching You

elfDid you spot this essay online? Maybe you already know about the phenomenon known as The Elf on the Shelf — if not, it’s creepy. Or at least that’s what we’re told — a story book and accompanying toy elf that sits quietly, watches and listens, and reports back to the North Pole. Continue reading