July 2, 2015 10 Comments
As we move into July, with the dreadful baggage of June behind us, I find myself in a reflective mood. Three years ago this month, the Robert’s court, for the first but not last time, threw the law of the land under the bus to save
Obamacare SCOTUScare. The day after that, I followed a comment on that, to Jessica’s blog All along the Watchtower, and there I found the exceptional young woman who would become my dearest friend, muse, mentor, guide, editor, and above all, teacher. Her love, for me, n particular, for mankind in general, and above all for God, has made a huge improvement in my life, the largest since the death of my father. For the many of you who remember her contributions here fondly, she continues to slowly recover from her cancer, mostly in seclusion at the convent in Walsingham.
In any case, I was reminded of one of her posts today, when I read on her website, Geoffrey Sales post, Too much about Sex, because one of Jess’ themes has always been that we focus much too much on the material, instead of the spiritual. As she wrapped up 2013 for us here, she made the point this way.
I sometimes wonder to what extent this concentration of material things is a function of our societies forgetting about God, or thinking He must be confined to the private sphere? It is easy enough (which is why it gets done so often) to focus on the bad things which came from a time when society was more Christian: the intolerance of other views; the attempts to force belief on others; the narrow-mindedness of some believers, and the like; it is little use pointing out that these features were also to be found in non-Christian societies and seem to be art of mankind’s development (where it does develop); those who wish to blame Christianity for the world’s ills will do so regardless of the evidence. But there is another side to it all. The values which Christianity espouses are about personal responsibility but also altruism: you take responsibility for your own sins; but you are saved by God’s mercy; you are part of a Christian family, and you have responsibilities to others; you are not better than others, but others are no better than you: at your worst you are a sinner; at your best you are also made in God’s image. Redemption is always possible. No one is so bad God cannot save them; no one is so good that they do not need God’s forgiveness.
All of that gives a focus to life which takes us beyond narrow definitions of self-interest, and which helps put material wealth in a proper perspective. There’s nothing in Christianity which says money is wrong; there’s a great deal which says that loving money more than people is very wrong; it is bad for you and bad for the society of which you are a part. The moment you begin to regard another human being as somehow instrumental in a search for personal wealth, whatever you may gain, you are losing your soul. Christianity has been responsible for education and social and health care long before civil society took an interest in such matters; it has inspired some great art and architecture. It is easy enough (and therefore often done) to think that a Church should simply sell off anything that can be sold to feed the poor, but that ignores so much about the motive for the art and architecture, and it betrays an attitude towards religion which comes from the purely material world.
Men and women have given of their gifts freely to God and His service, and some of these have been great artists and architects. They take us beyond the realm of the everyday to visions of what can be, they raise our eyes above the horizon of the possible towards what could be. It is good for the human spirit to have that, as it is good for it to repent of sin and to help others; all of these are part of what it is to be really human. In losing these dimensions, our modern society threatens to shrink our world to the merely possible and the expedient. It was not thus that mankind advanced, nor will it be thus it advances further.
To me that says much about the intolerant, vituperative left, and why the have become vindictive, narrow-minded, lacking vision, without faith in man’s future, and all together not someone that your mother would allow you to hang around with. In fact, they have become hateful, racist bigots.
Rachel Alexander, writing for Townhall.com said this recently:
This is no longer the nostalgic era of the late William F. Buckley, Jr., where people only had a few political sources to choose from, such as reading National Review or watching Firing Line. Nowadays, there are thousands if not millions of news sources and people are overwhelmed with information. Have you seen how thin the print version of National Review is today? The right can no longer count on winning the debate with reasoned arguments alone. As we’re preaching to the choir at Tea Party meetings, the left has our children captive in school teaching them we’re haters.
The truth is, the far left does hate the right, so calling the left bigots is no longer a stretch. How many times have you been attacked on Twitter or Facebook with profane language or threats over your right-leaning viewpoints? I’m beginning to lose track of all the people I’ve had to block. The hate is increasing exponentially.
Sadly, she is correct, and if we allow them to frame the debate, we will lose, and lose catastrophically. So it is time for us to resume control of the conversation. Easy? Nope, it’s going to be hard, very hard indeed, but since when did we believe in the easy way? We, who think for ourselves know, and have always known that we must do the harder right instead of the easier wrong.