What's Wrong With the World, II

In a very interesting post that you’ll want to ponder, House of Eratosthenes recalls this old post of mine. I think it is a really good question to revisit from time to time:

As before: What’s Wrong With The World in 100 Words or Less

About 100 years ago, a British paper invited many writers to answer the same question, What’s Wrong With the World? They extended the invitation to G. K. Chesterton who wrote back:

Dear Sirs;
I am.
Sincerely,
G.K. Chesterton

I will take his answer for my own. Have at it. Rant away!

I – and this site – am emphatically not responsible for the opinions of others expressed below!

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  • gsk

    As depressing as last night’s debate was (and I only lasted 10 minutes) it was a wake up call. Why am I so intent on keeping Obama from the reins of power? Will a McCain presidency only stave off the inevitable? Am I still putting my trust in princes?

    Morning Mass was good (and Morning Prayer was excellent). We really have only one task: to spread the joy of the Kingdom. If we cannot do that with the assistance of the government (or at least without the govt impeding it) then we’ll have to find another way. I have to purify my intentions: is it really about care for the unborn, the chastity of our youth, the integrity of our education system, the strength of our marriages, and the purity of our faith? Those are the things that matter and they will lead us to joy.

    I refuse to be a Pollyanna about the harms that a Democratic president harnessed to a Democratic congress can accrue: especially in the realm of same-sex marriage, the green light to more promiscuity and abortion, and destabilising the Church’s ability to spread her message. But that said, I’m going to have to find a way to be entirely realistic without losing my own joy in the Risen Lord. Could be an enormous challenge, but the faithful have endured far worse in the last two thousand years. Perhaps it’s our turn to walk through the fire.

  • jakewashere

    What’s wrong with the world, in my opinion, is that people who have had it good for a very long time eventually fail to understand how good they have it.

    “…and there in that pleasant corner of the world they plied their well-ordered business of living, and they heeded less and less the world outside where dark things moved, until they came at last to think that peace and plenty were the rule in Middle-earth and the right of all sensible folk. They forgot or ignored what little they had ever known of the Guardians, and of the labors of those that made possible the long peace of the Shire. They were, in fact, sheltered, but they had ceased to remember it.” — JRR Tolkien, prologue to THE LORD OF THE RINGS

  • Joseph

    Well, what appears to be wrong at the moment is that stock markets are tanking worldwide. But beyond that, there are a couple of other things of note.

    is it really about care for the unborn, the chastity of our youth, the integrity of our education system, the strength of our marriages, and the purity of our faith?

    Unfortunately for long term Republican prospects, no, it isn’t any longer. The strongest political issue Conservatives have is the framing of the abortion debate as a “right to life”. And the best statement of it is that the unborn are not given a “choice”.

    It is the best statement of it because, in fact, “freedom of choice” resonates throughout all corners of our politics and not just the abortion debate. You propose to restrict an American’s choice at your peril, whether it is choice of religious faith [including none at all] or possession of firearms.

    And the most perilous political proposal is where you propose a backdoor restriction that appears to contravene the will of the majority. The danger to abortion as a potent Conservative issue was always the very open attempt to do this by packing courts with sympathetic judges. Americans who are not Conservative resent and oppose this tactic, even when they oppose abortion personally, as many do.

    In early 2005 George W. Bush blew the abortion issue completely off the political table with his attempt to intervene in the Terry Schaivo affair. A clear, if fairly small, majority supported Schaivo’s husband’s decision rather than the parents. A far larger majority [on the order of 85%] were appalled at the President’s attempt to intervene in the matter.

    By doing this, George and Jeb Bush together managed to tell that 85% that “right to life” actually means right-to-keep-me-intubated-whether-I-want-it-or-not. They also sent the message that the agenda of “values voters” was fair game to force on all the rest of us by any means necessary. Now whether that interpretation is fair or not, it is the one that most people came to.

    Not only did GWB blow abortion off the table, he blew most of the other “values” issue off the table, too: same-sex marriage, “abstinence only” public school sex education, and intrusion of Christian symbols in public spaces that non-Christians have right of access to.

    You notice you haven’t heard much of a peep about them in this election. That’s why.

    For the obvious question to you of any gay couple is What does my marriage have to do with the sanctity of your marriage? The obvious question of a non-Christian parent is Why are my children prevented from learning about safe-sex practices in a school I pay taxes for? And the obvious question of the secular citizen is Why should your religious symbols intrude into spaces that we both have a common right to be in?

    There are no answers to these questions compatible with America’s public and democratic social contract. All possible answers amount to special pleading that my “values” are an exception to this contract.

    That said, as a religious Buddhist, I have a further questions to ask you. What on earth do you think that this country is doing, or likely to do, to “prevent the Church spreading it’s message”? I would suggest you talk to some real Christian missionaries who have worked where they do not have true Freedom Of Religion and Equal Protection of Law. It will give you a better appreciation of what you have here.

    My teachers are from Tibet and they are perfectly clear to us what a rare and valuable thing American freedom is for teaching anyone who asks about the Dharma and for practicing it. No, we don’t try to teach anyone who doesn’t ask first, and we make no attempt to evangelize anyone at all.

    America is a commonweal of converts, religious by choice in whatever way they wish to be, including not at all. There is nothing about that fact that should interfere in the least with your joy in the Risen Lord, the glory of God the Father, the descent of the Holy Spirit, or the merciful prayers of Mary the Mother of God.

    It certainly doesn’t interfere with my joy in knowing the Heart of Perfect Wisdom or glimpsing the Co-emergent Awareness of the Enlightened Mind.

    [Nice job keeping the answer to 100 words or less, Joseph! ;-) admin]

  • Joseph

    I’m sorry if I went over. I should have counted. Mea Culpa.

    [Honestly, Joseph, I knew if anyone went over the count, it would be you! ;-) admin]

  • http://davejustus.com Dave Justus

    I continue to believe that nothing is wrong with the world. It is an absolutely wonderful place and I am pleased to be able to spend some time here. Those fellow inhabitants that I know well are enjoyable and delightful people, albeit not always perfect, and if my judgements on strangers are sometimes harsher, it should be remembered that I don’t in fact know them very well at all.

    Life is good, people seem mostly good, and generally speaking things seem to be getting a whole lot better.

  • culperjr.

    I can do it in two words: Willful ignorance. OK, I’ll use my remaining 98 words to flesh it out. People wear their ignorance of the past like a badge of honor. Economic downturn? Mountains of wealth turned into worthless paper? Unheard of!

    Not really. They could have asked my parents or any of their contemporaries who lived through the Depression. Hell, they could have asked anyone who had any money invested in dot coms about 10 years ago.

    But no, it is more fun to reinvent the wheel every decade or so. Now, just as Socialism is collapsing in Europe, we have decided to give it a whirl over here. Invincible ignorance and willful blindness.

  • Gayle Miller

    American dream
    Over it seems.

  • http://ejhill1925.wordpress.com/ ejhill1925

    Word One: Disposability.

    Elderly Parents getting to be a handful? Dispose to the nursing home.
    Marriage rough? Dispose the spouse in divorce court.
    Ready for sex but not babies? Dispose the child completely.
    So now that family ties are broken, society can be disposed of. Change for change’s sake.

    Word Two: Responsibility.

    If you’re no longer held responsible for holding the family together, there are no more responsibilities. All responsibility is transferred to government and all blame goes to “societal forces.”

    Word Three: Integrity.

    If there is no permanence and no responsibility, integrity can not exist. Then everything just disintegrates.

  • http://ejhill1925.wordpress.com/ ejhill1925

    As a side note, Microsoft Word says the above post is exactly 100 words. Is there a prize for exactness in an inexact world?

    OK, didn’t think so but it never hurts to ASK.

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    What’s wrong with the world? We have lost our faith in God and until we get it back things won’t be better.

  • skeeter

    We are filling a God shaped hole in our souls with other things. We worship the creation rather than the Creator.


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