Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Well Said" Wednesday

Sometimes when I am reading a good article I will come across a passage and think to myself, "That is well said."  Today, I am going to share one of those. (And perhaps even make it a regular Wednesday post. )

Anthony Esolen, professor of English at Providence College, has written an excellent feature in Touchstone magazine (Jan/Feb) entitled "Mission Nary Impossible: The Unevangelized May Be Better & Worse than Savages."He speaks at length of Father Pierre-Jean De Smet who was a missionary to native Americans of the Northwest. He states that Father De Smet did not consider the Indians to be savages.  Esolen adds that they also were not insane,
"They could reason and act from principles.  You can argue with a sane man, advising him that his principles are wrong.  You can evangelize a sane society, directing minds and hearts to the Lord, who is alone the Way.  But what the evangelist meets today is insanity or perhaps subsanity.  It will not suffice to correct a mistaken principle when the people can no longer reason from principles.  You cannot redirect a lost people when they have no direction and no experience of following one..."
And here is the golden nugget.
"We are now among people who are better and worse than most savages.  They are, in most places, and for the time being, less likely to break crockery, as Chesterton put it, than were the savages of old.  They will cut babies to pieces in the womb, more than a million a year, but they will be roused to the height of righteous wrath should they see someone leave a dog in a hot car in the summer."
Indeed.  There are only a few things that merit widespread condemnation any more.  The very mention of a sexual morality will make people apoplectic.   Parents can let their children defy authority, even their own, mouth off and be generally and specifically disrespectful and that, it seems, is exhibiting patience. But when a child is given even the mildest of corporal punishment that is child abuse.  One cannot even hint that homosexual behavior might be immoral and an offense against human dignity because such a view would be declared intolerant.  But the most ignorant and mean spirited criticism of all things Christian evokes only nods of agreement and ridicule.

How on Earth did we get to this place of insanity.  Anthony Esolen has made an excellent point.


Mimi said...

And now, DeSmet in the Little House books makes sense, thank you

Rosemary said...

Mimi, I don't remember Father De Smet in the Little House books. Refresh my memory. :-)