The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


The Decline of the American Empire: Recessional, Part II

First, a Digression on What The Greeks Mean To Us The ancient Greeks are among are most significant ancestors or, at least, godfathers.  They are one of those mirrors we hold up in order to contemplate our own faces, which we inevitably confuse with theirs.  Christians have often read their own darkest impulses into Greek mythology and “idolatry.” (A passing thought:  Did St. Paul or St. Jerome really believe educated Greeks worshipped statues made by human hands?)  Romantic poets found the dynamic imagination they were trying to cultivate, and since Nietzsche some have found justification for their own chaotic passions...


The Early Church: Heretics and Puritans

In the time of Christ and his Apostles, it was enough to accept Christ–that is, the promised Messiah–and Him crucified, but it is a thoroughly human trait to draw conclusions, which are then treated as first principles.  In the Golden Age of the American republic, many, perhaps most Americans believed in liberty, both in the sense of political independence and in the sense of moral and social freedom.  If a man had a skill by which he could earn money, then–subject to legal, moral and social constraints–he could expect to practice that trade.  Then wise guys came long and raised...


Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

Like those time-lapse nature photographs that show the flower bud opening into a full-blown blossom only to shed the petals one by one in a matter of seconds, each successive visit to London reveals an acceleration of its decomposition. We may be horrified by the ravages of time on the features of an old friend when we meet a him after many years on different continents, but should his face have the same effect on us after a mere month’s absence, then either we need better glasses or else we’re looking at a picture of Dorian Gray. The scandal upon...


Born Out of Due Time, by Ched P. Rayson, I: The Think Tank Murders, Chapter Thirteen

Listen, Smith.  Cut the crap.  I heard some things.  You bin talkin to Mario and crazy Cheech, ’n so?  They’re nothin but trouble.  For Mr. Wright’s sake and the folks over at Veritas, I’m gonna pretend you weren’t assin aroun with me.  They’re doing important work there, it could put this town on the map. We don’t need a smart-mouthed stranger comin in to mess things up.  Capish?


Reaching the Boiling Point

The change-over in the House was predicted by pundits from the day of Donald Trump’s election and therefore means very little.  Nonetheless, it does show that the American electorate–it is hardly possible to speak of Americans as “a people”–is not only divided by class and region and race but even segments that supported Trump two years ago failed him.  A cynic might say it is because America’s blue-collar class and Middle Americans in general are fat, stupid, and cowardly, and cynics are generally right.


Religio Philologi: The Gentile Church, B:

Ignatius warned against one of the perennial temptations—to impose Jewish customs on the Church: “It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize.  For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believeth might be gathered together to God.” [Magnesians 10] Ignatius also warned against the poison of heretics who denied the reality of Christ’s passion. [Trallians 11]