The Olympics: Seneca on Coaches, Athletes, & Slavery

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The Olympics: Seneca on Coaches, Athletes, & Slavery

From Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

There are the exercise, in the first place, the toil involved in which drains the vitality and renders it unfit for concentration or the more demanding sort of studies. Next there is the heavy feeding, which dulls mental acuteness. Then there is the taking on as coaches of the worst brand of slave, persons who divide their time between putting on lotion and putting down liquor, whose idea of a well spent day consists of getting up a good sweat and then replacing the fluid lost with plenty of drink, all the better to be absorbed on a dry stomach. Drinking and perspiring—it’s the life of a dyspeptic! There are short and simple exercises which will tire the body without undue delay and save what needs especially close accounting for, time.

—Letter XV, pp. 60–61 in Letters from a Stoic (Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium). Translated by Robin Campbell. 1969. Penguin Classics.



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From an interview with Sanford Levinson, Professor at the University of Texas School of Law, promoting his new book about reading the Federalist Papers:

The central problem, I am convinced, is that most Americans—and I’m tempted to say especially those who consider themselves “liberals,” “progressives,” of “leftists”—are scared to death of their fellow citizens and most certainly do not believe they have the capacity to engage in intelligent discussion of our constitutional order. That may be true, of course, but if it is, democracy—and not merely the prospects for a new convention—is doomed.

And from Richard Beck’s Experimental Theology blog, some interesting thoughts on the Benedict Option and implications of its application:

If you ask my friend and colleague David McAnulty about the biggest obstacle facing American Christianity his answer might surprise you.

According to David, this is the church’s biggest obstacle:

Youth sports.

I think David has a point…. Families just don’t have time for church anymore.