Month: November 2004

Man by nature asks questions he cannot possibly answer. If a man also rejects authority, the result is a detached nihilism or despair.

If a young man decides to scale to the top of a giant walnut tree by himself but simply cannot do it, he will need help. If he is too proud to accept the lumberjack lift or fireman’s ladder or other means of ascending, yet retains that yearning to scale to the top, he must either shut down the yearning (detached nihilism) or despair.… Read the rest

“I suppose I divide people into two classes: the Irksome and the Non-Irksome, without regard to sex. Yes and there are the Medium Irksome and the Rare Irksome.” Flannery O’Connor.Read the rest

Presenting a GKC quote is almost cheap. They’re so plentiful and many of them so well-known, it’s just too easy and commonplace. But once in awhile I see a new one and it’s too good to keep private.

Definition of secularism: “the idea that the religious sentiment, which stretched from one end of history to the other, is one vast hereditary malady and unbroken nightmare.”

Courtesy of Gilbert Magazine, Oct/Nov 2004.… Read the rest

The only way most people can be better off exchanging gifts than keeping the money and spending it on themselves is if their kith and kin know them so well, have cared enough to know them so well, as to give them things they wanted without realizing it. John Robson… Read the rest

When do we hit middle age? I think most people would place it at 35-40, but I see people who look middle aged at 33 and some who look youthful at 43. It’s probably not a matter of one’s chronological age, as much as it is the arrival of certain characteristics. Maybe when the body starts to break down. Maybe when you don’t want to play basketball and football any more. Maybe when you get a bald spot.

Or maybe, to borrow from George Scott-Moncrieff, it’s when “one realizes how short, after all, is life itself, and one’s attention travels to the narrow gateway.”… Read the rest

I earlier said The Great Society and its descendants today like college-aid programs for single mothers are manifestly unjust in their “actual workings on the individual level.” I qualified it because all such programs are couched in terms of “social justice.” Their proponents would argue that their programs correct prevous manifest injustice: the socio-economic conditions that put people in poverty, the harmful cultural influences that prompt young woman to be promiscuous, whatever. I don’t accept such arguments, but they could be argued and reasonable people can disagree.

But even if the proponents are correct, here’s the thing: the programs ignore justice at the individual level, where justice matters the most. Individuals matter, not the collective group of unwed mothers and poverty-stricken urbanites. This type of program lumps together all people that fall within a particular description, then treats them all the same without regard to justice. The result are innumerable instances of injustice. There may be a “just” treatment now and then, but the programs aren’t designed to flush it out. They’re indifferent to justice, and therefore they cannot lay claim to any type of justice, including “social justice.” Read the rest

Chesterton “could, and would, write under the influence of alcohol, with no visible difficulties or impairments to his thought and clarity.” Michael Coren… Read the rest