- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2003

‘Sacramental’?

“Now it seems probably that it’s not a question of whether but of how what used to be the Anglican Communion will break up. I doubt if, even 20 years ago, anybody dreamed that the shattering would come over the question of homosexuality. … ‘God has once again brought an Easter out of Good Friday,’ declared an exultant V. Gene Robinson after his election as bishop of New Hampshire was approved by his episcopal colleagues. …

“Robinson, who left his wife and children in order to satisfy his sexual needs, addressed the bishops in solemn assembly thusly: ‘I believe that God gave us the gift of sexuality so that we might express with our bodies the love that’s in our hearts. I just need to tell you that I experience that with my partner. In the time that we have, I can’t go into all the theology around it, but … in my relationship with my partner, I am able to express the deep love that’s in my heart. … So it’s sacramental for me.’

“I just need to tell you that it’s probably just as well that he didn’t go into all the theology around it.”

Richard John Neuhaus, writing on “While We’re at It,” in the November issue of First Things

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Work and sacrifice

“For the past 40-plus years, the feminist movement has assured women that it’s best to focus on your education and career first and foremost, and if you decide later that you want to get married and have babies, you’ll find a way to fit them into your life.

“Trouble is, it’s not that easy since your prime career development and prime fertility years overlap. … Women are most fertile between the ages of 18 and 25. Fertility begins a slow decline at 25 that speeds up dramatically at 35. At age 40, a woman’s fertility is only 5 percent of what it was at its peak.

“If you want to have a family, you simply can’t afford to put it off until after you’ve achieved all your career goals. Your body won’t let you. … It’s impossible to pattern your entire work life after a man … without sacrificing what makes you uniquely female: the ability to bear children.”

Candice Z. Watters, writing on “If You Want It All, You Need a Plan,” Thursday in Boundless at www.boundless.org

Country slump

“Shania Twain may have performed at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, and the Dixie Chicks may have posed in the buff for the cover of Entertainment Weekly … but the truth is country artists aren’t as popular in mainstream culture as they were in the early and mid-1990s.

“‘Quite honestly, we’re in a down cycle,’ says [R.J.] Curtis [program director for KZLA-FM in Los Angeles]. ‘That’s unfortunate, but that’s what it is. For 10 years we were the mainstream, now it’s hip-hop. What’s next? I don’t know, but I hope it’s country. It expresses great values and has great messages for people.’ …

“Americans flirted with country music after the 1980 movie ‘Urban Cowboy.’ … But it finally entered popular culture in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with Garth Brooks. ‘He was at the right place at the right time,’ says [radio executive Alan] Sledge. ‘Top 40 formats were losing audience and market share. … Lo and behold they found country. Garth is credited with opening up people’s minds to country.’

“By the late ‘90s, Brooks’s popularity had waned and so did Americans’ interest in country.”

Louis Witt, writing on “Back to the Country,” in the November issue of American Demographics


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