On Fortitude, Honor and the Arab "Spring": A comment by RedCarolina...

Fascism, socialism, communism, Islamism--all players and occasional partners with the tireless worser angels of our nature. Burke put it this way--seldom do two ages have the same style in their pretensions and the same modes of mischief. Wickedness is a little more inventive. While you are discussing its manner, the manner is gone by. The very same vice assumes a new body. The spirit transmigrates; and, far from losing its principle of life by the change of its appearance, it is renovated in its new body with a fresh vigor of youthful activity. While you are dissecting the carcase, they are feeding the same odious vices in different factions, and perhaps worse.

Posted by james wilson at June 16, 2011 11:50 AM

Greatly appreciate the link to the well written article on Beowulf and Tolkien! As a student and teacher of both, I appreciate Wright reminding us from where Tolkien drew his inspiration.

Greed and power. It's the same old story repeated over and over again. Every new faith deems its god and people supreme...

Any student of scripture can testify that there is nothing new in a society rejecting God. The long history of mankind is streaked with periods where God was rejected in favor of golden statues or trees or wind or (insert created item here). As soon as we begin to replace reverence for the Creator with reverence for His creation, we're repeating the pattern.

I'm a bit unclear on what you mean by this though: ...the struggle to achieve fortitude and honor is universal and never ends well except in fiction.

Are you implying that nobody can behave honorably except in fiction? That no one outside of myth can display consistent fortitude in the face of adversity?

Posted by RandomThoughts at June 16, 2011 3:55 PM

Well written, save for the last. Some would say it was Protestant Christianity that began the slide, the devolution. They broke the universial Church and elevated the supreme state. Certainly, the Constitution is a marvel, for it attempts both universalism and the sovereignty of a new peoplw, if such a thing can hold.

Posted by Daniel at June 16, 2011 6:02 PM

"And how does the American Left react? By enabling the most violent Muslims the world has to offer. Why? To conquer Christianity, full stop."

And how, one wonders, does that differ from the way the American Left has consistently and incessantly exalted the very worst of American black culture? White kids have striven for authenticity by emulating ghetto trash ever since Elvis.

Once there was Duke Ellington, Lester Young, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker.....Now there are pimps in gold chains, and rap "stars" and gang punks, presented as though any diversion from this norm is racist.

Always liberals. Always a bas la culture.

Posted by Rob De Witt at June 16, 2011 6:45 PM

Random.. I'm a hopeless skeptic on good days and a hopeless cynic on bad days.

I believe people are capable of having periods of fortitude and honor, but I'd need examples, besides Christ of course, of people who even came close to sustaining these.

I think ideas can be honorable - hence the need for a value system - a virtuous standard - and these depend upon the philosophies of individuals.. but living it.. well.. that's why we needed Christ. That's why we need grace.

But too much grace begins the devolution. And while I think classical liberalism probably has some roots in Protestantism (or is it the other way around?), we can't forget the first American Protestants were Puritans. And the founders certainly prioritized individual rights.. a liberal idea for its time, even as the African slave trade thrived.

BUT.. these rights were endowed BY A CREATOR. And even the founders proactively understood this included the rights of Africans.

So, with the American Constitution as our standard, no I don't think this would have been possible for European Catholics mainly because the Catholic church was so well organized and centralized and entrenched in the European culture and politics.

I'm not saying Catholics haven't achieved profound fortitude and honor - I look to them now as leaders in the pro-life movement. And I'm admitting, our founders were the right men at the right time with the right idea.

Modern Protestantism, on the other hand, is a very different thing. If they were classically liberal at one time, they are definitely enablers to modern liberalism now. A bit TOO open-minded, too experimental, even too literal and too fundamental for my taste.

Like I said, the right men at the right time.. the right ideas at the right time... I can't think of a more powerful legacy, should America default, than the ideals represented in our Constitution. With The Left perverting it and "international law" (as in Shariah) trying to hijack it.. we have our work cut out for us if we are to preserve it, not only for ourselves, but for ALL people who seek the TRUTH. (But don't get me started on free speech.)

Posted by RedCarolina at June 16, 2011 7:26 PM


I can't help but agree re your observations about modern Protestantism. I've been singing in churches since 1950, much of the time for the rent during the last 50 years. As a result, I've had a front-row seat at the spectacle of the infection by "social consciousness." It doesn't take any kind of deconstuctor at all to spot the leftist message throughout the service language, to say nothing of the sermons. My take on it is that mainstream Protestantism began ganging agley in the 19th century New England Transcendentalist movement, and the deathlessly soigne flocked to hear the Unitarians, who subsequently infected everybody else. Since the '70s it's been a long downhill slide.

None of this is to say that the Roman Catholic Church hasn't had a long fight against the excesses committed in the name of the Second Vatican Council in the '60s. The alliance of Communist evangelists with South American priests resulted in the whole Liberation Theology mess, with the observable results. Still, Pope John Paul II wrote some astonishing encyclicals embracing individual responsibility and First Principals, and Pope Benedict is strongly continuing to advocate a return to traditional Catholic values. Benedict has gone so far as to say that if the Church ends up smaller by losing people who refuse to toe the line that's fine by him. Amazing.

In the last 3 years these things have caused me to read almost the entirety of the Catechism Of The Catholic Church, and it's unavoidably the most robust intellectual argument I've ever encountered. I've also read, and highly recommend, J. Budziszewski's The Revenge of Conscience. Check it out.

I'm very pleased to say that the result of all this is that on May 1, the date of the beatification of John Paul II, I was confirmed as a Catholic at age 66. It's never over.

Posted by Rob De Witt at June 16, 2011 9:09 PM

The relevance of the principles codified within the US Constitution are directly proportional to the will and ability of the American people to live by and defend them. We the people have allowed ourselves to be systematically untaught those principles by the usual suspects.

Naturally, being a Republic in search of a democracy we're currently getting the government the 50% + margin-of-fraudster-retards deserves...Getting it good and hard.

Posted by monkeyfan at June 17, 2011 8:47 AM

Thanks Rob! And congrats on the confirmation! I did about 3 weeks or RCIA but that's as far I got. I appreciate the commitment it must have required but you sound as if your whole heart is in it. I like Benedict's platform. I think it's just what Christendom needs! I haven't ruled out trying it again and I you have inspired me - thanks for the book reference. I HOPE the Protestants will return to their traditional roots. I imagine we are all still having some post-9/11 soul searching and if we aren't, we should be. And I don't think any of us saw Barack Obama coming (or worse, Eric Holder). Interesting that you mentioned Communism and Liberation Theology.. certainly explains a lot.

Monkeyfan, you know what happens when we defend the Constitution. "Racist!" "Nazi!" And ironically, most of the Democrat base isn't aware that we are a Republic. We feel the pain but don't seem to want to acknowledge the source for fear of being labeled. I plan to grab Ann Coulter's new book this weekend on Leftist mob mentality. I'll have images of Madison in my nightmares..

Posted by RedCarolina at June 17, 2011 2:59 PM

Red Carolina.

I'm looking forward to reading her latest too.
It used to drive me to distraction to suffer fools who shared so much in common with the real National Socialists and racists of yore as they ignorantly flung those epitaphs at me for the thought-crime of broaching the subject of Liberty in their presence.

I don't sweat it so much anymore...Rarely ever hang out with the brain-starved undead anymore. It's much more satisfying and practical to take another [rifle] course in preparation for the consequences of their hope-change zombie apocalypse party.

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