Saturday, June 26, 2021

While crossing Raleigh boundaries

Fall remains my favorite season of the year, but there's nothing quite as endearing around North Carolina as twilight in early summer. Cares seem to leach from the world for about half an hour, when the setting sun tinges the air a shade of lavender that slides almost imperceptibly into periwinkle blue. 

Skinny rabbits graze on suburban lawns, ignoring the blinking yellow-green lanterns of the fireflies that almost float by, buoyed by an alchemy of small wings and southern humidity. 

Twilight is the only time of day when, while commuting west to east, my thoughts segue from, for example, the Tuckman model of group development over to the bemused realization that "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" are actually songs about the same thing. 

Christian radio on the east side of the 40/440 split (where the same FM band flips from WSMW's "We Play Everything" format over to "HIS Radio" and its "Positive, Encouraging" tagline) runs seasonal promotions this time of year. My current favorite touts a pilgrimage to Israel with the slogan, "You haven't lived until you've toured the Holy Land with about 30 Tennessee rednecks."

Personally, I'd rather hear Gov't Mule sing "Soulshine" than listen to Tauren Wells croon his way through "Known," but that's a generational and probably also geographical thing. 

(Existential sidebar: Am I too quick to dismiss honest sentiment as cloying, or does anyone who grew up watching Marlin Perkins narrate Jim Fowler's close encounters with dangerous animals on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom between 1970 and 1983 really appreciate 'Contemporary Christian Music' as a radio format?)

It's in early summer, on this particular weekend, that one of my parish priests can preach insightfully about the "Markan sandwich" of  Jesus coming to the aid of Jairus, the synagogue official, despite being interrupted by a faithful woman with a history of hemorrhages (a story within a story =  a"sandwich," according to people who know). 

Fr. Ramirez de Paz pointed out that Jesus does not regard the woman who is healed by touching his cloak as an interruption. She is a child of God. Moreover, the wise young priest wryly observed, "To Jesus, death is not an emergency. To us, it is." 

And I did not know until it was mentioned in this sermon that the raising of Jairus's 12-year-old daughter from the dead is one of only three times in the New Testament when the original Greek text also includes the words of Jesus in Aramaic (in this case, it''s Jesus' tender invitation, "Talitha koum").

Both stories in that Markan sandwich have special resonance now that my sweetheart is blessedly and and cerfiably free from breast cancer, according to the oncologist whom she'd been treated by for more than a year.

Friend Chris, a dab hand at borrowing from the Church Fathers, observes after the fact that it's no coincidence that the woman in the story featured in the Catholic liturgy this week had suffered from hemorrages for 12 years, or that the girl whom Jesus brought back to life was 12 years old, "given that there are 12 tribes of Israel."

Friday, June 11, 2021

Learning about Motte and Bailey

 Today I learned about the Motte and Bailey fallacy. Interesting stuff -- and all too common, it seems.

The reference that first piqued my interest was at Instapundit, where Glenn Reynolds got it from the Facebook page maintained by Mr. Phil Magness. 

So then I went to Wikipedia, which admittedly can be sketchy, but the entry for Motte and Bailey there was helpful.

And yes, this illustration makes sense:

I feel edumacated! And Bookform the Essayist has a long-form but fascinating explanation about why this matters, as does science fiction author John C. Wright, who comes at critical race theory from a decidedly different angle.