- Invocations, benedictions, misogyny & bigotry.
- Work & Play.
- Ungrudging magnanimity? Yeah. Right.
- Save this meaningless world!
- Everything you see can be counterfeited.
[G]iving the cardinal the microphone at the convention has its price. Key Democratic constituencies are deeply invested in a strategy of tarring as misogynists and bigots those who reject liberal beliefs and policies. These constituencies are not exactly enthusiastic about having their party undercut that strategy or blunt its force.
Since no minimally decent political party would let a bigot or misogynist take the podium at its convention—much less bless the proceedings—accepting the cardinal’s offer to appear amounts to an implicit but unmistakable concession that there’s no bigotry in opposing the redefinition of civil marriage, nor any misogyny in fighting for the unborn.
Tuesday night’s invocation was by a Bishop of another Church that opposes abortion (“condemns all procedures purporting to abort the embryo or fetus, whether by surgical or chemical means”) and same-sex marriage (“Marriage unites a man and a woman, incorporating the natural union into the life of the Kingdom, ‘in the Lord'”).
“Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” (G.K. Chesterton) Under that definition, I’m pretty sure I know who the bigots are in what passes for “debate” on our current social issues.
If, mirabile dictu, the appearances and prayers of Metropolitan Nicholas and Cardinal Dolan can put an end to the contemptible and bullying mantra of “bigot” (the equivalent of “Shut up, he explained”), I’ll be just as pleased as punch.
How strange that nowadays we celebrate children who work and adults who play! (Just contrast elementary school science fairs from [sic] collegiate and professional sports.)
I would like to say something to those who drive every day: You are welcome. Yes, I know that I am forced to pay taxes to subsidize your driving even if I don’t drive. I still have to pay for your highways and your fossil fuel subsidies and your military expenditure to secure the oil supplies and your traffic law enforcement. I also have to subsidize your medical treatment when you suffer a car crash, as well as your subsequent disability compensation. I even have to pay for your food stamps, because you can’t afford to both drive a car and eat, but drive a car anyway. I suppose I could be bitter about this, but I am an ungrudging, magnanimous sort of person, and so I say, “You are welcome. Enjoy your subsidy.” Some show of gratitude would, of course, be welcome, but gratitude is not something one can demand.
The most radical influence of reductive science has been the virtually universal adoption of the idea that the world, its creatureas, and all the parts of its creatures are machines – that is, that there is no difference between creature and artifice, birth and manufacture, thought and computation … As a result, we have a lot of genuinely concerned people calling on us to “save” a world which their language simultaneously reduces to an assemblage of perfectly featureless and dispirited “ecosystems,” “organisms,” “environments,” “mechanisms” and the like. It is impossible to prefigure the salvation of the world in the same language by which the world has been dismembered and defaced.
(Wendell Berry, Life is a Miracle)
There is no “formula” for the truly God-pleasing life; anything outward can become counterfeit; everything depends on the state of the soul, which must be trembling before God, having the law of God before it in every area of life, every moment keeping what is God’s in honor, in the first place in life.
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