The problem created by the welfare state is thus not best understood as a problem of dependence but as the illusion of an impossible independence—an individualism so radical it renders all human relationships, including our relationships to the weakest and most needy of those around us, into non-binding optional arrangements, ignoring the realities of human life that make it necessary to guard human beings in their most vulnerable moments through an array of unchosen—or at the very least non-optional—obligations, especially in the family. The Left’s statist radical individualism that masquerades as a kind of communitarian collectivism pretends to offer a way for people to act together, but in practice it offers an escape from all mutual dependence and from the neediness of people who are not well positioned to pretend to be utterly autonomous.
So yeah. I’m one of those crazy, unhinged right-wingers. Melissa Harris-Perry said something that has a whiff of the totalitarian, and then doubled down on it, and then dismissed as insanity any detection of any whiff. And since she apparently can’t understand why someone would detect a whiff of totalitarianism, and since nothing is better for totalitarianism than people who think totalitarians aren’t totalitarian, I have to assume that the totalitarian threat implicit in her words is real and serious.
Call me crazy if you like. I’ll see you at the barricades.
We say we are for lower taxes, or less regulation, or spending restraint. But those are just policies we advocate. They’re not what we’re really for. What we’re really for are the good things those policies will yield to the American people.
What we’re really for is the kind of society those policies would allow the American people to create, together.
If there is one idea too often missing from our debate today that’s it: together.
In the last few years, we conservatives seem to have abandoned words like “together,” “compassion,” and “community”… as if their only possible meanings were as a secret code for statism.
This is a mistake. Collective action doesn’t only – or even usually – mean government action.
Conservatives cannot surrender the idea of community to the Left, when it is the vitality of our communities upon which our entire philosophy depends.
This world hungers, and we parents weep, and we pray that our pleading is heard, that if there is something in us that can be altered so they can be spared, God will alter it; that if our flesh might be torn in place of theirs, God might rend it; that if sheep must be slain, God will pass over our own, because the cost is more than we can bear.
How about this: We are not the same. Some people who go to class and have YouTube accounts believe utterly vile and evil things. They must either be deterred from acting on their evil ideas or met with swift retribution when they do, so that others will be deterred. Some people, who also have YouTube accounts and go to class, believe things that are good and noble, and though they don’t always live up their ideals, they — and their cultures — are substantially different from and better than those dominated by evil.
– David French.
Whatever happened to the faith in the power of truth? If the evangelical understanding of the faith is genuinely true and strong and anchored in Scripture, then it shouldn’t need to protect people from exposure to dissenting ideas. Children, maybe, but grad students? See, I’m old-fashioned. I have so much faith in the power of truth, the power of orthodoxy, that I believe that strong, well-nourished, well-grounded faith, that clings to Jesus Christ and knows how to think critically, will not go far astray for long. Arm your students with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, and then give them a long leash. They might charge off for a bit in some scary directions, but you should rest assured that whatever they bring back from their intellectual adventures will be fruitful new insights that nourish and strengthen the faith, rather than destroying it.
I’m not saying I got choked up over a children’s picture book just that it is awfully dusty in here …
(From The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer, Chris Sheban illustrator)
So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love’s chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me
‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear
— Dancing in the Minefields, Andrew Peterson
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
–– Thomas Jefferson