Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Declining Civilization Has Few Responsible People

Civilizations depend on responsible people. It is the people who come to work every day and do their best who keep a country running. It is the soldiers who advance to the enemy and return fire, who win wars. It is leaders who do the difficult things who leave their country better than they found it. It is the men and women who search their souls, who leave this world better people than they entered it.

In a declining civilization, there are few responsible people. There are many who will want a title, but few who will do the job. There are many who will shout, but few who will reason. There are many who will wave a flag, but few who will fight for a cause. There are many who would destroy, but few who will build. There are many who will lecture, but few who will do.

In a civilization on the verge of a moral catastrophe, the invocation of virtues and principles is met with contemptuous laughter. It is widely understood that irresponsible behavior is better, that decency is for weaklings and fools, that anger is the only true virtue that suffices to achieve all ends. Manners vanish like autumn leaves in a breeze. Moral compasses show nothing. Intellectual consistency ceases to matter. Men believe contradictory things at different hours of the day. Illusory victories are always being achieved even as real defeats follow.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Dangers of Utopianism

Utopians kill and die for ideals. The Nazis, Communists and Islamists are Utopians. Civilized men live and fight for principles. Utopianism is a civilizational degeneracy. It usually precedes barbarism. Sensing the decline, men and women embrace some pure ideal, they idealize equality or race, and set off on a quest to construct a new civilization around it by destroying the existing civilization. They are convinced that their ideal will create a civilization that can live forever. When their ideal fails, they revert to their barbarian roots by worshiping the shamanic personality force of their leader. And these new barbarians murder, scream and cavort around the fire convinced that their new god can stave off the fall of night. And when the fires goes out, all that remains is ash, horror and rubble.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Cause of the Collapse of Civilizations

Civilizations fall rapidly due to an inescapable catastrophe. Water sources dry up. A powerful empire invades.

Civilizations fall slowly due to a moral catastrophe. A moral catastrophe is not a failure of arms or food. It's a failure of the sustaining virtues of the civilization. As the society tumbles slowly downward, it will encounter defeat in battle, collapse of its infrastructure and food shortages. But these are symptoms, not causes. The cause is the degeneration of the society and its people.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The State Hates the Family

Keep it always in mind.  The world hates the family.  The state is the family’s enemy.  The state grows by the family’s failure, and the state has an interest in persuading people that the family can do nothing on its own.  It hates fatherhood, and makes little pretense otherwise.  It hates motherhood, though it makes a show of championing the unwed mother as well as the mother who, as the ugly phrase puts it, “has it all,” though a moment’s reflection should suffice to show that no one can give his or her all to a career and a family and the local community.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.125

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Home vs A House

A man may build the house, but the woman makes the home.  A man puts a roof over your head so that you can sleep without the rain soaking you or the cold biting your bones.  You flop in a house.  You dwell in a home.  . . . The home is the cradle wherein the child learns what love really is, and the mother and father also learn it—learn it by putting it into practice, giving of themselves for those small and weak and rarely very grateful creatures of their loins.  A house is a wooden thing; a home is alive and warm.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.122

Friday, August 25, 2017

Abortion is a Dagger

Abortion is a dagger twisted into the heart of a woman; and in order not to feel it, she must harden her heart in a way that men do not readily understand.  They may view the matter with cold abstraction.  That is both the strength and the weakness of the man.  For the woman, the developing child is never an abstraction. Abstractions do not kick.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.122

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What Makes a Bad Woman

The question remains.  What does it mean to be a woman?
I hear the answer, mainly from a certain kind of woman, “It means whatever you want it to mean.”  Sorry, but that is equivalent to saying that it means nothing.  Women, in my experience, prefer their nihilism to be dressed up in perky relativist clothing.  Relativism is nihilism for girls.

If we are to believe the women’s magazines on sale at groceries and drug stores, a woman is obsessed with her body, eager to learn new sex tricks, always on the watch for dirty revelations about pop-culture celebrities, prone to consulting horoscopes, ready to shell out a lot of money for new fashions, all-in for “safe” gay men who destroy one another’s lives rather than women’s lives, and firmly committed to “women’s health,” which depends on contraceptives and abortions and everything else that is meant not to restore healthy function to a diseased organ but to thwart the natural action of a healthy one.

If we are to take as evidence women’s political shows, a woman is loud, vulgar, screeching, ignorant of history, morbidly touchy, vindictive, smug, voluble in slogans, impervious to the principles of any coherent political philosophy, and ready to see the world as the she-bear sees it when her cubs are restless and the food is scarce.   . . .

That is not what women are.  That is what bad women are.  It is what happens when you fail to cultivate the difficult virtue of womanliness, just as the thug and the lout are what you get when you fail to cultivate the companion virtue, manliness.  

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.118

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What Feminists Have Done to the Family

Feminists have persuaded us to consider patriarchy to be evil and brutish, but wherever men retreat from leadership of their families and of their communities, things begin to fall apart.  Once the boy sees that he is much stronger than his mother, once he sees that he can shrug when she shouts and nothing will happen to him, all bets are off; he needs the strength of the father to command his respect for his mother.  What is the single condition of a boy’s life that correlates most strongly with whether he will turn criminal?  Not income, not by a long shot.  It is whether he grew up in the same home with his father.  Our prisons are full to bursting with fatherless boys who never became the men and fathers that God meant them to be.  The collapse of the black family has been most catastrophic, and what is the result?  What anyone not befuddled with feminist ideology would have predicted, from simple observation of nature and from the universal testimony of human cultures.  One out of every three black men between the ages of twenty and thirty will spend time in prison.  If we blame that on racism, then we had better explain why, in the days when blacks could not ride on certain seats in the bus and could not even play major league baseball, nowhere near as many of their men were in prison.  Family, first and last—the family is where you learn of God and man, good and evil, courtesy, diligence, honor, chastity, self-restraint, and true courage.  Give me poverty and the family as strong as iron and in one generation in America my family will be poor no longer.  That is not speculation or boasting.  It is the experience of millions of immigrants who came to the United States with nothing in their pockets, but with a great fund of moral capital; with faith in God, and firm loyalty to family.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.105

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Some Dangers of Homosexuality

The median age of death for married heterosexual men is nearly twice that of homosexuals: 75 compared with 39.  Only 1 percent of homosexuals live beyond the age of 65.  The average age of death for married women is 79 compared with 45 for lesbians.  Homosexuals are 87 times more likely to commit suicide and 23 more times to die from heart attacks.  Base on the facts, it is reprehensible for anyone to encourage the practice of homosexuality!

Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church, pg.330

Monday, August 21, 2017

How Did Instinct Evolve?

What about instinct?  Evolution has no answer: Even if the bat’s sophisticated radar system suddenly appeared by chance, who taught the first mutated bat to use it?  How many millions of Arctic terns drowned before the first one, by chance, learned to navigate thousands of miles across the ocean?  How many salmon lost their way in the ocean and never made it back to spawn before this uncanny instinct was developed?  How many millions of spiders starved before the amazing mechanism for making webs suddenly chanced itself into existence—and who taught that unique mutated spider how to make a web?  How many eggs of all manner of birds rotted before the instinct to hatch eggs developed, and how was it learned and passed on?

Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church, pg.36

Sunday, August 20, 2017

If Minds Evolved…

If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance that the sound of the wind….

C.S. Lewis, cited by Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church, pg.21

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Necessity of Patriarchy

If you do not raise men to be fathers—not just progenitors of children, but fathers in the full sense implied by a phrase like “city fathers”—they will not therefore become compliant and gentle mothers.  They will either drag out their days in ennui and desperation or go very bad, very fast.  Nor will they lack for women, and plenty of them too, who will be attracted to the dangerous man, the rebel, the leader of the gang.  The alternative to rule by fathers, which is what patriarchy means, is male domination in the form of a police state or in the persons of men outside the law.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.103-104

Friday, August 18, 2017

Manhood and Womanhood

A girl grows into womanhood more naturally than a boy grows into manhood, because the potential for motherhood is expressed so obviously in the form of her body; it cannot be missed.  A girl who climbs trees with her brothers and plays ball will naturally and easily turn towards more womanly pursuits as those brothers surpass her in bulk and strength, and as her own body grows less fit for the boyish things.  That is why female athletes sometimes take drugs to suppress the working of the natural hormones in their bodies; or the sports themselves suppress the hormones, as when female long distance runners lose so much of their natural fat that they no longer menstruate.  Their bodies “judge” that they are not fit to conceive and bear and care for a child, exactly as if they were starving.

But the boy must be made into a man; nor is it true, once he has established himself as a man, he need never worry about it again.  Manhood is risky.  It must be publicly affirmed, and you can lose that affirmation by cowardice or effeminacy.  See the movie Four Feathers.  See the old Western Branded.  Which cultures have recognized these truths?  Every single one of them but ours.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.97

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Let Boys Be Boys

Sexual morality is predicated upon the reality of sexual being, male and female.  The morality is inseparable from the reality.  If there is no such thing, really, as male and female, only some convenient organs for reproduction, then there is no reason why “a man should leave his mother and father, and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”  We have to recover a strong sense of the beauty of each, and of their essence as being-for the other.; man is for woman, and woman is for man, and both are for God.  That means we must cease the destructive chatter about “gender roles,” as if they were thoroughly arbitrary and not built upon nature.  We must see past the factitious distinction between the natural and the social, because man is by nature a social being, and the societies he builds are predicated upon his nature.  . . .

We raise boys and girls, we raise them at once in accord with the sexual nature they possess already and with the flourishing of that nature that we hope to see as they become husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.  We must always shave that aim in mind.  They boyishness of the boy is to come to flowering in manhood and fatherhood.  The girlishness of the girl is to come to flowering in womanhood and motherhood.  That is what the sexes are for.  We want to no longer deny reality.  We want to work in harmony with it, shoring up its weakness, confirming its strength, and delighting in its beauty.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg. 95-96

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Male and Female He Created Them

When the European missionaries came to the New World to evangelize the natives, they did not find creatures of a different species.  They found human beings, male and female.  They did not find any tribes in which the women met in council, hunted the large animals, smoked the peace-pipe, trained up their daughters in savage displays of physical courage and endurance (the “sun dance” of the Plains Indians, for example), and established elaborate hierarchies of honor.  They did not find any tribes in which the men took care of small children, gathered roots and berries, made themselves up with pretty decorations to delight their women, ground corn kernels to powder to make bread or paste, carried water while the women were singing war-songs, gossiped with one another to share the news and to keep daily morals in line, and made “nests,” as it were, as clean and neat as possible, for the sake of the little ones, and because that is the way they liked things best.

They found men and women. That is what you will find wherever you go in the world. . . . 

Men and women are different from one another, down to the roots—down to the cells.  We have merely trained ourselves not to see it or not to admit it when we see it.  It is a willed stupidity.  It is also a willed grimness, a willed refusal to delight in the natures God has given us.  There is nothing glad or merry about it.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.93-95

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sexual Anarchy

Marriage is in free-fall, and multitudes of ordinary people who in any healthy culture would be married and having a fine brood of children now live in a protracted adolescence or in loneliness and disillusionment.

Nobody foresaw the endless disintegration of sexual personality that is implied in the every multiplying categories of “identities.”  Nobody foresaw that we would be throwing parades for perversion and sadism and recommending them to our children.  Some people foresaw that it would be open season on girls.  Nobody foresaw that it would be open season on boys, confusing them and corrupting them in their never-sure sense of developing masculinity.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.92

Monday, August 14, 2017

Recognize Truth

One way to distinguish truth from all its counterfeits is by its modesty:  Truth demands only to be heard among others while its counterfeits demand that others be silenced.

Sydney Harris 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What Modern Man Worships

Modern man…is weary of giving honor to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so he falls back in his lassitude upon the three biggest things that are nearest to him, which he may worship without much exercise of his imagination.  They are himself, his sexual passions, and the all-encompassing state he has built in order to prop up his rickety being and to liberate him sexually from all of the family-protecting and culture-forming restraints that used to humanize his brute impulses and channel them into noble deeds.  He flogs a sluggish horse.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.89

Friday, August 11, 2017

Educating Into Stupidity

Centuries from now, people who do not suffer our current psychoses will read about professors  who gave their students credit for dressing in drag (Muhlenberg College), or who advised students that arguments against sexual perversion would not be admissible in class (Marquette University), or who elevated the trivialities of mass entertainment to the states of great art (everywhere), and shake their heads with dismay, using them as examples of how people can study themselves into a degree of stupidity for which Nature alone would never suffice.  We do not produce many great comedians in the present.  We produce a lot of material for comedians in the future.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.83

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Teaching the LGBT Agenda to Children is Dangerous

To teach children about LGBT life is, in most cases, to introduce and suggest it to them at a time when they shouldn’t be encouraged to jump into it. But let’s say we want to teach kids about this sexual content at a young age to prepare them for the topsy-turvy world out there. The curriculum put forward by Welcoming Schools and other gay-affirming educational groups is not the right way to bring this topic to kids. It is blatantly false, presenting LGBT life as untroubled and joyful. It equates all kinds of intercourse, glossing over the hygienic and epidemiological problems that afflict anal sex in particular. It romanticizes homes, relationships, friendships, and social circles tied to LGBT activities, all but coaxing the children to rush into those milieus expecting happiness and sunshine.

One problem is that this material should never be taught to minors in school at all. But a bigger problem is who is pushing this material right now.

These are the same people who’ve burned us a thousand times before, as I will elaborate in a series of posts on “These are the people who want to talk to your kids.” The movement behind these curricular changes found success almost entirely by threatening, embarrassing, and insulting people who stood in their way. They have never improved the lives of the people they claim to champion. Nor have they ever behaved in a dignified way to people who had reservations or objections to their work.

The impetus for the folly of teaching kids about strange sexualities comes from a group of people who were wrong about every measure they promoted to society at large; they are largely responsible for millions of people in America dying of AIDS not to mention the new drug-resistant forms of syphilis and gonorrhea; they have contributed to mental health disasters among millions of gay Americans caught in a subculture of unstable relationships and unhealthy beauty standards; they are responsible for a spike in same-sex rapes in the military and partly to blame for the rise in military suicides; they have complained about bullying and teen suicide for decades and have only aggravated these problems with every youth program they’ve tested; they undermined the adoption system and contributed to the growth of new forms of human trafficking and eugenics to meet their demand for designer babies; they have been the single greatest force in destroying free speech at schools and universities with their gross distortions of Title IX and anti-harassment laws… but worst of all, they are horrible, vicious people who have made the gay subculture, once a place of blossoming creativity, a place of acrimony and nastiness.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Relativism Destroys

Relativism is an unstable equilibrium—imagine a pyramid upside down, placed delicately upon its apex. It might make you break out into a cold sweat to stand in its shade.  The question is not whether some moral vision will prevail, but which moral vision.  The colleges are thus committed to a moral inversion.  High and noble virtues, especially those that require moral courage, are mocked: gallantry in wartime, sexual purity, scrupulous honesty and plain dealing, piety, and the willingness to subject your thoughts, experiences, and most treasured beliefs to the searching scrutiny of reason.  What is valued then?  Debauchery, perversion, contempt for your supposedly benighted ancestors, lazy agnosticism, easy and costless pacifism, political maneuvering, and an enforcement of a new orthodoxy that in denying rational analysis seeks to render itself immune to criticism.  You sink yourself in debt to discover that your sons and daughters have been severed from their faith, their morals, and their reason.  Whorehouses and mental wards would be much cheaper.  They might be healthier, too.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.75

Monday, August 7, 2017

A World of Inversions

It is…a mistake to point at the [college] students and laugh at them for being weaklings.  The students hold the hammer, and they know it.  Yes, it is true that mere teenage boys in decades past—lads who stormed the bluffs of Normandy, sailed on ships cutting through the ice of the Northwest Passage, and slashed their way with explorers through the fever swamps and forests of Borneo—would not be preoccupied with hurtful words, and that a “trigger warning” in those days was the clutch of a rifle being loaded.  But in our world of inversions, power is granted to people who claim that they have no power and who resent the greatness of their own forebears.  They do not seek “safety.”  They seek to destroy.  The strong man is bound and gagged, and the pistol is pointed at his head—the seat of reason itself.

In such a world, it is insufficient to say that higher education suffers.  Except in the most technical of disciplines, and perhaps even in those, the very possibility of higher education comes to an abrupt halt.  If a professor must negotiate an emotional and verbal and political minefield before he opens his mouth, then he is no professor any longer.  He is a servile functionary, no matter his title and no matter how well he is paid.  He instructs his students not in freedom but in his own servility.  That many of the students demand this servility of him and of themselves makes their capitulation all the worse.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.73

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Source Behind Multiculturalism

What's behind the current flavor of multiculturalism for some hardcore leftists is hatred of Judeo-Christianity and rejection of its God. This is evident not only in their treatment of observant Christians and Jews (especially their views on Israel,…), but in their attack on science and truth.  

In the absence of an absolute, there is no "truth"; there is only "power" and "personal narrative." Thus does good become bad, wrong become right, ugliness come to be hailed as beauty. A human baby in utero is "just a clump of cells." Killing it becomes a "human right." Teaching small children how to perform sex acts becomes "education." A man becomes a woman (and vice-versa) by proclaiming that (s)he feels like one.

Anyone who says otherwise -- first and foremost the God of Jews and Christians -- is the enemy.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Anti-Gun Laws Harm Law Abiding Citizens

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

Cesare Beccaria (1738 - 1794)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Perversion Taught in School is Dung in Your Water

Now the question for us is not whether perversion ought to be taught in school.  Nor is it even whether teachers should instruct small children in how to behave like a member of the opposite sex.  Let us change the terms of the situation so that we can see what the problem really is.  Suppose it is not sex we are talking about, but violence.  Imagine a world in which teachers  introduce children to the thrill-seeking of stabbing and slashing—with precautions, of course, so that the person who is stabbed will probably not bleed to death.  Suppose the teachers bring to the school speakers who delight in cruelty, whose eyes shine when they recount the first time they gouged out the eye of an enemy.  Imagine that parents are not even informed when a machete-wielding gang man demonstrates on stage the proper angle at which to slice off someone’s arms in mid-fight.  Imagine safe switchblades.

The problem is that you would be dealing with people whose imaginations and moral sensibilities are so diseased as to make such things even conceivable.  It will not do merely to restrain them in this or that regard.  They are not fit to teach your children the multiplication table.  They are not fit to be near them at all.  Every moment that your children are in their presence, they will be breathing the putrescent air from the diseased heart and spirit of the instructors, in an institution whose walls stink of it, it has lingered there so long.  We are not talking about sinners here, since everyone is one of those. We are talking about people whom C.S. Lewis called the “bent,” those whose souls are warped, so that the more “honest” and consistent and idealistic they are, the worse they will be. . . .

But the problem is even worse than that.  No such person could ever be hired in the first place unless the entire school system were not slavering for him—or, more frequently these days, her.  From top to bottom the system is laced with people whose imaginations have been corrupted.  If that were not bad enough already, the publishers of textbooks and exams know it and provide them with their materials accordingly.  The evil is not just here or there, in this teacher or that, on this day or that, when this subject or that comes up, in this school or that school.  It is everywhere, a pervasive pollution, like fecal bacteria in your water supply.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.52-53

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Modern Sex “Education” is Demonic Slime

Try to imagine explaining to the old farmers of Prince Edward Island the need to teach small children how to insert, safely of course, antiseptically of course, their fingers or tongues or other protuberances into the orifice of another kid of ambiguous sex, including the anus.  It is not that they would disagree with you.  It is not that they would have an alternative opinion about behavior that makes old-fashioned sodomy look like a peck on the cheek. It is that they would think that you had lost your mind.  They would believe that you were suffering a terrifying moral and psychological illness, nigh unto demonic possession, or perhaps well past it.  Would they let you speak to their children?  They would not want you to speak to their parents or friends or anybody, not because they would be afraid that you might persuade or entice one of them, but merely to spare their loved ones the experience of something so gross, so wicked, so repulsive, so sad.  They themselves, in future years, would let the memory of it drop into the darkness and the silence.  You do not make scrapbooks of slime.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.51-52

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Truth is More Important Than Peace

We must not so seek peace with others as to wrong truth.  Peace must not be bought with the sale of truth.  Truth is the ground of faith, and the rule of life.  Truth is the most orient gem of the churches’ crown.  Truth is a deposit, or charge that God has entrusted with us.  We trust God with our souls.  He trusts us with His truths.  We must not let any of God’s truths to fall to the ground.  Luther says, “It is better that the heavens fall—than one crumb of truth perish.”  The least filings of this gold are precious.  We must not seek the flower of peace as to lose the diamond of truth.

Thomas Watson, Puritan preacher (1620-1686)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

People Ripe for Destruction

Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction.

John Witherspoon (1776)