Post-Christian Justice

Al Mohler on how "post-Christian" culture is confused about criminal justice (in light of the Breivik trial in Norway):

And yet, in another statement from his commentary on this text, Westermann points straight to the reason that a post-Christian culture loses its moral confidence in the punishment of murderers. He states: "A community is only justified in executing the death penalty insofar as it respects the unique right of God over life and death and insofar as it respects the inviolability of human life that follows therefrom." 
Once those convictions and moral intuitions are lost, the death penalty no longer makes sense. Eventually, even the idea of punishment itself loses all cultural credibility.

Full article...

ht: Vitamin Z

Monumental failure?

Michael J. Lewis on the problems with recent monument-building in the U.S.:
"A painful literalism set in, which is hostile to figurative language in speech and to abstract allegory in art. Nowadays we tend to think literally rather than literarily, which explains why Frederick Hart had to portray the American military experience in Vietnam by means of three men of three distinct races—and why a women’s memorial was subsequently added. The fear of leaving someone or something out is hostile to the allegorical impulse, which seeks not to itemize but to generalize, and to speak not specific truths but great truths. It is not surprising that a culture ill at ease with the notion of absolute truth would find it very difficult to make monuments that show urgency and conviction."
Full essay...

Q166: The Rain King

Just finished Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King, and here are some quotes that stood out:

"[...] in an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness."
"A brave man will try to make the evil stop with him.  He shall keep the blow.   No man shall get it from him, and that is a sublime ambition."
"Oh, death from what we do not want is the most common of all the causes."
"[...] if I wasn't going to abide by that one sentence, what good would it do to read the entire book?"
"[...] it's love that makes reality reality.   The opposite makes the opposite."
"More or less the same fear, more or less the same desire for thousands of generations.   Child, father, father, child doing the same.  Fear the same.  Desire the same.  [...]  Well, Henderson, what are the generations for, please explain to me?   Only to repeat fear and desire without a change?   This cannot be what the thing is for, over and over and over.  Any good man will try to break the cycle."
"But maybe time was invented so that misery might have an end.   So that it shouldn't last forever?   There may be something in this.   And bliss, just the opposite, is eternal?   There is no time in bliss.   All the clocks were thrown out of heaven."
"The repetition of a man's bad self, that's the worst suffering that's ever been known."

Happy Easter

" [...] we rejoice in the fact that it was in the beginning that our Lord cried out it is finished."

— Douglas Wilson


"What is the difference between doubts and questions? [...] The answer is straight-forward. Questions have answers, and doubts do not."

— Douglas Wilson