Call this column "Exclusion II." We can't answer your e-mail responses, though we welcome them and learn from them. And we rarely repeat attention to a topic, since there are so many objects of our "sightings" out there to treat.
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April 28, 2003
April 24, 2003
Perhaps no one still believes that photographs exhibit unadulterated reality. Photos, we know, are subject to any number of editorial, compositional, and other strategic effects that might be used not to display reality, but to convey ideology under the guise of factual appearance. That said, photographs nonetheless exhibit a kind of evidential quality.
April 21, 2003
"Exclusion," Carl Sandburg once said, was the ugliest word in the English language. Two kinds of exclusion appear in the sightings we do every week. It's important to keep them apart.
April 17, 2003
I admit to being a bit offended by the U.S. military's use of the words shock and awe to describe the bombing campaign which began the war with Iraq. Not shock so much, since obviously the stunning effect of explosives is part of the process of defeating an enemy. The ones who are not killed by the blast are demoralized by its shocking force.
April 14, 2003
Five days in Paris left me and the entire Marty-Party (five of us) refreshed, thanks to our attendance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, conducted by friend John Nelson at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We cannot profess expertise about what the “French” are thinking about our war, because these were days off from work and days on pilgrimage -- not a time for poll- or pulse-taking.
April 10, 2003
In "The Varieties of Wounding Experience [Sightings, February 27]," Jeremy Biles, drawing on William James, asserts that wounds strike us from a place prior to logic and outside the limits of our control.
April 7, 2003
A policy statement from your Monday morning contributor to Sightings: we are not going to talk about religion-and-the-war every week. There is plenty to talk about, and we won't close our eyes and ears to it. Note: this is not opting out for commercial reasons; we are a freebie. CBS, in The Wall Street Journal (April 3), finds that war coverage has reached "a bit of a saturation point ...
March 31, 2003
Most Americans spent their wartime Sunday eight days ago doing mainly ordinary things: going to church, not going to church, spending time with the children, reading, watching TV. Many others did extraordinary things, far from media and the public eye.
March 27, 2003
No matter how you interpret the separation of church and state, it is clear that the president's new faith-based initiatives cross an old, well-established line. The question is not whether religious groups can get government money: they can and have for years. The question is whether they must keep their state-funded practices separate from their "sectarian" ones.
March 24, 2003
Sociologist Henri Desroche in Jacob and the Angel* offered "a triptych corresponding to three functions" of religion in society: "attesting," "contesting," "protesting." A self-affirming society that confirms its own existence has religion "attesting," serving an integrating function. That's the normal state of affairs.
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