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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Fri. 05/27/05 07:02:38 AM
A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.
News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.
How strange to find Christians who practise what they preach by Tom Utley @ The London Telegraph (ht):
I have a strong feeling that I will not be meeting Abigail Witchalls or her husband, Benoit, in the afterlife. I am a very bad Roman Catholic, attached to Mother Church by only the longest and flimsiest of G K Chesterton's invisible threads. The Witchalls are clearly very good Catholics, bound to the Church, as to each other, by ties of titanium. I fear that we are destined for very different places when our time on this Earth is up.
So bad a Catholic am I that my first reaction to the Witchalls' statements this week hers from her hospital bed, his on BBC1's Crimewatch was to feel slightly sick. Here were a couple, I thought, who were almost too pious to be human....
Blogs Gone Bad: The Darker Side of the Blogging Boom by The Editors @ The New Atlantis (ht):
There is no denying that blogs — the “web logs” that now supply so much information, gossip, humor, and commentary online — have already begun to exert a significant influence on American political and cultural life. The increasing importance of blogs as a source of news has been the subject of a great deal of controversy and speculation, and the role of blogs in last year’s presidential campaign has been widely recognized. And while it has been generally acknowledged that bloggers can lay claim to a number of scalps — including that of CBS News anchor Dan Rather — it is only rarely remarked that the blogging phenomenon sometimes claims as casualties the bloggers themselves.
Perhaps as many as three dozen bloggers have lost their jobs because of things they posted online. Heather Armstrong, for instance, was working for a Web design company in Los Angeles in 2002 and maintaining a personal blog, on which she posted humorous and exaggerated stories involving people in her office. Eventually someone sent an anonymous tip to her bosses, who apparently did not share Armstrong’s sense of humor. She was fired....
.... Hardly a single concern is common to everyone labeled a conservative, and the chance of finding a meaningful pattern in the Right’s political muddle appears hopelessly remote. It’s true that nearly every conservative ended up voting for George Bush for president in 2004. Even the paleoconservatives opposed to intervention in Iraq finally seemed to admit, for the most part, that the alternative of an openly liberal administration under John Kerry was unendurable. But only in the fevered imaginings of the far Left — or in the speeches of Democratic party activists looking to score partisan jabs — does all this really cohere. Conservatism in America is neither a well-defined political party nor a well-formed political theory. It’s a crack-up waiting to happen.
Except perhaps for this curious fact: Those who believe the murderousness of abortion to be the fundamental moral issue of our times and those who see the forceful defeat of global, anti-Western Islamicism as the most pressing political concern we face — pro-life social conservatives and the foreign-policy neoconservatives, in other words — seem to be increasingly voting together, meeting together, and thinking together. If you want to advance the pro-life cause, you will quickly find yourself seated beside those who support an activist, interventionist, and moralist foreign policy for the United States. And, conversely, if you are serious about the war on terror, you will soon discover that you are mingling with those fighting against abortion....
.... Catholics spent the first 200 years of our nation’s life trying to fit in and be accepted. Well, congratulations, we did it. We made it. We’ve arrived. But we should remember St. Paul’s words: "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord" (2 Cor 10:17).
Have we really examined the cost of our fitting in? Since the 1960s, many American Catholics have been acting like we’re lucky just to be tolerated in the public square. In other words, we’d better not be too Catholic or somebody will be offended. That’s a mistake. It’s a recipe for losing our faith and throwing away any hope for a national political discourse based on conviction. It’s also important to notice that most of today’s anti-Catholic prejudice in the public square is different from the past. It doesn’t come from other religious believers. It comes from people who don’t want any religious influence in public debates.
That’s not pluralism. It’s not democracy. Democracy and pluralism depend on people of conviction fighting for what they believe through public debate – peacefully, legally, charitably and justly; but also vigorously and without excuses. Divorcing our personal convictions from our public choices and actions is not "good manners." On the contrary, it can be a very serious kind of theft from the moral treasury of the nation, because the most precious thing anyone can bring to any political conversation is an honest witness to what he or she really believes....
Leaving the left: I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives people who once championed solidarity by Keith Thompson @ San Francisco Chronicle (ht):
Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.
I'm leaving the left more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.
I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.
My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom....
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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
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