The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary

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Born Out of Due Time, by Ched P. Rayson, Chapter Nine

“This is a tough town.  As tough maybe as Catania.  You know, some of the boys here, their families come from Catania.  They know their way around.  So do I.  I’m not connected, if that’s what you’re thinkin, but I get to hear things.  Some of the guys—never mind who—are interested in that place you and the blond signorina are workin at.  When they’re innerested in somethin, it could be trouble.”

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Poems of the Week

Traveling Music Submitted by Ray Olson “The Lordly Hudson” by Paul Goodman “Driver, what stream is it?” I asked, well knowing it was our lordly Hudson hardly flowing. “It is our lordly Hudson hardly flowing,” he said, “under the green-grown cliffs.” Be still, heart! No one needs your passionate suffrage to select this glory, this is our lordly Hudson hardly flowing under the green-grown cliffs. “Driver, has this a peer in Europe or the East?” “No, no!” he said. Home! Home! Be quiet, heart! This is our lordly Hudson and has no peer in Europe or the East. This is...

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Road To Damascus, Part II Conclusion

In this primitive period of East-West unity, Rome established its preeminence above all in the context of theological controversies, where it took on the role of unflinching champion of orthodoxy.  The Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople had formulated a creed that became the universal bedrock of faith, but in a certain sense they did not go far enough, for they did not speak explicitly to the different theories about Jesus Christ, His personhood and natures, that arose and clashed in the fifth century.  This was a matter of special concern for the emperors in Constantinople, who looked with anxiety to...

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Born Out of Due Time, by Ched Rayson, Chapter Eight

Kwame was dreaming the same dream.  He was living in the village where his grandfather ruled.  His father had taken him into the woods to cut wood, and he was set upon by men in hoods who knocked him out.  When  he awoke, he was on board a sailing ship, a slave, on the way to America.  He was put to work on a farm, where they beat him when he did not understand English or showed any resentment.  He ran away several times until the white men crippled his feet:  He could still work, but he could never run.  Night after night, he dreamed of his village and the community of love shared by his family and the other people of the village.  When he awoke from the dream, he was in a cold sweat, and his wife Beauty brought him a cup of boiled chicory with milk.  She was all he had to cling to in a world filled with ugliness and horror…

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Wednesday’s Child: Rotten to the Core

A good case can be made for the futility of all arguments, starting with the domestic kind and ascending to the theological, but if one finds oneself debating the color of the sunset – which one’s opponent sees as mauve while it’s obviously purple – I suppose that’s life and no harm done.  It’s different when the subject is politics, something I haven’t argued about since university.  To be sure, I’ve made my views known in writing and in conversation, but a proper argument depends less on exposition than on rebuttals, which are used to corner the opponent and, if...

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The Road to Damascus II: Before the Schism, Part A

The Road to Damascus The Intelligent Christian’s Guide to the Schism Pt. 2: Roman Christianity before the East-West Schism Let us not deceive ourselves.  There was never an era of Christian history completely innocent of schism.  Indeed, the believer should not be scandalized to see dissension and quarreling in the very pages of his New Testament—among the disciples of Jesus contending with each other for the seat at His right hand in the Coming Age (cf. Matt. 20:20-28 and Lk. 22:24-27); between Paul, felled by the voice of Christ on the road to Damascus, and Peter, to whom Christ entrusted...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

“I’ll have an espresso. No garlic, please.” What, does the gentle reader think that this is a foolish thing to add?  That it’s absurd and unnecessary?  Not in London it isn’t, because here anything’s possible.  I mean, the people here have invented something called a “double espresso,” which has no greater right to existence than a double car, a double umbrella or a double wife.  In Italy, if you want another coffee, you may ask for it, but the whole existential machinery of the thing is set up in such a way that a “double espresso” is patently a nonsense...

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Visit Sicily in January

  Dear Friends, Fellow Travelers, Subscribers, Casual Browsers: Mark your calendars for the second week in January 2019.  The Fleming Foundation is finalizing plans for our second voyage of exploration.  This time we are going to Sicily. Many of you are aware that since 2000, I have been taking small groups to Europe.  Although we have done programs in Scotland, France, and Serbia-Montenegro, we have concentrated mainly on the two homes of our civilization, Greece and Italy.  In 2019, we shall probably be going to the South of France, but I wanted to make what I hope will not be...