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I read quite a bit of history which puts me in touch with lots of dead people. 
It struck me that those who don’t read history, but mainly surf the Net or watch TV for the latest “news” of the day, are not confronted enough with important truths like one’s mortality.  Everyone for the most part they come in contact is alive.  It’s a big disadvantage to be mostly in touch with living people. 



Professor Ralph Wood, the gifted writer and teacher, works his craft at Baylor University. Ralph recommended that I read The Demon in Democracy. I’m glad he did, though it was not a comforting read.

Legutko’s big idea is that the liberal democracy of our day shares many of the same features as communism. There are commonalities such as a penchant for utopianism. There is also an undying belief that one’s system of thought is perfect and so should be immune from critique.

Most of us simply accept that everything about liberal democracies is wonderful so questioning any part of it would be un-American. Actually, the opposite is true. Serious questioning of political institutions is at the heart and founding of our history, something most of us have forgotten.

Legutko teaches philosophy in his homeland of Poland.   He is not opposed to progress per se, but finds a troubling hubris at the heart of many modern notions of progress.

More than once I put a marginal note of “no dissent allowed” to characterize the lack of scrutiny most Americans give to the modern notion of liberal democracy. And it is the modern notion, not the older versions of liberal democracy, that is in the author’s crosshairs.

If you want to know more about why serious thinking and free speech (on both the left and right) has gone the way of the Dodo bird, this book has much to offer.



In controversies like this one there is a common error, it seems to me, that is made.  Here is what I posted in response to Heath Lambert’s mea culpa:

Thanks for your mea culpa.

One quick observation: It is common for preachers (and others) to critique someone with no mention given of the person’s name. This, however, is not a problem merely because we live in a digital age where the information can be easily found from a search. It is intrinsically wrong. Either say the person’s name or don’t quote them.

So your apology is appreciated, but I’m afraid you run afoul of describing the gaffe as wrong because of being in a media-soaked culture. It is not instrumentally wrong. It is intrinsically wrong.


Nashville Statement

I would not sign it, even though I am in close agreement with the various articles.  Why?

It comes across as a sterile statement from too many who were either quiet or supportive of Trump. 

It is tone deaf in its timing: Charlottesville and now the flooding in Texas.

If the church in America had a better record of compassionate disagreement with gays, perhaps the statement would be okay.

I am glad, however, that this issue will force a more honest and comprehensive conversation about the Bible’s authority.

Here is a very good critique of someone who signed (HT: Peter Coelho):

On the Nashville Statement and My Signing of It