The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


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]


Roger McGrath on The Ace of Aces: Richard Bong

By the time he went on leave during the late fall of 1943, Bong had 21 aerial victories and was wearing captain’s bars.  Back in Wisconsin, at a Superior State Teachers College homecoming, he met the girl of his dreams, Marge Vattendahl.  When he returned to New Guinea in January 1944, he had his ground crew decorate the nose of his P-38 with a large photograph of Marge.  It was the last thing seen by many a Japanese pilot.   By early April he had added four mo


One Flesh in Law. POB II, Chapter 4: Husbands and Wives, B

In the Anglo-American tradition of Common Law, the status of wives was defined by the principle of coverture, which meant that the wife’s legal identity was merged with that of her husband.   When Hamlet is taken to task for addressing his stepfather as “mother,” he replies: “Father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh, and so, my mother.”  As Blackstone observes: “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law…the very legal being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during marriage, or at least is incorporated or consolidated.” 


Properties of Blood, Vol. II, Chapter III: “The Law’s A Ass.”

Feminists, looking back at the traditional sex roles of 19th and 20th century Europe and the Americas, have often written sneeringly of “the patriarchy,” as if the insertion of the definite article confers an academic anathema upon the word.  Anti-feminists have responded by explicitly defending patriarchy or by discussing male dominance in terms of the rigid hierarchy of baboons.  But human social life has little in common with that of the boorish baboon, and “patriarchy,” as the word suggests, refers properly not to the virtually universal human tendency toward male dominance but to societies in which the fathers and senior males rule over the family and tribal structure with sovereign authority.