We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
George Will asks Christians to "practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning things such as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic." Read entire.
David Brooks feels religion is essential in public life:"On Sept. 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln gathered his cabinet to tell them he was going to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He said he had made a solemn vow to the Almighty that if God gave him victory at Antietam, Lincoln would issue the decree." Read entire.
Martin Marty asks for hospitality when faiths collide: "With good reason some are learning to adjust their visions and are beginning to determine how they will relate to the rest of the globe. In a world of 6.2 billion people, 2 billion are identified with Christianity, 1.25 billion with Islam, 836 million with Hinduism, 367 million with Buddhism, and 15 million with Judaism. These are but five of some 10,200 "distinct religions" known to today's mapmakers and chroniclers. Read entire: Click here: Religions Strangers as Menaces, by Martin E. Marty
Morals aren't facts. Bill Schardt and David Large examine the remarkable influence of Tolstoy's The Gospel in Brief on Wittgenstein's writings on ethics, esp Tractatus:
"...The above argument means that there cannot be ethical facts because the rightness or wrongness of an action cannot be determined by any examination of the world. Hence the truth or falsity of a statement such as 'it is wrong to murder people ', cannot be determined in this way. Ethical or moral statements are not propositions; they are not truth functional in the way that real propositions must be. As ethics is not propositional it cannot, therefore, be put into words. It is, instead, transcendental (Tractatus 6.421), and as such must be passed over in silence (Tractatus 7). Propositions can express nothing that is higher than themselves, i.e. nothing beyond states of affairs of the world (whether true or false), and so there can be no propositions of ethics." Read entire.
Fr. Neuhaus on "America as a Religion": "That America is guided by Providence is a belief deeply entrenched in the seventeenth-century beginnings, the constitutional period, Lincoln’s ponderings on our greatest war, and Woodrow Wilson’s convictions about the inseparable connections between freedom and American destiny. The belief has never been absent from American public life and discourse, although in the last half century many, and not least religious thinkers, have tried to discredit or marginalize it. In recent years, however, the idea of a providentially guided America has been making a comeback." Read entire at First Things.
The history of the cross as a symbol, going back to the Egyptian ankh, symbolizing "the creative essence of life.".