Archives For first things

He sees that Christianity is not a matter of blood, or of race, or of victory in this world. It requires accepting defeat in this life before promising triumph in the next. A Catholic cannot be certain that his line will continue or his country thrive. He only knows that the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s Church. This is why Waugh could happily entertain the idea that black men would bear forth a faith and culture abandoned by whites. Perhaps it will not happen, but no Christian would mind if it did.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/09/christianity-is-for-cucks

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Holmes had definite moral views, but his sensibilities about war required magnanimity toward enemies, which included admiration for their bravery, the purity of their motives, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves for a cause. There was, moreover, a brotherhood of sorts among veterans, for they shared a common experience of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

The great age of Civil War commemoration came as men like Holmes aged. In that time, Romanticism made lost causes into things of beauty. Isaiah Berlin has this to say about the Romantics: “You would have found that they believed that minorities were more holy than majorities, that failure was nobler than success, which had something shoddy and something vulgar about it.” We look upon the Southern cause with moral horror, for its purpose was to preserve slavery. A Romantic can be anti-slavery, but to him the “lost cause” is sublime, tragic, and heartbreaking, which is why the Alamo was not memorialized as a shameful defeat. We fail in our responsibility to history when we do not permit ourselves to see Civil War memorials from a Romantic point of view, and when we fail to recognize the phrase “lost cause” as a shorthand for a morally complex, tragic understanding of the South’s defeat.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/07/romanticism-of-the-lost-cause

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s philological gerrymandering has been far too influential for far too long. Liberals and conservatives who want more for the public square than echo chambers and outrage factories should hope that Maajid Nawaz wins his lawsuit, and that the SPLC learns a costly lesson about bearing false witness.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/06/the-southern-poverty-law-center-bears-false-witness

Interesting take on the differences between Pope Francis and Pope Benedict with a nice twist at the end. I was half expecting the author to eventually side with Francis since he is clearly the more popular of the two particularly among non-Catholic believers. Perhaps that explains why Mr. Schmitz agrees with Pope Benedict’s message enduring long term due to its unpopular but doctrinally sound positions.

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/05/burying-benedict

Dress Up

May 17, 2017 — Leave a comment

I’m not a huge reader but despite its length I found this article quite riveting. The history of fashion particularly the 19th and 20th centuries had many new fascinating trends and innovations. I do agree that this new age of individual freedom and decline in the occasion has had many detrimental effects though I doubt many would be disappointed. However as someone who believes its best to impress and that dressing for the occasion is in fact an act of humility I am inclined to share the same feelings as the author Mr. Boyer. I wouldn’t mind if we attempted to conduct a reversal to the simpler days of old.

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2017/06/dress-up

“Will you deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; that you may show yourself in all things an example of good works unto others, that the adversary may be ashamed, having nothing to say against you?”

I agree with Hitchens interpretation of great men’s deeds. I think its incredibly foolish to expect for someone to be perfect when we know full well that all men have fallen short in their own way. This is one of the reasons why I admire different things various individuals have done but would never ignore their temptations as well. Nobody is perfect. The article on Mr. Bell was quite interesting and makes me want to learn more about this intelligent and culturally vibrant individual. I agree also that the Anglican church and Episcopalian one are in this day in age laughable because they are content to ascribe to the world’s standards and not God’s.

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/11/in-defense-of-george-bell

Reductio ad absurdum. I think this article does an excellent job at summing up New Atheist arguments and why they don’t hold up well in defense of their positions. It does often appear that New Atheists are of the absurd belief that ceasing religion entirely will not bring about any possible negative consequences. Or at least they are not compelled to ponder such possibilities. I will have to do some reading up on A.C. Grayling. 

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/05/believe-it-or-not