Saturday, June 21, 2008

Enemies of the Permanent Things

Decisions, decisions. Do I post this on my seldom read (and rather infrequently used) 21st Century Whig blog, or here? I try to save my more overtly "political" thoughts for the other blog, but in this land of "separation of church and state," and even as a pastor who follows Luther's distinctions of the Two Kingdoms, making the distinction is not always very easy. Well, if Touchstone and First Things can easily set aside the distinction for the sake of commentary, I suppose I can on occasion, too. After all, both Kingdoms are ruled by God. So, here goes.

Over at Touchstone magazine's Mere Comments (listed first in my "Blogs for Faithful Churchmen" because it is the most ecumenical of them), Anthony Esolen writes about what's been going on in his mind has he promotes his The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization while in the midst of reading Russell Kirk's essay collection, Enemies of the Permanent Things (out of print, but do click that link to Kirk).

Esolen concludes this post with this:
I have wanted to say, "When a high court overthrows over two millennia of western tradition, all English common law, and the express will of the people, to engage in an unheard of experiment touching upon the most intimate matters of human society -- marriage and the family -- and when the people supinely put up with it, at best hoping to tweak the decision or overturn it in some vainly hoped-for election, then it is not the case that civic liberty will soon be lost. It already has been lost. Quit looking at the ephemeral! Your forefathers rebelled over a few high-handed taxes without parliamentary representation. They and their descendants for a hundred and fifty years would have tarred and feathered the silly members of that court, denouncing them as fools and tyrants, and putting them back in their place." Tarring and feathering, by the way, if carried on with a due consideration for sex and age and physical debility, need cause the honoree no permanent physical damage, and yet it is an excellent deterrent.

To one host I did say, as I've said in my book, that I believe that the ideals of western civilization will not pass away, because they are based upon truth, and guaranteed by Truth Himself, the one who keeps His promises. Whether those Permanent Things survive in a nation called The United States (or the Corraled Geldings) is another question.
Yeah, it may belong there a bit more than here. But either place it's something to consider in this (apparently) revolutionary time.

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