Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.
— Rick Warren
I am not typically a fan of Rick Warren, or anyone / anything connected with “community” megachurches. But as my father used to say, “even a stopped clock is right twice a day,” and he is square-on, in this!
“Shift your attention from the morally upright to the beautiful. Is it beautiful for a woman to rejoice over having murdered her children? Is it beautiful for someone to mutilate her body, to attempt a bad impersonation of a man, and to fail? Is it beautiful for a child to be born in an alley full of garbage, broken glass, and rats, when there was no need for that at all – to be born, I mean, in a chaos outside of wedlock and the home? Is it beautiful to foul the innocence of that child, as we do regularly in our schools? Is confusion beautiful?”
Another offering from the wisdom of the inestimable Professor Anthony Esolen, in which he gives us another way to look at the issues of our time – and a reminder of the close, indeed interconnected, relationship between the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
“Marriage is up by 43 percent since 2010, while divorce has dropped by 22.5 percent in the same period. This demographic turnaround has not been an accident, but the fruit of deliberate programs to promote marriage and the family while defending Hungary’s cultural identity and Christian roots.”
“America had plenty of guns when its mass murder rate was much lower… Given the same ubiquity of guns, wouldn’t the most productive question be what, if anything, has changed since the 1960s and ’70s? Of course it would. And a great deal has changed. America is much more ethnically diverse, much less religious. Boys have far fewer male role models in their lives. Fewer men marry, and normal boy behavior is largely held in contempt by their feminist teachers, principals and therapists. Do any or all of those factors matter more than the availability of guns?”
I suspect most regular readers can guess my response to this question. And it will probably not surprise you, either, that I agree with Dennis Prager when he comments,
“When you don’t ask intelligent questions, you cannot come up with intelligent answers. So, then, with regard to murder in America, until Americans stop allowing the left to ask the questions, we will have no intelligent answers.”
I was not, I confess, a big fan of Piers Morgan when he was here in the U.S.; but since his return to his home country, he has actually evolved into something closely resembling a decent human being! I found his comments in this opinion piece to be, for the most part, quite appropriate. Especially this:
“As for those champing at the bit to protest against Trump this week, with their abusive placards, mocking chants, and pathetic baby blimp, I simply say this: the only reason you can do so in this country is because of what happened 75 years ago on D-Day. The heroic British and American forces (with the help of other Allied forces too) that fought that day did so to protect your freedoms.”
More on the plummeting U.S. interest in history, and its consequences. Unfortunately, the author, Edward Luce, has to get in a dig at President Trump! But he makes a number of good points, nonetheless.
Indeed, the idea that a de-emphasis on history (and other humanities) in favor of more technical fields “works for individual careers” may itself be a flawed assumption: the author himself notes that
“the biggest culprit is the widespread belief that ‘soft skills’ — such as philosophy and English, which are both in similar decline to history — do not lead to well-paid jobs. But the data do not bear this out. Engineers do better than those who study humanities. But the latter are paid roughly the same as those who graduate in the booming fields of biology and business services.”
But there is a greater cost to society generated by the near-demise of the humanities than simply missed employment opportunities. Luce goes on to comment,
“The demise of strong civics coincides with waning voter turnout, a decline in joining associations, fewer citizen’s initiatives, and other qualities once associated with American vigour. The spread of fake news is often blamed solely on social media… But the ultimate driver is the citizens who believe it.
“There is no scientific metric for gullibility. Nor can we quantitatively prove that civic ignorance imposes a political cost on society. These are questions of judgment. But if America’s origins tell us anything it is that a well-informed citizenry creates a stronger society.”