Edicts of Nancy

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Reading is fundamentalism

After two weeks of taking public transportation to work, it's dawned on me that I now have an hour and a half of spare time in my day. I had initially planned to bring the style-deficient to the Lord, but gave up after some unspectacular results -- fellow travelers indeed. So I'm in the position of trying to figure out how to make this quality time for everybody: myself, the Lord, and my fellow conservatives.

One idea I've been toying with is doing more reading. Yesterday, over at a couple of my favorite sites, a Marvin Olasky piece appeared with a list of suggested texts on American history:
High-schoolers now have trouble understanding the 45-year Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, which ended in American victory, so I’d suggest that they read the first 85 pages of “Witness” by Whittaker Chambers (1952), who lays out the stakes. Peggy Noonan’s “When Character Was King,” a biography of Ronald Reagan, and William F. Buckley’s “The Fall of the Berlin Wall” explain the crucial figure and the signal event of the victory.

It’s vital to understand American perseverance during that era if we are to persevere in the war against terrorism. Noonan’s “A Heart, a Cross and a Flag” chronicles well the beginning of our new war, and Karl Zinsmeister vividly shows the undermining of a regime that harbored terrorists in “Boots on the Ground” and “Dawn Over Baghdad.”
I'll give Marvin's suggestions due consideration, but I've been burned -- quite literally -- by these recommendations before. The last time was with The Fragrant Veil, which, according to the chatroom buzz at the time, was supposed to be a Fallaci-like denunciation of Islamofascism from the point of view of a glamour-positive female Muslim, who would then be subjected to multiple fatwas once the imans caught wind of her fiery rhetoric. The only thing on fire, sadly, were my ladyparts, after sitting too long in a tub filled with grapefruit peels and clove oil. I thought I had chlamydia, which was pretty hard to explain to Jesus, since we had already passed that stage in our relationship where we committed to monogamy. Ever since then, I take these things with a grain of salt.

One of my frustrations with the magazines I subscribe to is that none are targeted at that intersection of faith, cosmetics, and rightward politics where I presently live. My style magazines are uniformly "feminist" in their political outlook and, worse, are borderline pornographic; my Christian women's magazines aren't especially political and are a tad bit frumpy (though, in all honesty, those articles on warding off varicose veins are helpful), and Weekly Standard never has any beauty features. That's why I'm guardedly excited about a website I came across, Christian Women Today. They have exciting features like plastic surgery from the Christian woman's vantage point and religiously appropriate undergarments. Best of all, of course, are the messages of womanly subservience:
Remember that God has put your husband in a position of leadership, and He will lead you through your husband.
Remember that's also why He made your husband stronger than you, so he can knock a tooth or two loose if you fall out of line.

The biggest thrill from Christian Women Today was finding a link to Models For Christ. I encourage all of you in the glamour-related technologies to give it a look, as it too offers a wealth of good advice. Happy reading!


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