Magazine | January 22, 2018, Issue

Letters

Hugging Is Not Compulsory

The Week is my favorite part of National Review. I love the quippy, quick way of bringing news and humor. With that said, I was aghast at the paragraph regarding the Girl Scouts and its indulgence of people your children may not want to touch them (December 18). As a parent who eschews the idea of my children receiving participation trophies, despite their prevalence in this society, I strongly stand behind my children saying no to being touched by anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable, whether it’s my parents, my grandparents, or a predator in disguise. And anyone who cares for my children will pause and acknowledge their voice. I always want a household where kids want to hug over one where kids are forced to hug and give up their own rights. But most important, I want to encourage their confidence at a young age in common sense that has them listen to the little voice inside that says something isn’t right.

Kerri Haack

Via email

A Tempting Exegesis

In regard to your take on the “temptation” rewrite of the Lord’s Prayer by the French Catholic bishops, noted in the Week (December 31), there’s no wiggle room in the translation from the Greek (peirasmos for “temptation”). All twelve times that it’s rendered “temptation” in the New Testament (as opposed to the nine times it’s rendered “testing,” “trial,” or “trials,” at least in the meticulous New American Standard Bible, 2000 edition), the context is not just a peril, such as what martyrs faced; it’s the particular lure of sin, and in the passage of interest (Matthew 6:13), it’s clearly contrasted with “but deliver us from evil.”

Those who aren’t Calvinistically inclined may not appreciate that while God never tempts anyone to sin, He also ordains all that comes to pass in that regard, yet without any ascription of wrongdoing to Himself. Thus, the Gospel writer can say, unabashedly, “Then Jesus was led up by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). If the Son of God was not exempt from being impelled by the third Person of the Trinity to a place and circumstance where encounter with temptation would knowingly be entailed, it should be no surprise that His followers would be motivated to pray for a pass whenever possible, as instructed by their Lord.

So no substitute for “lead” or “temptation” should be countenanced. The non-problem needs no solution. Both the verb and the object of the preposition are fine. Stop fiddling with either.

Rick De Prisco

Twin Peaks, Calif.

The Editors respond: The semantic range of ponerou (“evil,” in the traditional English translation) is also broad. Your spiritual reading of the last two petitions of the Lord’s Prayer is fine. Just remember that it rests on a primary sense of “Bring us not into perilous trial, but deliver us from that woe.”

Buddhism Does Not Have Shareholders

Thank you for your article on “mindfulness” (“‘Buddha’ in the C-Suite,” December 18). I am an attorney practicing in Rochester, N.Y., and also the director of White Lotus Buddhist Center. I stumbled onto Buddhist teachings in college almost 50 years ago and as a result my life has been inestimably transformed. Consequently, I value this profound tradition greatly and shudder at popular attempts to dumb down its wisdom and exploit its methods.

Frank Howard

Via email

In This Issue

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Features

Books, Arts & Manners

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Letters

Letters

Hugging Is Not Compulsory The Week is my favorite part of National Review. I love the quippy, quick way of bringing news and humor. With that said, I was aghast at ...
The Week

The Week

‐ Harry Reid’s Pentagon UFO study comes as no surprise — those Democrats will fund anything that involves aliens. ‐ Protests have erupted across Iran. From the country’s relatively modern cities ...
Poetry

Poetry

IMITATION FROM THE CHINESE Ten thousand projects, Bitter tasks set; Five, ten, twenty . . . The years fly. No end to it. And the heart tires With no place to light; So much remorse, Barren regret. No end to ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More