13 Nov 2015

Gaps in the Story

I like stories. I especially like long stories, the kind where you can get caught up in the characters’ lives and where you watch as they face thousands of new and different challenges, both large and small. After one’s been through enough with them, the characters from those long, impactful stories often feel like friends. My favorite stories of all, like King Arthur, Star Trek, the Avengers, and the land of Oz, are tales that

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31 Aug 2015

Fear, Love, and Identity in Age of Ultron

“Yeah, what kind of monster would allow a German scientist to experiment on him to protect his country?” “We’re not at war.” “They are.” And with one short exchange, Age of Ultron immediately signaled something new and powerful; at least in this one instance, the enemy is a friend. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are the Captain America of another nation, a nation just as valuable as our own, a nation filled with loves, hates, fears,

Pepper Darlington 1
11 Aug 2015

Cliffs Of Identity

Classic psychotherapy . . . starts at the bottom. So, you’ll look at those unconscious desires, beliefs, and wishes, and you try to bubble them up to the top, to the surface. The CBT therapists start up at the top, the everyday events that are happening, and begin sinking down further until we get to the point where the individual has achieved his or her goals. Now, the difference there is we’ve set the goals up front,

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13 May 2015

Unanswered Question

There is a God. There is a person at the back of the universe, fiddling with things for the benefit of people who are listening to him, even in the midst of horrific things. And this person, who apparently doesn’t attach as much importance to life and death as we do, is nevertheless intensely interested in us as people. And if we doubt him, he stands back and lets us doubt, until we are ready

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16 Apr 2015

Try Again

I can’t do it. I tried and I just can’t. I jotted down some notes two weeks ago for a blog post about Frodo and Bilbo, planning to expand on it for the Conciliar. My goal is two posts a month, but it’s hard to come up with the topics that I think will work in the more serious style of a group blog. But that one . . . I thought I could do

Pepper Darlington 1
08 Apr 2015

Her Voice

“ ‘If only I could find his Achilles’ heel, the soft, quivering underbelly beneath all that armor.’ ‘His daughters?’ ‘Wait, why didn’t we think of that before? His youngest. The one with the beautiful voice – which she takes for granted. A woman never knows how precious her voice is until she’s been silenced.’ ” The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie. The music . . . the ocean . . . Prince Eric

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25 Feb 2015

Waterfall Moments

They say a waterfall is created when the softer under-rock erodes faster than the upper layer. As the soft rock is swept away, the hard rock is left unsupported. Eventually, it falls under its own weight combined with the weight of the water, and the waterfall moves upstream. Once the harder rock is all broken away, there won’t be a waterfall anymore. Just rapids at first, then a swift-flowing stream, then a gentle river. I

Pepper Darlington 0
05 Feb 2015

Self-Surrender

What is it that causes people to act against their own self-interest? Two of the most popular conservative thinkers of the last century both addressed this question at a very personal level, which seemed odd to me until I started thinking about it more. At the national level, this last century was the age of Communism, the Great Depression, and Holocaust clean-up, when people were talking in depth about the need to help those less

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06 Nov 2014

Bitterly

You have a best friend. He is amazing and you’ve been with him for years. You are completely convinced that he’s the guy you’ve been waiting for all your life and now he’s asking you to get swords. “We have two,” you say, a bit doubtfully. “That’s enough,” your friend replies, and you remember the time he turned two fish into a feast for five thousand. Ah, well, it’s clear what he has planned, and

Pepper Darlington 1
09 Jul 2014

Conflict Management

Seven years ago, some of my friends got into a bit of a dispute with the powers-that-be at my college. (I have been told I have a gift for understatement). The nature of the dispute was incredibly personal, of the sort that is impossible to bring to anyone’s attention without making oneself intensely vulnerable. Talking to the dean of student life meant opening up to her judgment and allowing her to see things that were

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08 Jul 2014

Round Table: Same-Sex Marriage

Having just passed the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision and with the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly’s recent vote, the issue of Same-Sex Marriage remains much discussed and oft debated in our culture. To help us think more clearly about this subject, we asked the Conciliar Post team and a few guest authors to offer their thoughts on some aspects of Same-Sex Marriage in a Round Table format. Round Tables are where

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