I have often said that the only Christian doctrine that is obviously and empirically true and needs no faith to embrace is Original Sin. Not the mechanism --highly problematic, IMHO-- but the content: that we are a race seemingly destined for so much more than the rampant selfishness and stupidity which we exhibit so floridly, constantly and predictably.
My Gnostic side casts us as participants in an original flaw in the creation itself, beings in a dilemma, subjects of a condition, of a world-crack far older than Adam, one that must be traced back to Creator somehow. But it does not lessen the descriptive accuracy of the portrait.
Walking home this morning, I saw one of the "We All Deserve The Freedom To Marry" signs that have sometimes populated the neighborhood. "We All". That cozy lie, making of so many competing tribes a fictitious family. And "Deserve". If there is one thing about America in my lifetime that irks me...and there are a few...it is this notion that we "deserve" this or that. Streak-free hair. A new SUV. Government health care. And "Freedom." As if the progressives who are behind all this care one whit for anyone's freedom but their own.
It started me thinking that the underlying narrative for so many of us is that there is a vast and undiscovered country of rights and entitlements that we have somehow, by the evil designs of wicked men, been prevented from entering. Here we are, in the modern West, a unique bubble in history, living lives of health, abundance, safety, sanitation, convenience, and freedom unheard of since the Garden of Eden. Has there ever been a world in which is is easier to survive? For all his opulence and power, Louis XIV could not dream of the ease of life for an ordinary person in America or Europe or Australia. Places where we wring our hands because the poor are fat. And yet there is this constant whiny rage, and outrage at being barred from utopia. We take so much that is miraculous, and fragile, for granted. It astounds me. But that is part of the truth of the story of Original Sin. Set us in Paradise and we will be restless for something we think must be better. You know how that turned out.
And a HT to Charles Winecoff for this barely readable piece in the New York Times. God, do these people not ever listen to themselves? Do they live in a bell jar with Sylvia? A self-pityingly multiracial American poetess died. Ai. Yeah, Ai is what she renamed herself. Get this.
Her work — known for its raw power, jagged edges and unflinching examination of violence and despair — stood as a damning indictment of American society...Ai was college educated and award winning, a friggin' professor of poetry at Oklahoma State University in the American society of which her raw jagged and unflinching work was a damning indictment. I'll bet she suffered a lot, poor thing.
You know what's "a damning indictment of American society"? That it produces and then not only tolerates but celebrates so many who whine so much about so little, when they should be thanking Heaven that they were born when and where they were.