“The Smug Style in American Liberalism”

There is an astonishing article in the (liberal) Vox by the (liberal) Emmett Rensin entitled “The Smug Style in American Liberalism:  How liberals came to look down on the people they once tried to help.”

It castigates liberals for their Daily-Show habit of mocking those they disagree with, particularly those of lower social class than themselves, saying how stupid and uneducated they are, compared to their cool and knowing selves.

Rensin points out that liberals used to be largely from the working class.  Today, though, the base of liberalism is in academia and the upper middle class.  Today, he says, many Democrats don’t even know a poor or blue collar person.  Their disrespect has translated into not really doing anything about the economic issues that have so ravaged the working class.

Whatever your politics, you need to read this, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

The spiritual problem of boredom

Boredom has been called the spiritual problem of our age.  Why is it a spiritual problem?  The old theologians called it acedia,”a state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world. . . .The best-known of the psychological signs of acedia is tedium, boredom or general laziness.”  It is a rejection of life and of existence and can lead to despair.  (Read the Wikipedia article.)

This used to be rare, but it is now commonplace.  An article in the London Guardian attempts to explain why.  It says that our main problem today is hyperstimulation, that all of our entertainment media require ever-more stimulation, and that when we aren’t being hyperstimulated, as by normal life, we get bored.  This is so debilitating that we now have the attention span, on average, of a goldfish (about 8 seconds).  Read the excerpt and follow the link after the jump, unless you are too bored. [Read more…]

“I will make melody with all my being”

Still more from the Bible on the arts from passages I’ve always skimmed over!  In the first verse of Psalm 108, a psalm of David, we read “I will sing and make melody with all my being!”

So singing and making melody (I suppose that would include composing) are done with “all” the artists’ “being.”  Creating a work of art takes everything that the artist is.  Imagination, yes, but also the intellect, all of the artist’s memories, beliefs, personality.

The literal rendition of those Hebrew words is “my glory.”  I suppose that would include the artist’s talents and gifts.  But the point seems to be that the creation (“I will. . .make melody”) or performance (“I will sing”) of a work of art is a holistic effort on the part of the artist, rather than the exertion of a single faculty.

Does such close reading of a text violate the Law/Gospel hermeneutic?  Not at all!  This word is Law to an artist, who is often tempted to work superficially, tossing off something just for commercial reasons, being fake, insincere, and inauthentic, imitating someone else for fashion’s sake rather than being true to oneself as an artist.

[Read more…]

The four tenets of Progressivism

George Will has discerned four core tenets of progressivism.  See them after the jump.  Where do you see these ideas being manifested in, for example, the Democratic presidential campaigns and in academic speech codes?  Those of you who are progressives, do you agree that this is what you believe?

[Read more…]

Obama threatens Great Britain if it leaves the EU

Great Britain is getting ready to vote on whether or not to exit the European Union, a cause that is going by the name “Brexit.”  Though surely whether or not to do that is the business of the British people, President Obama has weighed in on the matter.  

During his visit there, he went so far as to threaten the British that if they leave the EU, they would be “at the back of the queue” for any trade deals.  Threatening a nation’s economy if they do not bend to our will is essentially what the Saudi Arabia leadership did to the United States, to the general outrage of Americans.  Now the Brits are similarly outraged at Obama.  See the London Daily Express story after the jump. [Read more…]

An Islamist’s vision of Jesus

We have been blogging about Muslims converting to Christianity, often because they have had a vision of Jesus.  After the jump is an account of a specific Islamist, who had been plotting against a former Muslim who had become a Christian pastor.  The story lacks specifics–the full names, the place–so it might be questioned (though perhaps such vagueness is necessary to protect those mentioned).  It is clearly from a charismatic perspective.  I’m most interested in the details of the vision and of how, again, like the visions in Acts, it leads him to the Bible, so that his conversion is by the Word, rather than by the vision. [Read more…]


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