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Mission Nary Impossible--The Unevangelized May Be Better & Worse than Savages

Second Chance

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I am truly hoping that we can avoid partisan politics and address civilizational and philosophical aspects of this topic, even if they touch upon broader governmental or political principles. But not partisan politics please!

I recently read an article that said what I had been thinking, but much better. IHere is the crux problem as rthe author sees it:

"We are now among people who are better and worse than savages. They are, in most places, and for the time being, less likely to break the crockery, as Chesterton put it, than were the savages of old. They will cut babies to pieces in the womb, more than a million a year, but only rarely out of it; and they will be roused to the height of righteous wrath should they see someone leave a dog in a hot car in the summer. They watch filth all the time and let it soak their souls, but they will not roll in mud, because it is not good for the complexion. They judge by the flights of feeling and mass sentiment. They know what sluts are: women whose sexual immorality is a degree or two more degraded or more consistent than theirs. They are the more ruthless and severe in their condemnations as they are incapable of telling exactly what is to be condemned and why."

Please read the entire article and tell us what you think.

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=28-01-022-f#ixzz3NyyEVoB7
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
 

TheTrisagion

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I have often pondered the thoughts that Anthony Esolen elucidates in this article.  The problem, however, is not that such things exist, but that there is no means by which to fix them. For every time that I look at some crazy thing that someone in the country does and think, 'man, that is really screwed up' someone is looking at me and thinking 'man, that  is really screwed up'. There is no longer a common culture, no common ground from which everyone can relate to. Everyone has their own niche, they fill their minds with likeminded thinking. Sometimes, someone is challenged to the point where he abandons his niche and moves to a different niche, but there still is no common cultural ethic that we as a country or as western civilization in general can hold on to.
 

TheTrisagion

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Porter ODoran said:
If that's true, your post contains the "means by which to fix them."
I wish. My post contains my opinion on what is needed for it to be different, not a plan on how to get there.  That remains the enigma.  At least for me.  Maybe someone else can figure that part out.  I think part of it is a dismantling of the individualist mentality that is so prevalent in western civilizations. A more collectivist mindset is required before any such change can be attempted.
 

Porter ODoran

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Your post said we cannot fix our problems because we have "no common culture," "no common ground," "no common cultural ethic." Therefore, your post contains references to what, if it's true, would be needed to fix our problems.
 

Second Chance

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
 

TheTrisagion

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
Sometimes, xOrthodox4Christx is afraid that we might forget that he is a socialist, so he posts things like that so you don't forget.  ;)
 

Second Chance

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When I was reading this, I thought of the movie The Ghosbusters, where the destroyer of the world turnout to be a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I think that one thesis of the article is that we are confronted with a whole bunch of marshmallow men and women, who know nothing and glory in their ignorance.
 

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I haven't read the article thoroughly, but the reference to The Waste Land caught my eye -- maybe in a way we've come back to 1922 again in some kind of accelerated Yeatsian gyre. Long past time for me to get back to bed, though.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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TheTrisagion said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
Sometimes, xOrthodox4Christx is afraid that we might forget that he is a socialist, so he posts things like that so you don't forget.  ;)
No, Carl just conflated something which I wasn't conflating. I never claimed right-wingers are the only ones capable of making crass and gross judgments. But he (not Carl,) is clearly a right-wing hack, he published a Regnery PIG book. And I personally believe he is making unnecessary judgments, despite the obvious nature of the issues he is discussing.
 

Second Chance

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TheTrisagion said:
Porter ODoran said:
If that's true, your post contains the "means by which to fix them."
...I think part of it is a dismantling of the individualist mentality that is so prevalent in western civilizations. A more collectivist mindset is required before any such change can be attempted.
I am inclined to agree with you, but to a degree. What we have in the post-modern age is individualism gone amok, that results at times in single individuals running like chicken whose head has been cut off, and at other times individuals forming herds of bison on a stampede--a collectivist imagery but without a rhyme or reason. The balance is gone. The question is whether this is inevitable.
 

Second Chance

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
TheTrisagion said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
Sometimes, xOrthodox4Christx is afraid that we might forget that he is a socialist, so he posts things like that so you don't forget.  ;)
No, Carl just conflated something which I wasn't conflating. I never claimed right-wingers are the only ones capable of making crass and gross judgments. But he (not Carl,) is clearly a right-wing hack, he published a Regnery PIG book. And I personally believe he is making unnecessary judgments, despite the obvious nature of the issues he is discussing.
I think that we should have some perspective here.

First the author: "Anthony M. Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College and translator of classic works, as well as writer for magazines including the Claremont Review of Books and Touchstone Magazine, of which he is a senior editor. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. He also writes a column for the Inside Catholic website...Esolen graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1981. He pursued graduate work from the University of North Carolina, receiving his M.A. in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1987...

Books:
Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 15 June 2007. ISBN 978-1933859217.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. The Politically Incorrect Guide. Regnery Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-1596980594.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 5 November 2010. ISBN 978-1935191889.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:
"Restoring The Words". First Things (Institute on Religion and Public Life) (217). November 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2012."

All of the above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_M._Esolen

Hardly a right wing hack, unless one considers all conservatives to be "right wing hacks." Let's pursue this a bit further.

- "Regnery published some of the first and most important books of the postwar American conservative movement. "It was a measure of the grip that liberal-minded editors had on American publishing at the time that Regnery, which was founded in 1947, was one of only two houses known to be sympathetic to conservative authors", according to Henry Regnery's 1996 obituary in The New York Times.

In 1951, Regnery published God and Man at Yale, the first book written by William F. Buckley, Jr.. At that time, Regnery had a close affiliation with the University of Chicago and published classics for the Great Books series at the University, but he lost the contract as a result of publishing Buckley's book.

In 1953, Regnery published The Conservative Mind, a seminal book for post-World War II American conservatism, as well as books by Albert J. Nock, James J. Kilpatrick, James Burnham and Whittaker Chambers. He also published paperback editions of literary works by authors such as novelist Wyndham Lewis and the poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnery_Publishing#Henry_Regnery_Company_.281947.E2.80.9377.29

- The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) "is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1953 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. ISI's motto is "Educating for Liberty," and its mission is to "inspire college students to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make American free and prosperous." ISI supports limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, a free-market economy, and traditional values (especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition." It was founded by Bill Buckley and, on a personal note, I was privileged to be a co-founder of a campus conservative organization affiliated with ISI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercollegiate_Studies_Institute

- The Claremont Review of Books (CRB) is a quarterly review of politics and statesmanship published by the Claremont Institute. Many consider it a conservative intellectual answer to the liberal New York Review of Books.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claremont_Review_of_Books

- Touchstone Magazine is a bimonthly publication of the Fellowship of St. James. It is subtitled A Journal of Mere Christianity, which replaced A Journal of Ecumenical Orthodoxy. It covers matters related to Christianity, culture, literature, secularism, and world affairs. The subtitle of the journal is a reference to C.S. Lewis' concept of "mere Christianity". The publication describes its approach as both theologically conservative and ecumenical. It has won the Associated Church Press's Award of Excellence (first place) for journals for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as six or seven other awards each year, including awards for articles, its book review section, and editorial courage. The magazine's executive editor (since January 1992) is James Kushiner (Orthodox). Senior editors include Anthony Esolen, Robert P. George, James Hitchcock, and Leon J. Podles (all Catholic); S. M. Hutchens and Russell D. Moore (both Protestant); and Patrick Henry Reardon (Orthodox). From 2003 to 2008 its editor was David Mills (Catholic)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchstone_%28magazine%29

I submit to you that by cavalierly condemning the author as a right wing hack, Orthodox4Christx has unwittingly demonstrated Esolen's point: "they are the more ruthless and severe in their condemnations as they are incapable of telling exactly what is to be condemned and why.
 

Volnutt

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Porter ODoran said:
The author's style seems to show he admires Chesterton.
Byline: Ignatius J. Riley [vomits]


The only "solution" to what he's describing is to have a Christian absolute monarch (or a Christian ISIS) able and willing to bring back anti-sodomy laws and burn heretics with their books. As soon as you introduce freedom of learning and conscience to a society marked by modern levels of technology-induced leisure, you open the door to everything he decries.

Of course, that's only a solution if you think as 88Devin12 apparently does, that one can be bullied and brainwashed into a relationship with God.
 

vamrat

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The sine qua non of the matter is a sense of "Us vs Them".  Until we can separate who we are from who they are we cannot "fix" anything.  We are trained to be inclusive and tolerant.  This just makes everyone into units.  Small lego blocks that can be used to construct our Potemkin society.  We need to stop seeing each other as consumers but as other people.  And some people are good, and others are crap.  

Once we know who Us are, then we can rally together against Them.
 

Second Chance

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Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
The author's style seems to show he admires Chesterton.
Byline: Ignatius J. Riley [vomits]


The only "solution" to what he's describing is to have a Christian absolute monarch (or a Christian ISIS) able and willing to bring back anti-sodomy laws and burn heretics with their books. As soon as you introduce freedom of learning and conscience to a society marked by modern levels of technology-induced leisure, you open the door to everything he decries.

Of course, that's only a solution if you think as 88Devin12 apparently does, that one can be bullied and brainwashed into a relationship with God.
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting by Jonathan Swift.

The question I have for you is whether you think Chesterton and Esolen are the geniuses or are they the dunces. I certainly do not think Chesterton is a dunce, nor do I think that I am a dunce for admiring him. But, isn't there something or somebody else between genius and dunce?

Regarding your accusation that Esolen is an extreme reactionary, I wish you would back it up. I do not see that at all. Let's take sodomy for instance. It used to be a given that all Christians took the Holy Scriptures seriously, to include the designation of sodomites and catamites as sinners, along with adulterers, fornicators. etc... It is not reactionary to bemoan the present turn of events where so-called Christian Churches see fit to go against their own source documents. It is not simply a matter of disregarding Holy Scriptures either, Esolen also condemns the arrogance of these churches to think that they can make such grave changes without any rebuttal. I agree with him.
 

Volnutt

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
The author's style seems to show he admires Chesterton.
Byline: Ignatius J. Riley [vomits]


The only "solution" to what he's describing is to have a Christian absolute monarch (or a Christian ISIS) able and willing to bring back anti-sodomy laws and burn heretics with their books. As soon as you introduce freedom of learning and conscience to a society marked by modern levels of technology-induced leisure, you open the door to everything he decries.

Of course, that's only a solution if you think as 88Devin12 apparently does, that one can be bullied and brainwashed into a relationship with God.
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting by Jonathan Swift.

The question I have for you is whether you think Chesterton and Esolen are the geniuses or are they the dunces. I certainly do not think Chesterton is a dunce, nor do I think that I am a dunce for admiring him. But, isn't there something or somebody else between genius and dunce?

Regarding your accusation that Esolen is an extreme reactionary, I wish you would back it up. I do not see that at all. Let's take sodomy for instance. It used to be a given that all Christians took the Holy Scriptures seriously, to include the designation of sodomites and catamites as sinners, along with adulterers, fornicators. etc... It is not reactionary to bemoan the present turn of events where so-called Christian Churches see fit to go against their own source documents. It is not simply a matter of disregarding Holy Scriptures either, Esolen also condemns the arrogance of these churches to think that they can make such grave changes without any rebuttal. I agree with him.
I don't think he's a dunce, I just think he writes like one. Chesterton had the excuse of location and upbringing. Esolen just reads like he's putting on airs. Admittedly, it's more personal disgust than anything.

I'm not calling Esolen a reactionary, either. I'm just saying that the problems he points out are intractable in the large scale. You can't turn back such large scale progress without breaking skulls. All the Church can do today is worry about saving the odd individual once in a blue moon and try to hang onto what social good works the inclusiveness lobby leaves to Her.

Either Jesus will return in a decade or two or Christianity is false and headed to the dustbin of history.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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Carl, respectfully, I don't think it's fair to ask us to discuss this article without veering into partisan politics.  The article itself reflects a particular political perspective.  It is not a neutral discourse on civilizational or philosophical aspects of the present society, nor are all of the objections the author makes to certain aspects of that society purely theological (or philosophical, etc.).  Some of them do indeed reflect a particular political view, and operate under the misguided assumption that since some aspects of this political point of view are undergirded by traditional Christian morality that those who don't support that political point of view en toto are somehow less in tune with the morality of the Church (whatever that may mean to this author) than those who do.  The weaving of a particular political narrative into the piece itself by the author vitiates the process, and, in my opinion, precludes the possibility of discussing the article in a vacuum without discussing that narrative.  I think you recognized this yourself, and that is why you found it necessary to make a preemptive attempt to forestall the political discussion that inevitably ensued.  There are large chunks of the article that I agree with, and that I can acknowledge transcend politics and speak to a greater morality, one informed by Christ.  There are other bits where the author tips his hand and reveals (rather heavy-handedly and clumsily) the partisan nature of the piece, operating, again, under the misguided assumption that one must support a particular political bloc in order to truly stand for Christ and His Church, and those bits are what preclude discussing the piece without discussing politics.
 

Second Chance

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Carl, respectfully, I don't think it's fair to ask us to discuss this article without veering into partisan politics.  The article itself reflects a particular political perspective.  It is not a neutral discourse on civilizational or philosophical aspects of the present society, nor are all of the objections the author makes to certain aspects of that society purely theological (or philosophical, etc.).  Some of them do indeed reflect a particular political view, and operate under the misguided assumption that since some aspects of this political point of view are undergirded by traditional Christian morality that those who don't support that political point of view en toto are somehow less in tune with the morality of the Church (whatever that may mean to this author) than those who do.  The weaving of a particular political narrative into the piece itself by the author vitiates the process, and, in my opinion, precludes the possibility of discussing the article in a vacuum without discussing that narrative.  I think you recognized this yourself, and that is why you found it necessary to make a preemptive attempt to forestall the political discussion that inevitably ensued.  There are large chunks of the article that I agree with, and that I can acknowledge transcend politics and speak to a greater morality, one informed by Christ.  There are other bits where the author tips his hand and reveals (rather heavy-handedly and clumsily) the partisan nature of the piece, operating, again, under the misguided assumption that one must support a particular political bloc in order to truly stand for Christ and His Church, and those bits are what preclude discussing the piece without discussing politics.
It is unfortunate that cultural conservatives are now largely in one political spectrum. When I first arrived here in the United States, they belong to most political parties except for those that denied God. In any case, is it possible to talk about the dilemma posed by post-modernism without political considerations of the partisan kind?
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
TheTrisagion said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
Sometimes, xOrthodox4Christx is afraid that we might forget that he is a socialist, so he posts things like that so you don't forget.  ;)
No, Carl just conflated something which I wasn't conflating. I never claimed right-wingers are the only ones capable of making crass and gross judgments. But he (not Carl,) is clearly a right-wing hack, he published a Regnery PIG book. And I personally believe he is making unnecessary judgments, despite the obvious nature of the issues he is discussing.
I think that we should have some perspective here.

First the author: "Anthony M. Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College and translator of classic works, as well as writer for magazines including the Claremont Review of Books and Touchstone Magazine, of which he is a senior editor. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. He also writes a column for the Inside Catholic website...Esolen graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1981. He pursued graduate work from the University of North Carolina, receiving his M.A. in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1987...

Books:
Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 15 June 2007. ISBN 978-1933859217.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. The Politically Incorrect Guide. Regnery Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-1596980594.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 5 November 2010. ISBN 978-1935191889.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:
"Restoring The Words". First Things (Institute on Religion and Public Life) (217). November 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2012."

All of the above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_M._Esolen

Hardly a right wing hack, unless one considers all conservatives to be "right wing hacks." Let's pursue this a bit further.

- "Regnery published some of the first and most important books of the postwar American conservative movement. "It was a measure of the grip that liberal-minded editors had on American publishing at the time that Regnery, which was founded in 1947, was one of only two houses known to be sympathetic to conservative authors", according to Henry Regnery's 1996 obituary in The New York Times.

In 1951, Regnery published God and Man at Yale, the first book written by William F. Buckley, Jr.. At that time, Regnery had a close affiliation with the University of Chicago and published classics for the Great Books series at the University, but he lost the contract as a result of publishing Buckley's book.

In 1953, Regnery published The Conservative Mind, a seminal book for post-World War II American conservatism, as well as books by Albert J. Nock, James J. Kilpatrick, James Burnham and Whittaker Chambers. He also published paperback editions of literary works by authors such as novelist Wyndham Lewis and the poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnery_Publishing#Henry_Regnery_Company_.281947.E2.80.9377.29

- The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) "is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1953 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. ISI's motto is "Educating for Liberty," and its mission is to "inspire college students to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make American free and prosperous." ISI supports limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, a free-market economy, and traditional values (especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition." It was founded by Bill Buckley and, on a personal note, I was privileged to be a co-founder of a campus conservative organization affiliated with ISI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercollegiate_Studies_Institute

- The Claremont Review of Books (CRB) is a quarterly review of politics and statesmanship published by the Claremont Institute. Many consider it a conservative intellectual answer to the liberal New York Review of Books.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claremont_Review_of_Books

- Touchstone Magazine is a bimonthly publication of the Fellowship of St. James. It is subtitled A Journal of Mere Christianity, which replaced A Journal of Ecumenical Orthodoxy. It covers matters related to Christianity, culture, literature, secularism, and world affairs. The subtitle of the journal is a reference to C.S. Lewis' concept of "mere Christianity". The publication describes its approach as both theologically conservative and ecumenical. It has won the Associated Church Press's Award of Excellence (first place) for journals for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as six or seven other awards each year, including awards for articles, its book review section, and editorial courage. The magazine's executive editor (since January 1992) is James Kushiner (Orthodox). Senior editors include Anthony Esolen, Robert P. George, James Hitchcock, and Leon J. Podles (all Catholic); S. M. Hutchens and Russell D. Moore (both Protestant); and Patrick Henry Reardon (Orthodox). From 2003 to 2008 its editor was David Mills (Catholic)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchstone_%28magazine%29

I submit to you that by cavalierly condemning the author as a right wing hack, Orthodox4Christx has unwittingly demonstrated Esolen's point: "they are the more ruthless and severe in their condemnations as they are incapable of telling exactly what is to be condemned and why.
::) He's not just a Conservative. He's an extremely ideological Conservative. That's why he writes for Regnery. There's nothing wrong with that, (I own Regnery books,) I'm just trying to say that it has a political element whether or not you want to talk about it.

I haven't condemned anyone, he writes for Regnery, there couldn't be any farther right-hackery except for maybe some Aryan Nation tracts. There's nothing wrong with Catholics and Orthodox writing for those publishing houses, only that it's disingenuous to claim that politics isn't an issue when it clearly is.

ISI is also a right-wing publishing house, anyone who advocates non-existent "free markets" is far to the right.

I don't really have a problem with Touchstone though. I'd probably order a subscription if I was interested enough in them.
 

Second Chance

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I think that most folks are reacting to Esolen's examples of madness, rather than the concluding paragraph that elevates his thesis above individual examples, particularly anything partisan. It seems to me that the situation that Esolen bemoans is present among all Americans, not just voters of a particular political party.

"What must the missionary do with such a people? He will not be teaching letters to an illiterate people with their old and venerable legends and poetry. His charges will know how to read a page, but will have no poetry. He will not be teaching a catechism to a people with strong but sometimes mistaken moral customs. He will be teaching a catechism to people who take their moral cues from an idiot box. He will not be teaching Indians that one wife is enough. He will be teaching addled sub-marital illuminati what it means even to have a wife."

 

xOrthodox4Christx

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Volnutt said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
The author's style seems to show he admires Chesterton.
Byline: Ignatius J. Riley [vomits]


The only "solution" to what he's describing is to have a Christian absolute monarch (or a Christian ISIS) able and willing to bring back anti-sodomy laws and burn heretics with their books. As soon as you introduce freedom of learning and conscience to a society marked by modern levels of technology-induced leisure, you open the door to everything he decries.

Of course, that's only a solution if you think as 88Devin12 apparently does, that one can be bullied and brainwashed into a relationship with God.
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting by Jonathan Swift.

The question I have for you is whether you think Chesterton and Esolen are the geniuses or are they the dunces. I certainly do not think Chesterton is a dunce, nor do I think that I am a dunce for admiring him. But, isn't there something or somebody else between genius and dunce?

Regarding your accusation that Esolen is an extreme reactionary, I wish you would back it up. I do not see that at all. Let's take sodomy for instance. It used to be a given that all Christians took the Holy Scriptures seriously, to include the designation of sodomites and catamites as sinners, along with adulterers, fornicators. etc... It is not reactionary to bemoan the present turn of events where so-called Christian Churches see fit to go against their own source documents. It is not simply a matter of disregarding Holy Scriptures either, Esolen also condemns the arrogance of these churches to think that they can make such grave changes without any rebuttal. I agree with him.
I don't think he's a dunce, I just think he writes like one. Chesterton had the excuse of location and upbringing. Esolen just reads like he's putting on airs. Admittedly, it's more personal disgust than anything.

I'm not calling Esolen a reactionary, either. I'm just saying that the problems he points out are intractable in the large scale. You can't turn back such large scale progress without breaking skulls. All the Church can do today is worry about saving the odd individual once in a blue moon and try to hang onto what social good works the inclusiveness lobby leaves to Her.

Either Jesus will return in a decade or two or Christianity is false and headed to the dustbin of history.
I actually doubt that latter claim. Globalization has made it impossible to annihilate all Christianity from the planet. Although I think religion is headed to the dustbin, I and many historians I've read don't believe that Christianity is heading that way. Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
TheTrisagion said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
Sometimes, xOrthodox4Christx is afraid that we might forget that he is a socialist, so he posts things like that so you don't forget.  ;)
No, Carl just conflated something which I wasn't conflating. I never claimed right-wingers are the only ones capable of making crass and gross judgments. But he (not Carl,) is clearly a right-wing hack, he published a Regnery PIG book. And I personally believe he is making unnecessary judgments, despite the obvious nature of the issues he is discussing.
I think that we should have some perspective here.

First the author: "Anthony M. Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College and translator of classic works, as well as writer for magazines including the Claremont Review of Books and Touchstone Magazine, of which he is a senior editor. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. He also writes a column for the Inside Catholic website...Esolen graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1981. He pursued graduate work from the University of North Carolina, receiving his M.A. in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1987...

Books:
Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 15 June 2007. ISBN 978-1933859217.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. The Politically Incorrect Guide. Regnery Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-1596980594.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 5 November 2010. ISBN 978-1935191889.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:
"Restoring The Words". First Things (Institute on Religion and Public Life) (217). November 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2012."

All of the above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_M._Esolen

Hardly a right wing hack, unless one considers all conservatives to be "right wing hacks." Let's pursue this a bit further.

- "Regnery published some of the first and most important books of the postwar American conservative movement. "It was a measure of the grip that liberal-minded editors had on American publishing at the time that Regnery, which was founded in 1947, was one of only two houses known to be sympathetic to conservative authors", according to Henry Regnery's 1996 obituary in The New York Times.

In 1951, Regnery published God and Man at Yale, the first book written by William F. Buckley, Jr.. At that time, Regnery had a close affiliation with the University of Chicago and published classics for the Great Books series at the University, but he lost the contract as a result of publishing Buckley's book.

In 1953, Regnery published The Conservative Mind, a seminal book for post-World War II American conservatism, as well as books by Albert J. Nock, James J. Kilpatrick, James Burnham and Whittaker Chambers. He also published paperback editions of literary works by authors such as novelist Wyndham Lewis and the poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnery_Publishing#Henry_Regnery_Company_.281947.E2.80.9377.29

- The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) "is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1953 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. ISI's motto is "Educating for Liberty," and its mission is to "inspire college students to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make American free and prosperous." ISI supports limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, a free-market economy, and traditional values (especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition." It was founded by Bill Buckley and, on a personal note, I was privileged to be a co-founder of a campus conservative organization affiliated with ISI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercollegiate_Studies_Institute

- The Claremont Review of Books (CRB) is a quarterly review of politics and statesmanship published by the Claremont Institute. Many consider it a conservative intellectual answer to the liberal New York Review of Books.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claremont_Review_of_Books

- Touchstone Magazine is a bimonthly publication of the Fellowship of St. James. It is subtitled A Journal of Mere Christianity, which replaced A Journal of Ecumenical Orthodoxy. It covers matters related to Christianity, culture, literature, secularism, and world affairs. The subtitle of the journal is a reference to C.S. Lewis' concept of "mere Christianity". The publication describes its approach as both theologically conservative and ecumenical. It has won the Associated Church Press's Award of Excellence (first place) for journals for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as six or seven other awards each year, including awards for articles, its book review section, and editorial courage. The magazine's executive editor (since January 1992) is James Kushiner (Orthodox). Senior editors include Anthony Esolen, Robert P. George, James Hitchcock, and Leon J. Podles (all Catholic); S. M. Hutchens and Russell D. Moore (both Protestant); and Patrick Henry Reardon (Orthodox). From 2003 to 2008 its editor was David Mills (Catholic)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchstone_%28magazine%29

I submit to you that by cavalierly condemning the author as a right wing hack, Orthodox4Christx has unwittingly demonstrated Esolen's point: "they are the more ruthless and severe in their condemnations as they are incapable of telling exactly what is to be condemned and why.
::) He's not just a Conservative. He's an extremely ideological Conservative. That's why he writes for Regnery. There's nothing wrong with that, (I own Regnery books,) I'm just trying to say that it has a political element whether or not you want to talk about it.

I haven't condemned anyone, he writes for Regnery, there couldn't be any farther right-hackery except for maybe some Aryan Nation tracts. There's nothing wrong with Catholics and Orthodox writing for those publishing houses, only that it's disingenuous to claim that politics isn't an issue when it clearly is.
I see your point. I suppose that I tend to look at "politics" as it applies to this Forum more narrowly that you, defining it as partisan politics and exempting consideration of more theoretical aspects of government, political economy, public morality and policy, etc. I also define a political hack to mean something different than you; I think a hack is one who is a partisan mouthpiece who does not have the education or conviction to back up his argument--not somebody that I just disagree with. It may be that I am unable to see a way to talk about our faith the public arena that is divorced from public morality and policy. Incidentally, isn't that the crux of Esolen's article?
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
Carl, respectfully, I don't think it's fair to ask us to discuss this article without veering into partisan politics.  The article itself reflects a particular political perspective.  It is not a neutral discourse on civilizational or philosophical aspects of the present society, nor are all of the objections the author makes to certain aspects of that society purely theological (or philosophical, etc.).  Some of them do indeed reflect a particular political view, and operate under the misguided assumption that since some aspects of this political point of view are undergirded by traditional Christian morality that those who don't support that political point of view en toto are somehow less in tune with the morality of the Church (whatever that may mean to this author) than those who do.  The weaving of a particular political narrative into the piece itself by the author vitiates the process, and, in my opinion, precludes the possibility of discussing the article in a vacuum without discussing that narrative.  I think you recognized this yourself, and that is why you found it necessary to make a preemptive attempt to forestall the political discussion that inevitably ensued.  There are large chunks of the article that I agree with, and that I can acknowledge transcend politics and speak to a greater morality, one informed by Christ.  There are other bits where the author tips his hand and reveals (rather heavy-handedly and clumsily) the partisan nature of the piece, operating, again, under the misguided assumption that one must support a particular political bloc in order to truly stand for Christ and His Church, and those bits are what preclude discussing the piece without discussing politics.
It is unfortunate that cultural conservatives are now largely in one political spectrum. When I first arrived here in the United States, they belong to most political parties except for those that denied God. In any case, is it possible to talk about the dilemma posed by post-modernism without political considerations of the partisan kind?
I think it is, and you are probably better off if you do.  Political parties have too much to gain by problems continuing.  Problems give them good talking points.  They even go as far as to manufacture issues to have something to talk about.  Turns out, paying people to create hot air leads to a surplus of hot air.
 

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Volnutt said:
... All the Church can do today is worry about saving the odd individual once in a blue moon and try to hang onto what social good works the inclusiveness lobby leaves to Her.

Either Jesus will return in a decade or two or Christianity is false and headed to the dustbin of history.
Faithlessness in a nutshell. And a good example of the nihilism at the base of right-wing despair.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
TheTrisagion said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Avoid partisan politics... yet post an article written by a partisan right-wing hack.

Despite his crass and gross judgments in this article, he isn't really saying anything that isn't obvious.
I have no idea why you are saying this. If we start from the premise that even a broken clock is right twice a day, it does not follow that "a partisan right wing hack" is capable of producing only "crass and gross judgments."
Sometimes, xOrthodox4Christx is afraid that we might forget that he is a socialist, so he posts things like that so you don't forget.  ;)
No, Carl just conflated something which I wasn't conflating. I never claimed right-wingers are the only ones capable of making crass and gross judgments. But he (not Carl,) is clearly a right-wing hack, he published a Regnery PIG book. And I personally believe he is making unnecessary judgments, despite the obvious nature of the issues he is discussing.
I think that we should have some perspective here.

First the author: "Anthony M. Esolen is a professor of English at Providence College and translator of classic works, as well as writer for magazines including the Claremont Review of Books and Touchstone Magazine, of which he is a senior editor. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy, Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, and Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. He also writes a column for the Inside Catholic website...Esolen graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1981. He pursued graduate work from the University of North Carolina, receiving his M.A. in 1981 and his Ph.D. in 1987...

Books:
Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 15 June 2007. ISBN 978-1933859217.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization. The Politically Incorrect Guide. Regnery Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-1596980594.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. 5 November 2010. ISBN 978-1935191889.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:
"Restoring The Words". First Things (Institute on Religion and Public Life) (217). November 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2012."

All of the above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_M._Esolen

Hardly a right wing hack, unless one considers all conservatives to be "right wing hacks." Let's pursue this a bit further.

- "Regnery published some of the first and most important books of the postwar American conservative movement. "It was a measure of the grip that liberal-minded editors had on American publishing at the time that Regnery, which was founded in 1947, was one of only two houses known to be sympathetic to conservative authors", according to Henry Regnery's 1996 obituary in The New York Times.

In 1951, Regnery published God and Man at Yale, the first book written by William F. Buckley, Jr.. At that time, Regnery had a close affiliation with the University of Chicago and published classics for the Great Books series at the University, but he lost the contract as a result of publishing Buckley's book.

In 1953, Regnery published The Conservative Mind, a seminal book for post-World War II American conservatism, as well as books by Albert J. Nock, James J. Kilpatrick, James Burnham and Whittaker Chambers. He also published paperback editions of literary works by authors such as novelist Wyndham Lewis and the poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regnery_Publishing#Henry_Regnery_Company_.281947.E2.80.9377.29

- The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) "is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1953 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. ISI's motto is "Educating for Liberty," and its mission is to "inspire college students to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make American free and prosperous." ISI supports limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, a free-market economy, and traditional values (especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition." It was founded by Bill Buckley and, on a personal note, I was privileged to be a co-founder of a campus conservative organization affiliated with ISI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercollegiate_Studies_Institute

- The Claremont Review of Books (CRB) is a quarterly review of politics and statesmanship published by the Claremont Institute. Many consider it a conservative intellectual answer to the liberal New York Review of Books.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claremont_Review_of_Books

- Touchstone Magazine is a bimonthly publication of the Fellowship of St. James. It is subtitled A Journal of Mere Christianity, which replaced A Journal of Ecumenical Orthodoxy. It covers matters related to Christianity, culture, literature, secularism, and world affairs. The subtitle of the journal is a reference to C.S. Lewis' concept of "mere Christianity". The publication describes its approach as both theologically conservative and ecumenical. It has won the Associated Church Press's Award of Excellence (first place) for journals for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, as well as six or seven other awards each year, including awards for articles, its book review section, and editorial courage. The magazine's executive editor (since January 1992) is James Kushiner (Orthodox). Senior editors include Anthony Esolen, Robert P. George, James Hitchcock, and Leon J. Podles (all Catholic); S. M. Hutchens and Russell D. Moore (both Protestant); and Patrick Henry Reardon (Orthodox). From 2003 to 2008 its editor was David Mills (Catholic)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchstone_%28magazine%29

I submit to you that by cavalierly condemning the author as a right wing hack, Orthodox4Christx has unwittingly demonstrated Esolen's point: "they are the more ruthless and severe in their condemnations as they are incapable of telling exactly what is to be condemned and why.
::) He's not just a Conservative. He's an extremely ideological Conservative. That's why he writes for Regnery. There's nothing wrong with that, (I own Regnery books,) I'm just trying to say that it has a political element whether or not you want to talk about it.

I haven't condemned anyone, he writes for Regnery, there couldn't be any farther right-hackery except for maybe some Aryan Nation tracts. There's nothing wrong with Catholics and Orthodox writing for those publishing houses, only that it's disingenuous to claim that politics isn't an issue when it clearly is.
I see your point. I suppose that I tend to look at "politics" as it applies to this Forum more narrowly that you, defining it as partisan politics and exempting consideration of more theoretical aspects of government, political economy, public morality and policy, etc. I also define a political hack to mean something different than you; I think a hack is one who is a partisan mouthpiece who does not have the education or conviction to back up his argument--not somebody that I just disagree with. It may be that I am unable to see a way to talk about our faith the public arena that is divorced from public morality and policy. Incidentally, isn't that the crux of Esolen's article?
Ah, the Republican-Democrat thing. Yeah, I've made that clear elsewhere that I don't believe in that dichotomy.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
[quote author=The Symbol of Faith]And He will come again with glory
to judge the living and dead.
His kingdom shall have no end.
[/quote]
 

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Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
[quote author=The Symbol of Faith]And He will come again with glory
to judge the living and dead.
His kingdom shall have no end.
[/quote]

Like a thief in the night.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
[quote author=The Symbol of Faith]And He will come again with glory
to judge the living and dead.
His kingdom shall have no end.
[/quote]

I believe that, I just don't believe in "within a decade or two" or else it's all a lie.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
The Symbol of Faith][SIZE=13px]And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.[/SIZE][/quote] [/quote] I believe that said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
It is unfortunate that cultural conservatives are now largely in one political spectrum.
This depends on how you define "cultural conservatism".  Neither end of the political spectrum - and neither of the two major American political parties - is closer to the morality of the Church than the other, despite the author of the article's implications.

Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In any case, is it possible to talk about the dilemma posed by post-modernism without political considerations of the partisan kind?
Certainly.  This particular article, however, doesn't happen to do a very good job of it.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
Porter ODoran said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
... Anyway, what's with Jesus returning? It's time to get past that.
Okay -- faithlessness with cherry on top. And a good example of the heedlessness of the mind drunk on progressivism's promises.
[quote author=The Symbol of Faith]And He will come again with glory
to judge the living and dead.
His kingdom shall have no end.
I believe that, I just don't believe in "within a decade or two" or else it's all a lie.
[/quote]I thought this was just the Orthodox party line. Is not life going to Hell in a hand basket in a way it never has before?

If you free people from spending most of their lives in labor and then give them no moral obligations beyond themselves, then of course they're going to start molesting the dog at some point.


As much as I support gay rights, I do so with the recognition that the cognitive dissonance is likely going to give me stomach cancer or something.
 

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Volnutt said:
I thought this was just the Orthodox party line. Is not life going to Hell in a hand basket in a way it never has before?

If you free people from spending most of their lives in labor and then give them no moral obligations beyond themselves, then of course they're going to start molesting the dog at some point.

As much as I support gay rights, I do so with the recognition that the cognitive dissonance is likely going to give me stomach cancer or something.
With knowledge of history like you have, I'm surprised the particular thing you've fastened on as the end of the world is sexual in nature. Regardless, if we believe the world is out of control or pointless or no longer subject to divinization then we doubt God in general and we doubt the Incarnation in particular.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
Volnutt said:
I thought this was just the Orthodox party line. Is not life going to Hell in a hand basket in a way it never has before?

If you free people from spending most of their lives in labor and then give them no moral obligations beyond themselves, then of course they're going to start molesting the dog at some point.

As much as I support gay rights, I do so with the recognition that the cognitive dissonance is likely going to give me stomach cancer or something.
With knowledge of history like you have, I'm surprised the particular thing you've fastened on as the end of the world is sexual in nature. Regardless, if we believe the world is out of control or pointless or no longer subject to divinization then we doubt God in general and we doubt the Incarnation in particular.
You assume it's merely sexual. I don't. I have yet to be convinced it can't be as pure as the union between a man and a woman (save whatever footage of debauchery you were going to show me in response. It proves nothing).

I don't think the world is beyond saving, I just think the only remedy now is a good scrubbing with fire (and yes, I fully anticipate being the first one to fry).
 

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Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
Volnutt said:
I thought this was just the Orthodox party line. Is not life going to Hell in a hand basket in a way it never has before?

If you free people from spending most of their lives in labor and then give them no moral obligations beyond themselves, then of course they're going to start molesting the dog at some point.

As much as I support gay rights, I do so with the recognition that the cognitive dissonance is likely going to give me stomach cancer or something.
With knowledge of history like you have, I'm surprised the particular thing you've fastened on as the end of the world is sexual in nature. Regardless, if we believe the world is out of control or pointless or no longer subject to divinization then we doubt God in general and we doubt the Incarnation in particular.
You assume it's merely sexual. I don't. I have yet to be convinced it can't be as pure as the union between a man and a woman (save whatever footage of debauchery you were going to show me in response. It proves nothing).

I don't think the world is beyond saving, I just think the only remedy now is a good scrubbing with fire (and yes, I fully anticipate being the first one to fry).
Well, I was trying to make any sense out of that post, and this next post of yours is hardly rewarding my intrepidity. Perhaps you can be more clear?

Regardless, the "remedy" for the world is the God who designed it and sent his Son into it. There's nothing happening now, and nothing that could happen, to indicate God has lost control.

My suggestion to you would be to remember oneself is the chief sinner, and, acting on that knowledge, go forth and learn to know and to work with as many of these other mortals as one can in life's short span, aware that they are beloved of God and Savior and, after all, the lesser sinners.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
Volnutt said:
Porter ODoran said:
Volnutt said:
I thought this was just the Orthodox party line. Is not life going to Hell in a hand basket in a way it never has before?

If you free people from spending most of their lives in labor and then give them no moral obligations beyond themselves, then of course they're going to start molesting the dog at some point.

As much as I support gay rights, I do so with the recognition that the cognitive dissonance is likely going to give me stomach cancer or something.
With knowledge of history like you have, I'm surprised the particular thing you've fastened on as the end of the world is sexual in nature. Regardless, if we believe the world is out of control or pointless or no longer subject to divinization then we doubt God in general and we doubt the Incarnation in particular.
You assume it's merely sexual. I don't. I have yet to be convinced it can't be as pure as the union between a man and a woman (save whatever footage of debauchery you were going to show me in response. It proves nothing).

I don't think the world is beyond saving, I just think the only remedy now is a good scrubbing with fire (and yes, I fully anticipate being the first one to fry).
Well, I was trying to make any sense out of that post, and this next post of yours is hardly rewarding my intrepidity. Perhaps you can be more clear?

Regardless, the "remedy" for the world is the God who designed it and sent his Son into it. There's nothing happening now, and nothing that could happen, to indicate God has lost control.

My suggestion to you would be to remember oneself is the chief sinner, and, acting on that knowledge, go forth and learn to know and to work with as many of these other mortals as one can in life's short span, aware that they are beloved of God and Savior and, after all, the lesser sinners.
I'll try to take your advice.
 
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