I have been updating the ABOUT page on the Salvo website with bios for senior editors and other key members of the Salvo team. After taking a closer look at that page, I decided it was also a good time to update what could be called our mission statement:
Debunking the cultural myths that have undercut human dignity, all but destroyed the notions of virtue and morality, and slowly eroded our appetite for transcendence. Recovering the one worldview that actually works.
It’s catchy, but I also think it’s pretty much just teaser text at best. It doesn’t really give you anything concrete to go on. Being the graphic designer and web guy for Salvo since the beginning, I thought the magazine needed something a little more clear. But not being a professional ad copy writer (unless you count fake ads), I also needed some help coming up with something that would work.
I decided to ask frequent Salvo writer and contributing editor Terrell Clemmons for any suggestions she had for Salvo‘s mission statement. She reminded me of an editorial that Jim Kushiner wrote for issue 11 titled “Why We Fight” that, for her, summed up Salvo perfectly. While this article was originally intended to be an introduction to that specific issue (Winter ’09), I too think that the piece holds up as, well, a sort of salvo for Salvo.
While the magazine seems to make a lot of people scratch their head, I’ve always thought that the mission of the magazine was pretty obvious to anyone who browsed the website for even just a minute or two–a counter-cultural voice that seeks to point out that ideas have consequences, and that there are REASONS to, say, value chastity, or to question aspects of the Darwinian narrative, or to reject abortion. The current issue of Salvo deals with many of these things outright.
Critics of Salvo often complain about our quasi-military language. “Why not adopt a more irenic tone?” they say. My reply is that we use these terms, albeit figuratively, to describe our engagement in the realm of ideas against an aggressor. Now, some people don’t fancy a fair fight. We do.
Salvo seeks to defend truths that have shaped the civilization that can best, if imperfectly, ensure freedom for man to flourish as he was meant to. Those last two words, “meant to,” are crucial. For we believe man has a given nature and purpose. In keeping with the Declaration of Independence, for example, we hold certain truths to be self-evident, because they are “in the nature of things” and not subjective “values.” These include certain inalienable rights that come from the Creator, not from the state.
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