Self-deception is the cause of grotesque delusions

Experience teaches us that human beings have an infinite capacity for self-deception. This leads us to put our trust in the most untrustworthy ideas, both great and small.

I first came to this realization when I was quite a small boy—not, I hasten to add, that I was then, or am now, entirely immune to . . . → Read More: Self-deception is the cause of grotesque delusions

A vital lesson Ancient Rome offers America

Moving house is a bittersweet experience—especially if you’ve lived in the place for 30 years or more. Downsizing is painful. It means necessarily parting with things that have been part of your life for 40 or 50 years—some of which you can cheerfully bid adieu; others that evoke sentimental memories.

My mother had no problem . . . → Read More: A vital lesson Ancient Rome offers America

Shades of 1930s Weimar in Charlottesville and Berkeley

As a student of German history, the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, evoked disquieting images of the vicious street battles between the Communists and the Nazis during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Back then, however, both Communists and National Socialists were well versed in the ideologies for which they were fighting. In Charlottesville and . . . → Read More: Shades of 1930s Weimar in Charlottesville and Berkeley

Sin that masquerades as virtue

The funny thing about sin is it has an odd way masquerading as virtue. In other words, frequently the personal qualities we regard as particularly virtuous turn out, in practice, to be seriously sinful.

For instance, a clergyman of my acquaintance was fond of declaring that he made a point of “speaking his mind.” And . . . → Read More: Sin that masquerades as virtue

A cure for teenage boredom

B-o-r-r-r-r-r-i-n-g! It’s amazing the frequency with which kids utter the word “boring” these days. When I was a child, my mother took such complaints as an invitation to have me mow the lawn, weed her yard, or—horrors!—tidy my room.

“If you’re bored, Guy Hawtin,” she would say, “I’ve got just the cure for you.” There . . . → Read More: A cure for teenage boredom

Don’t begrudge prayers for your political adversaries

With our nation engaged in the most bitterly partisan political debate in living memory, Christians often find themselves in a quandary over how they should be praying and for whom. Increasingly, America’s churches are praying for the “office of the president” rather than following long–established custom and praying for him by name.

Refusing to name . . . → Read More: Don’t begrudge prayers for your political adversaries

An odor of sanctity

Most people today have only the sketchiest notions of where their food comes from and how it is produced. Even adults often fail to associate the shrink-wrapped packet of hamburger in the supermarket meat section with something that eats grass and goes “moo.”

Thus modern-minded clergymen are wont to shake their heads sagely and observe . . . → Read More: An odor of sanctity

Good healthy guilt vs snivelling self pity

Life would have been bliss when I was a kid if Mother had subscribed to the now fashionable notion that making another person feel “guilty” is the greatest crime a human being can commit.

But mother belonged to what she called “The Pull Yourself Together School of Psychiatry.” It espoused a straight and uncomplicated philosophy: . . . → Read More: Good healthy guilt vs snivelling self pity

Reflections on the meaning of the Fourth of July

The media has recently gleefully reported a shocking lack of patriotism among members of America’s Millennial generation. Actually, the Millennials’ lack of patriotism should in no way come as a shock. Indeed, it is entirely surprising any of them show any degree of patriotism.

Blame for the Millennials’ lack of patriotism lies squarely at the . . . → Read More: Reflections on the meaning of the Fourth of July

Time to put the backwoods back into public education

More than any previous generation, we are told, Americans aged 18 and under are thoroughly detached from traditional Christian concepts. By and large they do not believe Jesus Christ is the unique savior of mankind. They do not read the Bible as God’s word. And they do not accept the idea of moral absolutes.

“Futurists” . . . → Read More: Time to put the backwoods back into public education