Friday Five: 5

We Abandon Social Conservatism at Our Own Peril

By Carlos Flores at Public Discourse. Fiscal conservatives, don’t be too quick to move on from social issues; they have fiscal impacts.

Our State Religion

By “Johnny” at Granola Shotgun. This one is not actually about religion, but what is the state’s “religion?” Read to see.

Pronouns, Ordinary People, and the War over Reality

By Anthony Esolen, also at Public Discourse. (The Witherspoon Institute provides quality content, I must say.) This piece brings to mind Solzhenitsyn’s admonishment to “live not by lies.”

I’m An English Major Who Just Got Fired As A Barista. Here’s Where I Went Wrong

By David Breitenbeck at The Federalist. He cautions against going to college without a clear understanding of why you’re going. As someone who is currently enrolled at Georgia Tech, I concur with his assessment.

The Sentimentality Trap

This is an excellent essay on poetry and the temptation towards sentimality by Benjamin Myers via First Things. A though-provoking line:

“Sentimentality is really a form of that deadly heresy of Gnosticism, which prefers airy spiritualization to God’s actual creation.”

Friday Five: 4

Jack, the Giant, and the Indigestible Bean: A Fable

By C.R. Wiley. This is a story about modern giants.

Is Choosing To Stay At Home Sustainable For Women?

Luma Simms discusses the circumstances of stay-at-home moms.

Remembering the Reformation

By Carl Trueman. Why do evangelicals love Luther so much, when he would have repudiated much of their theology? Are evangelicals celebrating a Luther made in their own image?

Congress May Lower Taxes on Drinks

From Kevin Kosar. Speaking of Luther… Do you know what kind of hurdles producers of beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks have to clear? They’re ridiculous. Rolling back these stupid regulations would help small, local vintners and brewers be profitable while pursuing their craft.

Civil Righteousness and the Gospel in the American Church

By James Rogers. As beneficial as the Church can be in promoting civil righteousness, She ought not forget that Her mission is not propping up any particular political regime.

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.