Does Modern Secularism Have a Memory Problem? | Word on Fire

Source: Does Modern Secularism Have a Memory Problem? | Word on Fire

This is a truly superb article, to which I was pointed by a friend (you know who you are!); such that I almost cannot praise it strongly enough. Among the many excellent insights contained herein:

“After many years of awkward silence, the secular media is finally recognizing some of the most profound social problems facing American society… The Atlantic woke up to smell the coffee earlier this year, running an article arguing that America’s secularization has made the political climate less tolerant and more antagonistic…

To publications that often criticize religion, like The Atlantic, rising secularism breeding unrest is counterintuitive. But it makes perfect sense. Sociologists have long known about the link between religious observance and social stability. A devout person is more likely to be financially stable, avoid addiction, maintain a marriage, and generally healthier than a less observant person in the same socioeconomic profile.

“In other words, religious people perform better in key categories of social stability than their less religious peers living under the same conditions. That stability (or lack thereof) has serious political implications, and we see it playing out now with certain grassroots political organizations showing flashes of violence and demagoguery.”

As I read this, I cannot help but think of our first President (under the Constitution), the ever-wise George Washington, who warned us – literally centuries ago – in his Farewell Address (1796) of what could happen:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.”

Yet that is exactly what far too many people have been doing, for the last five or six decades. And we are surprised that things are going poorly? Continue reading “Does Modern Secularism Have a Memory Problem? | Word on Fire”

America’s 1st Freedom | Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?

Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?

Terror threats, rising violent crime and the European Union’s suffocating strictures on guns have many Europeans craving their own version of America’s Second Amendment.

Source: America’s 1st Freedom | Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?

For decades, European have been quick to disparage the United States for our robust Constitutional protection of the right to keep and bear arms, as enshrined in the Second Amendment.

Shielded, whether they knew it or not, by geographical features which (until recently) have served as de facto barriers to easy migration, and even more by despotic but mostly stable governments in places like Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and secure in almost completely homogeneous and law-abiding societies, they mocked us for our “love affair” with guns, and derided our supposed “frontier mentality” on the subject.

But now, in light of the deluge of Third-World immigrants that was unleashed upon Europe in 2015 and continues to this day, some, at least, are mocking no longer. Rather, they are wishing (and I have heard this same thing from European friends on Facebook) that they had more Constitutional guarantees of freedom, and especially a 2nd Amendment!

The linked article is on the longer side, but worth reading in full; here are a few excerpts:

“In 12 days I visited Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, Italy, the Vatican, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria. Everywhere I went, I interviewed people about the state of things in Europe, and I was truly shocked by one thing in particular — the number of people who told me they envy America for its Second Amendment.

“I’m not making that up. Ask yourself this question: How much do you know about the details of the founding documents of any country in Europe? If you are like me, it’s not much. So that makes it even more remarkable that many people in Europe are familiar with one very important detail about the U.S. Constitution—our Second Amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

“Even more surprising was the number of people who expressed a wish that they, too, could be given the right to defend themselves and their families. And in several European countries, gun-rights measures are being actively addressed…”
Continue reading “America’s 1st Freedom | Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?”

By Order of the King – Rare British WW1 song | YouTube

Source: By Order of the King – Rare British WW1 song | YouTube

In light of the actual events of the Great War – the millions killed and millions more maimed by bullet and shell, or incapacitated by gas, the destruction of a whole generation in the trenches of Europe, and the host of unexpected consequences for Europe and the world – the optimism and upbeat tempo of this song is ironic, to say the least.

Even as much of an Anglophile and demi-monarchist as I am, I am not sure whether to shake my head with a rueful smile, or let the tears roll down my face. As I have commented on more than one occasion, and in more than one venue, that war should never have happened, and we are still reaping its bitter harvest to this day!

But the song is an interesting one, and catchy. I have a feeling I’m going to be humming the refrain for the rest of the day, at least…