Category: Culture

True believers

I think that for most people, their religion, philosophy, life’s ambition (or whatever you want to call their primary sense of purpose) has degenerated into a football-fan spectator sport. It no longer matters whether you’re a good steward of the environment, or whether you’re building good relations with your neighbors, or whether you’re gainfully employed or, better yet, employing. It just matters that you’re rooting for the winning team and accumulating as many toys along the way as you can.… [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2005/06/09/true-believers/

Don’t you realize?

It’s really very simple. George W. Bush IS God, or at least speaking directly for Him. What I can’t quite figure out is why God can’t pronounce “nuclear” or string together a coherent, gramatically-correct sentence (to paraphrase Molly Ivins). Anyway, nearly half of the country acknowledges Bush’s deity and the other half are hell-bound infidels who don’t matter anyway. You’re either with Bush or you’re an enemy of the state. End of story, end of discussion. If you can even … [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2005/06/09/dont-you-realize/

Evangelism 101

This is from part of President Daniel Bliss’ speech when the cornerstone of College Hall was dedicated at the Syrian Protestant College (now American University of Beirut) in 1871:

“This college is for all conditions and classes of men without regard to color, nationality, race or religion. A man, white, black, or yellow, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan or heathen, may enter and enjoy all the advantages of this institution for three, four or eight years; and go out … [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2005/06/09/evangelism-101/

Trolling for fools

With Trembling Finger

By Hal Crowther, circa November 2004

 

I used to take a drink on occasion with a network newsman famed for his impenetrable calm — his apparent pulse rate that of a large mammal in deep hibernation — and in an avuncular moment he advised me that I’d do all right, in the long run, if I could only avoid the kind of journalism committed to the keyboard “with trembling fingers.” I recognized the wisdom of this … [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2004/11/02/trolling-for-fools/

Vanished like the strange times we lived

Strange Days

By Jacques d’Nalgar, October 11, 2004

 

1974 was the year I graduated from ACS. We were one of the last classes from those strange days between the wars of 1967 and 1973 and the horror that almost erased Lebanon, a time and place that 30 years later, still weaves itself into my thoughts and dreams every day. By my senior year there were only two or three of us left who had started out together in the … [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2004/10/11/vanished-like-the-strange-times-we-lived/

Rights and wrongs are rather more complex

Syria’s Shades of Gray

By William Dalrymple, June 07, 2003

 

The United States has probably never been more engaged in the Middle East than now, with an American army of occupation in Iraq and President Bush promoting a Israeli-Palestinian road map to peace. Yet the Bush administration has virtually ignored Syria, which physically links Iraq and Israel, except to single it out as a target of occasional bellicose threats. There has been no question of constructive engagement with Iraq’s … [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2003/06/07/rights-and-wrongs-are-rather-more-complex/

Fertile shores of the 700 Club

Dear editor,

A couple of nights ago, channel-surfing landed me on the fertile shores of the 700 Club. The Reverend Pat Robertson was doing a spectacular job of keeping a straight face as he “logically” connected the dots for his audience, directly linking natural disasters in these United States — fires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes — to her continued diplomatic “interference” in Israel’s affairs, first with the Camp David agreement, then the Oslo accords, and now the “Road Map” to … [more]

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2003/06/06/fertile-shores-of-the-700-club/