A fascinating discussion of the support (or, occasionally, otherwise) provided by the 18th century Monarchs of Europe to the cause of American Independence!
“I am afraid that our culture in general has reduced the role of fatherhood (along with marriage itself) to something nonessential or unnecessary.”
“During the colonial period in America men defined themselves by their level of community involvement and fatherhood. Marriage and fatherhood were seen as being among the highest aspirations in a man’s life. Today the highest aspirations of men seem to be career success and personal leisure; and against these they seek to balance marriage and family.”
These misplaced priorities come with many familial, religious, and social costs, as this article describes. Personally, I believe that the near-deification of both career aspirations and personal self-gratification — which can be seen as two sides of the same coin — are both varieties of idolatry.
The proper set of priorities, for both men and women, should in my view consist of God first, then family (with their relationship primary, and any children a very close second, but second nonetheless: children should never run the family), with economic endeavors being viewed as a means to the end of supporting the family and providing a good life for them.
Coupled with this should be the clear understanding that material “standard of living” is by no means synonymous with quality of life. One needs to be solvent, as a family; beyond that, love, caring, attention, and mutual support are far more important than mere “things.”
Finally, this article notes that “children tend to take their cues about domestic life from Mom while their conceptions of the world outside come from Dad. If Dad takes faith in God seriously then the message to their children is that God should be taken seriously.”
One more confirmation of the importance of the role of the father, and the responsibility that entails!
The author of this essay, Barbara Kay, notes:
“Honour… is sex-specific. Male honour is rooted in physical courage; women’s honour is rooted in sexual modesty.”
This is a bit of an over-simplification, but there is nonetheless validity to it. Certainly that has been the traditional understanding — and traditions generally become traditions for good reason! Women are, after all, the child-bearers; men, being typically larger and stronger (although not necessarily as resilient), fall naturally into the role of protectors and defenders.
“Men are ashamed to be called out for being cowards; women are ashamed to be called out for being sluts.”
Well, most are. These days some women take pride in it, even going so far as to take part in “slut walks,” flaunting their “sluttiness” for the world to see. Conversely, there are some men — such as the NY Daily News columnist who claimed to have gotten “temporary PTSD” from firing a mildly-recoiling and not exceptionally loud AR-15, appear to take pride in their lack of physical or moral courage.
“Morality is usually a private affair. But, as Alexis de Toqueville wrote, ‘Honour acts solely for the public eye.’ Before the personal became the political, we made a firm distinction between public and private behavior, and as a collective, we only judged public actions. Today that line is almost utterly obliterated.”
This is problematic in a number of regards; however, a full discussion is beyond the scope of this entry… let us continue:
“The jettisoning of honour as a criterion for judging the behaviour of others has been the assiduously pursued task of ‘progressives’ throughout the 20th century. Conversely, the application of honour as the only criterion in judging the behaviour of others – notably the sexual behaviour of girls and women – has been the assiduously pursued task of Islamists in their own lands, and in the last several decades in the western lands to which they have migrated in large numbers.
“Both of these ideologically-rooted drives represent poles of honour-related extremism. Both are socially destructive of healthy relations between the sexes. And both tend to obscure the fact that in reasonable doses, honour is a force for good in society.”
This is important to note, because an extreme position in either direction becomes unbalanced. Moderation, the via media (middle way) between extremes, is usually the most appropriate course.
“In the West, tribalist honour joined forces with Christianity to produce a distinctly western strain of honour, which we call chivalry.”
Chivalry often gets a bad rap these days, but it should not. It is really about being properly human: respecting all, but giving special deference to those — such as women and children — who are generally less likely to be able to protect themselves, and conducting oneself with courtesy and kindness toward all: not just one’s social superiors, but those of lower station, as well.
“Nobody is pretending that men and women today should aspire to replicate the relationship of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, written in 1813, but there is a reason this honourable couple continues to attract fascinated and even envious attention from every new generation of women who discover them. Something in our nature craves the constraints that produce the rewards an honour code confers.”
The author of this essay, Barbara Kay, concludes:
“Societies with strong honour codes have a well-developed sense of duty and sacrifice. Too little, and nothing seems worth fighting for. Too much, and everything seems worth dying for. Finding the balance is the key.”
Indeed. It generally is! Sadly, we have seemed to be badly off-balance for some decades, now. I hope and pray she is right, and the pendulum is swinging — however slowly — back toward the middle.
Proof positive that it is more than possible for a woman to dress in a way which is modest, yet undeniably alluring! It’s not necessary to “let it all hang out” to be attractive, and conversely, it’s not necessary to dress in a “frumpy” manner to preserve modesty.
See FallenWiki – Gabbe Givens for more on this specific individual, Hermione Cornfield, and the character she portrays… I hadn’t known anything about either, until I ran across this picture, on the “interwebz”!
“The Rainbow Pool at the National World War II Memorial may look inviting on a hot day, but those who choose to wade in the water are breaking National Park Service rules.”
While this is neither specifically Anglophilic nor specifically Anglican, it is important, I think, for what it says about the choices we make, as a society.
Those who choose to use the Rainbow Pool at the National WW II Memorial as a wading-pool are not just breaking National Park Service regulations, but they are also – and more importantly, to my mind, although the vast majority of NPS rules are there for a reason, and not to be lightly disregarded – breaking what used to be common-sense standards of decency and decorum.
That monument, including its Rainbow Pool, is there to honor American heroes and war-dead, not to provide a place to cool off (if I am a little bit sensitive to this, it is in part because my father fought with honor and distinction in that great conflict). Some will doubtless argue, “people are just exercising the very freedom for which they died.” That is not only missing the point, but it represents, if I may dare to be so blunt, a very sophomoric, even elementary-school-playground, idea of freedom.
While some of those who died may very well not have minded if people cooled off in “their” pool, that does not, even if true, remove from us the obligation to treat their monument, and their memory, with honor and respect, and to teach our children the same. That includes the exercise of due reverence, including a measure of control over our physical desires — including the desire to cool off, on a hot day.
The freedom for which our forebears fought, sacrificed, and in many cases, died, was not intended to be freedom to do anything we want, anywhere we want, anytime we want. It was to be freedom to be the best people we could possibly be. A lot of people don’t “get” that. But then, sadly, there are a lot of things that a lot of people don’t “get,” these days…
Thousands of people, including members of the Royal Family, have attended a ceremony in France to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended a vigil at the Thiepval Memorial on Thursday evening.
Prince William spoke of European governments “including our own” who failed to “prevent the catastrophe of world war”.
“We lost the flower of a generation; and in the years to come it sometimes seemed that with them a sense of vital optimism had disappeared forever from British life,” he said.
“It was in many ways the saddest day in the long story of our nation.”
At the Westminster Abbey service on Thursday, the Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh as she laid flowers at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.
More on the subject of veiling, which I have discussed here on the blog previously…
“Not that long ago, Christian women always covered their heads at church, and now many are choosing to once again. While lots of women are going the route of the chapel veil, others are choosing things like hats, scarves, or stylish headbands.”
Not long ago indeed — and not just in a Catholic or other liturgical / sacramental Church context, either. I was born in 1965, grew up Methodist, and both my grandmothers as well as my mother always wore hats (or occasionally scarves) in church. In any case, their heads were covered. It was simply considered the seemly thing to do!
As regards St. Bede’s, as I have always said, I encourage women of the congregation to prayerfully consider whether or not they might find themselves called by God to “veil,” whether that means an actual veil (chapel veil or mantilla), hat, scarf, etc. It’s a matter of conscience, not doctrine, but I do know some women find it helpful to their spiritual practice.