Saturday, November 20, 2010

It’s Time to Stand Up for Courage and Conviction

Machiavelli and other humanists would have been appalled by today’s bureaucratisation of everyday life that threatens vital public virtues.

Frank Furedi writes, "... During the course of writing a book a few years ago called Therapy Culture, I noticed that aspects of devotion and care had become increasingly stigmatised, often being expressed and defined as a marker of a disease. In fact, any manifestation of love, friendship, loyalty or altruism was potentially labelled as a form of addictive behaviour. Altruistic behaviour – which hardly seems a bad thing – is actually diagnosed as compulsive helping. According to this definition, compulsive helpers disregard their own needs and feelings and focus on helping another person. That kind of sums up our current situation with regards to public virtue: in a different era, in a different society, this so-called disease would be seen as a positive thing.

Rhetorically, responsibility and loyalty are still upheld as public virtues, of course. But in practice these are undermined, time and time again. Something happened to me recently that made me think about this in a way that I hadn’t before. Last year, my mother died. While she was in hospital, I used to go to visit her all the time. And the very first time I went to visit her, I introduced myself to the nurse: ‘I’m Frank Furedi, I’m Clara’s son.’ The woman looked up at me and said, ‘You mean you’re her “carer”’. ‘No, her son’, I responded. But she was insistent: ‘No, you are her carer.’ ...Read on

--->Speaking of decency, Dr. Judith Reisman on The Children of Table 34...Must see...

--->Courting Disaster: "Henry's mistress Anne Boleyn was the Camilla Parker Bowles to Catherine's People's Princess. Women in particular were vociferous in their hatred of 'that goggle eyed whore'. Catherine claimed that Henry knew full well she had been a virgin when she married him, and whatever the talk of the king's party at court, with their reminiscences of Arthur the groom and his 'erect and inflamed member', the English people continued to regard Catherine as their rightful queen. For six years Anne Boleyn was forced to remain always the betrothed, and never the bride. But the farce, and the spats, descended eventually into tragedy.

"Tremlett movingly describes how, as Henry seized absolute power over Church and State, those who opposed him were murdered and martyred. Today, the walls of the Charterhouse in Granada are lined with full-length portraits of the Carthusian monks executed by the king. The 'Archbishop' of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, recently observed that without the prayers these men had offered the king, Henry VIII would surely be in hell. Catherine blamed herself for such deaths. But she died less distressed about the creation of martyrs than fearful that she had driven her husband and his subjects into what she regarded as heresy...Read it all (emphasis mine)

--->Shock: Brains Like To Keep It Real. Text and images may be king on the Internet, but... [What would we do without scientists who discover common sense in experiments?--sh]

--->"Since mortgage paperwork flaws [flaws?] became front-page news this fall, the banks caught in the glare have characterized the problems as technicalities that are easily remedied..." Yes? Read on...

--->First Step. What the Pope Really Said About Condoms... "His specific example, that of a male prostitute choosing to use a condom in a conscious choice to prevent HIV infection, is couched as "a first step in the direction of moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants."

--->Irish government support now at record low...

--->Ellen DeGeneres’ 'wife,' formally known as Portia de Rossi, has caused a major controversy by allegedly refusing to be interviewed by men... [Note the cliches: "community tolerance and inclusiveness..."]

--->Vatican: Church must follow the way of the cross, not men’s ways of thinking, says Pope

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