Monday, 2/16/15

  1. The New Hypocrisy
  2. Kristoff’s better than ISIS
  3. Heresy, full stop
  4. Fides quaerens intellectum?


Is this something truly new under the sun – an hypocrisy that professes low standards while quietly living by higher ones?:

As Charles Murray documents, our leadership class no promotes a supposedly progressive moral outlook that disorients the poor and vulnerable, while the well-to-do themselves live according to neo-traditional norms they refuse to affirm.

(R.R. Reno in the March 2015 First Things; hyperlink not yet available)

These, too, from the same source, the latter demonstrating that it’s not just about sex:

Gay marriage is a luxury good for the rich, paid for by the poor.

The green economy turns on technological innovation. It’s a Silicon Vally project, not an Allegheny Vally project.

I hadn’t thought of “green economy” as yet another slogan to enrich elites at the expense of the proles. Maybe “cui bono” needs to move up my list of preferred crap detectors.


O.K. I’m sure some of you are protesting: That’s a false equivalency. True, there is a huge difference between burning someone alive and not granting a couple a marriage license. But, then again, it’s not much of a slogan to say, “We’re better than ISIS!”

Nicholas Kristoff, whose bigotry against non-compliant Christianity is, I guess, better than ISIS. After all, there’s a huge difference between beheading people and calumniating them as bigots.


Evangelical Pastor Ryan Meeks … says, “I refuse to go to a church where my friends who are gay are excluded from Communion or a marriage covenant or the beauty of Christian community.” Let’s leave aside the fact that being gay has never excluded anyone from the Christian community. Pastor Meeks apparently thinks that the Bible, which is crystal clear on this point, wrongly limits a union to a man and a woman. But he’s not worried about that: “Every positive reforming movement in church history is first labeled a heresy.” Maybe, but there have been plenty of heresies that are just that – heresies, full stop. Saying our bodies are of no consequence in God’s covenant plan for humanity is a heresy called Gnosticism.

(R.R. Reno in the March 2015 First Things; hyperlink not yet available)


[W]hen late moderns come across, say, St. Anselm’s famous phrase “fides quaerens intellectum” (faith seeking understanding”, they are often predisposed to see it as slightly duplicitous, at worst as expressing a somewhat contemptible ambition: the aspiration of an irrational passion (fervent, tender, fierce) the the dignity of a rational conviction (cold, adamantine, calm).

(David Bentley Hart in the March 2015 First Things; hyperlink not yet available)


Gonzaga University graduate Autumn Jones asks a provocative question in a December 30 piece for The Atlantic, “The New Brand of Jesuit Universities.” Jones chronicles a rebranding effort by Jesuit universities across the country, and considers “whether this rebranding attenuates the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.” In search of an answer, Jones solicits comments from Jesuit faculty members, students, and administrators.

Running throughout the piece is a straw man argument, expressed by some interviewees, namely: Catholic universities can either “fall in line” with the Church, or they can be “places where young adults are encouraged to think critically.” Few of those interviewed seem to believe that a Catholic university can be both authentically Catholic and of the highest intellectual caliber.

(Jim Infantine, emphasis added)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.