An Advent lesson for the political class … and the rest of us

posted at 11:21 am on December 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, I guest hosted the Hugh Hewitt show, where the topic for most of the three hours was the horrific Newtown massacre of 20 children and seven adults.  I went into that gig prepared for the worst — a lot of yelling and anger, and sanctimonious proclamations of Truth and Fairness from both sides.  As usual, though, the Hugh Hewitt listeners on both sides of the issue showed that they appreciate a true conversation, one in which people acknowledge that no one has perfect knowledge of human nature and policies designed to address its shortcomings.

That is the topic of my column for The Week, out today.  We have been treated to an avalanche of sanctimony and arrogance across the political spectrum after the shooting, with people insisting that their long-favored hobby horses coincidentally provide a perfect solution to a problem as old as humanity itself — and that’s true of both sides to some extent.  This comes ironically at the Christian celebration of advent, which teaches us lessons in humility and human frailty, and how the power of love will prevail over the love of power.  Too often we assume we can change humanity by asserting enough power to control others, and protect ourselves from life in a fallen world by attempting to impose control our environments, political and otherwise, by hoarding power and goods.

Advent teaches us another lesson entirely — and this year, it’s a lesson that all of us should heed in the face of overwhelming tragedy:

In order to save the world, God sent his Son into the world in human incarnation, and not as a mighty king or dictator to impose God’s kingdom on Earth by force. His Son took on the fullness of human nature and found himself born into poverty and crushing oppression. Jesus did not work the miracles that followed in order to overshadow free will and force people to follow him. He worked his miracles as small signs of mercy in order to demonstrate that salvation isn’t found in princes or in public policy, but in following God’s will and putting love of neighbor in action. The one man who had all the answers spoke in parables to woo the hearts of fallen humanity to that love, rather than seize power and pass a blizzard of laws imposing it.

It’s comforting to believe that we have all the answers, and that we can stave off all of the evils of the world by exercising power over others… which brings me back to my closet. Over the last several years, I have collected almost two dozen jackets and coats, of various styles, fabrics, and sizes. I literally had filled an entire closet with them, absentmindedly, in the years of living in Minnesota, which has at least two dozen varieties of cold. It occurred to me a few days ago, when forced by my wife to clear the closet for company, that I had filled my closet with protection against the worst of winter weather as if I could keep it at bay by a proliferation of outerwear and sheer will. Never mind that I can only wear one at time, and that most haven’t provided warmth to a single person in years — those coats and jackets provided me some odd measure of security, much like Linus and his blanket.

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, we spent the weekend with our children and grandchildren. We saw Wreck-It Ralph and painted ceramics together. We held them close and wondered what kind of world we are handing them — with massive debts already hung around their shoulders and much more to come on our current path, with angry politics divided along old trench lines, and a culture that glorifies the material while discounting the spiritual. This world finds its security in guarding treasures rather than in willingly and individually opening ourselves to others, and our culture and nation are the poorer for it.

As I noted above, I’m not immune from this impulse. I emptied much of the closet and will deliver my old outerwear to a local charity. Instead of wasting the potential of warmth each year, these coats will be providing real security to people who truly need it. Will that change the world? No, and in truth, I’m probably still keeping too many of my favorites, so I’m struggling just to change myself. But as each of us takes those steps, we find ourselves stumbling toward each other rather than marching in the same old trenches. When we do, we are sometimes surprised to discover that we have more in common than what separates us, especially in our humanity.

One does not have to believe in Christianity to understand the powerful lesson of humility of Advent and broken human nature. We certainly must act within the sphere of public policy to craft the most effective and beneficial laws and actions, and to ensure that government serves rather than dictates. However, laws and policies should act to contain human nature and restrain abuses of power; they cannot solve the fallen nature of humanity, and some of the worst regimes in human history have proven that over and over again. We need to remain engaged and put forward our values, but we have to also remember that no one has all the answers — and to beware those who insist that they do. And just maybe, if we approach each other in the same humble manner as He whose birth we celebrate next week approached all of us, then perhaps we will find more to love in each other.

That would truly change the world, would it not?

Humility is not humiliation, and humility is not powerlessness.  It is the acceptance that we cannot impose by power a Utopia where people don’t commit heinous deeds, and that in the end, freedom and liberty are our best bulwarks against the evils that accumulated human power can and eventually will bring.  It is the recognition that we are all fallen human beings, and that we do best by working through policy issues in a spirit that acknowledges the humanity even in our opponents, and work to convince rather than overpower.


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Nicely said..

PatriotRider on December 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

That was beautiful, Ed. Thank you.

JoAnn1965 on December 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I would rather see us go full speed on something to help those with mental illness. It’s easy to loath that kid, and others like them, but they have been living in their own personal Hell and it’s time to really work on the relief of their suffering. Sandy Hook should never seem like the answer.

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Shame this will fall on deaf ears. One of the greatest failings of the last 40 years have been politicians, and not just here, but around the world.

Gatsu on December 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

:)

Well said.

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Bravo

JDF123 on December 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM

While I don’t always agree with Erick Erickson, he had a good post this week. He reminded us that one often overlooks that Herod slaughtered every male child under two in an effort to eliminate the Messiah. We usually forget that in the midst of angels, sheperds and wise men.

In a fallen world, there will always be rational evil. Whether Adam Lanza was crazy or evil, one will never know, but there are plenty of rational, evil beings throughout human history. Rational evil has always been a problem for secularists, who want to put down the deeds to “not fully appreciating,” or “not knowing” the very foreseedable consequences of their actions, if they cannot attribute the choices to mental illness.

Our elder brothers in our faith have an obligation, “Tikkun Olam,” the obligation to heal the world. We cannot fix the world, but we can, try to heal it when it is hurt.

Wethal on December 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

the libs have humiliated us enough.

its payback time. ok maybe not right this second. but soon. after Christmas.

renalin on December 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Can I steal the little baby Jesus from the Nativity scene now?

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Thanks Ed. Nice article.
L

letget on December 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM

It is a beautiful sentiment but why is our love for one another so temporary?

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM

i got the baby. gave the incense to Slade.

renalin on December 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I would rather see us go full speed on something to help those with mental illness. It’s easy to loath that kid, and others like them, but they have been living in their own personal Hell and it’s time to really work on the relief of their suffering. Sandy Hook should never seem like the answer.

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Treatable mental illness should be addressed.

I posted part of a conversation with my older sister, a mental health professional, last night on the Quotes of the Day. She said in all honesty that the personality types that generally participated in these mass killings tended to be psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or occasionally extreme aspies. For the first three they are not treatable from a mental health perspective. They lack a conscience and no amount of pharmaceuticals or interventions will change that. The only protection from them is permanent involuntary institutionalization. Are we ready to go in that direction?

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM

It is a beautiful sentiment but why is our love for one another so temporary?

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Because we tend to forget that love is a choice not an emotion. Love is the engine and emotions are the box cars.

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM

thanks Ed…well said

RedInMD on December 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM

She said in all honesty that the personality types that generally participated in these mass killings tended to be psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or occasionally extreme aspies.

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM

That tends to describe those participating in politics, too. Just sayin’… ;-)

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

RedInMD on December 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Very lonely I presume.

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 11:54 AM

We have been treated to an avalanche of sanctimony and arrogance across the political spectrum after the shooting, with people insisting that their long-favored hobby horses coincidentally provide a perfect solution to a problem as old as humanity itself — and that’s true of both sides to some extent. This comes ironically at the Christian celebration of advent, which teaches us lessons in humility and human frailty, and how the power of love will prevail over the love of power.

give it up. You’ve created the ultimate cess pit of “sanctimony and arrogance” here at Hot Air, where rightists come to beat their white sunken chests and proclaim how much better and more self righteous they are than liberals. Ugh. Talk about hypocrisy. If “humility” was the true goal here, then ban all of your most frequent commenters.

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I’ll go read it. I have limited experience with a bi-polar relative who was institutionalized from the 50′s through the 70′s, she often attempted suicide and held a knife to her very small child, but I don’t know that she would have really ever done anything. So, yes, I guess I would say that if we can truly diagnosis these folks, it would be best to put them away. Most of the time they kill themselves, I wonder what insight we can gather from the Colorado and Arizona killers?

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

This comes ironically at the Christian celebration of advent

Indeed, Ed. Ever since Cain we’ve been dealing with this in one form or another:

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
Matt. 2:16

Out of that horror came the salvation of Mankind who suffered and died for the sins of the world. May God forgive us, may God comfort us, and may our minds be turned to Christ now more than ever.

Weight of Glory on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Can I steal the little baby Jesus from the Nativity scene now?

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I always thought the manger was supposed to be empty until Christmas Day.

My parents used to put up a plain unadorned Christmas tree a few days before Christmas. When we awoke Chrismas morning, it was all lit up and beautifully decorated because Santa had visited during the night.

Where is the awe and magic anymore?

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

It is a beautiful sentiment but why is our love for one another so temporary?

Cindy Munford

Because you–we, me–find it easier to lump people into rigid categories. ‘Conservative.’ ‘Liberal.’ Aided of course by the anonymity of the internet.

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

That tends to describe those participating in politics, too. Just sayin’… ;-)

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Yep.

22044 on December 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Perhaps Ed could start with you. You post quite a bit. Most of it hateful.

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

As is our tradition. German I’m told.

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

like this one’s the arbiter of that. as likely as my bridge in Florida that’s ready to sell.

22044 on December 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

A trollcot might be appropriate.

Thank you for the great message Ed.

itsspideyman on December 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yes, because you have demonstrated for us all what the milk of human kindness can do for one another. I’ll start taking you seriously when you can verbalize your views in a rational positive way, regardless of what is said to you by the anonymous people here. At this point you go nuts when anyone even teases you, let alone disagrees with you. You want everyone to give up on their beliefs while you hold fast to yours. What are you willing to lose for security.

Cindy Munford on December 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Off I go on another tangent, I found this:

Other animals you might find in the manger scenes are the Magis’ camels (added with the Magi on Twelfth Night), the peacock symbolizing immortality, and a cat — usually a cat with kittens. The cat — la Gatta della Madonna — is based on an old Christmas legend that a tabby cat gave birth to kittens in the stable as Mary gave birth to Jesus. Said kitty purred Baby Jesus to sleep, and as a reward, the letter M, for Mary, was put on its forehead (see a picture of tabbies with perfect letter M’s in the footnotes).

We always called them “Mickey” kitties, after my Uncle Mickey. I think he might have some ‘spainin’ to do.

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Ed-
Forward this to President Revenge please.

FlaMurph on December 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Well said, Ed; and, thanks for that.

I’d encourage us all to focus on how to solve this current dreadful trend of mentally ill people, mostly young adult or teen males, who are acting out as they are, so violently against others.

It’s not solving anything to refer to mentally ill persons as “evil” because, well, perhaps ALL illness, sickness, lies, all of that ARE evil but it doesn’t help those suffering from mental illness — or evil — to ignore it or worse, to ridicule them.

In the case of this young man responsible in Newtown, it sounds as if he was given a huuuge amount of extra caring helps and attention in sensitivity to HIS sensitivity, while no one expected him to act out so violently.

Perhaps it’s his now-also-deceased mother who was aware that he WAS acting out violently (the video gaming activities, particularly, which she surely was aware of) and was desensitized to the violence herself, to her own ruin.

We as a nation have to address mental health conditions.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I absolutely reject the idea that Christ was a cat person!

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Should confuse the heck out of Allah. Lol!

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Because you–we, me–find it easier to lump people into rigid categories. ‘Conservative.’ ‘Liberal.’ Aided of course by the anonymity of the internet.

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

We were touching upon this last week before all hell broke loose in Newtown, CT.
I think the discussion was that Republicans should begin to engage more in “Identity Politics” to compete more effectively with the Democrats WHO ALREADY ARE DOING IT.

If we here are are “lumping people into rigid catagories” we are only following that which has been proven effective.

Jabberwock on December 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

It’s not solving anything to refer to mentally ill persons as “evil” because, well, perhaps ALL illness, sickness, lies, all of that ARE evil but it doesn’t help those suffering from mental illness — or evil — to ignore it or worse, to ridicule them.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

The slayings in Newtown were an evil act. And I’m on the fence as to whether or not the shooter was evil. I get your point but at the same time there are plenty of individuals suffering from mental illness who DO NOT shoot their mom in the face and then drive over to the local school to shoot 26 others.

I was living in New Orleans after Katrina. Relevant to this discussion, it was an interesting experience because literally the entire city was suffering from mental health issues. Some were able to handle it better than others but how do you treat an entire city? To a certain extent I think as a nation we are all suffering from a type of mental illness. It has manifested itself in many ways among them the decline in traditional values, the political polarization, and the fact we only react to violence in cases like Newtown or Aurora and not when that violence occurs in ones and twos over any given weekend in any given city. How do you treat a nation for mental illness.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I absolutely reject the idea that Christ was a cat person!

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Your choice, but, maybe, Allahpundit would find it… amusing?

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Should confuse the heck out of Allah. Lol!

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Oh dear, I should have read the next post. Bmore… we’re mind melding again.

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Fallon on December 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

; )

Bmore on December 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I COMPLETELY AGREE that the deeds done in Newtown were “evil” — “an evil act” as you write. I completely agree with that.

And I’m the last person who needs evidence that evil exists in this world and that some people are motivated by it with little saving grace or appeal to change…I’ve seen it, I’ve witnessed it, believe me, short of naming names, which I won’t do on the internet, I’ve seen people who are motivated by, “possessed by” evil, to use a Biblical term.

I’m only saying that referring from a problem-solving or solution-finding frame of reference to this shooter in Newtown as “evil” satisfies a more profound defintion of the deed and what motivated him but it doesn’t do anything (if not is also counter-productive) to continue to refer to him and his (yes, evil) deeds as “evil” and to avoid trying to understand and then to treat what the mental complications involved were.

I don’t know the answer, I’m not a physician, but our nation does have a budding if not an erupted problem today of — especially evident in — disturbed teen or young adult males who are resorting to violence against others, against society. Guns aren’t the problem, their state of mind is and that’s my point: we must address the causes and the conditions present in this segment of society who is acting out so desperately and hatefully (and violently) against others.

WE can discuss it from a theological perspective and it’s right and good that we do, but the issue of functionality is something that needs to be addressed more broadly.

I guess on a “government” level — as to all this talk among politicos about “government solutions” and all that after Newtown — it seems that the dangerous condition today is in the mental health area, not in the area of tools such as “guns” or whatever else as to tools a mentally disturbed person would and does use when they’re acting out.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Well said, Ed.

Your phrase “we can’t impose by power a Utopia” struck a nerve with me.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading George Orwell lately. Somehow the wisdom in his words speak more an more to me. While he was no Christian and no capitalist, he was importantly an anti-utopianist. He did not believe in the attainment of perfect through socialist concepts. Furthermore movements such as the progressive/liberal/whatever have in the subjugation of rights for the attainment of a Utopian dream would certainly have disturbed him.

I think the movement’s force now is lead by those who really, seriously, think that through some force of will we can bend individuals minds and create a “perfect” society, in which no one hurts anyone, no one dies, and every does exactly what is expected in them.

Some where Eric Arthur Blair rolls in his grave.

itsspideyman on December 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

2 thumbs up.

docflash on December 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

They lack a conscience and no amount of pharmaceuticals or interventions will change that. The only protection from them is permanent involuntary institutionalization. Are we ready to go in that direction?

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I was talking with my brother-in-law, who is a psychiatrist, about this very topic. His comment was that the only thing they know that helps these people is “lead therapy”. Since lead poisoning can affect the nervous system I thought that perhaps there was some innovative use of lead in treating these types of patients. But when I said “Really?”, he made a gun with his index finger and held it to his head.

So yes, perhaps we have reached that point.

lovesthesun on December 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I absolutely reject the idea that Christ was a cat person!

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM

WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF I agree! – 22044′s dog

Just kidding, I don’t own a dog. :)

22044 on December 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM

I remember a story I read a few years ago…

…about a problem that existed in some areas of game reserves in Africa, how it was that endangered Rhinos where found dead or dying with big wounds in their sides and the game wardens were perplexed how they became wounded so terribly. The wounds were too radical to be from other Rhinoceros and they didn’t match any tooth or claw marks by other predators.

Eventually, it was discovered that adolescent male elephants were roaming around assaulting Rhinos with tree limbs the elephants picked up and used as battering-weapons against the Rhinos, the adolescent male elephants roaming around in groups too old to be tolerated by their mothers in the elephant herds and too young to be out on their own as isolated male, adult elephants.

So these adolescent male elephants were acting-out in needless, gratuitous violence against Rhinos who had become their chosen victims: smaller and with poor eyesight and easily victimized by adolescent male elephants who pierced the Rhinos’ sides with large trees held in their trunks.

THE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM (a behavioral problem by adolescent male elephants) was to introduce ONE ADULT MALE ELEPHANT per “range” or area of elephant populations.

ALL that had to be done was to leave ONE ADULT MALE ELEPHANT in the range area and the adolescent male elephants soon stopped their raging, aware that the male elephant in their neighborhood would retaliate against the adolescents if they continued to act-out as they had been violently.

I think our growing population’s problem of violence and mental health problems has to do, somewhat if not a lot, with the “male role model” of behavior that males today are limited to or even missing.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM

They lack a conscience and no amount of pharmaceuticals or interventions will change that. The only protection from them is permanent involuntary institutionalization. Are we ready to go in that direction?

chemman on December 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I was talking with my brother-in-law, who is a psychiatrist, about this very topic. His comment was that the only thing they know that helps these people is “lead therapy”. Since lead poisoning can affect the nervous system I thought that perhaps there was some innovative use of lead in treating these types of patients. But when I said “Really?”, he made a gun with his index finger and held it to his head.

So yes, perhaps we have reached that point.

lovesthesun on December 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Antipsychotic meds help many who suffer from a psychosis such as Manic Depression and sometimes, Schizophrenia. People often have what’s called “a dual diagnosis” with both those conditions simultaneously, and they can be managed with medications, as long as they continue under medical supervision.

It’s tough, I realize. It’s the people who never are in contact with physicians in these regards who are the biggest concern.

This guy in Connecticut, from what I’ve heard, had a lot of EXTREMELY CARING, CONSCIENTIOUS attention from adults but it looks like he never got in contact with a physician who was able to diagnose the guy’s mental issues properly if at all. Or so I’m assuming from the little I’ve read so far about the guy.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

…treating these types of patients. But when I said “Really?”, he made a gun with his index finger and held it to his head.

So yes, perhaps we have reached that point.

lovesthesun on December 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

UNFORTUNATELY, anyone who indicates they’re suicidal is also indicating they’re violent, meaning, posing a potential to harm themselves…AND/OR OTHERS.

So it’s not just a case of them ending their own lives, it’s also a concern of them harming others.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM

…how do you treat an entire city? To a certain extent I think as a nation we are all suffering from a type of mental illness. It has manifested itself in many ways among them the decline in traditional values, the political polarization, and the fact we only react to violence in cases like Newtown or Aurora and not when that violence occurs in ones and twos over any given weekend in any given city. How do you treat a nation for mental illness.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I agree that the increased denigration of and suppression of the sharing of Christian theology and beliefs – including organizations that are sponsored by such but are being held to task to cease associating with such – is part of the problem.

Scouting, for example, helped many a young person for decades but the marring of that org. continues. Same with ROTC in higher education combined with the replacement of “real” social relationships like that with the artificial realm of violent media.

And increasingly urban environments and overcrowding, limiting resources for all and confining more of us with every generation.

There’s a lot to be said for being raised in rural areas and small towns, kids grow up with more adults available to them on ratio in a population, for starters, and learn a great deal about empathy and socialization from agricultural activities. Urban lifestyles eliminate so much from what many of us need as to being able to relax and relate well to others.

Lourdes on December 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Lourdes and Cindy: If you go the involuntary hospitalization route, what do you do when they classify ‘conservatism’ as ‘mental illness’ and start in on them?

For any liberals in the crowd, substitute homosexuality for conservatism, same question.

Are you willing to give a limited set of unaccountable people–whether experts in their field or not–power over whether you can live a free life?

Scott H on December 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Are you willing to give a limited set of unaccountable people–whether experts in their field or not–power over whether you can live a free life?

Scott H on December 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Hey if it’s good enough for Obama’s death panels, it should be good enough for homosexuals! Right?

Fact of the matter is that we are already beyond that point with this administration. All the real decisions and power is in the West Wing through unelected (and unconfirmable) radicals who only answer to the rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on December 18, 2012 at 2:12 PM

give it up. You’ve created the ultimate cess pit of “sanctimony and arrogance” here at Hot Air, where rightists come to beat their white sunken chests and proclaim how much better and more self righteous they are than liberals. Ugh. Talk about hypocrisy. If “humility” was the true goal here, then ban all of your most frequent commenters.

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

If I may ask, are you African-American?

DaveDief on December 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Happy Nomad: I agree with you. That’s why I’m concerned over people’s well-meaning concern over mental health being a shifting of ground without a shift in the argument.

Scott H on December 18, 2012 at 2:44 PM

If “humility” was the true goal here, then ban all of your most frequent commenters.

lostmotherland on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Sanctimonious leftists always believe in tyranny and restriction of speech. May you never live free, never. You don’t deserve it.

Schadenfreude on December 18, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Humility is not humiliation, and humility is not powerlessness.

Humility doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself; it means thinking of yourself less.

logis on December 18, 2012 at 5:19 PM

It is the recognition that we are all fallen human beings,

but the Utopians do not believe this

Good and evil is identified by the degree to which any person professes Utopian principles. Only dissenters are fallen

This is the reason there is no dialogue. There is no common ground

The Pope tried to set up a dialogue with the muslim world, on the basis that we can agree everyman shares an intrinsic understanding of good and evil, regardless of religion, and from that commonality we can move forward. He was repeatedly answered with the reply that we can all agree there is one god and mohammed is his prophet.

Utopians also find no commonality with those who do not espouse first order Utopian truths, such as, every man has a right to a job

So what would be called a second order directive in Western civilization, would be called a prime truth in Utopia. Thus every man must be provided with a job, before we worry about private property rights which in Utopia are secondary to the prime directives

entagor on December 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM

…nice!…thank you Ed!

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM