Notwithstanding Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” did not “perish from the earth” when the Southern States withdrew from a Union they had voluntarily entered into. It perished when they were driven back into it at the point of the bayonet.
My sense of the situation is that Advent differs from Lent in that it’s a season of joyful anticipation of the Coming (literal meaning of “Advent”) of Christ: both His First Coming, as the Babe of Bethlehem, and his Second Coming, with power and great glory, at the end of time (whatever form that may take). That said, there is also the aspect of penitent preparation for that arrival that we sometimes do miss… and in so doing, I think we lose something important. A very good article! Giants, indeed.
The patriarch [noted] that the relationship between believers is one of the human heart, between diplomats—of the mind, and between businessmen—of the stomach. “I don’t think we should exclude the heart from international relations,” His Holiness emphasized.
“In the patriarch’s view, as he told Ambassador Huntsman, today’s difficulties go beyond the mere relations between states, but involve the differences of values and the different understanding of values. He explained to the diplomat that during Soviet times, the persecuted Christians of Russia had more in common in terms of values with the sincere Christians in America than with the atheists among their fellow Russians. ‘Despite the atheistic propaganda in our country, the religiosity was always very high, and it was, I think, a wonderful basis for the development of relations between the new Russia and USA,’ the primate stated.
“However, what happened in the Soviet Union is now happening in America, as His Holiness observed. ‘The West is abandoning God, but Russia is not abandoning God, like the majority of people in the world. That means the distance between our values is increasing,’ Pat. Kirill said… ‘We would very much like if we could look and find the right answers to the challenges of modern civilization along with the religious American people,’ His Holiness assured the ambassador.”
Once again, this an outcome devoutly to be wished!
Prior to 1968, anyone could walk into a hardware store with cash and walk out with a gun, no questions asked. Yet, massacres were exceedingly rare. So, instead of “the easy availability of guns” being shrieked about, we need to ask ourselves: What has changed since then?
Firearms could also be ordered from catalogs, such as in the ad pictured above. Background checks were not even a gleam in “liberal” politicians’ eyes. And most people kept their guns propped in the corner, in the closet, or hanging over the mantle. Yet, again, mass shootings were incredibly rare.
The quote above asks precisely the right question, but truly and constructively engaging it would require many people to lay aside a lot of their preconceptions, assumptions, and (dare I say it?) societal conditioning, and most folks are loathe to do that.
“However, as soon as inclusiveness itself is questioned, freedom is cast aside. Students seem to be as prepared as they ever were to demand that ‘no platform’ be given to people who speak or think in the wrong way. Speaking or thinking in the wrong way does not mean disagreeing with the beliefs of the students — for they have no beliefs. It means thinking as though there really is something to think — as though there really is a truth that we are trying to reach, and that it is right, having reached it, to speak with certainty. What we might have taken to be open-mindedness turns out to be no-mindedness: the absence of beliefs, and a negative reaction to all those who have them. The greatest sin is a refusal to end each sentence with a question mark.”
Sadly, there is a great deal of truth to this.
Ooops, did I use the word “truth”…? Or assert a definitive belief? Shame on me! I meant, “there might be, like, something to this…?”
Just created this a little bit ago. It seemed apt, in light of the Las Vegas massacre, among many other things…
The words are from then-President George Washington’s “Farewell Address” (1796). By “religion and morality” is meant Christian religion and morality, or at any rate the Judeo-Christian religious and moral tradition which has formed one of the major underpinnings of Western civilization for the last 1500+ years.
We have, as a culture (if one can use the term, currently…) and society, been abandoning this “great pillar of human happiness” – along with other pillars of our civilization, such as the Greco-Roman political and philosophical tradition, and the courage, passion, and physical prowess of our Celtic and Germanic forebears – at an alarming rate over the last 50 to 75 years, and I think it is not coincidental that we have also seen our civilization in steep and accelerating decline over the same period.
A tree cut off from its roots does not grow, blossom, and bear fruit: it withers. The same is also true of a culture.
“Dum spiramus tuebimor” is the motto of the 133rd Field Artillery Regiment, US Army (National Guard). I strongly suspect it has older origins, but I have not so far been able to determine them. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment. Thanks!