A curious find

Dr. James D. Bales wrote Americanism Under Fire in 1965.  The impetus for this book was perceived attacks—by communists, socialists, and the Anti-Defamation League—on cherished "American" institutions and values. I found a copy of this book among the collection of Andy T. Ritchie, Jr., my late grandfather.  Slipped behind its cover was an unsurprising endorsement … Continue reading A curious find

Inklings of kingdom

I've just learned (or relearned—who can tell at my age?) that there was a literary group in the 1930s and 40s called the Inklings.  The group comprised at least seven British authors, notably including Tolkien and Lewis.  The common-noun meaning of "inkling" runs along the lines of "hint" or "suggestion."  The kingdom is the reign … Continue reading Inklings of kingdom

A Charpentier CD, of all things

I don't know anything about Marc-Antoine Charpentier other than his name, really.  I looked him up and found that he lived during Corelli's lifetime, dying before Bach was out of his teens.  Charpentier's Te Deum is relatively well known, and the Prelude (shown above) from that larger work is familiar.  I read this yesterday in … Continue reading A Charpentier CD, of all things


Ideological conflicts breed bad behavior. One type of bad behavior—coercing others into doing things you want them to do—seems to be proliferating. (It's probably just my heightened consciousness and the particular situation in which the world finds itself, but maybe not.) Authoritarian coercion, combined with the approval of either individual or collective conscience, is a … Continue reading Coercion

Against Christian nationalism

It's difficult to keep oneself from the influences of Christian nationalism.  The influence of its verbiage and concepts seem to pop up everywhere within Christian organizations —including "Bible" classes, prayer requests, and casual conversation.  Even marginal Christians and non-Christians often assume the conjoining of Christian faith/practice, on the one hand, and (particularly American) nationalism, on … Continue reading Against Christian nationalism