COMMENTARY

Clapham Institute Blog

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East Wing – Part 3, A Different Way to Discuss The Da Vinci Code

Abstinence and coherence. Since 1993, about 2.4 million young people have signed a pledge to wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse as part of True Love Waits, a church initiative promoting premarital sexual abstinence. For seven years, researchers from Columbia University and Yale University studied 12,000 teenagers who took the pledge. In March…

East Wing – Part 2, A Different Way to Discuss The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code. For the uninitiated, The Da Vinci Code is a novel by Dan Brown that has been on top of best-seller lists since early summer of 2005.  In Brown’s novel, the “Da Vinci code” refers to cryptic messages supposedly incorporated by Leonardo Da Vinci into his artwork. According to the novel, Leonardo…

East Wing, A Different Way to Discuss The Da Vinci Code

Batteries and Baywatch. During her tenure as ambassador to Morocco, Margaret Tutwiler1 discovered that the average day for a Moroccan man went like this: work hard all day, come home in the evening, unplug the car battery, haul it into the house and connect it to the TV so that the family can catchBaywatch, the…

Indirect Delight

Head on. I bumped into an old friend at the airport last week and discovered we were booked on the same flight home. It made for a quick two-and-a-half hours. He was excitedly describing his meetings, especially the opportunity to “witness” to his colleagues. “I told them I read the Bible and pray.” “That’s great.”…

March Madness

According to business consultant Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc., beginning today – March 16th – lost productivity in the American workplace will increase by at least 3.8 billion dollars over the next three weeks.  The bleeding will only take place on ten of those days, during which keyboards stop clicking, voice mail goes unanswered (of…

Cartoon Outrage and Indifference

This too shall pass away? Abraham Lincoln once told the story of the oriental despot who summoned his wise men and charged them to go away and not to come back until they had formulated a proposition to be carved forever in stone.  When they returned, the proposition they offered him was: “And this too…

The Limits of Levees

The nature of the beast. As devastating as Hurricane Katrina was, a greater disaster might have occurred had the storm made landfall just 150 miles to the west, where a series of flood control structures on the Mississippi River are located.  Begun in the 1950s and built where the River makes a sharp 90° left…

GPS for the Church

For sure? On October 22, 1707, British Admiral Sir Clowdisley Shovel sailed his fleet into bad weather.  When a sailor reported that his own navigational calculations indicated Shovel’s ships were badly out of position, Shovel had him hung.  No one likes to hear bad news.  Plus, private navigation was considered illegal at that time.  It…

A Better ROI

Risky business? Economist Milton Friedman wrote that the social responsibility of capitalism is to increase shareholder profit. Period. That’s why many business people are skeptical when they read about corporate social responsibility, faith and work, or helping those in the workplace discover a sense of calling. They imagine return on investment is put at risk…

Keeping the Devil in Christmas

Boring. “Have you read a good Buddhist novel lately?” That question was put to a friend of mine years ago by a Princeton University PhD candidate. The focus of her studies was early, modern Japanese literature (including Buddhist writing), and frankly, it was pretty boring stuff.  She was discovering Buddhism lacks one element that makes…