Why Do Some Defenders of Tradition Find Family Life so Unappealing?

A couple of stories have crossed my radar lately that have led me to ask this question. University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen dissected the argument of the amicus brief filed by Hawkins and Carroll in Utah’s attempt to ban same sex marriage in that state. The brief makes the following assertion: Traditional, gendered […]

The Illusion of Tradition

A follow up, of sorts, to my first article on tradition. When you start to read books on the history of Christianity it becomes clear that many of the ideas and approaches that seem non-traditional and novel are actually as old or older than the approaches considered “traditional.” I have read many a 19th century […]


The opening sequence of the film (and the play) Fiddler on the Roof features Tevye joyously and unforgettably celebrating his culture’s traditions. On the surface, Fiddler on the Roof is about a Jewish community in early 20th Century Czarist Russia.  More essentially, however, it is about the conflict between tradition and change.  Which traditions are […]

Extraordinary Tales About Ordinary People

“…both Oscar and myself are merely ordinary people who are very fond of one another and very anxious to live peacefully joyously and happily, and without scenes and tragedies and reproaches and all that sort of thing.”-Lord Alfred Douglas, letter to his mother 1894 Lord Alfred Douglas’s mother was worried. In 1894 she read Wilde’s […]