History, when it is not being distorted to fit some progressive political narrative, is otherwise dying of slow neglect among the people. For Americans more interested in futuristic technologies than understanding their own culture, history is in grave danger of becoming the forgotten subject in both our educational system and our national consciousness. And since historians, unlike their “techie” colleagues don’t make the six figure salaries, there seems to be little economic incentive for pursuing history as a profession.
That’s too bad, because the value of history lies in its ability to provide a verifiable framework upon which to understand and hopefully direct not only social policies but one’s own personal life with true wisdom. Absent history we are attempting to fly our star-ship without a navigator ~ or even a decent map. Continue reading
This feast of St. Matthew reminds us of that direct yet simple invitation made by our Lord to one miserable tax collector, “Follow Me.” In fact our entire Christian vocation can be summed up in those two words. It also occurred to me that every wife who leaves her family and home to follow her new husband is responding to that same loving invitation. “Follow me,” is not meant to be a command, even less so a demand, but an open invitation on the part of every good husband to joyfully and willingly join their lives in a communion of love.
Just so, our own nuptial relationship with God is likewise a willing response to his ever open invitation to, “Follow Me.” So, in a sense, the union of a man and a woman in marriage is a concrete reflection of mankind’s intended union with our God. Keep that imagery in mind as we consider the present situation in our world. Continue reading
Can you remember the famous refrain from the old television program called Dragnet? When questioning some witness to a crime Sergeant Joe Friday invariably intoned his signature deadpan line, “just the facts, sir, just the facts,” ─ implying that facts speak for themselves. Or do they? Television programs need to wrap up everything in a neat, tidy bundle at the end of a 30 or 60 minute segment and so factual evidence is often presented as unimpeachable. But if that were the case in real life there would really be no need for courts, judges, or juries would there?
The reality is that simple facts rarely tell the whole story. In order to ascertain the truth facts need to be weighed in some larger context. We need to know all the circumstances. There are hidden truths underlying even the most banal Continue reading
I am truly amused by the crusade of those “progressive” elements in Frederick, Maryland to persuade the Board of Alderman of that fair city to remove a bust of former Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney from its display in front of the city hall. This seems to me but the latest attempt by liberals to “cleanse” American history of any controversial symbol or figure. Taney takes his place as an historical persona non grata for his part in the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857 which extended slavery, at least legally, into the territories and theoretically into the Northern free states as well. Practically, however, the ensuing Civil War nullified Dred Scott and extinguished the deplorable institution of chattel slavery. Continue reading