We often assume that unity is the norm in human affairs, and strife the exception. But a cold-eyed view of history suggests the reverse. Unity is what needs the special cause, and today we lack the cause.
Author: Anthony Esolen (Anthony Esolen)
The pro-life movement is really asking for a moral revolution. If the child lives, the mother’s life will not be the same, because if we accept the principles that allow the child to live, none of our lives can be the same. There is no way to guarantee a world safe for the unborn child that is also a world of total sexual and economic autonomy. In any world in which autonomy is the highest ideal, the child—that incarnate sign of our dependence and existential poverty—must go.
For the sake of boys and the families they must eventually lead, we must open our hearts and quit attempting to thrust upon them an unnatural and uninspiring commitment to sexual indifference.
We are not Hobbesian atoms of self-will, not until liberalism makes us so. Human beings have ever been human by virtue of their relations with others, and by virtue of the bonds of duty and memory that these relations imply.
We are physiophobes: we are afraid of, or we detest, the way things are. We take no delight in the real. We do not revel in boys being boys and girls being girls, and their coming together in marriage, the real thing, to make children, real children.
We are a people now illiterate in a way that is unprecedented for the human race. We can decipher linguistic signs on a page, but we have no songs and immemorial stories in our hearts.
A politicized education is illiberal by its own inner compulsions. It has almost the hideousness and chaos of hell itself, so inextricably coupled it is with the mire and passions of the passing day.
True liberal education should teach us that we do not only give ourselves away: we become ourselves by the gift. We become who we are by forgetting to think about who we are.
Do not dismiss the pronominal wars as nonsense or assume that its warriors are merely daft.
Democracy and common sense teach us to seek the truth by listening to one another. If we will not even provide a room for people who want to talk with one another because we do not like what they say, then democracy is impossible.
If good morals are essential for a free republic to endure, and if a certain group of institutions successfully promote those morals, then it follows that a well-governed state may be friendly to those institutions—even if they are churches.
Segregation was based on irrational, peculiar prejudice. By contrast, protecting marriage between one man and one woman is based on universal truths about our human nature.
The secular state cannot be neutral in matters of religion.
Our culture has become soft. We suppose that sex is too trivial to require virtue, yet we also believe it is so significant that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity.
If we looked at actual young men and women, and not abstractions, we might begin to think of other things besides the ratio of members of each sex participating in this or that activity. We might think about love.
In the past, progressives fought to defend the family because they understood that families protect us from the atomization and amalgamation that isolate and control us.
The Common Core exists only because we have forgotten that parents have a right to educate their children. The state has no educational authority of its own apart from what parents delegate to it.
We have the worst of both worlds: a Prohibitionary State that gives license to all kinds of evil, but that regulates and restricts actions that are not evil, to manage the chaos that results from the license.
Law cannot replace a nation’s customs, manners, and traditions. Rather, it should strengthen them by corroborating and invigorating the ways of a people.
In contemporary America, condemnation of pedophilia rests on sentiment and not on moral reasoning. Nobody can simultaneously explain why pedophilia is so vile and uphold the first commandment of the sexual revolution: Fulfill thy desires.
To campaign against the bullying of LGBT people as if disagreement with the gay lifestyle were an evil is itself a form of bullying.
Kermit Gosnell was not sentenced to life imprisonment for sloppiness, for insensitivity, for bad keepsakes, for a backed up drain, for fleas, or even for making women suffer. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering three babies.
The Boy Scouts are en route to holding that there is nothing to being a boy, and nothing to the boy’s becoming a man; they might as well be the Unisex Scouts, as they are in Canada, where the scouting movement has collapsed.
Lust perverts language itself, calling sex “safe” or “protected,” and cohabitation “honest,” and relationships “mutual,” which are nothing but forays into a jungle, where the strongest and most cunning survive.
Our government has failed to admit that its own selfishness is the root of many societal problems it has tried to address.