Tuesday, 2/25/14

    1. I do/I don’t
    2. The Last Freedom
    3. The Thing That Used to Be A Conservative Think Tank
    4. Whatever you do, care
    5. News? Or Revelation?
    6. Whom then shall I fear?

1

We’re making a mess of marriage in America today, not because we want to destroy it, but because we want it so very much—and can’t abide its limitations and disciplines. As a society we’re not like Sweden or France. We still say, “I do”— but then turn around and in countless ways say, “I don’t.”

(R.R. Reno, The Enduring Appeal of Marriage) Reno alludes in passing to the possibility that “marriage equality” inherently transgresses the metaphysical meaning of marriage, but this essay fundamentally is about that metaphysical meaning and how we (“we” would be straight folks) have mucked it up.

2

Blue Kennel, riffing off Aldous Huxley and James “Pink Police State” Poulos, speculates that we are becoming the sort of society in which sexual liberty will be the “Last Freedom” that will be left to us when all the rest of them are taken away.

Uh, yeah. He gets a Rod Dreher shout out for what I’ve long been calling modern “bread and circuses”? Sheesh!

Still, “Last Freedom” has a nice ring to it.

3

The New York Times says that “[u]nder Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation, known as an incubator for Republican policy ideas, has become more of a political organization feeding off the Tea Party movement.”

I have long known two things about Heritage Foundation:

  1. My old Junior High School buddy “Baron” von Kannon works there in development (i.e., fundraising)
  2. Townhall.com

Neither of them leads me to believe that it had been a serious think tank for decades now.

4

I sat in a sports bar for lunch Sunday trying to remember who Jason Collins is and why it was a big deal on ESPN that he signed with the Nets. Monday’s paper reminds me who he is, and caution that if I ask “who cares,” I’m guilty of “stripping Collins of his due and a genuine moment of its joy.”

Okay. I won’t say it then.

5

Others keep talking even if I’m not stalking. Betsy Childs adds to the discussion of Kirsten Powers’ (who is Jonathan Merritt, and how did he get into this?) column.

Speaking of which:

It’s probably news to most married people that their florist and caterer were celebrating their wedding union. Most people think they just hired a vendor to provide a service.

Really? Maybe it would come as a revelation to them, but only in the sense that philosophical dialog draws out and exposes what we already knew – sometimes surprising us in the process.

Of course, the wedding vendor’s celebration is different than that of friends and family. It’s commercial. It’s a bit jaded. But nobody who excitedly told a mere vendor that “this is for my wedding” or “I’d like something really unusual and special for my wedding” should be unaware that they’re inviting one more (attenuated) celebrant.

6

Jason Riley at the Wall Street Journal isn’t buying the theory that (white) America devalues black lives – a cry heard loudly again as Michael Dunn was convicted of something less than first degree murder for his shooting of a black adolescent:

According to the latest Justice Department figures, blacks make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but represent 50 percent of homicide victims. Moreover, black offenders kill 90 percent of black murder victims. And in the vast majority of interracial crimes, the victim is white and the perpetrator is black. In 2008 there were about 520,000 interracial violent crimes reported, and 82.5 percent were black-on-white, while just 17.5 percent were white-on-black. Messrs. Robinson and Coates would have us believe that black people in America should be more fearful of the Michael Dunns and George Zimmermans than of fellow blacks. Which is preposterous.

Yeah, if I was a black parent, especially in a less-than-stellar neighborhood, I’d fear for my children’s safety, but it likely wouldn’t be white-on-black violence I’d mostly be fearing.

* * * * *

“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.