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This is, without doubt, the best summary of the state of our culture that I have read in some time--absolutely masterful. My favorite lines:

"The right wing cannot abide being told that Church is not something you can invent out of marketing questionnaires; that virtue has little to do with value; that goodness and beauty have an inverse relationship with consumerism and comfort; that the virtue of protecting family and land should not be confused with the protecting of wealth and privilege – the protection of which is cowardice."

And:

"We have forgotten that the Gospel ethic demands feeding the poor: it is silent about the business of turning the poor into capitalists so that they can care for themselves and release us from the Gospel burden."

And:

"Right-wingers...simply do not care about things that should be cared for."

Thanks, Anthony. And Stephen, there is an abyss that separates the demotic "apathetic" (i.e., boredom and ennui) and the virtuous "apatheia."

The latter is attained, through predominating Grace, by the active ascetical fight against passions, and the adoption of the virtues (e.g., the Beatitudes) that replace them and render them void.

I recommend reading (until doggy-eared -- the book, that is, not you) Hierotheos Vlachos' Orthodox Psychotherapy. I'm not happy with the translation, but it is revolutionary in the best sense of the word.

Haunting essay! If I was single I would consider monasticism. Since I am not, my only choice is to swim up stream, against the strong currents of left and right and to develop apatheia without becoming apathetic. Any other advice...

Amen! Amen! Amen!

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