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 the Renaissance … mark(s) a distinct change in European culture, which shifted its focus from the glory of God to the glory of man.

Rod Dreher, in The Benedict Option

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Yes, the Renaissance shifted the focus from God to man.

The Renaissance was fueled by the extraordinarily foolish (secular progressive) notion that the Middle Ages were intellectually and artistically sterile. In this idea the brilliance of metaphysical realism was bid farewell.

We have suffered illusion ever since – providing extraordinary hopes for the perfection of the human person despite obvious, abundant proof to the contrary. Indeed, it is this central idea that has plagued Western Civilization now for five plus centuries in various iterations to the present day.  Yes, this is the fanciful thinking of the Liberal, the Marxist, Socialists, the Progressive today.

Thus, the long hangover.

To be drunk on man as God – as perfection is to severe one’s connection between transcendent reality and material existence – discarding the former in favor of the latter. Likewise, it elevates reason to absurd levels while reducing and eventually privatizing religion – reducing it to a mere superstition or, at worse, a suspect way of being.

The shift away from metaphysical reality – is a shift away from morality and virtue and a movement toward chaos.  As well, it forfeits religious narrative in favor of each person being a narrative unto himself or herself – leaving space for ideology to govern personal choices and provide insufficient meaning housed in power and politics alone.

As Philosopher Charles Taylor notes the shift moved the human being from a state of enchantment to disenchantment thereby making belief less prominent and I would add making life less full, less spiritual, less intimate while curtailing everyday access to imagination and diminishing access to wisdom, faith and the experience of God.  In short, we lost human territory – yes, sacred space … and for many eventually faith itself.

If you wish to understand what you live today and know the very base of your misgivings and discontent being mindful of the shift from metaphysical reality to the modern era of man over God ought to inform you rather well.  Restoring what we once had in metaphysical reality is, of course, the obvious adjustment needed.

Finally, isn’t it rather revealing that few (if any) in public life mention any mega-narrative that refers to the history we have lived?

Hard to proceed wisely when wisdom is absent in the opinion-makers who command the public stage.  Is it too much to ask that those who take the stage might know something about history and have some command of lessons that it presents?  But alas, watching the public discourse now more often resembles the Three Stooges at work.  We must have better.

Shalom.

Suggestion – Rod Dreher’s book (The Benedict Option) is a good, relatively short read which does a very nice job outlining the events that lead to our present state of being.

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“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

Mk 8:38

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Jesus speaks these words.  In an acute way they apply to us today.

I think in particular, however, about the foolishness of Catholic priests from prestigious Catholic universities, including the University of Notre Dame, who gathered several decades ago to proclaim that their universities would pursue autonomy from the governance and authority of the Church in favor of a more secular disposition.

If you look and wonder what happened to Christianity in the United States during your lifetime, or what happened to Catholicism during the same period, it conceded its power and place to secularism – as to universities they took an unwise turn to the Left … denied Christ, their faith, belief, the wisdom of Ages.  

Indeed, at Notre Dame and other places we now crown those public figures who favor abortion, work for its advancement.  We have turned from family to faithlessness and social nihilism in many ways.

That said, we might well be mindful of the words that Jesus speaks following the above:

” … what will a man give in exchange for his soul? … whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in glory to His Father with the holy angels.”

Mk 8: 37, 38

If it is not now obvious to us – that we have forsaken Christ – then we are truly blind.

There is nothing short of a repudiation of godlessness that is due – now.  And that Dear Friend is “on you.”

Shalom.

Blame everyone but yourself.  This is the way of Hillary Clinton and her cohort, and their offspring.  Now Ms. Excuse is blaming Bernie Sanders for her losing the presidential  election.  With her and her pathetic crowd and their “perfect” children it is always someone else’s fault.  

Attention Hillary & Company: Here is a Big-Boy Pants understanding: own your mistakes and if you are a leader – own the mistakes of those under your command. Ms Excuse shows neither she nor her cohort are leaders.

 

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. (Emphasis added.)

Jean-Paul Sartre

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Sartre, of course, is wrong about being “condemned to be free” but he is correct in saying the human person is “responsible for everything he (or she) does.

Responsibility is largely honored in its absence now.  We can thank the Left for this. They talk about rights but never about responsibilities.  In health care they never see the sanctity of life as a gift and our responsibility to take care of ourselves, to eat properly, exercise, control our weight, avoid unhealthy vices, etc.

Indeed, the godless Left holds few “responsible” least of all themselves and those in their ranks who seek that others pay the tab for their irresponsibility. Of course, the Left does hold responsible those who expect each of us to be responsible.  Odd as it seems, even the godless Sartre is more to be trusted than the present day American Left.

I guess one can conclude that years of Leftist irresponsibility has made even Sartre a Conservative.  If you need a measure of how ill-conceived the positions and policies of the Left are – imagining Sartre a Conservative probably does it.

Shalom.

Remember – Spirlaw is a blog about faith and culture – as such it must address the culture as it is.  And that now means as its political state the condition of which would be vastly improves if God and faith were given a rightful place.  Yes, if each living being saw life as a gift and took responsibility for it as such.

The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics.  Fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.  (Emphasis added.)

Samuel P . Huntington

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Do not Islam and Marxism display the truth of Professor Huntington’s remarks? Is our national security not, then, contingent upon America and the West knowing who they are and who their rivals are – what is the bedrock of our identity and their identity?

American and Western identity rests on our classical legacy, Christianity, the relationship between church and state, freedom of religious expression, free speech and free elections, the rule of law, civil society and the peaceful transition of political power, free market economics, and our historic national footprint.

When cultures clash, as they do now, one must have a very clear understanding of who one is.

When cultures clash radical variation in basic identity within a society is a luxury that cannot be readily accommodated.  That said, a political party like the Democrat Left whose identity is based on: perpetual radical social and economic “change,” the centralization of cradle to grave power in the federal government, creating conflict through “identity politics” which manufactures angry “victim classes” and enslaved government dependents – compromises the nation’s security.  A state of perpetual internal flux puts in question one’s basic identity – it distracts and creates unnecessary and dangerous discord.

Indeed this is where we are today: division within while those within and without who wish our defeat grow stronger and more intent on our destruction. 

To make matters worse, very few of those who occupy political office have any inkling of the challenge we face and the fundamental question it raises.  The question?  Who exactly are we?

In a clash of cultures not knowing who you are is fatal.

Shalom.

 

 

… the Almighty will not pervert justice …

Job 34:12

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The Comey matter has generated a whole lot of conversation which reflects a broad ignorance among the politicos, media personalities and commentators (lawyers included).

Well aside from the inane partisanship among the Democrat Left, assessment of Mr. Comey’s worth is simply summed up in Job and the applicable quote above. To wit: Comey perverted justice.

You see, an investigator does not have the power to make the decision as to whether a person is or is not prosecuted, nor does he serve as a jury determining a person’s innocence or guilt.

Lest we exclude Ms. Loretta Lynch (the Attorney General) from her unforgivable behavior in meeting privately with the husband (Bill Clinton) of a person (his wife, Hillary Clinton) while his wife is the subject of a very serious FBI investigation – Ms. Lynch might well be reminded that she, too, in her inexplicable airport runway meeting served to pervert justice.

Neither Mr. Comey (head of the FBI) nor Ms. Lynch (the Attorney General of the United States) displayed any rudimentary regard for justice nor any evidence of the simple requirements of their ethical duties as lawyers.

Far beyond the obvious breach of legal ethics and of their respective, defined roles as judicial officers – both Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch remind us that a bright, well-educated person might be expected to grasp the concept which Job pronounces – that is: that justice is to be cherished not perverted.  Alas, neither were up to the task.

Sadly the mish-mash of frantic, idiotic public comments about Mr. Comey’s lawful dismissal by President Trump just underscores the worthlessness of listening to the news media, politicians, and self-claimed legal wizards on virtually any matter they care to mention.

Voices of the uninformed are many these days.  Talk though they may – they have not much of value to say.  Best find truth in what can be trusted.  Scripture will do very nicely.  To wit: Job works just fine in sorting out Mr. Comey’s dismissal and Ms. Lynch’s poor judgment.

Shalom.

Face to face with what must be, Cease thou from sorrow

Bhagavad-Gita, 2:27

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So begins the book Simply Sane: The Spirituality of Mental Health by psychotherapist Gerald May, M.D., a 1982 book addressing this significant question: How does one manage sanity in a trouble-ridden world?

As the above quotation suggests: Dr. May makes this vital point – face your life, live it out, accept as it appears, stop seeking the “Holy Grail” of control and perfection, stop expecting that a therapist, or medicine, or particular attitude, habit, achievement, possession, etc. can provide you sanity, comfort, satisfaction. May’s simple proscription for a sane existence: BE, just BE – exists as a human being.

In particular, Dr. May decries the extraordinary reliance people have on therapists. He sees this as a reduction of the human being and his or her natural endowment – their created state of being.

Reading him, I cannot but help to see in the present day, some 35 years since the book was published, that what he says about dependence on therapists and other substitutes for actually living your life out applies four-square to “political correctness” of the idiot Left.

You know if you wonder where insanity comes from today, you need only look at the Left and their “political correctness.”  It is way past high time to tell these “sickos” to take a long walk off a short pier.

Really, does anyone want to resemble the life of Bruce Jenner?  Miley Cyrus? Whoppie-Cushion Goldberg?  Chuckie “Hair-plug” Schumer?  Granny Pelosi? Maxine “the C.I.A. distributes crack in my neighborhood” Waters, or Senator Hiawatha “high cheek bones” Warren, or Bernie “never held a job” Sanders – he – the three house socialist?

Sanity today is secured by saying to the gender crowd, the fascist Left, the child-killing feminists and a sundry “snowflakes,” and whack-job academics and race-baiters – “Shut up, you loon – I’ve had enough of you.”

Want to counter-punch your way to sanity and freedom, I give you a simple phrase to use and invoke as often as necessary: “Hey you, shut up.”

Have a nifty day, boys and girls.

Shalom.

Update – Bad Week for Liberal Yahoo Montgomery Country, Maryland.

After the rape arrest of two immigrant students for an assault of a 14-year-old girl in a high school bathroom, today a school bus driver is arrested for the sexual assault of two 11-year-old school girls.  No word, yet, as to how the school administrators and whacked-out Leftist multiculturalist politicians will defend this mess and remind all again that they love children, provide for their safety, and take umbrage at anyone who disagrees with their view of “reality.”

” …  from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat … “

Gen 2:16

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In standing between good and evil the human person is more than animal.  He possesses more – that more is conscience.  He and she must choose what is good, not what is evil.

Our choices, you see, either bring us closer to God, or separate was further and further from God.  It is in the first that full life is known and experienced, and in the second that death comes to us before our mortal end – a death that extends into eternity.

We die as we live.  Conscience is always in play.

Funny how this proposition is lost to us today.  We no longer imagine the dynamic of an existence between good and evil and the role this plays for us in active choice, decision-making, and the vital place for conscience in our daily existence.

Case in point, the nitwit Democrat Liberals (and their bed mates in the teachers’ union) who run affluent Montgomery County, Maryland, welcomed an 18 year old illegal immigrant and another 17 year old friend into the school system placing them with 14 year old students in the 9th grade.  (The school system, predicatively, prides itself in ignoring an immigrant’s legal status.)  Well, these two non-English speaking geniuses were arrested this week for pushing a ninth grade girl into a boy’s bathroom in a local high school and sexually assaulting and raping her.  The authorities, of course, never vetted these young men – had no idea who or what they were.

No sense of responsibility for good and evil equals no conscience, and evil emerges.

In the above case, the Country school administrators, the teachers’ union, Country Liberal Democrat pols and those who support them ought to be held equally accountable for their part in this heinous assault.  Choosing evil has its price … or surely must have its price in a good and faithful society.  And that price ought to be the exile of the fools who prepare the way for evil, yes, an immediate exile for those who are a threat to public safety.  Send them far East of Eden, never to be seen again.

Let’s face it, in our secular age, we seem to think and act as if one’s mortal end is the end of our existence, that all in mortal life is all that is, and all that matters.

With such an ignorant mindset, the onus (it follows) is for us to live as fully as we fancy in the here and now – conscience aside.  Hence, we proceed to ignore reality, consume all that we can, acquire all we can, glorify ourselves, fuel our life experience with drugs, sex, alcohol, greed, power, status, celebrity (however fleeting) and the false idea that we are “masters” of all and wiser and more sure-footed than others.  Baloney.

Does one wonder why so many pursue selfish interests to the absolute exclusion of common sense and others – even family?  Or why divorce is so common? Likewise that children are abandoned?  Mental illness and obesity flourish? Suicide, too? Gang violence? Adultery? Pornography, as well?

In a culture without conscience, do not the executioners prevail in number while the innocent are, like the girl who was raped, offered up by those who choose evil and its furtherance?   Have we not had more than enough of the agents of evil: the Liberal Democrat and the “progressives” (Marxists) that gather with them?

Tree of good and evil, Friends.  Let’s get real.

Shalom.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with Us.”  (Emphasis added.)

Mk 1:23

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God with us.

Think about that.  God with you.

How might that change your life?  Frankly, in a very, very fundamental way.

If God is with you, might road rage visit you?  Insecurity?  Anxiety?  Anger? Impatience?  Fear?  Worry?  Uncertainty?

Indeed, is there anything that can diminish you?  No, there is not!

If God is with you, do you act like the troubled denizens of Hollywood?  Think about blowing up the White House like “Madonna?”  Or “call” for a “military coup,” like the obscure “comedian” Sarah Silverman?  Or act like the impudent and childish Democrats in the U.S. Congress?  Or the anarchists on the Left?

Indeed, if you have God with you – how can you be dissolved into depression over an election result?  Would one not have let politics precede and “trump” the reality that God is with you, and you (in turn) are with God?

How quickly I see people I know who are Church-goers completely dissolve in despair because their candidate (a person of very questionable conduct) did not become President.  Their “belief” is paper thin, and just as weak.  More appearance than substance.

One thing you notice very plainly is this: many who attend Church are easily anchored in the culture, and uncritically so.  That is, they present themselves for worship but park their trust in politics and status, income, address, their bias and poorly tutored views, etc.

Is any of this necessary when one recognizes that “God is with us?”  You know the answer.

Shalom.

Ignorant people see everything in black and white – they rely heavily on the myth of pure evil – and they are strongly influenced by their own self-interest. (Emphasis added.)

Jonathan Haidt, in The Happiness Hypothesis

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In the above remark, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains wisdom as it is derived from adversity.  He is making the point that wisdom is “tacit knowledge” that allows a person to balance their own needs with the needs of other people and things like institutions, the culture at-large, and those adversely affected by decisions and circumstances.

Those without wisdom see only black and white, find pure evil in other people, groups, things and ideas and act exclusively in their own misshapen, narrow, ill-informed and often hateful self interest.

It used to be some associated this sort of orientation with religious zealots – now it defines the American Left – from the U.S. Congress, to the media, the college campus on down to primary education.  You see it manifest regularly in the protesters, on television “news” shows, in liberal newspapers and among the “special pleaders” intent to bend you to their exclusive point of view.  But to what consequence?  A social breakdown that’s what.

Those described above divide us.  Their notion of diversity splinters us and creates enemies – the good (those on the Left) from the evil (those who are not on the Left).

As Emil Durkheim reminds us such social divide furthers self-destruction – and we see it now very clearly in those in the streets, and those in the Halls of Congress who refuse to participate in the daily work of the Legislature in order thwart the work of the elected majority and the sovereign citizens who elected them.  Yes, in the Democrat Party of the Left.

What I find most remarkable about the Left is this: they rant and get their bowels in an uproar without the slightest evidence that they are informed, well-educated or sufficiently wise or thoughtful enough to critique this nation, the culture and surely not themselves.

There has been plenty written by very astute people on the decline of American culture in that last four or five decades.  Those on the Left seem to ignore such essential work as James Hunter’s The Death of Character, Anthony Appiah’s The Ethics of Identity,  Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue or a whole stack of excellent and informative work essential to any sound understanding of American culture today.

My point?  Those noisy, rude, one-dimensional, crude ideologues on the Left hold no credential that justifies them NOT being dismissed out of hand. They know little and are adverse to doing their homework.

Would you ever wish a doctor with no particular knowledge of the specific problem you present to treat you?  The answer to that question fits the present state of ignorance we encounter in the all-too-public Left … personal associates included. Turn away.

Shalom.

Radical feminism is the most destructive and fanatical movement to come … from the Sixties … Totalitarian in spirit, it is deeply antagonistic to … Western culture and proposes the complete restructuring of society, morality and human nature …

Robert H. Bork, in Slouching to Gomorrah

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Some women assembled in Washington yesterday to trumpet radical feminism.  It seems they feel better being discontented, and all the better to be at war with men, Western culture and its institutions and founding, its life-sustaining principles, its time-tested values, and its achievements.

What do you say about such people?

They are not especially humble.  They live in discontent among extraordinary opportunity, comfort, privilege, freedom, and affluence.

Listening to the speakers at their public assembly you have to say – they are frantic.  Who might deny that hearing a speaker say she had thought often of blowing up the White House.

They are distastefully lewd and fixated on their biology.  Who other than a radical feminist would dress up as a vagina or an index finger, or wear a pink “pussy” hat. Yes, lewd and childish.

Let’s face it: the embrace of a constructed victimhood  does not a happy person make.

Think about it.  Women seem to be consuming themselves.  Such is the effect of victimization.  Doubt it?  Look at obesity statistics on Black, White and Hispanic women since the advent of feminism.  Look around – you can see young women who are on the highway to diabetes.  Can this be a sign of contentment?

Look at fatherless families and fatherless children, too.

My point is a simple one – radical feminism is not sufficiently critiqued, and if we care about women and their unique importance to society and the human race, we ought to examine it carefully.

Examine?  Yes. What is good can always withstand review.  What is not, cannot.

Shalom.

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