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Clips and Comments, Vol. 1 - Issue #17

Editor's note: In this issue, I decided to include a variety of links and comments about readings I'v
The Path Before Us
Clips and Comments, Vol. 1 - Issue #17
By Matthew Lee Anderson • Issue #17 • View online
Editor’s note: In this issue, I decided to include a variety of links and comments about readings I’ve done around the web and elsewhere.

Finally Healing the Wounds of Jim Crow
How Trump wins 2020
Imagine a general election campaign in which the Republican Party and the Trump campaign supplemented the president’s Twitter-based rabble-rousing and inevitable personal attacks on the Democratic nominee with a resolutely anti-socialist message — with socialism understood in this broad, comprehensive sense. The point wouldn’t be just to raise fears of higher taxes and bigger government but to fold that anxiety into the culture war, where Trump’s political skills are most formidable.
“It’s me or progressive totalitarianism” — that’s how Trump wins in 2020.
Imagine, indeed. The radicalization of the Democrats in response to Trump was inevitable, and damning. The only rule of the culture war at this point is that each side is doing everything it can to prove the other side right.
Elgar - Nimrod (from "Enigma Variations")
Elgar - Nimrod (from "Enigma Variations")
I’ve been listening to Elgar lately. We had ‘Nimrod’ at the opening of our wedding, so it holds a special sentimentality for me. I thought this rendition of it to have excellent pacing (it is often played too fast, in my opinion–as it was at our wedding, in fact.)
Till Malfunction Do Us Part
Lewis on Anxiety
“I am also very conscious (and was especially so while praying for you during your workless time) that anxiety is not only a pain which we must ask God to assuage but also a weakness we must ask Him to pardon–for He’s told us take no care for the morrow.” – C.S. Lewis
Lewis’s thought here is mostly unintelligible for us these days, as we are very eager to exonerate ourselves from having any responsibility for the psychological duress we often find ourselves under. I understand the reasons for doing so: adding guilt to anxiety is no remedy for the latter. But one wonders all the same whether removing such experiences entirely from the domain of moral analysis actually inhibits our ability to overcome them.
Angola Prison and the Ethics of Prison Labor
James Henley Thornwell's Gospel
“Thornwell’s spiritualization of the gospel undermined any serious Christian challenge to the status quo with respect to slavery. It nullified the biblical story of the Exodus and the rich theme of liberty as resources for Christian public engagement. His moralization of providence required Christians to be conservative, even when that meant defending systems of injustice that were only defensible on racist grounds. His defense of slavery seemed to him airtight in its logic, compelling in its truthfulness, and just in its essence, yet it merely demonstrated that his gospel was incapable of grappling truthfully with the horror of racist chattel slavery as it affected real human beings.” – Matthew Tuininga
Other than that, though, it was great!
The Penultimate Word
“Progress, in the sense of the progress that has progressed since the sixteenth century, has upon every matter persecuted the Common Man; punished the gambling he enjoys and permitted the gambling he cannot follow; restrained the obscenity that might amuse him and applauded the obscenity that would certainly bore him; silenced the political quarrels that can be conducted among men and applauded the political stunts and syndicates that can only be conducted by millionaires; encouraged anybody who had anything to say against God, if it was said with a priggish and supercilious accent; but discouraged anybody who had anything to say in favour of Man, in his common relations to manhood and motherhood and the normal appetites of nature. Progress has been merely the persecution of the Common Man.” – G.K. Chesterton
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