Friday Five: 3

I Used To Be A Human Being

From Andrew Sullivan. He discusses how technological overload affected him, and how it affects all of us.

Stop Blaming Only Boys for “Pornland”

By Matthew Cochran. How is the mass porn addiction broken? Cochran offers one part of the solution, which solution is not new.

Why I Was Wrong About Christianity

By Tom Holland. Many in the West have forgotten from whence their moral sensibility came. Mr. Holland realizes it didn’t come from where he always thought.

Taking a Stand on the Farm

From Gracy Olmstead. One word: agrarians.

What America Lost as Women Entered the Workforce

By Emma Green. Heaven help the one who suggests that pushing women (and men, but that’s for another time) out of the home was perhaps not the greatest idea.

I Asked The Lord That I Might Grow

I was recently reminded of this beautiful hymn. During those times when God lays us low and employs those inward trials, remember that He is setting us free to find our all in Him,  so that we are perfect and complete. When we who are called by Him mean to do evil, God means it for good, and He will accomplish His will.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer:
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once he’d grant me my request;
And, by his love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Humbled my heart and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this?” I trembling cried;
“Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?”
“‘Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

“These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
To break thy schemes of worldly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in me.”

Friday Five: 2

One of my goals in life is to see traditional patterns of living restored in some measure. I don’t have utopian dreams of a society-wide rediscovery of past wisdom; I’m pessimistic on that front. I do think, though, that it’s possible for some of us in small communities to resurrect aspects of our common Western heritage. To that end, this week Friday Five has something of a theme. One way in which we can learn from our ancestors is to consider how they crafted the built environment and the government they instituted to protect it. None of this is heavy reading, but I hope it is helpful in fleshing out what I’m after.

Home Rule

By Phillip Campbell at the Distributist Review. How have cities traditionally related to higher governments? Are there ways to devolve power back to local communities?

A Glorified Sidewalk, and the Path to Transform Atlanta

Written by Richard Fausset in the New York Times. If I had to call a (sort of) major city “home,” Atlanta would be the one. I go to university here, and it’s the closest one to my actual home. That being the case, I have a particular interest in seeing how the BeltLine project proceeds. It has the potential to be a great success, or a dismal failure. My hope is that the project leaders are able to resist the temptation to rely too much on government aid.

The Alpine Heart

From Stephen Heiner of Front Porch Republic. This one got me to wondering what local, communal traditions we have here. Has the ease of mobility erased them all?

Why Sprawl Is Not the Only Choice

By Matthew Robare, writing for The American Conservative. Urban sprawl is something of a cancer in the eyes of traditionalists and localists.

My Take on the Local Food Movement

By Rachel Quednau at Strong Towns. I think of a comment from Lewis in one of his letters:

“Tolkien once remarked to me that the feeling about home must have been quite different in the days when the family had fed on the produce of the same few miles of country for six generations, and that perhaps this was why they saw nymphs in the fountains and dryads in the wood – they were not mistaken for there was in a sense a real (not metaphorical) connection between them and the countryside. What had been earth and air & later corn, and later still bread, really was in them. We of course who live on a standardised international diet (you may have had Canadian flour, English meat, Scotch oatmeal, African oranges, & Australian wine to day) are really artificial beings and have no connection (save in sentiment) with any place on earth. We are synthetic men, uprooted. The strength of the hills is not ours.”

Friday Five: 1

Every Friday I am going to share five links to pieces I’ve read during the week. The sole criterion is that I want to share the piece. (I know, I need to lower my standards.) Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

The Moral Structure of Pedophilia

This one’s by Anthony Esolen. It’s a sobering comparison of pedophilia and divorce. If you read only one of these items, let it be this one.

A Room for the Family

By John Cuddeback. Consider reading the whole series of which this is a part.

An Abomination of Desolation

By Rod Dreher. Scientists continue their effort to blot out humanity.

Regarding Nebraska

From Jake Meador, on home and history.

The Monster We Created: Councils, Brand Names, and Celebrites

A piece by Rev. Kyle Borg. Though it’s been a problem for a long while, the recent debates over Trinitarian orthodoxy and ESS/ERAS have brought to the fore the issues with an over-reaching parachurch.