- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 8, 2006


“In our culture of therapy, self-absorption and celebrity, ‘honor’ has very little cachet. An abuse of honor — say, by perpetrating a public fraud or acting duplicitously in private life — is but the occasion for the administration of comforting words of understanding, the application of medicines to assuage lingering anxieties and the invitation to appear on ‘Oprah,’ the better to explain the forces that, overwhelming meager resources of conscience and character, impelled a dishonorable act.

“Next may come an invitation to undertake the labor of a book, more fully to explore and expiate the fall from grace. Closure (as it is called) will then, at last, be obtained.

“In short, there is no shame in actions once known as dishonorable, and the virtues that supported honor seem moribund. Chastity and modesty —so important to honor in social relations — are treated as relics from Jane Austen and ‘Little Women.’ When a high-school girl defends a sexual encounter on the grounds that an American president said that her particular act was not really sex, both she and her role model are, if not completely forgiven, understood to be, as members of the human family, subject to the same vagaries of uncontrollable temptations as you and I.”

— Josiah Bunting III, writing on “A Noble Virtue Under Siege,” June 6 in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Bible literacy

“I don’t have the nostalgia for the lost period of faith. I’m glad it’s over and my children won’t have to know about it. Except from me. …

“You are not educated if you don’t know the Bible. You can’t read Shakespeare or Milton without it, even if there was nothing else of it. And with the schools now, that’s what I hate about secular relativism. They’re afraid of insurance liability. They don’t even teach it as a document. They stay out of the whole thing to avoid controversy. So kids can’t quote the King James Bible. That’s terrible. And I quite understand Christian parents who want to protect their children from a nihilistic solution where there’s no way of knowing what’s been discussed. …

“I know the King James Bible pretty well. It’s a fantastic document. I could not imagine my life without it.”

— Christopher Hitchens, interviewed by Mindy Belz, in the June 3 issue of World

Summer of fear

“In days of yore, summer was celebrated as a three-month-long respite from the chill of winter; a haven from school for kids and a laid-back reprieve for adults. …

“[T]he media have deemed that we must now spend our summers — at least until the end of August, when they go full press into their annual Bush vacation-bash mode — cowering in anticipation of the wrath of a god so evil, he would allow a major U.S. city to be built below sea level and run by Democrats. …

“Last year’s meltdown in the Chocolate City has doomed us to a future of constant and shrill warnings regarding that phenomenon we used to call weather. It’s gotten so bad here in Connecticut, that a few years ago, in addition to our winter storm watches, alerts, and blizzard scares, we were also treated to what were called ‘flat-roof’ warnings. If we hearty New Englanders are stupid enough not to clear the snow from roofs, why would we have built our houses in the first place?”

— Lisa Fabrizio, writing on “‘Tis the Season,” June 7 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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