Monthly Archive: February 2016

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East is East, Part II ON THE HOUSE

If human experience were rmin glacier, slowly accreting facts, pebbles, and statistical debris in its course, some case might be made for writing impartial history, but most of what he call history is a conflict of wills, between leaders and nations.  Who could write an impartial account of the Crusades?  Not a faithful Catholic or Muslim, and certainly not an atheist who is “neutral” on the religious claims of the two parties: he, in fact, has the biggest ax to grind.  I prefer Hilaire Belloc or the Whig historians who never concealed their prejudices or their agenda. Once upon a time,...

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Christianity and Classical Culture, Episode 3: Is Christianity Simply One of The “Great Monotheistic Religions”?

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What do we mean when we say “the great monotheistic religions”? Can we even grant the premise of the question? How can we reconcile admiration for classical culture, which was polytheistic, with the practice of Christianity, which is monotheistic? How did the early Christian fathers, including St. Augustine and Tertullian, examine this tension between Athens and Jerusalem? Can we argue that the timing of the Incarnation allowed for the Church to derive maximum benefit from Roman law and government and Greek philosophy? Dr. Thomas Fleming and host Stephen Heiner examine these and many other questions on this month’s episode. Original...

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The Best Revenge, Episode 2: Rome

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In this episode host Stephen Heiner and guest Dr. Thomas Fleming discuss the Eternal City: Rome. Topics covered include: What makes it “eternal”? What happened to Rome and the papal states during the so-called “unification” of Italy? Why is the Victor Emmanuel monument an eyesore? Piazza Navona: what you should know The beauty of the Baths of Caracalla and the Colosseum Some important tips for the visitor, including importantly, how to spot the best gelato and what kind of wine you might ask for The legendary museum endurance of Gail Fleming Why Rick Steves should be avoided Original Air Date:...

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On the House: East is East, and West is Wuss, Part I

This piece was published in a very slightly different form in 1999.  It is being offered free to our free subscribers, and I hope that they will enjoy it.  I also hope that they will see their way to joining us more fully by subscribing to the website. If a civilized man, as it is sometimes said, can hold two ideas in his mind at the same time; post-civilized man goes one step farther and sees nothing wrong with maintaining contradictory opinions on any subject that comes up: We say simultaneously that the Russians are animalistic drunkards with no aptitude...

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Die Götterdämmerung

Germany and the rest of Western Europe are being invaded with weaponized immigration.  It has become apparent that Germany, not to be confused with the Federal Republic of Germany which is an abstraction or a “firm” as those who still consider themselves Germans call it, has all but lost its soul.  The objective correlative with its heritage has been broken by Nazi usurpation of much that was true and good and by the very effective supersecessionist reeducation program imposed on Germany after its defeat in WWII. Western liberalism was apparently more effective than the draconian real-existierende Sozialismus of communist East...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from Vienna

“If somebody were to prove to me once and for all that Christ is not Truth, and if indeed it was so that Truth lay outside Christ,” Dostoevsky famously proclaimed, “I would still choose Christ over Truth.”  Some years after the Russian writer had sounded this chord in one of his novels, Vasily Rozanov, in some ways his only spiritual heir, came up with his own version of the credo. Rozanov was a thinker who combined the flamboyance of Oscar Wilde with the originality of Friedrich Nietzsche and the modesty of Marcus Aurelius, and I have always marvelled at the...

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Boris and Brexit

I was in the Metro.  I looked down at the newspaper the man on my left was reading.  It featured three characters.  One, a Boris Johnson jumping up and screaming “F*#% Europe!”  To his right a flustered and disturbed David Cameron wheels around, saying, “Trump?”  To his right a French footman bows and says, in French, “No, it’s the Mayor of London…” Later that same day I was writing in a cafe and four tables over I heard snippets of a conversation in French in which the words “Boris” and “Brexit” featured prominently. It was the day after Boris had delivered...

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Properties of Blood I.3: The Disappearing Individual–Conclusion

The proper word for a human being, considered in his own right, is “person,” a neutral term that does not specify the human being’s connection to or disconnection from his society.  Wives and children are human persons and possessed of human dignity, but there are legal and social circumstances when it would be misleading to speak of them as individuals.  Is a newborn or pre-born infant an individual?  It hardly seems likely, but if not an individual than in what sense is the infant to be protected?  Pro-life advocates will leap in to say that he is a “legal person...

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The Apogee of Imbecility

The European ruling class likes to tell its subjects that the massive influx of migrants from the Middle East is harmless.  These are people just Europeans, they say, but unlike the privileged people of the West, the migrants have have had the bd luck to be living in a war zone.  We are morally obliged to accept as many of them as would like to come, because we can never say no to a refugee from anywhere, lest we be like the cold-hearted Christians who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust. The narrative is wrong on many levels.  Perhaps...

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Wednesday’s Child: Letter from London

  From London, though I’m yet to arrive there, with stops at Vienna and Paris, but what’s a little topographic imprecision among friends?  Vienna, because the eccentric diva who, as the reader may recall from my New Year missive, wore three different wigs in a single night, has invited us there; Paris, because a benevolent friend there gives my wife sound advice with regard to her concert career; and finally London, because there Irina has just had published a monograph on her collection of paintings, a massive tome entitled Flying in the Wake of Light.  Irina Stolyarova – such is...