Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center
Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.
So, what about this 'National Strategy for Victory in Iraq' that President Bush released yesterday? First of all, it's a good idea to read the document itself, instead of just a news analysis of it.
Than, there are many interesting articles out there. Like this one by Fred Kaplan, who writes the 'War Stories' column for Slate. What about this sentence in the article: "The war in Iraq, even the war on terrorism (of which it has lately become a part, though it wasn't before Bush invaded), does not carry the same moral or strategic weight as the Cold War, much less World War II''?
If you have never read her stuff before, you may want to experience this classic tirade by Oriana Fallaci on the alliance between the left and Islam to destroy Western freedom. The most interesting part is probably the account of her recent meeting with the Pope.
In many ways the Caucasus mirrors the tragic situation of our age: a struggle between the nihilism of the old decadent "European" powers and the nihilism of Islamic ideology. The two phenomena are deeply symbiotic. One way or the other, the obliteration of the human person marks the vanishing of civilization.
This article from London illustrates the fate of a society that is no longer able to continue itself, i.e. to educate. One should not think that this trend only affects the poor: the only difference is that among rich people it manifests itself in different ways.
This essay against multiculturalism shows well how the cultural implosion of the left led to the bitter nihilistic wave which is gripping most of the western world. And it also makes clear that this vacuum is the necessary condition for the rise of such a radically irrational and nihilistic ideology as Islamism.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Ave Maria Law School is considering moving from its Michigan location to Ave Maria Town near Naples, Florida. Some alumni are upset about the proposal because they see the role of the Law School as producing Catholic attorneys "who would engage the world and not retreat from it."
The Second International Coptic Conference convens this week in Washington. Often overlooked is the fact that Egypt's population of nearly 75 million includes the Middle East's largest Christian minority, over seven million, the vast majority of whom are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church and have in the last half-century experienced institutionalized discrimination that renders them little more than second-class citizens. From today's Wall Street Journal, an Op-Ed by Saad Eddin Ibrahim.
"How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God". Charles Krauthammer attacks without mercy the ID, "a phony theory".
"Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud".
The New Yorker has a long piece on C.S. Lewis. If anything, the article exemplifies the superficial understanding of Christianity common among educated Westerners: as a religious fantasy without any present reality. To some degree, the article makes one wonder whether Lewis himself struggled with the same temptation. On the contrary the real presence of God in the world through sacramental signs is completely obvious in the works of Tolkien, but that seems to be beyond the understanding of the New Yorker's critic.
Alan Wolfe is correct that the great paradox of contemporary education is that it rejects a priori any attempt at investigating issues of meaning, and thus ends up not being education at all. His answer, however, seems inadequate because it claims once again that one can teach a "neutral" method (in his case, "passionate dispassion") in a vacuum, i.e. separate from a specific tradition. Things are just the opposite: only the honest proposal of a tradition (to be verified in the pupil's experience) can lead to the development of critical thinking. There is no escaping from the inner logic of the Enlightenment (aka "liberalism"), which is doomed to self-destruct by cutting the branch on which it sits (the specific Classic-Judeo-Christian-Germanic tradition that generated it). The problem, though, is not just going back to some dead canon (the great books); what is required is a people where a living tradition is constantly regenerated.