by G. K. Chesterton
America is sometimes offered to us, even by Americans (who ought to know better), as a moral example. There are indeed very real American virtues; but this virtuous attitude is hardly one of them. And if anyone wants to know what a welter of weakness and inconsequence the moral mind of America can sometimes be, he may be advised to look, not so much to the Crime Wave or the Charleston, as to the serious idealistic essays by highbrows and cultural critics, such as one by Miss Avis D. Carlson on `Wanted: A Substitute for Righteousness.' By righteousness she means, of course, the narrow New England taboos; but she does not know it. For the inference she draws is that we should recognize frankly that `the standard abstract right and wrong is moribund.' This statement will seem less insane if we consider, somewhat curiously, what the standard abstract right and wrong seems to mean -- at least in her section of the States. It is a glimpse of an incredible world.
She takes the case of a young man brought up `in a home where there was an attempt to make dogmatic cleavage of right and wrong.' And what was the dogmatic cleavage? Ah, what indeed! His elders told him that some things were right and some wrong; and for some time he accepted this strange assertion. But when he leaves home he finds that, `apparently perfectly nice people do the things he has been taught to think evil.' Then follows a revelation. `The flowerlike girl he envelops in a mist of romantic idealization smokes like an imp from the lower regions and pets like a movie vamp. The chum his heart yearns towards cultivates a hip-flask, etc.' And this is what the writer calls a dogmatic cleavage between right and wrong!
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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.
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- ► 2010 (54)
- Back to School
- The Trick
- GOP Soul Check
- Mostar bishop reiterates rules for Medjugorje pari...
- Catholic Martyrs of the Holocaust
- Obama's Too-Big-to-Fail Plan Is Too Dumb to Pass
- House Remodeling
- Mont St. Michel: Magnificence on a Mudflat
- Catholic public figures who scandalize faithful mu...
- The Campaign is Over, Mr. President
- Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets
- In De-Christianized Europe, Ratzinger Focuses on t...
- The Brainy Bunch
- Even in Capitalists’ Bad Times, Europe’s Socialist...
- Death Be Not Proud
- Why Medical Malpractice Is Off Limits
- Democrats try to pack the courts
- There Are Only Two Choices Left on Iran
- Outsourcing Hate
- You Mislead!
- The Voice of Twentieth-Century Catholicism
- Pope urges Europe to remember Christian heritage
- Unanswered questions from the NEA
- Of Blight and Men
- Judge not. . .
- Iran’s Not-So-Secret Secret
- The Trouble with Obama
- Eugenio Zolli’s Path to Rome
- The Runaway Abbot
- Afterthoughts from the U.N. Address
- Congress Needs a 72-Hour Waiting Period
- Obama's Iran Formula
- Sorry, but U.S. and Libya are different
- Critics Call for Defunding the Catholic Campaign f...
- The Kennedys' Senator
- Senate Cloaks Obamacare
- Obama's Time Warp: The U.S. Is Still the Bad Guy
- From Our Lady’s Dowry
- Obama's Health Care Bait and Switch
- Vatican Official: Church Erred in Holding Kennedy ...
- On Waffling, Tradition, and the Magisterium
- Obama and the Politics of Concession
- Barack Obama, College Administrator
- The Argument from Conscience
- Hillary's Honduras Obsession
- Obama's Befuddling Afghan Policy
- The Art of Corruption
- Upon This Rock
- The U.N. and Double Standards
- Our Missile-Defense Race Against Iran
- Strangers to Dissent, Liberals Try to Stifle It
- Splitting social and life issues? Can't do it.
- The Truth That Tells a Lie
- On American Morals
- C.S. Lewis: The Problem of Pain
- ACORN and the Catholic Church
- Capitalism After the Crisis
- The Long Retreat
- Caritas in Veritate, Abridged
- Lawsuit Firesale
- Fort Sam Houston - Mother-in-law of the Army
- Ancient Churches in the Holy Land
- Hunt for priests in Xiwanzi diocese
- New Guide Recommends Faithful Catholic Colleges
- Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Columnist?
- Why Are the Christians Leaving the Holy Land?
- Race to the Bottom
- Hi-Ho, the Derry-O
- Santa Fe: Celebrating 400 Years of Holy Faith
- All in the Family
- Jared Monti’s soldiers watched him give his life, ...
- The Stimulus Didn't Work
- The Money Pit
- Apologetics for the Scripturally Challenged
- Anti-Americanism: Alive and Well in the Age of Oba...
- The Other Catholic Higher Education
- Georgia Pharisee
- Community service is not what made America great
- Patriarch's plea on behalf of the Holy Land
- What You Need to Know About the Mormons
- Media Malpractice: Tom Brokaw's World Implodes
- The Victory of the Cross
- The Problems with Special Ed
- My Name is Lazarus, and I Live
- Senator Kennedy's Final Attempt at Salvation
- Childhood, stalled
- The Authentic Transformation of “Useless” Human Su...
- Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Ch...
- Any Friend of God is a Friend of Mine
- Our National 9/11 Schizophrenia
- Confessions of a cradle Catholic
- Private revelations: "Keep to what is countenanced...
- Obama's 'Gift' Has Stopped Giving
- Euthanasia and Murder
- Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care
- The Limits of Self-Hate
- What the Public Thinks of Public Schools
- Sorrowful Mother, Joyful Children
- Weird Things Happen: How Catholics Should Deal wit...
- ▼ September 2009 (123)
- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.