Thursday, July 03, 2014

Types of icons I particularly like

Roughly in order.
  • Icons of events containing icons. For instance, the icon of the miracle of Axion Estin. Or of St Luke painting an icon.
  • Icons containing collections of icons. What I am thinking of here is the icon of a tree containing the various styles of icons of the Theotokos.
  • Icons simply containing other icons. eg an icon of St Macrina holding an icon of her holy brothers. This is not as interesting of icons of events about icons or icons containing collections of icons, but I still like them.
  • Icons of many different events. For instance, an icon of the 12 Feasts - all 12 of them in one thing. Or, most ambitiously, an icon of the Calendar.
  • Parent and child - not necessarily Theotokos. eg. St Elizabeth and St John the Baptizer of Christ.
  • Icons of the saint surrounded by various small images of the life of the saint. The first of these I ever saw was of St John of Chicago because, well, I was in Chicago and they had the image all over the OCA parishes. They are a very common type of icon.
  • Icons of relatively obscure Dominical or Theometrical events.
  • Icons of Theophany containing the spirits of the water.
I'm sure there are more. That's all for today.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Purity Balls

Somebody mentioned purity balls earlier, which made me think of something bad.

Do you feel oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men? Are you a righteous man living in the midst of unrighteousness? Do you feel your righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds? Do you want to deliver your daughters from ungodly temptation? Then this event is for you: the 3525th Annual Righteous Lot Memorial Purity Ball.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

An odd rhetorical tactic.

In the little bit of discussion I had with some people regarding the issues of evolution and beating your children, there was a common rhetorical tactic that got trotted out in both: argumentum ad homo. It was slightly different in both cases, but it's weird to have people think homosexuality is a reason for "dismissing" "science".

Here is how it was presented in the case of evolution, to the best of my ability: reinterpreting Scripture because it apparently defies scientific thought is a dangerous precedent, since it opens the debate to reinterpreting other parts of Scripture in accordance with "scientific thought", which apparently includes an endorsement of homosexual behavior. Further, evolution can apparently be used in itself to argue for acceptance of all sorts of sexual goings-on and other behavior contrary to Christian morality, but the most important on the list is homosexuality.

In the case of beating children, it seems the argument was that psychology researchers have their biases which cloud their thinking and foreordain the sorts of results they will look for and will accept if found. An example of this bias is removing homosexuality from their list of diseases and saying it is a normal lifestyle. Therefore, accepting what scientists have to say about beating children is suspect, since it both contradicts the scriptural command to beat your children (with a rod, perhaps) and puts trust in a suspect group which promotes the "homosexual agenda" (which I presume has a stylish black leather cover).

Whenever I see arguments like these, I have to wonder what kind of odd parallel universe they are living in, but then I remember that people like Sam Harris both exist and sell a lot of books, so something is going on in the world. But, seriously, they need to get over it. At least they are not as bad as libertarians, who make everything into a "rape" analogy (except actual rape - then they blame the victim).

In conclusion, we can't teach evolution because of homosexuality. We need to beat our children because of homosexuality. The end.

Monday, June 30, 2014

On corporal punishment.

The Bible, of course, mentions it. It also mentions slavery. Many people still practice it. I'm not going to tell you how to live your lives. If your parents practiced it and you look on that fondly, I'm not going to say anything about that, either ("What did you say about my mother?"). However, when modern child development experts do include it on their list of "things you can do", it's last on the list and has a lot of caveats about how to do it properly. If done wrong, it has bad consequences. More importantly, it's very easy to overuse. Therefore, it's probably not a wise idea to categorically endorse it and it's a bad idea to say anything against people who don't do corporal punishment. If you do, you're wrong.

However, a certain prominent Russian Orthodox cleric has come across recently in conversation as if he is advocating this:

I realize that, with some caveats, laymen are not supposed to criticize clerics exercising their priestly ministry and all that jazz. However, he's full of shit.

But, then again, St Theophan the Recluse said to beat your kids every day whether they need it or not[1]. That's the only way they'll gain the phronema and believe the world is 7521 years old as the Bible says.

In a conversation about the article I'm referring to but not linking to, somebody said the following, "I wish more parents would give their kids a good smack, especially when they roll around on the floor with toys (!) during the Divine Liturgy."

This is completely wrong. Beating the children at church will make them hate church, rolling on the floor is perfectly fine for somebody under the age of 6, and children under a certain age will also generally have some toys. Deal with it. It's wonderful. If your parish doesn't accommodate this behavior, by the way, your parish is wrong. This is part of the problem with pews. No rolling room.

[1]: He did not say this.