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Finding Christianity in Christian marriage
We Christians now live, in our various churches, a great controversy. At stake in the controversy is whether or not churches should bless same-sex unions publicly—or rather, should continue to bless them, since some well-established churches now do. Contending over the blessings are church officials and church dissidents, but also readers and writers from the lesbian and gay community, and what is most important, the incessant babble of our common entertainment media and their advertisers. Almost drowned out in this babble are the voices of the pairs of the Christian believers who come forward seeking the blessing, trying to articulate their beliefs and their needs, their hopes and their anxieties. My argument today is that the efforts to speak for those same-sex couples are the best occasion Christianity has had for a while to rethink some of the most troubling aspects of Christian marriage. The blessing of same-sex unions between Christians is not an assault on Christian marriage; it is the opportunity to find what is Christian in what we so blithely call “Christian marriage.” Finding Christianity in the debates about unions will also be finding Christianity in our confused practices of church weddings.

Mark Jordan, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion, delivering The Decalogue Lecture, sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study
of Religion and the Law and Religion Program, on September 18, 2002



Drawing lines in water
The real advances in neuroscience in the last thirty years have been hijacked by the pharmaceutical markets. The Diagnostics and Standards Manual iii divided symptoms of depression and anxiety into separate disorders, as though the disease categories must be unimpeachable because these drugs existed for these major disease categories. It’s the drugs, not the diseases, that are driving the story.
Not only is a sharp line drawn between anxiety and depression, but anxiety is then parsed into many diseases. In the future, social anxiety disorder and the plethora of new anxiety disorders will be relegated to the same status we now accord ovarian hysteria. Drawing lines among anxiety disorders is like drawing lines in a bucket of water: it all rushes back together.

—Edward Shorter, University of Toronto professor of the history of medicine, from “Psychopharmacology and the Naming of Disease” on October 21, 2002, sponsored by the Center for Health, Culture, and Society