I was in my favorite restaurant the other day, reading my newspaper when all of a sudden, I heard this plop on my table.
When I looked up some woman I had never seen before said in a barely audible voice, I have a cookie for you!
Then she quietly moved on to another table and did the same. She was akin to a modern-day Johnny Appleseed as she spread her affections and concerns to the world around her with a cookie.
I really shouldn’t be eating that kind of sweets but out of gratitude or maybe human courtesy I ate some of the cookie.
After a few moments my curiosity had been piqued. I chased her down and asked her why she was doing this.
She looked at me with sad eyes and softly said the world is in such a mess…I thought this would help us with it.
I asked her if she meant Ferguson…Iraq…Gaza and so on.
She said all of it…the world is such a mess.
Her fear and consternation were visibly palpable.
Then it occurred to me that she had personified what Rush Limbaugh had said on his program earlier that day.
She had perfectly articulated the liberal mindset of the world being so sad that we were just helpless pawns in a maelstrom of unfathomable times.
The conclusion then is that we can’t do anything about the situation and must simply defer to our leaders to save us from these terrible times. I told her that it has always been like this. The world has always seemed to have been a mixture of confusion, chaos and overt evil. Some times were far worse than what the world is experiencing now.
The pages of history are riven with such violent and deadly tales of plagues that killed millions, earthquakes, tornadoes, world wars, famines, pestilence and the Holocaust to name but a few.
She just shook her sad head and walked away.
I guess she had never studied any history in school.
Since I got my doctorate in history 42 years ago, my favorite subject has been virtually eliminated from college and secondary campuses. I know they say they teach it but it’s not history anymore…just left-wing agitprop.
To me history is neutral. It is not liberal nor is it conservative. It is what really happened.
In a word it is reality–the ultimate reality show.
While times change…leaders come and fade from view. The one constant that has been with us since the very beginning has been our immutable human nature.
This is just one of the many ideas that the left has gotten wrong.
They see history as the unending quest to deify man and set it on an altar of Progress.
Philosopher Emmanuel Kant recignized the existence of a fallen man when he wrote out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.
Evil, sin, despair and violence are all in the human DNA.
G. K. Chesterton seconded this idea when he wrote of original sin in the last century as the one teaching of the Catholic Church that did not have to be taught. Just pick up a newspaper!
People who think they can help the world by giving cookies don’t understand the dynamic of the human soul and its battle with the world, the flesh and the devil. These concepts have virtually vanished from education, society and the public square and are foreign to a generation of Americans. Nothing will ever change unless people realize that the fault is within our souls and not our stars.
For a poignant, literary rendition on the phenomenon of human nature, one need only consult the writings of South Carolinian author Pat Conroy. His quintessential book is The Great Santini where the abject cruelties and insensitivities of his father, Col. Donald Conroy vividly come to life.
I haven’t read the book yet but it hit a nerve with the Conroy family. Son Pat quickly became the pariah of his highly dysfunctional family.
I have seen the movie, starring Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner several times. Though tame by comparison, it did succeed in capturing the pain and suffering the senior Conroy caused his family.
The marital union of the real Conroys produced seven children, three more sons than depicted in the film for a total of seven roughly hewn and deeply disturbed children.
While at Logan Airport after a trip through New England some weeks ago, I happened upon a bookstore. My browsing brought me to a hardback edition of Conroy’s only non-fiction work about his family’s serious difficulties. Since it was published in 2013, I thought I might not be able to get it when I returned home.
So even though my carry-ons were bristling and graoning and almost impossible for me to lug around, I stuffed it in there and prayed for the best.
The book’s title is The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and his Son. The book, which sometimes reads like a novel is the most bittersweet book I have ever read. One minute I was laughing out loud and the next I was wiping tears from my face.
Even though the focal point of the book is the aforementioned Great Santini, Conroy also explored the demise and eventual death of both his parents with such warm affection and grace that I literary felt his pain bleed from his deftly crafted work.
Col. Conroy’s legalistic Catholicism stands tall and fragile throughout.
Though its presence did not seem to stick on any of the kids, the rich spirit of the Catholic Imagination permeates the subtext of the book with an inherent spiritual beauty that cannot be ignored.
The Church’s teachings are arguably responsible for the warm aura of family life, amid the ruins of a twisted timber of humanity that tortured every member of the family.
At the funeral for their youngest brother, Tom who had fallen into the absolute abyss of despair, they had mistakenly put Tim as the decedent. His brothers went on how they were glad that it was him who had died and not Tom who would be really missed.
This gallows humor, laced with a primordial sacrasm digs to the soul of their inability to free themselves from the Conroy demons.
This is reminiscent of St. Paul when he lamented in Romans for the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do.
A 1000 cookie girls will never be any match for our human nature—only God’s mercy, love and grace.
It is not everyone who can claim to have enacted two laws or truisms but I have.
The latest one is that bad ideas invariably drive out good ideas in a society.
I am referring to the idea that people who have fundamental religious, moral and ethical beliefs have been victimized by the secular idea that the new liberal Taliban is in town and they will not tolerate any idea that differs from their new orthodoxy.
I am not talking about Islam but cultural atheism or what president Obama identified as the new national religion in his speech at the Catholic university Notre Dame in 2009.
Pope emeritus Benedict often remarked that he thought it was not so much atheists who damage the Christian faith, as it is the practical atheists who do the real damage. The practical atheists are those who profess themselves Christians but who then live as if God does not exist.
At the heart of this practical atheism, which is very present in our day and also very easy to fall into, is a false relationship with God. We say one thing yet we do another and we convince ourselves that no one is the wiser. And that includes God.
Racism, multiculturalism and diversity have been adroitly employed to chase religious and moral people from the public square.
This all may have begun with the virtual elimination of the Bible from the public school system in the 1940s and 1950s.
As C.S. Lewis noted, the modern world insists that religion be a purely private affair, then shrinks the area of privacy to the vanishing point.
Total elimination has always been high on the left-wing agenda throughout history.
I need only cite the French Revolution to dramatize my point.
Racial prejudice and bigotry has become the driving wedge to open up new venues of religious elimination for years now.
The Civil Rights was essentially necessary but it lost its credibility after affirmative action was defended many years after it had become obsolete.
Good grief! Affirmative action or reverse discrimination has been the law of the land for 40 years. Enough is enough!
It is so deeply embedded in the national psyche, thanks to the Democrat Party, that to mock or criticize any black person even in private is a mortal sin that demands a symbolic public execution. Just witness the plight of Daniel Sterling.
Apply that fear to presidential elections and you see what we get!
By not recognizing the excesses of this racial intransigence traditional society has indirectly delegated or surrendered too much power and moral authority to these real purveyors of intolerance and hatred.
If they would only stop the hatin’!
I am talking about the self-empowered racialists who abuse the moral authority bestowed upon them.
While the civil right movement was legitimate in its early days, its justification now serves as an ersatz proxy moral card to auxiliary groups such as homosexuals, and even many feminists. They have used the accidents of birth to demand acceptance of a life style that had been condemned for millennia.
This is not to say that the Christian virtues of our once moral society should not temper the grave and inhumane excesses of past history but this does not translate into any legitimacy granted to their sexual practices.
The newest phrase to capture all this has been On the Wrong Side of History.
As if the liberal caliphate has a clue just what is moral and immoral! For a collective group that has rejected traditional religion and virtually all of its moral values, they are woefully unqualified to create any replacement set of values that would have universal appeal, such as the Golden and Silver Rules.
They self-righteously think they represent the right side of history.
In a recent screed in her USA Today column, sports writer, Christine Brennan pontificated about Tony Dungy’s alleged intolerance of homosexuality in the NFL.
She was directing HER intolerance to his honest and heart-felt beliefs that he made about the last man drafted in the NFL’s college draft, Michael Sam, who wantonly disturbed the relative tranquility of NFL locker-room politics with his self-admission that he was gay and proud of it.
Millions of football fans were subjective to the kiss on national TV without warning. Where is all the concern about our sensitivities?
With regard to Sam’s admission, Dungy noted I wouldn’t have taken him. It’s not going to be totally smooth…Things will happen. In other word he did not want his new football team, the Tampa Bay Bucs turned into a media circus.
The Rams were more willing to take that chance, since he was a Missourian, and that was their choice. There is only a 50-50 chance he will make the team unless the media forces the Rams to deny a better player an opportunity to play for the Rams.
Everything Dungy said is reasonable and honest. So why should we even listen to people like Ms. Brennan sound off about subjects they really don’t even understand?
And how come sports fans must be subjected to her liberal drivel? Give her an opinion page and leave the sports to someone who really cares about what goes on between the lines or on the court.
In paraphrase of Thomas Paine, these movements have made the world anew. This is all part of the hope and change that candidate Obama promised us, a hope founded on the illusions, lies and myths of a history gone bad.
Theirs is not the right side of history or even the wrong side of history. History is neither. The moral judgments its makes are wholly subjective. Only God really knows which is right or wrong. What the liberals have today is only the left side of history.