Recently, Americans have been through a rough season that has been bookended by horrendous hurricanes known as Florence and Michael. The storm in between had no name but has wreaked no less havoc, although of a different kind but long-lasting still the same. We should all come away from the fierce storm that surrounded Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation considering where we are as a nation and how we have individually contributed to the sad state of our culture. Hardship always arouses our desire to forget or distract ourselves, so we do not have to deal with the situation at hand. This is particularly easy with national issues like the confirmation process we have just witnessed. Burying our heads in the sand needs to stop. While I do not pretend to know the answers, Peter Leithart’s article below gives us a good starting place to sober-up and fall to our knees.
Peter is the president of the Theopolis Institute, which teaches men and women to lead cultural renewal by renewing the church. This article appeared on First Things weekly blog, but do not be intimidated by it being from First Things. This blog post is written for a popular audience and is highly accessible.
God has given the United States over to divisive blindness and stupidity.
Americans watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. We couldn’t not watch, but drew opposite conclusions. The New York Times quadrant of the country found the fragile determination of Dr. Ford’s testimony utterly compelling; the National Review quadrant reveled in the outrage of Judge Kavanaugh and Senator Graham.
We inhabit different universes. We have no shared standards of conduct, especially sexual conduct. Our elites jettisoned all the old rules a long time ago, and we have to limp along on the thin reed of consent. There were odd twists in the latest spectacle. Some traditionalists excuse Kavanaugh for youthful indiscretions; for sexual progressives, his opposition to Roe is evidence he’s a creepy serial rapist. Our rudderless sexual ethics make no sense: The same people who defend pornographers and sex workers are in high dudgeon whenever someone acts out a pornographic fantasy.
We have no common standard of evidence or proof. Do we believe victims, or assume innocence? Does sincerity and vulnerability make Ford’s story creditable, even in the absence of a second witness? Even if Ford’s allegations were proven beyond doubt, we couldn’t decide whether or not a teenage boy’s drunken groping still matters thirty-six years after the fact.
Can a nation long endure when we can’t agree on basics of decency and fairness?
While the rest of the world looked on aghast, or in bemusement at the latest permutation of American Puritanism, the “greatest debating club in the world” was reduced to stentorian exegesis of inside jokes from a jock’s high school yearbook.
WHAT WE ARE THINKING ABOUT
QUOTE: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
NOV 1: 6 Questions, Scott Maxwell (Orlando Sentinel)
The Future of Print Media
PRAYER: For all those recovering from Hurricane Florence
and now Hurricane Michael.