Weaver acknowledged at the beginning of Ideas that lamentation about “the decadence of a present age is one of the permanent illusions of mankind.” But that was a pro forma rider. At the center of his analysis was the insistence that modern man, “like Macbeth,” had made an evil decision to trade allegiance to transcendent principles for present gain. From this Faustian bargain all manner of bad things flow. Weaver warns about “the insolence of material success,” the “technification of the world,” the obliteration of distinctions that make living “strenuously, or romantically” possible. “Presentism,” the effort to begin each day, as Allen Tate put it, as if there were no yesterday, has robbed man of his history and therefore his identity as a moral agent. Weaver is particularly harsh on what he regards as the tepid ambitions of the middle class: “loving comfort, risking little, terrified by the thought of change, its aim is to establish a materialistic civilization which will banish threats to its complacency.”

Me doy cuenta de que Las ideas tienen consecuencias, de Richard Weaver, ha sido descatalogado recientemente, si bien sigue disponible en formato electrónico; vendí mi Kindle, al que nunca saqué el menor partido y del que abominé casi tan rápido como lo compré, hace cosa de dos meses a través de eBay. No lo echo de menos. En fin, siempre cabe la posibilidad de encontrar un ejemplar en el mercado de segunda mano:


Vía The consequences of Richard Weaver.

All the East is Moving

The assumption that the conflict between medieval Christendom and its Arab and Turkish adversaries was merely an expression of inveterate European racism, rather than what it truly was—a desperate, see-sawing struggle for survival—was enshrined as a new orthodoxy.

Tengo costumbre de escribir con mayúsculas las iniciales de las dos últimas palabras. Y también de emplear el artículo determinado para referirme a la Nueva Ortodoxia™, aunque sólo sea con el fin de mostrar mis respetos al monstruo desencadenado. Dicho de otro modo, observo cierta conveniencia en el hecho de familiarizarme con el ente conjurado, ya me entendéis.

Sigue el resto del párrafo:

Elites who had once delighted in proclaiming the supremacy of their own culture now pat themselves on the back for scorning it. A continent that had come to pride itself on transcending history had no wish to dwell on the more embarrassing aspects of its own past. In 2003, when the first draft of a putative E.U. constitution was drawn up, its authors were happy to acknowledge Europe’s debt to ancient Greece and Rome, and to salute the achievements of the Enlightenment—but of the Christian roots of European civilization not a mention was made. The implication was obvious: Everything between Marcus Aurelius and Voltaire ranked as backwardness and superstition. Europe’s values had to be reckoned not sectarian, but universal—or they were nothing.


Debido tanto a la brevedad del texto como, sobre todo, a su carácter inesperadamente cómico, uno podría descartarlo como una sátira llevada a ese punto a partir del cual la escena toda se vuelve inverosímil. Pero la entrada de Rod Dreher dice tanto sobre el estado actual del Cristianismo —y, en este contexto, Cristianismo y Mundo Occidental son mas o menos sinónimos— que dan ganas de echarse a llorar, si el carácter de uno va por ahí. También es posible adoptar una actitud un poco, sólo un poco cínica, no lo bastante para despojarse de la vestimenta moral, pero sí lo suficiente como para no sucumbir al inevitable sentimiento de derrota que uno experimenta al echar una mirada alrededor.

Informa Dreher:

The Western Division of the United Methodist Church gave the middle finger to the rest of the church by electing the Rev. Karen Oliveto, an openly gay woman, as its bishop:

Si consideramos los precedentes, para los europeos este episodio quizá carezca de significado simbólico. Pienso en el Reino Unido. La realidad del asunto es un poco más amplia; aquí adquiere claridad:

[…] In her sermon during the closing worship, she criticized St. Paul for casting a demon out of the slave girl in Acts 16:16-18. Oliveto encouraged her audience to question the traditional interpretation that this exorcism was “an act of liberation” for the girl. Negatively comparing Paul’s response to the slave girl to his subsequent saving of the jailer, Oliveto asserted that Paul was not motivated by compassion for the slave girl and noted that the text does not say that she found salvation.

Vía Methodist Crisis.

Between the Hipsters and the Hasids

Behind these witticisms stands a complicated fact about hip Brooklyn and the culture it represents. America’s tastemakers have become obsessed with tradition—heritage and vintage are the marketer’s magic words—but they resist any suggestion that the past has the power to bind. Men dress like lumberjacks and women like Mad Men housewives, but both shy from assertions of sexual difference. Respect for the way monks brewed their ale (ora et labora) is not matched by a similar ­appreciation for the prayer that structured their lives. A desire to ­emulate grandmother’s pickling and needlework does not extend to the habit she felt to be most important: daily Bible reading. Hipsters are ambivalent reactionaries who love every aspect of tradition—except its authority.