- Shilling for Obama.
- Ask your doctor if dying is right for you.
- Half-pagan Christianity.
- Utopian, idealistic, quixotic.
Having a president visit as an educational public event is one thing. Forcing students to declare their support for a presidential candidate in order to attend the event on campus is quite another. Should we be in the business of helping a campaign farm thousands of email addresses?
University of Wisconsin Professor Kenneth Mayer on requiring students to go to the Obama campaign website, where they’d have to pledge their support and provide contact information.
Allowing physicians to prescribe lethal drugs so people can kill themselves is like replacing the suicide-intervention signs on bridges with signs that encouraging “Ask your physician if jumping is right for you.”
(Paraphrasing Greg Pfundstein) The Wall Street Journal opinion piece linked is a worthy mocking of that version of the culture of death called “Physician-Assisted Suicide.”
For Undset, the future of Europe could only be found by a return, that is, a recovery of the free associations of people that had characterized the Middle Ages generally, and Norway and Iceland in particular. Anyone who has read her novels set in that era—Kristin Lavransdatter and The Master of Hestviken—or her biographies of Catherine of Siena or Angela Merici, knows that she is a meticulous and honest historian, who does not dabble in sentiment. She knows how bloody the fractious cities of northern Italy were. She knows that the Christianity brought to Norway by Saint Olaf was still half pagan. But the medieval kings and dukes had not the technology, even if they had the desire, to place vast stretches of country under their direct and meddlesome control. For the most part, affairs were determined locally. There were, shall we say, Front Porch Republics. Indeed, the res in the Latin res publica has just the same meaning as the Icelandic thing and the Norwegian ting: the public thing, the gathering of free men in the pursuit of the common good.
Anthony Esolen debuting, I think, at Front Porch Republic, with Life Under Compulsion.
The bolded sentences especially caught my attention, as I grew up hearing criticism, as best as I can recall, that Roman Catholicism (in particular) was corrupted by paganism in many lands. It had not occurred to me that such aberrations might be inevitable when a (supposed) Supreme Pontiff lacks the technology, if not the desire, to enforce perfect orthodoxy throughout every parish of every far-flung diocese. And that’s not all bad from the perspective of a site that value “Place. Limits. Liberty.”
They say it is Utopian, and they are right. They say it is idealistic, and they are right. They say it is quixotic, and they are right. It deserves every name that will indicate how completely they have driven justice out of the world.
(G.K. Chesterton on Distributism)
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