The True Believer and his Mindless Foot Soldier

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From Guide for the Misguided: A Clarifying Journey of Intervention, Detox & Recovery by Terrell Clemmons

Katie is emblematic of many in her generation. She believes she’s doing good, but from all I could gather, she’s investing her precious young adult years working on the wrong side of progress. In his excellent primer, The KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks, Evan Sayet analyzes the mentality driving the progressive agenda with surgical precision. There are “two kinds of Modern Liberals,” he writes, “the True Believer and his Mindless Foot Soldier.” There’s a difference between them, but, as he continues, “there is absolutely no difference between the two when it comes to the policies they support.” Sayet predicts that the Modern Liberal will at every turn side with the evil over the good, the wrong over the right, the lesser over the better, the ugly over the beautiful, the vulgar over the refined, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. A quick visit to Katie’s Facebook page showed her to be an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood, along with Occupy Wall Street and a few other groups that fit this prediction to a tee, including one devoted solely to mocking Evangelical Christians.

I didn’t like applying Sayet’s terminology to Katie. To all appearances, she’s anything but mindless. But sadly, she fits the characteristics of the Mindless Foot Soldier. Even more sad, she’s like a lot of people I know, young and old, blithely carrying out, according to Sayet’s model, “the progressive agenda of destroying all that is good, right, and successful [about] Western Civilization.” And all in the name of good intentions. If it seems convoluted, that’s because it is. But what can be done?

Read the rest. . .

Ancient History?

“The ongoing decay of modern Western civilization is self-induced. It arises from the hatred of our current intelligentsia for their heritage. Formerly, highly educated people extolled the virtues of the West; today it is the mark of great learning to denounce those virtues. In university “Arts” departments, the moral foundations of the West have been steadily eroded by deconstructionism and kindred ideologies. . . .”
CONTINUE READING > On Compulsory Mis-education: Teaching the Young to Despise Their Heritage

“Americans are becoming increasingly ignorant of how the modern world came to be what it is, says Rodney Stark. A generation ago, most college curricula included a course in Western Civilization that covered Western achievements in art, music, literature, philosophy, and science. Today those courses have all but disappeared, on the spurious grounds that the West is but one of many civilizations and that it is ethnocentric and arrogant for Westerners to study it. So Stark is out to educate us, its beneficiaries, in the “remarkably unfashionable” story of our own heritage. . . .”
CONTINUE READING >Unfashionable History: A Review of How the West Won–The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity by Rodney Stark

“Nancy Pearcey knows the captivating power of secular ideas because she used to hold them herself. As a teenager, she rejected the religion of her childhood and embraced a host of “isms,” from moral relativism to scientific determinism to New Age spiritualism. But she persisted in her quest for truth, only to find that the biblical worldview offers far better and more complete answers to the real world questions those philosophies attempted to address. For those of us who lack such intellectual stamina, her books serve as a tour of the long and winding journey by which she arrived at that conclusion. . . .”
CONTINUE READING > Renaissance 2.0: A Review of Nancy Pearcey’s Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning

A Battle of Values

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. . . it is not surprising that the UK wants to win over the hearts and minds of young British Muslims before ISIS does. Toward this end, the government last October launched a Counter-Extremism Strategy with great élan. Prime Minister David Cameron described the fight against “this poisonous ideology” as “one of the great struggles of our generation”:

Do we close our eyes, put our kid gloves on and just hope that our values will somehow endure in the end? Or do we get out there and make the case for those values, defend them with all that we’ve got and resolve to win the battle of ideas all over again?

He went on to insist that the day of politically correct tiptoeing around the issue was over. His government was taking the gloves off:

In the past, I believe governments made the wrong choice. Whether in the face of Islamist or neo-Nazi extremism, we were too tolerant of intolerance, too afraid to cause offence. We seemed to lack the strength and resolve to stand up for what is right, even when the damage being done by extremists was all too clear.

Gutsy stuff, this: tough, straight, muscular, hard-headed. There’s just one problem: if there is going to be a battle of values, are British values in working order? And can you remind us what they are? . . .

Read the entire article. English Shadows: Britain Struggles to Win Young Muslim Minds by Michael Cook from the latest issue of Salvo.

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Links from Salvo Partner Organizations 4.28.2016

Good stuff from our friends around the web…

From Mercatornet:
On “living in the present”
When history is bunk, so much else is too.
by James Schall SJ

. . . I now find out, with a “jolt”, that what I am seeing or smelling out there is my brain’s “best guess” about what the world is like. I never realized that my brain was somehow doing my thinking for me. Just where it gets its information on which to make an educated “guess”, I am not sure. I am trying to grasp this idea that, every time I meet a friend, I have to ask my brain to “guess” for me whether he is really there or not. Presumably, my friend is also trying to “guess” in return whether what his brain thinks it sees is really there. With such reflections, one is tempted to say, one hundred years after Henry Ford’s famous statement, considering what is being said about “rights”, autonomy, tradition, brains, and freedom, that there is more that is “bunk” in this world than merely history.

From The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:
Religious Freedom by the Numbers
by Matthew Hawkins

It’s remarkable, really. At the same time religious freedom appears both at a height of controversy in America and utterly collapsing in the Middle East, the world has at its fingertips volumes of research that affirm how good religious freedom is for every human on earth.

Most of us typically approach religious freedom through theology, philosophy, or history. Christians provide biblically informed arguments and learn from the history of our own tradition, both as martyrs and as oppressors. Similarly Judaism, Islam, and other religions provide their own rationale for religious freedom from within their traditions. And non-theists recognize their own self-interest in religious freedom when they are victims of theocratic oppression. We continue to need to cultivate and promote those reasons from within each religion and other worldviews.

But you may not have heard about the data-driven research that provide new tools with which to promote religious freedom. Sociologists and other scholars continue to find that religious freedom is a key ingredient to human flourishing around the globe. . . .

From Discovery Institute
Are Our Bodies the Product of “Unintelligent Design”?
by Ann Gauger

. . . he reviews two new books that describe the evolutionary mess that our bodies are — a hodgepodge, so this argument goes, of barely good enough solutions to physiological problems, a collection of compromises that leave us prone to injury and disease, according to the authors and according to him. I haven’t read the books in question, but Barash’s piece provides an occasion to examine the often-heard argument for “unintelligent design.”

There’s an undercurrent that runs through that argument, sometimes visible on the surface, sometimes below the water, tugging our feet out from under us. That ripple on the surface goes something like this: our design isn’t perfect. That’s the visible part. Then there’s the undercurrent: If there were an intelligent designer he would have made perfect things. Barash, ever frank, says this directly. Giving examples like the optic nerve and the prostate gland, he says, “An intelligent designer wouldn’t have proceeded this way.” Therefore we are the product of patchwork evolution and there is no designer. . . .

Beak Hype

UNITED KINGDOM - CIRCA 1981: A British Used Postage Stamp Showing Charles Darwin and Finches, circa 1981

The Wintery Knight points us to an article by Jonathan Wells about Darwin’s famous finches. We here at Salvo are fans of both Knight and Wells so I decided it’d be worth a read. I recommend it to you. Below is the beginning segment from Darwin’s Finches: The Hype Continues by Wells.

Every few years we are treated to glowing news stories about “Darwin’s finches.” The latest, published today in The Washington Post, is titled “200 years after Darwin, this is how the iconic Galápagos finches are still evolving,” and, as usual, it is full of hype.

When Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands in 1835, he collected specimens of the local wildlife. These included some finches that he threw into bags, many of them mislabeled. Although the Galápagos finches had little impact on Darwin’s thinking (he doesn’t even mention them in The Origin of Species), biologists who studied them a century later called them “Darwin’s finches” and invented the myth that Darwin had correlated differences in the finches’ beaks with different food sources (he hadn’t). According to the myth, Darwin was inspired by the finches to formulate his theory of evolution, though according to historian of science Frank Sulloway “nothing could be further from the truth.” . . .

Fascinating. In commenting on the article, Wintery Knight concludes that even if Darwin’s inspiration by the finch beaks wasn’t a myth, that’s not the problem anyways since “Changes in average beak size is not interesting. What is needed is to show how the beaks, much less the wings, evolved in the first place.”

Dr. Jonathan Wells will have a piece in the next issue of Salvo and he also wrote for the special Science & Faith issue. Subscribe today for only $19.95 and get the Salvo Science and Faith issue free!

Related:

Disinheriting the Wind
A Closer Look at the Scopes Trial by Robert P. George

The widely misreported and misunderstood decision of the Kansas Board of Education not to require the teaching of the theory of evolution has, predictably, revived memories of the banning of such teaching in public schools by the state of Tennessee, leading to the infamous Scopes “monkey” trial of 1925. Whether or not the creation stories recorded in the Book of Genesis are best understood as myths, the account of the Scopes trial promoted by liberal social commentators and moviemakers is mostly mythical. The core of the myth is that Clarence Darrow, representing enlightenment, humanity, and intellectual freedom, made a monkey out of William Jennings Bryan and the other “boobs and bigots,” as H. L. Mencken dubbed them, who sought to keep the children of Tennessee yoked to ignorance and superstition. The facts, as the self-designated enlightened are fond of saying in other contexts, are “more complicated.” . . .