Dec 27, 2003
A few years ago, if I’d had my druthers for Christmas, I would have put a paper bag over my head on December 1, crawled under the bed and hidden out until Christmas was over—perhaps until Christmas 2007.
Fred, my husband of 17 years, had died in April, and I could hardly stand the thought of Advent, with its talk about hope and expectation, let alone the holly-jolly, joy-to-the-world celebration of Christmas. Grief can debilitate a person in ordinary times. In extraordinary times, such as the holidays, it can obliterate.
On any given morning, visitors to Fayetteville, North Carolina, can find hearty soldiers in fatigues running in step to a traditional marching ditty. This military town is home to Fort Bragg, headquarters for many of the army’s elite Special Forces and airborne units currently operating in Afghanistan and the Middle East. It is in many ways at the heart of our nation’s struggle against terrorism.
Americans are locked in an intense conflict over the role of federal courts. Conservatives are deeply aggrieved by Supreme Court decisions in the past 30 years that have struck down laws against abortion, laws on homosexuality, and certain laws and policies promoting religion in the public square. In a 1996 symposium, “The End of Democracy?,” the journal First Things protested “an entrenched pattern of government by judges” and raised the possibility that “conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime.”
The Farmer’s Diner in Barre, Vermont, serves the foods you would expect at a diner—ham and eggs, home fries, hamburgers, milkshakes. And it serves them at prices you would expect—the average check is about $7.50. Almost all of the food comes from within a 50-mile radius—which you also might expect, given that Barre is surrounded by good farmland, supporting pigs, chickens, potatoes, steers and dairy cows. But the fact that the food it serves is locally grown actually makes this place decidedly weird, the strangest diner in the country.
Thirty years ago “ecological theology” was a new phenomenon. By 1995 it was a major concern for the church and for many theologians. A comprehensive annotated bibliography published in that year (Ecology, Justice, and Christian Faith: A Critical Guide to the Literature, by Peter W.
With a trio of photogenic stars, a top-shelf crew and outstanding writer-director Anthony Minghella on board, Cold Mountain tries valiantly to match the epic sweep of Charles Frazier's novel, which won the 1997 National Book Award. But it lacks a clear understanding of what the book is about, and that's a problem.