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A similar thing could be said about the Church of England. Britain is one of the most Godless countries on earth and yet Anglican and Catholic schools are still very popular because people like the ethos, and parents are prepared to take their kids to church every Sunday to get in. Many find it a rewarding experience, after initial reluctance, but then there is a fair amount of evidence that regular churchgoing increases health and happiness.

Ersatz religion has many of the benefits of the real thing, and the same can be said for ersatz village life. Ever since the Industrial Revolution there has been a romantic longing to return to the countryside, which in the 19th century was largely the idea of High Tories who glossed over the horror of rural life. Yet for the all advantages of city living – sweatshops are generally far better paid than backbreaking agricultural work – there is evidence that urban living has a bad effect on our mental health, with city dwellers 40 per cent more likely to suffer from psychiatric problems.(  (Although the mentally ill are also more likely to move to cities.)

https://capx.co/open-societies-need-to-rediscover-heroic-ideals/

A pretty fair and balanced take on affirmative action.

We should insist on procedural justice — which is to say, we should insist on the rule of law and on the equality of all people before it. But we ought not allow that insistence to be a bunker into which we retreat when we do not wish to think too hard about the real social and economic distance between black Americans and white Americans. The fact that we passed a new set of rules in 1964 is not in itself an accounting for what came before or an answer to what has happened since.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450124/campus-affirmative-action-rule-law-must-trump-social-justice

If tattoos were once an act of rebellion against cultural norms, now they are a well-established norm. If you want a tattoo, hey, it’s a free country. But it seems many people still get them laboring under the delusion that they’re a hallmark of individualism. The desire to use visual signals on your skin to proclaim yourself unique to people you don’t even know can’t be terribly healthy. It is, in a subtle and penetrating way, kind of selfish. Or maybe my misanthropy is showing, but the omnipresence of people begging to be noticed for such superficial reasons is surely annoying.

http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/04/need-admit-america-tattoo-problem/

While a nice sentiment it actually would do more good to ban hijabs than to encourage their use. It wasn’t until the rise of theocracies and decline of secular societies in West Asia that the hijab became a staple of Muslim women’s dress. The hijab for all intents and purposes is a symbol of patriarchal rule which last time I was told by the progressive left was the bane of women’s existence. People are against the symbolism of the hijab rather than Muslim women’s right to wear it. If all women had the right to choose to wear it or not then it wouldn’t be nearly the contested issue that it is. But at least they are willing to condemn the full niqab.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/austrian-president-alexander-van-der-bellen-all-women-headscarves-hijab-veils-burqa-muslim-a7707166.html

Journalists, Please — the World Has Enough Activists

The Roots of a Counterproductive Immigration Policy