COMMENTARY

Clapham Institute Blog

Welcome to the Clapham Institute Blog. You may have followed us previously at doggieheadtilt.com or come across us through a corporate event, church gathering, or online outreach. However you arrived here, we're glad to have you. If you have any questions about the content we're presenting, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Best of Citizens

Fall colors. In Maryland, we’re already deep into the fall colors.  I’m not talking about leaves turning various shades, but the splendiferous array of candidate’s signs that litter the landscape.  We’re in the political season again.  And that always raises the thorny question of the relationship between religion and politics.  At present, we have three…

Parking Lots and Pathways

Parking lots. If a company has a "values statement," it could be the culprit if the organization experiences an ethics scandal one day.  If a church has a "values statement," it could explain why many believers have difficulty connecting Sunday to Monday.  The key is in knowing when the idea of "values" surfaced.

A Hinge in History

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Those remarkable words, penned by Thomas Jefferson, caused the patriot physician Benjamin Rush to declare: "’Tis done! We have become…

Conventional and Peculiar

In 1928 Coca-Cola began to market their product in China. Legend has it that the Coke people recognized their peculiar name presented a significant language barrier. They kept trying to match the sounds "ko-ka-ko-la" to conventional Chinese characters, but with little success. Eventually, some Mandarin shopkeepers became impatient and hung up signs that matched the…

For the Love of Adverbs

God loveth adverbs. After watching his Detroit Pistons basketball team fall behind the Miami Heat three games to one on Tuesday evening, head coach Flip Saunders noted “Right now, we’re not functioning very good…” That may be true, but I wonder if Saunders’ intention was to discuss the Pistons’ virtue. By using an adjective where…

Kites Without Tails

Old bed sheets. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I’m highlighting two surveys released this week citing how The Da Vinci Code has undermined faith in the Roman Catholic Church and badly damaged its credibility. A British survey revealed that readers of Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel are twice as likely to believe Jesus…

East Wing – Part 4, A Different Way to Discuss The Da Vinci Code

The arts as an ally. When Brigham Young led his Mormon flock to Utah, he instructed them to first build a Temple that would be used only by Mormons for worship.  The second project, interestingly, was to build a center for the performing arts that could be used by the entire community. Young viewed the…

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…