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Kevin Holtsberry Posts

Joshua Treviño on what left and right are getting wrong about Nelson Mandela

Historical memory is malleable and imperfect. The truth about Nelson Mandela is that one may bring the full bill of charges against him and still find a great man: and that bill exists. The implacable critics on the right, and the post-facto triumphalists on the left, both forget Burke’s admonition.

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Football, Families and Keeping Your Promises

Being a fan of the University of Michigan and Pittsburgh Steelers football teams, this has been a rough year for me. Experiencing it in Columbus, Ohio doesn’t make it any easier obviously.

Amongst other things, this has not been easy on my family; particularly my wife. As the frustration grows and my mood sours the tension in the house gets kinda high.  Nobody enjoys this.  I would like to think I have gotten better about sports as I have aged, and having kids actually makes it better (they are great at distracting you and reminding you what is really important), but I won’t deny it has been a rough year and I have had my share of ruined days.

In light of this, and in the aftermath of Michigan’s ugly and improbable win last night, I promised Lisa I would take her and the kids to the Columbus Museum of Art (which is free on Sundays) instead of sitting around the house and getting grumpy.

What I hadn’t thought about was that the game was actually on TV (Fox because the Lions are NFC). So instead of huddled over the computer following it online while listening to Steeler radio, or going somewhere to watch it, I could watch from the couch on the full screen TV.

When we came home from church I watched the first quarter as the kids changed their clothes, ate lunch, and played.  And it started out great. Soon the Steelers were up 14-0 and I was smiling and joking with the kids. And I began to wonder whether Lisa really expected me to sacrifice the joy of a Steelers victory just because I said something about going to the museum last night …

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The X-Files Is Better Than Scooby-Doo

“Fundamentalism was born as the wrongheaded reaction to the crisis of modernity. Ironically, fundamentalism is an approach to faith that accepts modernity’s now discredited claim that empiricism is the sole source of knowledge. Feeling intimidated by the Scientific Revolution, fundamentalism takes a “scientific” approach to the Bible — which is perhaps the worst of all ways to approach Scripture.”

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Yes, Alan Jacobs is Conservative (just not a political one)

Over at the The American Conservative Alan Jacobs asks a somewhat rhetorical question: is he a conservative?  He makes the claim the he doesn’t know and doesn’t really care but goes on to offer some data so to speak.

I am not and never have been a Republican. I feel roughly as alienated from that party as I do from the Democratic Party. I hold a number of political views that strong-minded Republicans typically find appalling: I think racism is one of the greatest problems in American society today; I am not convinced that austerity programs are helpful in addressing our economic condition; I am absolutely convinced that what many Republicans call free-market capitalism is in fact crony capitalism, calculated to favor the extremely wealthy and immensely powerful multinational corporations; I think that for all of the flaws of Obamacare, it was at least an attempt to solve a drastically unjust and often morally corrupt network of medical care in this country; I dislike military adventurism, and believe that our various attempts at nation-building over the past decade were miscalculated from the outset.

But Jacobs goes on to lay out his “three overarching political commitments” that I believe count for far more that the above caveats:

  1. “The first is that I strive to be a consistently pro-life Christian.”
  2. “My second steady commitment is to the principle of subsidiarity.”
  3. “My third leading political conviction is that the wisdom of our ancestors is both deeply valuable and tragically neglected.”

I will let you read the paragraph descriptions of the above commitments for yourself but I think those three are deeply conservative and still very much relevant to today’s politics.

The problem is that conservatism is less and less defined by philosophical commitments and more and more by short term political and specific policy commitments. The typical triptych for modern conservative Republicans is limited government, “family values”, and a strong national defense.  This usually means low taxes, less regulation and America as the lone super power and an activist one.

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